Director's Action Plan

As a school board, our priorities are set out in the Board of Trustees’ Multi-Year Strategic Plan. To achieve those priorities, the Director’s Action Plan sets out five goals that align with the strategic plan and our Board’s Mission, Vision and Values.

The Director’s Action Plan goals focus on raising the achievement of students who are underserved and underperforming. This is in line with concepts in the Ministry of Education’s Learning for All, which outlines that “assistance targeted at a specific group can help everyone.” When we focus on raising the achievement and well-being of students who are underserved and underperforming, all students benefit.

To raise the achievement and well-being of students who are underserved and underperforming, we are inspired and committed to:

    Foster Well-Being and Mental Health

    • Goal: Build safe, healthy and inclusive learning and working environments where all feel they matter and belong.

    Champion Equity and Inclusivity

    • Goal: Build Understanding of Anti-Oppression, Culturally Relevant and Responsive Pedagogy and the Ongoing Impact of Colonialism.

    Provide Effective Instruction and Assessment

    • Goal: Provide effective instruction and assessment that reflect students' identities, lived experiences, strengths, needs and interests.

    Build Collaborative Relationships 

    • Goal: Build trust and collaborative relationships with students, families and staff by developing shared solutions through respectful communication and responsive actions.

    Empower Ethical Leadership

    • Goal: Build a shared understanding of Ethical Leadership that elevates student, staff, family and community voice.
    DAP 2.0 Overview Graphic
    The Director's Action Plan 2.0 Graphic

    System Actions

    High Level Articulation of supports, professional learning and resources that schools and departments can access to support their improvement work.

    1. Provide learning opportunities and resources to prioritize and support the mental health and well-being of students and staff by focusing on:
      • The ABCs of Mental Health (Acknowledge, Bridge, Connection). 
      • Understanding and challenging the oppressive ideologies which create barriers to mental health for racialized and marginalized students.
      • The Development of a Student Mental Health and Addictions Strategy.
    2. Partner with identity-specific mental health organizations to develop supports which respond to the needs of racialized students.
    3. Enhance the Board's organizational culture by developing, implementing, and promoting COVID-19, anti-racist, and identity-specific mental health and well-being supports.

    1. Provide learning for all stakeholders about anti-racism, anti-oppression and identity-affirming practices, in order to intentionally disrupt racist and hateful acts, including: 
    2. Develop and implement a clear system protocol for responding effectively to acts of hate that support students, families and communities.
    3. Implement the Dismantling Anti-Black Racism Strategy. 

    1. Provide differentiated learning and resources to educators in prioritizing the voices of students who are underserved, drawing upon knowledge of students’ identities and lived experiences to plan, teach and assess in environments that are equitable and engaging through:
      • Math Learning 
      • Literacy Learning
      • Digital Literacy Learning
      • Equity in Assessment Learning
      • ELL and Newcomer Learning
    2. Develop and implement De-Streaming starting with Grade 9 Math.

    1. Develop resources and learning opportunities to support schools and departments with inclusive approaches for engaging community.
    2. Identify and remove barriers to engaging families and communities that are marginalized (e.g., access to technology, language barriers).

    1. Provide learning opportunities to build the competency and consciousness of leaders by examining the working definition of ethical leadership and/or exploring ethical practices through the use of the YRDSB Leadership Framework 
    2. Develop the YRDSB Leadership Framework for Corporate Management and Professional Staff (CMPS), as well as other resources, to strengthen the ethical culture of the organization.

    School Actions

    What Have We Done?

    1. Engage in the ABCs of Mental Health professional learning to understand and challenge the oppressive ideologies which create barriers to mental health for racialized and marginalized students.
      • Implement the 3 part ABCs of Mental Health Lesson series for K-12 students.
    2. Engage in partnerships with the expanded list of board-identified childrens’ mental health organizations who offer linguistically, culturally, and racially relevant and responsive services.
    3. Build positive relationships among staff to promote feelings of mattering and belonging. 

    1. Develop supportive partnerships with students, families and community members that prioritize the creation of identity-affirming spaces that are inclusive of all communities, free of racism and hate.
    2. Critically review curriculum implementation/ long range plans/ courses of study and learning materials (e.g., using the Text Selection Tool) to:
      • remove learning materials that are racist, colonial, or oppressive in their representation and inclusion of people, cultures and worldviews
      • select and supplement resources that are culturally reflective and responsive so that all students see their true selves, the contributions of their communities, and the diversity of society reflected in what and how they are learning

    1. Use an anti-oppressive framework to design culturally responsive and identity-affirming learning environments, experiences and assessment that are: 
      • focused on excellence of all students;
      • reflective of the prior knowledge, lived experiences and multiple ways of knowing;
      • supportive of instructional entry points for learning;
      • grounded in reciprocal and collaborative partnerships with educators, students and families; and 
      • flexible, relevant and authentic.

    1. Engage in ongoing communication and relationship building with students, families and staff in order to understand and centre the needs, interests and lived experiences of marginalized students, staff, families and communities within planning and decision making.
    2. Identify and remove barriers to engaging students, families and communities that are marginalized (e.g., access to technology, language barriers). 

    1. Use the actions for leaders in the YRDSB Leadership Framework to frame/support open discussions about ethical practices in support of students and families.

    Classroom and Workplace Monitoring

    What is Changing in Staff Knowledge, Skills, Attitudes, Beliefs, Practice as a result of what we’ve done?

    Staff Beliefs/Mindset:

    • Validate the whole child through acknowledging and honoring the student’s social identities as a means to support student mental health and well-being. 

    Increased Knowledge/ Understanding of:

    • How environment and circumstance can impact students’ mental health. 
    • Universal approaches do not necessarily yield universal impact.
    • The impact of social location on personal mental health and well-being. 
    • The resources and supports available to respond to and promote staff mental health and well-being at the individual and team level. 

