Minutes October 28, 2019

LPCI School Council Meeting

Next Meeting:  December 2nd, 7pm in the library

Attendees: Liz Hanson, Kristen Glenister, Anna Richter, Anne Marie Armstrong, Ian Aukema, Julie Sole, Marina Chernyak, Kelly Green, Erika Boone, Ann Moffet, Alex Sabharwal, John Hiddema, Resa Elsen, Jen Tse, Karen Barasch, Kate Thurston Dale, Sandra Pritchard, Gillian Wyett, Suzanne Duras, Grace Middleton, Alexandra Evans, Veronica Bak, Laura Neild, Anne Maenhaut, Jill Belanger, Mary Rose Ebos, Haley Overland, Scott Morson, Jane Loforgo, Kathy Dumanski, Tara Benedetti, Tia Butler, Jennifer Gotleib, Edna Hussman, Rindy Bradshaw, Jennifer Wilmer, Bryan Seaton.

Key Dates:

  • Trustee Shelley Laskin Ward 8 Forum @LPCI (Library) – Oct 29 6:30-8:30pm
  • Costume Ball – Oct 30th
  • Grade 9 Bring your Child to Work Day – Nov 6
  • Pathways (University/College Evening Fair at LP) – Nov 7
  • Wellness Fair – Nov 8
  • Remembrance Day Assembly – Nov 11
  • Report Card Distribution – Nov 14th
  • Charity Week – Nov 29th
  1. Student Council Update – Samanntha Lee, Ryan Knight
    • Last week of Sep: Spirit Week. Done every month. Blue & Gold Day, Pajama Day, Twin Day, Jersey Day. Council and Club assembly.
    • Buddies, Grade 11/12 help grade 9s adapt to high school. Grade 9 excursion day Thornhill Outdoor Education Centre (TOEC). Grade 9 students put into teams, fun games and social interaction. Overall an amazing day.
    • Terry Fox Run – outside on Track during class, a couple laps. Raise money in home form class. Sold donuts and lemonade as well to raise money.
    • Volunteer Fair – Oct 2nd. Organizations from outside to provide volunteer opportunities. Sign-up sheets were provided.
    • Club Carousel – all clubs were shared.The full list of clubs can be found on the school council website: https://lpschoolcouncil.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/LPCI-Clubs-List-2019.pdf. The Club Carousel/Fair provided sign up opportunities but kids can join any time.
    • Just finished SPC card campaign $10 student discount cards. Can still be picked up in Room 301 (French office) from M. Benais during lunch, before or after school.
    • French immersion/extended students buy tickets to see performances or shows – Parvana last week.
    • For Nov:
      • Costume Ball Oct 30th 7-9:30pm music video theme dance.
      • University visits, have been ongoing during late start Wed am.
      • Nov 7th Spirit Day – junk food day of the month, sell candy/waffles etc. Wear blue and gold and get a free grilled cheese
      • Nov 7th – Math Contest – Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge
      • Nov 7th – Pathways Fair 6-9pm in Library
      • Nov 8th – Wellness Fair – organizations will be here, physical and mental health and wellbeing e.g. Good Life. Sky Lark, walk-in
      • Nov 11th Remembrance Day Assembly presented by Drama Council. Veteran recognition.
      • Report cards coming soon, Nov 14th
      • Nov 29th Charity Week – booth fair, run with home form reps. Will decide a charity, booths will sell baked goods etc. to raise money for charities of choice.

PARENT QUESTION: Concern about lack of student spirit, recent back to back football games (Jr & Sr) very few parents, students staff stayed for the 2nd game.

Answer – Hard to know what kids have after school. Perhaps we can get Councils to help support. Will raise the issue with LPAC and other Councils. Many teachers took their kids out of last period to support.

PARENT QUESTION: Could we share the charities supported during Charity Week and the tally of funds raised?

Answer – Good idea

PARENT QUESTION: Can volunteer opportunity list be posted?

Answer – Yes, we can ask for that to be done.

