Highlights from April 12th UCDSB Board of Trustees Meeting – HomeTown TV12

Highlights from April 12th UCDSB Board of Trustees Meeting

Highlights from April 12th UCDSB Board of Trustees Meeting

Click Here to Access the April 12th Board Meeting Agenda

Brockville – Trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) met on Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 to discuss a number of topics including: 

Eamer’s Corners Public School (ECPS) Presentation:  Principal Sylvia Speck updated Trustees on how her school is advancing student learning through its School Improvement Plan for Student Achievement. The plan focuses on ways the school can improve scores in standardized testing for both math and literacy.  Eamer’s is using guided reading groups in both English and French classes to implement focused literacy strategies to improve comprehension. Staff analyze running record data – or careful notes on how well students read – to plan guided reading groups and determine effective teaching strategies. The school also offers the Empower Reading Program to assist high-needs students.

In mathematics, teachers employ strategies such as number talks and math talks to improve math scores. The school’s math team is purposefully comprised of both primary and junior teachers to develop the best strategies to help students transition between primary and junior math. The school also canvassed students on what would make them more comfortable in sharing their ideas in math class, allowing them to learn from the discussion. Staff are considering ways to incorporate students’ feedback into their lessons from working in smaller groups, to including more games and other fun activities as part of the instruction.

Gananoque Intermediate and Secondary School  (GISS) Presentation: Principal Chris Boston told Trustees how his school is working to overcome student learning challenges and enhance performance in standardized testing for both literacy and math. The school is using benchmark testing to discover students’ strengths and needs in literacy, and employing pre/during/after reading strategies to enhance their understanding. Techniques such as predicting the meaning of a text before reading it, and relating text to students’ personal experiences, are used to build literacy skills. Teachers also work with students to develop learning goals and success criteria so students gain a clear understanding of what they need to achieve to be successful.

In math, students are being exposed to more problem-solving strategies to help them succeed such as the use of number talks, notice and naming, “co-construction” of success criteria for effective problem solving, and enhanced use of math manipulatives.

The GISS School Improvement Plan for Student Achievement also focuses on student wellness. The school has already offered a student workshop on stress, and will be providing monthly wellness seminars to address challenges identified by students through the Tell Them From Me survey.

School Consolidation and Student Transitions Planning: Superintendents Phil Dawes and David Coombs presented on Board preparations for school consolidation and student transitions, following the recent Board decision regarding the Final Staff Report of the Building for the Future Pupil Accommodation Review. The Board has established a Board and school committee structure designed to ensure an effective and caring transition for affected students in September 2017. A District-Wide Transition Team will oversee operations and program needs such as planning for the movement of physical assets and records, and coordination of student transportation. Five School-Based Transition Teams will be established to handle issues ranging from recognition events to student transition activities. The school teams are expected to commence work after the week of April 18, and will be established to address the following transitions: Benson Public School/South Edwardsburg Public School; Plantagenet Public School/ Rockland Public School; Rideau Centennial Elementary School/South Crosby Public School; Rothwell-Osnabruck School (Grades 7-12)/Tagwi Secondary School; and S. J McLeod Public School/Williamstown Public School. Two Dual Track Program Planning Teams are also proceeding with preparations for the introduction of dual track English/French Immersion programs for September at Arklan Community Public School, Caldwell Street Public School and Duncan J. Schoular Public School.

The Board requested a follow-up staff report to update Trustees on the status of this matter, by the end of the school year.

Board Plans to Deal with Impact of US Travel Restrictions:  Superintendent Coombs submitted to the Board a plan to address the potential impact of recent US travel restrictions on school trips to America. A current 90-day Executive Order suspends entry into the United States of citizens from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. Although Canadian citizens traveling with a valid passport – including those with dual citizenship from these countries – are exempt, the decision to allow entry into the United States is at the discretion of US immigration officers. This raises the possibility of students travelling on school trips being denied entry. The school board is prepared to respond to the heightened screening through: sharing of information regarding the Executive Order with students, their parents and guardians; a requirement that students have cancellation insurance for all overnight school trips; ensuring that principals review federal travel advisories before any departure; and preparations for the possibility that any student turned back at the border for reasons not of their own doing, will result in cancellation of a trip. Between March 2017 and June 2017, eight UCDSB schools will be travelling to the United States. Next year, five schools plan to visit the US, with another 10 considering similar trips.
The Board requested a follow-up staff report to update Trustees on the status of this matter, by the end of the school year.

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