Brockville – Trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) met on Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 to discuss a number of topics including:
·Centennial ’67 Public School Presentation: Principal Debra Schouten told Trustees what her staff are doing to improve her school’s provincial test scores in literacy and math. In a presentation on Centennial ‘67’s School Improvement Plan for Student Achievement, Schouten said the school is employing several strategies to boost literacy scores. Staff are delivering Guided Reading, a high yield strategy, three times a week in the primary grades with a focus on retelling in Kindergarten to Grade 2 and retelling and main idea in Grade 3. All students have access to a reading program that is technology based to build decoding and comprehension skills. In mathematics, the school is using a variety of strategies to improve junior students’ ability to problem solve. The strategies include using “Open Response Math Questions” two to three times per week, which improve the ability of students to explain their thinking and to further how they problem solve in mathematics. Specifically, the school is striving to increase its focus on math throughout the school, where students work collaboratively when learning math and engage in daily discussions about the components of math. As well, all students have an opportunity to access an interactive math technology program to support learning and to further develop conceptual understanding.
·TR Leger School of Adult, Alternative and Continuing Education Presentation: Principal Sandy McInnes explained how the alternative school network in our school district is working to improve student success in math and literacy. The school is focusing on structured activities that engage students such as interactive learning strategies focusing on current events, think-pair-share exercises, and in-class debates. The goal is to support students so they will be more confident in, and engaged with, the reading process. In mathematics, the school effectively uses experiential learning opportunities where students can see the importance of math in a real-world context, such as cooking, gardening, woodworking, 3D printing and coding. McInnes also spoke of how the school is increasing student achievement through the partnering of non-credit and credit staff to support program development through programs ranging from the Prior Learning Assessment and Review (PLAR) Program to the initiation of teacher supported adult eLearning programs.
·2017-2018 Grants for Student Needs and Budget Information: Superintendent of Business Nancy Barkley presented a report on the Ministry of Education’s Grants for Student Needs (GSN) as well as other factors that may impact the upcoming budget process. Superintendent Barkley explained to trustees that delays in the Ministry of Education’s announcement of the GSN and the 2-3 week delay in the release of the Ministry Budget Forms, will impact the budget process timelines. She presented a budget timeline status update, GSN announcement highlights, budget process next steps, and a review of budget presentation timelines. Preliminary budget improvement considerations, still under review by Administration, were also shared at the meeting.
·Supporting Student Achievement: Superintendents Valerie Allen and Tim Mills reported on ways the board’s staff development focus and classroom practices support student achievement expectations. The superintendents discussed various programs that are helping the Board enhance student achievement such as: new educator training; Literacy and Numeracy Teams active in every school; the Closing the Gap in Literacy 7-10 program; professional development for French teachers; the Renewed Mathematics Strategy; the Kindergarten Program; Special Education training; eLearning, and specialized programs offered through the TR Leger School of Adult, Alternative and Continuing Education. The report was made in response to a recommendation from the Ipsos-Reid culture survey.