Several initiatives were put in place to increase the proportion of students reporting an improved sense of belonging and an improved sense of personal well-being.
In partnership with Indus Community Services, three secondary schools implemented the HAL YES! program for students in Grade 9 to 11. The program aims to enhance youth participants’ confidence and foster critical self-reflection on all aspects of their unique identity while building leadership skills to create a climate of inclusion and respect for their student community and beyond.
All Grade 8 teachers were trained to deliver Healthy Transitions four part program to their students each spring. The Everyday Mental Health classroom resource was developed and available for all elementary teachers to assist them in supporting students’ health and well-being.
Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Conferences were held on February 13, 2018 for approximately 200
secondary students and March 8, 2018 for 180
elementary students. The conferences are organized for students and by students to offer LGBTQI2S+ youth and allies the opportunity to connect, converse and create a safe space together.
Thirty elementary schools participated in Year 1 of the Gender Expansive and LGBTQ+ Positive Classrooms and School Cultures project. In Fall 2017, educators from across the Board were provided with training from Egale Canada. Staff were challenged to implement a plan of action at their school with student groups leading the way. Elementary school teams used this time to share initiatives related to creating more gender expansive and LGBTQ+ positive classrooms and schools.
Elementary and secondary students engaged in multiple opportunities to see themselves reflected in a relevant way in experiences and classroom learning. This included new Indigenous resources, opportunities to hear directly from Residential School survivors, excursions to the Woodland Cultural Centre, Kinogaamaye Gaamik at the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nations, and the Moccasin Trail in Oakville. The Board appointed an Indigenous Knowledge Guide three days per week to enhance classroom learning. Additional learning was provided by Indigenous community members.
The Religious and Creed Accommodation Administrative Procedure was revised and shared with all school administrators during a Family of Schools meeting in January 2018.
More than 50 students participated in the Board-wide secondary and elementary
Spoken Word poetry slams to highlight student voice and the expression of student identity. Through this activity, students addressed social issues that act as barriers to their well-being and sense of belonging.
Every student will learn in a respectful culture of high expectations that values diversity, and will see themselves reflected in their learning
An audit of school video surveillance cameras, locked doors and PA systems was completed by the Safe Schools and Facility Services departments.
Revisions were made to the
Managing Violent and Aggressive Behaviour of Students with Special Needs Administrative Procedure to include two-part training for administrators and teams from all schools.
All permanent ‘front-line classroom staff’ completed the Behaviour Management System (BMS) training, with a refresher cycle beginning Fall 2018. Training will occur this year for Occasional Teachers, Educational Assistants (EAs) and Early Childhood Educators (ECEs), and non-physical training will be provided to School Secretaries and Caretakers.
Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) was integrated into system-level work to establish structures and processes to further implement CPS as a core support in schools and embrace the philosophy and approach that ‘kids do well if they can’.
Well-being teams were established in 100% of schools in the Halton District School Board. These teams were tasked with examining safety data within TTFM and Have Your Say engagement tools to form plans to improve the sense of safety within their individual school. All school administrators and well-being school reps attended the Family of Schools (FOS) meeting in May to present their well-being goals and classroom-based approaches that are making a difference in their schools.
All staff will engage in learning, and model a culture of equity and inclusion in support of student well-being.
Administrators, managers and other staff have been provided the opportunity to attend the Canadian Race Relations ‘Foundations of Equity and Anti-Racism’ course which was developed for the school board sector. Approximately 45 staff have attended in the past two years.
All schools in the Board appointed an Equity lead teacher as part of their Well-being team to represent their school at a three-part equity learning session to focus on implementation of the Equity Action Plan, Inclusive Design, and Culturally Responsive & Relevant Pedagogy.
During dedicated time at Family of Schools (FOS) meetings, 100% of schools had an administrator engaged in learning around diverse genders and sexualities, and how to create gender expansive and LGBTQ+ positive school cultures. As well, 30 elementary school teacher teams were provided with learning from Egale Canada on gender expansive and LGBTQ+ positive classrooms.
