Student Trustee Elections
Student Trustees act as a liaison between the school community and the Board. They are elected by students in York Region District School Board schools.
The main objective of the Student Trustee is to give the student population a meaningful voice in Board deliberations and to act as a conduit for the flow of information and ideas between trustees, senior staff and the student body.
Student Trustees are seated at the Board table, participate fully in the discussion portion of public Board meetings and provide a report, which is included as part of the official Board minutes. Student Trustees do not vote on matters before the Board for consideration.
The Student Trustees’ term will commence August 1st and conclude July 31st of the subsequent year.
Contact all 3 Student Trustees
What is a Student Trustee?
Student trustees represent over 127,000 students in the York Region District School Board. They network with students, staff and the Board of Trustees to share information that gives students a meaningful voice.
What do Student Trustees do?
Student trustees are responsible for:
attending monthly Board meetings;
providing a Student Trustee Report at the monthly Board meeting;
sharing information from staff and the Board of Trustees with members of the student community, where appropriate;
attending meetings with the Director of Education;
hosting the Board’s Annual Celebrating Student Success evening;
speaking at and hosting special events;
being an active member of the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association;
maintaining the Student Trustee Website;
participating in York Region Presidents’ Council meetings and fulfilling expectations and job requirements as an executive member;
listening to and addressing questions and concerns raised by the student community through face-to-face interactions, forums or electronic communications;
preparing for, with the other members of the executive and logistics team, and attending the Annual York Region Presidents’ Council Leadership Conference; and
coordinating and conducting elections for the position of student trustee.
Student trustees may also choose to participate in several other regular Board, Advisory and staff committees where they are encouraged to provide input and feedback on the items being discussed. These meetings are generally held at the Education Centre Aurora between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
In addition to regular Board Committees, student trustees may be asked to attend other meetings to provided input into events or issues affecting students in York Region.
How are Student Trustees supported in their role?
Each student trustee will be provided with appropriate communication tools so that they are accessible to members of the student community, staff and trustees.
Trustee Services staff are available to support student trustees in a variety of ways, such as, distributing materials to elementary and secondary schools, proofreading student trustee documents, answering questions, addressing concerns and assisting with conference registration.
Student trustees may attend conferences and events hosted by the York Region District School Board and the York Region Presidents’ Council and other educational organizations, such as the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association and the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association in accordance with Policy and Procedure #221.0, Student Trustees and Policy #223.0, Indigenous Student Trustee. These events give student trustees opportunities to participate in discussions with other student trustees, trustees and staff from school boards across the Province and learn more about the education system.
Each student trustee is given a budget for communication and professional development expenses. Information about items that are eligible for reimbursement are outlined in:
- Policy and Procedure #221.0, Student Trustees
- Policy #223.0, Indigenous Student Trustee
- Policy and Procedure #131.0, Expenses
How will I get to and/or from Board, Advisory and Committee meetings?
Student trustees must arrange their own transportation to and/or from meetings and events they attend in their official role. Student trustees are responsible for reviewing the demands of the position with their parents/guardians and wherever possible arranging for their own transportation to and/or from meetings, events and other official obligations. If a student trustee is required to attend an event and is unable to arrange their own transportation they may be eligible for reimbursement for transportation costs if they meet the requirements outlined in:
- Policy and Procedure #221.0, Student Trustees
- Policy and Procedure #223.0, Indigenous Student Trustee
- Policy and Procedure #131.0, Expenses
Student trustees are encouraged to minimize transportation costs wherever possible. This includes participating in meetings via audio conference, choosing the most cost-effective method of transportation and sharing costs, whenever appropriate. In exceptional circumstances, where time or safety concerns are a factor, student trustees are authorized to use a pre-approved Board-provisioned taxi or ride-side service up to a maximum of $150.00 per month.
I have questions, who do I contact?
The current student trustees are always available to address your concerns and/or answer your questions. Please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.
