Committee of the Whole Board Meeting

Monday, September 12, 2022 – Meeting Agenda Package

Public Board Meeting

Monday, September 26, 2022 — Meeting Agenda Package


Summer Equity Update

As a Catholic educational institution, we are guided by the Gospel in our pursuit of equity and justice as a value rooted in our faith. In our Catholic tradition, we have a moral imperative to act intentionally to ensure those we serve – staff, students, and communities – are treated with respect and dignity as brothers and sisters in Christ.

There was extensive equity and faith work done throughout the board during the 2021 and 2022 academic year. In March 2021, WCDSB hired an Equity Officer. This past spring, the Equity Officer position was converted to a Senior Manager of Equity Services position. Additionally, two additional positions were added to build the foundation of an Equity Services Department. These positions are the Equity Systems Navigator and the Human Resources and Equity Officer.

The Equity Systems Navigator seeks to bridge the gap between equity-seeking communities, students, families, and the school system to prevent, address, and resolve real or perceived issues of bias, discrimination, racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia.

The Navigator provides support to students and families from equity-deserving communities to help them navigate a complex school system and have access to the programs and services intended to support them — working with students and families from Indigenous, Black, racialized, and 2SLGBTQ+ communities, acting as a liaison, advocating for them, and serving as guides through the school system.

The Human Resource and Equity Officer supports the implementation of the Equity Action Plan, including supporting equity, diversity and inclusion through recruitment and selection strategies, auditing of job postings, retention, policy review and development, wellness, training and support for managers and administrators, and consultation on complaints and investigations.

A key function of the role is to identify the need for (and to develop and implement) policies and
guidelines on matters related to diversity, equity and inclusion that will bring best practices into the organization, while ensuring compliance with legislation such as the Ontario Human Rights Code.

The Equity Update report also provides detailed information about a number of other initiatives in the following key areas:

  • Building Equity Capacity: Leadership
  • Building Capacity Across the Board: Internal Websites and Resources
  • Multimedia Projects

For more information about WCDSB’s ongoing work in equity, diversity and inclusion, please visit:

The report is available beginning on page 13 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Update on Summer Boost/ Summer Programming

Similar to last year, the Council of Ontario Directors of Education (CODE) provided school boards with funding to deliver Summer Learning Programs (SLP) with the intent to meet the needs of our most vulnerable students, parents, and communities. Key focus areas included Numeracy and Literacy.

The funding directly supported the WCDSB Summer Boost Program that has run each summer for the past several years. After two summers of online learning, WCDSB was excited to return to an in-person mode of instruction and offered the program at three elementary schools: St. Peter in Cambridge, St. John in Kitchener, and Sir Edgar Bauer in Waterloo. In total, 320
students participated in the program this summer – a significant increase from last year.

The 2022 Summer Boost program consisted of 16 classes and ran from July 5th – July 23rd inclusively for 3 hrs/day for a total of 45 hrs for the duration of the program.

Overall Academic Outcomes

Literacy pre and post-test assessment of the Rosner tool measuring phonemic awareness increased by 10% in kindergarten and in Grade 1.

Grades 2-6 literacy assessment focused on vocabulary development targeting “Tier 2” words, using a scale of “not yet,” “getting there,” and “got it.” Post assessment data showed an increase in the “got it” column of 22%, along with decreases in “getting there” and “not yet.”

In Numeracy we witnessed an increase in all classes between pre and post-test assessments. Increases were between 13%-31% based on questions targeting the Number strand.

The report is available beginning on page 23 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

2022-2023 Re-Opening Update

Director of Education Tyrone Dowling provided the Board of Trustees with a brief re-opening update.

The return of students and staff to fully in-person learning in a context similar to that pre-pandemic is a positive sign. While the board may encounter some continuing COVID-19 related challenges, we will continue to rely on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and guidance from Region of Waterloo Public Health.

As a community, we will continue to rely on each student, family and staff member, to assist us to maintain a safe environment that continues to allow our students to reach their full potential – heart of the community, success for each and a place for all.

The update provided information in the following areas:

  • In Person Learning
  • Masking
  • Hand Hygiene
  • Daily Screening
  • Lockers, Lunches and Recess
  • Sports

For more COVID-19 information, please visit:

The report is available beginning on page 31 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Summer Transition Programs

This past summer, WCDSB provided a variety of resources and programs to support the needs of students across the system.

