The Smile Within

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					          THE SMILE WITHIN   1

The Smile
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                                                                                                                                           “The Readiness Centre has
WELCOME                                                                                                                                     really helped me plant roots
THE SMILE WITHIN                                                                                                                            in this community.” – Meenu

                                                Smile and
                                                the world
                                                with you.

A smile is much more than a facial
expression; it’s a universal symbol
                                        Meenu Panchal                                  Meenu can see the impact the centre has had         Having moved to Canada from India just over
                                        Parent, Hickory Wood Public School             on both of her sons. “They’ve learned to share,     five years ago, the Readiness Centre has been
of joy and welcome. That’s why we       Readiness Centre, Brampton                     they understand directions and can express          a great resource for Meenu and her husband.
incorporated a smile into our logo—                                                    their thoughts—kids learn best by doing and         Now, Meenu helps other parents, “I translate
it reflects the way we want Peel        Two-year-old Sahil can’t wait for Wednesdays   by watching their parents. I’ve learned how         for parents who don’t speak English. I’ve made
                                        and Fridays. On those mornings, he and his     important parent involvement is—especially          new friends. The Readiness Centre has really
students, staff and the entire school   mom Meenu go to school with his older          at this age.”                                       helped me plant roots in this community.”
community to feel—joyful and            brother Yash. After dropping Yash off at his
happy. Read on and discover the         kindergarten class, Sahil and his mom Meenu    Through activities such as crafts, circle time,     Hickory Wood is one of the Peel board’s four
smile within Peel for yourself.         attend the school’s Readiness Centre.          cooking and field trips, children and their         Early Years Hubs and 10 Readiness Centres.
                                                                                       parents—or caregivers—learn valuable skills         These free drop-in centres are funded by the
                                        Meenu is a familiar face at the centre.        together. Meenu credits much of Sahil’s             Peel board and staffed by qualified kinder-
                                        She’s been coming since it opened in March     development to the Readiness Centre, “He            garten teachers. For more information, go to
                                        2005—in fact, Yash was one of the centre’s     amazed me the other day—before eating his  or call
                                        founding members. “We haven’t missed           chocolate chip cookie, he said, ‘Look mom, dots.’   905-890-1010 (or 1-800-668-1146) ext. 2570.
                                        a day,” Meenu says.                            And then he counted the chocolate chips, ‘one
                                                                                       dot, two dots, three dots,’ all the way to 10.”
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Settlement workers in schools help ease
transition for newcomer families
                                                                      Everyone smiles in
Thirty-one settlement workers in more than
55 schools help welcome newcomer families
to Peel. They provide settlement services and
                                                                      the same language.
information, and refer families to community
agencies. For more information, call 905-890-1010
(or 1-800-668-1146) ext. 2437.

Faith Forward celebrates faith and
culture in Peel

Through the Faith Forward program, the Peel         Supporting success in students’
board provides resources to help broaden the        first languages
awareness of various faiths and cultures, and
their religious celebrations:                       The Peel board is committed to communi-
                                                    cating, whenever possible, in a family’s first
• an 18-month Holy Days and Holidays calendar       language through:
• a monthly backgrounder about religious and
  cultural celebrations                             • websites in 25 languages
• Reflections on World Religions, a resource        • a “welcome to school” package in their
  book for teachers and students                      language when families register their children
• a poster series to help schools celebrate           at school
  holy days from major faiths                       • translation and interpreter services
• consultation with faith communities in            • multi-lingual workshops at the board’s annual
  Peel to create stronger partnerships                parent literacy conference
• training programs

For more information, call 905-890-1010
(or 1-800-668-1146) ext. 2573.
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                                                                                                  Character education helps students
                                                                                                  be the change
    Bretton Nyman
    Grade 8 Student, Cheyne Middle School, Brampton                                               Cheyne—a school with character
                                                                                                  From special guest speakers to a 20-minute
    Last year, when no one else was looking,                                                      character education period every day, Cheyne
    Bretton Nyman decided to change.