    Staff Behaviours:

    • Devote intentional time during the instructional day to support student mental health and well-being through the use of Positive Mental Health Daily Activities
    • Implement practices and attitudes from the Caring Communities Resource (e.g., 5 Minute Chats With Individual Students, The 1st 10 Days and Beyond, and Understanding Cultural Safety - Guiding Considerations) that create a supportive experience for students as they transition back to school and through the year
    • Develop ongoing opportunities for student voice and student leadership at the classroom and school levels
    • Use inclusive and respectful language when communicating among staff members
    • Engage all staff members in ways that honour their diverse backgrounds and experiences
    • Increase in the number of employees accessing staff wellness resources (e.g., Staff Well-Being Sharepoint site, Staff Well-Being Training Suite modules, wellness webinars, and EFAP)
    • Schools and workplaces committing to implement the Healthy School and Workplace Action Guide 2020-2021 to promote personal and team well-being and positive relationships

    Staff Beliefs/Mindset:

    • The importance of listening to and acting upon student interests and expressed needs to inform decision-making regarding policy, programs, practices and procedures

    Increased Knowledge/ Understanding of:

    • How power, privilege, and bias operate to advantage some students and disadvantage others
    • How social identity and location are constructed and impact school and system practices
    • Marginalization and its impact, both historically and currently
    • The ongoing impact of colonialism on Indigenous communities

    Staff Behaviours:

    • Select/use texts and learning resources that represent a diversity of social identities, experiences and world views in identity affirming ways that do not limit choices of possible selves
    • Co-construct learning, knowledge and spaces that affirm students’ identities and incorporate multiple ways of knowing
    • Build learning environments that encourage students to question existing power dynamics and take action against oppression and discriminatory elements in society
    • Name and respond effectively to acts of harm and incidents of identity-based hate, discrimination or bullying
    • Engage in partnership with students and families to incorporate and value multiple community knowledges that decenter euro-centric ways of knowing and doing
    • Analyze data (including student and community voice) using an anti-racist and anti-oppressive framework to actively seek information about students who have been marginalized in order to inform program planning and instructional practice

    Staff Beliefs/ Mindset:

    • See all students as capable and hold high expectations for all students, particularly those who are underserved and/or underperforming.

    Increased Knowledge/ Understanding of:

    • The Importance of developing deep knowledge of learners to inform responsive assessment, planning and instruction
    • Culturally Responsive and Relevant Practices
    • Continuums to support student development of concepts and skills, and to help understand where students are as learners and where they need to go next (e.g., ESL/ELD STEP continua, math continuums, landscapes, and/or trajectories, developmental reading assessments).

    Staff Behaviours:

    • Educators reflect on the ways in which social identities, lived experiences, power and privilege, biases and assumptions intersect with planning, instruction and assessment and seek to de-centre dominant perspectives
    • Cultivate students’ mindsets that promote risk-taking, build sustained engagement in deep learning, and value mistakes as learning opportunities
    • Co-construct learning opportunities that involve student collaboration and voice, invite choice, and reflect the diverse identities, strengths, needs and interests of students
    • Co-construct learning opportunities that are innovative, experiential, reflective of and connected to the communities from which students come and the diversity of Canadian society.
    • Co-construct learning so that problem solving, inquiry and student agency are central to the development of fundamental concepts and skills
    • Differentiate learning and provide multiple entry points in order to ensure all students have access to learning
    • Increased use of effective questioning, accountable/ equitable talk, prompting, and feedback as instructional strategies
    • Use observations, conversations, and products/representations to document evidence of learning over time and understand students as learners 
    • Engage students in the assessment and learning processes through co-constructing success criteria, self-assessment, and providing feedback to their peers

    Staff Beliefs/Mindset:

    • Honour and leverage the expertise of families and communities within school and department planning

    Increased Knowledge/ Understanding of:

    • How their social locations (e.g., social identities, power and privilege) impact building authentic relationships, and actively work to change the way they communicate with students, staff, families and communities who are marginalized

    Staff Behaviours:

    • Build safe and welcoming environments which invite students, staff, families and communities that are marginalized to ask questions, engage in dialogue and discourse, and co-construct shared understandings (e.g., facilitating conversations about mathematics and literacy learning, actively soliciting input, feedback, and concerns, creating dialogue around whose voices are heard and not heard or silenced)
    • Gather input from students, staff, families and communities that are marginalized before and when making decisions to inform the direction of the system, department and/or schools
    • Intentionally ensure students, staff, families and community have ongoing, equitable access to information needed to guide planning and decision making (e.g., pathways planning; school, department, and system goals and initiatives; documents and resources in accessible languages and formats)
    • Respond proactively to structures and concerns that perpetuate marginalization by: using active listening; acknowledging and learning from mistakes; integrating critical feedback into future planning, practices, interactions, products and services; and being accountable to stakeholders by meeting timelines and keeping commitments
    • Develop community partnerships with culturally relevant agencies and organizations, religious institutions, etc.

    Staff Beliefs/Mindset:

    • The importance of self-awareness, self-reflection, and self-regulation for effective ethical leadership.

    Increased Knowledge/ Understanding of:

    • How social identity, personal assumptions, and biases influence personal leadership.
    • The impact of anti-oppression and personal biases on students, families and staff 

    Staff Behaviours:

    • Model the importance of engaging in actions and communication that develop trust. 
    • Are highly visible and accessible to family and community members to understand their unique strengths and needs.
    • Build collaborative, professional, and productive relationships with key stakeholders. 
    • Create school and workplace procedures, practices and spaces that intentionally engage families, guardians, communities and Elders to increase the voice of marginalized communities