Continue to Fund Cedarvale’s IB Program

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On May 13, TDSB staff presented a proposed balanced operating budget for 2019-20 which would ELIMINATE THE ELEMENTARY IB PROGRAM, stating that:
"The TDSB does not have the funds to support these requirements across the system any longer. Staff do not believe it is equitable for these resources to be directed to a small number of elementary schools when there is no way to sustain and scale this to a larger model."

On the contrary, we know that the TDSB cannot afford to eliminate this exemplary program because it is precisely what has kept community schools like ours afloat. The TDSB has invested over $3.5 million in the Cedarvale IB Primary Years Program (PYP) program over the past decade. If our membership in the IB organization lapses, we will immediately and permanently lose our standing and all of that investment will be washed away. To be clear, it took 5 years of candidacy status and hundreds of thousands of dollars of investment before the school was accredited.

Eleven years ago, before the IB program was brought to Cedarvale the school had empty classrooms: primary enrolment was at 165 students; today, it stands at 322. This is because the PYP has brought the level of teaching, collaboration and learning to a new level for our students. That’s a 95% boost to enrolment!

The total annual expense to the TDSB for the Cedarvale IB program is approximately $320,000/year in membership fees, training and staffing expenses. This expense has been more than paid for by the school’s 95% boost in enrolment. Funding for education in Ontario is allocated on a per pupil basis at approximately $12,000.00/student annually. The 95% boost in enrolment for Cedarvale since becoming an IB school has brought in an additional $1,884,000 annually in provincial funding.  PYP has proven to be a financial winfall for the TDSB. With the removal of the IB program, it is inevitable that enrolment will steeply decline as students leave the public system. 

The IB program at Cedarvale attracts local and international students who would otherwise be moving elsewhere or attending private schools. People from all over the world are moving to our catchment area so that they can attend the Cedarvale PYP program. Contrary, to the TDSB’s assessment of IB programming, the PYP program increases equity in our school system by providing diverse perspectives and global mindedness to all members of the community.

The Essex County School Board and several other Ontario boards are investing in IB programming because they value the competitive advantage they receive from its high academic standards.

The TDSB should continue to be a trailblazer in this area and not allow years of progress to fall by the wayside. Our government needs to value education. Please sign this petition and share it with your friends, families and neighbours.

The PYP challenges students to make choices and take responsibility for their own learning; to become lifelong learners and see themselves as members of a global community. The PYP also pushes teachers to move beyond basic curriculum content; to use consistent, ongoing and diverse assessment strategies; and to blend subjects using a transdisciplinary model that broadens students' understanding of relevant concepts in the world around them. The program's focus on inquiry, on international-mindedness, and on student action has provided the children with a sense of purpose and confidence they take with them as they move on to high school and university.

We believe that Cedarvale, as an IB school, with EQAO scores amongst the top 85 schools in Ontario for the past five years, and as one of the country's Top Schools as chosen by Today's Parent Magazine, is a magnet school for the board and a model for what TDSB schools are able to achieve.

We recognize that cuts must be made in order to balance the budget. The long-term financial loss that a cut to IB funding will stimulate is counter to this goal. We ask that you consider the big picture and respect the contribution to the urban landscape that such an outstanding school provides - and preserve the program for future generations.

We are the Cedarvale parents, neighbours, alumni, local business owners, second and third generation Cedarvale students and the community-at-large, and we do not support the elimination of a program that has consistently provided an environment of educational excellence. Cedarvale is, and will always be, a jewel in the crown of the TDSB family of schools and the heart of this community.

Thank you for your time and consideration.