Friday, May 6 – Engaging All Students
When students are engaged, student achievement and well-being improves.
Students can be engaged through relevant and meaningful school work; when they have the opportunity to share their experiences, ideas and input; and when they are involved in their own learning and the decisions made about their learning.
Great work is underway across the system every day to connect with and engage students. Hearing directly from students is critical. The more culturally-aware and responsive we are to their lived realities, the more effective we are at responding to their voices and needs. And we are committed to hearing from all students, and are working to connect directly with students whose voices have been left out or discounted.
Great work is underway across the system to increase student engagement. Students and staff are keeping busy! Here are some examples:
- Beaumonde Heights Jr MS launched their first live podcast to amplify and elevate student voice
- Primary students at Ancaster PS are taking their learning outside and getting their hands dirty!
- Students at Eastview PS participate in the eco club dig into their new garden
- Students at Agnes MacPhail PS are learning to communicate through braille in partnership with the CNIB
- Don Mills CI students connect and learn in the Boys to Men tutoring club
- Adam Beck JR PS students learn about their local communities
What a great week! Check out all the great things that were happening across our system in support of student success and well-being on Twitter at #TDSBedweek.
Thursday, May 5 – Equity for All
We are committed to ensuring students' learning experience and education is equitable. This means providing access to the opportunities, learning, resources and tools, to all students, with a focus on improving the outcomes of the most marginalized students.
This work is often led and supported by the Equity, Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression team, the Urban Indigenous Education Centre, the Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement, the the Human Rights Office and in partnership wih staff across all teams including Early Years, Special Education, Business and Operations, just to name a few, as well as all school staff. This collaboration and communication is critical to ensure that everything we do is guided by this commitment and that all staff are able to apply these practices into their daily work and classrooms.
This Education Week we are proud to share some of the amazing work staff and students have been doing to show their commitment to achieving equity at the TDSB through their support and participation.
Launching the Student Equity Collective
The Student Equity Collective is an initiative centred and led by 24 students in Grades 7 to 11 to address injustices, racism and hate in our school communities. The aim is to make meaningful, focused and sustained change with TDSB student voice at the helm as a crucial part of the solution. The Collective has already started meeting to address the issues that matter most to them and make positive change.
Creating the Student Learning Strategy
The Student Learning Strategy for Combatting Hate and Racism is a proactive and student-centred approach to creating respectful and culturally safe learning environments for all students. We are continuing to do everything we can to be more precise in our actions and strengthen our determination to eliminate all forms of hate and racism in our schools and our system. Components of the strategy include: Classroom Instruction, Online Safety and Digital Citizenship, Tools for Response – Taking Action, Student Leadership, Educational Partnerships, and Caregiver Engagement and Learning.
Creating a New Equity, Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression website
The Equity, Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression website was recently redesigned to ensure TDSB communities and families could easily access and learn about all the equity work the TDSB is committed to accomplishing. It showcases programming and support for students as well as the collaborative work being done with the Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement, whose programs, initiatives and opportunities are focused on honouring Black students’ experiences and strengths and ensuring their needs are met.
And check out what’s happening on Twitter, too. That's where our schools turn to highlight learning in and outside of the classroom. What great things are you doing? Follow and share online using #TDSBedweek and tagging @tdsb!
Wednesday, May 4 -- Prioritizing Mental Health and Well-Being
Supporting students’ mental health and well-being has always been a focus in the TDSB. And now, more than ever, we are committed to prioritizing the health and well-being of our TDSB community.
Check out some of the great strategies and resources available to support your mental health and well-being.
This week, we also recognize Children’s Mental Health Week . During these challenging times, everyone’s mental health and well-being is a priority in the TDSB. Caring for others and being cared for is one of the most powerful protective factors for everyone’s mental health and well-being. Research shows that providing a caring, inclusive and welcoming climate improves resilience and the ability to achieve. We want everyone to focus on noticing, encouraging and acknowledging caring and kind interactions. We need to help ensure that every student feels that they are valued and that they matter. Caring matters now more than ever!
