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Change to International Languages Program


July 18, 2018


Dear Parent/Guardian:


The trustees of the Toronto Catholic District School Board thank you for your patience and we sincerely apologize for the many changes that occurred near the end of the school year. The Board acknowledges the many concerns expressed by parents regarding the elimination of the extended day and thanks the students, staff, parents, and community associations who took the time to provide feedback either written or by phone. We want to especially recognize the hundreds of people who took time out from their summer to attend the special board meeting on July 12th.


We are pleased to announce that the Board unanimously approved the preservation of the most treasured and important International Language Program for thousands of students in 44 schools. Pending Ministry of Education approval, the IL program will be taught for 30 minutes a day, four days a week during the school day for the next school year. The IL program will be evaluated within the school year, and other alternative methods of delivery may be explored for future school years.


In those 44 schools, the IL program will be integrated into the regular school day rather than an extended school day commencing September 1, 2018. Trustees had hoped that the extended day could be reinstated, but the Board must abide by a decision in an Arbitrator’s award on a grievance between the Toronto Elementary Catholic Teachers (TECT) of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) and the TCDSB.


The Board remains committed to providing students with opportunities to learn languages in addition to English and French. Research has shown that learning multiple languages improves student achievement and opens the doors to endless opportunities for students in our global world. We know that the curriculum is enriched with International Language learning and enhances the school experience for students.


Early in the school year, parents in the 44 schools will be invited to participate in a survey to confirm their desire about the format of IL programming taught during four 30-minute periods each week, as approved by the Board, or through an alternative program delivery model that suits their individual community needs. Any schools who wish to opt out of the program will have that option. In accordance with the board approved motion all elementary schools will be surveyed to ascertain their interest on providing a new International Language program at their school in future years.


The Director of Education has been instructed to work with relevant union partners and stakeholders to identify available options which would keep International Language programming in IL schools and any other interested school communities in the future. Staff are to report back on the results of those discussions no later than the October Board meeting.

The Toronto Student Transportation Group has been advised of the changes to the program hours, and there will be a need to reorganize bus routes in order to accommodate all students who rely on school bus transportation. To minimize transportation issues, the changes to pick-up at the end of the school day, due to the elimination of the additional 30 minutes, will be transitioned throughout the school year in order to ensure all bus routes are adequately serviced. This means that for the start of the school year, many IL schools will continue to be serviced at 3:30 p.m. Supervision of students will be provided at these schools. As new drivers come on line, notification will be sent to families about changes to pick up and drop off times. All families are asked to visit the TSTG website for updates throughout the summer and into the school year

Through this experience we have learned that we must deliver before and after school programs where families require care. We want to assure you that trustees are committed to expanding before and after school programs at our Board. Please contact our Early Learning Team or your local school trustee if you are interested in beginning a new program in your school community. Please call 416 222 8282 Ext# 2660.


We wish you the happiest and healthiest of summers!



Trustee Joe Martino

Trustee Ann Andrachuk

Trustee Sal Piccininni

Trustee Maria Rizzo, Vice-Chair

Trustee Frank D’Amico

Trustee Mike Del Grande

Trustee Garry Tanuan

Trustee Jo-Ann Davis

Trustee Barbara Poplawski, Chair

Trustee Angela Kennedy

Trustee Nancy Crawford


Knowledge of languages is the doorway to wisdom.
‒ Roger Bacon
Copy to: All Superintendents, All Principals, Vice-Principals