If you have questions about Board policies and/or procedures or student trustee participation in Board and/or Committee meetings, you can contact Trustee Services, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Relevant York Region District School Board Policies and Procedures:
- Assessment and Evaluation
- Environmental Responsibility
- Field Trips
- Healthy Schools and Workplaces
- Indigenous Student Trustee
- Appropriate Use of Technology
- Student Health Supports
- Caring and Safe Schools
- Student Dress Code
- Student Leadership and Student Voice
- Student Transportation
- Student Trustees
Student Trustee Board Reports
Student Trustees attend Board meetings. At each Board meeting they present a Student Trustee Report, which outlines and updates the trustees and the senior staff members on the activities, initiatives and priorities of the student trustees over the past month.
The following reports are of current and former student trustees:
Student Trustee Report for the September 12, 2023 Board Meeting
Good evening Director, Chair, Staff, Trustees, and Members of the Audience.
It is an honour to attend our first Regular Board meeting. Meilun, Lily, and I are incredibly thankful to Trustee Services and fellow trustees for making our transition process so seamless. We are especially humbled to be continuing the hard work former Trustees Bhavsar, Baskaran, and Schlamb put into the Board.
Before our terms began, we attended the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association’s (OSTA) Annual General Meeting from May 18th to 21st, where we actively participated in professional development. We engaged in a Non-Profit Youth Panel, hearing best practices for student leadership from Toronto Youth Cabinet activists and Hamilton Students for Justice. Moreover, we participated in an insightful presentation on education policy by York University’s Dr. Sue Winton and a roundtable discussion on public education by our predecessors. We were able to meet mentors as well as peers who opened our eyes to the many different strategies we could use to collect student voices and ensure that we reflect the issues that the youth in the Board are passionate about.
I am also excited to share that I was elected as the Creative Services Coordinator of OSTA. In my role, I’ll be maintaining media, graphics, and public relations, as well as aiding with our various modernization and mental health advocacy. Lily was inducted into the provincial-wide Indigenous Student Trustees’ Council, in which she will be collaborating with other trustees to explore how to elevate Indigenous student voices at the Board level.
Meilun and I also met with the York Region Presidents’ Council (YRPC), our Board’s student senate. Our team consists of a balanced distribution of students from North, West, South, and Central CEC areas, ensuring that we can amplify student opinions in historically underrepresented regions. We began brainstorming topics for our first General Assembly by evaluating the current policy gaps where not enough student voice is being heard. Our goal for this month is to actively collect student voices through the YRPC General Assemblies as well as executive meetings and our personal outreach strategies in our respective regions. We believe that hearing student input in the beginning of the school year would best advise the direction of our efforts in the coming months. Furthermore, looking to the future, we are excited to continue our learning at the OSTA-AECO’s Fall General Meeting in October, as well as start to get involved in the many committees that we are enthusiastic to be involved as members. Finally, Meilun, Lily and I wish to thank all the York Region District School Board (YRDSB) staff who have helped us in this transitional period. We recognize the importance of student voice to build welcoming and inclusive communities within YRDSB, and strive to be the amplifier of those 128,000 individuals. Thank you for your time.
Prisha: Mr. Chair, Director, Fellow Trustees, Staff, Members of the Audience. We will be delivering our June Board Report.
This last Board Meeting marks the culmination of our term and the valuable insights we have gained during our tenure. It has been an honor to serve our 133,000 students across the York Region District School Board (YRDSB). We are thrilled to reflect on the past year, during which we had the honor of interacting with diverse students, actively seeking their perspectives, and engaging in meaningful discussions on significant matters. Through these interactions, we had the invaluable opportunity to learn directly from our fellow students, gaining insights that have deepened our understanding that has allowed us to advocate for students. We would like to extend our gratitude to our trustee mentors, Superintendent T. Sterling, Trustee Services, and staff members for your support throughout this year.
Teerka: Over the past few months, we have been planning an elementary school conference catering to Grade 5-8 students, with two primary objectives in mind. Firstly, we aimed to empower elementary school leadership in light of the revision of Policy #672.0, Student Leadership and Student Voice. Secondly, we recognized the need for a long-term means to connect with Grade 5-8 students, an underrepresented segment of our constituents. These past two weeks, we successfully held two pilots at Donald Cousens Public School and Oscar Peterson Public School. We were able to hear from all the Grade 5-8 students at both schools on how elementary leadership opportunities can be improved in their schools.
