Kemptville – CDSBEO Board Meeting Highlights from the Meeting Held October 3rd, 2017.
Special Education Teacher Portal
The CDSBEO Special Education Department has recently launched a new teacher portal which allows all teachers, SERTs, and administrators to quickly gather information about students, and create student profiles. Teachers can develop, access and complete Individual Education Plans (IEPs) using the portal, which helps to simplify the process of gathering evidence and presenting data in an aggregate form.
Rick Soudant, MISA and Educational Data Analysis Coordinator, and Heather Bovey, Coordinator of Special Education, shared information on the Teacher Portal with the Board of Trustees.
“The portal offers one stop shopping for teachers,” began Mr. Soudant. “It provides a place where teachers can access student information, review attendance data over time, access report card history, analyze assessments, and create and review student IEPs.”
The portal, which was launched in September, is accessible in all schools to administrators, SERTs, teachers, and guidance counsellors. The portal was developed through feedback from teachers, who expressed the desire for an improved experience, with a more streamlined and intuitive interface. Class profiles, student profiles and attendance are some of the information that can be accessed. All CDSBEO SERTs have also been trained on how to access the portal, how to access IEPs, and how to create IEPs.
“We really are trying to make things simple for teachers so they can work more efficiently and really understand the students’ needs,” noted Ms. Bovey. “Two years ago when we piloted the site, the teachers requested that the IEPs be integrated into the platform.”
“We have also developed a step-by-step guide for teachers, which has been posted on the CDSBEO intranet site along with a promotional video,” concluded Ms. Bovey.
Safe Schools Update
The creation of intervention plans, including Prevent, Teach and Reinforce plans, as well as Violence, Threat, Risk Assessment plans, are key elements for supporting students with social, emotional, and behaviour needs. The Ministry of Education Safe School Policy requires boards to have safe school procedures and protocols in place to ensure that all Ontario schools are safe, accepting and inclusive. The CDSBEO has implemented several specialized programs and supports to assist with prevention and targeted intervention for at-risk students.
Pam Dunk and Shari King, both Behaviour Crisis Consultants with the Board, presented an update on the Safe Schools initiative. The CDSBEO employs several prevention programs for students, including WITS (Walk Away, Ignore, Talk it Out, Seek Help), Roots of Empathy, and the Zones of Regulation program, which teaches calming techniques, self-regulation, and sensory integration. In addition, the Board also uses various targeted intervention strategies such as Individual Education Plans (IEPs), and student resiliency action plans, along with restorative justice to resolve any issues that may arise.
“The ABLE programs are an alternative program that students attend for six days or more. The Turning Points program is intended for students that are connected to services due to mental health concerns of varying degrees,” noted Ms. King. “The majority of these students are not in the program as a result of actions of a violent nature.”
“Our VTRA Protocol (Violence Threat Risk Assessment) is a good resource for assisting with solving these thoughts of violence. Placements in the ABLE program helps students to build capacity and get back to their home schools. We always focus on the strategies we need to teach, and on the mindsets we need to adjust – to teach students the strategies they need to return to school.”
Goal setting and strategies to keep students on track once they move back into their home school is a key component in creating a successful outcome for the student.
“Some of the students in the ABLE program will come back once a week, once they have left ABLE, to help them maintain their mental health supports through the agencies that are involved with the program,” concluded Ms. Dunk.
Audit Committee Summary Report to the Board 2016-2017
The CDSBEO Audit Committee reports annually to the Board of Trustees. The committee consists of two board members and two external members that provide a report on the committee’s performance of its duties for the previous year.
Superintendent of Business, Bonnie Norton, presented the Audit Committee summary report to the Board of Trustees.
The Board’s Audit Committee duties and responsibilities is outlined in Ont. Reg. 361/10. Section 15 of the legislation requires the Audit Committee to provide a Summary Report to the Board annually on the committee’s performance of its duties for the previous year.
“Since the Regional Internal Audit function does not report to the Ministry of Education, the regulation also requires the Summary Report to be submitted to the Ministry of Education,” noted Ms. Norton. “This allows the Ministry to monitor the required two audits per year per board, and also ensures that there are no duplicate Ministry audits.”
During the 2016-2017 school year, the CDSBEO had audits for Hiring and Occasional Teachers (in compliance with hiring regulation 274), and a second audit for IT Security Controls (access management and network security).
“Both Audit Reports have been reviewed by the Audit Committee along with any recommendations and management’s action plan,” noted Ms. Norton.
During the 2017-2018 year, the Regional Internal Audit Team will conduct audits in the areas of: Health and Safety and Facility Procurement (which is currently underway). A follow up review will be conducted on the Special Education audit completed two years ago. Final reports will be brought to the Audit Committee in the spring of 2018.
The Board would like to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving filled with many blessings, and time with family and friends.