In spring 2018, the Waterloo Region District School Board held a Town Hall event, hosted in-person focus groups and launched a Family survey to gather feedback. All of these events were designed to ensure families and students of diverse backgrounds and abilities could participate in activities and engage with the content. We know that our community expects, and deserves, to be an active participant as we implement our strategic plan and this provided a chance to check in with our community and ensure we are on the right track.

The conclusions drawn from this feedback has been summarized in the Insights and Action Report: 2018 Director’s Town Hall & Community Engagement. Three clear themes emerged when we heard from these stakeholders firsthand.

First, supporting the whole child is crucial. Supporting not only students’ academic skills, but also their life, social and emotional skills contribute to their overall mental and physical wellbeing, increasing their ability to succeed in the world after graduation.

Second, it’s important to recognize that every student is unique. Families and students value schools where educators and staff understand each and every student is an individual and build on their unique needs, interests, strengths and lived experience.

Finally, relationships and equity are foundational to the success of WRDSB students. We must strive to build relationships with all our students and foster a sense of belonging where every individual feels safe, seen and celebrated.