Accommodation - An adjustment made to policies, programs, guidelines, or practices, including adjustments to physical settings and various types of criteria, that enables individuals to benefit from and take part in the provision of services equally and to participate equally and perform to the best of their ability.
Accessibility - Ensuring that all Ontarians are equally able to access and use the services and programs we develop and provide.
Anti-discriminatory Material – Material that reflects the diversity of all learners and seeks to eliminate all forms of discrimination based on the prohibited grounds identified in the Ontario Human Rights Code and other factors.
Barrier - An obstacle to equity that may be overt or subtle, intended or unintended, and systemic or specific to an individual or group, and that prevents or limits access to opportunities, benefits, or advantages that are available to other members of society.
Bias - An opinion, preference, prejudice, or inclination that limits an individual’s or a group’s ability to make fair, objective, or accurate judgements.
Code of Conduct - clear standards of behaviour for individual school boards to follow.
Culturally Responsive Curriculum - A curriculum that accurately reflects and uses the variety of knowledge of all peoples as the basis for instruction; that acknowledges and respects the diverse social backgrounds, identities and experiences of all students , and places them at the centre of the learning environment
Culturally Responsive Teaching - Teaching that recognizes that all students learn differently, and that uses the social and cultural backgrounds and identities of the students, their prior knowledge, and their experiences and interests, to build, extend and share knowledge among students
Culture - The totality of ideas, beliefs, values, knowledge, language, and way of life of a group of people who share a certain historical background
Discrimination - Unfair or prejudicial treatment of individuals or groups on the basis of grounds set out in the Ontario Human Rights Code (e.g., race, sexual orientation, disability) or on the basis of other factors
Equity - A condition or state of fair, inclusive, and respectful treatment of all people
Harassment - A form of discrimination that may include unwelcome attention and remarks, jokes, threats, name-calling, touching, or other behaviour (including the display of pictures) that insults, offends, or demeans someone because of his or her identity
Homophobia - A disparaging or hostile attitude or a negative bias, which may be overt or unspoken and which may exist at an individual and/or a systemic level, towards people who are, or who are perceived to be, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT)
Inclusive Education - Education that is based on the principles of acceptance and inclusion of all students. Students see themselves reflected in their curriculum, their physical surroundings, and the broader environment, in which diversity is honoured and all individuals are respected
Mitigating and Other Factors – factors that must be taken into consideration when making a decision regarding suspension or expulsion of a student
Mitigating - The student does not have the ability to control his or her behaviour.
• The student does not have the ability to understand the foreseeable consequences of his or her behaviour.
• The student’s continuing presence in the school does not create an unacceptable risk to the safety of any person.
Other Factors - the student’s history; whether a progressive discipline approach has been used with the student; whether the activity for which the student may be or is being suspended or expelled was related to any harassment of the student because of his or her race, ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, or sexual orientation or any other harassment; how the suspension or expulsion would affect the student’s ongoing education; the age of the student; in the case of a student for whom an Individual Education Plan (IEP) has been developed: whether the behaviour was a manifestation of a disability identified in the student’s individual education plan; whether appropriate individual accommodation has been provided; whether the suspension or expulsion is likely to result in an aggravation or worsening of the student’s behaviour or conduct.
Ontario Human Rights Code - A provincial law that gives everyone equal rights and opportunities, without discrimination, in specific areas such as education, jobs, housing, and services. The goal of the Code is to address and prevent discrimination and harassment
Ontario’s Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy - first launched in 2009 and updated in 2014, this plan aims to help educators across the province better identify and remove discriminatory biases and systemic barriers to support the achievement and well-being of all students
Positive School Climate - The school climate may be defined as the learning environment and relationships found within a school and school community. A positive school climate exists when all members of the school community feel safe, included, and accepted, and actively promote positive behaviours and interactions. Principles of equity and inclusive education are embedded in the learning environment to support a positive school climate and a culture of mutual respect.
Progressive Discipline - A whole-school approach that uses a continuum of prevention programs, interventions, supports, and consequences to address inappropriate student behaviour, as well as a variety of strategies to promote and foster positive behaviours
Racism - A set of erroneous assumptions, opinions, and actions stemming from the belief that one race is inherently superior to another
Religious Accommodation - An obligation under the Ontario Human Rights Code to provide reasonable accommodation for students and employees who wish to observe the tenets or practices of their faith, as well as for those who wish not to participate in any form of religious observance
School Climate Survey - School boards are required to conduct school climate surveys of students, school staff and parents at least once every two years as they all play a key role in contributing to a positive school climate
School Improvement Plan - A school improvement plan is a road map that sets out the changes a school needs to make to improve the level of student achievement, and shows how and when these changes will be made
Student Engagement - fostering amongst students their Social Engagement (a sense of belonging and participation in school life); their Academic or Institutional Engagement (participation in the formal requirements of schooling) as well as their Intellectual Engagement (a serious emotional and cognitive investment in learning, using higher order thinking skills - such as analysis and evaluation- to increase understanding, solve complex problems, or construct new knowledge.
Systemic Discrimination - A pattern of discrimination that arises out of apparently neutral institutional policies or practices, that is reinforced by institutional structures and power dynamics, and that results in the differential and unequal treatment of members of certain group
Well-Being - that positive sense of self, spirit and belonging that we feel when our cognitive, emotional, social and physical needs are being met