We believe it takes a village to raise a child and we need many villages across the region to help us raise all the children in WRDSB.

Student achievement and well-being will not improve without effective partnerships and engagement. Our vision places schools at the heart of their local communities, with community partners providing key supports that enable schools to focus on educating students. It’s a partnership where school communities enjoy a shared sense of investment and ownership within their local school neighbourhoods.

For this to be effective, these partnerships need to occur at all levels within the community:

  • With municipal and provincial governments
  • With local community non-governmental organizations, agencies or coalitions

Neighbourhood Schools

The WRDSB is located across many communities throughout Waterloo Region. Dr. Debbie Pushor says in her work, “Educators are visitors to the landscapes of schools”. This means as a public education system, we must work with the surrounding communities to meet the local needs, while striving towards our strategic directions and operational goals.

This allows us to create conditions that reimagine and, in some ways, return to the idea of the “neighbourhood school”. A school that becomes a hub for the community. These conditions allow staff to stay focused on the educational needs of students while working effectively with community partners to provide the comprehensive support students need.

For example, many staff spend their personal and professional time helping students support students’ needs with food and clothing. This can put a strain on school staff, who, while prioritizing teaching, are also focusing on meeting the basic needs of the students they support.

We have not always worked effectively with community partners to meet these needs. To address this, we will invest in partnerships that benefit staff and students.

Building Partnerships

As a school board, we need to ensure that we facilitate partnerships systematically and effectively so that school staff have the comprehensive support and resources necessary. This further builds relationships and a level of transparency across the community as we share the goal of supporting all students to reach their highest potential.

The plan allows us to focus on our core business of educating students while nurturing and facilitating collaboration through partnerships. This will allow us to meet the needs of students that impact their ability to learn. In this way, we are working from the philosophy and belief that “it takes a village to raise a child”; a village in which each of us plays an important role.

Tracking Our Progress

We plan to facilitate these partnerships through regional initiatives that help us address priority areas outlined in the Board Improvement Equity Plan (BIEP). The priority areas and indicators are listed below:


Every student will succeed academically

We will use the following indicators to track our progress:

  • Numeracy
  • Literacy
    • Measured by the percentage of students reading by the end of Grade 2
  • Improved graduation rates

Mental Health Well-being and Engagement

Every student and staff member will learn and work in environments that engage them and support their mental health and well-being

We will use the following indicators to track our progress:

  • Address housing, student safety, food and clothing insecurity
  • Joy
  • Inclusion & Belonging

Pathways and transitions

Every student is prepared for the next step in their elementary and secondary education and their post-secondary pathway.

We will use the following indicators to track our progress:

  • Job creation
  • Adult Literacy
  • Pathways