Prisha: Our first stop was at Oscar Peterson Public School, where we found trends in student needs and concerns. We found trends around empowering students with leadership skills to help them to lead sustainable initiatives within the school that are student centered. We found that it was important to find a balance between catering to the unique requirements of each grade level while ensuring an inclusive and equitable learning environment for all students. As we continue to analyze the results, we are excited to compile and share with the school.
Teerka: Our second visit led us to Donald Cousens Public School, where we encountered similar trends and witnessed a commendable enthusiasm among the students to actively participate in their school's activities. However, we did notice a prevailing pattern of teacher-led initiatives rather than student-led leadership in clubs and teams. As we further extend this initiative, our aim is to shift our focus towards empowering students and fostering their confidence to assume leadership roles within these groups.
Teerka: Our intention is to utilize this event as a pilot program, with the aim of expanding its reach to encompass all elementary schools within the YRDSB. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Lindsey Diakiw, Principal Freeman at Oscar Peterson Public School, and Principal Yao at Donald Cousens Public School for their invaluable assistance in making this event a resounding success.
Holly: This weekend we attended the York Region Pride Parade in Newmarket. We were a part of YRDSB’s section in the parade. Pride is all about acceptance for who you are and pride in your identities. Making all students feel welcome and accepted in classrooms is so important in schools.
Holly: I attended a moccasin making workshop for Indigenous students graduating from high school. Graduating students were able to form relationships with one another and to learn from experienced craftspeople at the same time. As this is my final year in high school, it meant a lot to me to be able to connect with other graduating students and to say farewell to YRDSB’s First Nations, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) program.
Prisha: We also hosted our last exam and culminating workshop of the year. This time, we focused on increasing diversity in the panelists to cater diverse students in the Board. We were especially proactive in fostering inclusivity and diversity, ensuring that all students in the Board were catered to and empowered to succeed. It was of utmost importance to us that the panelists representing various perspectives and backgrounds reflected the diverse student population we serve. Students heard from YRDSB Alumni, YRDSB Mental Health Professionals, and Educators about the suggested preparation strategies to ace their exams, culminating projects, and helpful wellness strategies. We had panelists from various pathways and career fields - including university, college, apprenticeship and gap year pathways in areas such as: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), social sciences, business, arts and trades. Thank you to Ms. Haliburton, Ms. Dontigny, Dr. Sterling, panelists, mental health team, especially Helen and Avrom, Ms. Borshiov, Mr. Ganeshalingam and the technology team for your support and guidance to make this event possible. By prioritizing inclusivity and diversity, we aim to create an educational environment where every student feels seen, heard and valued.
Prisha: These exciting initiatives have been possible due the support and guidance of the Board staff, trustees, Superintendent of Education, Leadership and Development, Director of Education and Trustee Services. Through various checkpoints in the area, we had the chance to explore various initiatives, seek clarification on matters, and provide feedback to the team. Thank you for giving us the platform to bring our ideas to life. Thank you for your guidance and it has been an honor to work and learn alongside you. We thank Director Yake for his support and also welcome Director Cober who will be serving YRDSB starting August 1, 2023.
Teerka: As our term comes to a close, we would like to take this opportunity to express our deep appreciation to the students who entrusted us with the privilege of representing them. Your support has been invaluable, and it has been an honor to serve you. We would also like to extend my gratitude to the dedicated Board staff who have played a crucial role in helping us navigate our responsibilities and make a positive impact.
Teerka: Additionally, we want to acknowledge the unwavering support we have received from the Senior Team, whose guidance and assistance have been instrumental in the success of our initiatives. Lastly, we would like to express our utmost respect for all the trustees present here today. It has been an absolute privilege to collaborate and work alongside such dedicated individuals. Although our terms as student trustees may be concluding, rest assured that we will continue to champion the cause of students wherever our paths may lead us. Advocating for student needs and interests remains a steadfast commitment that we hold close to our hearts. Thank you once again for your trust and support throughout this journey.
