Summary of April 30th Meeting with Administration, Trustee and Superintendent

To the McGregor Community,

Thank you for your passion and energy, thank you for making the voice of the McGregor Community heard.  We are experiencing a time of uncertainty at the school, last week, the School Advisory Council and the McGregor Home & School Committee jointly requested that a meeting be held between the superintendent (Mike Gallagher), the Trustee (Cathy Dandy), SAC members, H&S Executive, the R.H. McGregor Acting Principal (Mr. Hadley) and Vice Principal (Ms. Chatzis) and teacher representatives.  As a result of your letters, phone calls and emails the meeting was held this past Tuesday night.

The meeting was held Tuesday night at 5:30 pm.  During the meeting we heard from all parties and discussed the following issues:

  1. How the staffing model is derived in terms of the annual TDSB process and staff consultation and input into it;
  2. How the library might be affected by TDSB plans to slowly change to a “learning commons” model, and by the reduction in the teacher-librarian allocation; and
  3. How the TDSB is planning to handle the leadership at R.H McGregor towards the shared goal of continuity for both students and teachers.

From the superintendent, we heard about the process for the staffing model, one that is outlined by the board and supported by union contractual arrangements.  In terms of the principal’s role, we heard that his main priorities are to ensure consistency and stability for the school.

In response to the current situation the Trustee Cathy Dandy has noted that:

“[t]he school Administration, Superintendent and Union representative have been meeting for some time now to work out issues that began to build in the fall. I am confident that RH McGregor remains a caring, dynamic learning environment and that the Administration and staff continue to focus on what is best for students. There is significant goodwill on both sides and, as with all “families,” challenges that arise are not evidence that things are falling apart but rather opportunities to work harder to find solutions. That is exactly what is happening in this case. The Administration and staff have worked collaboratively together and things are moving forward. I will continue my monitoring of the situation and remain in contact with the School Council and Home & School so that I can facilitate the strengthening of relationships in any way I can.”

We also heard from Acting Principal Mr. Hadley.  He reviewed the school staffing model process, and advised us of next steps in terms of within school staff allocations, and when and how vacant positions would be posted and filled.

Ms. Chatzis reviewed with us the TDSB’s vision of a move to a library “learning commons”.  This move, which would slowly shift the orientation of school library, is one that is espoused by the Ontario School Library Association. Like the adoption of the problem based learning approach for math, Ms. Chatzis noted that adoption of the model would not happen overnight.  Ms. Dandy noted that the library cuts have been proposed across the entire TDSB.

All parties have indicated that they have the best interests of the children at the top of their agenda.

At this juncture, it is important for you to know that the channels of communication are open.  We will continue to closely monitor the situation, to liaise with the Senior Administration, and work to provide advice and bring matters forward to the School and Administration as needed.

Sincerely,

Tamara Daly (SAC Chair)

Andrew Burke-Hall (H&S President)

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