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WCDSB Board Meeting Bulletin — November, 2022

Meetings

Special Public Board Meeting

Monday, November 7, 2022 — Meeting Agenda Package

Committee of the Whole Board Meeting

Monday, November 7, 2022 – Meeting Agenda Package

Inaugural Board Meeting

Monday, November 21, 2022 — Meeting Agenda Package

Regular Public Board Meeting

Monday, November 28, 2022 — Meeting Agenda Package

Highlights

East Kitchener 7-12 School Boundary Review Final Report

On April 25, 2022, the Board of Trustees initiated a boundary review involving Canadian Martyrs CES, Saint John Paul II CES, St. Anne (K) CES, St. Daniel CES, and St. Mary’s High School.

On October 17, 2022, the Board of Trustees received the East Kitchener 7-12 Boundary Review Final Staff Report and on October 25, 2022, staff provided a board report to address questions received during the previous Board of Trustees meeting.

On November 7, 2022, board staff presented a report addressing further questions received from the Board of Trustees during the October 25, 2022 meeting.

The report is available beginning on page 4 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

NOTE:  The motions from the November 7, 2022 Special Board Meeting approving the boundary changes are available beginning on page 9 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Community Planning & Partnerships (CPPG)

It is the role of management to determine which facilities are suitable for partnerships and which entities are suitable as partners. These decisions are made in a way that is well-informed, well-coordinated, transparent, and consistent with the goals and priorities of Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB)’s Multi-Year Strategic Plan, WCDSB’s Catholic values and social teachings, as well as student achievement, well-being, and safety.

APF012 identifies parameters for the determination of suitable space for partnerships together with criteria for the selection of partners. The Board’s 2022 Abridged Long Term Accommodation Plan identified enrolment and facility utilization information and strategic priorities.

Suitable space for sharing with a partner, is defined by APF012 as:

  • 200 surplus pupil places, or a school utilization at or below 70% and this trend is expected to continue
  • No accommodation review within the next 3 years
  • Space not required for school resources or other board programming
  • Size and configuration of the available space
  • Ability to separate the partnership space from student areas
  • Availability of separate exterior entrance
  • Adequate parking for both the school and partner needs
  • Site use restrictions
  • Facility condition including the adequacy of utilities
  • Municipal zoning bylaw restrictions
  • Other criteria as appropriate

Proposed new schools, additions and significant renovations are identified in the Long Term Accommodation Plan. Ideally, the board would identify partnership opportunities one to three years in advance of any potential construction start date.

Possible future co-build opportunities may arise, as the board pursues capital priorities associated with new school construction in the following areas:

  • Doon South Catholic Elementary School (Kitchener)
  • West Rosenberg Catholic Elementary School (Kitchener)
  • New North Cambridge Catholic Elementary School (Cambridge)

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

Inaugural Board Meeting

The Inaugural Meeting of the newly elected Board of Trustees was held on Monday, November 21, 2022, at which following Trustees were sworn in:

  • Wendy Ashby (Kitchener / Wilmot)
  • Linda Cuff (Waterloo / Woolwich / Wellesley)
  • Kathy Doherty-Masters (Kitchener/Wilmot
  • Sally Fuentes (Waterloo / Woolwich / Wellesley)
  • Renee Kraft (Kitchener / Wilmot)
  • Tracey Weiler (Kitchener / Wilmot)

Due to a ballot error, all votes cast in the City of Cambridge on October 24 for WCDSB Trustee candidates were voided by the City Clerk, and a new election was ordered for November 25, 2022.

In the absence of the Cambridge / North Dumfries Trustees, Tracey Weiler was elected Acting Chair of the Board on an interim basis until Monday, December 12, 2022, at which time the successful candidates for the three Cambridge / North Dumfries seats will join the Board, and a Chair and Vice Chair elected for Year 1 of the 4-Year term of office of Trustees.

