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Equity and Inclusive Education

As an educational community we have a responsibility to identify and describe racism and oppression and then work to dismantle it. The Upper Grand District School Board is committed to disrupting systemic racism and oppression in all of its forms. We will implement ongoing mandatory anti-racism and anti-oppression training for all staff, review our protocols and policies, including our hiring practices, and be fully transparent and accountable to all Upper Grand students, staff, families, and stakeholders in an ongoing manner.


Equity and Inclusive Education

School and Board Action in Equity and Indigenous Education

For a sample of some of the work being done in the Upper Grand District School Board in equity, diversity, inclusion, anti-racism, anti-colonialism and anti-oppression, please view the links below. Links below also include updates supporting our educational community and community partners. And for more on equity in the UGDSB, visit www.ugdsb.ca/equity

News Archive

May 5 is Red Dress Day: National Day of Awareness for Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two Spirit People (May 2022)

UGDSB Together: Celebrating International Day of Pink at the UGDSB (April 2022)

UGDSB and PIC host virtual parent event – ‘A Parent’s Role in Supporting Equity and Indigenous Education’ (April 2022)

April 13 is the International Day of Pink (April 2022)

Ramadan Mubarak to all of those observing (April 2022)

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (March 2022)

A reflection on Black Heritage, Black Brilliance, Black Futures Month (March 2022)

Supporting Students and Staff: Russian invasion of Ukraine (February 2022) 

Disrupting antisemitism and celebrating Jewish identity (February 2022)

UGDSB celebrates Black Heritage, Black Brilliance, Black Futures Month (February 2022)

Responding to symbols of hate (January 2022)

UGDSB participates in The National Day of Remembrance of the Quebec City Mosque Attack (January 2022)

December 10 is Human Rights Day (December 2021)

Highlights from the 2020-2021 Accessibility Report (November 2021)

Transgender Day of Remembrance is November 20 (November 2021)

Commemorating Indigenous Veterans Day on November 8 (November 2021)

Celebrating Diwali on November 4 (November 2021)

Learn more about Treaty Partners for UGDSB schools and sites (November 2021)

UGDSB participates in FOLD Kids Book Fest, celebrating underrepresented authors and storytellers (November 2021)

Treaties Recognition Week is November 1-7, 2021 (November 2021)

Policy feedback opportunity: Policy 504 Equity and Inclusive Education (October 2021)

Considerations around Halloween, equity and COVID-19 safety (October 2021)

October is Islamic Heritage Month – Learn more about Islam! (October 2021)

National Day of Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (October 2021)

Continuing the work on Truth and Reconciliation (October 2021)

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (September 2021)

Indigenous Students Participate in Birch Bark Canoe Build with master canoe builder (July 2021)

Information for staff, students and families regarding unmarked graves at former residential school in Saskatchewan (June 2021)

‘UGTalks about’ initiative centres student voice on issues of social justice (June 2021)

Supports for staff and students following horrific violence targeting Muslim community (June 2021)

UGDSB celebrates National Indigenous History Month (June 2021)

CCVI student takes on leadership role in school GSA group (June 2021)

UGDSB flags to be lowered in honour of 215 children whose lives were taken at former residential school (May 2021)

We include all awesome humans – UGDSB Kicks off Pride Month celebrations (May 2021)

Supporting Students and Staff: Crisis in the Middle East (May 2021)

UGDSB approves new Indigenous Education policy (May 2021)

Program for Indigenous families in the UGDSB: Anishinaabemowin Nanda-gikendan “Seeking to Learn the Language” (May 2021)

Anti-Racist Educator Reads podcast nominated for Canadian Podcast Award (May 2021)

Guelph Black Heritage Society hosting virtual Anti-Racism Summit (April 2021)

John F. Ross CVI student takes action against anti-Asian racism during culminating assignment (April 2021)

Recommended reading in Indigenous education and knowledge (March 2021)

Addressing anti-Asian racism, resources to support educators (March 2021)

UGDSB reflects on Black Heritage, Black Brilliance and Black Futures Month (February 2021)

Black Heritage Month spotlight: Alfred M. Lafferty (February 2021)

CDDHS students express love for themselves through Hair Love video (February 2021)

Victoria Terrace PS students research and pay tribute to Viola Desmond (February 2021)

Student work featured in Black History Month digital exhibition (February 2021)

UGDSB celebrates Black Brilliance month virtually this February (February 2021)

