Bruce Grey Policy Statement

BRUCE-GREY CATHOLIC DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD
Equity and Inclusive Education
BP: 6-13
Approved: 10-107
Reviewed:
REFERENCES
Education Act
PPM 119 – Developing and Implementing Equity and Inclusive Education Policies in Ontario
Schools
RELATED FORMS/PROCEDURES/DOCUMENTS
Ontario’s Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy
Ontario Human Rights Commission
POLICY STATEMENT
The Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board (the “Board”) recognizes that all people are
created equal, in the image of God, each with inimitable characteristics deserving of dignity
(Genesis: 1:27). In accordance with the Church’s teachings, it is the policy of the Board to
provide in all its operations an educational environment which supports and enables
diversity within its Catholic community.
The Board recognizes that any form of social or cultural discrimination is incompatible with
Catholic moral principles and is in violation of the Ontario Human Rights Code. The Board
recognizes that the school system gives pre-eminence to the tenets of the Catholic faith,
congruent with the protection afforded in the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Constitution
Act, 1982 and confirmed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The Board and its staff are committed to the elimination of discrimination as outlined in
Ontario’s Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy and the Ontario Ministry of Education (the
“Ministry”) Policy/Program Memorandum No. 119, in a manner which is consistent with the
exercise of the Board’s denominational rights under section 93 of the Constitution Act, 1982
and as recognized at section 19 of the Ontario Human Rights Code.
AREAS OF FOCUS:
Equity and Inclusive Education in Ontario Schools: Guidelines for Policy Development and
Implementation, Ontario’s Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy and Policy/Program
Memorandum No. 119 (2009) “Developing and Implementing Equity and Inclusive Education
Policies in Ontario Schools” identify eight areas of focus for implementing equity and
inclusive education.
In accordance with the above policy documents, applicable legislation that outlines the
denominational rights of the Catholic school system and with adherence to the Guiding
Principles of the Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy, and consistent with the Code,
each area of focus will be introduced and anchored by a preamble and the Board’s mission
statement. This will serve to guide the actions of the Board and its schools, in honouring its
commitments to equity and inclusive education policy development, implementation,
monitoring and reporting.
6-13b
1. BOARD POLICIES/PROGRAMS/PROCEDURES AND PRACTICES
Preamble:
The Board recognizes the importance of antiracism and antiharassment policies in
promoting and maintaining a Catholic educational and working environment which fosters
racial and ethno-cultural understanding.
The Board will ensure that its policy review cycle will result in the alignment and integration
of the requirements of Policy/Program No. 119 and the Strategy with all Board policies,
programs, procedures, and practices. The perspectives of the entire diverse Catholic school
community will be reflected in all areas of the teaching, learning and administrative culture.
Every effort will be made to identify and remove discriminatory biases and systemic barriers
that may limit access to and opportunity for effective employment procedures for individuals
from diverse communities and underrepresented peoples within the context of the
denominational rights of Catholic school boards.
Mission Statement:
The Board is committed to serving staff, students, and families in its diverse Catholic
community by incorporating the principles of equity and inclusive education into all aspects
of its policies, programs, procedures, and practices that are consistent with Catholic
denominational rights.
Action Items:
The Board will:
1.1. Establish the foundational framework that will inform their review and/or
development and implementation of a comprehensive equity and inclusive
education policy that recognizes and eliminates biases related to race, class,
ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, family status, religion and
linguistic differences as well as socio-economic factors.
1.2. Review existing equity and inclusive education policies and/or extend or
develop such policies to fulfill the requirements of existing regulations, the
Strategy, Policy/Program Memorandum No. 119, and the Code, in accordance
with the denominational rights afforded to the Catholic school system.
1.3. Ensure that principles of equity and inclusive education permeate and are
explicitly stated in all Board policies, programs, guidelines, operations,
practices, and Board improvement plans.
1.4. Ensure all future policies, guidelines and practices are drafted and implemented
in accordance with the Board’s equity and inclusive education policy.
1.5. Collect information needed to monitor the effects of the implementation of the
Equity and Inclusion Education policy by the Board.
1.6. Ensure all persons with disabilities are accommodated appropriately and in a
manner consistent with the Code.
1.7. Provide training for school and system leaders to facilitate equitable recruitment
and hiring to reflect Ontario’s diverse society
1.8. Provide opportunities for the diverse school community, including students,
staff, parents, trustees and community members, to provide active input into
Board policies and improvement plans on an ongoing basis.
