Dear families,I hope that this communication finds your family healthy and safe as we continue to be challenged with the pandemic. We have received notice from the Ontario Ministry of Education that following the winter break, all Ontario schools will be closed to studentson January 3 and 4, 2022. During this period, students will not participate in face-to-face or online learning. Both face-to-face and remote learning will commence on January 5, 2022.
Dear families, As we go into the winter break, we want to take this opportunity to thank you for your partnership over the first half of the school year. We know this year, our second year in a pandemic, has created challenges for families and we appreciate your collaboration to ensure the continuity of learning for our students. We also want to share some important reminders with families:
Dear Families,We are very pleased to share that we have received approval from York Region Public Health to return to a more traditional pre-pandemic secondary timetabling. This means students will return to participating in four 75 minute course periods each day compared to the current modified semester system with two 150 minute course periods per day alternating weekly.
Dear families, We are writing to share some important updates with you.Inclement Weather Days As we enter the colder months, we wanted to inform families that similar to last school year, we have made the decision to close schools to students when an inclement weather day is declared and school transportation is cancelled. Please do not send your child to school when an inclement weather day is declared.
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.
Dear families, It has been a joy to welcome our students back to school. We have missed them, and whether they are joining their classrooms in person or remotely, we are so happy to see them and hope they have had a positive start to the school year.
We are deeply saddened by the news that again, unmarked graves have been found at the site of a former residential school in Canada. The remains of 751 people, mainly Indigenous children, have been identified at the site of Marieval Residential School in Saskatchewan. This is an ongoing reminder of the devastating legacy of residential schools in our country, and highlights our need to continue to address the ongoing trauma that Indigenous students, families, staff and communities face.
Yesterday, we were heartbroken to hear of a Muslim family that was targeted with a vehicle in London, Ontario. Our deepest condolences go to the family and all those grieving this act of terrorism and hate.
Over the weekend, we were heartbroken to see the news of the discovery of a mass grave of 215 children at the former residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia. This is a devastating reminder of not only the tragic legacy of residential schools in our country, but our need to continue to address the ongoing trauma that Indigenous students, families, staff and communities face. Our Director’s Action Plan commits us to interrogate the ongoing impact of colonialism, and Residential Schools were a dehumanizing embodiment of the Canadian colonial project.
Sadly, York Region District School Board has been subject to hate mail. It comes in different forms: email, social media and their messaging platforms and, sometimes, through traditional mail. Approximately four years ago, we started receiving hate mail that contained anti-Black racism and antisemitism. While no physical threats were contained in the messages, the level of racism was disturbing and we contacted York Regional Police (YRP), who opened an investigation.