September 6th, 2023
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
Supporting the health and well-being of students and staff is a priority for the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB). In fact, support for student and staff well-being is one of the Strategic Directions set by Trustees in our Multi-Year Strategic Plan. Ensuring that our staff have healthy and professional boundaries between work and home is an important part of that commitment and is an investment in positive mental health and the ability to serve and support students.
As part of a strategy to support and encourage all Ontarians in achieving greater work-life balance, the province passed the Working for Workers Act in December 2021. In line with that, WRDSB has developed the Disconnecting from Work Protocol, which sets parameters for employees’ availability (e.g., responding to emails) and supports a positive shift in our organizational culture. WRDSB also values and has set expectations for respectful dialogue as outlined in the process for addressing concerns.
We recognize that maintaining open, responsive lines of communication with you is important. For this reason, connecting with staff during regular work hours on school days, Monday to Friday, is always best. This means that while you can always send emails after hours, staff will be encouraged to respond during their normal work hours to allow them time with their families and other important relationships. Please recognize that an immediate response may not be possible as staff are teaching or supervising students throughout the day.
There are, of course, certain times in the year that staff will reach out after hours for parent-teacher meetings, or previously agreed to meetings. However, they are not expected to respond to emails or messages into the evening or on weekends.
This is one of several strategies WRDSB is employing to support the health and well-being of our employees. A healthy, family-friendly workforce will make a positive difference in your school community and for your child. We are committed to ensuring your student is supported socially, emotionally and academically. Your partnership is critical for us to achieve this goal.
Should you have any questions, please connect directly with the Principal of your child’s school.
Director of Education