Holly: I would lastly like to thank the FNMI team at YRDSB who have supported me throughout my term as Indigenous Student Trustee. I would like to thank Andrew McConnell for continuously guiding me and supporting me. I would like to thank Victoria Raymer for her kindness and counsel. I would like to thank Cheryle Jacobs for being a funny and compassionate addition to the FNMI team this year. I would like to thank Carolyn Marchand who I have worked on different projects with and is an excellent mentor. I would also like to thank Ashton Wood, the first Indigenous Student Trustee for YRDSB, for being an encouraging and caring leader and who I feel lucky to have as a friend. Lastly, I want to thank all the FNMI students in YRDSB and to wish them all the best. They are an incredible group of students and YRDSB has great support in place for Indigenous students.
Holly: This concludes our final Board report during our terms as student trustees. We cannot thank everyone enough. Miigwech, maarsi, and thank you for your time.
Teerka: Mr. Chair, Director, Fellow Trustees, Staff, Members of the Audience. We will be presenting our April Student Trustee Report.
Teerka: This month, alongside the York Region Presidents’ Council (YRPC) we hosted our Student Outreach Meeting which brought together four students in Grade 9, 10, 11, and 12 from each secondary school in York Region District School Board (YRDSB). We had over 160+ attendees from all across the Board together in one room and it gave rise to fruitful discussions about our education system. We heard from over 160+ students about how we can improve the YRPC, Student Trustee Elections and the YRDSB Budget Allocation. We look forward to consolidating this input and distributing it to the relevant stakeholders at the Board. Additionally, we are taking steps to continue this wide reach and attendance at our future General Assemblies. Thank you to the YRPC Advisors, Mr. Ganeshalingam, Ms. Vatousis and Ms. Gymnopoulos, the Senior Leadership Team and the entire YRPC Student Team for making this possible.
Holly: Prisha and I attended the first ever Day of Pink Elementary School GSA Event at Wellington Public School. It was an incredible event for 2SLGBTQIA+ students and allies to meet one another. We also heard Martin Boyce, one of the last four remaining survivors of the Stonewall Riots of 1969, speak and give students insights into the historical event. It was widely successful and a great experience for all the students involved. After being involved in this wonderful event, we will also be a part of the planning for the YRDSB component in the York Region Pride Parade this Pride Month.
Prisha: Additionally, alongside the YRPC, we hosted our Presidents’ Council meeting where we discussed Policy #672.0, Student Leadership and Student Voice, strategies for improving student engagement, best practices for event planning and more. Through this meeting, we connected with student council members from across the Board.
We also have also finalized our elementary school pilot project, happening at Oscar Peterson Public School on May 30th and Donald Cousens Public School on June 5th. We aim to discuss with each grade for 45 minutes and will be discussing the newly revised Policy #672.0, Student Leadership and Student Voice. Through discussion and activities we will be unpacking what student leadership can look like and sound like in our schools. We welcome any senior leadership staff and trustees to this event. Thank you Dr. Sterling, Ms. Diakiw, and Mr. Ganeshalingam for your continued support throughout this.
Moreover, Holly and I presented an Exam and Culminating Presentation to parents at the annual Parent, Family and Community Engagement (PEAC) Regional Symposium - "Parent Voice Matters!" on Wednesday May 3rd. It was similar to our first semester exam and culminating workshop for students, but this time for parents. Thank you to YRDSB social workers, Melanie and Avrom and T. Russell for your support during the event. Thank you to the PEAC and the Leadership Development and Engagement team for organizing this event and inviting us! We are also excited to present a workshop for the second semester in the coming month.
Holly: We emceed the Student Success Dinner at the Royal Venetian Mansion. The Student Success award is given to those students on a basis of their character, service to their community, and leadership. It was an amazing experience to see such deserving students with such dedication to their school communities and being their best selves.
Holly: Overall, April has been an active month where we met lots of new people and engaged in new opportunities and events. This concludes our Student Trustee Report, we welcome any questions or comments. Maarsi, miigwech and thank you for your time
Mr. Chair, Director, Fellow Trustees, Staff, Members of the Audience. We will be presenting our March Student Trustee Report.
