WCDSB Board Meeting Bulletin – October, 2017


Committee of the Whole Board Meeting

Monday, October 16, 2017 — Agenda

Public Board Meeting

Monday, October 30, 2017 — Agenda


WCDSB Annual Priorities for 2017-18

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board Multi-Year Strategic Plan (MYSP) endeavours to be faithful to the articulated priorities of the Ontario Government’s “Achieving Excellence: A Renewed Vision for Education in Ontario”, as well to our Catholic Graduate Expectations and the principles of our Catholic Social Teachings.

At the commencement of the 2017-18 school year, there was a concerted effort to share with Administrators those strategic priorities and actions that were seen to be critical in this school year, as we strive to meet our articulated goals over the lifespan of the current MYSP.

On October 30, 2017 Director of Education Loretta Notten presented the annual priorities for the 2017-18 school year. The full report is available on pages 28-31 via the following link: Meeting Agenda Package To view the full MYSP, please visit: MYSP

Renewed Math Strategy

In 2016-17, a number of WCDSB schools received either “Intensive Support” within the WCDSB Renewed Math Strategy (RMS), or “Increased Support” within the WCDSB Renewed Math Strategy (RMS). Schools that received “Intensive Support” showed impressive achievement growth of between 11% and 34%. Schools that received “Increased Support” also showed impressive achievement growth of between 4% and 24%. Four of the WCDSB’s five secondary schools improved their applied math scores. All four of these schools received increased support through the RMS.

To review the full October 16, 2017 RMS report, please see pages 5-10 via the following link: Meeting Agenda Package

Japan Exchange Experience

In 2015, the Ministry of Education released Ontario’s Strategy for K-12 International Education. This strategy echoes the WCDSB vision of 21st century learning and its four dimensions of internationalizing our schools. Based on our vision and commitment to globalizing our students’ experiences, the Research & Development Office (RDO) has development partnerships around the world, including Yamate School in Yokohama, Japan. This year, 80 Yamate students and four chaperones visited the WCDSB and stayed with local host families — and between July 21 and August 5, the WCDSB sent 36 students and five chaperones to Japan for a reciprocal two-week cultural immersion and homestay program. For a full report on the homestay programs, please see pages 11-12 via the following link: Meeting Agenda Package

Mental Health & Wellness Plan Update

Every year the WCDSB submits a plan informed by our Board and provincial mental health scans, with consideration of patterns and trends that impact WCDSB students.  In June, 2017, the WCDSB’s Mental Health and Wellness Plan was sent to the Ministry of Education. The plan includes the following identified priority goals:

  1. To strengthen system-wide commitment to WCDSB’s vision for mental health and wellness through initiatives which engage students, parents and staff in working towards mentally healthy school communities;
  2. To develop and promote a resiliency, strength-based approach with all students and staff;
  3. To build staff capacity by increasing mental health and wellness awareness through the implementation of a three-year Mental Health and Wellness Strategy;
  4. To develop prevention programming, review the suicide protocol, and enhance the postvention plan for WCDSB in collaboration with our community partners; and,
  5. To expand and strengthen our partnerships internally and with the community, creating a coordinated and integrated pathway of care.

To view the complete update, please visit pages 20-23 via the following link: Meeting Agenda Package

Information Technology Services Summer Updates

Each year, the WCDSB’s Information Technology Services (ITS) Department engages in an extensive and far-reaching program of upgrades and maintenance to the board’s IT infrastructure. The upgrade / maintenance program is carried out by three distinct groups of staff:

  • Classroom Support Team
  • Data, Systems and Information Support Team
  • Administrative Support Team

Among the most visible accomplishments of this summer’s work was a major re-design of the WCDSB’s public website (see photo) and individual school websites, to make them easier to navigate and more responsive to the information needs of visitors. For the full IT report, please see pages 13-42 via the following link: Meeting Agenda Package

French Immersion Review Interim Update

French Immersion is an inclusive, opt-in program that was first offered in the 2015-16 school year at St. Anne CES in Kitchener and Sir Edgar Bauer CES in Waterloo. In 2016-17, the program expanded to Cambridge and opened at Our Lady of Fatima CES. The board offers a 50% program in which 150 minutes of instruction are offered in French, and 150 minutes in English. As with all our second language programs, French Immersion is designed for students whose first language is not French. The entry point for French Immersion is Grade 1. It is currently open to all residents of Waterloo Region at the three satellite sites. In our third year of the program, we are servicing 216 students. Given the growth of the program, a two-pronged committee has been formed to review the French Immersion program:

An FSL Program Review Committee will consult with stakeholders, examine assessment data, and determine pedagogical recommendations for the FI Program. An Accommodation Review Committee will determine what physical space accommodations the FI Program will require at current sites as the program expands into Grades 4-6. A consultation process will begin during the 2017-18 school year and regular updates will be provided. The Terms of Reference for the review are provided on pages 20-23 via the following link: Meeting Agenda Package For additional information about the WCDSB French Immersion program, please visit: French Immersion

Leading Student Achievement: Networks for Learning (LSA)

Leading Student Achievement: Networks for Learning (LSA) is a highly successful collaboration of school principals, presently in its twelfth year. Currently, sixty districts participate in this project. The WCDSB has been an active partner since the beginning. In 2017-18, the project will continue to provide leadership and support by developing and sustaining learning networks of principals, teachers and system leaders within their districts, the province and internationally as they focus on some of the following initiatives:

  • LSA Theory of Action
  • Principal Learning Teams
  • Professional Learning Communities
  • Collaborative Inquiry Processes
  • Leading Mathematics Success & the Renewed Mathematics Strategy
  • Knowledge Building/Knowledge Forum
  • Ontario Leadership Framework/School Effectiveness Framework

For a full report on LSA, please see pages 24-27 via the following link: Meeting Agenda Package

