My vision for a better school board

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I share your concerns about public education in Ward 18, and I will fight as your representative at the Toronto District School Board to change things for the better.

The most important issues for our public schools are:

  • Making sure that every child has the best possible opportunity to succeed, and treating each child fairly and equally
  • Improving student performance and achievement by setting high standards, encouraging and helping each child to be the best he or she can be, and making sure our teachers have the resources, training and support to do the job we expect.
  • Getting results and accountability from everyone involved in education – trustees, school board staff, principals, teachers and education workers.

My personal commitment to you:

I come from a family of teachers – my grandfather and father were teachers, and I am proud to continue our family’s tradition as a teacher at an independent school in our Ward.

By serving as your public school trustee, I want to use my front-line classroom experience and understanding of education to work for you and your children.

A fair and equal opportunity for every child

The challenge: Ward 18 is home to people from around the world, from all walks of life, of all income levels, with a wide range of family and home situations. No matter the background, every child in Ward 18 must have a fair and equal opportunity to attend school and get an education that prepares him or her for the best possible life.

What I will do: Every school and every teacher in Ward 18 must provide the same opportunity to all students. No child can be treated unfairly, made to feel less than equal, or neglected. As your trustee, I will visit all our public schools regularly, and work hard to ensure the school board makes fair and equal opportunity its top priority.

Improving student performance and achievement

The challenge: Our schools are performing below par and this is not acceptable. In Ward 18, 16 of the 22 elementary schools are below the provincial average in Reading, Writing and Math. Our children are not getting the encouragement and help they need to succeed in school and in life. We must do better.

What I will do: As a teacher, I have found that meaningful professional development and training have made me better. As your public school trustee, I will make sure our teachers get the training and development they need to teach Reading, Writing, and Math more effectively. Better-trained and motivated teachers are the key to helping our children reach higher and succeed.

Accountability and results

The challenge: Everyone in education must be held accountable for how they behave and perform – trustees, school board staff, principals, teachers and education workers. Staff must not feel intimated by their employers. Spending must get under control – for example, we can’t keep wasting $143 to install a pencil sharpener. And trustee expenses are a serious issue.

What I will do: I will not tolerate abuse of board staff and will ensure that offenders are called out and dealt with promptly and effectively. I will lead an effort to restore integrity and accountability to spending at the school board. As a trustee, I will be vigilant and publish my expenses every month to account for every penny. I will work to have an independent auditor monitor board expenditures to ensure that your tax dollars for education are spent where they are needed – in the classroom.

An end to bullying

The challenge: Bullying is still a problem in our schools, and now it is becoming harder to detect with cyber-bullying. Schools are not taking this issue seriously, or don’t know what to do.

What I will do: I will stand up for children and parents of children who are experiencing bullying. I will ensure that every school in Ward 18 implements Safe School Teams. I will reach out to parents including new Canadians to make them feel welcome and part of our school community, and help them be partners in detecting and ending bullying.

Active, healthy students

The challenge: Schools are struggling to provide physical activity, and student health and academic performance suffer. Then at the end of the school day, students race home to their video games, phones and TVs and continue their inactive lifestyle.

What I will do: As a teacher, I’ve seen first-hand how daily physical activity makes a huge difference in the attention and focus of students. Schools and parents both have a role to play in improving student activity and health. I will work with school staff to implement 60 minutes of daily physical activity, and introduce more after-school programs. Growing up in the ward, after-school clubs and sports teams kept me and my friends outside and active. With no new cost, I will encourage not-for-profit youth agencies and counseling services to serve the school system better and reach more students.