6-13c
1.9. Investigate in a thorough and timely manner any claims of discrimination
and/or racism and take appropriate action consistent with the principles of the
Code.
Our Schools will:
1.10. Review existing school policies, for example, codes of conduct, to determine
that they reflect the principles of equity and inclusive education.
1.11. Extend, develop, and implement strategies to actively engage students,
parents, families, and the wider community in the review, development, and
implementation of initiatives to support and promote equity and inclusive
education.
1.12. Implement Board equity and inclusive education policies, programs and school
improvement plans consistent with the Code and that reflect the needs of their
diverse Catholic school community.
2. SHARED AND COMMITTED LEADERSHIP
Preamble:
The Board subscribes to an informed leadership philosophy that inspires, empowers, and
supports all stakeholders in our Catholic community to join together to implement
institutional practices and behaviours that cultivate equity and inclusion.
The Board is committed to providing informed shared leadership to improve student
achievement and to close achievement gaps for students by identifying, addressing, and
removing all barriers and forms of discrimination.
The Board recognizes the critical connection between student leadership and improved
student achievement and will strive to include the student voice in all aspects of the
implementation of equity and inclusive education.
In accordance with the Ministry’s Ontario Leadership Strategy, effective Board and school
leaders will encourage and promote a collaborative approach to all dimensions of equity and
inclusive education, which ensures the participation of students, parents, unions, colleges
and universities, service organizations and other community partners.
Mission Statement:
The Board is committed to establishing and maintaining partnerships with all members of
our diverse Catholic community so that the perspectives and experiences of all students are
recognized and their needs are met.
Action Items:
The Board will:
Share in the life and mission of the Church by developing a system plan to build and sustain
Board and staff capacity in the areas of equity and inclusive education in curriculum and
instruction, human resources and governance.
6-13d
2.1. Identify and appoint a contact person to liaise with the Ministry and other Boards
to share challenges, promising practices and resources.
2.2. Provide extensive and ongoing education and training for students,
administrators, teachers (including guidance counsellors), support staff and
trustees in implementing equity and inclusive education and leadership
initiatives.
2.3. Establish selection criteria for leadership positions that prioritize demonstrated
commitment, knowledge and skills related to equity and inclusive education
implementation and inclusive leadership, and consistent with proactive Code
compliance.
2.4. Provide ongoing training for all staff that reflects comprehensive attention to the
principles of human rights and their fundamental role in an equitable and
inclusive environment.
2.5. Strive to ensure that members of communities that are underserved and /or
marginalized are included in the shared leadership.
Our Schools will:
2.6. Establish a collaborative culture where the collective capabilities and voices of all
stakeholders are used to develop and implement equity and inclusive education
goals.
2.7. Promote equity minded student leadership related to issues of social justice.
2.8. Develop initiatives such as a Student Leadership Conference in Equity with
student facilitators representing diverse voices and experiences.
2.9. Demonstrate leadership in setting the tone for the positive and proactive
implementation of the Equity Strategy within the school.
3. SCHOOL-COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS
Preamble:
The Board recognizes that the effective review, development, implementation and
monitoring of equity and inclusive education policies and practices requires the involvement
of all members of the entire Catholic school community. The Board further recognizes the
importance of engaging specialized expertise in developing and implementing its equity and
inclusive education policy.
The Board will seek collaboration with and active engagement from students, parents, staff
and other Catholic community partners to create and sustain a positive school climate
reflective of Catholic values that supports student achievement.
The Board will identify, examine, and remove any barriers that exist, that are part of
systemic discrimination under the Code, and that prevent full participatory schoolcommunity
relations.
Mission Statement
6-13e
The Board is committed to establishing and maintaining partnerships with all members of
our diverse Catholic community so that the perspectives and experiences of all students,
families, and employees are recognized.
Action Items:
The Board will:
3.1. Develop a database of information that establishes the diversity of communities
based on self-identification.
3.2. Review and/or initiate tools, for example, school climate surveys, to determine
stakeholders’ views on school environment and act upon relevant next steps.
3.3. Take proactive steps to ensure that existing committees represent the diversity
of the wider community.
3.4. Review and deepen existing community partnerships to ensure that they reflect
the principles of equity and inclusive education.
3.5. Expand community efforts to foster new partnerships that engage a crosssection
of diverse students, parents, staff, community members and various
community organizations, including business groups, to ensure inclusion.