    When Bretton arrived at Cheyne Middle
                                                                                      Smiles:     Middle School’s emphasis on character has
                                                                                                  helped create a sense of community. New this
                                                                                                  year, grade 7 and 8 boys are working with

                                                                                      Pass them
    School in grade 6, he was headed for                                                          former CFL player Orlando Bowen through
    trouble. He was a regular visitor to the                                                      his organization, Gameday.
    principal’s office and his grades were

    slipping. Things got worse in grade 7.                                                        Stephen Lewis students act locally
                                                                                                  and globally
    “I knew this wasn’t how I should be                                                           At Stephen Lewis Secondary School in
    acting. My mom didn’t like it. My teachers                                                    Mississauga, students build social awareness
    didn’t like it, and I realized that if I wanted                                               and a sense of belonging through membership
    to succeed in life, I needed to change,”                                                      in one of four “villages” named for champions of
    Bretton explains.                                                                             social justice: June Callwood, Craig Kielburger,
                                                                                                  Agnes Macphail and David Suzuki.
    Through the school’s focus on character
    development, he received daily encourage-                                                     Excellence is heard loud and clear at
    ment and support. But, ultimately, he had                                                     Credit View
    to make the decision to change. “I stopped                                                    At Credit View Public School in Caledon,
    hanging around the crowd I was with and                                                       themes like conflict resolution, teamwork or
    started working to get my old friends                                                         perseverance are explored through monthly
    back,” says Bretton. “It wasn’t easy, I had                                                   assemblies and announcements. The school’s
    broken their trust—I deserted them. But, I                                                    Shout out the Excellence initiative recognizes
    realized who my real friends are and was                                                      students who are caught in the act of being
    willing to do whatever it took to have them                                                   excellent. Students who provide a helping
    back in my life.”                                                                             hand, show great leadership or support peers
                                                      “Being at Cheyne has changed                are noticed by staff, and each day a student is
    At Cheyne, Bretton met people who                                                             recognized in the morning announcements.
    believed in him. During his frequent visits        my life—big time.” – Bretton
    to the office, he got to know his principal
    and vice-principal well. “I respect them.
    Some people in your life you’re just lucky
    to meet,” he says. “Being at Cheyne has
    changed my life—big time.”
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Award-winning events build youth leadership

Each year, the Peel board hosts award-winning
learning events that foster character development
and leadership skills in students. The Student
Model United Nations, R U Aware? Spread the
word… not HIV and the Student Leadership for
                                                                A smile is
Global Development program encourage critical
thinking, compassion and leadership development.                something
For more information, go to “Student Stuff” at, visit Student Leadership for
                                                                you can’t                                                                     Janine Lewis
Global Development at,
or call 905-890-1010 (or 1-800-668-1146) ext. 2098.             give away; it                                                                 Senior Board Reporter &
                                                                                                                                              Freedom of Information Co-ordinator

Greening our smile
                                                                always comes                                                                  As an in-school mentor for Big Brothers
                                                                                                                                              Big Sisters of Peel, Janine Lewis has

