Committee of the Whole Board Meeting

Monday, April 20, 2020 – Meeting Agenda Package

Public Board Meeting

Monday, April 27, 2020 — Meeting Agenda Package

Monday, April 6, 2020 — Meeting Agenda Package



Student Success Update/Plan

The Ontario Ministry of Education supports a range of initiatives to facilitate Student Success in secondary schools, and in the transition to secondary schools, with the understanding that every student learns in their own way. Ontario’s high schools are working with communities, employers, colleges, universities and training centers to offer more ways than ever to help students focus on their interests and support their learning.

The goal is to meet the needs, interests and strengths of all students, to engage them in their learning and to better prepare them for graduation and a post-secondary destination be it college, university, community supported living, work or an apprenticeship in a skilled trade. Student Success initiatives in place to support learning and engagement include:

  1. Education and career/life planning, orientation programs and extra help for students as they move from grade to grade and school to school.
  2. Students have the voice and influence to positively change their school environment and to become more involved in the life of the school and achieve their goals.
  3. Student success teams at each school include school administrators, teachers and guidance counsellors to provide extra attention and support for individual students.

The report presented on April 6, 2020 addresses in detail the following key issues / initiatives:

  • Transitions (Grade 8-9)
  • Program & Pathways
  • Student Success Consultants Intermediate (SSCI)
  • Experiential Learning
  • Graduation Rates
  • Re-engagement Strategy

The full report is available on pages 33-42 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

School Year Calendar

Ontario Regulation 304 provides that school boards are required to prepare, adopt and submit to the Minister on or before the first day of May, the school year calendar(s) to be followed by the schools in their jurisdiction for the subsequent school year.

School Boards are required to identify a minimum of 194 school days between September 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, of which a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 7 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 first day of the school year will be Tuesday, September 8, 2020. The last day of the school year will be June 30th, 2021. The last day of school in December will be December 18th, 2020 and the first day of school in the new year is January 4th, 2021. Note: Christmas Break takes place between December 21st, 2020 and January 1st , 2021.

For a full listing of key dates, please see pages 43-46 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Student Trustee Update

Each month, Student Trustees Meghan Cymbron and Rori Schaefer present their monthly report on activities in WCDSB’s secondary schools. The report is available on pages 213-14 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Chair’s Update

Each month, Board Chair Bill Conway reports on the activities of the Board of Trustees. The report for March 2020 is available on page 215 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

MONDAY, APRIL 20, 2020

Well Being Update –Safe Schools

At the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, we believe that every student has a right to learn in a safe, caring and supportive environment. Our learning environments foster positive Christ centered relationships that are at the heart of all our efforts to promote student achievement and well-being. The WCDSB vision for safe and accepting schools clearly aligns with the publication of Achieving Excellence: A Renewed Vision for Ontario Education (2014), wherein The Ministry of Education made a commitment to every student in the province of Ontario.

Regardless of ‘ancestry, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, language, physical and intellectual ability, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, socio-economic status or other factors’, all students should be able to access the curriculum, feel safe at school, and have a sense of belonging. In addition to this, the Ministry of Education also introduced Ontario’s Well-Being Strategy for Education: Discussion Document (2016) which has also served to guide our Safe and Caring Schools focus in WCDSB.

There are four key components at the foundation of Ontario’s well-being strategy:

  • Positive Mental Health
  • Safe and Accepting Schools
  • Healthy Schools
  • Equity and Inclusive Education

Well Being Strat

The WCDSB’s suspension data is a highlight of the report.

Controlling for the time range (up to and including February of each school year) for suspension and WCDSB enrollment, we are noticing the that number of students who are suspended each year (recidivism) has decreased in both panels over the past 3 years:

In the Elementary panel, there is a decrease of 0.15% when we compare the total number of students that had a suspension issued (note: a 0.15% decrease would approximate to 25 fewer students) in the 2019-2020 school year when compared to three years ago.

In the Secondary panel, there is a decrease of 0.16% when we compare the total number of students that had a suspension issued (note: a 0.16% decrease would approximate to 11 fewer students) in the 2019-2020 school year when compared to three years ago and a decrease of 0.94% when we compare the total number of students that had a suspension issued (note: a 0.94% decrease would approximate to 64 fewer students) in the 2019-2020 school year when compared to last school year.

A detailed update on WCDSB’s Well Being / Safe Schools efforts is presented in detail on pages 8-21 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

MONDAY, APRIL 27, 2020

Multi-Year Information Technology Plan and 21st C/Global Learning Update

WCDSB has continued to promote and embrace a forward thinking and innovative culture that embodies ideas which are transformational and unique. Our innovation and learning focus and Technology Strategic Plan are strong drivers that have continued to shape the strong pedagogical practices and equitable access to curriculum and leading-edge technology in the Waterloo Catholic District School Board.

In alignment with the Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (BIPSA), Pastoral Plan, and Multi-Year Strategic Plan, IT resources and innovative initiatives are aligned with the academic and administrative objectives of the Board, including a common Innovation Framework and IT vision with clear purpose and direction.

Through stakeholder feedback, and with a strategic focus on the end user we are well positioned to address today’s challenges and opportunities to ensure our ongoing success.

The April 27, 2020 report provides extensive detail concerning WCDSB’s work in the following strategic areas:

STRATEGIC DIRECTION ONE — Guiding Question: How might we leverage our partnerships with families, parishes, and community partners to fulfill our mission with our Catholic Graduate Expectations?

STRATEGIC DIRECTION TWO — Guiding Question: How might we use the various aspects of technology tools (pedagogical, security, and technical) to provide a scalable, sustainable, and equitable strategy for technology?

STRATEGIC DIRECTION THREE — Guiding Question: How might we connect our innovators (staff and students) and amplify our learning community by sharing their innovative practices that lead to sustained deep learning?

As soon as schools were closed due to the COVID19 Pandemic, the Ministry of Education indicated that remote learning was going to be an avenue in which we would deliver curriculum to K-12 students.

With a focus on equity and accessibility of learning for our WCDSB students data was collected which has resulted in the distribution of Chromebooks, Internet Devices and SEA equipment.

The first Monday following March Break, #STEAMDays were launched with “S” for Science and the initiative picked up “STEAM” from there on social media and the WCDSB website.

Following #STEAMDays, WCDSBLearn@Home was launched in an effort to communicate clearly with families and support them in accessing the specific curriculum focused learning opportunities provided by educators beginning on Monday, April 6th, 2020. WCDSB Learn@Home continues to be the site that offers essential information for families looking for technology and access tips, additional learning resources, government updates, learning resources and support specific to Special Education, mental health resources, Kindergarten resources, WCDSBPray@Home information, and answers to frequently asked questions.

The full report is available on pages 25-57 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package. Specifically, the Information Technology Five Year Strategic Plan 2020-2025 is presented on pages 48-57.

St. John Boundary Review Recommendations

On October 28, 2019, the Board of Trustees initiated a boundary review with the goal of reducing enrolment pressure at St. John. The boundary review includes four schools: St. John, Our Lady of Lourdes, Holy Rosary, and St. Nicholas.

On April 6, 2020, the Board of Trustees received the St. John Boundary Review Final Staff Report. That report provided a series of staff recommendations. On April 20, 2020, Staff provided the St. John Boundary Review – Response to Trustee Questions.

As a result of decisions made by the Board of Trustees on Monday April 27, 2020, the boundary changes in accordance with Staff Recommended Option 7b — generally described below — will take effect on September 1, 2020:

  • move sub‐areas X and Y from Our Lady of Lourdes to St. Nicholas
  • move sub‐area M from Holy Rosary to St. Nicholas
  • move sub‐areas E and B from St. John to Our Lady of Lourdes
  • move sub‐area F from St. John to Holy Rosary

Grade 6 and 7 students currently attending St. John and Our Lady of Lourdes, and their siblings, are being offered the opportunity to stay in their current school.  This grandparenting of current students is optional, and families can choose to move all students to their new school in September. Students living in Area M currently attending Holy Rosary may stay at that school, with transportation if they qualify.

All new students living in areas impacted by the boundary review will attend their new school as of September 2020.

Effective April 27, 2020 the four review area schools were closed to Out of Boundary admissions.  Grade 6 and 7 students who have been attending either of the four review area schools during the 2019/20 school year with Out of Boundary permission, may remain in their current school.  Younger siblings who may also have Out of Boundary permission are not included in this grandparenting.

No new Out of Boundary applications will be allowed in the four review area schools.  Appeals for Out of Boundary attendance based on extenuating circumstances may be considered.  Further information on the appeal process will be shared directly with current Out of Boundary students.

Student Trustee Update

Student Trustees Meghan Cymbron and Rori Schaefer presented their monthly report on activities in WCDSB’s secondary schools. The report is available on pages 27-32 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Chair’s Update

Board Chair Bill Conway’s April 2020 report on the activities of the Board of Trustees is available on page 33 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Upcoming Board Meetings

Committee of the Whole Board Meeting

Monday, May 11, 2020

Regular Public Board Meeting

Monday, May 25, 2020

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 184-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 |