Workshops

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Day 1 - Workshop 1A

Challenging Perception and Re-Shaping Reality: Learning Skills, Ability Grouping and Post-Secondary Outcomes


Facilitator(s): Gillian Parekh

WORKSHOP FULL

In Ontario, the evaluation of students’ Learning Skills is intended to provide teachers, parents, and students with insight into students’ work habits and individual approaches to learning. However, due to its level of subjectivity, the Learning Skills profile illuminates how teachers perceive students’ level of ability and when explored in relation to demographic, achievement and institutional factors, captures teachers’ potential biases. Employing data from the Toronto District School Board, this presentation queries the relationship between how students are organized in schools, teachers’ perceptions of student ability, and the power perception has in shaping students’ post-high school reality.




Demographic Data Collection and the Synergy Between Access, Privacy, Human Rights and Good Government


Facilitator(s): Stephen McCammon

WORKSHOP FULL

This presentation will discuss: The privacy rules that inform demographic data collection under the Anti-Racism Act, 2017; related evidence-based policy-making regimes; and, the relationship between demographic data collection, transparency, rights protection and accountability.




La Situation des Personnes LGBTQ Racialisé et en Situation de Vulnérabilité.


Facilitator(s): Naima Hamez, Rebiha Mammeri, and Sizwe Inkingi

Le "Carrefour des Immigrants FrancoQueer" est un programme d'aide à l'établissement et à l'intégration des nouveaux arrivants et réfugiés LGBTQIA francophones dans la région de Toronto. Offert par FrancoQueer, en partenariat avec le Collège Boréal et OCASI, il vise à offrir des services comme un espace positif ou des ateliers d'informations. La spécificité de ce programme est d'offrir une approche novatrice des intersections identitaires, en particulier liées à la sexualité, la langue et l’origine ethnique, et vise à aider les nouveaux arrivants à mettre toutes les chances de leur côté pour une intégration et une nouvelle vie réussie.




Supporting Precarious and Non-Status Students: Mobilizing People and Data


Facilitator(s): Gita Madan & Karl Gardner

In this workshop, we will discuss the experiences of migrant and non-status youth in Toronto’s public schools. We have two areas of focus. First, we cover the history of migrant justice organizing in Toronto as it relates to supporting students with precarious or no immigration status. Specifically, we’ll discuss campaigns to push the TDSB to pass a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and to eliminate the School Resource Officer program. Second, we address how different kinds of data work to erase or support youth with precarious or no immigration status.




Understanding Indigenous Achievement and Well-being


Facilitator(s): Jade Huguenin & Angela Easby

SPOTS AVAILABLE FOR WORKSHOP SESSION 1A

WORKSHOP FULL FOR SESSION 1B

Two datasets that are readily used for understanding Indigenous student achievement are the FNMI Education Policy Framework that focuses on self-identification and graduation rates. This workshop will explore the limitations of these datasets, namely that self-ID and graduation do not account for Indigenous student well-being. The Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres will highlight research experiences working with Indigenous students and its learnings of how data can be collected in a manner that creates a more holistic understanding of Indigenous student achievement and self-voiced success. The workshop will highlight roles and responsibilities related to data collection, data sovereignty, and dissemination.




When Data Just Isn’t Enough: The Underutilization of the Learning Opportunity Grants for Low-Income Learners across Ontario


Facilitator(s): Yvonne Kelly & Sharma Queiser

WORKSHOP FULL

Although we have the data to identify low-income students and a formula for distribution of funding, the Learning Opportunity Grants (LOGs) remain drastically under-utilized for the purposes intended. Obviously, data alone cannot solve issues of inequity for marginalized communities. Our workshop reviews Social Planning Toronto’s Report: Missing Opportunities: How Budget Policies Continue to Leave Behind Low-Income Students (2017) and posits an important question/challenge for participants to work through together: What can we do to ensure that dedicated equity funding is spent as it was intended? We will also explore community, social policy and human rights perspectives and the societal consequences of not decreasing gaps in our public education system.




Day 1 - Workshop 1B

(De)Legitimization of Data: Reflections from the School Resource Officer (SRO) Program Accountability Action Team


Facilitator(s): Silvia Argentina Arauz & Andrea Vásquez Jiménez

 Come out and learn the overview of the history of the SRO program in Toronto, Canada and the activism on the ground that led to the removal of the SRO Program at the largest school board in Canada, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). Let's get to know how the SRO Program Accountability Action Team is pushing for province-wide removal and requesting properly funded schools.

When pushing for transformative changes within the educational system by way of removing the SRO program, we will delve into what data and research has been delegitimized, dismissed, negated, ignored and even purposefully silenced; and what data and research has been legitimized, rationalized, justified, and amplified along our campaign journey and beyond.

