Kemptville – CDSBEO Board Highlights from Meeting Held April 4th, 2017.
School Profile – St. James the Greater Catholic School
Grade three students from St. James the Greater Catholic School in Smiths Falls, presented information to the Board on the school’s Lenten project. The school participated in activities on World Water Day, which helped the children learn about the importance of clean water, and the difficulty some children must endure to have access to this precious resource.
In the school gymnasium, students carried large containers of water, and weighted backpacks, through simulated natural barriers.
“Walking around our gym 90 times is the same distance some children have to walk in the morning,” explained Aaron Stanistreet.
All of the classes from Kindergarten to grade three went to the gym and spent half an hour doing the exercise in a relay fashion.
“One of the students dropped the jug which broke, and the water went all over the floor,” noted St. James Principal Sue Forbes. “The teacher took this as a teachable moment and explained how if this happened, the child would have to either go back home to get another container, or walk back to the water supply where the jug could be refilled.”
The school is raising funds through their Lenten project for a 6 year old student from Zambia who is sponsored through Chalice.
“We have raised $800 for her schooling this year, and it costs $444 for her to go to school in Zambia for one year,” explained student Malcolm Forbes.
Each of the classrooms has a picture of the sponsored student, and the school receives correspondence from her each year. Other activities such as a movie afternoon and student raffles for prizes including “principal for a day,” were held to raise funds for the Lenten project.
Eastern Ontario Skilled Trades Competition
The goal of the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) has been to promote skilled trades as a viable and attractive alternative to traditional post-secondary programs. Numbers of students participating in the OYAP program have risen consistently, and more students are choosing this pathway to receive the benefits associated with early registration as apprentices. One of the highlights of the OYAP program has been the skills competitions which allow skilled trades students the opportunity to participate in a varsity style competition. Each year, a group of 65 to 125 students compete in a wide range of events showcasing skills learned in classrooms or on cooperative education placements.
CDSBEO OYAP Coordinator Dan Lortie, presented to the Board of Trustees, details on this year’s Eastern Ontario Skills Competition, which was hosted in partnership with the Upper Canada District School Board on Tuesday, February 28, 2017.
This year’s event featured 17 competitions at four locations in Cornwall. The hub of activity took place at St. Lawrence College, and included categories such as auto service technician, team carpentry, house building, cabinet making, welding, TV video production, small engines, photography, and drama. Other events included hairstyling and esthetics took place at Elegance College, with culinary events at St. Matthew Catholic Secondary School and the environment competition at the St. Lawrence River Institute.
“CDSBEO students did very well in many areas, winning medals in 11 areas of the competition, and multiple medals in several areas,” noted Mr. Lortie. “The teams from Notre Dame and St. Luke earned silver and bronze respectively in the House Building event, and the teams from St. Michael, St. Thomas and Holy Trinity won gold, silver and bronze in the Environment category.”
“The teams in the Master Chef competition at St. Matthew Secondary from St. Matthew, St. Francis Xavier and St. Michael also took gold, silver and bronze, respectively.”
Experiential learning has become a main focus for the Ministry of Education, which is hosting an OYAP Symposium on May 28 and 29 in Kingston. CDSBEO educators will be participating in this event.
Graduation Rates – 2011-2012 Grade 9 Cohort
Each year, the Ministry of Education provides the Board with annual cohort based graduation rates. The data is collected through the Ontario School Information System (OnSIS), and helps to identify areas for success as well as areas where students may need support. The Ministry calculates a cohort graduation rate based on the information they receive from OnSIS for students graduating in four and five years.
Associate Director of Education, John Cameron, presented an overview of the 2011-12 grade 9 cohort graduation rates to the Board of Trustees. “The Ministry calculation is based on both a four-year and five-year formula which includes students who have moved from the CDSBEO to another system, and did not graduate, as well as students who have left the province and are beyond our ability to track,” explained Mr. Cameron. “Our numbers consider the total number of students currently enrolled in grade 12 for that specific cohort.”
A significant piece of the data includes accumulation rates. In the analysis of Board credit accumulation for the 2011-12 cohort, results are as follows:
- Under the Ministry of Education formula, the CDSBEO 4 year graduation rate is 87.9 per cent (up 2.5 per cent from the previous cohort), and the 5 year graduation rate is 91.1 per cent.
- Of students who stayed within the CDSBEO for the duration of their secondary education (921 students), 92.3 per cent graduated within 4 years, and 94.2 per cent within 5 years.
“This data demonstrates that our students are successful in graduating with their Ontario Secondary School Diploma in a four year period,” noted Mr. Cameron. “The programs offered to Board students, including our 23 Specialist High Skills Major Programs, Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, Personal Support Worker Program, and online learning programs, all contribute to a meaningful graduation outcome for our learners.”
“For the learners who are still enrolled in year 5, our school student success teams work very hard with these students to ensure they have the support they need to complete their Ontario Secondary School Diplomas.”
In the case of early leavers, student success teachers and guidance counsellors review each student on a case by case basis, explained Mr. Cameron.
“Re-engaging early leavers is a priority for us. A caring adult will make contact with the student to encourage solutions such as dual-credit programs, eLearning courses, paid co-op, PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment Review) and OYAP opportunities,” concluded Mr. Cameron.
“I think it’s a real reflection on the teachers when we see these successful numbers,” noted Director Gartland.
Cornwall Area Pupil Accommodation Review – Public Delegations
At the public session of the April 4 Board Meeting, an opportunity was provided for Public Delegations to be presented before the Board of Trustees regarding the Cornwall Area Pupil Accommodation Review. Throughout the process, all information and documentation related to the review has been posted on the CDSBEO website. Parties were open to submit public delegations until Friday, March 24. No public delegations were received to be presented at the April 4 Board Meeting.
“You should know,” remarked Director Gartland to Trustees, “that the final staff report, Report Number 3, with staff recommendations, will be brought to you on May 2 for your consideration. As the Chair mentioned, this process has been very transparent. We listened very closely during the public meetings, and we listened as the ARC Committee met with regard to recommendations.”
Director Gartland continued, “The legislation requires us to publicly post the report before May 2 – it will be posted on our website on April 18.”
“On the evening of that Board on May 2, the Trustees have several options. We will first have a presentation and will entertain any questions that the Trustees may have. The Board of Trustees can then either approve the staff recommendations, or decide not to approve the staff recommendations. A third choice would be for Trustees to direct staff to go back to the working table in terms of coming up with other options,” concluded Director Gartland.