Elementary Teachers of Toronto

Elementary Teachers of Toronto

July 12, 2011 10:38 ET

Toronto Teachers Launch Initiative for Better Schools

Outreach Program Focuses on Increasing Resources and Improving Access to Educational Opportunities

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 12, 2011) -

ATTN: ASSIGNMENT EDITORS, EDUCATION REPORTERS

School's out for the summer, but many elementary teachers in Toronto are continuing to work on an initiative to speak directly to parents and communities, about preserving and enhancing the learning environment of children in Toronto's public schools.

Inspired by the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) Building Better Schools Agenda (www.etfo.ca), the Elementary Teachers of Toronto (ETT) has developed the Community Education Action Plan (CEAP) to engage parents and communities in an open-ended discussion about what Toronto's schools need to be the best they can be. In different venues, including outdoor barbecues and public forums teachers, parents and community members will exchange views on resource needs, promoting educational opportunity and inclusion, parent involvement and the role of community schools.

The CEAP project reflects the concerns of many Toronto teachers that the quality of the teaching/learning environment is being compromised by a lack of resources and unequal education opportunity within Toronto's public schools. "All of our schools are good and some of them are great, but there is no reason why they can't all be great" said Martin Long, President of the Elementary Teachers of Toronto. "To reach a higher standard we will need smaller classes, more specialist teachers and more resources for special needs students. But above all we need to make a renewed to commitment to the fundamental principle of public education, namely equal education opportunity and inclusion of every single student."

The project is also animated by the conviction that teachers and students will benefit from greater involvement of parents and communities in shaping the role of community schools. In a climate of fiscal restraint, teachers are increasingly looking to parents and the public to actively support the public school system. "I think there is a growing feeling that parent and community involvement is the key to building better schools." said teacher and project coordinator Anna Jessup. Whether it's lobbying and voting for the resources we need to do our jobs as teachers or re-imagining our schools as community hubs, it all depends on active and informed parent and community involvement."

Scheduled CEAP events include:

  • People! Power! Change! An education Forum and BBQ at Elmbank Community Centre, 10 Rampart Rd., Etobicoke (Just east of Martin Grove south of Finch). July 16, 12 – 4pm.

  • Barbecue and Education Forum, Scarborough Civic Centre (Scarborough Town Centre) Sunday, July 24, 12-3pm.

Contact Information

  • For more information and additional survey results:
    Martin Long
    416-393-9930 or (mobile) 416-708-8317
    mlong@ett.on.ca