  1. Chair & Executive Reports
  • Approval of September 2019 minutes: John Hiddema motioned to approve, seconded by Ian Aukema.
  • Introductions to School Council Executive Nominees
    • Vice Chair: Kristen Glenister, son in grade 11
    • Parent Engagement Subcommittee Chair – Karen Barasch son in grade 9
    • French as a second language Chair – Jen Tse   – son in grade 9, daughter grade 7 at Glenview.
    • Fundraising Chair – Anne Marie Armstrong – Co-Chair available!
    • Motion to acclaim positions: Bryan Seaton, seconded by Rindy Bradshaw
  • Welcome Committee – Liz Hanson
    • Would like to have another parent social which we may tag onto a fundraiser. More to come.
  • Communications – Julie Sole, Marina Chernyak
    • Status quo for now, more updates in December.
  • Treasurer’s Report – Ian Aukema, John Hiddema
    • Website costs and Student Success Fund raised last year but transferred this year.
    • School council insurance – still being negotiated at the Board.

Parent Question: Tax receipt still being pursued?
Answer – Waiting for guidance from TDSB on updated fundraising policy. Expecting to be able to issue receipts and have say in how funds disbursed. Still waiting to hear more from Board. Likely Cash Online and allocated through and with Aiman.

  • Wellness Committee – Kelly Green
    • Terry Fox Walk – intention of event was to be inclusive, 15 minutes per class on track, social and comradery. $4,038 raised just shy of $5,000 goal.
    • Wellness Fair – Last year 20 organizations. Gave access to resources students may not otherwise get. Passports stamped at each booth (helps reduce stigma). This year 13 signed up and 5 internal resources.
    • Friday Tea Club – opportunity for social time in a non-stressful environment, bring your own mug, tea in urns in the hallway. Always looking for tea donations, can drop boxes off in office marked Wellness Committee.
  • Equity Committee – Ann Moffet, Alex Sabharwal
    • Alex daughter in grade 11, Ann daughter in grade 12
    • New committee – there is a student equity committee (a club), a staff committee which Ann & Alex will sit on as well as they plan on joining Equity Advisory committee with the TDSB
    • New and revised policy on equity posted on TDSB website and can be found here: https://www.tdsb.on.ca/About-Us/Policies,ProceduresForms/Detail/docId/200
    • Equity training happening with staff across the Board.
  • Ward 8 News – Erika Boone
    • Meeting Oct 29th here at 6:30pm, ward is so much bigger than prior years, may be busier. All welcome to attend. Information on Shelley Laskin’s website. More updates next meeting. https://www.tdsb.on.ca/ward8
  • Community Updates – Anna Richter
    • Walk In – More Details on the Oct 10th Walk-In
      • Anna shared more details on the Walk-In. LPCI registered to participate in conjunction with over 500 school communities across the. The idea was for parents, students and staff to unite as a community for 30 minutes demonstrating their protest to funding cuts to education. Then everyone unites and walkedinto the school at 8:30am.
    • Local robberies at the Ave Rd and Lawrence McDonalds in case parents missed this report. Here’s a link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/north-york-robberies-1.5334767
  • Safe & Caring School Committee – Resa Eisen
    • VP Mr. Bilba is the chair, the committee met today. Carry over items from last year.
      • Vaping – no incidents where vaping pens have had to be taken away so far this year. Been discussing how to get more current info on dangers of vaping to students.
      • Stolen bikes – students should have a good lock that cannot be broken easily
      • Conflict resolution – more to come
      • Lunch room – seating in hallways, student rep didn’t think this was a big issue as it’s the preferred place for kids to sit and have lunch. Still looking at more spaces.
    • Parent Engagement Subcommittee – Karen Barasch
      • Still flushing out what committee will be – TDSB is currently reviewing policy. Opportunity to have input. Have requested timeline. Will be seeking input, all 3 constituents and how we can all work together (parents, students, teachers)
    • French as a Second Language – Jen Tse
      • Meeting bi-monthly, discuss broad range of issues.
      • Virtual library – Fleur de Lis link to French resources e.g. encyclopedieas, TFO, movies, books etc. Resources all in one spot.
      • Parent engagement – teacher newsletters or other ways to communicate
      • Core French teacher survey issued a couple weeks ago, results to come
      • Core French action plan – professional budget reduced again
      • Are there enough French teachers available? Ongoing issue.
  1. Prior Meeting Follow Up and Other News/Information
    • Follow up on 2 items from the previous meeting – Anna Richter:
      • The School Council donated $2,513 of funds raised to the Principal for use for Student Success funds. Student Success funds are used for the Principal to apply for confidential use for students in need. This is an allocation of 10% of funds raised that are saved as Student success. Some uses for the funds are TTC transit support.
      • Response to SC’s recommendation from superintendent Andrew Howard was received after last meeting. Semestering will not proceed without open discussion. There is an ongoing Secondary School Review, once this is complete, we can revisit the semestering change and if it proceeds it will start from the very beginning.
      • Anna expressed appreciation of last year’s Council: Liz, Kelly, Anne Marie, Julie, Ian, John, …
    • SSON and what it is: School Statement of Needs, what we think the school needs in a principal etc. Needs to be completed yearly. Due mid-November, will seek parent input. Please provide any input to our school council email.
    • Stay Connected – MySchoolDay App – Julie offered to show anyone who would like tips and tricks on how it works at the end of the meeting.
    • Fundraising Update – more details to come.
    • Ideas raised for upcoming Speaker’s at the Council Meetins: 1) Equity opportunity, 2) Vaping – Ruth Kelly shared excellent presentation on Vaping from public board of health, 3) Future of work e.g. impact of automation, jobs that will be there in the future (jobs that have need for empathy) – parents expressed interest in all.
    • Grade 9 Bring your Child to Work Day – across Ontario, all schools, children can attend at a parent/guardian/friend’s parent’s work. November 6th.