We will look at whose voices, stories, and lived experiences have been taken into account and which ones are continuously pushed to the margins? Reflecting on it, it's a systemic and global issue, not just a local issue. We will also look at what strategies have been utilized to (re)define the (de)legitimization of data when it comes to the SRO program and pro-equity, pro-education, pro-youth, and pro-liberation work.




Building Trust with the Community


Facilitator(s): Garth Bobb, Shernett Martin & Rashmi Swarup

WORKSHOP FULL

Collecting, integrating and reporting on identity-based data requires deep and sustained relationships between school boards and communities, in which the questions and concerns of parents and communities are acknowledged and addressed. These relationships bring both challenges and opportunities and depend on a deep level of trust, an open stance to learning and a genuine commitment to public education. Join Superintendent Rashmi Swarup and parent and community advocates Garth Bobb and Shernett Martin as they share what they have learned about how to build strong relationships and how to promote democratic engagement in York Region District School Board.




Collecte de Données Relatives Aux Droits de la Personne: Comment S’y Prendre?


Facilitator(s): Thomas Gallezot

On pense souvent qu'il n'est pas permis de récolter des données qui identifient une race, un handicap, une orientation sexuelle ou autre élément visé par le Code des droits de la personne de l'Ontario, en particulier en milieu scolaire. En réalité, selon la Commission ontarienne des droits de la personne, non seulement la collecte de données est autorisée pour autant qu'elle soit conforme aux objectifs du Code, mais elle peut parfois être très utile pour rendre plus efficace les stratégies de lutte contre les discrimination, inégalités, obstacles systémiques et désavantages.




Collection and Usage of Identity-based Data: A Case Study of Toronto District School Board’s Student & Parent Census


Facilitator(s): Maria Y.M. Yau & Robert S. Brown

WORKSHOP FULL

This workshop will share the history, initial challenges, goals, and logistics of collecting identity-based data through the implementation of the Student and Parent Census at the Toronto District School Board, Canada’s largest school system. Discussions on how the data were then analyzed, linked and used as well as examples of knowledge transfer and mobilization will also be included in the presentation to illustrate the multiple uses and benefits of identity-based data along with experiential data for different stakeholder groups in identifying systemic barriers and in promoting equity in achievement and well-being for all students regardless of background.




Fundraising in Public Education: The Power of Data Collection


Facilitator(s): David Hagen Cameron & Christine Corso

People for Education has been collecting data about Ontario public schools for over two decades. The data has shown that disparities in fundraising can widen the gaps between the learning opportunities experienced by children from high- and low-socio-economic families. This work has led to the implementation of fundraising guidelines by the province. In this workshop, the presenters will unpack the challenges and opportunities of collecting and reporting on demographic-linked data through the example of fundraising in public schools. The presenters will unpack how educational organizations can use data to engage the public, hold institutions to account, and change public policy.




Understanding Indigenous Achievement and Well-being


Facilitator(s): Jade Huguenin & Angela Easby

SPOTS AVAILABLE FOR WORKSHOP SESSION 1A

WORKSHOP FULL FOR SESSION 1B

Two datasets that are readily used for understanding Indigenous student achievement are the FNMI Education Policy Framework that focuses on self-identification and graduation rates. This workshop will explore the limitations of these datasets, namely that self-ID and graduation do not account for Indigenous student well-being. The Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres will highlight research experiences working with Indigenous students and its learnings of how data can be collected in a manner that creates a more holistic understanding of Indigenous student achievement and self-voiced success. The workshop will highlight roles and responsibilities related to data collection, data sovereignty, and dissemination.




Day 2 - Workshop 2

Children's Aid Society


Facilitator(s): Christine Baccus & Michael Bowe

This workshop will address the unique lived experiences of young people in care and further dismantle the barriers within the education system impacting educational outcomes. This workshop will provide strategies and alternative approaches to support young people in Extended Society Care to increase well-being and academic success. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to explore and the ways in which education can support young people in care through alternative approaches and perspectives. Further, participants will be able to reflect on their current practices and unpack the ways in these practices contribute to the marginalization of young people in care. Participants can look forward into the ways they can work in a community with Societies to better support the educational outcomes for young people in care.




Countering Absence and Erasure: Challenging Islamophobia through CRRP


Facilitator(s): Ayesha Syed & Rizwana Kaderdina

The absence and erasure of Muslim identities, histories, and narratives in educational spaces function to allow stereotypes and assumptions about Muslims that have existed since the Crusades, to be perpetuated and reinforced over generations, and for Muslim students and communities to continue to be Othered in educational spaces. Participants will explore ways CRRP can be leveraged to counter this so that the prevailing Eurocentric, Occidentalist paradigm is challenged. Participants will explore the possibility that socialization that intentionally humanizes and values Muslim identities might be one of the necessary pre-conditions for establishing a space in which true transformation can take place.




