Click Here to View February 14th Board Meeting Agenda
Brockville – Trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) met on Wednesday, February 14 th, 2018 to discuss several agenda items:
South Grenville District High School Presentation: Principal Guy Lamarche, along with Vice Principals Kami Link and Ian Morris, told Trustees how South Grenville District High School (SGDHS) is working to improve math and literacy scores, as well as enhance student wellness through a planning document known as the School Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (SIPSA).
In literacy instruction, teachers use examples of proper writing to show students’ best practices. For example, students may be asked to write a news article which they compare with a properly written article provided by the teacher to discuss where students’ writing may be lacking, and how they can improve. All Grade 9 students also take “practice” Grade 10 provincial literacy tests. Lamarche meets with every pupil to talk about their results, and areas where they can improve. An After-School Literacy Program is available to those who need it, which provides intensive instruction to help students enhance their skills.
In mathematics, SGDHS has implemented workshops to develop a “growth mindset” among both teachers and students to give them the confidence to try new strategies to find student success. Staff encourage students to use “accountable talk” in which pupils actively discuss and share how they arrive at correct answers so they can learn collaboratively. Teachers listen to this talk to find areas that need to be addressed. Teachers are encouraged to collaborate and share what approaches work best in the classroom.
South Grenville District High School is improving student well-being through an active Mental Health Team, a nutrition program, the Connect Youth Program and Big Brothers program. It also offers a wide variety of sports and clubs for students to enjoy.
Laggan Public School Presentation: Principal Jennifer Charbonneau presented on her school’s plan to advance students’ success in provincial math and literacy testing as well as attend to their wellness.
Under the Laggan Public School Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (SIPSA), teachers are constantly refining their success criteria in literacy instruction, increasing their expectations for students to enhance their learning. For instance, a teacher might first expect students to answer questions about a story using examples from the text. Later, a student would be expected to provide answers not only with examples from the text, but from their own experiences, allowing for deeper comprehension. The school also encourages students to use a strategy called APES (Answer, Prove, Explain and Superwriting/Specific) which encourages students to answer a question, prove their answer and explain it. At the primary level, the approach also demands students use “Superwriting” techniques which employ capitals, clear sentences and proper spelling. At the junior level, students are prompted to be specific in their writing, using words from the text to support their answers.
In mathematics, the school is using math templates to help students deal with open questions, which guide students through the steps necessary to properly answer a math question. These include understanding a problem, making a plan to answer it, carrying out that plan, explaining why an answer is reasonable, and providing a proper answer statement. Teachers gradually encourage less reliance on the templates as students become better able to succeed in math.
The school is enhancing student wellness by offering 30 minutes of quality daily physical education to all students, and two 20-minute outdoor play sessions. Laggan has also introduced the MindMasters program which the school is using to prepare students with simple, concrete techniques to reduce stress. Social Media Policy
Update: Trustees updated the Board’s social media policy, transforming it into the “Appropriate Use of Technology Policy.” The change effectively expands the policy to oversee not just use of social media, but other technology such as email and texting. The update brings the policy in line with those of other educational organizations, such as the Council of the Ontario College of Teachers, and will ensure staff and students use all forms of communication technology in a responsible, respectful and lawful manner.