Parents and guardians are at the centre of the education of students and we continually work to strengthen relationships with all of them and all of our community partners.
We encourage parents and schools to work together in supporting students and offer a number of opportunities for parents to get involved. This year, we hosted the first city-wide Parent Academy Conference. Organized by parents for parents, participants developed important relationships and discussed key issues facing parents today, including bullying, social media, financial literacy and children's health and well-being. A further 11 system-wide parent engagement workshops were held throughout the system to enhance awareness of parenting strategies.
We also furthered our outreach education and training with a number of external community and parent groups to enhance relationships and connect with achievement gap priority communities across the city.
The TDSB also released findings from the 2012 Kindergarten to Grade 6 Parent Census, will use the results to develop strategies and adjust supports that further strengthen schools and help every student succeed.
Key findings included:
- 93% of parents say they feel welcome in their child's school and 92% of parents feel their child is treated with respect in their school.
- 97% of parents agree that their child feels safe in the classroom.
- 88% of parents feel their child is getting the supports they need in school.
- 95% of JK/SK parents report their child feels happy, whereas by the time they reach Grade 6 it drops to 91%.
We continue to support a community of life-long learners. More than 1,800 general interest classes were offered through the TDSB's Continuing Education program, serving nearly 30,000 adults. In addition, more than 20,000 learners participated in the TDSB's English as a Second Language program, which not only helps build language skills, it helps learners gain insight into settlement and employment programs and supports a successful transition into Canadian life.