Toronto District School Board
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All About Equity

What is equity? To us, equity is about providing each and every student with the right conditions, resources and opportunities to support their achievement and well-being.

In 2016, we launched the Integrated Equity Framework – a strategic and coordinated approach to help ensure that all students have equal access, opportunity and expectations.

This Framework has started important conversations that have helped us begin to create a culture of fairness, respect and trust that values equity and inclusiveness, in every school and workplace.

While we have always been committed to equity through our innovative programs, inclusive curriculum, professional learning and unique strategies, this Framework has enabled us to address equity gaps in a bold, honest and transformative manner.

 

To be successful, every decision we make as a system must align with our guiding principles of equity:
  • Supporting each and every student through an equitable and inclusive learning culture.
  • Identifying, confronting and eliminating barriers.
  • Aligning resources where needed.
  • Sharing leadership and building staff capacity.
  • Empowering staff, students and community members to share their voice.

Over the Plan’s three-year time frame, these actions will lead to measurable improvement by:
  • setting a consistent policy direction;
  • aligning resources with key system priorities; and
  • providing the necessary tools, resources and support to create equitable, inclusive learning cultures in every school and classroom.

Year One concrete actions have included:
  • Conducting extensive consultation on the Board’s revised Equity policy, which will guide all aspects of our work (to be presented to Board in the fall).
  • Connecting with hundreds of community members through the Enhancing Equity Task Force, to discuss the barriers of social and economic inequity and how to overcome these.
  • Engaging hundreds of students to share with us their ideas for improving our secondary programs.
  • Providing professional learning to Principals and school teams to support effective implementation of the Home School Program (HSP).
  • Working with the Special Education Advisory Committee on ways to ensure that students, as required, are identified, placed and supported appropriately.
  • Supporting school leaders to develop local improvement plans based on data-driven conversations within their communities, introducing Inclusive Design, which provides a comprehensive understanding of what Equity-focused school leadership can encompass.
  • Transforming practices to ensure more equitable and inclusive hiring.
  • Creating spaces, through the Leadership Capacity Plan, where all staff, whatever their role, title or position, can feel safe exploring and reflecting on their own individual biases and learning needs.
  • Delivering anti-oppression/anti-racism training for Trustees and Senior Team, with a commitment to provide it to all Board staff.
  • Consulting with students about secondary programs, equitable access and opportunities, and how to support specific student communities.
  • Improving service delivery and accessibility in schools and workplaces.

Centering all our work on anti-oppression practices, we are now better equipped to critically examine our biases and structures. And, as a result, we are better able to confront the systemic impact of historic exclusion, displacement and marginalization, including anti-Indigenous racism, anti-Black racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia and Islamophobia.


Moving Forward

The IEF is not a static plan; it will continue to evolve, with the work of Years Two and Three driven by the outcomes and learning of the preceding year. Our collective efforts and learning, to date, frame and focus our next steps. We will continue to engage and work with our communities, while reflecting on and revising our strategies as necessary to best serve and support our students.

We will:
  • Continue to engage in professional learning centered on anti-oppression and anti-racism.
  • Challenge and interrogate our current suspension and expulsion practices to ensure that all students are treated fairly and are empowered to maximize their learning time.
  • Work with students and families so that transitions to secondary school reflect our conviction that when we create the right conditions, every student can achieve at a high level.
  • Work more closely with parents so that practices connected to Special Education (e.g. Identification, Placement and Review Committee and Individual Education Plans) create consistency and allow for authentic parent engagement and involvement. This will include ensuring an opportunity for parents to provide feedback regarding their IPRC experience, in order to improve our processes.
  • Deliver site-based, classroom-embedded professional learning connected to Special Education, including both student identification and program delivery.
  • Continue to remodel the Home School Program with an anti-racist, anti-oppression stance and an emphasis on greater inclusion, to address the over-representation of racialized and Indigenous students in Special Education.
  • Review admission procedures for all specialized programs to ensure greater equity of access.
  • Utilize the findings of the Enhancing Equity Task Force to inform budget planning and the allocation of resources.
  • Intentionally focus on a broad range of supports to ensure that all children are reading by the end of Grade 1.
photo of student

photo of student
Our Mission
To enable all students to reach high levels of achievement and to acquire
the knowledge, skills, and values
they need to become responsible members of a democratic society.
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