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Greater Essex County District School Board
Building Tomorrow Together Every Learner, Every Day
Equity and Inclusive Education

​​​​Embracing diversity and celebrating creativity strengthens our school system and enriches all of us.

Equity and Inclusive Education

The Greater Essex County District School Board (GECDSB) embraces the rich diversity of its students, staff, and communities and commits itself to equitable access, treatment, and outcomes for all.

The GECDSB affirms and upholds the principles of respect of for human rights and fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Constitution Act, 1982 and confirmed in the Ontario Human Rights Code. The Board is committed to identifying and removing discriminatory biases and systemic barriers and celebrating diversity and respect for all as outlined in Ontario's Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy and the Ontario Ministry of Education Policy/Program Memorandum No. 119, "Developing and Implementing Equity and Inclusive Education Policies in Ontario Schools (2009)."

The GECDSB is committed to the democratic values of fairness, equity, inclusion, and respect for all being reflected in all of its policies, programs, and practices. The GECDSB understands that greater equity means greater student success.



The Ontario Human Rights Code identifies the following prohibited discrimination grounds in alphabetical order: age, ancestry, citizenship, colour, creed, disability, ethnic origin, family status, gender expression*, gender identity*, indigenous, intersecting, marital status, place of origin, race, receipt of public assistance, record of offences, sex, and sexual orientation.

In 2012 “gender identity” and “gender expression” were added as grounds of discrimination in the Ontario Human Rights Code. To fully address the new Code grounds, as well as the significant legal decisions, policy changes and other developments since its first policy, the OHRC released a new Policy on preventing discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression in April 2014.
Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, discrimination and harassment because of gender identity or gender expression is against the law. Everyone should be able to have the same opportunities and benefits, and be treated with equal dignity and respect including transgender, transsexual and intersex persons, cross-dressers, and other people whose gender identity or expression is, or is seen to be, different from their birth sex.

The following three definitions are taken from the Ontario Ministry of Education's "Realizing the Promise of Diversity (2009)."

The presence of a wide range of human qualities and attributes within a group, organization, or society. The dimensions of diversity include, but are not limited to, ancestry, culture, ethnicity gender, gender identity, language, physical and intellectual ability, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation and socio-economic status.

A condition or state of fair, inclusive, and respectful treatment of all people. Equity does not mean treating people the same without regard for individual differences. 

Education that is based on the principles of accepting and inclusion of all students. Student see themselves reflected in their curriculum, their physical surroundings, and the broader environment, in which diversity is honoured and all individuals are respected.

Equity and Inclusive Education P-AD-38.pdfEquity and Inclusive Education P-AD-38.pdf

Equity and Inclusive Education R-AD-38.pdfEquity and Inclusive Education R-AD-38.pdf



Rachel Olivero is the Equity and Inclusive Education Officer for the Greater Essex County District School Board.  She is a graduate of the University of Windsor with an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and History, a Bachelor of Education Degree, a Certificate in Human Resource Management, a Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution and a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration. Rachel has worked as an educator and activist locally and provincially on equity issues for over two decades.  She is an active volunteer whose involvements have included the University of Windsor Board of Governors, City of Windsor Race and Ethnocultural Relations Committee, Equity Summit Group of Ontario, Task Force and Advisory Group of the Ontario Human Rights Commission  and the Friends of Women Studies to name just a few.  Rachel has also served on the Minister of Education’s Equity Roundtable and the Ontario College of Teachers’ Equity and Inclusive Education Additional Qualification Writing Team.
Before taking the position at the Board Office, Rachel was an Elementary Teacher with the former Essex County Roman Catholic Separate School Board and with the former Windsor Board of Education teaching English as a Second Language.  Rachel is currently part of the GECDSB Equity and Well Being Team and reports to Superintendent Dr. Sharon Pyke.  Rachel has responsibilities primarily in the areas of diversity, race relations, equity and inclusive education, human rights, safe schools, and student success.
To contact Rachel Olivero, feel free to call her at 519.255.3200 ext. 10213 or email her at