Outcome

13. Staff and student requests for religious accommodation are considered and addressed on an individual, case-by-case basis (AOF5).

Planning

The board has a Religious Accommodation guideline in place.

Professional learning seminars on religious observances, beliefs and practices are provided for all staff; seminars include the protocols and processes for requesting and determining appropriate accommodations.

Effective Practice

The board’s Religious Accommodation guidelines are reviewed and updated as necessary as part of a cyclical review process.

Information about procedures for requesting accommodations is provided to students and parents through student handbooks and parent newsletters.

The board and its schools work with students and their families to identify appropriate and reasonable accommodations.

Accommodations are considered on a case-by-case basis, based on individual or group requests. Examples may include: modification of student exam schedules and activities; wearing of religious attire and symbols; private space for prayer or meditation; and modesty requirements in physical education and other activities. (Note: Please refer to the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Policy on Creed and the Accommodation of Religious Observances.)

Students and their families work with the board and its schools to identify appropriate and reasonable accommodations.

School leaders build school-wide understanding and acceptance for diverse religious observances, practices and related accommodations.

Integration

The board and its schools demonstrate through its religious accommodation practices that it recognizes and values religious diversity within its community.

The board and its schools provide religious accommodation in a safe, culturally respectful way.

The board and its schools provide learning environments that are free from all forms of discriminatory or harassing behaviours based on religion.

The board receives and considers regular updates on the implementation of religious accommodation as part of progress reports on Equity and Inclusive Education Policy.

Schools and departments make religious accommodations without undue disruption to their learning or workplace routines and activities.

Students, staff, parents and families understand and comply with rules for requesting religious accommodation (e.g., adequate advance notice).

Reasonable and timely steps are taken to address unresolved issues raised by affected persons, including the provision of a dispute resolution mechanism.

New construction or renovations to board buildings and facilities take into consideration possible options for private space for prayer, devotion or meditation activities for staff and students.