CDSBEO Board Meeting Highlights from the meeting held on February 6, 2018
School Profile – Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School
The Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association announced the finalists for the Stewards of Creation video contest at the OCSTA Annual Catholic Trustees Seminar on January 19. The contest challenged Ontario Catholic schools to demonstrate how they are protecting and caring for the natural, living environment as good “Stewards of Creation.”
Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School placed first in province, out of over 100 submissions. The video was shown to Board members at the February 6th meeting. Holy Trinity Principal Stacey Krol attended the meeting to speak about the project, along with teachers Jimmy Malyon and Kevin McCue, and students Ashley Payette, Nolan Laframboise, and Ben Smith.
“We were very excited when we heard what the category was – Stewards of Creation,” remarked Principal Stacey Krol. “We knew right away that we had a shot at it, and that we had a lot of amazing environmental initiatives to showcase, and an opportunity to put together a great video.”
Board Chair, and OCSTA Regional Director Todd Lalonde noted, “These videos are an excellent way to spread the good news about Catholic education. Congratulations to your school – this win is such a compliment to your team, and your school. It is well deserved, and signifies the good work you do, and the time that was put into this project.”
Vice-Chair Ron Eamer explained, “I was happy to be at the Holy Trinity open house last week. The event was packed to capacity again, and when they showed this video, the parents really got the message that it’s a special place to be.”
The winning submission by Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/bljnS8ymcMY
CDSBEO Technology Enabled Learning and Teaching
The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario Curriculum Department continues to build capacity with both teachers and students to implement Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as well as Coding initiatives system-wide. The Board has been on a journey over the past few years to move from traditional ways of using technology in instruction and learning, to leveraging 21st century tools. Coding requires computational thinking, which is embedded throughout the Ontario Curriculum. Because of this, educators can incorporate code into learning for all curriculum areas.
Andrew Lovett, Technology Enabled Learning and Teaching Consultant, presented information to the Board about CDSBEO’s STEM initiatives, and how technology enabled learning is assisting teachers to explore and learn various ways to implement Coding/STEM into classroom learning.
“The Ministry of Education is currently focused on students developing Michael Fullan’s six “C’s” of education: character, citizenship, communication, critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration and creativity,” began Mr. Lovett. “Cloud based learning and coding, or computational thinking, provides an amazing opportunity for students to develop 21st century skills, and CDSBEO has introduced an amazing capacity building series that will bring Coding and STEM to all of our elementary classrooms.”
CDSBEO teachers are focused on developing rich lessons for students. Technology is embedded throughout the learning journey, where it can enhance or enable learning, foster student engagement, and equip students with 21st century competencies. The Coding/STEM initiatives promote student collaboration, learning, technological thinking, and exciting learning opportunities for the students.
“The CDSBEO Curriculum Department has devised a comprehensive Technology Enabled Learning and Teaching Strategic Plan that builds on the past four years of work in this area. The plan will place Coding/STEM at the forefront of our system-wide capacity building initiatives this year,” continued Mr. Lovett.
The Board will host three days of capacity building and learning around Coding/STEM where two teachers from each elementary school will participate in a full day of learning. The initiative is designed to enable innovators and early adopters to infuse these initiatives into their classroom learning experiences. The teachers who participate will then share these new strategies with other teachers and students at their respective schools.
In December, 15 teachers attended a special day of professional learning around these tools, and as a result, several school communities throughout the Board are embracing new learning opportunities through STEM and Coding. Teachers in several schools have begun to design learning tasks for students using Minecraft EDU, Scratch, Makey Makey and the Microbit.
The Board will host the Board-wide elementary professional development opportunities for teachers in March. STEM kits will be provided to each school at the sessions, which include ten Microbit programmable computers.
“This presentation has certainly provided examples of some very exciting learning opportunities that are taking place within our schools, and we really look forward to seeing these initiatives grow,” noted Chair Todd Lalonde.
International Education Program
In the spring of 2015, the Board approved the implementation of an International Education program for the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario, to begin in the fall of 2015. The program accepts students from across the world to enjoy the benefits of the first class Catholic education system available through the CDSBEO. As well, it provides our own students with the opportunity to benefit from daily interactions with International students.
Principal of Hanley Hall School of Alternative and Continuing Education, Dave Chaplin, presented information on the continued growth of the program to the Board of Trustees.
Mr. Chaplin began, “The program has experienced a lot of growth over the three years, and we are pleased with its overall success. I am happy to be here this evening to share the details of International Education in the CDSBEO.”
“The International program is an opportunity for students from across the globe to enjoy the benefits of a first class Catholic education system. The program also provides our own students with the opportunity to benefit from daily interactions with international students. It is our hope that this learning opportunity will bring a global perspective into the classroom, and help promote diversity and foster cultural awareness in CDSBEO schools.”
Staff and students are very excited to welcome international students to their schools and communities. During the 2017-2018 school year, 93 students from nine countries will attend CDSBEO schools. This number is up from 71 students in 2016-2017.
Principals and staff have played an important role in welcoming the students and ensuring their wellbeing, and the experience has been extremely positive.
“We have had more students asking about international exchange opportunities, and it has helped to open their minds about globalization and a larger world. Both parties are learning, from one another,” continued Mr. Chaplin. “We’ve formed great relationships with other international schools and organizations, and we are finding that there are a lot of options for program expansion.”
International students coming into the Board have the opportunity to enhance their language skills, and experience the richness of Canadian culture. Moving forward, the Board will continue to support current partners, and will expand and develop new partnerships in South East Asia (Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand), South America (Brazil, Columbia, Chile), and Europe (Germany, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Italy).
Student Ana Paula Juarez Mendoza from Monterey, north of Mexico City, spoke to the Board about her most memorable moments.
“I wanted to study abroad because my older brother went to study in France, and he told me about his experiences. When he came back I noticed a change in him – he was more mature. I wanted a similar experience,” she explained. “In Mexico, there is no such thing as a locker, and I didn’t know how to open a lock! Since arriving here, I have become more independent, and my English has improved. The people at Notre Dame where I am studying are really nice, and I like that people are interested in learning about my culture and where I am from.”
Juan Demetrio Martinez Sandin from Madrid, Spain noted that he likes the way that students learn in Canada.
“In Spain we spend more time studying and listening, but here we speak more, and do more projects, and less exams and tests, so, I prefer that type of learning.”
Xiyan (Leo) Li from Beijing, China noted that his parents really wanted him to learn through experiences.
“My parents really wanted me to see more and to learn abroad. I really like the school in Canada because we go for a six hour school day, and in China we have a 16 hour school day! My teachers are friendly, and I really feel the sense of community at Notre Dame. I also really like my host family. It’s been a really, really great experience to meet all of these new friends here in Canada.”
He continued, “I do find that it’s really, really cold here – in Beijing -10 is just -10, it’s not -10 but feels like its -20! And also, I really don’t like the snow in Canada, but my favourite thing in Canada is snow days!”
“Thank you all, so much, for sharing your experiences with us. It has certainly been a pleasure hearing your stories,” noted Chair Lalonde.