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Ontario’s child care policy now creates a universal, flat-fee child care for medium and high-income families but doesn’t guarantee subsidies to low-income families. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Ontario’s child-care agreement is poised to fail low-income children and families

Ontario’s flat fee for child care should be replaced by an income-tested fee reflecting family incomes.
Online sessions with therapy dogs and their handlers provided students with stress relief and a brain break. (Shutterstock)

Online sessions with therapy dogs can help students feel less stressed

Therapy dogs are a proven support for students experiencing high levels of stress. During the pandemic, in-person encounters were less possible, but virtual sessions also recorded an improvement.
What might schools’ pandemic responses have looked like if principals had been provided with the resources and decision-making abilities they need to serve their communities? THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

To address inequities after COVID-19, principals must become activists

Even with ongoing unpredictability of the pandemic, there’s a role for principals as activist, socially just leaders in a post-pandemic world.
A team of caring adults, including certified teachers and coaches, support The Youth Association for Academics, Athletics and Character Education (YAAACE) community initiatives in Toronto’s Jane-Finch neighbourhood. (Ardavan Eizadirad)

Ontario can close students’ access and opportunity gaps with community-led projects

Revamping standardized testing needs to be accompanied with tangible actions to mitigate students’ opportunity gaps at the community level, particularly for racialized students.
If teachers were to only address the skills, knowledge and referral protocols that Ontario’s Human Rights Commission recommends, students wouldn’t have essential knowledge to support their reading. (Shutterstock)

Ontario’s ‘Right to Read Inquiry’ needs to broaden its recommendations

Direct instruction matters in learning to read, but reading can’t happen unless children are supported in making connections to what they know and their experiences.
Ontario restored standardized testing in 2021-22 after missing a year due to the pandemic, but it’s going to be difficult to analyze results without consistent baseline data. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

After Ontario’s COVID-19 school closures, a responsive recovery plan is critical

Ontario’s incoming government after the election will have its work cut out for it in restoring the public’s faith after extensive school closures.
Parent activism for racial justice in schools is parent engagement. How are school boards valuing and supporting this? THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

5 ways school boards can address racial injustice

Rethinking accountability structures, how to engage parents and the community and how to support anti-racist leadership competencies all matter.

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