UGDSB introduces Period Equity program to schools (February 2021)

Highlights of progress made in multi-year Equity Plan (December 2020)

UGDSB Equity Team releases 2020-2021 Equity Calendar (September 2020)

Taking action in anti-racism and anti-oppression work (June 2020)

UGDSB presents Pride month virtual art exhibit (June 2020)

UGDSB includes all awesome humans – Celebrating Pride this June (June 2020)

Wheelchair basketball program visits Rockwood Centennial PS (February 2020)

UGDSB students learn about Black History through CEEP Project (February 2020)

CDDHS hosts 2nd annual Black History assembly (February 2020)

#WeAllHaveAbility – This February describe a video (February 2020)

UGDSB continues to make waves in accessibility work (November 2019)

Gateway, Palmerston and Primrose students explore equity and social justice through the arts (June 2019)

#UGRainbow2019 – Students and staff reflect at Rainbow Leadership Summit (June 2019)

#UGDSBIncludesPride – Staff are using tech as a positive platform to share student voice (April 2019)

Passion, emotion and history – CDDHS celebrates Black History Month (February 2019)

UGDSB Equity Plan

The Upper Grand District School Board’s Three-Year Equity Plan (2019-2022) drives our commitment to safe and inclusive practice.

The plan is divided into four main sections:

  • Identify and Name Bias, Oppression and Racism through reflection, evidence, voice/feedback and data
  • Build collaborative relationships to foster community and alignment
  • Address and educate with accountable policies and practices
  • Eliminate Bias, Oppression and Racism through disruption and action

To review the full Equity Plan, please see the documents below.

Documents:

Equity and Inclusion: Policies

Policy 214 Accessibility Standards

It is the policy of the Upper Grand District School Board to provide an environment in all of its facilities that fosters independence, dignity, respect, integration and equity of opportunity for our students, parents/guardians, the public and our staff. We are committed to ensuring that people with disabilities have the same opportunity of access to services in a similar way as these services are available to all others. We are committed to meeting the accessibility needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner.

To learn more visit: Policy 214 Accessibility Standards

Policy 500 First Nation, Métis and Inuit Self-Identification

It is the policy of the Upper Grand District School Board to provide the opportunity for voluntary self-identification of all Indigenous students as First Nation, Métis, or Inuit. The learning goals and potential of all students can be realized through a responsive, transparent and accountable policy that focuses on improved programs and services and builds on strong partnerships with parents, guardians, and their communities. It is essential to understand the student population and have accurate student achievement data within the Upper Grand District School Board to improve success for all students. To this end it is important to collect voluntary Indigenous self-identification data for planning and decision-making as it relates to Indigenous student success and well-being.

To learn more visit: Policy 500 First Nation, Métis and Inuit Self-Identification

Policy 503 Safe Schools

It is the policy of the Upper Grand District School Board to support and maintain a positive school climate for all students, staff and the community. A positive school climate is accepting and inclusive of all. As part of this mandate the board will strive to eliminate all forms of bullying through prevention and intervention strategies which foster positive learning environments, support academic achievement and help students to reach their full potential.

To learn more visit: Policy 503 Safe Schools

Policy 504 Equity and Inclusive Education

It is the policy of the Upper Grand District School Board to ensure a safe and inclusive learning and working environment for all students, staff and the community, regardless of age, ancestry, colour, race, citizenship, ethnic origin, place of origin, creed, disability, family status, marital status, gender identity, gender expression, socio-economic status, employment, housing, sex, and sexual orientation.

To learn more visit: Policy 504 Equity and Inclusive Education

Policy 519 Indigenous Education (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) Policy

The Upper Grand District School Board acknowledges that Indigenous Peoples are distinct from other equity seeking groups in that they are self-determining nations with inherent rights, laws, and institutions. Indigenous rights are distinct. It is the goal of the UGDSB to ensure that Indigenous staff and students are not deprived of their rights, and are provided with a learning and working environment that is free from racism and discrimination of any kind.

To learn more visit: Policy 519 Indigenous Education (First Nations, Métis, Inuit)

Human Rights Policy

Coming soon.

UGDSB Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Team

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion involves both structural and cultural change.  This includes policy development, data and research initiatives, training programs and actions such as hiring, shifting norms, language and perspectives as well as challenging the status quo. Our goal is to create sustainable change that is ideological, interpersonal, institutional and internalized. We can achieve this goal through the process of addressing the roots of inequity in order to create an environment where everyone can thrive.

