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Message from the Director of Education as the 2021-22 school year comes to a close

June 29, 2022

As the 2021-2022 school year draws to a close, I want to take a moment to thank UGDSB students and families for their commitment to learning this year, despite numerous challenges in the way.  I would also like to express my gratitude to all Upper Grand employees, for their incredible work and dedication this year, making a difference in the lives of UGDSB students and in the system. Finally, a sincere thanks to the many community partners such as Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health for working alongside us during some very challenging times.  

The last several years have not been easy. But these challenges have re-invigorated our purpose here in the Upper Grand – to support all students in their success and well-being; emphasized the work that still must be done; and helped paint a picture for an important path forward.

The COVID-19 pandemic required so many shifts and changes in our practices and routines, and these ups and downs were stressful and exhausting for so many.  The latest chapter of the pandemic created new challenges and highlighted divisions, but what also emerged was a strong sense of perspective, and the opportunity to reimagine our processes, refresh our practices, and re-engage with students.

Throughout the year, the board underwent a comprehensive Multi-Year Plan process. With the help of students, staff, families and partners in education, this Multi-Year Plan will set the direction for the board over the next few years. The next steps of the Multi-Year Plan will include developing Action Plans that will support the plan’s priorities: foundational education and student achievement, inspiring learning, championing health and well-being, ensuring equity, and leading through sustainability. We will continue to seek out staff and student voice and feedback, and continuously evaluate our progress, as we strive to serve and support all students.

Our work in Equity, Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression and Indigenous Education continued this year. Many events both globally and locally showed that acts of hatred and intolerance persist. This further amplifies the need to continue this critical work with action. 

As we move forward and continue to re-imagine our learning and working environments, we will develop and implement data-informed action plans that support students and the system.  The collection and analysis of data such as the Student Census will allow us to ask better questions and focus our efforts on areas of need.

These are just a few areas of work that we look forward to continuing this summer and into next school year. 

Wishing you a great summer. Stay safe and be well.  

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