There are many aspects of our education system that need to be addressed, revamped or modernized. Every large project needs a starting point and in that vein, I believe that there are three areas that need to be prioritized.
1. Policies that emphasize the safety, security and support for our students and teachers.
2. Programs that promote inclusivity and anti-racism action and awareness.
3. Programs that focus on streamlining and improving academic excellence and financial literacy.
School and classroom safety is a major priority. Teachers need more support in the classroom. They are the backbone of our system, and need to be well supported to function at their best. If the educator is functioning at their best then the student will be functioning at their best. It is essential that all of our students, teachers and support staff are able to go to school every day feeling safe and welcomed. A secure school environment also means making sure that we are constantly promoting inclusivity in all aspects of school life. Anti-racism awareness programs should always be in place, not just focused on for a single month each year. It is also essential that we work harder to make help and counselling more readily available for those that need it.
A safe environment is the foundation of success, but it is just the beginning. Part of the process will be to make sure that all children also feel involved in their school community. It isn't enough to just go through the motions of school life. I will work to make sure that there are more programs readily available so that all children can feel more connected to their peers and to make school a place that children look forward to going.
There are a number of possible ways to promote school spirit and unity between students, including, creating more school teams and clubs, organizing team-building field trips, and in-school games and activities. I have seen firsthand in this first post-pandemic school year, how much students have enjoyed getting school merchandise and how excited they have become for even the most simple field trip. I believe that the more they enjoy school, the more successful they will be.
That brings me to the third point of priority. Over the years, our schools have had lowered expectations of academic performance. Our children deserve to have their academic future taken more seriously and to have more emphasis placed on their progress. We are doing our students a major disservice by not adequately preparing them for their futures. I will work to make real-life courses, such as financial literacy and career building available.
As trustee I will personally be in regular contact with teachers, educators, support staff, students and parents. It is important for me to hear first hand what they each need to be functioning at their best.
I will do everything in my power to make YRDSB a positive place to work and learn.
Our children are our future. We all have a role to play in making their lives, and in turn our own, more successful and enjoyable. As your school Trustee, I would work with educators, students and anyone interesting in the future of our children to make school life more beneficial to all.