PARENT QUESTION: Is there a central list of opportunities if children don’t have the opportunity to join their parent/guardian?
Answer – Students can join with another student. Liz suggested she could work with the school Admin on this. If any student wants to participate, and can not join a parent/guardian at this time, please let the Principal know or School Council. . It was offered that some could join Liz at her work and she will help the school find options with other parents if needed.

  1. School’s Report – Principal Aiman Flahat
  • Awards assembly last week, warm reception, feel welcomed.
  • Focus on learning about students. 1:1 meetings, to learn as much as possible. Looking to understand why certain practices are in place. Attending Council meetings, students are quite passionate about the work they do e.g. Wellness Council. Sometimes students that excel are the only ones that have leadership opportunities but at LP there are so many opportunities (President, Vice President of a number of Councils). Very engaged and the belief systems they have in what they are doing. A lot of this comes from investment of time and energy by parents, engagement in extracurricular activities etc. Really amazing!
  • Curriculum Night – great in many ways, but some glitches. If a parent of Gr 9 students, not all staff attended. Curriculum night is not mandatory for TDSB teachers. Of 55 staff, 41-42 were able to come. Some were unable to make it for personal reasons. Looking at different format for next year, welcome feedback and ideas – maybe classroom visits for Grade 9 with representative of subject areas and perhaps for other grades have meetings for subject areas in bigger spaces.

PARENT COMMENT: Disappointing experience, didn’t realize it wasn’t mandatory. Last year was invaluable – name to faces, just to be able to keep finger on pulse. Hard to get here for 6pm (had to leave work early) 6 of 8 teachers weren’t here.
Answer – Received lots of emails from parents. Don’t need to relive it tonight, message was received loud and clear. Majority of parents didn’t realize it was entirely voluntary. Always going to be staff unable to attend so looking at new ways to manage. Staff generally so giving of their time, this evening structure just didn’t lend itself to everyone having a good experience.

