Video: Farewell from Director John Bryant

Dear WRDSB Families,

As we near the finish of another school year unlike any other, I am again reminded of the immense gratitude I feel for the efforts of our students, staff, families and community partners. Since September, together we have adapted and shifted the entire Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) to ensure the continued learning of our students. Supporting their success was the guiding light through a storm of the unknown.

I know this was not the school year our students, staff and families wanted it to be. The costs were felt by everyone in the WRDSB. These sacrifices paid off, though, and helped to ensure the safety of all who learn in our schools, and helped limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

In times of great difficulty, there is also great opportunity for transformation and growth. We saw this in many ways over the past school year. From our educators, who managed transitions both to and from remote learning, to our students and their families, who adapted to shifting realities as our entire community worked together to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Each of us has learned how much we can rely on one another, and more about our individual strength that lies within.

We also learned more about the urgent need to make our schools welcoming and supportive places for everyone. In recent weeks, we launched our Indigenous, Equity, and Human Rights Department, formalizing our efforts to address systemic barriers and build a community culture that is safe, equitable, and just. The work of this team will ensure that we are well situated to meet the challenge of creating an anti-oppressive public education system, head-on.

As we head into the summer break, I want to remind families of the opportunities for students and families to register to receive their vaccine with the Region of Waterloo Public Health, or at local pharmacies, if they are eligible. This is an important step in helping to ensure a safe return to learning in September 2021.

As you may know, this year is my last as Director of Education. It has been my immense honour and pleasure to serve you in this role for the past eight years, and to work alongside such incredible individuals. Our success is a collective one. From our schools, to the Education Centre, I know that the WRDSB is in good hands with the people that make up this great system.

I hope that each of you has a chance to rest, relax and enjoy the summer break. We know that questions and uncertainties remain about September, but rest assured that we will be prepared to embark on another year of learning in the WRDSB; together.


John Bryant
Director of Education