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Equity and Inclusive Education Initiative
March 24, 2010
The OESC Task Group is pleased to provide the template documents for policy and procedural guidelines which will meet the requirements the Ministry of Education Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy 2009 to address the needs of diverse classrooms across the province. The Strategy, supported with Policy/Program Memorandum 119, requires that each school board develop and implement by September 1, 2010 equity and inclusive education policy and guidelines which:
- Respects diversity;
- Promotes inclusive education;
- Identifies and eliminates discriminatory biases and systemic barriers;
- Promotes a sense of belonging;
- Involves the broad community; and
- Meets individual needs.
- Creates and supports a positive school climate that fosters and promotes equity, inclusive education and diversity.
To assist Boards in meeting this requirement, OESC is pleased to include a template policy, a procedural guideline including specific actions for the board and its schools, and a procedural guideline specific to the requirements of Religious Accommodation. These templates have been developed by an experienced writing team which started with the Strategy support documents and materials developed by the Catholic Consortium. Draft documents were reviewed by legal counsel, representatives of the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Task Group.
There is no requirement that Boards use this template material. However, you may wish to use it to compare your present policy and guidelines to ensure that what is currently in place is current, complete and compliant with the requirements of the Strategy and the Ontario Human Rights Code.
To assist boards in the implementation of this policy, OESC supported by the Ministry of Education, is working with Curriculum Services Canada on the production of video support materials to assist with understanding and implementing board policy and in engaging the community in ensuring that our schools are safe, caring and inclusive places for children to grow and learn. It is our goal to have these resources in your hands within the next 4 or 5 months. Additionally, OESC, supported by the Ministry, is offering a one day symposium on implementing the requirements of the Code, the Strategy and P/PM 119 through board policy and procedures on Thursday, June 17, 2010. The symposium will be held at the Holiday Inn Toronto International Airport in Toronto with no registration fee and a travel subsidy for participants. Two trustees and the director or senior administrator responsible for this initiative are invited to participate. Although the program is not final, there will be workshops to look at legal issues led by lawyers for public, Catholic and French language interests. The morning sessions will focus on good practice, including community engagement to develop inclusive schools where diversity is both accepted and respected. More information will be provided as we move toward June.
Finally, with thanks to all who participated in this initiative, we are pleased to provide you with the template materials at no charge to the board.
Chair, OESC Task Group