Toronto Catholic District School Board thanks all the students, staff, parents and members of the community who participated in the sessions and/or provided input.
In June of 2009 the Ministry of Education released the Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy. The aim of the strategy is twofold:
- All students, parents, and other members of the school community are welcomed and respected.
- Every student is supported and inspired to succeed in a culture of high expectations for learning. (Ontario, Ministry of Education, 2009. pg 10)
As a Catholic School Board, we embrace these aims since the concept of equity and inclusion is much honoured within our Catholic faith.
With respect to the Catholic tradition of inclusion, one need only look to the early Church where we learn how St. Paul and others worked to respect different traditions as they created a unified body. St. Paul, writing to the community in Corinth, says: "Now you together are Christ's body; but each of you is a different part of it.” (1 Corinthians 2:27) Later in writing to the Romans, St. Paul touches upon the theme of equity when he writes ‘Our gifts differ according to the grace given us' (Roman's 12:6). From these simple phrases transcribed centuries ago flow our inherited Christian ethos of equity.
Ultimately, our aim through the Equity and Inclusive Education policy and practise is to support an engaging Catholic learning environment so that all students can feel empowered by what they are learning; supported by the teachers and staff from whom they are learning; and welcome in the environment in which they are learning.
Backgrounder on Ontario Education Services Corporation
The OESC has worked in conjunction with the Ontario Catholic School Trustees' Association, the Catholic Principals' Council of Ontario, the Ontario Catholic Supervisory Officers’ Association, the Institute for Catholic Education in the development of the Equity and Inclusive Education Policy Template and the Religious Accommodation Guideline Template. The template was used as a source document in formulating TCDSB's draft policy. Following the approval of the draft policy, an implementation guideline will be developed.