Student Trustees Report

On October 30th, Student Trustees Kate Jamieson and Meghan Nemeth presented their monthly report on activities in WCDSB’s secondary schools. Of particular note this month is the work being done by secondary school’s student leaders in establishing Elementary School Senates for each of the five families of schools. The report is available on pages 32-33 via the following link: Meeting Agenda Package

Upcoming Board Meetings

Committee of the Whole Board Meeting

Monday, November 13, 2017

Public Board Meeting

Monday, November 27, 2017

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board, representing more than 96,000 Catholic school supporters, operates 52 schools and four adult education facilities serving more than 40,000 elementary, secondary and continuing education students in Waterloo Region – continuing a 181-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


October 31st, 2017|

People of Faith — Putting “Faith in Action”

On October 23rd – at schools and administrative sites across the Region – the staff and Trustees of Waterloo Region’s Catholic schools officially launched WCDSB’s year of “Faith in Action”.

This marks the beginning of the third and final year of the Board’s 2016-18 Pastoral Plan. In 2016, the focus in our schools was centred on what it means to be #PeopleOfLove. In 2017, the focus shifted to being #PeopleOfHope. This year, the focus is on being PeopleOfFaith.

As a culminating activity, a special cross will make a pilgrimage from school to school between now and next November. The journey started at the Centre in the Square in Kitchener during special Eucharistic celebrations presided over by the Most Rev. Bishop Douglas Crosby and the Very Rev. Con O’Mahony. The first stop on the special journey is St. Brigid CES in Ayr, after which the cross will travel through the Monsignor Doyle CSS family of schools, and then across the rest of Waterloo Region.

Throughout the duration of the pilgrimage, each WCDSB school will be featured on the board’s website, demonstrating in their own unique ways how People of Love and People of Hope, working together in community, create Faith in Action. Be sure to check back each week – and be sure to follow along on Twitter: @WCDSBNewswire

October 24th, 2017|

October is Child Abuse Prevention Month — and October 24th is “Wear Purple Day”

The Child Abuse Prevention Month campaign, which is marking its 25th anniversary this year in Ontario, takes place annually during the month of October.

This year – on October 24, 2017 — communities, boards of education, and schools across Ontario will Dress Purple to collectively speak up and share the message that child abuse and neglect can be prevented and that help is available.

The tag line for Dress Purple Day is “It takes a village to keep kids safe.” The social media hashtag for Dress Purple Day is #IBREAKthesilence.

For more information – and a wide variety of resources about Dress Purple Day – please visit the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies.

October 18th, 2017|

World Teachers’ Day

October 5th, 2017,

Today we proudly celebrate World Teachers’ Day and we take time to recognize the tremendous contribution of teachers around the world, and in particular, we honour all those teachers who have made a difference for their students. We are blessed in Ontario – and in Waterloo Catholic in particular – to have high quality teachers who believe in the potential of each child.  Our school communities are ones where children thrive and as our mission indicates, where learning enables our students to leave ready to transform their world.  Our schools are second to none on the globe, in large part due to the remarkable dedication of our teachers.

Our teachers create learning environments that are rooted in the love of Christ and rich in belief regarding the potential of each child in their care.  Each day brings with it challenges that are unique and it calls upon teachers to be the very best that they can be in that moment.  We are grateful to our teachers for rising to that challenge on a daily basis and for hearing the call of their vocation as Catholic educators.   Waterloo Catholic teachers focus on more than the curriculum; they focus on the mind, body and spirit. Our teachers educate students to be formed in their faith and to become true citizens of the world.

Our teachers inspire our young people to a future of possibilities, and motivate them to become future leaders. Every day our teachers touch the lives of our young people in very special ways – working hard to ensure that our young people have the knowledge, skills and wisdom to become reflective, discerning and critical thinkers. For this we are most appreciative of the efforts that our teachers make in the lives of our young people.

Sadly, not all teachers around the world are respected as they are in Canada.  In many areas they work in unsafe conditions and without support and resources.  So on October 5th, as World Teachers’ Day is celebrated, let us join with our global family and give thanks for our teachers, while reflecting upon those teachers who toil in this worthy vocation who may do so without the respect and/or the conditions which they and their students deserve.

Teachers help make Waterloo Catholic the Heart of the Community, A Place for All and represent Success for Each.  We join in acknowledging your many efforts and wish you only the very best in your continued ministry on this World Teachers’ Day.



Wendy Price
Chair of the Board

Loretta Notten
Director of Education

Patrick Etmanski
President, OECTA Waterloo

October 5th, 2017|

Orange Shirt Day @ WCDSB

Orange Shirt Day – held annually on September 30 — is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake, BC, Canada, in the spring of 2013. It grew out of Phyllis’ story of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the Mission, and it has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually. 

The date was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and because it is an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year. It also gives teachers time to plan events that will include children, to ensure the story and learning are passed on to the next generations.

Orange Shirt Day is also an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope.

Waterloo Region’s Catholic Schools are proud to mark Orange Shirt Day on Tuesday, October 3, 2017, and honoured to stand in solidarity with all residential school survivors and their families, as together we seek justice, reconciliation and true partnership with our Indigenous brothers and sisters.

As part of this commitment, the school board recently adopted the following land acknowledgement – to henceforth be used at all Waterloo Catholic District School Board events of significance:

I (we) would like to begin by acknowledging that the land on which we gather today is the land traditionally used by the Haudenosaunee*, Anishinaabe** and Neutral People. I (we) also acknowledge the enduring presence and deep traditional knowledge, laws and philosophies of the Indigenous People with whom we share this land today.

*Haudenosaunee (Ho-den-o-show-nee)

**Anishnawbe (Ah-nish-nah-bey)

October 3rd, 2017|
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