As education leaders in their community and as advocates for the value of publicly funded education, effective school board Trustees are committed to ongoing professional development. Trustees must continually increase their knowledge of the education sector and good governance practices, and further develop their skills as ethical leaders, community advocates, inclusive policy makers, and strategic thinkers.

This page provides an overview of some of the professional development our current Trustees (2018-2022) have undertaken.

Human Rights and Equity Training

As a Catholic school district, we are committed to building inclusive and Christ-centered learning environments where all students, families and staff feel welcomed, valued, and safe. At the board level, we are committed to building capacity and systemic change through inclusive policies and procedures. Affirming that a commitment to equity and inclusion must be modelled through leadership, Trustees have participated in the following Human Rights and Equity training sessions:

SESSION: Supporting LGBTQ Students from a Catholic Lens
PRESENTER: Michael Way-Skinner, Coordinator: Religion, Family Life and Equity – York Catholic DSB
DATE: Saturday, April 25, 2020

Michael Way Skinner presented on Equity and Inclusion in Catholic Schools. Michael quotes from Church documents and Catholic teaching to emphasize that Equity is a matter of Being “Catholic”! Referring to the Letters to the Bishops of Catholic Church, Michael spoke to the Church’s teachings on homosexuality, pastoral guidelines to assist students of same sex orientation and reminded participants that “In the eyes of the Church, every human person is a unique and irreplaceable gift created by our loving God and called to be his son or daughter. Created in the image and likeness of God and redeemed by the blood of Christ, every person possesses an intrinsic dignity which must always be respected.”

SESSION: Centering Human Rights & Equity in Educational Leadership
PRESENTER: Sita Jayaraman, Senior Manager- Human Rights and Equity – HCDSB
DATE: Saturday, May 9, 2020
LINK: Centering Human Rights & Equity in Educational Leadership​

​Sita Jayaraman presented on the interconnectedness of Catholic teaching, indigenous education, human rights and equity in supporting all students to Achieve, Believe and Belong. Discussions and activities focused on the importance of inclusive curriculum and disaggregated data analysis in addressing systemic inequities. Trustees engaged with the notion of equity as a leadership competency for good governance.

SESSION: Understanding the Impact of Anti-Black Racism in Education
PRESENTER: Kike Ojo, Principal Consultant – Kojo Institute
DATE: Saturday, June 13, 2020
LINK: Understanding the Impact of Anti-Black Racism in Education​​

Kike Ojo presented on the theoretical underpinnings of Anti-Black Racism as a framework for achieving equitable outcomes in education. Discussions focused on the impact of Anti-Black Racism in educational systems and on Black students. Trustees deepened their learning on the institutional response, policies, processes and people to dismantle Anti-Black Racism.

SESSION:Indigenous History and Contemporary Issues
PRESENTER: Sherry Saevil, Indigenous Education Advisor – HCDSB
DATE: Saturday, June 20, 2020
LINK: ​Indigenous History and Contemporary Issues​

​Sherry Saevil presented on the complex relationship between Indigenous peoples and settlers in Canada. She provided an overview of the institutional policies and legislation that were instrumental in dispossessing Indigenous communities of their lands, language and culture. Trustees deepened their learning on the Calls to Action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission with regard to the education sector.​​​

SESSION: The Ontario Human Rights Code: Your Rights and Responsibilities During Unprecedented Times
PRESENTER: Njeri Damali Sojourner-Campbell, Lawyer – Hicks Morley
DATE: Saturday, September 26, 2020
LINK: The Ontario Human Rights Code: Your Rights and Responsibilities During Unprecedented Times​​

​Njeri Damali Sojourner-Campbell facilitated a training session on “The Ontario Human Rights Code: Your Rights and Responsibilities During Unprecedented Times” for Trustees. During this session, she focused on The Ontario Human Rights Code, Education Act and Municipal Law with reference to the role of school board Trustees. A high level overview of Constitutional provisions for Catholic School Boards was one of the areas for review. She concluded by addressing the interconnectedness of equity issues in education and human rights obligations for boards and Trustees.