Message from the Chair of the Board

The Annual Report gives us the opportunity to reflect on the past year and celebrate our successes. It also allows us to look forward and continue building on our goal of improving the lives of our students.

One of the most important things we can do to promote student success is create a positive school culture. Over the past year as chair, and over many years with the school board, I've had the honour of witnessing the learning that comes from the classroom and the school community.

Through our diverse school populations, we learn about the world and of different cultures. I learned the value of acceptance as a student of this board. Today, I am committed to use my platform to raise awareness about the stigma of mental illness and ensure that the well-being of each and every student is a key priority at Thames Valley.

Last week, the Ontario Student Trustees' Association released its annual Student and Parent engagement survey. It found that 35 per cent of students do not feel that adequate mental health resources and supports exist in their school.

We need to work to ensure that every student feels supported. We have many resources available to our students - from our social workers and psychologists, to our guidance counsellors and our online resources. No student in Thames Valley should ever feel alone. We must recognize the complex backgrounds of our students and their families and be prepared to respond appropriately. 

Programs, such as Reframing our Responses, is vital in our schools. It encourages us to recognize how personal stories impact behavior and emotional responses. We must take this into account and support our students' learning and well-being. It is only when we build a culture for learning that is supportive and responsive that we will create an environment where all students feel safe, secure and accepted.

In closing, I want to thank our Board of Trustees for their vision, and our Administration and staff for their ongoing support for our students.

Public Education has the ability to leave a lasting positive impact for generations to come. It is the hope of our students and the promise of their futures that drives us to do more, to work hard and to never give up on anyone in our Thames Valley family.

 

Matt Reid
Chair of the Board

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