The Skilled Trades & Tech – UMOJA Series

 

This highly anticipated virtual conference is comprised of three sessions (Elementary, High School and Parent/Guardian) and focuses on promoting careers in the Skilled Trades and Technologies industries for Black students and their families.  It includes an information packed Skills Ontario presentation and students will also have the opportunity to hear from featured speakers in the trades/technologies industries from the Black community.  Following the conference, students will receive a comprehensive digital package that summarizes the conference content, assists with navigating post-secondary pathways and assists with identifying and accessing programs and resources.

The Skilled Trades & Tech – UMOJA Series learning objectives are:

  • What is a Skilled Trade and Technologies Career?
  • Post-secondary pathways, programs and resources
  • How to recognize and access programs and resources to succeed
  • The Black experience in pursuing success and fulfillment in trades and technologies
  • How to overcome barriers and challenges

SESSION DATES:

Grades 7 & 8: Wednesday, February 2, 2022  |  1:00 – 2:00 pm EST

Grades 9 – 12: Wednesday, February 9, 2022  |  1:00 – 2:00 pm EST

Parent Session: Thursday, February 10, 2022  |  6:30 – 7:30 pm EST

COST: FREE

REGISTER for the Skilled Trades & Tech – UMOJA Series here.

 

January 27th, 2022|

WCDSB Board Meeting Bulletin — January 2022

Meetings

Committee of the Whole Board Meeting

Monday, January 10, 2022 – Meeting Agenda Package

Public Board Meeting

Monday, January 24, 2022 — Meeting Agenda Package

Highlights

Learning Recovery Strategy Update

On January 10, 2022, WCDSB staff presented a highly detailed report reviewing the Board’s committed response to the interruption of learning that has occurred over the past two years.

As we work to recover some of the implicit learning opportunities that our students have missed, our planning and curriculum focus remains strong. Our work to move students along the continuum of learning has not faltered – particularly with respect to numeracy and literacy, core priorities in our Multi-Year Strategic Plan.

This report highlights three important elements of this overall strategy:

  • Mathematics Grades K to 8 Student & Educator Supports: Summer Learning (for students who are identified as needing additional supports), Math Professional Learning of Social Emotional Learning and Targeted & Board Identified School Math Coaching.
  • Mathematics Grades 9-12 Student & Educator Supports: Grade 8 and 9 Transition Teams, Grade 9 De-streamed Math, and Creating Teacher-Student Partnerships in Math Learning.
  • Literacy Grades K to 8 Student & Educator Supports: Supporting the Development of Early Literacy Skills, Kindergarten-Grade 3, In-year Evidence Based Reading Intervention and Summer Evidence-Based Reading Intervention Programs.

Going forward, while we continue to navigate learning challenges with some of our students, we are wholly committed to a very specific student achievement agenda with the goal of student academic success. Literacy and numeracy development will continue to be high focus areas, and while there are inherent challenges to moving forward in the current landscape, we are applying a lens of resilience and creativity in how we bring some fidelity to our stated goals. We continue to creatively approach our students’ learning with vigour and from all possible angles of support, to aid in them finding a high level of confidence in their ability to learn despite the setbacks that have occurred.

The report is available beginning on page 7 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Well Being – Healthy Active Living

The 2020-21 school year saw evidence of much success within the Healthy Active Living program’s five key priority areas:

  • School Step Challenge
  • Physical Education/Daily Physical Activity COVID Supports
  • Cannabis & Vaping Education
  • Staff Wellness
  • Outdoor Education

Teaching Physical Education and DPA through COVID — with all the restrictions placed on movement, spacing and manipulatives — was a significant challenge in 2020-21. Teachers were challenged with teaching lessons, “outside where possible, inside when necessary” to provide the safest environment for physical activity as possible.

Additionally, the Outdoor Education program needed to pivot to a virtual mode of learning this past year. While visits to Shades Mills/Laurel Creek could not exist in person in the 2020-21 school year, our partners at the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) converted all lessons such that they could be offered to classes virtually both in school and when in at-home learning mode. Feedback received from teachers was overwhelmingly positive. Educators appreciated the new learning opportunity for students and the flexibility provided by the GRCA staff.

Finally, a highlight of the year was a seven-part virtual learning series for students and educators on the important issue of cannabis use and vaping. Led by addictions specialist Jackilyn Vallesi and supported by WCDSB staff, the series yielded an important ongoing support document for educators.

The report is available beginning on page 20 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

French as a Second Language (FSL) Update

English-language school boards in Ontario are required to provide students with a minimum of 600 hours of French instructional hours by the end of elementary school. In Secondary, one FSL credit (110 hours) is compulsory for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). A second FSL course can be counted towards the compulsory credits required for the OSSD.

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board currently offers three program options for French as a Second Language:

  • Core French
  • Advanced Placement French
  • French Immersion

Below are some of the highlights and key accomplishments of the various FSL programs:

  • French Immersion continues to be a popular choice. 142 Grade 1 students were registered in Fall 2021, while 41 were not able to be accommodated. In total 706 students are registered in the program this year.
  • 1300 students participated in virtual events and concerts in French in 2020-21.
  • Teachers spent more time outdoors with students, connecting learning to real life situations.
  • Smash Education has been widely implemented as a teaching tool for virtual and in person learning, with 5000 students, 120 teachers, and 46 schools registered.
  • Five French teachers became certified to administer and mark DELF exams. This will expand our capacity to offer the DELF exam by allowing us to run 2 sets of oral interviews at the same time.
  • A teacher was certified over the summer to teach the Grade 12 AP course at Resurrection.
  • The FI Review was completed in June 2021 and recommendations were shared with the Board.

The report is available beginning on page 23 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Early Literacy Strategy

The highly detailed report presented to the Board of Trustees on January 24, 2022, covered the following main topics with respect to literacy programs, Kindergarten to Grade 12:

  1. Overview of the updated resources purchased to support effective literacy instruction using culturally responsive texts, resources and materials

What’s Next? We will continue to update our literacy resources, texts, and materials to ensure students are receiving instruction rooted in current research and pedagogy. We will continue to update the instructional texts we use to ensure students are exposed to current and culturally responsive information within lessons that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  1. Professional Learning

What’s Next? We will continue to support the professional development of our educators to ensure students receive responsive and effective literacy instruction across the grades rooted in updated assessment practices. This will ensure that we are meeting students where they are — moving them forward within their zone of proximal development.

  1. Itinerant Early Literacy Support Teachers (IELST) — supporting growth in literacy learning through responsive instruction

What’s Next? IELSTs are continuing to work with classroom educators to support their professional learning. They are continuing to work collaboratively with educators to provide targeted and responsive small group instruction to students who would benefit from this approach based on assessment data. We are preparing to transition from Term 1 into Term 2 schools.

 

  1. Phonological and Phonemic Awareness Support — provided by Speech Language Pathologists in Kindergarten classrooms

What’s Next? Additional Speech Language Pathologists (SLP) and Communicative Disorder Assistants (CDA) are being hired to provide more specific and targeted SLP’s in classrooms, increased SLP time focused on phonological awareness and oral communication skill development for students who are scoring below standard on the Rosner Test of Auditory Skills and Oral Language Tool B in our Balanced Literacy Assessment Measures (BLAM), K-3. A new cycle will begin in Term 2 as we hope to reach as many students and educators as possible.

  1. Reading at Home

What’s Next? We are continuing to build aware