June 24th, 2021
To our fellow Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) students:
You did it! You made it through a year of constant change and uncertainty. You displayed strength, courage, perseverance, kindness and resilience. As your 2020-21 Student Trustees, we want to congratulate and thank you for staying strong throughout these challenging times.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the entire community, from staff, families, students, and community members. Since March 2020, you have shown immense strength and resiliency by finding ways to stay motivated. Even though it was hard sometimes, you continued to advocate for inclusive learning environments, mental health supports, and proactive teaching strategies.
As we reflect on our term, we are proud of the work we were able to do to amplify student voice and support the lived experiences of our peers. Through the launch of the Thinking Out Loud survey, you bravely told us, by sharing more than 3,000 thoughts, that mental health supports, Human Rights and equity, and learning were important to you. With that information, you put your Student Trustees in a better position to represent you at the Board table. We also launched the @wrdsb_students Instagram account as an easy and approachable way to engage with us and the work we did.
In addition to the survey and social media channel, we can’t forget the Student Senate committee. This year, Student Senate established three main priorities: mental health, connecting distance learners, and social justice awareness. These three priorities guided the work we did with the Thinking out Loud Survey, our Mental Health interview series with Huron Heights Secondary School (HHSS) child and youth workers, and meeting with Canadian Senator Marty Deacon. We want to extend our appreciation to our Student Senators. These representatives from each secondary school quickly transitioned to a virtual format so our connections and essential work could continue. We are grateful for their desire to be involved, to provide feedback and insight on what matters to students and their willingness to represent their fellow students and school communities.
As we head into the last month of our term, we will be connecting with the 2021-22 Student Trustees, Nicole and Kenzy, and assisting them as they continue the work of amplifying student voice.
We would like to thank our Board of Trustees, all the WRDSB staff and our Trustee Mentors for their mentorship.
But most of all, we want to thank YOU – the strong and resilient students of WRDSB. We wish you a wonderful and relaxing summer. You deserve it. This has not been easy, and we are hopeful for a less challenging 2021-22 school year.
We wish you all the best!
Tristan John-Jandles and Rowan McDonald
2020-21 Student Trustees