In My Opinion: This school year, there are plenty of ways for parents to connect

TDSB parents/guardians whose children are transported by school bus can now access transportation information online. PHOTO: TDSB

Back to school! It’s hard to believe that the day is here. In honour, here are some back to school tips to help the new school year get off to a smooth start. Make sure to check out the many great “Tips for Back to School” on the TDSB website.

All that Paperwork: One common frustration parents feel at this time of year is all the back to school paperwork. I’m happy to report that as a result of a motion I brought to the Board last year, you should be seeing a significant reduction in duplication – and paper – this year. Next year we plan to move some of this documentation online.

Busing Woes be Gone: TDSB parents/guardians whose children are transported by school bus can now access transportation information online and receive email notifications if there are cancellations or delays, thanks to the launch of the now online transportation portal. For more information and to register visit and select “Parents” from the drop-down menu.

Walking to School: Research shows that students who use active transportation to get to and from school experience better physical and mental health, are better prepared to learn and work, and are more connected to their communities.

Traffic in and around our schools seems to be getting worse every year.  If you don’t have an alternative to driving, please use the designated pick up and drop off zones and respect their rules and limits. To increase safety and decrease congestion, please consider parking legally a block or two away and walking the remainder.

Everyone Belongs: Every day the TDSB works to support the uniqueness and diversity of our student population. We want all of our students to feel welcome, accepted, supported and engaged.  For more on how equity is practised at the school level, talk to your Principal, and check out the Board’s web resources under such headings as “Equity Foundation Statement”, “Human Rights Policy and Procedure” “Gender Based Violence Prevention” “Caring and Safe Schools” and “Guidelines for Religious Accommodation.”

Get Involved: Our children benefit when parents/guardians actively engage with their learning and their schools. There are many ways to do this. One very important way is by getting involved in your School Council. Even a few hours a year of volunteer time for your school can make a difference and build community. For more on how to get involved, contact the school office or look out for info in the back to school package that comes home with your child.

Mark Your Calendars: The complete school year calendar, from Sept. 5 to June 30 and Days of Significance can be found on the TDSB website. Our first PA Day is Oct. 6 and schools will be closed for Thanksgiving on Oct. 9.

Jennifer Story is the elected Trustee with the Toronto District School Board for residents of Ward 15, Toronto Danforth. In addition to serving on the Board, she is a Communications Consultant and lives in Leslieville with her husband and their two school-aged sons.

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