In July, additional Classroom Teachers, Special Education Teachers and Educational Assistants were hired to support the Summer Boost program which prioritized student registration by giving priority to student registrants who had an individual education plan. Additionally, for the first time, WCDSB was able to offer a transition to school program for students with special needs who were transitioning to kindergarten (Ready, Set, Kindergarten).

During the last two weeks of August, in collaboration with Special Education Teachers at each school site, we implemented a Student Transition to Fall Program to meet the needs of a variety of students who were identified by each school team.

Finally, the temporary funding allowed for additional CYCW to be hired until October 15th to support students in transitioning successfully into their schools. Theses summer program initiatives addressed the following MYSP Key Performance Indicators (KPI) regarding student achievement, student attendance, student well-being and parent engagement:

  • Increase in achievement for “marker students”
  • Decrease the gap in achievement between those students on an IEP and those who are not
  • Improved student attendance

The report is available beginning on page 16 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

HeadStart Program

WCDSB has used Grade 7-10 Literacy and Numeracy Continuing Education funds to deliver a brief, yet timely, holistic, non-credit summer program for incoming Grade 9 students to each of our five Catholic Secondary Schools.

At the end of August, hundreds of students choose to participate in Get a HeadStart to Grade 9 (commonly referred to as HeadStart), with the hope of easing their stress about moving to high school. Through the program they increase their academic readiness, engage in practical learning experiences that are both hands-on and digital, and nurture those academic, social, and spiritual connectors critical to school start-up success. All Grade 8 students are given the opportunity to register and participate in HeadStart for either the morning or the afternoon, and this year the program was held August 22-25, with 1,026 students participating.

Looking Ahead to 2023, the goals of the program are to:

  • Continue half day format due to positive feedback from students, parents and staff.
  • Continue to grow integrated and parallel programing opportunities if Special Education Transition funding continues.
  • Explore online registration set-up options available via Aspen to gain efficiencies for significant set up required.
  • Ensure earlier access to IEP information for applicable staff in HeadStart program and Special Education program.
  • Provide an intentional programming opportunity for administrators of that school or Summer Principal of HeadStart to do a brief meet & greet / Q&A with HeadStart students to help them understand role of Secondary Principals and VP’s.
  • Communicate with the high schools to identify and provide expectations and training to LINK students at each site in June to maximize their impact in the program as peer leaders.

The report is available beginning on page 21 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Summer Construction Update

During the 2021-2022 school year, numerous construction projects were undertaken at many WCDSB schools across the Region.

As in previous years, all projects were funded by the Ministry of Education and were related to School Renewal Allocation (SRA) funding, School Condition Improvement (SCI) funding and Capital Project funding. The provincial and federal governments also continued the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream (CVRIS) to fund and address various infrastructure needs related to air quality with our spaces.

With this funding, approximately $2.9 million was spent on SRA projects which capture non-building envelope items such as flooring, millwork, and painting; approximately $9.3 million was spent on SCI projects capturing repairs to building components, energy efficiency projects, and improving accessibility; and approximately $2.3 million was devoted to CVRIS projects such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) upgrades, replacement and refurbishing of portables, window replacement projects, and a variety of smaller projects.

Much of this work was conducted within a nine-week period through July and August.

In addition to these projects, the WCDSB also has several major Capital projects underway:

  • St Agnes CES addition- (190 new PP) underway- scheduled for May 2023 completion
  • Huron Brigadoon CES (new 650 PP) underway- scheduled for September 2023 opening
  • East Kitchener 7-12 (new 1400PP) in design – scheduled for September 2024 (TBD) opening
  • St Patrick CES (new 527 PP) – scheduled for September 2024 (TBD) opening
  • Rosenberg (new 527 PP) – scheduled for September 2025 opening
  • Cambridge joint project (joint school with WRDSB new 354 PP) – scheduled for September 2025 opening (TBD)
  • Baden (new 294 PP) – scheduled opening September 2026 (TBD)

The report is available beginning on page 21 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 41 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Board Chair’s Update

Each month, the Chair of the Board reports on the activities of the Board of Trustees. Chair Jeanne Gravelle’s report for September 2022 is available on page 44 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Upcoming Board Meetings

Committee of the Whole Board Meeting

Monday, October 3, 2022

Waterloo Region Catholic Education Centre

Special Public Board Meeting

Monday, October 17, 2022

Waterloo Region Catholic Education Centre

Regular Public Board Meeting

Monday, October 25, 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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