More than 250 secondary staff engaged in school-based professional learning communities focused on supporting multilingual students and drawing on their assets in class. Staff were able to take part in a three-part series to implement strategies to support multilingual students and further develop inclusive classroom practices.
Community members, secondary school students and 230 elementary and secondary teachers attended the
Arrive and Thrive Conference
in February. The purpose of the conference is to highlight the importance of developing a sense of belonging in students and supporting increased English Language Learner (ELL) student engagement.
All elementary school leads participated in a two-part learning opportunity to examine Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) curriculum enhancements for Grade 4 to 6 Social Studies and Grade 7 and 8 History. Canadian World Studies leads participated in a two-part learning opportunity, including a site visit to the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation.
Twenty-five teachers from Craig Keilburger Secondary School and its elementary feeder schools participated in a focused student success project that addressed how Racism, Anti-Black Racism and Islamophobia impact students. Part of the focus was on supporting teachers to build capacity in addressing inappropriate language. A student focus group informed next steps and school practice.
The Culturally Relevant & Responsive Pedagogy (CRRP) project was attended by 60 elementary and secondary teachers. Staff identified areas related to cultural competence, critical consciousness, high academic expectations and developed strategies to address these areas of learning with the goal of increasing a sense of belonging among students.
Twenty elementary and secondary teachers participated in Beyond Black History Month, a learning series that builds capacity about anti-black racism and provides opportunities to learn, highlight and incorporate the contributions of Black Canadians into curriculum while affirming the lived experiences of students.
Nearly 100 percent of elementary and secondary schools sent a teacher rep to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) enhancement curriculum rollout session training for Grades 4-6 Social Studies and Grade 7, 8, 10 History.
Secondary visual arts teachers participated in a year-long Indigenous Arts Collaborative Inquiry, working with educators from other school boards to implement NAC10.
“Orchestrate Your Classroom” is a two-part training session that has been developed for elementary and secondary teachers to improve the climate in their classrooms. These sessions will launch during the 2018/19 school year.
To improve learning climates in elementary schools, a focus on well-being has been implemented into monthly Family of School (FOS) meetings. The emphasis of this learning is centred on “knowing your learner” and is designed to enhance positive learning climates.
What the Data Says...
Educators believe their school creates an inclusive and respectful environment for students
agree their school promotes opportunities for students to get involved
feel that students treat each other with respect
Source: Have Your Say survey results 2017/18
We will advance a culture of respect for all students, staff, families and community.
The Respectful Workplace survey was launched as part of the 2018 Have Your Say survey to provide information in three key areas:
- Knowledge of Board policies and procedures regarding harassment, discrimination and disrespectful conduct,
- Frequency of these behaviours and,
- Knowledge of system leaders to address these behaviours.
Equitable recruitment training was also provided to the senior team and implemented into new administrator onboarding.
What the Data Says...
Staff members report they feel comfortable sharing their opinions at work
feel that their opinions make a difference in building a positive work environment
Source: Have Your Say survey results 2017/18
We will use innovative approaches to student accommodation that reflect the changing needs within our communities.
Building a new Milton secondary school provided an opportunity to develop and implement a collaborative process for designing innovative learning environments. The design process was a collaborative effort involving senior academic and program staff, as well as the architect, to incorporate current and future learning concepts. The resulting design includes flexible and adaptive teaching spaces to support both group and individual work, and a learning commons-style central “street” feature that will serve as the hub for student activities.
Facility Services Department staff, along with the architect, are working with senior staff to begin the design studies for the next elementary school to incorporate 21st century learning principles similar to the new Milton secondary school project as well as examples of schools from across the country and internationally.
Furniture in classrooms, cafeterias and common spaces in schools enhances collaborative learning and provides a shift for the academic and corporate mindset and re-thinking culture.
Gary Allan High School partnered with Kerr Street Mission in Oakville to offer the Oakville Alternative program which embeds community service components into the program.