HWDSB’s Equity and Inclusion Policy 5.4 is committed to the principles of equity through inclusive programming, services, and operations, in accordance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Education Act and Ministry of Education PPM 119 areas of focus found below.
This is important, ambitious work that touches every corner of our organization that intends to:
- Identify and address biases, barriers and discriminatory actions.
- Support positive learning and workplace environments where all students and staff feel safe, support and accepted.
- Support inclusive community partnership, engagement and communicating ongoing progress.
Ableism and Discrimination Based on Disability
Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board is committed to the continual improvement of access to school board facilities, policies, programs, practices and services for students, staff, parents/guardians, volunteers and members of the community with disabilities, and to the participation of people with disabilities in the development and review of its annual accessibility plans.
Anti–classism and Socio-economic Equity
Anti-racism and Ethnocultural Equity
Gender Identity and Gender Expression
- Procedure in development.
Religious and Creed-Based Accommodation
- Religious Accommodation Procedure
- Parent Guide – Religious and Creed-Based Accommodations *Please note that Appendix A of this guide is being updated.
Capitalizing on the Board’s strategic priorities on student achievement, positive culture and well-being, HWDSB launches a three-year Equity Action Plan (2018/19-2020/21). The HWDSB Equity Action Plan applies anti-oppression, critical social justice and human rights perspectives with a goal to intentionally embed the core principles of human rights and equity at the system, school and classroom levels. The plan envisions a culture shift that is built on recognizing and critically challenging historically built-in inequalities and injustices that contribute towards producing inequitable outcomes in the education system.
- We All Count, the HWDSB Staff Census
Please also learn about the HWDSB Student Census, a priority of the Equity Action Plan.
Community Advisory Groups
Faith Community Advisory Committee
HWDSB believes in ensuring high level of student, parent, community and staff participation and engagement. The Faith Community Advisory Committee (FCAC) works with Board of Trustees and staff to support inclusive and equitable polices and practices to advance the Board’s commitment in terms of religious and creed-based accommodations to promote acceptance, understanding and inclusion.
The Committee is responsible for providing the Board of Trustees with advice on specific areas of Board policy or program consistent with the Education Act and the policies of the Board, and on services that affect the educational success and well-being of HWDSB students and staff. The committee has no more than 13 members and no fewer than seven. The composition of voting committee members includes multi-faith community groups, parents, students and community members. Non-voting membership includes up to two Trustees, a senior staff representative and other staff resources as required. We will notify the community during recruitment for members.
Applications are available online and will be accepted by email or in person at the Education Centre, 20 Education Court, Hamilton. The deadline to apply is January 26, 2024.
Human Rights and Equity Community Advisory Committee
HWDSB believes in ensuring high level of student, parent, community and staff participation and engagement. In support of this commitment to creating an equitable, inclusive, accessible and supportive environment, the Board of Trustees has established a Human Rights and Equity Community Advisory Committee in 2018. The committee meets at least once a year with a schedule determined by the committee. The committee is responsible for providing the Board of Trustees and staff with advice on specific areas of Board policy or program consistent with the Education Act focusing on equity, inclusion and human rights. The committee has no more than 13 members and no fewer than seven. The composition of voting committee members includes community organizations, parents, students and community members. Non-voting membership includes up to two Trustees, a senior staff representative and other staff resources as required. We will notify the community during recruitment for members. For more information about the committee, contact us at [email protected]
Staff Advisory Groups
System Positive Space Committee
The HWDSB System Positive Space Committee works to make HWDSB a safer and more welcoming space for LGBTQI2S+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Two-spirit plus) students and staff. The committee is comprised of staff from LGBTQI2S+ communities and their allies. The committee has different working groups that focus on specific tasks, including supporting inclusive curriculum, professional training development on LGBTQI2S+ issues, and coordination of events and celebrations including Pride at HWDSB, Day of Difference and other events. The working group has representation of all roles, responsibilities, departments and positions within HWDSB. Participation in the group is voluntary. For more information contact, [email protected]
Student Advisory Groups
Racialized Students’ Voice Committee
HWDSB students who identify as racialized are invited to join the Racialized Students’ Voice Committee. The committee is a platform for students to share their lived experiences of race and racism, reflect upon their identities, experiences and specific challenges and successes. The committee will serve to connect students from different schools and provide insight on policies, programs and practices to improve outcomes for racialized students.
LGBTQI2S+ Students’ Voice Council
HWDSB students who identify as LGBTQI2S+ are invited to join the LGBTQI2S+ Students’ Voice Council. The council is a platform to share their lived experiences, reflect upon their identities, experiences of inequities in the education system including, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, and other forms of discrimination faced by LGBTQI2S+ students. The voice council, working with the positive space steering committee, will serve to connect students from different schools and provide insight on policies, programs and practices to improve outcomes for LGBTQI2S+ students and support work related to positive spaces at the board level and in schools. Students are not required to be out at home or in their school in order to participate. HWDSB will protect the confidentiality of students who participate to the best of our ability.