On August 21, The Corner interviewed Norm Di Pasquale, the trustee for the Toronto Catholic District School Board for Toronto Centre. Norm is Vice Chair of Corporate Services, Trustee of the Expenditure Committee on the TCDSB Board, and also serves on the Social Justice Committee, the Governance and Policy Committee, the Catholic Parent Involvement Committee, the African Canadian Committee, and the Portuguese Committee. Norm talked with us about the TCDSB’s plans for a safe return to school this September, sharing information about some late-breaking developments of interest to parents and kids in the Catholic School System in Toronto. At the time we interviewed him, it had just been announced that the Catholic schools’ start date would be moved to Sept. 14, the result of a motion that Norm had made at a recent TCDSB trustee meeting.
For elementary school children going back to in-person classes, Norm shared with us that additional funding had been provided to the TCDSB to enable smaller classes of 15 in communities with higher-than-average case counts. He did not know at the time exactly which schools would benefit, but believed they would include some Toronto Centre schools.
He admitted that he remained worried about funding to improve ventilation and air circulation in these schools, since they are among the oldest in the city, with some as old as 180 years.
Norm let us know that high-school students in TCDSB schools in the area will be able to stay at school in “study halls” after their in-person classes have ended for the day. This supports students who do not have optimal conditions at home. It is one of the actions the TCDSB has taken to promote socio-economic equity in the communities it serves. Toward that same goal, the Board will continue providing data-enabled devices to those families who lack that technology at home, which it began doing last March. Norm said that parents who need these devices should contact their school principals.