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Provincial Government Consultations on the Education System

On Friday, September 28, 2018, the provincial government launched a Public Consultation on various aspects of Ontario’s education system. The government’s announcement stated:

“We’re consulting with parents across the province to address concerns and get feedback in several areas of the education system.

Feedback from these consultations will help shape decisions in the following areas:

  1. Improving student performance in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
  2. Preparing students with needed job skills, such as skilled trades and coding
  3. Improving provincial standardized testing
  4. Ensuring students graduate with important life skills, including financial literacy
  5. Managing the use of technology in classrooms, such as cell phones
  6. Building a new age-appropriate Health and Physical Education curriculum that includes subjects like mental health, sexual health education and the legalization of cannabis
  7. Developing the first-ever Parents’ Bill of Rights

Consultation closing date: December 15, 2018

2018-10-10T13:13:48+00:00October 10th, 2018|

St. Mary’s H.S. Launches Campaign for Community Legacy-Multi-Purpose Outdoor Sports Court

St. Mary’s High School in Kitchener has entered the Aviva Community Fund competition with plans to transform the tennis surface at the school with a Mateflex court system. This multipurpose court will be suitable for basketball, tennis, ball hockey, pickleball and a variety of other community events. The facility will be accessible to a wide range of user groups, where everyone can gather, play, and learn.

Please visit the St. Mary’s High School website and click on “Aviva Community Fund” for instructions on how to vote. https://stmary.wcdsb.ca/

Voting takes place from Tues. Sept 25 12:00 p.m. to Oct. 4 5:00 p.m. Log on once to vote 10 times for the St. Mary’s Multi-Purpose Court. The top 10 ideas by votes advance to the Judging Round where 3 will receive $100,000. The other 7 receive $15,000. Winners are announced in November.

Please encourage your friends and family to vote as well. Where Kindness Matters, Community Grows! Thank-you for helping!

2018-10-01T10:25:06+00:00September 26th, 2018|

WCDSB Board Meeting Bulletin — September, 2018

Meetings

Committee of the Whole Board

Monday, September 10, 2018 – Meeting Agenda Package

Public Board Meeting

Monday, September 24, 2018 — Meeting Agenda Package

Highlights

EQAO Results for 2017-18 

The annual EQAO results for reading, writing and mathematics in grades three, six, nine and ten were released on September 19. For the second consecutive year, WCDSB students scored at or above the provincial average in all grades in Math.

  • The Grade 9 WCDSB to Ontario comparison shows WCDSB’s Applied Level Mathematics students above the province by +7% (at 52%) — while the board’s Academic Level Mathematics students matched the provincial average of 84%.
  • The Grade 3 WCDSB to Ontario comparison shows WCDSB above the province by +6% in math (at 67%), by +2% in reading (at 77%) and +5% in writing (at 77%).
  • The Grade 6 WCDSB to Ontario comparison shows WCDSB math +3% above the provincial average (at 52%), writing even with the province (at 80%) and reading one per cent below the provincial average (at 81%).

For an in-depth look at the results and an analysis of the data, please see pages 31-41 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Construction Update

During the 2017-18 school year, a number of construction projects were carried out at schools across the Region, with the majority of the work being completed during the months of July and August. These projects were associated with building renewal, school priorities, and capital projects funded by the Ministry of Education. The total value of the projects was $12.5 million.

A complete list of projects – with a brief description of each – is available on pages 17-23 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package 

Appointment of Spiritual Animator

For several decades, the Waterloo Catholic District School Board has engaged a local priest to serve students and staff in the important role of Spiritual Animator. In August, 2015 Fr. Joseph de Viveiros, C. R., was appointed to succeed Fr. Fred Scinto, C.R., in that contract position.

In the Spring 2016, Fr. Joseph informed the Director that his many obligations as a parish Pastor made it challenging for him to feel fully effective in his new role within Waterloo Catholic, and thus would be respectfully and regretfully stepping away from the position in the fall of 2016. He was followed in the role by Fr. Toby Collins, C.R. who ably and enthusiastically fulfilled the role for the past two years.

This past spring (2018), Fr. Toby was named as Pastor of St. Mary of the Seven Sorrows parish in Kitchener and, on September 10, 2018 the Board was very pleased to welcome Fr. Joseph back to the school system as Spiritual Animator.

