TDSB Safety release May 20

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Read the full report and recommendations:

TBSB Recommends Strong Measures to Support Students and School Safety
Board responds to the School Community Safety Advisory Panel’s report

May 20, 2008, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB)’s Leadership Action Team (LAT) announced a groundbreaking plan to make our schools safer, fairer and more caring.

The LAT’s recommendations are in response to the TDSB-commissioned report by the School Community Safety Advisory Panel (SCSAP) released on January 10, 2008.

“We said we would listen and we would act. This is exactly what we have done and will continue to do with even more initiatives to support student success and safety in our schools,” said Gerry Connelly, Director of Education for the TDSB. “Our plan provides the framework to move our Board forward to make our schools safer, enhance our culture of trust and openness, and improve our accountability and reporting process.”

The SCSAP report made recommendations designed to create safer school environments for all students, and to improve success for our most marginalized and vulnerable students. The TDSB has taken action over the last five months and made measurable progress on many of the issues identified in the report, resulting in positive changes for schools and communities since the death of Jordan Manners one year ago.

The LAT carried out an exhaustive review of every program and initiative currently in place to address the needs identified in the Panel’s report. The Team sought input not only from educators and TDSB staff, but a range of experts, community members, legislators and others. The Team considered creative and innovative ways to partner with others to provide the support our students need, access new funding from the government, and explore new avenues of cooperation with community partners and others.

The Leadership Action Team identified major themes and actions that could be taken to affect real change in each area. Those six theme areas are: equity; gender-based violence; partnerships/integrated services; support for marginalized youth; silence; and safety.

The LAT’s theme-based recommendations include new programs, services and initiatives to support students, staff training and new positions, new policies and procedures, and the integration of programs and services.

“We are committed to working together with the Province to discuss new opportunities, and we will apply for funds under the Ministry of Education’s new Urban and Priority High Schools Grant and Student Support Leadership Initiative to boost direct support to our students and schools,” said John Campbell, Chair of the TDSB.

In our efforts to find solutions for additional funding and policy changes, the Board will engage all levels of government and seek further collaboration with other agencies to help reach the shared goal of success for all students. The TDSB also looks forward to insight from the Province’s Roots of Youth Violence report due later this fall.

“The LAT’s recommendations tie directly to TDSB’s larger vision and our role in supporting children, youth, families and communities,” said TDSB Trustee Cathy Dandy, Chair of the School Community Safety Workgroup. “As the TDSB, among others, has previously identified, only integrated, wrap-around services can truly address the core needs of our marginalized students. Policy decisions, supported by real dollars, are imperative to ensure resources are in place to help our most vulnerable students succeed in school and in life.”

The LAT report will presented to the Board of Trustees at the regular Board meeting tomorrow, May 21, 2008.

Read the full report and recommendations: 

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