Director's Update - February 2024

Posted On Friday February 16, 2024

Dear Families,

As we approach the Family Day long weekend, I hope this message finds you embracing moments of joy and connection with your loved ones. 

I extend warm wishes for continued peace, happiness, and prosperity to all families in our community as we celebrate the Lunar New Year. A time of renewal and festivity, the Lunar New Year symbolizes new beginnings and the reunion of loved ones. May the Year of the Dragon bring joy and fulfillment to each of you. 

Beyond being a precursor to the spring season, February holds profound significance as Black History Month, a time to honour and celebrate the diversity, history, and culture of Black people in Canada. The Durham District School Board is steadfast in recognizing the contributions of people of African Descent not only this month but throughout the entire school year and in taking steps to dismantle anti-Black racism in our schools and system. 

The start of Black History Month at the DDSB was marked by the inspirational Ujima event led by the Durham Black Educators’ Network. Symbolizing collective work and responsibility, Ujima emphasizes the importance of community collaboration for a stronger, more inclusive society. Throughout February, the DDSB is actively engaged in a series of educational and cultural events that spotlight the achievements of Black individuals and illuminate their contributions in various fields.

Shifting our focus to significant developments within the DDSB, I am pleased to share the release of the 2023 Annual Report. The new web-based format provides an extensive overview of the exceptional work taking place across our District in an engaging way. I encourage you to explore the 2023 Annual Report to gain an understanding of our collective accomplishments, challenges, and our exciting trajectory ahead. 

As you navigate the enriching experiences offered by our educational community, I extend a friendly reminder to register for kindergarten if you haven’t already and to tell your friends and family if they have any kindergarten-aged children. The Ministry of Education has announced changes to the Kindergarten curriculum, including new mandatory learning focused on literacy and math skills, to be implemented starting September 2025, ensuring foundational skills as students enter Grade 1. Moreover, I’d like to highlight Choosing My Success, a resource for students transitioning into high school. This resource provides valuable information for navigating the more independent learning environment and helping to make choices that position students for success. 

A reminder that report cards will be issued on February 21 to students in Grades 1 to 8. Please take the time to review the report card, celebrate your child’s achievements, and discuss areas for growth. Your involvement in your child’s education is important and we thank you for your continued partnership. 

Thank you for your commitment to creating a thriving educational community. Together, let us work toward a future where learning is ignited, connections are deepened, and the well-being of every student is prioritized. I hope that the upcoming long weekend will provide time for connections with family or friends, or simply some quiet time for personal rejuvenation.

Warm regards, 

Camille Williams-Taylor 

Director of Education 
Durham District School Board