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On December 15, 1999, the Toronto District School Board approved the following resolution:

(a) That the five Commitments to Policy Implementation which
      support the Equity Foundation Statement be endorsed;
(b) That development of administrative procedures to support the
      Equity Foundation Statement begin.

B.03                         Equity Foundation

Adoption Date: June 23, 1999

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The Toronto District School Board values the contribution of all members of our diverse community of students, staff, parents and community groups to our mission and goals. We believe that equity of opportunity, and equity of access to our programs, services and resources are critical to the achievement of successful outcomes for all those whom we serve, and for those who serve our school system.

The Board recognizes however, that certain groups in our society are treated inequitably because of individual and systemic biases related to race, colour, culture, ethnicity, linguistic origin, disability, socio-economic class, age, ancestry, nationality, place of origin, religion, faith, sex, gender, sexual orientation, family status, and marital status. Similar biases have also impacted on Canada’s aboriginal population. We also acknowledge that such biases exist within our school system.

The Board further recognizes that such inequitable treatment leads to educational, social and career outcomes that do not accurately reflect the abilities, experiences and contributions of our students, our employees, and our parent and community partners. This inequitable treatment limits their future success and prevents them from making a full contribution to society.

The Board is therefore committed to ensuring that fairness, equity, and inclusion are essential principles of our school system and are integrated into all our policies, programs, operations, and practices.

Section 2: Antisexism and Gender Equity

main index

2.1: Board Policies, Guidelines and Practices
2.2. Leadership

2.3. School-Community Partnerships
2.4. Curriculum
2.5. Student Languages
2.6. Student Evaluation, Assessment and Placement
2.7. Guidance
2.8. Employment and Promotion Practices
2.9. Staff Development

2.10. Harassment

The Toronto District School Board mandates that all persons in schools, workplaces and meeting places associated with the Board abide by its commitments to Equity Policy Implementation. This applies to all persons on Board premises, persons working on Board business, either on or off Board premises, and persons involved with Board-sponsored programs at other premises. This includes students, trustees, parents, volunteers, visitors, permit holders, contractors and corporate partners.
  • 2.1. Board Policies, Guidelines and Practices
    The Toronto District School Board has approved an Equity Policy Statement which requires that Antisexism and Gender Equity ideals shall be reflected in all aspects of organizational structures, policies, guidelines, procedures, classroom practices, day-to-day operations and communication practices. The Toronto District School Board policies, guidelines and practices shall ensure that the needs and safety of all students, employees, trustees, parents, volunteers, visitors, permit holders, contractors and partners are addressed. These shall reflect diverse viewpoints, needs and aspirations of community members, particularly women whose voices have traditionally and systemically been marginalized and excluded. This includes aboriginal, racial, ethnocultural, faith, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons, disabled, working class, low income and poor, and other historically disadvantaged groups of women. The Board shall provide an appropriate mechanism to ensure accountability for achieving these goals by:
    • 2.1.1. articulating clearly the Board's commitment to the principles of antisexism and gender equity for Board policies, guidelines, day- to-day operations, protocols and practices;
    • 2.1.2. identifying and eliminating sexism, gender bias and barriers in Board policies, guidelines, day-to-day operations, protocols and practices;
    • 2.1.3. identifying the many diverse sectors within women's communities and other historically disadvantaged groups within the jurisdiction of the Board and involving these communities in partnership activities;
    • 2.1.4. assessing the effectiveness of community consultation and partnership involvement;
    • 2.1.5. establishing accountability processes to document progress and ensure continuous implementation of the Antisexism and Gender Equity Commitments to Equity Policy;
    • 2.1.6. providing resources to provide compensatory education and ensure policy implementation.                                                           Section 2: index