James Bolton students get their hands dirty                     back to you.                                                                  helped bring smiles to the faces of some
                                                                                                                                              of the most vulnerable children in Peel. For
The outdoor classroom at James Bolton Public                                                                                                  more than 12 years, she has helped them
School in Bolton allows students to observe                                                                                                   experience the magic of a true friendship.
plant life, examine soil, analyze animal habitats,
monitor weather and experiment—without                                                                                                        Over the years, Janine has been matched
even leaving the school. Students, teachers                                                                                                   up with four students with whom she’s
and the community are responsible for caring                                                                                                  maintained long-time friendships. During
for the garden.                                                                                                                               her weekly visits to their schools, the
                                                      Volunteers support student success                    “I signed up to help someone      children are the centre of attention. She
Hillside students develop global citizenship                                                                                                  listens to them, cares about them and
through environmental ethics and action               Whether organizing hot lunch days, attending           else, but found myself getting   helps them realize their full potential.
Students and staff at Hillside Sr. Public School
endeavour to reduce their own ecological
                                                      field trips, reading with students, helping in
                                                      the office or preparing classroom materials, the
                                                                                                             back so much. Their smiles       Whether it’s playing ball hockey, shooting
                                                                                                                                              hoops or baking Valentine’s Day cookies,
footprints through local environmental projects.      smiling face of a volunteer is a welcomed sight.       remind me that making a          Janine and the students have fun.
The school has focused on waste management,           It’s easy to volunteer—just talk to the principal
recycling and school ground naturalization.           of your local school. Volunteers are required by       difference isn’t difficult.”     Janine is one of almost 100 mentors who
Last year, Hillside planted 10 mature locusts         provincial law to complete a criminal record check.    – Janine                         meet with children in 58 Peel schools
on the border of the school’s wood chipped                                                                                                    each week. For more information about
naturalization area. Now, the Environmental           Every Peel school has a school council—                                                 the program, or to find out how to
Club is working on installing solar panels and        a volunteer group focused on helping students                                           become a mentor, call 905-457-7288 or
has proposed a green roof.                            succeed. To find out how to become a school                                             visit
                                                      council member, talk to your child’s
                                                      principal, or visit the “School Council” section
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                                                   A smile
                                                                             Website helps students, parents learn
                                                                             about career/life planning
     Robbie Gossmann

                                                   is nearly
     Grade 11 Student, Gordon Graydon Memorial                               To help students make choices for their lives once
     Secondary School, Mississauga                                           they finish secondary school, the board launched
                                                                             a new virtual guidance centre—designed to

     When you picture success, what do you                                   help students and their parents with career/life
     see? A trophy or certificate? Andrea                                    planning. The website——
     Gossmann, mom to 17-year-old Robbie,                                    provides advice, resources and video diaries
     sees a smile—one bursting with confidence.                              of Peel graduates. For more information, call

     When Robbie, who has autism, first arrived                              905-890-1010 (or 1-800-668-1146) ext. 2551.
     at Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary
     School, teachers thought he couldn’t speak.

                                                   by another
     “Now, he never stops talking,” Andrea says.                             Five-year trend shows EQAO improvement
     “Every day, Robbie comes to school and
     receives his daily dose of confidence.”                                 Each year, the provincial Education Quality

                                                                             and Accountability Office (EQAO) conducts tests
     “Two years ago, Robbie decided that he                                  of students in grades 3, 6, 9 and 10. In 2007,
     wanted to become a teacher. He’s been                                   EQAO scores in the Peel board slipped in
     inspired by the people around him,” says                                elementary, after making significant increases
     Andrea. “Robbie’s learned how to read,                                  last year, but the five-year trend still shows
     participates in class and gets high marks.”                             substantial improvement. For complete results,
                                                                             visit and click on “EQAO
     Andrea credits the school’s ASD program.                                Test Results.”
     For three classes a day, students in the
     ASD program take classes with their
     peers. One period a day they spend in                                   Creative Learning Choices nurture
     their own class. With a kitchen, couches,                               multiple intelligences
     TV and video games, the space is a
      “home away from home”—a safe and                                       The Peel board’s Creative Learning Choices
     welcoming “home base.”                                                  program expands the variety of learning
                                                                             options within the public school system.
     “Because of this program, Robbie is                                     They are designed to meet the diverse learning

     willing to embrace life—it isn’t scary                                  needs of all students. Choice programs,
     anymore, because he’s confident enough                                  such as French immersion, Sci-Tech and
     to at least try,” says Andrea. “I know that                             International Baccalaureate, are open to all

                                                                the joy of
     he’s going to be an active participant in                               students in Peel. For a complete program list,
     his life. And for that, and to this school,                             visit
     I am forever grateful.”                                                 programs/choices.htm or call 905-890-1010

