Committee of the Whole Board

Monday, September 10, 2018 – Meeting Agenda Package

Public Board Meeting

Monday, September 24, 2018 — Meeting Agenda Package


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.

– 30 –

For more information, please contact:

John Shewchuk – Chief Managing Officer | (519) 578-3660 |