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Highlights from June 6th Board of Trustees Meeting
Highlights from June 6th Board of Trustees Meeting
Posted on 06/13/2018
Board of Trustees

June 13, 2018 (Brockville, ON) – Trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) met on Wednesday, June 6th, 2018 to discuss several agenda items:

Williamstown Public School Presentation: Principal Lianne Chaput spoke about how her school is improving student math and literacy scores as well as student wellness through the Williamstown Public School Improvement Plan for Student Achievement and Wellness (SIPSA).

In literacy, the focus for instruction is on non-fiction text, as provincial testing has identified this as an area for improvement. The school is using success criteria in its classes that show students strategies they can use to read and understand a text, so they can answer open response questions. The school is using a reading strategy known as APE (Answer the question, Proof from the text, Extend or make an opinion or connection and make a summary statement). This strategy encourages students to thoroughly consider the question being asked and respond appropriately using information taken from the text. The strategy has improved student results.

In mathematics, students have been provided with a problem-solving tool that helps them solve problems by splitting the process into four quadrants asking them: what they know, what they need to know, how to plan, and how to represent their thinking in showing their solutions. Because math problems are multi-stepped, this tool helps students to "break apart" the problem into these quadrants, self-assess their work and “make meaning” of the problem. Teachers model this process for students to help them learn, and better understand the steps needed to solve a problem. They also provide instruction in small guided math groups to enhance learning.

Mental Health Plan Overview: A team led by Superintendent Valerie Allen updated Trustees on the current implementation of the Board’s Strategy for supporting Student Mental Health. The three-year plan, effective from 2017-2020, has three broad goals: to ensure all students experience a positive sense of self and belonging, to encourage students to develop skills to make positive choices, and to live healthy lives to their full potential.  The Strategy helps students attain these goals through programming that falls under four core elements:  mental health promotion, prevention, and early intervention programming; programming that develops mental health literacy in students and staff; initiatives that articulate pathways to care (how and where students can access support), and initiatives that meet the goal of providing enhanced accessibility to mental health information.

Proposed Strategy to Maximize Transportation Efficiencies: Superintendent Robert Backstrom presented a proposed strategy from the local agency that supports school transportation (Student Transportation of Eastern Ontario) and its plan to increase efficiencies through a two-step process, commencing in September 2018. This strategy aims to address two basic service considerations in 2018-2019: courtesy riders (students who walk to school but who wish to be consider for transportation services), and; designated walk zones. Both the Upper Canada District School Board and the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario are served by the Student Transportation of Eastern Ontario.

Update on Board Action Plan on Indigenous Education: Superintendent Jodie Barrett, presented an update on the Board Action Plan on Indigenous Education. The presentation reviewed how the initiative is using data to support student achievement, providing support for Indigenous students, supporting educators, and building engagement and awareness. The program supports 611 self-identified Indigenous students - 488 affiliated with First Nations, 52 students with the Métis nation, and 71 with an affiliation with the Inuit community.

The action plan is evaluating data regarding a variety of topics surrounding First Nations, Métis and Inuit students and their education experience with our school district. The data allows the Board to design programming to support Indigenous students. Data reviewed includes surveys on Indigenous students’ perception of bullying in their schools, and information on credit attainment, graduation rates and EQAO scores for Indigenous pupils within the UCDSB.

The plan is helping to promote the histories, culture and knowledge of Indigenous people through a variety of programming opportunities, such as: the implementation of Indigenous Studies courses, access to knowledge keepers such as Daniel Richer and Dr. Sean Lessard, the iLead retreat and TRC +3 Gatherings.  The Board also supports teachers through many methods, including resources for the new Social Studies and History Curriculum, individual school presentations, and other supports.

Annual Report on Safe Schools Program: Superintendent Ron Ferguson presented the annual report on the Board’s Safe Schools Program, providing details and insights about how staff seek to create and maintain a safe environment in our schools for staff and students. The presentation highlighted examples of classroom and school strategies that have been introduced to support students, including ongoing use of the Zones of Regulation Program, the Board’s own “Character Always” initiative, and the WITS program, to help elementary students to deal with peer conflict, including bullying. The presentation also identified disciplinary measures such to address student misconduct, such as the use of suspension from school. Ferguson said there were 2,830 suspension actions issued this year, involving 1,485 students – or less than 5 per cent of the UCDSB student population.

Ferguson added the Board’s Safe Schools program involves extensive training for staff on ways to keep schools safe, and partnerships with community agencies such as the protocol agreement signed with area police forces, and public health initiatives implemented in partnership with area health units.

Board Hires Superintendent: Trustees approved the hiring of Deanna Perry as a Superintendent of Schools, effective August 20, 2018. Perry has 27 years’ experience as an educator with the Ottawa Catholic School Board,10 of those in an administrative capacity. She has worked at both the elementary and secondary levels, and brings qualifications in Special Education, French as a Second Language, and Technical Education. She will replace Superintendent Valerie Allen, who is retiring at the end of this school year after 30 years of dedicated service to the Board. The appointment is subject to written confirmation of eligibility from the Ministry of Education.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Stephen Sliwa
Director of Education
Upper Canada District School Board
613-342-0371 ext. 1234

Jeff McMillan
Upper Canada District School Board

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