TDSB promises better learning for Scarborough students

Helen Stavros signed her child up for new computer classes offered at her school and said she expected her child to become the next Bill Gates.

Instead the parent and teacher found that the programs failed to live up to their promises.

“My daughter was in grade seven last year – they didn’t implement [specialized] programs[…] when I went to school we did a lot more. They are coming up with all this fancy stuff, but when are they going to implement it?” Stavros said.

Stavros also signed her child up for design and woodworking class where she says the students learned nothing more than how to use simple hand tools.

Stavros was one of 100 parents who came out to the education forum held at Woburn Collegiate on Sept.15, in Scarborough. Trustee David Smith of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) Scarborough Centre ward,  came out to talk about some of these new programs and how they would benefit students.

Recently, the TDSB has started certain specialized programs in “high priority” schools, in an attempt to foster better learning environments. These specialized programs include technology and design classes as well as a variety of language courses.

At the meeting, parents in favour of and against these specialized programs had the chance to speak with Smith.

Smith admitted that the state of the program is not yet at the level he envisioned due to a lack of money.

“We are not where we want to be yet, but I am working very diligently to get more [funding and programs] into the community,” Smith said. “The  programs can’t all come in at once. Just like anything, they must be  phased in. We are strapped for cash.”

Trustee David Smith admits that the promised specialized programs for certain Scarborough schools is not where he wants it to be. The programs will have to be phased in over the next 3 years due to budget cuts.

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But some parents see Smith’s vision and are patiently awaiting the change to happen.

“I realize that there is a funding issue and that it takes more than just the TDSB and the staff here to implement change. It takes parents as well as the community to be involved in and care about the programs being offered at the schools,” says Leah Ulita, a parent representative for the TDSB.

While a set date has not been established for Scarborough schools and when they can expect more funding and more programs, Smith assures that they are a definite addition to the future of schools.

The programs will be added to cirriculums in TDSB schools over the next three years.