Holly: I had the opportunity to attend the Métis Nation of Ontario’s 4th Annual Early Learning and Language Conference this month in Niagara. This conference focused on language education in classrooms as well as in the community. Michif, the language of the Métis people, is an endangered language and this conference provided me with resources to continue my learning. I was able to listen to a talented keynote speaker, Dr. Jean Clinton, as well as to participate in traditional Indigenous art workshops. I was provided with Métis and Michif learning resources that I look forward to sharing with the Indigenous students of the York Region District School Board (YRDSB).
Holly: 2023 - 2024’s Indigenous Student Trustee (IST) has been selected. Lily Bates, next year’s IST, will begin her term on August 1, 2023. I look forward to working with her to help her settle into her position and to help her set her goals and objectives for her term.
Prisha: We have honed into our idea for an elementary school conference and although will be laying the base work for the coming years - this year we will be visiting various schools around our neighborhood. During these visits, we will be discussing important issues for students, such as mental health, inclusion and clubs/teams. Additionally, we plan to host a virtual drop in event for elementary students to raise their concerns. Using this information, we will develop a survey for elementary school students to be done by the end of this school year. The reasoning behind this is elementary school students currently do not have a way of giving their input on issues. We are excited to work towards this goal and change anything along the way if needed.
Additionally, as part of the Co-Chair of the Well-Being Working Group for the Ontario Student Trustee Association (OSTA), I had the privilege of recording a podcast episode for the organizations’ podcast. We discussed the past exam season, especially being the first for many. The episode will be released soon.
Teerka: In addition, we recently held a meeting with the York Region Presidents’ Council (YRPC) to discuss YRDSB's budget allocation and received input from students on where they think funding should be prioritized. We are eagerly anticipating the upcoming YRPC Meeting on April 12, where Student Council Presidents and representatives from each secondary school will convene to brainstorm ways to enhance student leadership. Furthermore, on April 24, we will be hosting our Student Outreach Meeting (SOM) where secondary students are invited to participate in a day of activities and share their thoughts.
Teerka: Overall, March has been a stimulating month, as we have set the foundation for many exciting initiatives and events to come. This concludes our report and we welcome any questions or feedback. Thank you.
Prisha: Mr. Chair, Director, Fellow Trustees, Staff, Members of the Audience. We will be presenting our February Student Trustee Report.
Prisha: February was a productive month with gathering input and planning logistics for events. We are currently working on a conference for elementary school students. The reasoning behind this is that Grade 5-8 students are a part of the group we represent, but there are no means of currently reaching them. It allows elementary students to embark on a journey of student leadership early on and makes them more likely to get involved in their later years. It also allows us to gain data points on the concerns and ideas for the school system. As of right now, the two major themes we are planning are mental health and social justice.
We are also currently working on an opportunity database for students by students. Students are saying that they do not have equal access to opportunities and they are not aware of various opportunities. We are working on an initiative where students will receive a monthly email with opportunities such as (conferences, volunteering, etc.) compiled onto a spreadsheet. We are currently in the process of getting this approved.
Moreover, we hosted our February General Assembly (GA) alongside the York Region Presidents’ Council (YRPC) and focused on specialized programs and post-secondary planning. From accessibility of secondary programs, to the transition to post-secondary programs, and more - this was effective in gathering student input! We learnt about student concerns in this topic, especially around lack of accessibility, improvements and barriers to attending specialized programs offered in the Board, and more!
Teerka: This month we also concluded our Student Trustee Elections, and we are excited to announce that Meilun Yu and Anita Vasserman, will be the York Region District School Board (YRDSB) Student Trustees for the 2023-2024 term. We are excited to work with them in the coming months to help them transition into this role. Given we had a new election process this year, we will be reflecting on this process in the coming weeks.
Holly: A new social media page has been created for the Indigenous Student Council (ISC). Indigenous students and their families can find information about upcoming events and opportunities, as well as on upcoming ISC meetings. This can be found on @isc.yrdsb on Instagram.
Holly: ISC membership has increased this month and the Indigenous Student Trustee election will be occurring in March. The selected Indigenous Student Trustee for the 2023-2024 will work alongside the recently elected Student Trustees, Anita Vasserman and Meilun Yu.