  • Good news: our Boys & Girls Tennis teams are City Champions!
  • Pathways Fair Nov 7th – This is a University and College Fair at Lawrence Park. Up to 25 schools have confirmed, so it will be a great event. This even is great Grade 12 and Grade 11 students too.
  • Aiman is trying to meet with every student in the school. When he asks Grade 12 students, what they are planning for next year, many are not sure. A lot of work to be done, network – getting kids talking to people about what opportunities may be out there. Having a purpose, reason for doing something helps drive kids.

PARENT COMMENT: Aiman is doing amazing things to connect with our students. Thank you to Principal Aiman Flahat for calling the parents son down to the office and wishing him a Happy Birthday and giving him positive words of advice.
Aiman Comment – Thank you. I’m using the opportunity of birthdays to come meet and talk about our students future. He is asking students about people who make an impact on them and how they feel. As well, he asks kids what are they doing to make people remember you?

  • School vision and mission – looking to refine and make it known to everyone. Identify and practice their gifts will likely be part of it.
  • School improvement planning: working with staff, need to come up with goals. Achievement, Wellbeing, Equity goals to be submitted to Superintendent. Identified area of Mathematics for area of focus. Staff turnover has been high, impacts performance. Standardized marks are OK (compared to province and board) but can be much stronger, particularly for this school. Professional learning plans to be developed. Inclusive design, for e.g. student voice, analyzing data. Teachers are reflecting on current practices. Also, area of parent and community engagement, students also providing input – particularly from those who don’t have as much of a voice (either quieter students or parents that don’t attend council meetings).
  • Staffing – challenging to find replacements particularly with French, leave of absences mean Long Term Occasional teachers are hired but these teachers can be pulled out of the school if offered a full-time contract (which happened on Friday).

PARENT QUESTION: If French phys-ed being taught in English, at what point will it not qualify as a French credit?
Answer – Teacher hired recently who could teach Phys Ed in French unfortunately had to take a short-term leave but likely will be back soon, and credit should be ok. Will need to ask longer term: Phys Ed and Math need to be part of the French program?

PARENT QUESTION: How can we help students who are now on their 4th math teacher?
Answer – Mr. Abrahim recently re-hired. (Many parents agreed this was very positive news). There are several extra help sessions available as well.

  • Special Olympics Soccer Qualifier at LPCI on Oct 24th. It was a very touching event. More information will be shared if this comes back to LPCI.
  • Grade 9 Take Your Kids to Work Day Nov 6th – if students stay behind at school, there is supervision. If your child doesn’t have anywhere to go, email the school and perhaps opportunities can be provided.
  • 160 tickets sold to Costume Ball. Last year was amazing because there were zero alcohol and drug incidents. Very few schools still hold these, but we’d like to continue to – let’s keep incidents to zero!
  • Awards Assembly – awards granted to highest mark in every class. Some conversations about also doing character and leadership awards as well. Perhaps having parents involved/invited too. More to come.

PARENT QUESTION: Last year Mr. Bibla introduced Global Competencies. Can we use these as the basis for awarding/achievement?
Answer – Yes, this is part of what we are looking at.

PARENT QUESTION:  Grade 11 math – could we have a teacher come in and explain how the grade is being taught. Textbook isn’t being used; packages instead (not all have answers in them) makes it hard for kids to have a resource to go to if need extra reading.
Answer – I’ve been asked to buy hard copy books for students struggling with online textbooks. Will follow up to make sure they have arrived. Idea of math is creativity in the classroom and shouldn’t rely too much on the textbook. There is a published list of when teachers are providing extra help and you can go to any teacher, doesn’t have to be regular teacher. Aiman suggested parents email directly with specific concerns.

PARENT QUESTION: Some teachers using different classroom software (e.g., Google and Brightspace) and not integrated to My School Day. How can we address this?
Answer – All platforms are voluntary and each teacher may handle differently. Important thing is that when the student is logged into the platform they are engaged and able to use it.

PARENT QUESTION: Disconnect with what is on Google Classroom and what’s being taught in class students becoming disengaged, French Immersion student.
Answer – Grade 9 students can ask Buddies for help. Aiman requested the parent follow up directly.


Motion to adjourn by Jen Tse, seconded by Anna Richter.