It is a privilege to have been selected as the Interim Director of Education of the Peel District School Board at such an important time our children's education and in the school board's history.
It is my goal that by working together – in classrooms, departments, communities and in the Boardroom – we can create an education system where every person knows they matter, every experience is honoured, and your identity does not dictate your experience in school or your outcome.
I look forward to working with Bruce Rodrigues in his capacity as Supervisor for the Peel board.
Let's ensure all of our schools and classrooms are places where every student is respected, inspired and engaged in their learning and has the confidence to pursue their dreams. It is fair to say we have significant work to do, both individually and collectively, to achieve that vision.
Anti-Black racism, Islamophobia, anti-Indigenous racism, anti-Semitism, ableism, homophobia and transphobia and all forms of discrimination and oppression need to be understood, and ultimately uprooted in our schools and communities.
The Ministry Directives
provide a starting point for the urgent and important changes that we must undertake to be more responsive and to eliminate the barriers faced by some of our students, staff and communities. I don't have all the answers, so I have sincerely appreciated hearing from many staff throughout the board and members of the community who share a similar commitment and who want to be part of improving the Peel board.
You have my commitment that I will do everything I can to ensure changes have positive, long-term impacts for all students, families and the community, particularly members of Black, African and Caribbean communities, and others who have felt excluded and have been underserved. To do this we must show joint determination to dismantle racism, and the willingness to demonstrate care, responsibility and humility.
This approach to our relationships will also help us to navigate life during the pandemic. 2020 has been a year of tremendous challenge and change for us all in different ways. As you know from the various messages you have received, Peel teams have been planning for the safest possible reopening of our schools. Staff is working closely with Peel Public Health, as well as unions and associations, to make informed, evidence-based decisions in alignment with the directions from the Ministry of Education. We will work with staff, families, students and community partners to rebuild our sense of community after an extended time apart.
As we enter this new school year, we are focusing on health and well-being, respectful relationships and our commitment to equity. There is no limit to what we can achieve collectively if we have the courage to listen, learn and act with an open mind and heart.
Interim Director of Education