Darlene Forbes

For Oshawa DDSB Trustee

About Darlene

My daughter started first grade in the DDSB 8 years ago and faced challenges early on. As many parents have, I struggled to navigate outside agencies and the complexities of the DDSB when advocating for her. Eventually drawing upon the assistance of the Ontario Ombudsman and the Ontario Child and Youth Advocate, we successfully found her the right placement and supports.

Over her career as a student I have lobbied the DDSB Board of Trustees, the Superintendent of Special Education and the DDSB Budget Committee around class closures, and learned much about how students with different learning needs are supported in the board. Through this advocacy work, I decided to join the DDSB’s Special Education Advisory Committee in April 2016, where I have served as chair since December of that year. I advocate on behalf of students with Special Education needs and their families, and through this work have come to see that my family’s struggle was not unique.

It is for this reason that I’m putting my name forward to represent the people of Oshawa as a Durham District School Board trustee. We need trustees who understand the education system, are responsive to parents, and are principled in their advocacy for student well-being and success. I will be a strong voice for Oshawa students and their families. I am committed to having open dialogue with parents and other stakeholders in our public education system so that we can create safe and effective learning environments across our city.

I thank you for your consideration, and hope that we can work together to build an education system where all students can succeed.

Your partner in education,



Student Success

Every dollar needs to count when it comes to our children’s education. I commit to ensuring education dollars are allocated appropriately, and to advocating for changes to the education funding formula to ensure accessible quality education for all students, including those with special needs.

Pre-apprenticeship programs

Students have different paths, we should create programming that is reflective of those paths. Increasing pre-apprenticeship programs in high schools in the DDSB would allow students to learn skills that set up them up for successful careers after they graduate.

Safe and Inclusive Schools

We all have a stake in ensuring our students have safe and inclusive schools. The DDSB needs to collaborate with staff, parents and professionals to implement proactive policies and strategies to reduce bullying and violence in schools. We cannot overlook that these incidents occur, however. We must provide support, through wellness and mental health resources, to students and staff who have witnessed these negative behaviours.

Neighbourhood Hubs

Many of our schools are largely underutilized, but when considering future use, we cannot ignore the impact schools have as a community hub outside of school hours. Closing schools has a negative impact on community morale, and robs students of equal access to public education. I will work hard to ensure those hubs stay open.

Commitment to the Community

In Oshawa we need to see an increased access to DDSB Trustees, and true understanding of their role within the community. I commit to communicating regularly and promptly with parents, and advocating for students and families.

Get Involved

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Contact Us

Contact Info

(905) 720-0955