3.6. Establish processes to identify and address systemic barriers that limit or
prevent all sectors of the school community from benefiting from enhanced
opportunities for Board representation and greater access to Board initiatives.
3.7. Identify under-represented communities and facilitate their participation and
involvement in Board activities
3.8. Gather and use the knowledge, skills, and experience of Board community
partners to enrich the total educational and career experiences of staff,
students, and volunteers.
Our Schools will:
3.9. Implement strategies to review existing community partnerships to ensure that
they reflect the diversity of the broader community.
3.10. Invite and support representation of diverse groups on school committees,
including school improvement planning.
3.11. Engage stakeholders in community forums to listen and address concerns and
suggestions.
3.12. Reflect the approaches described above in their outreach to the broader
community.
4. INCLUSIVE CURRICULUM AND ASSESSMENT PRACTICES
Preamble:
When we consider inclusive curriculum and assessment practices, we need to consider both
the “how” and the “what”. What we bring to students in terms of content is as important as
the way it is delivered. We must consider both what is said and what is not said, as it is
6-13f
known that our students learn both the explicit and hidden curricula. Both in its content and
methodology, inclusive curriculum seeks to recognize our commitment to Catholic values
and our respect for all students, regardless of race and ethnicity, gender, place of origin,
religion, cultural and linguistic background, social and economic status, sexual orientation,
age, and ability/disability.
Effective evaluation includes researched best practices that truly reflect the current level of
achievement of the student. Multiple opportunities for assessment allow for student learning
and accuracy of assessment and instruction.
Students must be represented in the curriculum and heard in the assessment and
evaluation. Students’ voice is fundamental in the planning for instruction and the accuracy
of assessment.
Mission Statement:
The Board is committed to implementing an inclusive curriculum based on Catholic values
and to reviewing resources, instruction, and assessment and evaluation practices in order to
identify and address discriminatory biases so that each student may maximize her or his
learning potential.
Action Items:
The Board will:
4.1. Review student assessment and evaluation policies and practices to identify and
address systemic bias that may exist in the way students’ work is assessed and
evaluated in order to reduce the achievement gap. The principles of such a
review will be consistent with the Code.
4.2. Support the schools’ review of classroom strategies that promote school-wide
equity and inclusive education policies and practices specifically addressing areas
of discrimination (e.g., race, gender, disability).
Our Schools will:
4.3. Review student assessment and evaluation policies and practices to identify and
address systemic bias that may exist in the way students’ work is assessed and
evaluated; the principles of such a review will be consistent with the Code.
4.3.1. Promote grade team planning and use of Teaching Learning Critical
Pathways; including teacher moderated marking to ensure a
collaborative approach to student assessment.
4.3.2. Ensure that assessment and evaluation support growth and learning,
with the belief that each and every student can achieve and be
successful given the appropriate time and support.
4.3.3. Provide education and training based on the belief that all students can
learn and ensure that it is reflected in expectations of students’
assessment and evaluation practices, counselling about available
program options, and other counselling practices.
4.3.4. Use a variety of assessment strategies and instruments to inform
short- and long-term planning to reduce gaps in student achievement
and improve student learning.
6-13g
4.4. Support the schools’ review of classroom strategies that promote school-wide
equity and inclusive education policies and practices;
4.4.1. Provide multiple opportunities for assessment (self, peer, teacher,
student led conferencing and /or parent/student and teacher
interviews).
4.4.2. Adjust instruction based on the results of formative assessment.
Feedback to students must be specific, timely and promote further
learning.
4.4.3. Ensure collaborative learning structures recognizing the variety of
learning styles and multiple intelligences.
4.4.4. Ensure consistent monitoring of the growth of students who are on
Individual Education Plans and/or are English Language Learners to
ensure that the specific needs of students are addressed through the
accuracy of programming based on best practices in assessment; all
needed accommodations and modifications must be in place to assist
the student in accessing the curriculum.
4.4.5. Ensure all students who have English language learning needs receive
an education program that closely aligns with their specific needs and
that ensures equity of access to the curriculum.
4.4.6. Ensure parents (and students where appropriate) are actively involved
in identification and placement decisions, including those required by
the Identification, Placement and Review Committee.
4.4.7. Ensure access and use of assistive technologies for students who
require accommodations to support achievement and success.
4.4.8. Improve student learning and achievement through the use of
differentiated product (e.g. an oral response for a reading
comprehension task or a mind map in lieu of an essay or a dramatic
performance that demonstrates the student’s learning).
