Through Family and
We know we are not alone in the work of supporting Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) students. Their parents, caregivers, families, and communities are partners in the education of every student we serve. We are committed to defining meaningful engagement to ensure the structures of the WRDSB support ongoing conversations with our partners.
Together, we will build healthier relationships, and create additional opportunities for partnership all with the aim of increased student academic success. Together, we will help students reach their potential and become compassionate global citizens.
In 2022, our partnerships with parents, caregivers, families, community members, local organizations and businesses created a range of opportunities for students. In partnership with the White Owl Native Ancestry Association (WONAA), Grade 3 students from across the WRDSB had the chance to visit their maple syrup sugarbush to learn all about maple sugaring, from the original techniques to modern production methods. Students from four secondary schools had the opportunity to take part in the Waterloo High School Electric Vehicle (EV) Challenge at the University of Waterloo in May of 2022. The endurance racing event invited secondary students from the WRDSB and across Ontario to compete in electric vehicles of their own design and construction. Through our close relationship with Smart Waterloo Region we are supporting a ground-up approach for educators in learning how to use the Global Innovation Management Institute’s (GIMI) Impact Program in their classrooms to inspire students to take a design thinking approach to solving real-world problems in their communities.
It doesn’t end there by any means. We saw the creation of microforests at five WRDSB elementary schools in partnership with Sustainable Waterloo Region, the Grand River Conservation Authority and local businesses. Together, we are creating new learning and play resources for students and communities, while working to fight climate change.
Of course, we recognize that parents, caregivers and families are our closest and most important partners in serving students. In support of them, staff in our Extended Day Program moved quickly to make the most of the Canada-Wide Early Learning & Child Care (CWELCC) agreement and bring savings to the families we serve. All 69 programs were successfully licensed, making the WRDSB a trailblazer in this effort to offer licensed child care programs. It also makes the WRDSB the largest licensed provider of child care in Waterloo Region - just one more example of the culture of innovation that permeates the school board.
From September to December 2022, rates were reduced by 25%. From January to June 2023, families will see a further reduction in rates and by 2025, they will reach an average of $10 a day. The impact that these reduced rates will have for families can already be seen in increased enrolment.
Based on ongoing feedback from families, we have been working to reimagine the way we work to bring families voices together to help shape the work our district does through both formal and informal mechanisms. We recognize that not all families are able to engage through formal processes and we know that engagement amongst families will look different based on various realities. Starting in 2022 we have begun working on the development of a strategy to better engage families which we hope to share during the 2023 school year.
Together, we are all working to better support students.