For more information about Fr. Joseph’s career and dedication to our community, please see pages 8-9 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

2018-2019 Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (BIPSA)

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board’s Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (BIPSA) sets specific operational direction to ensure that the key components outlined in the WCDSB’s Multi Year Strategic Plan as well as other relevant initiatives and priorities are addressed. Updated annually and responsive to shifting contexts and needs throughout the year, the BIPSA reflects our system’s continued commitment to improved student achievement and wellbeing. It assures that the board’s mission, “As disciples of Christ, we educate and nurture hope in all learners to realize their full potential to transform God’s world”, is embedded in all we do. It is rooted in the evangelical vision of Catholic education which is beautifully defined in our Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations.

The BIPSA provides the framework for each school’s School Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (SIPSA). The SIPSA allows for a more nuanced and focused plan that meets the specific needs of our unique and diverse school communities, each of which has its own metrics and targets that are monitored throughout the year and revised annually. BIPSAs reflect a three-year timeline with each individual year having a more specific plan that responds to the shifting needs of students. It is drawn from a variety of data and ongoing professional discernment. The current BIPSA marks Year III of a three-year (2016-2019) plan.

To view the full report, please see pages 10-14 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Grade 9 Summer Credit Course Pilot Project

The transition from elementary to secondary school is the most difficult transition our students make during their developmental years. The Waterloo Catholic District School Board has been running the summer HeadStart program successfully for a number of years. In this program, incoming Grade 9 students are able to attend a two-day session (formerly four half-day sessions) at their home secondary school shortly before the academic year begins. This is a strategy that allows for a more seamless transition to secondary school: students are able to spend time on site before the school year formally begins; they get to know peers; they meet some teachers and learn more about life in high school. As a strategy for transition from elementary school to secondary school, this program has proved extremely popular. This past August, there were 865 participants across all five Catholic Secondary schools — with a student to teacher ratio of 15:1.

During Summer, 2018, a special pilot project called “Bridges to Success – Your Future Begins Now” was conducted at St. Benedict CSS. Twenty-three Grade 8 students enrolled in social a science course: H1F101 (Individual & Family Living). This course was chosen because it came with a Ministry of Education recommendation, it did not conflict with other Grade 9 course selections, and the course content allows for foundational support in meeting the challenges of transitioning from childhood to adulthood: life skills, social skills, literacy and numeracy skill building in an experiential learning environment.

As a result of this initiative, twenty-three incoming Grade 9 students are beginning their high school careers with one credit already secured.

Two next steps have been identified:

  • Continue offering this same program in each Family of Schools as need / interest warrants.
  • Track the twenty-three students from this summer to monitor credit accumulation, student engagement and achievement, and ultimately graduation rates over four and five years.

To learn more about the pilot project, please see pages 15-16 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Health & Physical Education (HPE) – Sexual Education Curriculum Update

Further to the election promise made by the Ontario Conservative Party under leader, Doug Ford, the provincial government has recently announced their intention to repeal the revised health and physical education curriculum introduced by the previous government in 2015. This decision has prompted renewed discussion with and among parents, teachers and those tasked with preparing the curriculum.

Beginning in September 2018 — and until the release of a revised elementary curriculum – Waterloo Region’s Catholic Schools will be utilizing the full elementary Health and Physical Education curriculum that was last taught in 2014. This is The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1–8: Health and Physical Education, Interim Edition, 2010.

As a publicly-funded school system, we have a responsibility to teach the curriculum set out by the Ministry of Education, and we have always done so in a manner that conveys, respects and models our Catholic values to our students. As with all curriculum, we teach it through a Catholic lens.

For more than 30 years, our schools, and all Catholic schools in Ontario, have successfully provided a family life and sex education curriculum within a Catholic framework under the guidance of the Catholic Bishops of Ontario. The program is called Fully Alive. It was developed by the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario in collaboration with educators and families. The teacher resources were last updated in 2016. The Institute for Catholic Education (ICE) will address any aspects of the Fully Alive program that require updates in response to Ministry Directives.

Meanwhile, our classrooms and schools will continue to reflect and support equity and diversity and actively create and provide an inclusive and welcoming environment, as we have always done.

Student Trustees Report

Student Trustees Izabella Tyc and Meghan Nemeth presented their first monthly report on activities in WCDSB’s secondary schools. The report is available on pages 42-43 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Upcoming Board Meetings

Regular Committee of the Whole Board Meeting

Monday, October 15, 2018

Regular Public Board Meeting

Monday, October 29, 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.