Our EDI Team wants to create a space at the UGDSB where people feel confident in learning new terms, engaging in difficult conversations, and are free to question ideas, thoughts and methods concerning EDI that may currently be unfamiliar. Through our work, we hope to make EDI accessible to all employees and provide staff with the necessary tools to adapt to and navigate EDI conversations. 

We are aware that EDI work has no ending point. Instead, learning in this area is ongoing. People and our understanding of society/each other are not static and just like the geographical landscape; communities change, populations change, and needs change. Therefore, we call upon our UGDSB staff members, students and community partners to actively join us in committing to the ongoing initiatives that are vital in reaching our collective goals.

EDI Venn Diagram

Accessibility in the UGDSB

1 in 5 Ontarians have a disability. 70% of disabilities are invisible. Ontario has committed to full accessibility by 2025. 

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 is the first of its kind in Canada. People with disabilities should have the same kind of opportunities as everyone else. They should be able to do the things that most of us take for granted like going to work or school. That’s the goal of Ontario’s legislation. Businesses and organizations – like the Upper Grand District School Board – who provide goods and services to people in Ontario will have to meet certain accessibility standards in five important areas of our lives: Customer Service, Built Environment, Employment, Information and Communication, Transportation. 

The Upper Grand District School Board is committed to ensuring that its services meet optimum standards of accessibility for people with disabilities.

Feedback

We welcome your comments and feedback about accessibility issues at the Upper Grand District School Board.

Accessibility Policy and Procedures

The Upper Grand District School Board has developed new Accessibility Policy and Procedures that went into effect in March 2013:

Accessibility Planning

Accessibility Reports

Accessibility in the UGDSB at a glance:

More great UGDSB stories about Accessibility can be found on the UGDSB website. 

Inclusive athletic programs

Training

UGDSB employees have received online accessibility training that was customized to the board’s needs. Example of similar training provided by the Ontario Education Services Corporation (OESC) can be accessed on their site.

We All Have Ability Virtual Speakers Poster

We All Have Ability   Virtual Speakers Poster

 

Anti-racism and anti-oppression work

Anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism is deeply rooted in our country, society, institutions and our history, and much work needs to be done to address this systemic racism. As an educational community we have a responsibility to identify and describe racism and oppression and then work to dismantle it. The Upper Grand District School Board is committed to disrupting systemic racism and oppression in all of its forms. We will implement ongoing mandatory anti-racism and anti-oppression training for all staff, review our protocols and policies, including our hiring practices, and be fully transparent and accountable to all Upper Grand students, staff, families, and stakeholders in an ongoing manner.

Resources for Educators

Books

Anti-Racism Resources for Parents and Guardians

Racism, anti-Black racism, privilege, power, discrimination, bias and oppression are all topics that students are seeing and hearing in the media. They are subjects that generate many questions. They are subjects that require discussion, thoughtful reflection and honest answers.  We hope these resources will help parents, guardians and caregivers in our communities have these discussions with their children, so that together we can dismantle racism from our communities.  

Books

Podcasts and Videos

Should you require additional supports in talking with children at home, please reach out to your school administrator for direction, support and/or referrals.

First Nation, Métis and Inuit Education

At the Upper Grand District School Board, we ensure the inclusion of First Nation, Métis and Inuit histories and perspectives in our schools, our system and our school communities. By recognizing and promoting an awareness of these histories and contemporary realities, we will support the holistic success of all our students, in particular our First Nation, Métis and Inuit students.

Download the 2020-21 Board Action Plan on Indigenous Education

Indigenous Education Policy

Policy 519 Indigenous Education (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) states that the Upper Grand District School Board acknowledges that Indigenous Peoples are distinct from other equity seeking groups in that they are self-determining nations with inherent rights, laws, and institutions. Indigenous rights are distinct. It is the goal of the UGDSB to ensure that Indigenous staff and students are not deprived of their rights, and are provided with a learning and working environment that is free from racism and discrimination of any kind.

The UGDSB is committed to supporting staff and students who identify themselves as First Nations, Métis and/or Inuit. The UGDSB is also committed to supporting the education of staff and students on Indigenous Peoples and anti-Indigenous racism. Through this new policy, the board responds to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action by addressing the ongoing impacts of colonialism, and protecting Indigenous Peoples’ right to education as outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This policy is important to Indigenous Peoples, students, parents, staff, school councils, and community members because everyone has a responsibility to ensure Indigenous Peoples are not deprived of their rights, and are provided with a learning and working environment that is free from racism and discrimination of any kind.

