Our hearts are heavy following the distressing incident of the deadly anti-Black racism in Buffalo, New York, that resulted in 10 people murdered and three more wounded. The individual who committed this heinous act did so fueled by anti-Black and antisemitic hate. This incident and other incidents of anti-Black racism have a deep and profound effect on members of York Region District School Board particularly on Black students, staff and community members.
We want to acknowledge the deeply disturbing recent incidents of antisemitism, homophobia and anti-Black racist vandalism in our community and in our schools. Of particular concern is the increase in reports of antisemitic graffiti and vandalism. Let us be clear; antisemitism, anti-Black racism and racism or hatred of any kind will not be tolerated at our Board. These incidents cause hurt and harm to our students, staff, families and community partners. Clearly there is more work to be done, and we remain deeply committed to doing that work.
I am writing to inform you that Director of Education Louise Sirisko will be retiring at the end of her contract in January 2023.
Our hearts break with the York Region community and the world as we witness the horrific and tragic events unfold in Ukraine. It is important to acknowledge that this war is deeply affecting YRDSB students, staff, families and communities. Our thoughts go out to all those affected.
Last Friday and earlier this week, we were horrified and disappointed that three of our schools in Newmarket were targeted for anti-Black, antisemitic and homophobic vandalism. These actions are unacceptable and will not be tolerated in any of our schools or workplaces.
At the February 9, 2022 Board meeting, trustees voted to rename the former Sir John A. Macdonald P.S. to Nokiidaa P.S.
At a Special Board Meeting held January 20, 2022, the Board of Trustees passed a motion to authorize the Chair to send the following:
It is my honour to serve as Chair of the Board of Trustees for 2022. I want to thank my colleagues for their trust and confidence. There has never been a more important time than now to build relationships with students and their families. With all we've gone through these past years, this is the time to develop connections and make a difference. I’d like to thank and welcome new Vice-Chair Ron Lynn. I look forward to working with him.
The York Region District School Board of Trustees is committed to supporting student success through our strategic priorities and management of our sole employee, the Director of Education. Our performance review process and evaluation criteria for the Director is publicly posted to ensure transparency and accountability to our communities.
This year on September 30, in addition to acknowledging Orange Shirt Day, we mark the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation - a day to reflect on the lasting legacies of residential schools.