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For more information, please contact:

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

2018-09-26T12:58:09+00:00September 26th, 2018|

WCDSB Students Continue to Outpace Provincial EQAO Averages in Math

Waterloo Region, ON – The Waterloo Catholic District School Board today released its 2017-18 Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) assessment results for reading, writing and mathematics in grades three, six, nine and ten. Grade nine students are only assessed in mathematics. Grade 10 students participate in the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT).

For the second consecutive year, WCDSB students scored at or above the provincial average in all grades in Math.

QuickFacts

  • The Grade 9 WCDSB to Ontario comparison shows WCDSB’s Applied Level Mathematics students above the province by +7% (at 52%) — while the board’s Academic Level Mathematics students matched the provincial average of 84%.
  • The Grade 3 WCDSB to Ontario comparison shows WCDSB above the province by +6% in math (at 67%), by +2% in reading (at 77%) and +5% in writing (at 77%).
  • The Grade 6 WCDSB to Ontario comparison shows WCDSB math +3% above the provincial average (at 52%), writing even with the province (at 80%) and reading one per cent below the provincial average (at 81%).
  • Schools that received the greatest “Intensive” support within the WCDSB’s Renewed Math Strategy (RMS) for the past two years have showed increased achievement (average of 15% growth in Primary and 1% growth in Junior, among participating schools).
  • Schools that received more “Increased” support within the WCDSB’s Renewed Math Strategy (RMS) for the past two years are showing increased achievement on the Junior Math Assessment (overall 4% growth among participating schools) and no change in overall achievement in the Primary Math Assessment, among participating schools.
  • In Grade 9 Math, the gender gap between girls and boys (with girls surpassing boys) has decreased by 2% in Applied Math (gender gap was 9% in 2016-2017 and 7% in 2017-2018) and decreased by 4% in Academic Math (gender gap was 7% in 2016-2017 and 3% in 2017-2018)

Strategies for continued improvement going forward, include:

  • Increasing focus on Grades K-8 through Numeracy Coaches and Instructional Coaches;
  • Introducing a Gap Closing Teacher to support Grade 9 Applied Math in each secondary school;
  • Building the capacity of Lead Mathematics Teachers in every school (2-3 teachers per elementary school; 2 teachers per secondary school);
  • Providing a Mathematics Additional Qualifications (AQ) course within the WCDSB, to approximately sixty teachers;
  • Providing the data platform enCOMPASSto all educators — allowing them to triangulate historical and real-time achievement data from multiple sources within a single student profile, to pinpoint the individual learning needs of each student.

Quotes

“We are conscious that EQAO scores are but one measure of our success, and require careful consideration for each school and in each year. That said, we are proud of our students and our staff who continue to experience strong success. Our mathematics gains, while modest, suggest that where we have channelled supports and energy, the positive results are following. Our Waterloo Catholic school communities have adopted a growth mindset and see all things as possible, with the proper supports. We see the potential for success in every child, and our students deserve nothing but excellence in their learning. There is more work to be done, and our schools remain committed to the journey”.

~~ Loretta Notten, Director of Education

Related Links

Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO)

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board, representing more than 96,000 Catholic school supporters, operates 52 schools and five 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.

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2018-10-01T15:35:04+00:00September 19th, 2018|

Communication Guidelines for Parents & Staff

As partners with parents and guardians in the education of our students, the WCDSB’s school staffs, the senior team and the Board of Trustees are always interested in receiving information and feedback from the community.

It keeps us in touch with day-to-day life in our schools, and helps us anticipate and deal quickly and effectively with any questions or concerns you may have concerning your child’s education.

Since 1999, the school board has operated using a very straightforward, transparent and extremely successful set of Communication Guidelines for Parents & Staff. These easy-to-follow steps are in place to help parents / guardians resolve questions or concerns quickly, right there at school, where the overwhelming majority of issues are resolved.

The guidelines are very simple:

A) If you have a question or concern involving your child, you should always first speak directly to the child’s teacher.

B) If the issue remains unresolved, you should next speak to the school Principal.

C) If the issue continues to be unresolved, you should speak to the Superintendent of Learning for that school. Click here for Contact Information.

Our schools are already off and running to a fantastic start!

We’re looking forward to a #WCDSBAwesome 2018-19 school year — and we thank you sincerely for your ongoing support and cooperation as we continue being #HeartOfTheCommunity and #PeopleOfFaith!!

2018-09-05T13:52:12+00:00September 5th, 2018|

There’s Still Time to Sign Up For School! Register Online Today!

The 2018-19 school year is just around the corner – and registering to attend one of Waterloo Region’s 45 Catholic elementary schools and five Catholic secondary schools has never been easier. In fact, a quality, inclusive, faith-based education is now just a click away thanks to the Waterloo Catholic District School Board’s Online Registration system.

QUICKFacts

~~ Parents can access the Online Registration form by clicking on the Register for School link on the WCDSB Homepage and then choosing either Kindergarten RegistrationElementary Registration or Secondary Registration. The link to Online Registration can be found on each page under the “Registration Options”

~~ Children born in 2014 are eligible for Junior Kindergarten.

~~ Children born in 2013 are eligible for Kindergarten.

~~ When registering your child to attend a Catholic elementary school you must be prepared to provide proof of the child’s date of birth and either the child’s Catholic baptismal certificate or the Catholic baptismal certificate of at least one parent or guardian.

~~ If you are non-Catholic, but wish to explore a Catholic education for your child(ren), please review the WCDSB Admissions to Catholic Elementary Schools policy.

~~ A complete list of WCDSB schools offering the Extended Day Program in 2018-19 is available via this link: Extended Day Program.

~~ For information about French Immersion programs in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge, please click here: French Immersion Registration Information.

~~ If you are an adult learner interested in earning your high school diploma, improve your English language abilities, or learn a new skill, our St. Louis Adult Learning & Continuing Education Centre may be able to help.

As a provincial leader in 21st century teaching and learning, we know the huge role technology plays in the lives of everyone. So it only makes sense to use technology to make our schools even more accessible to the community. We believe registering a child for school should be as simple and convenient as possible, and we hope our online school registration option will help more people than ever experience the difference of a Catholic education.”

~~ Loretta Notten, Director of Education, WCDSB

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board, representing more than 96,000 Catholic school supporters, operates 52 schools and five 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.

2018-08-22T13:59:03+00:00August 22nd, 2018|

People of Faith: Putting “Faith in Action”

On October 23, 2017 – at schools and administrative sites across Waterloo Region – the staff and Trustees of Waterloo Region’s Catholic schools officially launched WCDSB’s year of “Faith in Action”.

This marked 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. In 2017-18 the focus has been on being #PeopleOfFaith.

Throughout the current school year, a special cross has been making a pilgrimage from school to school across Waterloo Region. The journey began 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 was St. Brigid CES in Ayr. To date, the cross has visited 18 WCDSB schools, and their associated Parishes. The journey will continue in September, 2018 – concluding at the end of November, 2018, with the cross having visited each of WCDSB’s schools. The cross will spend this summer in the foyer of the Catholic Education Centre.

Coinciding with the pilgrimage of the cross, has been a special project in which one WCDSB school per week has been spotlighted 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. Schools will continue to be featured until the end of November, 2018.

The special videos created by each school have been featured in the “What’s new in our Catholic schools” section of the Board’s website homepage: www.wcdsb.ca

You can follow along by following the Board on Twitter at @WCDSBNewswire, and/or by signing up on our NewsWire instant news service. Look for the subscription box on the website homepage.

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2018-06-29T10:07:23+00:00June 29th, 2018|

Support Catholic Education: Make Sure You’re “Ticked”

YOU may have changed address in the last few years — but your Catholic school tax support probably didn’t follow you. That means, while you may think you are a registered Catholic school supporter, you may not be! So, it may be time to get “ticked”.

Here’s some important information about how you can help keep our schools #WCDSBAwesome:

Make Sure Your School Support Designation is “English Separate” (Catholic). It’s a powerful message in support of Waterloo Region’s Catholic schools & Catholic education.

When you designate yourself as an English Separate school supporter, you help promote a strong political voice through your elected representative (Trustee) in ensuring your rights to a Catholic education for the young people in our province. In Municipal School Board elections, only Roman Catholic school supporters may vote for Catholic School Trustees. The Direction of School Support also determines the number of Catholic School Trustees to be elected within the Waterloo Catholic District School Board.

All Catholics are eligible to support Catholic education – not just those with children in school

You don’t have to have children in school to direct your school support to Catholic education. In Waterloo Region there are more people who DO NOT have children in school than DO have children in school. Their support is vital to the continuation of our Catholic education system. It is an investment in our future and all Catholic ratepayers are partners with Catholic educators in this investment.

Have you moved?