Overall, February has been an exciting month full of new opportunities and new people. This concludes our Student Trustee Report; we welcome any questions or comments. Maarsi, miigwech and thank you for your time.
Mr. Chair, Director, Fellow Trustees, Staff, Members of the Audience. We will be presenting our February Student Trustee Report.
Holly: The Indigenous Student Council began discussing a creative project involving all council members. We are working towards building a social media platform as well as a website that Indigenous students and their families can get information from. We are beginning to create and distribute posters advertising the Indigenous Student Council in order to increase membership.
Prisha: We hosted a virtual culminating exam workshop and received over 600+ registrations. The workshop consisted of four speakers, all previous York Region District School Board (YRDSB) student trustees, from various post-secondary pathways that provided tips for culminating projects and exam preparation. Their discussions included tips for numerous subjects including the sciences, math, humanities, and more. Students were also able to ask questions and had a meaningful discussion with the panelists. This showed us the potential to host future events in a similar manner connecting students all across the Board. We would like to thank all the York Region Presidents’ Council (YRPC) advisors; Dr. T. Sterling, Ms. Diakiw, social workers, and Ms. S. Dontigny, alumni, and the technology team for your support.
Teerka: Additionally, the YRDSB Student Trustee Election for the 2023 - 2024 school year has begun. This year candidates participated in a different election process from prior years with all candidates participating in an area election and then the top candidate from each region moving to the final four. The area election for each region just concluded on January 30 and elections for the final four will start shortly on February 8, 2023. Furthermore, we will be hosting the second General Assembly of the school year on February 8 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Richmond Hill High School. The focus will be on discussing post-secondary admissions and specialized programs including IB, AP, Arts, SHSM, HPA and Dual Enrollment.
Holly: Overall, January has been a productive month of working towards our goals. Happy New Year and happy Lunar New Year to everyone. Maarsi, miigwech and thank you for your time.
Mr. Chair, Director, Fellow Trustees, Staff, Members of the Audience. We will be presenting our December Student Trustee Report.
This month, we welcomed our new, York Region President’s Council (YRPC) Executive Cabinet, with students from a wider variety of schools than ever before and the highest voter turnout ever. We have worked with the York Region Presidents’ Council Executive to plan a December General Assembly occurring on December 15, 2022 at Richmond Green Secondary School. A return to an in-person General Assembly, one after many years, is exciting and will be a great opportunity for students from across the school board to connect.
During the General Assembly, students are welcomed to give input and evaluate questions on the approaching York Region District School Board (YRDSB) Every Student Matters Survey. It is immensely important to the YRDSB to gather student voices and assure that every individual is included. We will also be gathering feedback regarding exam stressors. Students have expressed concerns as many have not written an exam before following exam cancellations during the pandemic. We’ve been planning for an exam workshop in collaboration with the Mental Health Team for early January using the feedback we get from the December General Assembly. We are currently in the process of reviewing this idea with staff.
In the next few days, the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Team and Indigenous students will be having an in-person learning session with an elder from the Chippewas of Georgina Island. This session will focus on clan systems, naming ceremonies, and ceremonial protocols.
Additionally, we released our first monthly recap video informing students about what we have been working on and important events happening at the Board on our social media.
In all, November has been a month full of new opportunities. This concludes our Student Trustee Report. We welcome any questions or comments. Maarsi, miigwech and thank you for your time.
Mr. Chair, Director, Fellow Trustees, Staff, Members of the Audience. We will be presenting our November Student Trustee Report.
This month, we have had our York Region Presidents’ Council (YPRC) Elections where we have received more than 70 candidates and over 1100 voting responses. We will have our council finalized by November 1, 2022, and hope to have a minimum of four meetings every month.
With our new executive cabinet, we hope to begin hosting monthly General Assemblies to collect student input on the policies being discussed at that time.
We have continued receiving web and social media training from the York Region District School Board (YRDSB) Corporate Communications Team. We are working towards efficient communication with the student body, as well as being able to manage our Student Trustee website and social media to the best of our abilities.
