This year has been particularly challenging for many of you. As we navigate this difficult time of uncertainty, I wish to thank all the parents, guardians, caregivers, and students for their patience and resilience. We are grateful to our educational staff, who continue to dedicate their skills towards a new way of teaching so that our students can continue to thrive with emergency remote online learning. We are also grateful to our healthcare professionals, frontline workers, and community partners currently battling the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the planning of the re-opening of our schools last year, the Toronto Catholic District School Board utilized an equity lens to allocate support for our most vulnerable school communities. This was achieved by prioritizing resources, reducing class sizes, increasing educational support staff, and providing immediate access to technology. As a Toronto Board of Health member, I quickly realized that the province did not take the same equity lens approach to the vaccination rollout. As a result, I asked that the vaccination rollout be immediately prioritized in Toronto’s highest risk hot spot areas.
The Ward 3 - Humber River/Black Creek community was also faced with many families experiencing food insecurity. Our school communities have endured enormous challenges during the past 13 months. By working with The Angel Foundation for Learning, the Food for Kids Program, and Councillor Joe Cressy, we could relax restrictions on the student nutrition funding program. As a result, we provided basic everyday supports and life essentials to our most vulnerable students and their families. Over 9 million dollars was allocated directly towards our students and families who were most deeply impacted in our most vulnerable communities.
Lastly, I am delighted to share the new Mobile Vaccination Sprint Strategy with Toronto health sector partners to triple the number of vaccines in hot spot communities through mobile and pop-up community vaccination clinics. As part of the Sprint Strategy, clinic resources will be enhanced at the Carmine Stefano Community Centre by 20 percent. The staff and trustees of the Toronto Catholic District School Board have also joined the Sprint Strategy initiatives by approving and making available any school or building for use as a vaccination hub or as a mobile pop-up vaccination clinic.
I am incredibly grateful to Toronto Public Health, our health care sector partners, and the City of Toronto as we continue to work collaboratively. The safety of our schools is entirely dependent on the security of our community. As always, I am available at your convenience. You can reach me by phone at: (416) 884-9644
Or by email at: email@example.com
Ida Li Preti
TCDSB Ward 3 Trustee
Humber River Black Creek