Even if you have been a Catholic school supporter in the past, the designation DOES NOT follow you when you relocate. Every time you move, it is essential that you re-declare yourself as a Catholic school supporter.

How to verify your registration as an English Separate school supporter?

  • Check the assessment section of your Tax Bill or Property Assessment Notice
  • Check your Voter Information Card received during a municipal election year.

What to do if you are NOT registered as a Catholic school supporter, but want to designate your support to Catholic Education:

If you are NOT registered as a Catholic school supporter, but want to designate your support to Catholic Education you need to fill out the Application for Direction of School Support.

When a Roman Catholic and a Non-Catholic are jointly responsible for the payment of property taxes — either directly through ownership or indirectly through the payment of rent — a Catholic School Support Lease is required. This lease is simply a technical tool designed to give the Roman Catholic the sole right to determine the school support of her or his residence.

When you have updated your forms, you have two options:

  1. Return the forms to your child’s school.
  2. If you do not have children attending school, drop your forms at your nearest WCDSB school – or drop them at (or mail them to) the WCDSB head office: 35 Weber St., W., Kitchener, ON, N2G 4G2.

If you have any questions, please contact the Waterloo Catholic District School Board at 519-578-3660 Ext. 2355.

2018-06-29T09:41:23+00:00June 29th, 2018|

Resurrection CSS Student Wins Gold @ Skills Canada National Competition

During the week of May 7-9, 2018, a total of 19 WCDSB secondary school students competed at the Provincial Skills Ontario Competition at the Toronto Congress Center.

Skills Ontario is Canada’s largest skilled trades and technology competition. More than 20,000 spectators watched more than 2,000 of the brightest young people from across the province compete in one of 67 skills contests.

Two WCDSB students won medals in their competitions:

Samantha Parsons, Resurrection C.S.S. – GOLD Medalist – Job Interview

Andy Le, St. Benedict C.S.S. – SILVER Medalist – Hairstyling

Samantha would go on to represent Ontario from June 1 to 6, 2018 at the Skills Canada National Competition, in Edmonton (see further below).

Congratulations to all the WCDSB Skills Ontario competitors!

At the Skills Canada National Competition, secondary school and college students, as well as apprentices in skilled trades and technologies were tried, tested and judged, showcasing their talents in 44 contests across six industry sectors in front of crowds of thousands.

Samantha Parsons, a Grade 11 student from Resurrection Catholic Secondary School, competed in the Job Search category of the Employability sector. As part of the competition each student was interviewed based on a specific career, and completed job search challenges and activities over a two-day period.

“I entered the competition at the Regional level because I felt it would provide me with the opportunity to enhance my writing and interviewing skills. It was amazing to have the opportunity to represent the Waterloo Catholic District School Board as part of Team Ontario at the National level. The competition was an incredible experience that allowed me to improve my skills while meeting like-minded students from across the country.”

~~ Samantha Parsons

Rosemarie Brenner, Skills mentor and College Cooperative Education Program (CCEP) teacher from WCDSB, worked with Samantha, mentoring her for the competition as well as accompanying her to Edmonton.

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board is proud to support and participate in these important regional, provincial and national Skills Competitions, and wishes to thank and congratulate all the leads, chairs, judges, mentors, and teachers who supported our students along the way.

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board, representing more than 96,000 Catholic school supporters, operates 49 schools and five 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.

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2018-06-26T10:46:02+00:00June 26th, 2018|

St. Louis Programs Add Huge Value for WCDSB’s Elementary & Secondary School Students

For many years, the WCDSB’s St. Louis Adult Learning & Continuing Education Centre has leveraged the province’s Learning Opportunities Grant funding to help elementary and secondary school students deepen their learning via school-based Homework Clubs and the always-popular Saturday Skills Builder Program.

Below or some key statistics covering the September, 2017 to June, 2018 period:

1,030 students served

29,210 pupil hours for grade 7/8 Homework Clubs and Saturday Skills Builder

4,678 pupil hours for grade 9/10 Homework Clubs

33,888 pupil hours in total for September, 2017 to June, 2018

17 elementary schools ran Homework Clubs

4 secondary schools ran a combined total of 9 Homework Cubs

71 teachers were involved in the program

For more information about how St. Louis can help you, please visit https://stlouis.wcdsb.ca, call 519-741-1201, or email stlouis@wcdsb.ca.

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board, representing more than 96,000 Catholic school supporters, operates 49 schools and five 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.

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2018-06-26T09:02:41+00:00June 26th, 2018|
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