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Excellence Awards Categories & Criteria

Nomination Categories & Criteria

This year, the Excellence Awards have been refreshed to align with the shared system priorities of everyone in the TDSB and include nomination categories which reflect our focus on student achievement, engagement, and wellness all centered by our commitment to equity, anti-racism, anti-oppression and human rights.

Review the nomination categories below and learn more about the criteria for each:   

Student Achievement and Engagement

The Student Achievement and Engagement Award will recognize an individual or group that demonstrated excellence by going above and beyond through specific impactful academic activities, programs or initiatives. The Award will recognize those supporting high achievement and engagement for under-served students, and helping to eliminate disproportionate outcomes. Award nominations must highlight how the individual or group demonstrated innovation and created positive student learning experiences centered in joy, engagement and belonging.

Award Criteria
  • Uses a culturally relevant and responsive learning design that gives under-served learners an opportunity to succeed.
  • Implements learning innovation that supports high achievement and/or engagement centered in joy and belonging.
  • Demonstrates cultural relevance and responsiveness to under-served student needs and concerns, focusing on eliminating disproportionality in student outcomes, developing cultural competence/affirmation, and building students’ critical consciousness.
  • Champions high expectations for under-served students’ achievement and engagement.
  • Sets high expectations for student achievement



Enhancing Belonging and Wellbeing

The Enhancing Belonging and Well-being Award will recognize an individual or group that demonstrates excellence and goes above and beyond to create outstanding collaborative environments that advance inclusion and enhance access to participation in culturally responsive ways. Nominations should highlight how the individual or group creates spaces for others to feel safe to contribute to discussions and/or initiatives and how they enhance well-being by acknowledging uniqueness, removing barriers and oppressive structures, and supporting mental health initiatives and practices.

Award Criteria
  • Enhances belonging and well-being by challenging ineqities, barriers, and biases so that others feel safe to share thoughts and feelings.
  • Champions diverse identities (e.g. ethnic diversity, sexual orientation, social mobility, disability, age).
  • Employs specific strategies to ensure that well-being is always centered within our system commitments to anti-oppression to benefit all, particularly those from historically marginalized communities.
  • Demonstrates strong commitment to collaboration, valuing and celebrating diversity, leading to a greater sense of belonging and engagement.



Combatting Hate and Racism

The Combatting Hate and Racism Award will recognize an individual or group that demonstrated excellence and has gone above and beyond to challenge hate and racism at the TDSB.

Award Criteria
  • Proactively and consistently takes action to create the conditions in classrooms, and in work environments, where all identities are affirmed and respected, and the human rights of all (students, staff, parents/caregivers, and community members) are centered.
  • Shows leadership in confronting anti-Indigenous racism, anti-Black racism, anti-Asian racism, homophobia, antisemitism, Islamophobia, and/or other forms of discrimination.
  • Takes steps to eliminate incidents of bullying, harassment, or discrimination against any employee, student, or community member based on their identity.



Driving Innovation

The Driving Innovation Award recognizes an individual or group that has championed outstanding innovation. They have demonstrated leadership in innovation by implementing an innovative project, practice, digital solution or tool that positively enhances student achievement, staff experiences, and/or service delivery.

  • Exhibits an innovative vision and leads implementation for the use of an innovative project, practice, program, digital solution or tool that improves student achievement, staff experiences, or service delivery.
  • Encourages risk-taking and creative ideas among others in order to solve complex problems.
  • Implements an innovation that addresses a complex issue or meets the needs of an under-served group.
  • Makes a positive and lasting impact through innovation.



Delivering Operational Excellence

The Delivering Operational Excellence award recognizes an individual or group that has gone above and beyond to provide service delivery to students, staff or community that exceeds client expectations and demonstrates business and/or operational excellence.

Award Criteria
  • Demonstrates strong leadership and a best practices approach in delivering services to students, staff, or community.
  • Demonstrates an 'above and beyond' approach to resolving issues and exceeding client expectations. 
  • Minimizes barriers to service delivery to meet specific client needs, particularly for an underserved or marginalized group.  
  • Applies a continuous improvement mindset to service delivery that results in specific service improvements that enhance the client experience.