Committee of the Whole Board Meeting

Monday, February 10, 2020 – Meeting Agenda Package

Public Board Meeting

Monday, February 24, 2020 — Meeting Agenda Package


Early Years Report

For most Waterloo Catholic District School Board students and their families, the initiation to Catholic education begins in Kindergarten. For decades, the WCDSB has been at the forefront of educational excellence and progress at this key developmental stage. This two-year program, “…is a child-centred, developmentally appropriate, integrated program of learning for four- and five-year-old children. The purpose of the program is to establish a strong foundation for learning in the early years, and to do so in a safe and caring, play-based environment that promotes the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of all children.” (The Kindergarten Program, 2016, p. 8)

In February 2019 trustees were apprised of ongoing progress in implementing two renewed policies and programs in Ontario which form the core of Kindergarten: The aforementioned Kindergarten Program 2016 and Growing Success: The Kindergarten Addendum 2016.

On February 10, 2020 the Board of Trustees received an update on the ongoing implementation of the Kindergarten program in Waterloo Region’s Catholic schools, with a focus on key accomplishments and the challenges posed by needing to serve a rapidly growing student population.

To read the full program update, please see pages 31-34 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 Grant applications, system and regional
  • Supporting Schools and Parent Involvement Committees through “Grassroots Sharing Events”

The complete Parent Engagement Update is available on pages 35-40 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

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

Student Transportation Services of Waterloo Region (STSWR) has been serving the Waterloo Catholic District School Board since 2007 through the provision of home to school transportation services for our students. This is accomplished by contracting with school bus and taxi operators to service routes built by STSWR transportation technicians. STSWR is owned by the Waterloo Region District School Board and Waterloo Catholic District School Board. Each board pays an equal share of management costs. In addition, each board pays for their direct costs of transportation and a prorated share of overhead (based on ridership).

Annually a report on the activities of STSWR is provided to Trustees. The report/presentation also serves as an opportunity for Trustees to ask questions of the General Manager of STSWR on transportation programs and initiatives in the Region. Highlights for the year just ended include:

  • A major reduction in instances of speeding year over year
  • A customer service survey which resulted in an 80% approval rate
  • A public information blitz for the benefit of student safety
  • Development and distribution of an inclement weather informational video
  • Renewal of a multi-year contract for taxi services
  • School travel staff worked with 39 schools in the Region to improve walking routes for students
  • A better inventory of bus drivers resulting from enhancements to compensation in 2018

The full report is available on pages 14-30 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Special Education Fundamental Math Update

WCDSB builds capacity, skills and knowledge in educators to ensure that high quality programs and services are provided for all our students.  The Special Education Liaisons are responsible for building capacity with educators in our WCDSB community. We are continuing to foster a system of inclusion that nurtures the whole student, ensuring wellness across their development; spiritually, emotionally, socially, physically and academically. During the 2016-2020 school years, Learning Disabilities and Mathematics has been a focus for professional learning for our WCDSB staff.  The WCDSB support model is based on the “Learning for All” Ministry Document, which uses a tiered approach for supporting student learning in Mathematics.

How do we Measure the Impact of Special Education PD for Fundamental Mathematics?

Short-Term Results are related to LEARNING

  • Awareness of the Process and Procedures for Early Intervention (Tiered Approach at WCDSB)
  • Knowledge of The Learning for All Document and how it relates to Knowing the Learner
  • Knowledge of the Tier One Supports (Differentiated Instruction and Universal Design for Learning)
  • Knowledge of teaching strategies, as well as technology, assessment and environmental supports.
  • Further understanding of the Individual Education Plan; especially the transition goals outlined on the Transition Page as per PPM 156.
  • Fewer students brought to In-School Team meetings for Mathematics and fewer A1s and IEPs created for math

Medium-Term Results are related to ACTION

  • Practice: Classroom teachers and Special Education teachers will be able to collaboratively focus on next steps for students who are struggling in mathematics.
  • Practice: Teachers will have a greater understanding of the tiered approach to support student learning.
  • Interventions will begin at the Tier One level and more focus on trialing these strategies prior to requesting an In-School Team Meeting to discuss student needs.
  • Skills: Special Education Teachers will increase their skill level in following the process and in understanding the LD Profile.
  • Skills: Special Education Teachers can help support transitions by using visual task cards/timers etc. in order to support Executive Functioning
  • Practice: Special Education Teachers will be able to collaborate with classroom teachers to develop IEPs that are appropriate to the LD profile
  • Fewer students with a Learning Disability will have modifications in mathematics

Long-Term Results are related to IMPACT

  • A greater number of students will be able to self-advocate for accommodations that they need.
  • Individual Education Plan audit will show us that completion of IEPs for students with an LD have detailed transition plans and accommodations that support the learning.
  • Achievement –improved EQAO scores for students with an IEP and a diagnosis of a Learning Disability.

The full report is available on pages 22-26 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Board Chair’s Update

Each month, Board Chair Bill Conway reports on the activities of the Board of Trustees. The report for February 2020 is available on page 33 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Student Trustees Report

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

Upcoming Board Meetings

Committee of the Whole Board Meeting

Monday, March 9, 2020

Waterloo Region Catholic Education Centre

Regular Public Board Meeting

Monday, March 30, 2020

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 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 |