Equity Through Community Music Programming: Barriers and Bridges to Resources and Representation


Facilitator(s): Prof. Karen Burke, Karen Cyrus, Sam Tecle & Evelyn Ponsah

Learners whose social identity is defined by minority group memberships may become demotivated when there is a lack of equity in the curriculum. This workshop explores two barriers to equity in music education for students in low-income areas and racialized students; these students are marginalized due to a lack of resources and a lack of representation in the curriculum respectively. We will discuss the impact of the lack of representation and resources in music education on the engagement, achievement and well-being of Black students in the Jane and Finch area. We will then explore how to source instruments for music programs and integrate pan-African music into the music curricula of schools and community music programs. This is necessary as all children need resources to excel, and children of pan-African descent need positive representations of themselves, beyond tokenism, to promote their success and well-being.




Examining Heterosexist and Non Cisgender Language and Practice


Facilitator(s): Leslie Eddy

I hope to challenge attendees’ unconscious biases and use of language, related to heteronormative attitudes, heterosexist practices and gender binary assumptions within schools and society. In examining heteronormative language/assumptions, as well as gender binary terms, I hope to raise awareness as to how this language/practice, contributes to oppression/micro-aggression and exclusion of marginalized groups/individuals. I hope to identify language & practices that can promote a more inclusive and accepting environment in schools for queer and gender fluid individuals. We will discuss ways that educators can promote a safer space at school for students identifying within the 2SLGBTQA+ community.




Hard Conversations


Facilitator(s): Andrew Parent, Awad Ibrahim, Geordie Walker, Krisa Kopra, Krista Mcnamara & Sherwyn Solomon

**WORKSHOP FULL**

The Ottawa Hard Conversations is a group which started with 3 principals and a University professor, who had grown tired of waiting for change to come from “above” on the hard and daily issues we deal with daily as administrators in our schools. Addressing the suspension rates of racialized students, systemic racism, unchecked biases, and dress codes are the kinds of hard conversations we are interested in discussing during this session with fellow administrators from across the province. Our group has grown to 30-40 principals, elementary and secondary, from across our district. During this session, we would like to reflect on our own practices and beliefs, recognize and name spaces of privilege, and to challenge, as Dr. Robin Di’Angelo puts it, our “white fragility” when engaging in conversations with racialized students, families, and our staffs by talking about race and how it affects our and others’ lived experiences.




How Ableism Intersects with White Supremacy to Harm BIPOC Students


Facilitator(s): Krystal Kavita Jagoo

**WORKSHOP FULL**

The Ontario Human Rights Commission defines ableism as “attitudes in society that devalue and limit the potential of persons with disabilities,” and it aligns with settler colonialism, white supremacy, etc. towards the oppression of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) students. Especially when the diverse student body is not reflected in those providing instruction, BIPOC students will continue to be marginalized unless greater efforts are made to challenge widespread cognitive dissonance in the field of education. My workshop will attempt to equip teachers with the necessary skills to counter mainstream assumptions that contribute to the dehumanization of BIPOC students.




Identifying and Addressing Anti-Black Racism in Ontario Schools


Facilitator(s): Natasha Henry & Phiona Lloyd-Henry

**WORKSHOP FULL**

Our session examines the historical roots of anti-Black racism in education in Ontario to develop a critical awareness of how it manifests today. Participants will be guided in a discussion of some of the issues and concerns in the education of Black students; engage in a series of activities to deepen our understanding of historical and contemporary forms of anti-Black racism and its unique history in the Transatlantic Slave Trade; reflect on how anti-Black racism manifests in classrooms & schools; review the role of engaging Black student voice in understanding and addressing anti-Black racism and provide strategies on how to design ways of #TeachingForBlackLives as a means to disrupt anti-Black racism. At the end of the session, we will spend some time reflecting on our personal roles in making change happen.




Success Beyond Limits


Facilitator(s): Sam Tecle, Tesfai Mengesha, Kherto Ahmed, Darren Aning, PK Boateng, Jumoke Jimoh & Presilla Mason

In this workshop, we present findings from Year 1 of an SBL-led qualitative research project, in partnership with HEQCO, that explored the effectiveness of SBL’s Graduation Model Approach in supporting secondary school educational attainment and access to postsecondary education. While there exists an abundance of research and evaluation on SBL’s Program as it relates to achievement, graduation outcomes an SBL’s Summer Program (as recently as 2017), to date, no systematic evaluation has been conducted engaging SBL Alumni – those who have gone through some or all of SBL’s Graduation Model and engaged with a variety of post-secondary trajectories, including but not limited to any and all forms of post-secondary education (university, college, trade programs). This research project fills that evaluative gap. In addition to a broad-based survey aimed toward all SBL Alumni, our team of 5 Youth Researchers also conducted 27 semi-structured interviews with SBL Alumni. This workshop will present those findings and is connected to Question 2, which is concerned with dismantling barriers to education. Specifically, this workshop focuses on barriers to secondary school completion and postsecondary access.