By Sean Delaney
The Emery Village Voice sat down with school board trustee Christopher Mammoliti to ask him what is new in education, and what he is excited about.EVV: Tell us what’s new?
CM: Some of the new pieces we have coming forward this year is a new dress code policy. There will be more detail coming from the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) in the fall, but I can tell you it came form student voices and consultation. They asked for the policy to be a little more inclusive to represent the diversity in Toronto. And we’re starting to look for a policy for the whole board, whereas before schools were allowed to make their own individual decisions.
I can always provide more communication on it if anyone wants to connect with me and talk, they can reach out to me, and we can do that.EVV: Very interesting, what else is exciting you?
CM: We have a new parent portal on our website. I can provide the link and let parents know how to access that. It’s important for parents to be able to connect with the school board and express their needs and concerns. And if something is localized to my ward, it will make its way to me.EVV: And what is happening in policy?
CM: Maybe the most exciting thing for me is we have really taken seriously the concerns with racism and discrimination. It’s a big focal point at the board, and we want to ensure we are ridding our schools of this at every chance we have. We’ve put out a document to our principals that is coming to the public in the fall – but I can share it at anytime for anyone interested. The focus of the effort is to have our principals identify and call out racial situations, involving and engaging their teachers.
If you were in public and something criminal was happening, you would call the police right away. That’s the type of culture we have to breed into the TDSB and our director has put a lot of effort into this, and we as trustees all back it. At the end of the day our goal should be to have all of our youth educated. We need to start looking at marginalized communities and help them and bridge them into the system. That’s our future economy, our future workers, and if we can’t help them remain in the education system, it hurts us all in the long term.