We have finalized a plan for our monthly video and will have a video published on our Instagram for October, with the work we have been doing. Thank you Superintendent Sterling, D. Brusselers and the Communications team for your support.
Prisha and I were interviewed by the Parent Advisory Council for their winter newsletter. We discussed our role as student trustees, our goals and ambitions for the term, as well as how to encourage students to get involved in their own school communities.
Teerka and I have had the opportunity to give feedback to our mental health team regarding the development of a K-12 classroom activity for students.
Moreover, the YRDSB Indigenous Student Council (IST) will be having their first in-person event in November. This event will be a combination of a social event to bring Indigenous students and their families together, as well as an opportunity to participate in an IST council meeting.
We also attended the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association (OSTA-AECO) conference in downtown Toronto, where we learned and networked with other student trustees across Ontario. We heard from Minister of Education Stephen Lecce and the Ontario Education Plan, including items about actions to combat the effects the pandemic has made on our education system. Additionally, we learned how we can improve Ontario’s Sex Ed Curriculum from talks from, community organizations like, Ontario Physical and Health Education Association (OPHEA). We also had a presentation from the chair of the Ontario School Board Association.
The conference has also given us direction with our mental health initiatives. We are currently exploring options, like a mental health module that teaches students how to live a healthy lifestyle and will have specific steps done by next month.
We have also been discussing ways to better represent our students in Grade 6-8 through an Elementary Senate or other opportunities. It was great to hear about how student trustees at other boards were able to run similar structures in their boards.
Furthermore, as a part of the OSTA Public Board Council, I worked to connect school boards to OSTA leading up to Fall General Meeting (FGM), as well as leading regional breakouts during the conference. It was great to discuss with fellow student trustees in the Golden Horseshoe about the different initiatives and issues they are addressing at their board. I also had the opportunity to connect with the Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC) through being invited and attending their Annual OPC Dinner alongside members of the OSTA Executive Council.
I had the opportunity to spearhead a Mental Health Working Group with Student Trustees across Ontario. This year, we will be focusing on the wellbeing inside OSTA, school boards across Ontario, and through social media. One of our first projects will be a podcast episode that brings light to the resources available for wellbeing. In the future, we will be giving feedback to the Ministry of Health regarding wellness.
Furthermore, we have also have the amazing opportunity to speak at the Board’s upcoming QUEST Conference. I have also had the privilege of speaking about the importance of student voice and ethical leadership on a panel at QUEST.
In all, October has been an engaging month full of new opportunities and projects. This concludes our Student Trustee Report. We welcome any questions or comments. Thank you for your time.
Mr. Chair, Madam Director, Fellow Trustees, Staff, Members of the Audience. We will be presenting our October Student Trustee Report.
We worked with the York Region Presidents’ Council (YRPC) advisors to execute final details for the York Region Presidents’ Council Election. An email will be sent out to staff and students soon with information and nomination details. We hope to have a finalized council by the beginning of November.
Moreover, we met with the Mental Health Team Leads to learn about what is currently happening regarding mental health and opportunities to get involved. We learnt about the Youth Space project, which will be an advisory group across different schools and the Board to spearhead and advocate for mental health related initiatives. There will be a pilot program this year in approximately eight schools. We are in the process of brainstorming ways to get involved, and exploring ideas like a handbook schools can use to implement mental health activities. Moreover, we were given the privilege to give feedback about the development of a K-12 classroom activity for students. The activity will focus on the Student Mental Health Strategy. We would like to extend a great thank you out to H. Calliste, P. Marra-Stapleton, and the mental health team for organizing this.
To mark Powley Day this year, I was a part of creating two videos with the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Education Teacher Advisor. These videos showcased Métis culture and identity, as well as the history behind Powley Day.
Additionally, we received social media training from L. Miguelo, D. Clayden, and C. Choo-Hum on the York Region District School Board (YRDSB) Corporate Communications Team. In the coming weeks we will be going through website training as we explore options to effectively use the student trustee website. We are exploring ways to successfully and efficiently communicate with students to best raise their concerns.