4.4.9. Engage students as active participants in their learning (e.g. students
seeing and hearing themselves in the curriculum; gender specific
teaching practices; culturally relevant and responsive pedagogy;
research based practices in assessment and evaluation).
4.4.10. Review and reflect upon classroom practices and revise them as
needed to help ensure that they are aligned with school-wide equity
and inclusive education policies.
4.4.11. Make certain that resources and instructional strategies are in
accordance with Catholic teachings and values; are in compliance with
the provisions of the Code with respect to the prohibited grounds of
discrimination; show people of different races, genders, and ages in
non-stereotypical settings, occupations, and activities; explore the
roles and contributions of all peoples in Canada, and the factors that
shaped these roles; encourage open discussion of the prohibited
grounds of discrimination under the code (e.g., race, gender,
disability) in society, the community, and the school.
6-13h
5. RELIGIOUS ACCOMMODATION
Preamble:
Committed to the mission of the Church, the Board provides a learning and working
environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity regardless of race,
ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation,
age, record of offences, marital status, family status or disability, in accordance with the
Ontario Human Rights Code and Ministry Policy/Program Memorandum No. 108.
Within the framework of gospel values, traditions, and the Board’s denominational rights, in
recognition of this diversity, the Board will attempt to provide reasonable accommodation
for students’ and staffs’ religious beliefs and practices, while also protecting its
denominational rights.
Mission Statement:
The Board is committed to the values of freedom of religion and freedom from
discriminatory or harassing behaviour based on religion and will take all reasonable steps to
provide religious accommodations within the legal rights afforded to the Catholic school
system.
Action Items:
The Board will:
5.1. Consult with a variety of individuals and groups who represent the religious
diversity of the Board in the development and implementation of this policy.
5.2. Inform students and their parents/guardians and staff of their right to request
accommodation for religious beliefs and practices.
5.3. Prepare a religious accommodation guideline in keeping with the Code, and
consistent with its denominational rights, which prohibits discrimination on the
grounds of creed, and other Code protected grounds, and provides a duty to
accommodate.
5.4. Provide religious accommodation for students and staff, where reasonable and
consistent with the Code.
Our Schools will:
5.5. Revise /Implement their religious accommodation practices to align with the
Board’s religious accommodation guideline.
6. SCHOOL CLIMATE AND THE PREVENTION OF DISCRIMINATION AND
HARASSMENT
Preamble:
The Board recognizes that a safe and welcoming environment is most conducive to learning.
The Board will therefore seek to foster a Christ-centred, positive school climate, free from
discriminatory or harassing behaviour. The Board acknowledges that a Christ-centered,
positive school climate is one where all members of the school community feel safe,
6-13i
welcomed, and accepted. The principles of equity and inclusive education support positive
student behaviour.
The principles of equity and inclusion are consistent with Catholic doctrine and must be
considered and applied in employing progressive disciplinary measures, particularly when it
is necessary to take into account mitigating and other factors.
Mission Statement:
The Board is committed to the principle that every person within the school community is
entitled to a respectful, positive and Christ-centred school climate and learning
environment, free from all forms of discrimination and harassment.
The Board will:
6.1. Implement strategies to identify and remove discriminatory barriers that limit
engagement by students, parents, and the community, so that diverse groups
and the broader community have better Board-level representation and
greater access to Board initiatives;
6.2. Put procedures in place that will enable students and staff to report incidents
of discrimination and harassment safely and that will also enable Boards to
respond in a timely manner.
6.3. In an effort to alleviate the negative impact of suspensions and exclusions on
students, proactive programs will be initiated or expanded to decrease the
number of suspensions and expulsions.
6.4. Create a climate in which excellence is continually strived for and respect for
all permeates the environment.
6.5. Communicate that administrators are expected to use progressive discipline
and professional discretion, and to understand the duty to accommodate
students with disabilities.
Our Schools will:
6.6. Ensure that codes of conduct are revised to address all forms of racism,
discrimination, and harassment.
6.7. Ensure the use of progressive discipline including peer mediation and
restorative justice.
6.8. Welcome, respect and validate the contributions of all students, parents, and
other members of the school community.
6.9. Ensure that every student is supported as outlined in Student Success
strategies, Learning for All, Reach Every Student and other applicable
legislation, and is inspired to succeed in a culture of high expectations for
learning.
