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.
Overnight, we were made aware of a potential alleged threat against Clearmeadow PS in Newmarket. The school immediately notified York Regional Police (YRP) and, with central staff, cooperated with YRP through the course of their investigation. While the investigation was ongoing, as a precautionary measure, the decision was made to close the school to in-person learning for today.
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.