Committee of the Whole Board Meeting

Monday, March 4, 2019 – Meeting Agenda Package

Public Board Meeting

Monday, March 25, 2019 — Meeting Agenda Package


Innovation, Learning and Engagement Update

Over the last few years the school board has focused specific attention on innovation and how we can best support the adoption of best practices in terms of pedagogy and technology infrastructure and learning environments. It is with intention that we look to the power of the learning task and how technology-enabled instruction can improve student achievement. There is thoughtful planning in system next steps to ensure decisions are evidence-based and focused on the instructional core.

In alignment with our Multi-Year Strategic Plan (MYSP), our goals are as follows:

  • Build capacity for greater experiential learning within and outside the classroom and create more diversified learning opportunities.
  • Ensure classroom pedagogy and pathway opportunities are relevant and provide transferable skills for student success.
  • Increased awareness of and responsible implementation of Digital Citizenship.
  • Continue to seek and support reciprocal partnerships with Community/Educational partners and leverage the mutual learning.
  • Increase in precise student programming and use of New Pedagogies for Deeper Learning resources to foster global competency development in the areas of critical thinking, collaboration, citizenship, communication, creativity, and character through access to professional learning opportunities.
  • Equitable access to learning opportunities and investment in global competency development and leading technologies

The full report is available on pages 9-21 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Assessment and Evaluation Practice in Schools

The system inquiry question that guides the Waterloo Catholic District School Board’s Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (BIPSA) establishes a clear emphasis on assessment:

“What impact will collaborative teaching and learning, that focuses on the assessment for learning process, have on increasing the number of students approaching, achieving at or beyond the provincial standard K-12?”

The BIPSA stresses the importance of assessment practices; the emphasis of assessment focuses on the process work where learning FOR and AS assessment become crucial to helping students move forward in their learning. This allows for responsive teaching, providing multiple opportunities for skill development and thus success.

Policy and best practice regarding the assessment, evaluation, and reporting of student achievement in Ontario has been, for nearly a decade, articulated and set by the provincial document Growing Success, Assessment, Evaluation, & Reporting in Ontario Schools.

This policy defines for parents, students, and educators seven key principles of assessment, evaluation, & reporting. In order to ensure that these practices ensure validity, student engagement and achievement are the foundation of our work in Assessment and Evaluation:

  • Be fair, transparent, and equitable for all students.
  • Support all students, including those with special education needs, those who are learning the language of instruction (English or French), and those who are First Nation, Métis, or Inuit.
  • Be carefully planned, to relate to the curriculum expectations and learning goals and, as much as possible, to the interests, learning styles, preferences, needs, and experiences of all students.
  • Be communicated clearly to students and parents at the beginning of the school year or course and at other appropriate points throughout the school year or course.
  • Be ongoing, varied in nature, and administered over a period of time to provide multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate the full range of their learning.
  • Provide ongoing descriptive feedback that is clear, specific, meaningful, and timely to support improved learning and achievement.
  • Develop students’ self-assessment skills to enable them to assess their own learning, set specific goals, and plan next steps for their learning.

To read the full report, please see pages 22-25 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Student Success Plan

The Ontario Ministry of Education has developed a wide range of initiatives to facilitate Student Success. The Student Success/Learning to 18 (SS/L18) Strategy is designed to meet five inter-related goals focused on the secondary school system:

  1. Provide students with an effective elementary to secondary school transition
  2. Support a good outcome for all students
  3. Provide students with new and relevant learning opportunities
  4. Build on students’ strengths and interests
  5. Increase graduation rates and decrease dropout rate

On March 25, 2019, the Board of Trustees received a comprehensive report on the WCDSB’s Student Success Plan. Key sections of the report include:

  • Transitions (Grade 8-9)
  • Pathways
  • Student Success Consultants Intermediate (SSCI)
  • Experiential Learning
  • Literacy & Numeracy
  • Graduation Rates
  • Re-engagement Strategy

The full report is available on pages 20-27 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

School Year Calendar

The Board of Trustees approved the annual WCDSB School Year Calendar on March 25, 2019.

In creating their annual calendars, school boards are required to identify a minimum of 194 school days between September 1 and June 30, of which a minimum of four and a maximum of seven days may be identified as PD days. Three of these must be for Ministry of Education priorities. The remaining school days shall be instructional days. Boards may designate up to 10 instructional days as examination days. Each school year calendar must be accompanied by a general outline of the activities to be conducted on PA days. The minimum number of instructional days is 187.

The first day of the 2019-20 school year will be Tuesday, September 3, 2019. The last day of the school year will be June 26, 2020. The last day of school in December (before Christmas) will be December 20, 2019 and the first day of school in the new year is January 6, 2020.

For further details about the 2019-20 School Year Calendar, please see pages 28-31 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Autism Update

In February 2019, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) made an announcement outlining changes to the Ontario Autism Program — to be implemented effective April 1, 2019. As a result of these changes, WCDSB Schools will be transitioning students currently in therapy during the school day into full time school over the coming months and into the 2019-20 school year.

Currently WCDSB has approximately 40 students who will transition to school full time school from therapy, many over the course of the next 4 months. Transitions for some of our students started at the end of February, with the majority of transitions occurring in May of 2019.

Effective transitions for students with autism are critical and at WCDSB we take great pride in ensuring positive transitions in order to set our students up for success. All our staff have been receiving varying levels of training regarding Universal Supports and we will continue to work with our families to ensure the success of all our students as we strive to be heart of the community, promoting success for each and a creating a place for all.

The full report on what is currently known regarding changes to the Ontario Autism Plan is available on pages 32-34 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Information on 2019-20 Education Grants and New Vision for Education

As has been well-documented via media reports, on March 15, 2019, the Government of Ontario announced its New Vision for Education. The announcement contained information on a number of program and budget changes, some of which are interrelated.

It is more than fair to say that there is much change happening simultaneously and that more information has to flow until a full understanding of impacts on WCDSB schools can be had. The government has indicated it is focused on the following five areas:

  • Student Achievement
  • Protect Front Line Staff
  • Fiscal Responsibility
  • Evidence Based Decision Making
  • Diverse Teaching Staff

As a school system, WCDSB will lead forward from a place of hope, collaboration and respect for all stakeholders, keeping students at the core of all our decisions.

For further information on the government announcements – and potential impacts on WCDSB schools, students and staff, please see pages 35-39 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Student Trustees Report

Student Trustees Izabella Tyc and Meghan Nemeth presented their monthly report on activities in WCDSB’s secondary schools. The report is available on page 40 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Board Chair’s Update

Each month, Board Chair Bill Conway reports on the activities of the Board of Trustees. The report for March 2019 is available on page 41 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Upcoming Board Meetings

Committee of the Whole Board Meeting

Monday, April 8, 2019

St. Benedict CSS, Cambridge

Regular Public Board Meeting

Monday, April 29, 2019

St. Benedict CSS, Cambridge

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board, representing more than 96,000 Catholic school supporters, operates 49 schools and four adult education facilities, serving more than 40,000 elementary, secondary and continuing education students in Waterloo Region – continuing a 183-year tradition of quality, inclusive, faith-based education. Follow us on Twitter: @WCDSBNewswire – #WCDSBAwesome.

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 For more information, please contact:

John Shewchuk – Chief Managing Officer | (519) 578-3660 |