Joanna Oliver: Student achievement, student engagement and high quality education in neighbourhood schools.

Oakville's Ward 4 has been my home for 20 years and I’ve watched it grow into the exciting and vibrant community it is today. I have watched seven of the 10 schools in our ward being built and I have sent my three children to two of those schools.

My years as a parent and school volunteer taught me the important role our schools play in shaping our children, not only academically but in who they become. That’s why for over a decade I have taken a keen interest in supporting the achievement and well-being of our students.

I have been actively involved in my children’s school on Parent Council, as a school volunteer and working with administrators on committees. Being in the school on a regular basis has shown me what is working and what isn't.

I was first elected as public school board Trustee in 2014. My passion for education and accessible neighbourhood schools is what initially inspired me to run for the role of Trustee. My passion for student achievement, student engagement and high quality education in neighbourhood schools continues. The values of equity, inclusion and respect for students’ mental health and well-being continue to guide me. These are the values that I apply in my work as Trustee, that guide my decision-making and that inspire my advocacy for all students.

As Trustee, I serve on a number of committees directly related to my passions for neighbourhood schools; student engagement and achievement, and student well-being. I guided the Special Education Review which resulted in development of eight recommendations aimed to provide action steps for improving aspects of the elementary referral, identification and placement pathways for the provision of special education programs and services. I was instrumental in the development of a delivery model for quality French Immersion programming and enhancing the delivery of core French program at neighbourhood schools. I also worked to protect the integrity of core English programming in neighbourhood schools.

I advocate for student and staff well-being through my work on the Mental Health Steering Committee and the Equity and Inclusive Education Committee. I support HDSB parents, the work of the Parent Involvement Committee and created the first Ward 4 Super Council to bring together Parent Councils from all Ward 4 schools. I support the work of HDSB through my work on the Multi-Year Plan, the Fair Funding committee and provided guidance on the development of achievable and measurable student, staff and system outcomes. This is just some of the work that I was involved in over the past four years. To follow my work and achievements as Trustee, please follow my Twitter @TrusteeJoanna

I remain committed to improving our community through active volunteering. My experience includes serving four years on school council including one year as co-chair, volunteering with the SafetyNet and Halton Food for Thought, being a member of the United Way Campaign Cabinet, and serving as co-ordinator of a Halton Food for Thought Breakfast Program at a Ward 4 elementary school.

Prior to being elected as HDSB Trustee in 2014, I held a 20 year career in public health. Having received an Hons. B.Sc. from University of Waterloo and an M.Sc. in Epidemiology from Queen’s University, my career as a public health Epidemiologist and Health Planner spanned positions at the provincial, regional and local levels. As a public health professional, I served on a number of regional and provincial public health committees. I was also an executive member of my professional association and served two terms as its president. I am experienced at advocacy and consensus building which are key skills for a trustee.

I look forward to your support on October 22, 2018. It would be an honour and privilege to continue to serve the students and residents of Oakville’s Ward 4 as your Public School Board Trustee. As Trustee I will continue to work to ensure that every student receives a high quality education and is able to explore and enhance their potential, passions and strengths. I also believe that the Halton District School Board must continue to grow as a learning organization guided by the values of accountability, creativity, empathy, integrity, equity and collaboration.


On October 22nd Re-Elect Joanna Oliver for Ward 4 Public School Board Trustee.

The Neighborhood School

I believe strongly in the concept of the “neighborhood school”.  This is a school that kids can walk to and bike to no matter what their program choice is.  It is a school that is close to their home and is attended by their friends and neighbors.  It is a school that is truly inclusive and offers full day kindergarten and special education.  

Our communities were built with this concept in mind and it’s how we all grew up in suburban areas.  The neighborhood school is the community hub for neighborhood children and provides them with a sense of security, belonging and community awareness.

 The neighborhood school model reduces transitions for children, is fiscally responsible, environmentally sound and sustainable during growth.

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