Focusing on equity of opportunity and access through the Equity Action Plan
Equity, diversity and inclusion may have different meanings for everyone. Equity of opportunity and equity of access to all programs, services, and resources are critical to well-being and to the achievement of successful outcomes for all students.
In 2017, the Ontario Ministry of Education released Ontario’s Education Equity Action Plan, which establishes clear deliverables and targets that school boards are accountable to develop. At HPEDSB, we have committed to eliminating discrimination as outlined in that plan, along with the Ministry of Education Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy and the Ontario Human Rights Code.
HPEDSB is committed to excellence in education and supporting optimal student learning and achievement. Our role in HPEDSB is to ensure everyone finds their place to thrive in the work and in the learning. Our ultimate goal is for schools to be equitable, accessible and inclusive environments—places where all students, staff, parents/guardians and community members feel safe, appreciated, and respected for their unique contributions to the HPEDSB family.
The Equity and Inclusivity Advisory Committee (EIAC), consisting of students, non-teaching staff, teaching staff, administrators and trustees, collected data from seven focus groups that included students, parents/guardians, community members, non-teaching staff, teaching staff, school administrators and trustees. The data collected was used to create the Equity Action Plan.
Released in the summer of 2021, the Equity Action Plan contains goals and action items in four priority areas that will guide our work from now until 2024. These four priority areas are:
- School and Classroom Practices
- Leadership and Human Resources Practices
- Positive School Culture
- Data Collection and Reporting
The plan is an extension of the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan commitment to strengthening community through equity and social justice. It is a working document that the EIAC will review every year. Ongoing work is being done to bring the Equity Action Plan to life, starting with the creation of an equity web page and resource site, a quarterly newsletter, and a timeline of the three-year targets and deliverables.