Kemptville – CDSBEO Board Meeting Highlights from meeting held September 19th, 2017.
Summer Learning Program 2017
For the past eight summers, the CDSBEO has had the opportunity to offer a Summer Learning Program for primary students in a number of our schools. The program focuses on building literacy and numeracy skills, while integrating physical activity, the arts and recreation, as well as coding and robotics instruction, which was added this year. The Council of Ontario Directors of Education (CODE) continues to coordinate and provide funding and leadership for these summer programs.
Principal of Curriculum, Brent Bovaird, along with teacher Paula Hart, presented an overview of the benefits of the Summer Learning Program to the Board of Trustees.
The program is intended to support students in the primary grades who would benefit from engaging and interactive literacy and numeracy instruction during the summer months. In conjunction with the summer learning program, a significant research study is in place to examine the factors that minimize summer learning loss, and close the achievement gap.
Key components of the program included opportunities for students to: increase their literacy and numeracy skills, develop social skills through small peer group interaction, and enhance leadership and mentorship skills.
“The programs provide continuity and supported literacy, numeracy and school readiness,” explained Mr. Bovaird. “The learning environment is fun and positive, with low teacher-pupil ratios and engaging materials such as field trips and experiential opportunities, classroom guests, computer technology, manipulatives, and varied text forms.”
Each year, students in the Summer Learning Program complete STAR testing, which measures their reading and numeracy level upon entering the program. Students are then revisited by board staff in September to complete the testing again which allows for an analysis of how well the program helped students to retain academic skills over the summer months.
The program was held at five CDSBEO school locations, with 173 students from grades 1, 2, and 3 participating for four weeks during the month of July.
“Students had the opportunity to learn about self-regulation, breathing techniques to help manage emotions, and elements of spiritual meditation through weekly yoga classes,” noted teacher Paula Hart. “The experiences offered through the program also helped to engage learners with community experiences, Indigenous teachings, and history through hands-on opportunities.”
Information and Communication Technology Update
The CDSBEO has invested heavily in capacity, reliability and equipment relating to Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Through a strong partnership with Microsoft, ICT has established a solid infrastructure where students and teachers seamlessly integrate cloud tools in the classroom to help meet curriculum expectations. This infrastructure has allowed the Board to leverage cloud technologies, such as Microsoft Office 365.
James Proulx, Manager of ICT, presented an update to the Board on all of the recent progressive and innovative changes taking place with regard to Board technology, partnerships and recent upgrades.
One of the Board’s largest partnerships is with Microsoft, whose software helps to manage more than 7,000 devices, 150 servers, and 100 software titles for nearly 15,000 users in schools and administrative offices.
“Microsoft has a complete ecosystem from the back end all the way to the desktop,” explained Mr. Proulx. “These tools help to control our infrastructure, such as malware tools, business systems, video conference, and desktop software including office 2013 and 2016.”
“Our partnership with Microsoft has also streamlined the migration to Microsoft cloud based storage, software services, and infrastructure services.”
In addition, CDSBEO provides office products including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote to students and teachers in the cloud via Office 365. Students and teachers have access to five free downloads of Office 2016.
In 2013, the CDSBEO and the KPRDSB (Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board) submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Education and COSBO (Council of Senior Business Officials) for a provincial cloud based software delivery solution for schools. The proposal led to a pilot of eight school boards that participated in a 3-year pilot program which received $700,000 provided by the ministry and COSBO. The pilot has now expanded to 30 participant boards and over 400 software titles. The solution, which is now self-sustaining, is currently overseen by the Shared Technology Services Advisory Committee, which has been chaired by James Proulx since July 2016.
“We have internal partnerships with our departments, and these partnerships allow for the technology to be successful in our schools,” noted Mr. Proulx.
“We have also worked diligently to ensure adequate internet access at all sites, and we are about to deploy new firewall to make this service even better.”
The CDSBEO is currently piloting Windows 10 at three school sites. The implementation of the newer operating system will allow schools to offer students seamless Office 365 integration.
CDSBEO Appoints Director of Education
The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario is pleased to announce the appointment of John Cameron, as its new Director of Education for the Board, effective January 1, 2018. Mr. Cameron, who was appointed to the position on September 19th by the Board of Trustees, is currently the Associate Director of Education, with responsibilities that include supervision of Catholic schools in the Cornwall area.
Board Chair, Todd Lalonde says that Mr. Cameron has a longstanding career in Catholic education. “Mr. Cameron’s dedication to Catholic education cannot be questioned. He has demonstrated for many years, his dedication to ensuring that students have the opportunity to flourish in a faith-filled learning environment. He is a strong advocate for our beliefs and values and I look forward to working closely with him in this new role.”
Over his 26 year career as an educator, Mr. Cameron has held positions including secondary teacher, vice-principal, principal, superintendent and most recently Associate Director of Education. His career began at St. Joseph’s Catholic Secondary School in Cornwall where he taught religious education. During his time as an administrator, Mr. Cameron has gained experience overseeing the Religious and Family Life Education Department, the International Education program, the Adult and Continuing Education program, and the Student Success portfolio. He has acted as a mentor and guide for the CDSBEO Catholic student trustees, and as key facilitator for the CDSBEO Parent Involvement Committee. Mr. Cameron earned his Masters of Education from the University of Ottawa.
Director of Education, Wm. J. Gartland expressed his confidence in the appointment. “Our Board has benefited greatly from Mr. Cameron’s participation in planning for the needs of our system in his current capacity as Associate Director of Education. I know that he will bring that same level of passion to this new position.”
Mr. Cameron expressed his gratitude. “I am honoured to have been given this opportunity. Our board has seen much success under the direction of retiring Director of Education Wm. J. Gartland, and I look forward to building on those successes as I take on this exciting role. Over the years, I have enjoyed working with the Board of Trustees in my capacity as Superintendent and Associate Director, and I look forward to continuing to work with them to nurture the hearts, minds, bodies and souls of our students.”