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Amaral: Equity in education

Amaral: Equity in education

The subject of equity is increasing in the discourse about education. The concept of equity in education has two main components: access to education and the right to educational outcomes. Access speaks to the right in accessing and participating in education regardless of personal or social circumstances such as cognitive, emotional, or physical ability, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or socio-economic status.  The right to educational outcome speaks to the right in acquiring academic skills, particularly related to literacy and numeracy.

Inclusion is at the forefront of the debate on equity. Last month, at our District Professional Development Day, SD46 hosted Shelley Moore, an expert on inclusion in education.  We had an opportunity to learn about the evolution of inclusion and discuss meeting the needs of students who need to access and acquire education in different ways based on their cognitive, emotional and physical capacity. The conversation between support staff, teachers, principals, and trustees was rich and creative.

For me these discussions are directly related to conversations we are having as a board, especially as we are currently in a new cycle of strategic planning. We see these themes arising in a variety of facets of our work as a school board. For example, in implementing the new curriculum, in the use of the competency based Individual Education Plans and in changes to the funding structure for boards of education. I believe that SD 46 is a leader in equity in both access and outcomes and this is evidenced by our graduation rates, particularly that our indigenous students are graduating at the same rate as non-indigenous students. I look forward to ensuring that equity continues to hold a prime focus in our district.

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