  • 2.2. Leadership
    An informed leadership identifies individual discriminatory attitudes and behaviours as well as systemic inequities and barriers, and demonstrates accountability for their removal with the goal of achieving equity for all irrespective of gender.
    Communication is an integral part of leadership, and includes the ability to listen to equity-seeking groups. All system leaders and decision-makers play a crucial role in identifying and addressing systemic inequities or barriers.
    • 2.2.1. assisting trustees, administrators, staff and student leaders to develop knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours required to implement the Equity Policy in the area of Antisexism and Gender Equity;
    • 2.2.2. ensuring that policy directions, priorities and day-to-day implementation of programs and services are consistent with the aims of Antisexism and Gender Equity;
    • 2.2.3. identifying expectations for those responsible for implementation and incorporating these expectations into the performance-appraisal processes, including the ongoing evaluation of teachers, support staff and administrators, annual plans and year-end reports;
    • 2.2.4. ensuring that educational practices are inclusive and reflect the contributions of diverse groups of girls and women in our communities, and that all forms of stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, sexism and violence against women are challenged and eliminated.                          Section 2: index

  • 2.3. School-Community Partnerships
    Effective school-community partnerships enable representation and active participation from diverse communities and ensure the inclusion of the perspectives, experiences and needs of aboriginal, racial, ethnocultural and faith communities to enhance educational opportunities for all. The Toronto District School Board is committed to ongoing, constructive and open dialogue in partnership with aboriginal, racial, ethnocultural and faith communities to increase cooperation and collaboration among home, school and the community-at-large. The Board shall work to create partnerships which ensure effective participation in the education process by:
    • 2.3.1. identifying and involving representative and inclusive organizations and communities of women within the jurisdiction of the Board;
    • 2.3.2. requesting women's organizations and communities to identify representatives for the purpose of establishing school-community partnerships;
    • 2.3.3. assessing and evaluating the effectiveness of community consultation and partnership involvement and developing guidelines for effective partnership that respect the rights of students in an environment free of commercial intrusion and economic exploitation in accordance with Policy E.06 on External Partnerships;
    • 2.3.4. encouraging School Councils, Home and School Organizations and Parent-Teacher Associations to reflect the range of diverse groups in the communities they represent;
    • 2.3.5. ensuring effective and appropriate communication with community partners in their languages as required;
    • 2.3.6. ensuring access by students, parents and staff to supportive community resources as appropriate for use in TDSB schools.                     Section 2: index

  • 2.4. Curriculum
    Curriculum is defined as the total learning environment, including physical environment, learning materials, pedagogical practices, assessment instruments and co-curricular and extra curricular activities. A curriculum that strives for racial and ethnocultural equity provides a balance of perspectives. The Toronto District School Board acknowledges that inequities have existed in the curriculum; therefore the Board is committed to enabling all students from aboriginal, racial, ethnocultural and faith communities to see themselves reflected in the curriculum. The Board is committed to providing each student with the knowledge, skills attitudes and behaviours needed to live in a complex and diverse world by:
    • 2.4.1. ensuring that principles and practices of antisexism and gender equity permeate the curriculum in all subject areas;
    • 2.4.2. examining and challenging curriculum which has traditionally been male-dominated or which ignores the experiences of women of diverse backgrounds in order to ensure inclusivity;
    • 2.4.3. developing a process to determine whether discriminatory gender biases and violence against women are present in learning materials, programs or practices;
    • 2.4.4. ensuring the review and/or modification of materials which promote stereotyping, the review and modification of programs which promote stereotyping, discrimination or sexism, and the removal or materials or programs which promote hatred and/or violence against women;
    • 2.4.5. providing adequate resources and training to assist all staff in becoming agents of change, to use materials effectively to promote critical thinking skills and to challenge sexism and gender bias;
    • 2.4.6. ensuring that classrooms, resource centres, school libraries, audio-visual collections, computer software and internet sites contain materials and resources which accurately reflect a diversity of women and other historically disadvantaed groups;
    • 2.4.7. developing guidelines to ensure that displays and visual representation in all schools and workplaces of the Toronto District School Board reflect gender diversity and include the contributions of women;
    • 2.4.8. supporting student leadership programs in antisexism education and equity
    • 2.4.9. developing and providing programs to address and support the gender-related needs of female and male students in all curriculum areas, including early intervention programs to encourage female and male students into non-traditional gender roles and work;
      • ensuring that the contributions of groups of women in Canadian and world history and historiography are included accurately in all aspects of the curriculum;
      • ensuring that curriculum materials and learning resources are allocated to challenge sexism, violence against women, hate groups and hate propaganda based on gender and/or any other social identity; developing programs to encourage, promote and support the needs of female students in the fields of mathematics, science, technology and athletics.    Section 2: index

