Support for Student and
We’re building a caring and inclusive school community in WRDSB by supporting the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health of all students and staff. When a student’s well-being is supported, they’re able to do their best in the classroom, and the same is true for the staff who serve them. Supporting the mental health and well-being of everyone in our buildings has a direct and positive impact on our core work: fostering the academic success of all students.
The first step to supporting the mental health of students and staff is breaking down the stigma when it comes to open and honest discussions on the topic. jeewan chanicka, director of education, shared about his own journey. In May 2023, during mental health week, Director chanicka shared that while it can sometimes be hard to know when to ask for help, there is always help available.
“There should not be any stigma around this. But the truth is – there is. To do my part and help break the stigma,” said director chanicka. “I wanted to share some snapshots from my own story with you, and share some of the ways that I’ve been able to support my own wellness.”
Students and staff from across WRDSB stood up to share their voices in support and talk about how they support their own mental health as part of the #MyStory series. Whether it’s playing a game of basketball, spending some time baking, or just taking some me-time, there are a whole range of ways that members of the WRDSB community are supporting their mental health and well-being.
Ensuring that our staff have healthy and professional boundaries between work and home is an important part of our commitment and is an investment in positive mental health and the ability to serve and support students.
As part of a strategy to support and encourage all Ontarians in achieving greater work-life balance, the province passed the Working for Workers Act in December 2021. In line with that, WRDSB has developed the Disconnecting from Work Protocol, which sets parameters for employees’ availability and supports a positive shift in our organizational culture. We know that a healthy, family-friendly workforce will make a positive difference for all schools, and all students.
We’re committed to a data and evidence driven approach to supporting student and staff well-being. Like school boards across the province, WRDSB seeks feedback from students about their experiences in school. In fact, the Ministry of Education requires all school boards to conduct voluntary school climate surveys. The results from the surveys help to provide insight into students’ views as well as a gauge of the existing culture within schools.
The Safe, Caring and Inclusive Schools Survey (SCIS) uses the Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI) to learn more about school climate, in particular how students feel about their school experience. The data helps us to determine what is working well, and where work needs to be done to improve a student’s environment.
One tool we’re using to help improve school environments is a new Anonymous Bullying Reporting Tool, available for all students on every school website. Students can use it to anonymously report safety concerns related to bullying for themselves, or on behalf of another student. It is one pathway, among many, available to students to report student safety concerns related to bullying.
Read more about how we’re supporting student and staff well-being: