WCDSB Board Meeting Bulletin — March, 2018


Committee of the Whole Board: Monday, March 5, 2018 – Meeting Agenda Package

Public Board Meeting: Monday, March 26, 2018 — Meeting Agenda Package


21st Century Learning & Engagement

Over the last few years, the WCDSB has focused specific attention on the 21st century learner 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 MYSP, our goals are to:

  • Focus on personalized authentic and culturally relevant inquiry
  • Ensure all PD in relation to digital technology is mapped to one of the four pillars of the BIPSA and a specific area of student need
  • Provide job-embedded and inquiry-based professional learning to build capacity, inform instructional practice and foster a culture of learning
  • Focus on the 21st century competencies of critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and collaboration.

A  detailed breakdown of each individual strategic goal is provided on pages 8-13 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Assessment & 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, goes on to stress the importance of assessment practices as levers of student achievement. Through such terms as, “knowing the learner through assessment” and “collaboration and assessment”, the BIPSA guides educators in the WCDSB toward an ambitious yet attainable goal: the “increase in student achievement & well-being through triangulated assessment (observations, conversation & products) for/as learning in all curricula.”

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 (2010). On March 5, 2018, the Board of Trustees received a staff report on the board’s work in meeting the goals of that policy. The report is provided on pages 14-17 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Student Success Update

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:

  • Provide students with an effective elementary to secondary school transition
  • Support a good outcome for all students
  • Provide students with new and relevant learning opportunities
  • Build on students’ strengths and interests
  • Increase graduation rates and decrease dropout rates

Students who are in jeopardy of not graduating or accumulating credits due to in-risk situations are guided by caring adults into learning opportunities that take advantage of the many student success initiatives and programs our Catholic school district offers within the context of the student’s strengths, skills and interests. Our district’s definition of an “in-risk” student can be summarized in this way:

  • Elementary students who are performing at level 1, or below grade expectations
  • Secondary students who are performing significantly below the provincial standard
  • Secondary students earning marks in the 50s and low 60s, and who do not have the foundations to be successful
  • Students who are disengaged for a variety of reasons, which tend to be reflected in poor attendance

The Student Success strategy intends to offer support to our most vulnerable students. This is best accomplished with an integrated approach where school and district teams work closely with each other to identify students in need, build personalized plans of support for each student, and utilize effective monitoring processes to evaluate the success of the strategies and programs employed. In our Catholic/Christian tradition, the gospel imperative to seek those that are lost and return them to the embrace of the community is embedded in scripture and in the corporal acts of mercy. Our schools are most effective and our mission is best realized when all students have the opportunity to succeed.

The full report is provided on pages 16-21 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

2018-19 WCDSB School Year Calendar

School Boards are required to identify a minimum of 194 school days between September 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019, 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 priorities. The remaining school days shall be instructional days. Boards may designate up to ten 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 requirements are outlined in Ontario Regulation 304.

The full report – including information on report card distribution dates and secondary school exam schedules – is provided on pages 25-29 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

French Immersion Review Update

French Immersion is an inclusive opt-in program that was first offered in the 2015-16 school year at St. Anne CES, Kitchener and Sir Edgar Bauer CES, Waterloo. In 2016-17, the program expanded to Cambridge and opened at Our Lady of Fatima CES.

As noted in previous reports to the Board of Trustees, the WCDSB has formed a committee, “…to examine the successes of the program pilot and determine next steps.” The French Immersion Review Committee has met five times since November, 2017 — and on March 6, 7 and 8, 2018 hosted public meetings at each of the current French Immersion schools. The public meetings were well-attended, with more than 60 families participating, representing 10 different schools. The priorities identified by the committee centre on four themes:

  • Accommodation: students should be offered access to the FI program in the same school from Grades 1-8
  • Staffing: recognizing the challenge faced by the WCDSB in hiring FSL staff, the committee is prioritizing program quality over rapid growth (ambitious but achievable growth)
  • Transportation: need to reduce traffic congestion at schools
  • Entry point: Grade 1 remains the recommended entry point

The committee conducted a SWOT analysis, which examined the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats identified through the discussions from October 2017 through January 2018. This SWOT analysis focused on such issues as:

  • The addition of portables
  • Changing boundaries to move English students
  • Opening a new dual-track school
  • Opening a new single-track school

The full report is provided on pages 22-24 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

2018 Municipal Election: Number & Geographic Distribution of Trustees

On March 26, 2018, the Board of Trustees formally passed motions maintaining the status quo regarding the number and geographic distribution of Trustees. These determinations were made based on local population as per Ontario Regulation 412/00.

Number of Trustees & Trustee Distribution

Kitchener / Wilmot – 4 Trustees

Cambridge / North Dumfries – 3 Trustees

Waterloo / Woolwich / Wellesley – 2 Trustees

Upcoming Board Meetings

Committee of the Whole Board: Monday, April 9, 2018

Public Board Meeting: Monday, April 23, 2018

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 182-year tradition of quality, inclusive, faith-based education. Follow us on Twitter: @WCDSBNewswire – #WCDSBAwesome.

– 30 –

For more information, please contact:

John Shewchuk – Chief Managing Officer | (519) 578-3660 | john.shewchuk@wcdsb.ca

March 27th, 2018|
Go to Top