6.10. Ensure that school codes of conduct reflect the needs of the diverse Catholic
community served by the school and are developed with the active
consultation and involvement of students, staff, parents, and a representative
cross-section of community members.
6-13j
6.11. Review or develop guidelines and procedures to address the prohibited
grounds of discrimination under the Code as they may apply to students, staff,
and others in the Catholic community.
6.12. Ensure that the established Board procedure will enable students and staff to
report incidents of harassment and discrimination safely and to have
confidence that they will receive a timely and appropriate response in
accordance with the requirements of Bill 157.
6.13. Ensure that all information about the new or revised procedures involving
equity and inclusive education is communicated to all students, staff, families,
and others in the school community.
7. PROFESSIONAL LEARNING
The Staff of the Board is its most important asset and is the vehicle by which Catholicity and
equity are taught in the classroom and throughout the system. The Board, therefore,
recognizes the importance of ongoing professional learning to create a foundation for
Catholic values, ecclesial and cultural identity, human rights education and effective
teaching practices.
Professional learning increases the knowledge and skills that teachers bring to the craft and
science of teaching, and, thus, engages the student with increasing complexity and
precision teaching. Perpetual professional learning is the groundwork for positive changes in
our schools. Professional learning must include knowledge creation and knowledge sharing
(Earl and Katz, 2005) to ensure that all voices are represented and that we recognize that
there is no essential knowledge but rather a continued quest towards deeper representation
of all with our knowledge base.
Distributed, deep and sustained changes in practice and structures in school are key
elements of professional learning and have impact on student learning, engagement and
success in a knowledge society (Earl and Katz, 2005). Professional Learning works to
engage all learners and strives for student success and includes the following:
a) Changes in thinking and practices of teachers
b) Collaborative inquiry at various levels within the school
c) Pursuit of innovation (Katz, Earl and Jaafar, 2009)
Mission Statement:
The Board is committed to providing the school community, including students, with
opportunities to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviours needed to identify
and eliminate discriminatory biases and systemic barriers under the Code.
The Board will:
7.1. Support the schools’ review of classroom strategies that promote school-wide
equity and inclusive education policies and practices.
7.2. Allocate adequate resources to provide ongoing opportunities for students,
administrators, teachers, support staff, and trustees to participate in equity
and inclusive education training and leadership initiatives:
7.3. Provide antiracism and antidiscrimination training that promotes respect and
courtesy in all interactions, virtuous conduct, including training in prevention
and early intervention strategies.
7.4. Ensure that training includes information on cross-cultural differences, and
promotes a deeper understanding of exceptionalities and of how to mitigate
discipline, in light of its effect on students with disabilities.
6-13k
7.4.1. Provide ongoing opportunities for students, administrators, teachers,
support and Board staff, as well as trustees, to participate in equity and
inclusive education training and leadership initiatives.
7.4.2. Ensure that the principles of equity and inclusive education are modeled and
incorporated in professional learning programs.
7.5. Identify a Board equity and inclusive education contact to liaise with the
Ministry of Education and other Boards in order to share challenges, promising
practices, and resources.
Our Schools will:
7.6. Review classroom strategies and revise them as needed to help ensure that
they are aligned with and reflect school-wide equity and inclusive education
policies.
7.7. Promote collaborative teams that learn together through job embedded
learning, implement their learnings and reflect together on best practices.
7.8. Build staff capacity through ongoing needs based professional learning
determined through data analysis and based on results.
7.9. Encourage and support students in their efforts to promote social justice,
equity, antiracism, and antidiscrimination in schools and classrooms.
7.10. Develop Equity initiatives such as Equity Walks and provide timely and specific
feedback that will further school-wide equitable practices.
8. ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY
Preamble:
The Board acknowledges and assumes the responsibility for its policies, actions, and
decisions. In the pursuit of greater transparency and accountability, the Board, in respectful
collaboration and communication with the whole Catholic school community, will report on
its goals and progress in the areas of policy review, school improvement planning and the
implementation of The Strategy.
Mission Statement:
The Board is committed to assessing and monitoring its progress in implementing The
Strategy; to embedding the principles of Equity and Inclusive Education into all Board
policies, programs, guidelines and practices; and to communicating these results to the
community.
Action Items:
The Board will:
8.1. Embed the principles of equity and inclusive education into all Board policies,
programs, guidelines, and practices.
8.2. Actively communicate the equity and inclusive education policy to students,
teachers, parents, staff, school councils, community partners, and volunteers
and post it on the Board’s website.
6-13l
Comments