Tag Archives: education

How much homework is enough?

How schools strive for homework, life balance
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier’s Education Guide Dec. 6)

How much homework is too much? Photo courtesy of Evil Erin.

Homework shouldn’t be the focus of a kid’s life. They need time for family, friends and extracurricular activities that help develop them into a well-rounded child.
While theories abound about how much homework is best, schools are working hard to help students achieve a work/life balance.
“About 10-12 years ago the Ministry (of Education) had a new policy for teachers to cover a lot of materials in schools across Ontario,” said Fieldstone Day School’s head of grades 7-12 Josephine Parody. “So there was lots of homework. Then the pendulum swung another way (less homework).”
In fact, it was complaints by parents about the amount of after school work students were given that led the Toronto District School Board to rethink its homework policy.
“The main concern was there were too many hours in the evening assigned to homework, which took away from family time and learning opportunities to participate in extra curricular activities,” said former trustee Josh Matlow, who helped push the policy forward. Continue reading

Arlington school closing

Toronto middle school set to shut Sept 2011
Local parent Robin Fraser questions next steps for community
Kris Scheuer
(Written June 30 for Town Crier. Update HERE.)

Toronto school board voted to close Arlington MS by Sept 2011.

Next year Arlington Middle School will close its doors forever. But it didn’t have to be this way, says local parent Robin Fraser.
On June 23, school trustees voted in favour of closing the school and expanding and upgrading four elementary schools — JR Wilcox, Cedarvale, Rawlinson and Humewood.
The vote followed months of meetings, known cumulatively as an Accommodation Review Committee or ARC, looking at how to tackle enrolment and space issues in that cluster of schools.
Fraser, who has a son graduating from Arlington and a daughter at nearby Humewood, fought for alternatives to closures.
“After my deputation to move (Arlington) into a sports school there was a healthy discussion,” she said. “(Then) they all voted to close Arlington except (trustee) Ms. Maria Rodrigues.”
The plan is to close Arlington by September 2011. Continue reading

Shelley Laskin trustee candidate

Laskin in most heated trustee race in Toronto
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier June 3.)

Photo courtesy of Shelley Laskin.

Former St. Paul’s school trustee Shelley Laskin wants her old job back.
Laskin, who represented the riding from 1997 to 2003, is a candidate in the hotly contested St. Paul’s trustee race.
With incumbent Josh Matlow taking a stab at a council seat, the trustee seat is wide open. Laskin is one of five vying for the spot so far.
“I think it’s an advantage that I’m an experienced trustee,” she said. “The fact I remained involved as a parent and community volunteer allows me the context and perspective.”
She’s served as school council chair at both Hodgson Senior PS and Northern SS and was a three-year representative in trustee Matlow’s ward forum.
“I’m still a known entity through my involvement in schools,” Laskin said.

Continue reading

Crowded Toronto school to expand again

But Maurice Cody must wait until 2010
By Kris Scheuer
(Published in Town Crier July 2/09)

Maurice Cody students will soon have more space at their overcrowded public school.
A $500,000 pre-fabricated addition will be attached to the Leaside-area elementary school by September 2010.
St. Paul’s school trustee Josh Matlow is happy the option.
“I think the pre-fab is a solution that’s very workable,” he told about 60 people at a June 16 meeting.
The school is currently closed to students living outside the catchment area. However anyone inside is guaranteed a spot. The existing building’s capacity is 397, but enrollment has grown significantly in the past decade and by this September the head count is anticipated to be 565 students.  Continue reading