Helping All Students Succeed
Toronto District School Board (TDSB) Trustees have approved broad new directions developed to enhance the way schools support students throughout the TDSB.
During their regular meeting this evening, Trustees discussed the recently released Director’s Response to the Enhancing Equity Task Force which identified directions in seven key areas including professional learning, challenging streaming and exclusion and enhancing engagement and voice. Together, these directions align to the TDSB’s principles of equity, valuing student voice and ensuring that each and every student has the right tools, resources, access and opportunities they need to thrive.
“This work is necessary for our underserved students, and it will also raise the bar for all students,” said Director of Education John Malloy. “This strategic approach to this work will ensure that real change happens in the classroom and for students.”
While some of this work is already underway, this milestone reinforces the Board’s commitment to equity and gives the support to further these efforts in a coordinated, strategic way. This approved report will help inform the Board’s Integrated Equity Framework and action plans will be developed for September 2018.
Post-Secondary & Employment Supports for Students with Disabilities
Building on the equity work of the Board, Trustees have also asked the Director to develop an action plan for September 2018 to better support students with disabilities — specifically one that includes ambitious employment and other post-secondary goals for these students.
The action plan would potentially look at a number of areas including the collection of data on post-secondary pathways for students with disabilities, improved staff training, and the expansion of co-op opportunities.
Easing Restrictions on U.S. Travel
Trustees have also voted to ease restrictions on student, staff and Trustee travel to the United States.
Effective immediately, school trips related to student competitions and professional development opportunities for Board staff and trustees in the United States will not be subject to the travel restrictions put in place by the Board in March 2017.
“The Board was of the view that students’ educational opportunities were being significantly impacted by continuing to restrict student travel to the United States for competitions,” said Chair Robin Pilkey.
Trustees had previously passed a motion restricting school trips to the U.S. that were not already approved so that students would not be put in a situation of potentially being turned away at the border due to uncertainty following an executive order proposed by the U.S. government.
Of the trips that will be allowed to proceed, the Board will maintain its rule that should any individual student or staff member be refused entry to the U.S., for no fault of their own, the trip for all students and staff will be aborted and all involved will return home.
Expanding Extended Day Programs
Trustees approved a recommendation to expand before- and after-school programs at the TDSB. In September 2018, the Board will begin to implement board-operated Extended Day Programs (EDP), in addition to existing authorized recreation programs and third-party child care operators in schools.
“This is great news for families across the TDSB,” said TDSB Chair Robin Pilkey. “This mixed model of delivery will strengthen the Board’s ability to provide a before- and after-school care in every school and enables us to create greater equity of access to programs across the system.”
Addressing Code of Conduct Complaint Investigations
Trustees also voted to approve the recommendations of the TDSB Integrity Commissioner with regards to two (Items 15.1 & 15.2) Code of Conduct Complaint Investigations involving Trustee Sheila Cary-Meagher (Ward 16, Beaches-East York).