For more strategies and resources, visit our Mental Health and Well-Being page.
What are students and staff up to?
- Zion Heights MS students participate in breathing exercises to support and build their capacity around their mental health and well-being
- TDSB Student Landon shares what makes him happy using assistive technology
- Staff and students at Downsview Secondary School burned some energy in a friendly game of dodgeball
- Students at Mountview Alternative School focus on developing their coping strategies
- Mental Health Awareness Week is underway at Runnymede CI focusing on body positivity, self-care and more!
- A therapy dog helps students at C.W. Jefferys CI during mental health week
- Parents and caregivers at Parkside ES join a conversation with Toronto Public Health about working together to support children’s mental health
- Students at Eglinton PS collect acts of kindness to celebrate Jewish Heritage Month
- Spring has sprung at Agnes MacPhail PS where students are growing a Learning Garden
- Parkdale CI has a full line-up of events to recognize Mental Health Week, including Care with Calligraphy and Destress with Knitting
And check out what’s happening on Twitter, too. That's where our schools turn to highlight learning in and outside of the classroom. What great things are you doing? Follow and share online using #TDSBedweek and tagging @tdsb! And follow @TDSB_MHWB for lots of great resources and content.
Tuesday, May 3 -- Celebrating Student Learning and Achievement
This year, students continue to thrive at the Toronto District School Board! We are seeing high levels of achievement and hearing academic success stories in many curriculum areas. While students have faced challenges in their learning over the past two years, they have shown incredible resilience, commitment and an ability to adapt and achieve success despite new and changing circumstances. It is exciting to see students back in action, engaged and connected to their learning.
This Education Week we are proud to recognize just a few recent examples of achievement from across the TDSB:
TDSB data shows that achievement levels in Mathematics at both the elementary and secondary level have remained stable and high over the past year. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we remain focussed on improvement efforts to develop students’ mathematical skills and thinking, as outlined in the Math Action Plan. Professional learning opportunities for staff have been adapted to ensure ongoing system-wide capacity building in mathematics. The Mathematics for Families & Caregivers Google site has also been an incredible resource to support students and families with continued learning at home.
Intuit Social Innovation Challenge
Students from Georges Vanier Secondary School recently won second place in the Intuit Social Innovation Challenge for their innovative toothbrush design. The student team jumped at the chance to participate in this challenge when it was shared through the Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement. After competing against nine school districts in both Canada and the US, the students have gained skills, knowledge and confidence as well as $7,000 in prizes!
FIRST Robotics Provincial Championship
Congratulations to the Robo Devils – students from Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate Institute – who recently competed in the FIRST Robotics Provincial Championships with their amazing robot named Orion. Their determination and dedication helped them become finalists at the York University FIRST robotics competition and helped them win their first event and blue banner at Windsor University. The Robo Devils have shown an incredible amount of resilience, gracious professionalism, and most importantly, team spirit.
We are thrilled that students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 have the opportunity to participate in tdsbCREATES this year, which is a board-wide Arts initiative that connects local Artists with classrooms to help foster creativity while exploring Dance, Drama, Spoken Word, Media Arts, Film, Visual Arts and Music. Learn more about tdsbCREATES.
This is just a small sample of learning and achievement happening across the TDSB! Check out Twitter where many schools highlight learning from inside and outside the classroom. What great things are you doing? Follow and share online using #TDSBedweek and tag @tdsb!
Monday, May 2
Education Week kicks off today, Monday, May 2. During Education Week, we celebrate incredible things happening every day in our classrooms, schools and across the Toronto District School Board. The pandemic has been an incredibly challenging, uncertain and difficult time, but we have also grown, changed and learned. And, it is exciting to be celebrating so many great things and seeing our students back in action, being engaged in their learning and connected to their community.
What have we been up to lately?
Go ahead and follow us on Twitter, too. That's where our schools turn to highlight learning in and outside of the classroom. And don't forget to share the great work you and your school community are doing this week. Follow and share online using #TDSBedweek and tagging @tdsb!