BRIEFING - HIGHLIGHTS OF THE JANUARY 10, 2017
MEETING OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
The following individuals delegated the board regarding the Pupil Accommodation Review of Gordon Graydon Memorial, Glenforest, TL Kennedy, The Woodlands and Lorne Park secondary schools:
• Shelly Min Wang and Charmaine Li
• Tianlei Zhang, Charmaine Li and Ying Quan
• Lalita Sirnaik
The following individuals separately delegated the board regarding the board’s Religious Accommodation Operating Procedure:
• Gayathri Iyer
• Zoya Alam and Hamza Aziz
Eric Brazau delegated the board regarding cultural and religious diversity in a multicultural Canada.
Ron Banerj delegated the board regarding religious prayer.
Trustees to send letter to Minister of Education requesting ethno-racial, equity-based review of grade 1 to 12 curriculum
The board will send a letter to Ontario’s Minister of Education Mitzie Hunter to convey its support of the Toronto District School Board’s (TDSB) request that the Ministry of Education undertake an ethno-racial, equity-based, comprehensive review of the grade 1 to 12 curriculum in all major subject areas. In addition, Peel board trustees also support the TDSB’s request that educators, anti-racism advocates, parents/guardians and students from diverse racialized communities be engaged in the review process.
Peel board to update religious accommodation procedure to better support needs of students
The Peel board will update its Religious Accommodation Operating Procedure related to Friday Jummah Prayer for Muslim students in early 2017. “After hearing the voices of our students, speaking with our principals, gathering further information to strengthen our understanding and consulting legal counsel, board staff will make changes to the Peel board’s operating procedure in compliance with the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Education Act,” said Tony Pontes, director of education. “Through our longstanding Religious Accommodation Operating Procedure, the board has always been committed to an inclusive approach in all activities related to religious accommodation for students and staff of all faiths.”
The following elements regarding Friday Jummah prayer will be included in the updated operating procedure:
• All prayer spaces will continue to be supervised by school staff.
• Prayer will be led by students only, on Friday, for Jummah prayer.
• Two or more students can pray together on any other day but prayers would not be led nor include a sermon.
• Students may write their own sermon (khutbah) or can use a sermon from a bank of prewritten sermons, obtained from the school Muslim Student Association (MSA) or a local faith leader.
• Sermons will be presented in English, except for any verses quoted directly from the Quran.
• Sermons must comply with the school Code of Conduct, the Education Act and its regulations, and the Ontario Human Rights Code.
• As with all student activities in schools, appropriate disciplinary and corrective action will be taken where there are any contraventions of the Ontario Human Rights Code or the school Code of Conduct.
It is expected that the Religious Accommodation Operating Procedure will be revised early in 2017, in consultation with Imams from the Peel board’s Faith Leaders’ Group, and communicated to trustees, school administrators, students, parents and the community. Until the operating procedure is revised, staff will continue to review Friday Jummah prayers prepared by students before they are delivered. The board will review the operating procedure at the end of the school year to ensure it is supporting all needs and meeting all requirements.
Trustees recognized the contributions and years of service of the following staff who are retiring:
Allan Anderson, custodian, retired Dec. 31
Steve Fleury, teacher, retired Dec. 31
Sheila Graham, teacher, will retire Jan. 31
Connie Greening, office assistant, will retire Jan. 27
Penny Middleton, vice principal, will retire Jan. 31
Patricia Nagy, teaching assistant, will retire Feb. 1
Janine Nelson, office assistant, retired Dec. 31
Shirley Saunders, teacher, will retire Feb. 10
Kathryn Turp, principal, will retire Feb. 17