Dear families, We are so excited to be welcoming our students, staff and families back to school for the 2022-2023 school year. For most students, the school year will start on Wednesday, September 7, 2022. We know you have many questions in advance of the start of the school year. Health and SafetyThe health and safety of our students, staff and families remains our first priority, and we will continue to follow the direction and guidance of the Government of Ontario and York Region Public Health.
Dear Families,As we reach the conclusion of the 2021-2022 school year, we wish to thank all our staff members, students and their families for your continued dedication and support through another challenging year. Our students have benefited from your caring and compassionate approach. This has been another example of the importance and strength in the partnership our local schools have with the families and community they serve.
As a school board, we remain strongly committed to creating working and learning environments where all students and staff can bring their full identities, feel welcome and valued, and work and learn in an environment that enables them to be successful. We know that our students are more likely to learn, engage and succeed in school when they know and feel that they matter and belong. This is particularly poignant in June when we recognize and celebrate the history and contributions of our 2SLGBTQI+ community.
It is with heavy hearts that we share the sad news that, over the weekend, Student Trustee Munira Chakera, passed away as a result of a motor vehicle collision. We share our deepest condolences with her family, friends and all those affected by the tragedy. Munira’s leadership and positive presence was felt by many at her school at Stouffville District Secondary School and throughout the region and the grief and sense of loss will affect many.
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.
Last week, our Board celebrated an important step forward in our work to dismantle anti-Black racism. Our Dismantling Anti-Black Racism team launched our Centre for Black Student Excellence.
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 today to announce that at the end of my contract, on January 13, 2023, I will be retiring. It has been my honour and privilege to serve the students, families, staff and community members of York Region District School Board as Director of Education since January 2018. I am announcing this now to provide as much time as possible for the Board to engage in a new Director search.
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.
At the February 9, 2022 Board meeting, trustees voted to rename the former Sir John A. Macdonald P.S. to Nokiidaa P.S.