School hires graduation coaches for Black students

The public school board will add about 15 new bus routes and will also increase the number of buses on the roads to accommodate bell time changes under its new $1.572-billion budget.

“As we navigate through this pandemic, we remain in a strong financial position,” says York Region District School Board (YRDSB) Trustee and Budget Committee Chair David Sherman. “In planning for the year ahead, we have incorporated public input from over 7,000 parents, students and community members and have prioritized front-line resources for our students, while remaining fiscally accountable to the taxpayer.”

The board will hire two graduation coaches for Black students, continuing a pilot project funded by the Ministry of Education for one year with the goal of helping Black students graduate and excel in and out of the classroom. The pilot was based on a similar program for Indigenous students, which the Ministry says almost doubled Indigenous students’ graduation rates throughout four years.

Also, under the 2020-21 budget, the school board will hire three new elementary vice-principals and new special educational assistants. The board increased its budget for information technology software and licensing fees and earmarked $5 million for emergency maintenance repairs to keep buildings in good repair.

The 2020-21 budget is up slightly from last year’s $1.515-billion budget. “Our trustees and staff have worked incredibly hard to develop this budget during uncertain and challenging times,” says Director of Education Louise Sirisko. “We are very proud of their dedication and commitment and we look forward to the year ahead focused on providing safe and engaging learning opportunities for our students.”

The YRDSB is the third largest school district in Ontario with more than 127,000 students in 178 elementary schools and 33 secondary schools.

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