Policy 519 was developed in collaboration with the Indigenous community partners who sit on the UGDSB First Nation, Métis and Inuit Education Council. It is the result of years of conversations on how a school board can both promote and protect Indigenous education.

View the policy and procedures manual

 

For further information or questions, please contact the school Principal, Gerard Walker, Principal of Equity and Indigenous Education, at [email protected], or Colinda Clyne, Curriculum Leader for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education at (519) 822-4420 Ext. 727 or [email protected]

Supports for Indigenous peoples; information for allies

Please see below for supports for Indigenous students, staff and families, as well as resources for allies and suggestions for action. 

Supports for Indigenous students, staff and families

For UGDSB students and families requiring support, school and board staff are available, including the board’s Indigenous Social Worker. Staff are encouraged to reach out to the board’s Employee & Family Assistance Program, which provides a wide range of services and resources. 

Additional supports: 

Resources and information for allies

2SLGBTQIA+ Inclusion in the UGDSB

The UGDSB values all students, employees, and families, regardless of age, ancestry, colour, race, citizenship, ethnic origin, place of origin, creed, ability, family status, marital status, gender identity, gender expression, socioeconomic status, employment, housing, sex, and sexual orientation1, and is committed to creating and maintaining a learning and working environment where everyone can participate fully, thrive, and reach their full potential, free from trauma, bias, stereotyping, oppression and systemic racism.

The UGDSB recognizes that many identities do not exist in a single form and are often intersecting with multiple identities. Intersectionality can create a compounding impact on oppression, discrimination and racism. The UGDSB is committed to identifying and disrupting systemic racism and oppression in all of its forms. ~ UGDSB Policy 504

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the UGDSB support 2SLGBTQIA+ staff and students?

The UGDSB is committed to naming and addressing homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, forms of hate and systems of oppression.  The UGDSB supports 2SLGBTQIA+ staff, students and their families by celebrating the joy of identity and centering 2SLGBTQIA+ histories, contributions and excellence in our learning and work communities. Current initiatives include: GSAs and student and staff affinity groups, staff and student gender affirming support process, inclusive forms and processes that honour names and pronouns, All-gender washrooms, training for employees, Pride flags, and learning and celebration (Pride Month).  As a workplace the UGDSB is addressing equitable hiring practices through voluntary self identification questions to purposefully increase gender diverse staff in addition to mandatory and voluntary training provided to all staff. 

Please see the following UGDSB policies:

What resources exist to support our family in developing more understanding about 2SLGBTQIA+ identities, histories and experiences? 

Sites:

Library Resources:

  • Molly’s Family by Nancy Garden
  • George by Alex Gino
  • Transphobia: deal with it and be a gender transcender by j wallace skelton
  • Pride: celebrating diversity & community by Robin Stevenson
  • And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
  • Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino
  • The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
  • My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis
  • Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders
  • I am Jazz and Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings
  • Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall

These books can be found in many of our school libraries as well as local public libraries.

What are GSA/Pride Clubs, what do they do, and why are they important?

Gay-Straight Alliances (GSA), Gender-Sexuality Alliances (GSA) or Pride based groups are student-initiated and led clubs (supervised by a staff member) found in many UGDSB schools. These clubs aim to create safe and supportive environments for members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and others to work within allyship*. These groups address historical and current marginalization and promote advocacy with the intent of creating awareness and reducing ignorance, stereotypes, homophobia and transphobia. Each GSA/Pride Club within the UGDSB is unique based on student interest and community need.

Student-initiated and led GSA/Pride Clubs function within many UGDSB elementary schools (for grades 5 and older), as well as UGDSB secondary schools. Through Bill 13, the Accepting Schools Act, the Ministry of Education requires school boards to allow students to form groups at their school to raise awareness and understanding of important topics including gender identity and sexual orientation.  Students and staff who have straight and cis-gendered** identities or family members and friends who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+ are often part of the GSA/Pride work within our schools. Working within allyship, these youth and staff can share their passion to make our schools safe for all 2SLGBTQIA+ people.  Oftentimes schools have social justice or equity themed clubs that address oppression across a wide spectrum of experiences, identities and concerns (racism, poverty, ableism etc.). These groups will often celebrate, support and facilitate 2SLGBTQIA+ needs similar to those of a GSA/Pride Club. 

