A Message from the
Chairperson of the
Board of Trustees
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am pleased to celebrate the incredible accomplishments of staff and students throughout 2023 as we continue to work together to implement our multi-year Strategic Plan.
Throughout the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB), we remain focused on our vision of “Celebrating the gifts of each and every student by creating limitless opportunities for them to flourish, grow and become their best selves.”
Our six Strategic Directions continue to guide us as we prioritize:
Support for student and staff well-being
Equitable opportunities and outcomes
Strengthen connections through family and community engagement
Increase student learning through engagement
Collaboration and compassion for transformation
As Chairperson, it has been my pleasure to lead Trustees and Student Trustees as we engage in governance and decision-making to help all WRDSB students reach their full potential. An important part of our work includes providing accountability and transparency for the public we serve. To do this, we will continue to work together with staff, parents and caregivers, and community members to support student achievement and well-being.
This is the first full year of our multi-year Strategic Plan and we are proud to see the growth in all areas of the plan, particularly the positive progress in the areas of literacy and numeracy as demonstrated through the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) assessments. WRDSB staff remain focused on using data-driven evidence to reinforce strategies and provide the support necessary to enable all students to succeed.
An example is the recently launched Math Action Plan to ensure that identity and social location no longer predict student outcomes and all students have an opportunity to thrive in mathematics. This work is already underway and we can see evidence of the impact of these strategies for supporting mathematics and literacy in the EQAO assessment results. WRDSB students are surpassing provincial results in some subject areas, as well as performing at similar levels to their peers across the province. But we know there is more work to do, and staff and schools continue to focus on enhancing strategies to further improve student learning and well-being.
We know that along with mathematics, literacy is a foundational skill for all WRDSB students. It’s our aim to provide this for every student, as demonstrated by our 2022-23 Board Improvement and Equity Plan (BIEP), which is helping us to measure our progress towards having all Grade 2 students achieve a final grade of B- or higher in reading on their final report card. I am proud to say that in the 2022-23 school year, 76% of WRDSB students achieved this level, however, we know our work on literacy is far from over.
Efforts continue across the WRDSB to build educator capacity in implementing structured literacy approaches in their classroom, and to monitor the success of the evidence-based reading practices with students. This past school year, this included support from reading resource teachers at 38 elementary schools across our system. We know we can’t do this work alone, though, and we look forward to the partnerships with community organizations that will allow us to reach further heights in supporting all students to develop a love of reading and writing.
We also know it is important for all WRDSB students to feel a sense of belonging in their school communities in order to learn and support their overall well-being. Together, we continue to promote equitable and inclusive learning opportunities to foster a culture of sovereignty, human rights and equity in the WRDSB.
Students are at the center of all of our decision-making and we continue to work together with parents and caregivers as partners in their education to ensure student success. Throughout the past year, Trustees engaged with students, parents, families and caregivers, staff and the community, listening and responding to feedback.
We remain committed to keeping you informed about our progress and measuring our success. We will issue an annual Report Card on our progress with the Strategic Plan. We also continue to highlight progress through our 2022-23 BIEP which incorporates several performance indicators to measure our progress.
We remain focused on advocating for the constituents we serve on both local and provincial issues, from the funding available to school boards to issues that are important to our communities. We are committed to creating a culture of consultation and transparency with the communities we serve. As such, our process for policy review includes regular feedback opportunities from the community and the live stream of Board Meetings helps to make Board decisions and governance accessible and transparent to all.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to acknowledge Director chanicka, along with Senior Staff, and all WRDSB employees for their continued commitment to keeping students at the center of everything we do. We all play a role in supporting their academic success and well-being. By working together we will continue creating learning environments where all students excel as they become skilled, caring, and compassionate global citizens.
Chairperson of the Board of Trustees