  • 2.5. Student Languages
    Language proficiency is the foundation of academic success. Students from aboriginal, racial, ethnocultural and faith communities come from all language backgrounds. The Toronto District School Board recognizes and affirms the value of students first/indigenous languages while ensuring proficiency in one or both of Canada’s official languages by:
    • 2.5.1. ensuring that students achieve literacy in at least one official language;
    • 2.5.2. providing appropriate classroom support for language learning;
    • 2.5.3. affirming and valuing students' first/indigenous language;
    • 2.5.4. supporting the learning of languages in addition to English and French;
    • 2.5.5. ensuring that students’ diverse cultures are valued and affirmed in such language learning ;
    • 2.5.6. committing to using clear and inclusive language and design that promotes understanding;
    • 2.5.7. ensuring that resources are available to facilitate appropriate communication with students/parents/guardians.                        Section 2: index

  • 2.6. Student Evaluation, Assessment and Placement
    The Toronto District School Board is committed to evaluation, assessment, programming and placement processes which are sensitive to students' aboriginal, racial, ethnocultural and faith backgrounds as well as personal/family experiences by:
    • 2.6.1. identifying, reviewing and changing practices which lead to the disproportionate streaming of students from aboriginal, racial, ethnocultural and faith communities into academic programs which narrow their choices and life opportunities or limit participation in their local community;
    • 2.6.2. ensuring that bias based on aboriginal status, race, ethnicity or faith does not adversely impact on programming, placement and academic decisions and that students, with the support of their parents/guardians (as appropriate), are able to consider and make informed programming, placement and academic decisions;
    • 2.6.3. ensuring that evaluation, assessment, programming and placement decisions meet individual student needs and offer them opportunities to reach their highest potential. This process must consider cultural and linguistic factors, and their interconnections to faith, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, socio-economic factors, disabilities, personal/family experiences, previous education, students’ future expectations and rights to continuity, stability and community belonging;
    • 2.6.4. reevaluating annually placement decisions that are jointly considered by the student/parent/guardian and the school to ensure that placement decisions are consistent with Board policies, are flexible to meet needs and do not limit education and life opportunities.                                                        index

  • 2.7. Guidance
    The Toronto District School Board recognizes that informed counsellors, teachers and staff in counseling roles can help to remove discriminatory barriers for students in the school system and in work-related experiences. The Board shall respond effectively to the needs of students from all aboriginal, racial, ethnocultural and faith communities all by:
    • 2.7.1. providing counseling services that are culturally sensitive, supportive and free of racial or ethnocultural biases;
    • 2.7.2. providing proactive strategies to ensure that students from aboriginal, racial, ethnocultural, and faith communities are not under-estimated on the basis of stereotypical assumptions, and to assure that all students experience personal growth and reach their full potential in academic and life paths;
    • 2.7.3. eliminating discriminatory biases related to students of aboriginal, racial, ethnocultural and faith communities in educational and life planning programs;
    • 2.7.4. encouraging and supporting students of aboriginal, racial, ethnocultural and faith communities and their families in the identification of non-traditional career options;
      • working with students of aboriginal, racial, ethnocultural and faith communities and their families to identify career options that historically have excluded them and help them to choose academic paths that will allow them to reach their full potential and succeed in a traditionally racist society;
    • 2.7.5. ensuring that communication strategies are in place to keep all parents/guardians informed about their children's current educational achievement and progress, including their plans for the future in a language they understand, and including the provision of translations where necessary.
                                                                                                   Section 2: index

  • 2.8. Employment and Promotion Practices
    The Toronto District School Board recognizes that there are barriers to employment which historically have had a discriminatory impact on diverse groups of women .

