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Supporting Equity and Inclusion in Limestone

Supporting Equity and Inclusion in Limestone
Posted on 11/15/2020
equity tree made up of different colours of handprints

Message from our Director, Krishna Burra

Dear Families,

Amidst the ongoing challenges of learning, teaching and working in our new COVID-19 environment, work continues on a number of initiatives in the Limestone District School Board. Our important work this fall includes a focus on ensuring safe, equitable and inclusive environment for all students and staff.

As a board, we have started the necessary and critical work of confronting anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism. We know there is a lot of work to do in our system, and in our communities. Earlier this week, the Board of Trustees received a draft of the LDSB Equity Action Plan. This document outlines our actions and outcomes for the next few years with a focus on leadership and governance practices, school and classroom practices, human resources practices, data collection, integration and reporting, and organizational culture change. You can read the document – which will remain a living document – on the board website.

The Equity Action Plan is one of many steps the board is taking to work toward a more equitable district. In just a couple of weeks, we will also undertake our first voluntary See Yourself in Limestone: Student Census. Getting to know students better, their backgrounds, experiences and needs; will allow us to remove barriers and address gaps to help them succeed. Over the next few years, all school boards across the province are asking students to complete an equity-based census to identify and eliminate discrimination and bias from schools and classrooms as outlined in the Ontario Education Equity Action Plan.

The online census, which will be completed by students in Grades 4 to 12 during supervised class time and by families of Kindergarten to Grade 3 students at home, will ask students a variety of questions around their identity and demographics. All information on individual students will remain confidential. The census will take place the week of November 23, 2020. The survey questions, some family resources, and frequently asked questions are now available on the board website.

Schools need to be places where everyone values diversity, respects each other, and see themselves reflected in their learning and school/classroom environment. In an era of polarization within society and eroding decency in some quarters, schools must be bastions of hope and create positive futures for all students. We hope this work, which is just beginning, will help lay the foundation for every student to succeed personally and academically, regardless of background, identity or personal circumstances.

Our goal remains for everyone to see themselves in Limestone.

I hope you are keeping safe and well.

Krishna Burra
Director of Education