Update on the work of our Human Rights and Equity Advisor
Hello everyone! It is with great pleasure that I share this update with you before our students and their families embark on their summer holiday. I have been working at the school board since March 1st of this year, and I have had the opportunity to speak with many of them, as well as well as the director of education, superintendents, departmental managers, and other school and administrative personnel.
The first step was to undertake a preliminary assessment of the situation to better understand the way things work, the dynamics at play, the administrative realities, the realities on the ground, and the current mindset.
Building on that process, I have been able to establish new practices for internal investigations, the handling of complaints, and communications. Moreover, the concepts of equity and inclusive education have been incorporated into the school board's new governance policies initiated before my arrival.
My first recommendations have focused on the need for a cultural, organizational, and structural paradigm shift. A coaching plan for staff members is being developed and will be implemented gradually. This includes capacity-building sessions on resistance to change and the challenges of dealing with diversity and equity, as well as the implications of equity, such as moving beyond preconceived notions, labels, and value judgments.
As of June 1, a diversity and employment equity working group has been established. The group will be meeting soon to implement new practices for the 2021-2022 school year. The focus will be on establishing, maintaining, and promoting a positive and inclusive workplace that supports diversity, retention, promotion, professional development, and workforce renewal planning. All of this while respecting the rights and values associated with French-language and Catholic schools.
Although the end of the school year is approaching, our work will continue throughout the summer. Several key initiatives are coming up to help us move towards a better future together, including the main measures of our diversity and employment equity plan, the first capacity-building coaching sessions, a mechanism for reporting incidents of racism and discrimination without risk of reprisal, a forum dedicated to equity and inclusive education during PD days, and exchange forums in which staff members, students, parents, community partners and other members of the school community will be invited to participate.
New content will be posted soon on the Board's platforms and its YouTube channel, so make sure to follow us!
I wish you all a wonderful summer filled with serenity, joy, faith, and more!
Until my next update, please know that I am available by email at [email protected].