Waterloo Region, ON — In December 2015, the Board of Trustees of the Waterloo Catholic District School Board approved a new Multi-Year Strategic Plan (MYSP) for Waterloo Region’s Catholic Schools.
The Education Act requires school boards to develop multi-year plans that are three years or more in scope. The plans provide focus and direction to the board to achieve Ministry of Education goals and, equally as important, articulate the vision of the board. On June 18, 2018, Director of Education Loretta Notten presented a detailed “report card” on the accomplishments of the 2015 to 2018 MYSP, with a particular focus on the accomplishments of the past year, and outlined the next steps toward creating an updated three-year plan.
> The MYSP consists of three Strategic Priorities, nine Strategic Directions, and 32 Strategic Goals. The Strategic Priorities are:
- Nurturing Our Catholic Community
- Student Engagement, Innovation and Achievement, and
- Building Capacity to Lead, Learn and Live Authentically.
> The MYSP report card was informed by a 32-question stakeholder survey. The survey received 671 responses, and there was strong participation from all WCDSB stakeholder groups – providing highly valuable and reliable feedback.
> In addition, the survey also examined the board’s current Vision, Mission and Beliefs, as well as early priorities that have been identified by the senior team through the annual budget process. Stakeholders were asked about the relevance of each, as the board moves forward into its new plan. The survey results suggest strong endorsement for the current Vision (87% agree or strongly agree), Mission (89% agree or strongly agree) and our three Belief statements – all at approximately 87% agreement. Similarly – responses to the five areas identified in the budget process as priorities moving forward, were strongly positive (as indicated in the accompanying bar graphs).
> As the 2015-2018 MYSP reaches its conclusion, eight of nine Strategic Directions and 31 of 32 Strategic Goals are progressing at an optimal level, having been rated as “Green” or “Effectively Meeting Standard”. One of the nine Strategic Directions has some combination of “Green” / “Effectively Meeting Standard” and “Orange” / “Approaching Criteria” – with only one of 32 goals rated as “Orange”. None of the Strategic Goals were assessed as “Red” – “Not Meeting Criteria”. Ratings were informed not only by stakeholder feedback, which was generally positive and reflected growth year-over-year, but also by staff-submitted reports based on completed actions and key performance indicators (KPIs).
> Areas which were particularly strong – operating at 90% or better — were tied most closely to the Strategic Priority of Nurturing Our Catholic Community. Stakeholder experience of the board’s Pastoral Plan, the sense of inclusivity and welcome, and the strong work in the area of socio-emotional literacy programming have all contributed to this high rating.
> Notable year-over-year gains were reported in the board’s graduation rate, the board’s student retention rate from elementary to secondary school, improved staff use of the board’s data platform, enhancements to Learning Commons spaces and improved student and staff results in relation to the board’s Numeracy Action Plan.
> Key next steps include the development of a comprehensive Equity Action Plan and an updated Pastoral Plan, all intended to assist with the overall goal of continued gains in the board’s graduation rate.
“We are extremely proud of the gains reflected in this Strategic Plan Report Card Update. We have worked very hard to ensure we have solid metrics against which we are holding ourselves accountable. We are noting that in virtually all cases, we are not only able to point to significant markers of success, but that our stakeholders are also able to affirm that they are observing the same level of success. We have remarkable staff and students at Waterloo Catholic, and it is on the strength of their good work that we can have such a positive report card to share”.
~~ Loretta Notten, Director of Education
The Waterloo Catholic District School Board, representing more than 96,000 Catholic school supporters, operates 49 schools and five adult education facilities, serving more than 40,000 elementary, secondary and continuing education students in Waterloo Region – continuing a 182-year tradition of quality, inclusive, faith-based education. Follow us on Twitter: @WCDSBNewswire – #WCDSBAwesome.
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