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Innovative Exemplary Practice Awards

Award Winners 

The Toronto Catholic District School Board is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 - 2022 Innovative Exemplary Practice Awards​

Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to all the participants for their nomination. 

Innovative Exemplary Practice Awards

The pursuit of excellence and innovation within our Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) learning communities has played an integral role in our system's growth. Our board's mission to educate "students to grow in grace and knowledge and to lead lives of faith, hope and charity" is attained through the efforts of a motivated staff, fully engaged stakeholders, and innovative programs.

The formal recognition of these collective efforts is a longstanding tradition. It remains our pleasure, therefore, to invite all of our school communities to participate in the TCDSB Innovative Exemplary Practice Award.

Each year, TCDSB proudly acknowledges innovative group programs and special projects at local schools with the TCDSB Innovative Exemplary Practice Award. Each Exemplary Innovative Practice application will be submitted by the Principal of the school. Submissions will be reviewed by a committee and each winning school will be the recipient of a $750 award, which will be directed to sustaining the project.

In addition, the successful projects developed by groups of staff members will receive recognition for their contributions at an awards evening held in the spring at the Catholic Education Centre. To encourage further implementation, a project description and video testimonial will also be uploaded on a new Innovation Hub portal link.

In order to encourage a diverse range of project submissions, we are pleased to present a streamlined list of categories that will guide the application/recognition process. It is our belief that the promotion of targeted diverse local practices will validate the impressive efforts of our talented employees and act as a springboard for the creation of larger scale exemplary practices. It is in building and celebrating these local emerging practices that we will be able to create a network of progressive and collaborative leaders who will sustain our system's impressive growth.

This year, one school-based practice will be acknowledged in each of the following areas:

  • Innovative 21C informed differentiated instructional classroom practices which place a clear emphasis on high levels of achievement in literacy and numeracy
  • Innovative teacher inquiry and networking practices which foster a culture of high expectations and support the belief that all students can learn, progress and achieve
  • Innovative Catholic leadership practices which reflect an authentic sensitivity to the issues that impact student learning and well-being.
  • Innovative student leadership initiatives which foster the development of a wide range of transferrable skills such as teamwork, advocacy and global citizenship.
  • Innovative administrative leadership practices which promote a culture of leadership development and strong leadership succession.
  • Innovative mental health initiatives that incorporate student voice into the teaching/learning journey.
  • Innovative special needs student supports that meet the learning needs, interests and aspirations of all students.
  • Innovative parent engagement initiatives that integrate the role of home, parish, school and community.
  • Innovative community partnerships that facilitate opportunities for experiential learning.
  • Innovative Safe School practices/interventions designed to sustain positive student behavior in a safe, inclusive and healthy learning environment.
  • Innovative school-wide practices/interventions designed to celebrate and promote diversity, equitable outcomes and inclusion in the learning environment, and/or dismantle racism and oppression.

Sharing these categories with all stakeholders early will encourage implementation and simultaneously assist all of us in facilitating the required planning and reflection during a time of transition. Please video tape promising practices over the course of their implementation as the work of our award winners (video and project profiles) will be showcased on this site.

All submissions must follow the established criteria:

  • Exemplify an innovative emerging approach that addresses one of the above-noted areas. The project's alignment with the Ontario Curriculum and our Catholic Graduate Expectations will also be considered;
  • Align with the strategic directions articulated in the Multi-Year Strategic Plan;
  • Infuse the principles of equity and inclusion.;
  • Are developed and implemented by a group of staff members;
  • Are rooted in current theory and research and translate into best educational practices;
  • Will be sustained in the next school year;
  • Include a communication plan for parents and the community at large;
  • Have the ability to be replicated at other schools;
  • Are accompanied by a portfolio of artifacts related to the practice including, but not limited to, student work, photographs, videos and documents.

Please note that more than one submission per school will be accepted. However, submissions that are combined with other schools should only be submitted as a single project. Please identify all participating schools on the collective submission; however, one award will be given.

Business Leadership Award

The Toronto Catholic District School Board shall present a Business Leadership Award to an outstanding TCDSB Business Leader who has demonstrated a strong commitment to their Catholic leadership role and who has distinguished themselves in their career or accomplishments. Recipients are chosen from diverse areas of expertise.

Please provide the following documentation:

    1. Detailed description of the nominee’s strong commitment their Catholic Leadership role.
    2. Letter of support from current or former TCDSB colleague.
    3. Letter of support from a member of the Catholic community or organization (e.g. a Catholic charity, NGO, university/school, student, parent, religious order, etc.).
    4. List of awards or honours received/bestowed upon the nominee.
    5. Biography of nominee.

The deadline to submit the Business Leadership Award nomination form is March 4, 2022.

Dr. Jim Saraco Staff Leadership Award

The recipient of this award will be a current employee of the TCDSB who shares his/her talents and demonstrates the foundational principles for this award in supporting the TCDSB community, including:

  • Leadership traits of Dr. Jim Saraco: kindness, patience, stewardship of relationships and resources;
  • Core values of Dr. Jim Saraco: respect for all, compassion and respect for the leadership that each staff member brings to the organization;
  • The TCDSB vision of witness, faith, innovation and action which Dr. Jim Saraco embodied. 

Any current TCDSB employee can nominate another current TCDSB employee. 

To nominate a current TCDSB employee for this award: 

  1. TCDSB employee completes the nomination form and writes one letter of support for the nominee.
  2. Another TCDSB staff member or member of the greater Catholic community writes a letter of support for the nominee.
  3. The TCDSB employee who is nominating someone uploads all documents to the link provided at the bottom of the nomination form.
The deadline to submit the Dr. Jim Saraco Staff Leadership Award nomination form​ and all supporting letters is 4:00 p.m. on March 4, 2022.