Alongside L. Diakiw, we hosted a policy review drop in session on September 21 and 22 where more than 100 classes joined. Policy #672.0, Student Leadership and Student Voice and Policy #635.0, Student Dress Code were discussed. We are in the process of creating an opportunity alongside staff where students can share their opinions and concerns for an array of issues, as it is the basis of our goals.
We are exploring options to be transparent about our work in advocating for students as well as informing them about public Board discussions and decisions, through monthly videos for our social media. These videos would keep students well informed, as well as allowing for more interaction between the student trustees and the YRDSB student body to provide feedback. We are looking into making short monthly videos which would be available in our social media.
In conclusion, October was full of learning and we are excited for opportunities that lie ahead. This concludes our student report. We welcome any questions or comments. Thank you for listening.
Mr. Chair, Mr. Acting-Director, Fellow Trustees, Staff, Members of the Audience
It is an honour to be attending our first regular Board meeting as our predecessors, Munira Chakera, Bruce Yu, and Chelbylynn Milton have. We are privileged to carry the torch forward and would like to extend our gratitude to our trustee mentors, Trustee Services, Superintendent T. Sterling, and staff members for your support through this transition. We are excited to serve as the representatives of over 128,000 students of York Region District School Board (YRDSB).
Before our term started, from May 26-29 2022, we attended the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association (OSTA) Annual General Meeting. It was a weekend of professional development where we learned about how to best elevate student voice, as well as networked with organizations that support student success (e.g. High School Too) and student trustees from across Ontario. We learned about best practices to communicate during Board and Committee meetings which will help us better serve our students.
Additionally, OSTA serves as a vessel all year round to connect student trustees. I am happy to join the Public Board Executive Council on OSTA where I will have the chance to discuss and work together on student matters with all the Ontario public school student trustees.
I am excited to join as Co-Chair of the Well-Being Working Group, where I will lead a team of student trustees to collaborate on mental health affairs and spearhead initiatives across Ontario.
On August 31st, Prisha and I had the privilege of participating as the MCs for Compass Points where Director Sirisko set direction for this year. YRDSB’s Indigenous Student Council will be having our first meeting of this school year in the coming weeks. We will be beginning to plan our projects and initiatives for the new year and discussing our major goals.
Moreover, we have planned for a drop in session on September 21 and 22nd where students can join in to give input, ask questions and learn further about the policy review currently happening for Policy #672.0, Student Leadership and Student Voice and Policy #635.0, Student Dress Code. We filmed a video to share with students through the Safe and Caring Schools Presentation.
Additionally, we have been working with the York Region President’s Council (YRPC) Advisors to execute an election for the new executive cabinet in the coming weeks. We have an exciting new addition to the council this year of regional representatives - two students from each of the four regions. Regional representatives are responsible for supporting the YRPC Executive Cabinet in reaching students from all regions and all schools in the YRDSB, especially historically underrepresented schools at YRPC General Assemblies.
As we start our term, we are also in the process of collecting student input and having conversations with mentors on the school board to better understand student priorities for this year.
In all, August has been an exciting month as we transition into our new roles. We feel utmost privileged to have our voices and the voices of the 128,000 students in the YRDSB be brought to the table. Thank you again to all our trustee mentors, members of the Trustee Services team, Superintendent T. Sterling and other staff members for your support thus far.
2020-21 School Year
- October 21, 2021 (PDF)
2019-20 School Year
- September 13, 2019
- October 2, 2019
- November 5, 2019
- December 2, 2019 (Invocation)
- December 10, 2019
- February 4, 2020
- March 3, 2020
- April 7, 2020
- May 5, 2020
- June 2, 2020
- June 30, 2020
2017-18 School Year
2016-17 School Year
- September 6
- October 6
- November 1
- December 13
- February 13
- Statement - Febuary 13
- What it means to be a Student Trustee (PPT) - March 23
2015-16 School Year
2013-14 School Year
York Region Presidents' Council (YRPC)
The current student trustees are always available to address your concerns and/or answer your questions. Please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have questions about Board policies and/or procedures or student trustee participation in Board and/or Committee meetings, you can contact:
Follow the Student Trustees on Instagram @yrdsbstudents.