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Durham District School Board
Ignite Learning
Director's Annual Report

Message from the
Director of Education

It is my privilege to welcome you to the 2015-2016 Director's Annual Report to the Community from the Durham District School Board (DDSB).

A key focus of this year's report is to ensure we respect and promote the diversity of our student population, because at the DDSB, 'Diversity is our Strength; Diversity is our Future', and I invite you to join us on our journey.

Our focus on diversity is aligned with our key strategic goals:

  • Increase Student Achievement
    and Well-Being
  • Constructively Engage the Community
  • Advance Inspired Leadership

We are also excited and pleased to support the Hon. Mitzie Hunter, Ontario Minister of Education, in her announcement of the collection of racialized data to assist and inform us on improving outcomes and programs for racialized students.

Education should and must be dynamic. We need to continually evolve and improve our practices to support, enhance, celebrate and be responsive to the social and cultural realities of the students and families we serve.

In leading and managing change, growth and innovation, we are using a model to ensure that we plan, act, assess and reflect upon how we implement them. That requires us to align people-purpose with performance. Join us on our Journey to Coherence!

To support student success, we have implemented several characteristics found in strong school districts. Among them:

  • A broadly shared mission, vision and goals founded on aspirational images of the educated person;
  • A coherent instructional guidance system; and
  • A comprehensive approach to leadership
    and development.

We have aligned system-level leadership to ensure a number of key priorities including:

  • Build relationships and develop people;
  • Improve the instructional program; and
  • Secure accountability.

You will find a variety of student success stories in this report that confirm we are fulfilling our strategic objectives. Building upon that success, we examined current practices and reviewed data to create our new Operational Goals, which are the specific goals we want to accomplish and measure during the 2016-2017 school year. The specific, targeted goals are a year's worth of work for trustees and the senior team.

Sincerely,
Lisa Millar
Director of Education


Message from the
Chair of the Board

On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Durham District School Board (DDSB), it is my pleasure to share in welcoming you to the 2015-2016 Director's Annual Report.

If there is one word to describe the past year at the DDSB, it is "change". Whether being viewed from a broader provincial perspective where there are constant changes in both direction and intent, or illustrated in personnel, policy or process, change has been constant within the education field in
2015-2016:

  • A change in our Board's leadership – with the appointment of Lisa Millar as our new Director;
  • A change in our senior leadership team and the welcoming of many new faces into our Board and into positions of responsibility; and
  • We continue to have the Durham Board recognized as a leader in many initiatives. We are proud of the contributions of our broader community to educational leadership. 

We must continue to advocate for change because it is necessary for us to continue to build an educational system that serves all. In particular, we must continue to:

  • Advocate for our First Nations communities to ensure that healing can overcome generations of ill prepared actions;
  • Promote equity and diversity by ensuring that school and classroom practices reflect multiple social realities and perspectives to identify and eliminate barriers to learning; and ensuring that equitable access and practices are reflected in our policies and programs to create an inclusive environment where all stakeholders have a sense of belonging;
  • Speak for those who are most vulnerable; for those that come to school hungry, ill prepared, ill equipped and marginalized;
  • Press and push that equality of funding and equity of opportunity are available for all our students and families;
  • Advocate for change in transparency, engagement and involvement at all levels of government; and
  • Advocate for engagement, partnership and inclusivity for all who work, contribute and give of their talent, time and passion.  No one contributor is greater than the lofty and important goal of an equitable education opportunity.

We are individuals who have families, dreams and aspirations; our hearts go to those who face some of the most difficult times. The Board of Trustees remains committed to ensuring equitable education to meet the needs of our communities.


Sincerely,
Michael Barrett
Chair of the Board