June 20, 2017

We Rise Together Accountability Report sets 2017-18 actions, measurement to support Black male students

​Peel District School Board trustees have approved the We Rise Together Accountability Report​, the board's year one action plan to support Black male students in the 2017-18 school year. The plan includes mandatory anti-Black racism and bias awareness training, the creation of an advisory council, an annual parent engagement event, resources to support Black mentorship programs in schools, and ongoing research to measure Black student achievement.

"The significant feedback we received over the past year through our two community forums and inaugural student leadership conference have helped shape the board's actions as we begin to implement this important work in the fall," says Poleen Grewal, superintendent of curriculum and instruction. "Using the findings of the ongoing research, the board will continue to take action and do what needs to be done to ensure our Black male students can truly rise."  

Board staff will work with York University professor Dr. Carl James to measure Black male student achievement through ongoing, in-depth qualitative and quantitative research with students and their schools. In November 2016, Peel trustees approved a plan to conduct a student census, which would include the collection of race-based data, beginning December 2018. This data is expected to be available in early 2019.

The year one action plan for 2017-18 is organized into the four We Rise Together focus areas:

Engage with the community
  • Create a We Rise Together advisory council in September 2017 consisting of Black Peel parents, community members and board representatives who will meet at least four times a year to gather related feedback and advice, and provide updates.
  • Host an annual parent engagement session for Black Peel families led by Black Peel educators, the date and time for which will be established collaboratively with the We Rise Together Advisory Council in fall 2017.
Deliver anti-Black racism and bias awareness professional development
  • Deliver mandatory anti-Black racism and bias awareness professional development training through an external facilitator for Peel's senior administration, trustees, school administrators, managers and supervisors, curriculum coordinators, instructional coordinators, special education resource teachers, social workers and psychology staff. Training will begin in fall 2017 and continue throughout the academic year.
Integrate the experiences of Black Canadians into curriculum
  • Develop the lesson plans and resources with Peel Black educators and community experts to embed the experiences of Black Canadians into the grade 10 mandatory History curriculum and the open course in Grade 11 on Black Studies for implementation in the 2018-19 school year.
  • All central instructional coordinators will embed the Black experience and history into their specific curriculum areas through a comprehensive kindergarten to grade 12 perspective.  This will begin in September 2017 and continue throughout the academic year.
  • A further development of Black History Month resources and texts by curriculum and instruction support services staff will be shared in all Peel schools. This will begin in September 2017 and continue throughout the year.
Inspire Black student leadership and engagement
  • Host annual We Rise Together Leadership Conference for Black male students in middle and secondary schools. The conference will take place over the course of two days in winter 2018.
  • Host a symposium for Peel educators that are interested in developing Black mentorship programs at the school level and provide a resource kit to schools to organize and develop mentorship programs with Black community leaders for Black male students. This symposium will take place in October 2017.
The board will host a community event at the HJA Brown Education Centre on Sept. 23, 2017, to share the We Rise Together Accountability Report and answer questions. More information will be shared in the fall.

We Rise Together: The Peel District School Board Action Plan to Support Black Male Students was originally released in October 2016 to identify, understand, minimize and eliminate the marginalization experienced by Black males in Peel board schools.

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Media Contact: Poleen Grewal, Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Support Services, 905-890-1010 ext. 2559, poleen.grewal@peelsb.com

Reference: Ryan Reyes, Manager of Community Relations, 905-890-1010 ext. 2652, ryan.reyes@peelsb.com

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