Highlights from April 10 Board of Trustees meeting

Above, Board of Trustees for the Upper Canada District School Board. Courtesy photo

BROCKVILLETrustees with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) met on Wednesday, April 10, to discuss several agenda items:

Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement and Wellness (BIPSAW)

Superintendents Bill Loshaw and Ron Ferguson, Chief Psychologist Alison Inglis, and System Principals Jennifer McMaster and Shelly Corlyon provided an update on the 2019 Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement and Wellness. The plan sets out goals for boardwide improvement in the areas of math, literacy and wellness. Goals for the end of 2019 include: increasing the number of students achieving the EQAO provincial standard in primary and junior reading by 3 per cent and in writing by 1 percent across the board; increasing the number of first-time eligible students achieving the provincial standard on the OSSLT by 3 per cent over last year, as compared to their Grade 6 EQAO reading and writing results; building number fluency and increasing the number of students using more efficient strategies to solve math problems; and increasing support for mental health and wellness practices in schools.

Strategies include: a system-wide focus on training in the Fundamentals of Mathematics; creating more engaging learning experiences in literacy based on student feedback; focusing on classroom assessment and feedback practices for learning; and providing training for staff about resources to enhance student mental health.

Vankleek Hill Collegiate Institute (VCI) School Improvement Plan for Student Achievement and Wellness (SIPSAW)

Principal Trevor Wheeler and Vice Principal Jana Kilger presented the VCI SIPSAW, providing information on the school culture and how staff and students are working to improve EQAO results and wellness. In mathematics and literacy, teachers work with students to set learning goals and to define what success looks like. Teachers from VCI and Pleasant Corners Public School also collaborate in math teams to address lags in student achievement. In literacy, the school is striving to improve student success in inferencing to aid in addressing short answer, open-response questions and improve EQAO scores.

To increase wellness, the school is developing positive peer-to-peer and peer-to-staff connections through peer workshops. The school offers many opportunities for students to relax, play, and explore their interests through sports, a fitness centre, chess club, archery club, open gym and other activities.

Toniata Public School Improvement Plan for Student Achievement and Wellness (SIPSAW)

In a presentation on Toniata’s SIPSAW, Principal Rich Tamblyn revealed his school has exceeded board and provincial averages in all areas of standardized testing. A key factor in this success is that teachers model strategies in both math and literacy instruction. In math, teachers demonstrate ideal solutions to math problems, encouraging students to use progressively more advanced strategies. Students observe and record what teachers do and say when solving an equation, before attempting it themselves. The school also uses math talk and manipulatives to advance student learning. In literacy, the school is teaching Grades 3-6 students about inferencing through lessons based around quotations. Teachers discuss deeper meanings they get from a quote, and then encourage students to detect inferences themselves using personal experiences and knowledge from a text.

To improve wellness, the school is using the Terrific Tigers program, an initiative that encourages students to be better citizens and increase the feeling of belonging at Toniata. The school also offers a variety of activities from intramurals to the school knitting club.

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