Toronto is a huge city. If you're moving to the area, chances are that your kids will end up going to a school that falls under the jurisdiction of the Toronto District School Board. If you want to learn more about the school board, the schools it administers, and how the school board can help you manage your child's education, this article should give you an introduction to the TDSB, which is Canada's largest school board.
The Toronto District School Board serves almost 600 schools and over 250,000 students, which is larger than the population of many other Canadian cities. However, not all schools in Toronto fall under its umbrella. Some former municipalities beyond Yorkville, Toronto that have been absorbed into the Greater Toronto Area still maintain their own school boards. Other schools are private and therefore independent, while still others are under the purview of the French school board or the Catholic school board, which operates concurrently.
The purpose of the Toronto District School Board is to set the education agenda for the schools under its umbrella. It aims to serve parents and students by helping make sure students are getting what they need, whether it's special needs materials or buses that help them make the trip to school from their condos in central Toronto. The school board also aims to improve academic performance, maintains school facilities, supports staff, and manages the business aspects of the school, such as materials acquisition and cafeteria sales. The school board doesn't just control the regular children's schools, but also alternative schools (such as Africentric or arts schools) and adult education centers.
The school board is divided into 22 wards which stretch from Etobicoke in the east to Scarborough in the West. Each ward elects its own trustee in the Toronto municipal elections. This trustee represents the interests of that ward during school board meetings and is available for parents who are concerned over things like school fundraising or the effects of politics in schools. The board is presided over by a Director, who together with the trustees sets the goals and agendas for the current sitting school board.
The school board maintains a detailed website with information on schools, upcoming events, board members, education goals, pilot projects, adult learning, transportation, curriculum, grading, special education, literacy, jobs with the school board, and extra curricular activities. If you're looking for a school close to your office where your kids can go to school, the board website can help. It's also a good idea to bookmark it for days when cancellations are likely to be announced, as it is a more reliable source than the radio.