The successful candidates for the three Cambridge / North Dumfries seats are:

  • Marisa Phillips
  • David Guerin
  • Robert Sikora

The Inaugural Meeting agenda is available here: Meeting Agenda Package

Multilingual Language Learners

Since its founding, the Waterloo Catholic District School Board has celebrated the contributions of its Multilingual Language Learners (MLLs) and worked to meet their needs in a variety of settings. Teachers of MLLs continue to work in all our schools to support staff, students, and families develop language skills necessary for success in a changing society.

On Monday November 28, 2022 the Board of Trustees received a report providing current data and trends regarding English as a Second Language (ESL) and English Literacy Development (ELD) programs and services at the WCDSB.

Some of the key data includes:

  • The Newcomer Reception Centre has welcomed a record number of students to the WCDSB this year – 294 (newcomers with varying statuses in Canada including refugee, permanent resident, and VISA).
  • 45 Ukrainian newcomers have joined WCDSB’s schools since January 2022 (21 Ukrainian Newcomers January 2022 – June 2022 + 24 Ukrainian Newcomers from August 2022- November 16, 2022).
  • There currently 26.5 FTE Teachers of MLLs (including the Newcomer Reception Centre Assessors).
  • 42 out of 44 elementary schools have teachers of MLLs assigned to them.
  • The NOW (Newcomer Orientation Week) Program for newcomer youth entering high school in Ontario for the first time ran at both Resurrection Catholic Secondary School and St. Mary’s High School in August 2022. NOW is offered by our partners in YMCA Immigrant Services, Settlement and Education Partnership Waterloo Region, in collaboration with the schools and WCDSB teaching staff.
  • ESL Department Head positions were created at St. Mary’s H.S. and Resurrection CSS to support the growing needs of the programs at these schools.

The report is available beginning on page 53 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Special Education Update

Last year, WCDSB resumed implementation of several standardized assessments including: EQAO, CCAT and the CAT-4. This data has now been entered into our Encompass data management system to assist with student programming and planning. In analyzing this data, as well as completing a needs assessment, Student Services has determined the following key areas of focus going forward:

  • Continued focus on decreasing the achievement gap between students on an IEP and students not on an IEP
  • Ensuring all students have equitable access to learning opportunities
  • Ensuring appropriate programming for students on an IEP with modifications as a last resort
  • Early identification and support for students that have reading difficulties

As a result of the recommendations from the OHRC Right to Read Report, there will be a focus on early screening and intervention for struggling readers. Professional development will also focus on increasing staff knowledge and awareness of structured evidence-based reading programs.

In addition to ongoing Special Education Teacher professional development for our staff, another important new development since the last Special Education Update is Project SEARCH: a partnership formed with WCDSB, St. Mary’s General Hospital, and KWHabilitation.

Project SEARCH is a 10-month employment preparation program for students with primary diagnosis of an intellectual or developmental disability who are in their final year of secondary school. Students reach their employment goals through real-life work experience (3 internships immersed at St Mary’s General Hospital), combined with training in employability and life skills and employment planning and support. We currently have 6 students in this program, and they are in the process of completing their first internship. WCDSB is looking forward to growing the program and will begin the application process for next year’s program in the new year.

The report is available beginning on page 57 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

John Sweeney CES Report Recommendations Update

On April 4, 2022 a report was shared with the Board of Trustees — Response to Provincial Review of Incident at John Sweeney Catholic Elementary School — that outlined the recommendations provided to the WCDSB by an external reviewer, whose review had been ordered by the Minister of Education.

At that time the report outlined those recommendations, as well as provision of a summary of equity work that the WCDSB has been engaged in ahead of and during the 2021/22 school year. The report highlighted the need for a variety of approaches to serve our families.

We need to ensure that we have culturally responsive, early intervention supports and services. Supports and services need to be provided equitably with an anti-racism and anti-oppression lens.

The update provided to the Board of Trustees on November 28, 2022 gave an overview of progress made to date and plans moving forward regarding the 14 recommendations in the government report.

The report is available beginning on page 63 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Student Trustees Update

Student Trustees Chloe Armstrong and Anika Fejerpataky presented their monthly update – covering activities in WCDSB’s secondary schools. It is available beginning on page 75 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Upcoming Board Meetings

Regular Public Board Meeting

Monday, December 12, 2022 — Waterloo Region Catholic Education Centre

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board, representing more than 96,000 Catholic school supporters, operates 48 schools and four adult education facilities, serving more than 40,000 elementary, secondary, and continuing education students in Waterloo Region – continuing a 186-year tradition of quality, inclusive, faith-based education. Follow us on Twitter: @WCDSBNewswire – #WCDSBAwesome.

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November 29th, 2022|

Upcoming Meeting of the Board of Trustees

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. — Monday, November 28, 2022, at the Waterloo Region Catholic Education Centre.

Location: 1st floor Board Room, Catholic Education Centre, 35 Weber Street, Kitchener

(Note: Agenda files can be large. If you are experiencing issues downloading a file, right click on the link and choose “Save Target As…”.)

November 25th, 2022|

WCDSB Graduation Rates Consistently Higher than Provincial Average

In Waterloo Region’s Catholic Schools nothing is more important than preparing our students for a successful future in their chosen life pathway.

One of the most notable things that sets our schools apart, is the foundational role played by the Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations, as we work to provide a quality, inclusive, faith-based education for learners of all ages, from more than 100 different countries.

We expect a WCDSB graduate to be:

  • A discerning believer formed in the Catholic Faith community who celebrates the signs and sacred mystery of God’s presence through word, sacrament, prayer, forgiveness, reflection and moral living.
  • An effective communicator who speaks, writes and listens honestly and sensitively, responding critically in light of gospel values.
  • A reflective, creative and holistic thinker who solves problems and makes responsible decisions with an informed moral conscience for the common good.
  • A self-directed, responsible, lifelong learner who develops and demonstrates their God-given potential.
  • A collaborative contributor who finds meaning, dignity and vocation in work which respects the rights of all and contributes to the common good.
  • A caring family member who attends to family, school, parish, and the wider community.
  • A responsible citizen who gives witness to Catholic social teaching by promoting peace, justice and the sacredness of human life.

While this is a noble and highly aspirational goal, we do understand that not everyone learns at the same pace, or in the same ways.

The path to graduation is a process – not a race.

So, our student-focused and often individualized programs and services provide a unique depth and breadth of opportunities to ensure all students can achieve the Graduate Expectations in ways that maximize their personal abilities and capitalize on their individual potential.

The success of this student-centred approach is clearly reflected in our graduation rates.

The Ministry of Education graduation rates often quoted in media focus solely on students who graduate within either four or five years of starting high school.

Unfortunately, this narrow metric does not take into account the success of those students who take more than five years to graduate.

Therefore, Ministry measurements do not accurately reflect the overall success of a school system such as WCDSB, which serves learners from JK to Adult Education.

In fact, students who take more than five years to graduate (obtaining the necessary credits to complete their OSSD via St. Louis) have consistently shown they are able to access post-secondary pathways that would have otherwise not been open to them.

Providing this enhanced opportunity to graduate has helped ensure our graduation rates are consistently higher than the provincial average.

This has always been a great source of pride for the WCDSB and stands as a positive affirmation of our belief in lifelong learning.

Ministry of Education graduation rates (as reflected above) include those students who begin Grade 9 in the WCDSB but may not necessarily graduate with our board (i.e., some students may leave WCDSB before graduation).

Such students are counted in WCDSB’s Ministry-reported totals as having failed to graduate — even if they did ultimately graduate from another school board.

On the flip side, the Ministry does count as a graduates the students who begin with the WCDSB, leave for a period of time, and then return.

The WCDSB’s internal graduation metrics include the students who leave and then return to us, but do not include those students who leave our system as we are not able to track their progress, nor influence it.

The Ministry of Education graduation rates represent lagging data with the most recent graduation rates being from June 2019 (e.g., 2012-2013 cohort).

When we consider only the students that begin with us in Grade 9 and graduate from WCDSB, our graduation rates increase by approximately 4 per cent.

There are two critical points to note here:

First, the data confirms we do exercise positive influence on the students who remain in our system as they move to graduation in four or five years.

Second, it is clear our students who are mobile — either in or out of our system – do require additional support to achieve graduation in four or five years.

A key factor behind the WCDSB’s graduation rate success, is the variety of “Pathways” programs available to our students.

These programs provide students with different learning styles and varied interests, as a supplement to traditional academic pursuits.

The STEAM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) are increasingly emphasized in our menu of learning options.

On March 28, 2022, the Board of Trustees received a comprehensive staff report detailing the work of WCDSB’s Student Success Consultants and the Board’s Student Reengagement Strategy activities, as well as an in depth look at the following programs:

The report begins on page 19 via this link: https://www.wcdsb.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2022/03/2022-03-28_Board-of-Trustee-Agenda.pdf

Of particular note, one of the key contributing factors in overall student success over the last decade has been the Board’s Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program.

With 14 distinct programs, our SHSM “footprint” is consistently among the largest in Ontario.

There is quite literally something for everybody in Waterloo Region’s Catholic schools.

And, as we move forward into a post COVID-19 era, we look forward to continuing to provide the same Quality, Inclusive, Faith-based education the people of Waterloo Region deserve and have come to expect.

Registrations are always open and welcome. Please click here to register: https://www.wcdsb.ca/our-schools/register-for-school/

November 24th, 2022|

Important Update on CUPE Strike

Earlier this evening, the Ontario government and education workers represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees – Ontario – (CUPE) reached a tentative contract agreement.

As a result, all WCDSB sites and programs will be operating tomorrow on their regular schedules.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we worked through this time of uncertainty.

November 20th, 2022|

Message from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health

November 18, 2022

November 18th, 2022|

Voting in WCDSB Trustee Election in Cambridge Extended to November 25, 2022

On Monday, November 7 2022, the election of Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) Trustees resumed for Catholic School Board supporters in the City of Cambridge.

Due to a ballot error, all votes cast in the City of Cambridge on October 24 for WCDSB Trustee candidates were voided.

To ensure transparency and uphold the integrity of the voting process, a new vote was ordered by the City Clerk.

Friday, November 18 2022, had been set as the new voting deadline.

However, due to a delay in the arrival of voting cards to voters, the voting deadline has been extended to 4:30 p.m. — Friday, November 25, 2022.

The vote is being conducted ONLINE.

Voters who support the WCDSB can cast their ballot here:

VOTE

CANDIDATE INFORMATION

Voters without access to the internet may contact the City of Cambridge at 519-740-4680 ext. 4079 to learn more about how to qualify for at-home voting.

November 17th, 2022|

Important Update on Potential CUPE Strike

Dear Parents & Guardians:

As you may be aware, the Ontario government and education workers represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees – Ontario – (CUPE) continue to negotiate in hopes of reaching a deal that works for all.

On Wednesday, November 16th, CUPE served five days’ notice that if no contract is reached, their workers would be on strike effective Monday, November 21, 2022.

CUPE and the government have negotiation dates scheduled up to and including Sunday November 20, 2022.  It is our hope that a deal will be reached before Monday’s strike date and kids can come to school as normal.

The WCDSB has more than 1,200 staff represented by CUPE, in multiple different roles in schools.

As before — given such a large number of potentially absent staff, should a strike occur, it will not be possible to safely open and operate our schools.

If a strike occurs, and schools are closed to in-person attendance, we will move directly to synchronous remote learning.

Chromebooks will be available to students who need them in advance of any school closure.

In the event of a strike, St. Louis Adult Learning classes will continue to run, but St. Louis site offices will be closed.

WCDSB extended day programs will not be running.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to ensure the learning of all students keeps moving forward.

We will keep you updated as further information becomes available.

Please monitor our website: https://www.wcdsb.ca/about-us/labour-updates/

November 16th, 2022|

Update on Masking in WCDSB Schools

On Monday, November 14, 2022, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH), Dr. Kieran Moore, shared information with Ontarians concerning the rise of cases of influenza, Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)  and COVID-19 across the province.

Dr. Moore has strongly recommended that Ontarians use the protective strategies available to them, including wearing masks indoors.

There is no provincial mask mandate.

Even prior to the onset of COVID-19 in March 2020, it has been the practice of Waterloo Region’s Catholic schools to follow the guidance of the Chief Medical Officer — as well as that of our own Region of Waterloo Public Health officials — when it comes to dealing with communicable diseases in schools.

While masking is not mandated, our schools are now, and will remain, mask-friendly spaces, and we encourage students and staff to wear masks indoors during the rise in cases we are currently experiencing.

The decision to wear a mask remains a personal choice. However, as Dr. Moore notes, it is a way to support partners in our health care system as they respond to an increase in pressures caused by the current increase in respiratory illnesses in our communities.

As we move into the winter months, please keep in mind:

~~ Parents, students, and staff are reminded to stay home if feeling unwell and only return when symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours (48 hours if you are experiencing nausea, vomiting, or have diarrhea). Those recovering from illness or with symptoms should continue to mask for ten days from onset of symptoms. Please review the daily Ontario School Screening Tool for common symptoms and specific guidance when responding to your individual circumstances. https://www.ontario.ca/school-screening/

~~  Students and staff are encouraged to wear a mask when indoors – particularly when in close contact with others — to reduce the opportunity to spread respiratory illness. The decision to mask remains a personal choice, and all individuals will be afforded the same respect in our classrooms and workspaces.

~~ Staff will continue to have access to personal protective equipment at school.

~~ Masks continue to be available to all students upon request.

~~ Students and staff are asked to continue practicing good hand hygiene (e.g., hand washing, sanitizing) and be sure to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing (e.g., cough/sneeze into your elbow).

~~ Dr. Moore has also suggested that Ontarians consider getting their flu shot and COVID vaccine / booster.

Thank you for your support and cooperation in keeping our schools and communities safe and healthy.

November 15th, 2022|

East Kitchener 7-12 Boundary Review Update

Dear Parents & Guardians,

On Monday, November 7, 2022, the Board of Trustees approved recommendations to change the boundaries for Canadian Martyrs, Saint John Paul II, St. Anne (K), and St. Daniel Catholic Elementary Schools (CES) as well as St. Mary’s High School. The purpose was to establish boundaries for the new St. Patrick CES and the East Kitchener 7-12 Catholic School in advance of their opening.

The boundary changes in accordance with Staff Recommended Option 6 will take effect when the new schools open, anticipated to be September 2024.

Option 6 includes the following changes:

  • Move sub-area C from St. Anne (K) to St. Daniel.
  • Move sub-area D from St. Anne (K) to St. Patrick.
  • Move sub-area K from Canadian Martyrs to Saint John Paul II.
  • Move sub-area S from St. Daniel to St. Patrick.
  • Move sub-area Y from Saint John Paul II to St. Patrick.
  • St. Anne (K) would continue to be a JK-8 elementary school.
  • St. Patrick would be a JK-8 elementary school.
  • Canadian Martyrs, Saint John Paul II, and St. Daniel would be JK-6 schools with grades 7/8 being directed to the East Kitchener 7-12 school.

A map of Option 6 is presented on the following page, followed by the approved recommendations. Further, the changes are also summarized, by school, in the accompanying diagrams.

Information on the decisions and all boundary review information remains available on the board’s Boundary Review webpage (https://www.wcdsb.ca/about-us/accommodations/east-kitchener-7-12-boundary-review/) .

November 10th, 2022|

WCDSB Schools to Re-open on Tuesday, November 8, 2022

As a result of this morning’s announcement by the Premier that the Ontario government will rescind Bill 28 and will return to collective bargaining with the Canadian Public Sector Employees Union – Ontario — (CUPE), education workers represented by CUPE have agreed to pause their job action and return to schools effective tomorrow – Tuesday, November 8, 2022.

This means all WCDSB schools (including St. Louis) will be open on November 8 for a regular day of classes.

All school transportation will be running as regularly scheduled.

All WCDSB extended day programs will be running on their regular schedules.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we transitioned into remote learning, and we pray that both sides will quickly reach a fair and just collective agreement that serves the interests of all.

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November 7th, 2022|
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