                                                                             (or 1-800-668-1146) ext. 2551.
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Each year the Peel board welcomes                                             Total number of schools: 232
about 3,000 new students. The board                                             Elementary: 196   Secondary: 36
opened six new schools, adding
4,964 student places, for 2007-08.                                            Total number of students: 150,000
The board forecasts the need to build                                           Elementary: 106,000   Secondary: 44,000
18 schools over the next five years to
keep pace with growth.
                                                    “All the statistics       Total number of staff: 13,300

In 2006-07, the Peel board created
                                                     in the world               Academic: 9,600    Business & support: 3,700

12,128 new pupil spaces through
additions, and spent more than
                                                     can’t measure            Students in French programs: 72,000
                                                                                Core French: 64,100   French Immersion: 7,900
$68 million to renovate and build
these new spaces.
                                                     the warmth of            Students served through

                                                     a smile.” — Chris Hart   special education: 15,500

$1.2 billion budget an investment in                                          Students travelling to school
student success                                                               by bus: 37,000

The Peel board budget is an investment in                                     Number of portables: 739
the future, the future of students. The board
approved a balanced budget of $1.2 billion for
2007-08. For complete financial statements, go                                Permits for community use
to “Get the Facts” at or call                             of school facilities: 5,500
905-890-1010 (or 1-800-668-1146) ext. 2012.

Ready-made materials available for purchase

A number of the board’s award-winning
materials are available for purchase by other                                 150,000
                                                                              reasons to
school boards without the Peel logo on them.
For the catalogue, go to the Spotlight section on
the home page of or call

905-890-1010 (or 1-800-668-1146) ext. 2809.

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                                                                                                                                                          A                     B                     C

                                                                                                                                 D                        E                     F                     g

                                                                                                                                 H                        I                     J                     K

                                                                                                                                 L                                              M                     n

The board of trustees is responsible    Trustee responsibilities include the following:       “Too often we under-           A VALERIE ARnoLD-JuDgE Caledon, 905-838-2125

for determining policies and                                                                                                 B BERyL FoRD Brampton Wards 7/8, 905-793-0800

maintaining standards of excellence     •   govern and set policy for the Peel board           estimate the power of         C DAVID gREEn Brampton Wards 1/3, 905-495-4579

                                        •   govern for provision of resources for the board                                  D STEVE KAVAnAgH Brampton Wards 4/5/6, 905-457-3132
in education for Peel District          •   advocate for the needs of their communities        a touch, a smile, a kind      E BRAD MACDonALD Mississauga Ward 8, 905-828-6929

School Board. Trustees are elected
                                                                                               word, a listening ear, an
                                                                                                                             F JAnET MCDougALD, Chair Mississauga Wards 1/7, 905-278-1402
                                        •   explain the policies and decisions of the board                                  g SuzAnnE nuRSE Brampton Wards 2/9/10, 905-495-3423
by public school taxpayers every            to their communities
                                                                                               honest compliment, or
                                                                                                                             H Don STEPHEnS Mississauga Ward 2, 905-826-3358
four years during municipal elections                                                                                        I       RuTH THoMPSon, Vice-Chair Mississauga Wards 3/4, 905-625-1457
                                        Visit the Peel board website at
and are directly accountable to                                                                the smallest act of caring,
                                                                                                                             J ALLISon VAn WAgnER Mississauga Wards 9/10, 905-785-9290
                               and go to “Meet                                                  K JEFF WHITE Mississauga Wards 6/11, 905-267-0764
the community.                          your trustee.”
                                                                                               all of which have the         L RICK WILLIAMS Mississauga Ward 5, 905-814-6180
                                                                                                                             M ISHWInDER BHoLA, Student Trustee

                                                                                               potential to turn a life        Brampton Centennial Secondary School, 905-451-2860
                                                                                                                             n SHAuVIK SHAH, Student Trustee

                                                                                               around.” — Leo F. Buscaglia
                                                                                                                               Glenforest Secondary School, 905-625-7731

• Contact your child’s school
• Visit
• Call 905-890-1010
  (or 1-800-668-1146) ext. 2809

Please recycle this report when you’re
finished—but don’t forget to snap out
your “smile book” from the centre.


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