Welcome and thank you for visiting my web page.
April 4th was the best day that I’ve had as your Trustee. Four of the projects that I have been working on for years are bearing fruit.
At 8 a.m. the Minister of Education came to Silver Creek to announce that the province was going to buy the school site in order to provide a stable home for the programs that serve children with special needs there. This announcement is a testament innovative solutions that can be found when the community and different levels of government work together. A special thanks to the community members of the Friends of Silver Creek and to MPP Yvan Baker for all of the work you did to make this happen, and a special thanks to the staff and board members of the Silver Creek Preschool and Etobicoke Children’s Centre for the work you do every day supporting children with special needs.
At 10 a.m. I visited Briarcrest Junior School where Ms McIlvey’s grade 4 class is learning keyboarding skills. The class is part of a pilot running in 15 schools to teach children proper keyboarding technique. My hope is that it will be rolled out across the TDSB so that every student learns proper keyboarding technique in the near future.
At 11:15 I visited Terry tan daycare at the Bloordale United Church. Cindy and Bonnie Brown-Fisher talked about the success of the TDSB campaign to preserve daycare funding from the city for the current year.
At 12:30 I visited Humber Valley Village Junior Middle School where TDSB staff and I met with Royal York baseball to work on a deal to improve the condition of the baseball diamonds. This is one part of a bigger pilot project for the TDSB to partner with local sports clubs. The clubs would provide some money to help improve the condition of school fields and baseball diamonds in exchange for guaranteed permits at the school for a period of years. This year the pilot will see improved diamonds at Hollycrest, Humber Valley Village and Rosethorn schools.
At 6:30 the Special Education Forum heard four spectacular presentations on college programs and employment skills for students with special needs. One of the presenters, Joe Dale of the Ontario Disability Employment Network says that “we need to raise our expectations that after completing school people with disabilities are going to work”. He gave the example of Washington State where 87% of people with intellectual disabilities have paid employment, compared with only 26% in Ontario. Joe provided examples of major companies like Tim Hortons and Walgreens that have improved their profitability by employing people with special needs.
This conversation will continue at a roundtable being held on Tuesday, May 23, 6:30 pm to discuss building employment skills throughout the curriculum for students with special needs. See the flyer below for more details.
That was an amazing day. And to top it off, I think we’ve found the Richview bell! The TDSB archivist and I are going to check out a lead.
As always, it is an honour to serve this community and the parents, students and staff in our schools.
If you have any questions or comments, please email me at email@example.com.