Important Information Regarding Asymptomatic Testing of Students and Staff

ENHANCED COVID-19 TESTING PROTOCOLS

Voluntary Asymptomatic Testing of School Staff at Pharmacies

>> As part of an enhanced testing strategy to support in-person learning in Ontario, Region of Waterloo Public Health has worked with the Province on the expansion of asymptomatic testing at pharmacies to include school staff. Interested school staff will need to make an appointment at participating pharmacies and provide the name of their school/work location.

>> Interested school staff will need to make an appointment at participating pharmacies and provide the name of the school/work location. Testing is voluntary.

Targeted Asymptomatic Testing of Students and Staff

>> As of February 22, 2021, school boards must provide asymptomatic targeted testing in at least 5% of the elementary and secondary schools within their jurisdiction, each week. In WCDSB, this means 2 schools per week, until all schools have had the opportunity to participate in testing.

>> School locations are being selected in consultation with Region of Waterloo Public Health. Participation in testing is completely voluntary.

>> School Boards have been asked to prioritize schools in areas of high transmission, previous or continuing high case numbers, and schools where access to current testing programs may be challenging. Dates, times, and locations are still being determined.

>> The initial WCDSB schools identified are:

  • Resurrection CSS / St. John CES / St. Dominic CES
  • Mary’s H.S. / Blessed Sacrament CES
  • Our Lady of Grace CES / St. Bernadette CES / St. Daniel CES
  • Doyle CSS / Holy Spirit CES
  • Gregory CES / St. Vincent de Paul CES
February 23rd, 2021|

WCDSB Board Meeting Bulletin — February, 2021

Meetings

Committee of the Whole Board Meeting

Monday, February 8, 2021 – Meeting Agenda Package

Public Board Meeting

Monday, February 22, 2021 — Meeting Agenda Package

Highlights

Early Years Report

In February 2020, the Board of Trustees was apprised of ongoing progress in implementing two renewed policies and programs in Ontario which form the core of Kindergarten: The Kindergarten Program 2016 and Growing Success: The Kindergarten Addendum 2016.

This year’s report provides further details regarding the ongoing implementation of the Kindergarten program, and the shifts that have occurred during the global pandemic to ensure the well-being of educators, students, and families and the integrity of the pedagogies within the Kindergarten program.

The report provided an overview of activities in the following key areas:

  • Getting Ready for School Re-opening in September
  • Early Literacy Skills and Development
  • Early Mathematical Skills and Development
  • The Communication of Learning (COL)
  • Community Partnerships

Next Steps toward 2021-22:

  • Partnership with local libraries across Waterloo Region to support Reading for Joy at Home, by getting more families connected to their libraries and more hard copies of books to kids on topics that interest them. This partnership includes: Waterloo Region District School Board, Waterloo Public Library, Kitchener Public Library, Idea Exchange and Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir.
  • Build timely supports for administrators in using The Kindergarten Program 2016 as a professional learning tool to support deep learning in our Kindergarten programs Continue to develop accessible opportunities to build system understanding of learning through play and the significance of belonging and contributing to all classroom environments
  • Continue to support educators with intentional and collaborative planning practices using assessment data, program expectations, and student interests
  • Continue to support educators with pedagogical documentation practices
  • Continue to share Balanced Literacy Assessment strategies to support the development of phonological awareness and early reading development
  • Continue to align The Kindergarten Program with the new Ontario Mathematics Curriculum, 1-8.

The report is available beginning on page 10 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Annual Report – Student Transportation Services of Waterloo Region (STSWR)on STSWR

Each year, Student Transportation Services of Waterloo Region (STSWR), provides an annual report to the Board of Trustees.

Key highlights from this year’s report include:

  • Significant monetary savings resulting from not delivering services after March Break. These savings were re-invested into PPE and other equipment in preparation for the 2020-21 school year
  • Transition to a new provider for GPS services
  • Deferral of activities and training associated with active school travel (Sidewalk Smarts, Walk in Their Shoes, Bike to School)
  • Supported activities for families out walking during COVID19 school closure
  • Seat belt pilot
  • Customer service infrastructure investment and expansion of text-notification program for late buses
  • Bus driver pool was limited, but did not result in service disruption with thanks to bus operators
  • Planning for 2020-21 – multiple scenarios due to COVID19 and fluid direction from government

The report is available beginning on page 15 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Huron Brigadoon Boundary Review Timelines

On January 25, 2021, the Board of Trustees received a report entitled Huron Brigadoon Boundary Review – Initial Staff Report and Initiation of Review, which included a proposed timeline for the boundary review. The Board of Trustees approved the initiation of the boundary review and directed staff to return to the February 8, 2021 Committee of the Whole meeting with alternative timelines for the execution of the review.

Board staff presented timeline options which would see the review extend from either March to June 2021 or April to December 2021 – with the board opting for the March to June, 2021 timeline.

The new school is anticipated to open in September 2022.

The report is available beginning on page 32 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Parent Engagement Update

Ontario’s parent engagement policy recognizes many different forms of parent engagement, and that each is an important contributor to student and school success. Within the policy, parent engagement includes:

  • Providing a positive learning environment at home, actively working with children to support what they are learning in school, and making learning an important part of the day
  • Having productive conversations with teachers so that there is clear communication between the school and the home
  • Becoming involved in school activities and volunteering to help with school events, trips, and other activities
  • Participating in School Councils at the school level and Parent Involvement Committees at the board level to provide perspective.

The WCDSB has continually focused on supporting the partnership between home and school to meet the various forms of parent engagement as presented in the Ontario Parent Engagement Policy by promoting and supporting:

  • Celebration of our Catholic School Advisory Council Chairpersons through our WCDSB annual commissioning ceremony
  • Parent Reaching Out Grants
  • Catholic Parent Involvement Committee Support to Schools and Catholic School Advisory Councils

The Catholic Parent Involvement Committee has been very deliberate in creating strategies to support a stronger presence in the WCDSB. A formal communication strategy has been developed and shared with all CPIC members, and structures for maintaining an open dialogue for CPIC members via a Microsoft Teams Group have also been established.

A list of the various upcoming events planned to support parent engagement in our WCDSB community and to find local solutions to involve more parents in support of student achievement and well-being will be provided as they are confirmed.

The report is available beginning on page 38 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Special Education – Multi-Disciplinary Team Approach

The Ministry of Education has been allocating funds for the hiring of professionals and processes to support to use of Multi-Disciplinary Teams in school boards across the Provin