GSA/Pride Clubs are important as they increase awareness of 2SLGBTQIA+ identities and foster safer spaces for marginalized students, families and staff. The safe space created in a GSA/Pride Club can help reduce feelings of isolation and increase self-esteem and self-worth. In addition,  GSA’s/Pride Clubs are spaces of social justice action work.  As a venue for student voice, students within these groups can lead information and awareness campaigns or activities supporting their school communities to be better informed about gender, sexuality and human rights. From this advocacy work, schools can continue to work towards being safe and inclusive places for all students, families and staff.

*Acting in allyship – supporting a marginalized group though not necessarily identifying as part of that marginalized group.
**Cis-gendered – a person whose gender identity and/or expression match the sex they were assigned at birth.

How does my child become involved in a GSA or Pride club?

Students are encouraged to speak to any staff member or administrator at their school about an existing club or group, or to find out more about starting a club. All schools within the UGDSB have an equity representative on staff who can provide more information and connect them with system supports. Jessica Rowden, the UGDSB’s Equity and Inclusion Lead, may also be contacted at [email protected].

What is the Pride flag and why is my child’s school flying the Pride flag? 

The current Pride flag’s exact colours and dimensions have changed from the Gilbert Baker flag, which first appeared as a representation of the LGBTQ+ community in 1977.  Most recently, inclusive pride flags incorporate additional histories, identities and considerations such intersectionality**.  Inclusive and progressive iterations of the Pride flag reflect contributors such as Monica Helms, Amber Hikes, and Daniel Quasar. Rainbow/Pride flags are strongly connected to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and are also representative of social change cited as being a symbol of hope and peace. 

2SLGBTQIA+ stands for Two Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex and Asexual, while + stands for other ways folks express their gender and sexuality outside heteronormativity and the gender binary. There are specific flags and flag variations for many identities within the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

UGDSB Day Of Pink   Big Promo

Pride Flag

Many UGDSB students, staff, parents/guardians and community members identify as members of the Rainbow or 2SLGBTQIA+ community.  Specifically during Pride Month in June, all schools in the UGDSB raise the Pride Flag to show our support and acceptance and to celebrate the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Flying the Pride flag not only signals that our schools are committed to building safe spaces for everyone, it also aligns with our Vision Statement and Guiding Principles of Inclusion, Policy 503 and 504, the Ontario Human Rights Code, student and staff well-being and our UGDSB Equity Plan. In addition to Pride month, our school district is committed to supporting and celebrating the 2SLGBTQIA+ community throughout the whole year.

UGDSB Vision Statement:

Students will attain individual excellence through dynamic programming provided by an effective staff and supported by a committed community. We will meet our students’ diverse needs through the provision of equitable and accessible resources. Our learning environment will be characterized by empowered administrators, effective communication and mutual compassionate respect.

Guiding Principles – We believe that:

  • Student learning is our focus
  • The learning process is open-ended
  • Education is a community responsibility
  • Embracing diversity contributes to community
  • Teachers make a significant difference
  • Leaders must focus on students
  • Continuous professional development supports life-long learning
  • A commitment to values guides activities
  • A safe physical environment needs to be sustained
  • A respectful learning environment fosters personal growth
  • Opportunities and resources need to be equitably distributed
  • Everyone should be treated with respect

What are the protocols for flying flags in the UGDSB?

The UGDSB has specific procedures that all schools must follow to request permission to fly a flag (in addition to the Canadian flag) outside of the school. These procedures are outlined in Policy 310 – Display of Flags.

UGDSB Policy 310 – Display of Flags allows for the display of other flags under specific parameters. The information below and available at the following link explains the policy and processes related to the flying of flags in our board.

Policy Statement:

It is the policy of the Upper Grand District School Board to display flags with dignity and respect. This policy is aligned with and supports the principles and expectations of the Board’s policies for Safe Schools (503) and Equity and Inclusive Education (504). At all times, this policy shall be consistent with all UGDSB policies and the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Documents:

What if 2SLGBTQIA+ histories, identities and celebrations do not align with my personal values and beliefs?

In 2020, the UGDSB created the following commitment:

As an educational community we have a responsibility to identify and describe racism and oppression and then work to dismantle it. The Upper Grand District School Board is committed to disrupting systemic racism and oppression in all of its forms. We will implement ongoing mandatory anti-racism and anti-oppression training for all staff, review our protocols and policies, including our hiring practices, and be fully transparent and accountable to all Upper Grand students, staff, families, and stakeholders in an ongoing manner.

