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

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

Explorons L'identité: le Moi et les Autres


Facilitator(s): Alice Fomen & Karen Devonish-Mazzotta

Cet atelier portera sur l'identité et les concepts qui l'encadrent dans le milieu scolaire. Nous allons explorer de quelle manière l'identité des enseignants influence l'enseignement et la relation avec les apprenants. Les concepts d'interculturalisme, d'inclusion et d'intersectionnalité seront au coeur des discussions.

LGBTQI2S+ Inclusion in Schools


Facilitator(s): Kevin Welbes Godin

This presentation will outline why Ontario schools and their teachers need to be more attentive and proactive in providing safer spaces for LGBTQI2S+ students. What can teachers do? What are the potential obstacles? Come and explore how you can be a change agent for some of our most vulnerable students.

Restructuring Pathways Through Secondary School


Facilitator(s): Dr. Gillian Parekh & Alison Gaymes San Vicente

WORKSHOP FULL

Within the Ontario education system, research has shown that unless students take the majority of their courses at the Academic level in high school, their access to post-secondary education is significantly limited. In response, educators and leaders within the Toronto District School Board launched the ‘Restructured Pathways’ initiative where 16 schools have opted to collapse their Applied program courses and move Grade 9-10 students into the Academic program of study. This presentation includes system data on streaming, equity and disproportionality as well as highlights the experiences of administrators, educators and students working at the forefront of system change.

Silenced Narratives - The Erasure of the Muslim Student's Experience from the Canadian School Narrative


Facilitator(s): Nora Hindy & Sayema Chowdhury

Lack of data surrounding Islamophobic experiences of Muslim students in public schools has resulted in the lack of policies, structures or strategies essential to support these students. The collection of data is needed to create an accurate portrayal of the Muslim students' experiences regarding Islamophobia in Ontario public school. The collection of this data will allow for targeted systematic responses backed by dedicated funding, concrete plans and supports to ensure the creation of safe, nurturing spaces which support the mental well-being and safety of Muslims students.

Success Beyond Limits' work in the Jane and Finch community


Facilitator(s): Tesfai Mengesha, Executive Director, SBL Operations, Sam Tecle, PhD Candidate in Sociology, SBL Researcher, and 5 Youth Researchers

This presentation opens with a summary of Success Beyond Limits' work in the Jane and Finch community, as an advocate for youth and the role young people can play in the research process. The presentation then moves to detail the youth-led, community-based participatory research project SBL is undertaking with the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO). This research project is designed to evaluate the impact of SBL’s programming in post-secondary trajectories and pathways, and includes SBL Alumni who have or have not attended PSE. More specifically, we are interested in knowing how SBL’s graduation model and programming have influenced the accessing of PSE and the decisions made with respect to PSE choices such as – but not limited to – institution attended, choice of major, scholarships sought the plethora of attendant decisions associated with PSE participation. While only preliminary findings will be presented, the Research Questions are below:

Has participation in the SBL program influenced students’ post-secondary pathways and/or trajectories? If so, how and why?

Has participation in SBL influenced students’ PSE attainment? If so, how and why?

How has participating in SBL changed students’ aspirations about PSE pathways? And to what extent are these changes in PSE aspiration related to their post-secondary trajectories and PSE attendance?

How has participating in SBL changed students’ relationships with their peers and community? To what extent are these changes in relationships related to their post-secondary trajectories and PSE attendance?

Using Inclusive Design to Implement Effective School Improvement Processes for Equitable Outcomes: A Senior Leader’s Lens


Facilitator(s): Camille Logan, Camille Williams-Taylor & Kevin Merkley

WORKSHOP FULL

As system leaders, Superintendents are responsible for creating the conditions, setting the expectations and securing accountability for school leadership that positively impacts and improves student achievement and well-being. In this session, participants will be introduced to ‘Inclusive Design’, an approach to implementing school improvement at school and system levels to close the gaps for our most marginalized students, reduce barriers and hold high expectations for school leaders, teachers and students. Inclusive Design is an approach to implementing structures within schools and school systems that mitigate barriers for students and families whose historical marginalization has been an impediment to their social and school success.

Inclusive Design builds on and incorporates the widely accepted research that informs equity and inclusion in education, serving as an integrated model with a focus on mitigating persistent barriers to success among Indigenous, racialized and marginalized populations of students. Inclusive Design can inform superintendents’ leadership in building the competency of their teams to affect the changes in their districts that are needed to make these changes a reality. Participants will explore authentic examples of Inclusive Design in practice at systems and school levels drawing on the experiences of superintendent leaders in three different school boards. Tools, strategies and outcomes will be presented along with the challenges inherent in the work.

Workplace Inclusion that Supports Student Success


Facilitator(s): Pardeep Singh Nagra & Farrell Hall

Come, hear from a panel of senior leaders who are engaged in workplace equity in their respective boards and how Human Rights Code intersects with Employment Equity. Questions to be explored include: How to collect workplace demographic data? How do we attract and bring together a diverse team? How do we work to keep those individuals on the team? How does Reg 274 impact employment equity? What are the challenges? What are some best practices?