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Secondary Program Review

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is undertaking a review of secondary schools to ensure all students have equitable access to programs and opportunities, as close to home as possible.

The vision of the Secondary Program Review, which will address both under and over-utilized schools, includes fewer schools with strong programming and increased access to courses that support all pathways. In order to achieve that, the Board will consider potential consolidation and/or relocation of schools, repurposing secondary school buildings to address other system needs, and different models of school organization (e.g. full-year programming).

Background

The Board of Trustees approved an action plan for the Secondary Program Review in June 2019. This plan includes looking at all the programs and courses offered at each site, related policies and procedures and enrolment.

The current and projected enrolment at the secondary panel does not support the number of facilities in operation. As of October 2019, the average utilization rate at the 112 secondary schools in the system was 78%; 25 of them were operating below 50% of their capacity. That means that the Board has almost 20,000 surplus pupil spaces across the system.

In 2016-17, the TDSB engaged in a consultation process for students to share their thoughts and opinions about secondary school programs and opportunities, the knowledge/skills and supports students need for the future, the design of school spaces and organization of the school schedule. This included group consultation meetings as well as an online survey for students in Grade 8, 10 and 12. A recurring theme in both the online and face-to-face consultations was the need for greater program choice. Highlights from the consultation process can be found here.

To learn more about the Secondary School Review, please read the Questions and Answers and additional resources available on this page.

Policies and Procedures

As part of this review, modifications and updates to current policies and procedures will be required. This includes the Optional Attendance policy (P013) and its procedures (PR545 and PR612).

Optional Attendance (P013)

This policy allows students to apply to schools other than their designated school by home address. This is possible because there is excess capacity at some schools across the system. However, optional attendance has prevented equity of access and created an imbalance of enrolment in our secondary schools (under and over-utilized schools). It has also created an environment where schools are forced to compete with each other to attract more students in hopes of increasing their enrolment.

A public consultation process will start in November 2019. This will include four public meetings (see dates and locations below), online consultations on a draft policy and focus groups with elementary and secondary students (dates to be confirmed). 

Consultations

The TDSB will hold parallel consultations on both the Secondary Program Review and Optional Attendance Policy (P013).


Ways to Get Involved

What would the ideal secondary school experience look like?

We are looking for your input and suggestions on how to re-imagine the current secondary school experience for all TDSB students. We want to hear what is working, what could work better, and your innovative ideas for addressing challenges described in the Secondary Review Report .

There are a number of ways to share your feedback:

Public Consultation Sessions

Four public meetings will be held in November. At these meeting we will consult on both Optional Attendance Policy (P013) and Secondary Program Review.

  • November 14, 7 p.m. at Western Technical-Commercial School, 125 Evelyn Crescent, Cafeteria
  • November 20, 7 p.m. at East Education Office, 140 Borough Drive, Committee Room 3/4
  • November 26, 7 p.m. at C W Jefferys Collegiate Institute, 340 Sentinel Road, Cafeteria
  • November 28, 7 p.m. at John Polanyi Collegiate Institute, 640 Lawrence Avenue West, Cafeteria

For questions about accessibility or to request accommodations while attending these meetings, please contact Secondary.Review@tdsb.on.ca at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Agenda:

7: 00 p.m. - Welcome and introductions

7: 05 p.m. - Presentation by staff

7:15 p.m. - Group discussions led by a facilitator (Optional Attendance)

8:05 p.m. - Group discussions led by a facilitator (Secondary Program Review)

8:50 p.m. – Closing remarks

9:00 p.m. – Adjournment

Additional consultation sessions will be scheduled with Community Advisory Committees, trustees, students, teachers, administrators, and senior team.

Online Survey

You can also provide feedback by completing the following survey: http://surveys.tdsb.on.ca/index.php?r=survey/index&sid=392394&lang=enThis survey will be online until January 31, 2020.

In addition, the Optional Attendance draft policy has been posted on the TDSB public site. To provide feedback, please visit the Policy Consultation page.

Please note that the Optional Attendance policy is being reviewed at the same time as the Secondary Program Review.

Email

You can e-mail your comments or questions about the review and/or the Optional Attendance policy to: SecondaryReview@tdsb.on.ca.




Our Mission
To enable all students to reach high levels of achievement and well-being
and to acquire the knowledge, skills
and values they need to become responsible, contributing members of
a democratic and sustainable society.
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