Our school district is dedicated to building understanding, safety, inclusion and joy of 2SLGBTQIA+ identity into all of our school and work communities.  Additionally, regardless of your personal values and beliefs, we all must follow the Ontario Human Rights Code that protects marginalized groups from discrimination and harassment. 

Additional Resources:

Who can we contact with questions?

Please contact your child’s school administrators with questions or concerns.

Resources

The Upper Grand District School Board’s philosophy on Student Dress Codes

It is the policy of the Upper Grand District School Board to ensure a safe and inclusive learning and working environment for all students, staff and the community, regardless of age, ancestry, colour, race, citizenship, ethnic origin, place of origin, creed, disability, family status, marital status, gender identity, gender expression, socio-economic status, employment, housing, sex, and sexual orientation (Policy 504 Equity and Inclusive Education).

The UGDSB’s student dress code philosophy is one way that we are working to ensure safe, inclusive and equitable learning environments for all of our students. Schools need to be able to focus on teaching and learning without undue emphasis on monitoring dress code infractions. Dress codes must be presented in a manner that does not reinforce stereotypes. We believe that students have a right to learn in a safe and caring space that is free of bias and discrimination, and that students have a right to respectfully express their individuality. To ensure that our learning environments are safe and respectful spaces, our board has adopted a shared set of guidelines for student dress (listed below).

UGDSB school principals, in consultation with their school council, staff and students, shall determine a dress code for their students. Schools are encouraged to create a dress code that is based on the board’s dress code philosophy, values and guidelines.

Our values and beliefs:

  • All students should be able to dress for school without fear of unnecessary discipline, body shaming, bias or discrimination.
  • Individuals are responsible for managing their own personal biases and or perspectives/opinions (distractions) related to others’ choices of clothing.
  • All students are treated equitably regardless of their race, age, ability, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, cultural observance, socio-economic circumstances, or body type/size.
  • Students have a right to wear clothing of their choice that expresses their self-identified gender.
  • Students have a right to wear religious attire without fear of discipline or discrimination.

Guidelines for school dress codes:

  • Dress codes must avoid using language that reinforces stereotypes.
  • Student dress code enforcement must not result in unnecessary barriers to school attendance.
  • Courses that include attire as part of the curriculum (for example, public speaking and job readiness) may include assignment-specific dress. Schools need to be aware that there may be diverse culturally-specific attire that would also meet the requirements of a course.
  • Schools must maintain a safe learning environment in classes where protective or supportive clothing is required. For example, activity-specific shoe requirements are permitted (e.g., athletic shoes for Physical Education).
  • Dress codes must prevent students from wearing clothing or accessories that display (but are not limited to) the following: Images, logos or language that portray, ethnic prejudice, racism, sexism, vulgarity, gang-related markings, obscenities, profanity, hate speech, and/or pornography.
  • Dress codes must prevent students from wearing clothing or accessories that denote, suggest, display or reference alcohol, drugs or related paraphernalia, or other illegal conduct or activities.
  • Dress codes must prevent students from wearing clothing that exposes genitals, buttocks, and breasts.
  • School staff need to be able to explain the dress code and address dress code infractions without using body-shaming language.

All UGDSB school principals have been provided with a template based on this philosophy, which they may use when developing their school’s student dress code.

Period Equity in the UGDSB

What is Period Equity?

Period Equity is a movement that refers to making sure that all people who menstruate are able to access menstrual products for free and with dignity. It is a movement that recognizes the financial burden placed on people who menstruate by ensuring products are available for all who require them.

Why is the UGDSB investing in this initiative?

Period Equity Poster PNG fileOur school district recognizes the inequity placed on people who menstruate and the additional challenges presented to the same people who may be living with limited access to funds and/or transportation, both of which are required to purchase menstrual products. This initiative is part of a collective approach to ensuring we continue to raise awareness and support inclusion and acceptance in various ways throughout our board.

UGDSB Vision Statement

Students will attain individual excellence through dynamic programming provided by an effective staff and supported by a committed community. We will meet our students’ diverse needs through the provision of equitable and accessible resources. Our learning environment will be characterized by empowered administrators, effective communication and mutual compassionate respect.

