- Continue to make Math learning a focus
- STEM is a Program priority
- Appropriate Sex Ed curriculum
- Teen Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention
- Positive mental health promotion
- Advocating for Student welfare
- Moving forward with transparency and accountability
Since 2010, I have been encouraging the School Board to provide resources for Math learning. This includes providing training for teachers, hiring more teachers of math, providing workshop for parents, increasing Math leadership at the school level, and focusing on basic math skills. YRDSB is a top performing Board across Ontario. I continue to advocate for more Math resources, so we can continue to be high performing. Moreover, I also will provide suggestions to Ministry of Education through various ways to ensure that the Government will provide additional support.
I believe this is an important area to be addressed as you look at global learning competencies. If we are preparing our student’s future, we need them to be confident in science, technology, engineering, coding, robotic and math. I want us to be a leading edge.
In 2015, I conducted an online survey on Sex Ed Curriculum in Wards 4 & 5. Thousands of parents said the Government did not consult with them about parental concerns. I did. The result of the survey was presented to School Board and Government. Parent’s voice is very important regarding sex education. I support the Government to review the curriculum. I want to work towards introducing an age-appropriate curriculum. Parent consultation starts in Sept 2018. I will conduct an online survey on my web site as well. I look forward to hearing from you.
The two biggest things that officials say impact drug prevention is education and parental involvement. At the School level, I continue to advocate for more resources to let teens know the dangers of drinking and drug use. This makes a huge difference. Planning is important to help teens avoid risky situations, and to teach them how to avoid stressful situations involving alcohol or other drugs. A task force with experts, counselors, teachers, law enforcement or other qualified people will be my objective to work towards addressing substance abuse in our community.
Educators have an important role in supporting student mental well-being – but they are not expected to become mental health professionals! I advocate to increase school social workers, school mental health worker, school psychological consultants, who are particularly well-placed to offer prevention services. I continue to advocate to provide effective school based programs for promoting mental health. It is important that we involve the whole school, focus on personal skill development, including parents and the wider community.
Over the period of the last 8 years, student welfare has been a focus of mine. Whether it is racism, bullying, disturbing graffiti or poverty, these are important issues for me to address. Character matters is an important starting point to help address student welfare.
I have been moving forward with transparency and accountability since 2010. As a Budget Chair for 3 terms, I have been involved in balancing a budget of over $1.4 Billion. Moreover, I have been directly involved in the hiring of a new Director at YRDSB, the implementation of the Human Rights office and the new Integrity Commissioner. Also, I hosted a first Markham coffee chat and Town Hall Meeting at schools to discuss Broad issues that matter to Parents.