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Message From Our Trustee 307
Message From Our Trustee

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Messa​ge from Our Trustee 

Dear families, 
 
Thank you for your patience and support as schools closed to students and we moved to remote learning in January for two weeks after the winter break, following direction from the Government of Ontario. 
 
It has been almost two years since the pandemic was declared and schools closed to students for the first time. Since then, we have all experienced significant changes and challenges in the way we live, work and learn. As a school board, we continue to be guided by public health advice and guidelines, our values as an organization and the goals set out in our Multi-Year Strategic Plan, all of which centre the well-being, learning and achievement of our students. We remain committed to sharing information with you as it becomes available. We also continue to update the Board website with resources and information, at www.yrdsb.ca/school-reopening
 
On the website, you can also find information about the Board of Trustees, including more about my role as your trustee, committee meeting dates, and information about public participation and how you can attend public board meetings. Following a review completed earlier this year, trustees approved some changes to committee structures and delegation process to create a stronger governance model. As a Board, we are committed to good governance, serving the needs of our community and upholding the values of York Region District School Board. 
 
With winter well underway, I want to remind families that this year schools will close when an inclement weather day is declared. This is as a result of the pandemic and the importance of adhering to public health guidelines. 
 
There is much to look forward to in the months ahead. 
 
This month, students in Grades 5 to 11 will have an opportunity to vote for the students who will represent their voices next school year, during the student trustee elections. Student trustees play an important role in our system, including participating in board and committee meeting discussions. The election process also gives students an opportunity to learn more about and participate in the voting process. Learn more at www.yrdsb.ca/studenttrustees
 
Throughout February, we recognize Black History Month. In addition to recognizing the contributions of Black Canadians throughout history, we are continuing to Celebrate Black Excellence in our own community. I encourage you to read or watch the stories of some of the many outstanding individuals in York Region, or nominate someone. You may also be interested in some of the episodes available on our TuneIn YRDSB podcast, exploring Black History Month and beyond. 
 
Later in February, our schools will become a sea of pink as we acknowledge Pink Shirt Day and stand together against bullying. Learn more about our work to prevent and address bullying and create equitable and inclusive learning environments. 
Family Day and March Break are also approaching, and I wish you and your families a healthy, restful and enjoyable break. 
As we move closer to the spring and summer months, many families who have children graduating this year are beginning to wonder what graduation ceremonies will look like in June. We all want to be able to celebrate this important milestone with our graduating students in person. It is a special occasion, recognizing their years of achievement and hard work. We recognize that it has been deeply disappointing to students, families and staff that we have not been able to hold in-person ceremonies as we have done in the past, as we adhere to health and safety guidelines. School board staff continue to meet regularly with public health and to review provincial guidelines, and as more information becomes available, we will continue to provide you with updates. 
In closing, I want to acknowledge that as an education community, although we have faced many challenges and changes in the past few years, we have also seen our community come together in many ways to support our students and one another. I am proud to be part of this community and I want to thank our students, families and staff for the effort and care they have demonstrated.
 

 

Simon Cui
Trustee – Markham Wards 4 and 5​


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Dear families, 

I hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and well. 2020 has been a challenging year in so many ways, and the global pandemic has affected individuals and families in different ways. 

I want to reassure you that we continue to work closely with York Region Public Health and to prioritize the health and well-being of our students, staff members and families.  It continues to be important that we adhere to the health and safety measures in place to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. You can learn more about what schools are doing at www.yrdsb.ca/school-reopening

While we have seen cases in some of our schools, we continue to work with public health to respond quickly, identify cohorts that need to self-isolate as a precautionary measure and take all appropriate measures. I want to thank all of our students, families and staff members for their diligence in adhering to the public health recommendations and health and safety measures in place in our schools. 

One of our priorities in our Multi-Year Strategic Plan is to foster well-being and mental health. As a result of the pandemic, many of us are facing changes and new challenges that can take a toll on our mental health. It is more important than ever that we check in on one another and practice self-care. There are mental health resources for students and families on our Board website that address the unique nature of our current situation. You can also find information about our Mental Health and Addiction Strategy and the work we are doing in schools to promote positive mental health and provide support for students.  

While there are challenges, we also continue to have so many reasons to feel positive. Our students continue to impress us with their kindness, creativity, innovation, resilience, courage and perseverance. Visit us on YouTube at YRDSBMedia to see just some of these stories.  

In the coming weeks and months, many of our students and families will be celebrating days of significance and holidays, and I wish you all the very best for the season. While we may be celebrating a little differently this year, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, I hope everyone has a safe and happy winter break and we look forward to welcoming students back into our in-person and virtual schools in January. 

To find contact information for the local trustee of your home school, please visit the Board website at www.yrdsb.ca.


Simon Cui
Trustee – Markham Wards 4 and 5​


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