    The Board is committed to equity for all in hiring and promotion practices. The Board is committed to the development and maintenance of employment and promotion policies, practices and procedures that are designed to employ a workforce which at all levels reflects, understands and responds to a diverse population. The Board will respond to and support this work force and its diverse population by:
    • 2.8.1. ensuring that equitable employment and promotion practices exist;
    • 2.8.2. identifying and eliminating systemic barriers in the employment and promotion system;
    • 2.8.3. ensuring that employment and promotion strategies focus on under-represented communities;
    • 2.8.4. establishing outreach activities and affirmative action strategies (e.g. encouragement, mentoring, training and staff development) that focus on marginalized groups of aboriginal, racial, ethnocultural and faith communities in order to ensure that schools and other workplaces within the Board achieve equitable representation at all levels;
    • 2.8.5. ensuring that the Board's commitment to antiracism and ethnocultural equity is communicated throughout the Board, and that staff, students and community are aware of this commitment;
    • 2.8.6. eliminating barriers and encouraging diverse groups of aboriginal peoples and people from under-represented racial, ethnocultural and faith communities to apply for teaching and non-teaching positions.      Section 2: index

  • 2.9. Staff Development
    The Toronto District School Board is committed to on-going staff development on antisexism and gender equity for trustees and Board staff and will assist them toacquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours to identify and eliminate sexist and discriminatory practices by:
    • 2.9.1. identifying staff development needs to improve employees' knowledge, skills and sensitivity in antisexist education and gender equit;
    • 2.9.2. establishing opportunities for employees to acquire the critical knowledge skills, sensitivity and behaviours which will support the creation and maintenance of an education system that empowers all students regardless of gender to learn, to achieve success and to participate responsibly in a diverse, global society;
    • 2.9.3. improving staff's knowledge, skills and expertise in antisexism and gender equity in order to help them understand how to identify and challenge prejudice, stereotyping, discrimination and sexism so that they are better able to meet the needs of all students regardless of their gender;
    • 2.9.4. training teaching and support staff in antisexism, gender equity and other education methodologies to enable them to deliver an inclusive curriculum;
    • 2.9.5. training and empowering employees to deal effectively and confidently with issues of sexism, violence against women, gender bias and discrimination;
    • 2.9.6. supporting initiatives which foster dialogue to create an understanding and respect for gender diversity which will result in a safe learning environment and community for all students;
    • 2.9.7. promoting the expectations that all employee practices will reflect antisexism, and gender equity policies and practices, and establishing criteria for accountability and evaluation;
    • 2.9.8. involving as appropriate in the design and implementation of staff development programs, diverse groups of women and other historically disadvantaged groups who have advocated on behalf of their communities.

  • 2.10. Harassment
    Sexual and gender harassment, whether intended or not, constitute demeaning treatment and violent behaviour. Sexual and gender harassment are forms of discrimination that are prohibited under the Ontario Human Rights Code. (Please refer to the Board’s draft human rights policy   for the policy and procedures with regard to sexual and gender harassment. It is anticipated that this policy will be adopted by the Board in the year 2000.)             Section 2: index

Section 1: Antiracism and Ethnocultural Equity
Section 2: Antisexism and Gender Equity
Section 3: Antihomophobia, Sexual Orientation and Equity
Section 4: Anticlassism and Socio-Economic Equity
Section 5: Equity for Persons with Disabilities

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