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Markham Elementary School Renaming Letter - October 1, 2021.pdfMarkham Elementary School Renaming Letter - October 1, 2021

July 6, 2​021

Dear students and families,

At yesterday’s Special Board Meeting, the Board of Trustees voted to rename our school after a report was shared with the Board on the school renaming.  

This decision is consistent with Policy #445, School Names, that requires school names to be based on principles of equity while considering the culture, history and accomplishments of the school(s) affected. 

As noted in the email last week, we recognize that the association with Sir John A. Macdonald causes hurt and harm to members of our school community. It is important that while we recognize his contributions to Canada, we acknowledge the legacy of trauma and pain caused by the harmful, racist policies that he put in place and supported. 

As a school, we are committed to creating a safe, equitable and inclusive environment for all of our students, families and staff members. We are also committed to the Calls to Action presented as part of the Truth and Reconciliation process. An important component of that process is engaging in our own learning as individuals and as a school community, and listening to Indigenous voices. While change is not always easy, this decision was made with these commitments in mind and in the best interests of our community. We can continue to feel proud of being a part of this school and a school community that centres equity and inclusivity and actively demonstrates its commitment to Truth and Reconciliation and addressing anti-Indigenous racism. 

As a first step, the Board has removed the name “Sir John A. Macdonald” from the front signage of the school and the school building. The process to determine a new name for the school is led by the school Trustee and for this school will include collaboration with the Indigenous trustee. As outlined in the Board motion, the process to determine a new name will begin in the fall and include consultation with Chief of the Chippewas of Georgina Island and the local school community. Once more information about the process is determined, I will share more details with you. 

We recognize that this situation may affect members of our school community in different ways, and we will work to ensure our students, staff and families feel supported through this process. 


July 1​​​​​, 2021

Dear Students and Families, 

I would like to begin by thanking you for your incredible partnership over this past year. This has been a challenging 10 months, and I hope that you will all find time for some rest and relaxation over the summer months.  

During yesterday’s Board Meeting, the Board of Trustees discussed a motion to change the name of your child’s school. As you know, there have been many public conversations in recent years about both the positive and harmful legacies of Canada’s first Prime Minister.  While in many ways, he helped shape the Canada that we know today, he was also responsible for the residential school system and other harmful policies that have left a legacy of pain and trauma among Indigenous communities.  

Naming and renaming a school is an exclusive responsibility of our Board of Trustees. School and Board staff will support their request to review the name of the school with an anti-oppression lens. The report and the motion to change the name of the school will be considered by Trustees at a special public board meeting on July 6, 2021 at 7:30p.m.  Families are welcome to register to attend the meeting online.  If the Board approves the motion to rename the school, a community consultation process will be developed regarding potential new names. In addition, our Inclusive School and Community Services department is developing curriculum resources for teachers so that next school year students are made aware of this important discussion and the historical context.

We will keep you updated on the Board decision.  


SJAM Newsletters 

​​​​​​​​The PRIME - December 2017.pdfThe Prime - December 2017​


Thanks School Council for your fundraising efforts this year and for contributing $10,000 towards our new learning space! 

Learn more here...OUTDOOR CLASSROOM - Eco-team- schoolyard greening project.pdfOUTDOOR CLASSROOM


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