Guiding Principles

We believe that:

  • Student learning is our focus
  • The learning process is open-ended
  • Education is a community responsibility
  • Embracing diversity contributes to community
  • Teachers make a significant difference
  • Leaders must focus on students
  • Continuous professional development supports life-long learning
  • A commitment to values guides activities
  • A safe physical environment needs to be sustained
  • A respectful learning environment fosters personal growth
  • Opportunities and resources need to be equitably distributed
  • Everyone should be treated with respect

How does this program work?

In partnership with various departments and staff in the UGDSB, this program began with an opportunity to understand the inequities that exist for people who menstruate.

Through a generous donation from the Upper Grand Learning Foundation, there are accessible machines that dispenses free menstrual products in every “For Use by All” single stall washroom in all of our UGDSB secondary schools. The machines are currently being installed and filled in all elementary schools with grade 7 & 8 students.

Machines and products are currently in place in all “For Use By All” single stall washrooms  so that all students, staff and community members can access the products regardless of age, ability, sex, gender or status in the school. Machines will be stocked regularly.

Will products be available in all UGDSG locations?

Moving forward, the UGDSB will extend free period products to remaining K-6 schools. 

Resources for UGDSB schools

Culturally Responsive Novels

Culturally responsive teaching and resources focus on various identities and lived experiences in ways that validate and reflect a variety of diverse people and their lives. These books and many more are developed for educator use and can be accessed through your school’s Teacher Librarian.

Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions Equity and Inclusion Toolkit

In 2018, the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) made a commitment to build on their existing work with young workers and equity-seeking groups by creating an Equity and Inclusion Toolkit. The toolkit provides resources to support the CFNU, Member Organizations and individual members to grow and expand advocacy in these areas. The toolkit contains a range of materials, including: FAQs, an introduction to using equity lens, a glossary of inclusive language, an organizational scan checklist, an event accessibility checklist, sample workshops and sample policies/position statements: https://nursesunions.ca/research/equity/Canadian Federation of Nurses Union - Equity Toolkit cover image

Prayer Room Signage

Location Door Sign Prayer Room

Click here to download the signage

For Use by All Washroom Signage

IMG_0735

Equity & Mental Health Walk Through Form

Sustainable Development Program

Coming soon.

UGDSB Equity and Inclusion Calendar

This calendar will support equity and inclusion work by identifying some of the important days of celebration, commemoration and observance for students, staff and their families and community members this year. It is not a complete list of days of importance. Please note that some Holy days are impacted by the lunar calendar which means that their calendar date may change.

Click here to download the 2021-2022 Equity and Inclusion Calendar.

Equity And Inclusion Calendar

Equity and Inclusion: Mental Health

If this is an emergency, call 911. If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs help:

  • Guelph/Wellington: 1 844 437 3247 (HERE247)
  • Dufferin: 519 941 1530 (DCAFS)
  • KidsHelpPhone: 1 800 668 6868
  • Compass Community Services LGBTQ+ Support Line: 226 669 3760 (call or text – free and confidential emotional support)

Ensuring positive student mental health is a shared responsibility of students, staff, parents/guardians and community partners. As part of the provincial Open Minds, Healthy Minds Mental Health Strategy, our board’s Mental Health and Addiction Lead works with stakeholders within our board and in our community, to promote: mentally healthy schools; student mental well being; educator mental health awareness and knowledge; evidence based prevention programs; and clear pathways to care.

We hope the following resources and information will help support mental health and well-being in children, youth and families:

Resources for responding to hate toward individuals and groups

As an educational community we have a responsibility to identify and describe racism and oppression and then work to dismantle it. The Upper Grand District School Board is committed to disrupting systemic racism and oppression in all of its forms. We will implement ongoing mandatory anti-racism and anti-oppression training for all staff, review our protocols and policies, including our hiring practices, and be fully transparent and accountable to all Upper Grand students, staff, families, and stakeholders in an ongoing manner.

Crises, Trauma and Grief Support for Students & Families

  • Guelph/Wellington: 1-844-437-3247 (HERE247)
  • Dufferin: 519-941-1530 (DCAFS)
  • Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
  • Compass LGBTQ+ Youth Line (call or text) 226-669-3760
  • Compass Guelph Wellington Distress Line 1-888-821-3760
  • Compass Community Services Walk-In Counselling: Information is available here https://compasscs.org/ or at this link

Crises, Trauma and Grief Support for UGDSB staff 

Identity Specific Supports

**please note this list is not exhaustive**

Staff Learning Resources

Classroom and Teaching Resources