Multiculture Resource Centre
The EMSB welcomes and respects the ethnic and cultural diversity of its student population. It is estimated that more than 50 different cultural groups are represented within the EMSB. Our goal is to foster the successful integration of ethnocultural groups into social life through various means, including the provision of in-service training for staff, and the development of methods for creating learning environments free of prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination.
A "Glossary of Key Terms" in the area of Multicultural Education has been developed and distributed to schools to familiarize administrators, teachers and staff in general with terms such as anti-racist education and heritage languages. A revised 1999 edition of the international calendar, containing the dates of religious and national holidays worldwide, was also prepared and distributed to all schools.
In the youth sector, peer mediation training was provided to 12 schools in 2000-2001. The mediation team embarked on school-wide campaigns to inform all students of the nature of the program and their specific roles as mediators. Four workshops were organized for EMSB principals, vice-principals and centre directors with the aim of familiarizing in-school administrators with the salient features of the new EMSB Safe School Policy. There were also three workshops presented on cultural diversity in the classroom. The aim was to provide teachers with an opportunity to discuss cultural diversity issues in a safe and non-judgmental environment and to assist with designing classroom activities and lessons plans around the theme of cultural diversity. Teachers are required under the Ministry of Education curriculum reform to develop cross-curricular competencies in students. These include intercultural communication skills, problem-solving and critical thinking. A total of 22 teachers attended the sessions.