Sharing inspirational Personalized Learning Centre (PLC) success
Debbie Frendo, Superintendent of Student Success, Intermediate/Secondary
Jennifer Oake, Principal, Safe Schools
In September 2018, a new alternate program was launched in the OCSB. The Personalized Learning Centre (PLC) is comprised of two classrooms situated in the St. Nicholas Adult High School Admiral campus. The Board received an update on the program’s success and vision for the future.
There are currently 30 students enrolled in the program. Both the Grade 9/10 class and Grade 11/12 class benefit from a Teacher and Educational Assistant (EA), along with the resources of a Psychologist and Social Worker. Students enrolled in the unique program have a variety of diagnoses, exceptionalities, substance abuse issues, gaps in learning, or a history of attendance issues. Others are behind in credit accumulation. The curriculum is linked to “real life” and embeds the global competencies within the 22 different course being offered. Students can also benefit from co-operative learning, e-learning, and dual credit programs.
“The students in this program are looking for a different learning environment than what is traditionally offered at their home school. This new program affords them the ability to focus on their mental health and wellness while continuing to work on their education. They benefit from a shortened day, a small student-teacher ratio, and a flexible study schedule. These kids are really connecting with each other — growing and flourishing in this different environment while earning credits towards their graduation.”Jenn Oake
Some of the PLC program success highlights:
- improved attendance as compared to attendance at home school
- many credits earned so far – all students have earned at least one credit
- improved attitudes about school
- strong sense of community in the classroom – students feel connected
- many new friendships are being formed
- students view the staff as caring adults
- with the support of staff, students are learning to persevere, to advocate for themselves
Meeting student needs with Supervised Alternative Learning (SAL)
Debbie Frendo, Superintendent of Student Success, Intermediate/Secondary
Dean Mariani, SAL Teacher
Jennifer Oake, Principal of Safe Schools
Supervised Alternative Learning (SAL) is a program designed to help meet the needs of a small number of students who are at risk of leaving school without graduating. When other retention and engagement strategies are not successful, SAL may be suggested to these students and their parents. The Board received an update on the SAL model and program, which has been supported by the OCSB for the last five years.
Fostering English language development for newcomers
Ben Vallati, Superintendent of Continuing and Community Education
Julie Mathe, Principal, Frank Ryan Intermediate
Sandra Naufal, Educational Consultant
English Language Learners (ELL) are students whose first language is a language other than English, and who may require focused educational supports to help them in achieving proficiency in English. The Board received an update on our English as a Second Language (ESL) and English Literacy Development (ELD) programs, illustrating how OCSB students and staff welcome newcomers to Canada and assist in their learning and transition to life in Canada. Some of the ESL program highlights include a student-led Canadian Citizenship ceremony and a “human library, where ELL students share their experiences as newcomers with other students.
The presentation outlined the steps to achieve proficiency in English, student registration in ELD and ESL programs, and the role of our Board’s Family Welcome Centre for Newcomers (FWC) and Multicultural Liaison Officers (MLO).
Digital religion resources for Grade 5 students
Shelley Montgomery, Superintendent of Leading and Learning
Jennifer Quinn, Educational Consultant of Religious Education and Family Life
The Board received a presentation of the new Grade 5 Religion program “Renewing in Faith, Growing in Christ” which has been implemented this 2018-2019 school year in OCSB elementary schools. Staff and students have been embracing the digital resources in meaningful ways, as demonstrated by the testimonials.
“What I like about the website is that you can read on the screen and after you can play educational games that can teach you a lot of things you didn’t know about Jesus. My favourite part about it is when you can read the comic book version of things about Jesus and when you can play games.”Rutendo
“It’s a cool idea and the games are pretty fun to play and I’ve gained new writing ideas from this site and I’m more enlightened about God and Jesus and their missions. I also like the bible stories on here too.”Betty
2019 OCSTA AGM resolutions for consideration
Denise Andre, Director of Education
In October, the Board received a memorandum from the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association (OCSTA) regarding “2019 AGM and Conference Resolutions”. The resolution process provides member boards with the opportunity to bring important issues, which have provincial implications, to the attention of all trustees in the province. The Board received a presentation from Trustee John Curry on the following resolutions for consideration: Perceived Threat to Security; Seat Belts on School Buses; Equity Regarding System/Department Principals; and Use of Word “Indian”.
This January 22, 2019 blog post covers the following topics:
- Sharing inspirational Personalized Learning Centre (PLC) success
- Mourning the passing of an OCSB Trustee
- Meeting student needs with Supervised Alternative Learning (SAL)
- Fostering English language development for newcomers
- Digital religion resources for Grade 5 students
- 2019 OCSTA AGM resolutions for consideration
- Extended Day Program (EDP) calendar changes
- School site consultation and communication plan
- Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) update
Mourning the passing of an OCSB Trustee
At the January 22, 2019 Board meeting, the Board of Trustees honoured the passing of Trustee Thérèse Maloney Cousineau after 35 years of serving as a Board Trustee. Trustee Maloney Cousineau represented the Rideau-Vanier, Rideau-Rockcliffe, and Somerset areas (Zone 10). A strong advocate of Catholic education, faith initiatives were very much a part of her vision as an OCSB Trustee. She was also an early promoter of girls in sports and science.
Trustee Thérèse Maloney Cousineau
DECEMBER 12, 1928 – JANUARY 11, 2019
“Thérèse worked diligently to serve the needs of English language learners (ELL) and French as a Second Language (FSL) students. She held a deep understanding of the value these programs had for students, their families, and the greater community. She will be remembered fondly for her sharing of ideas with us at the Boardroom table.”Mark D. Mullan
Briefs from the Boardroom
Extended Day Program (EDP) calendar changes
Mary Donaghy, Superintendent of Student Success, Elementary
The OCSB Extended Day Program (EDP) program will be closed on the May 17 PD day to allow for professional development of staff. The Board will close the EDP program for one PD day each year going forward with the date to be determined at the beginning of each school year.
School site consultation and communication plan
Fred Chrystal, Superintendent of Planning and Facilities
The Board received a report on affected communities of a potential opportunity arising from a school property declared surplus by the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB). The OCDSB has offered McGregor Easson Public School, at 991 Dynes Road, adjacent to St. Augustine School, for sale and has circulated it to prescribed parties, including our Board, as required by Provincial Regulation.
Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) update
Lisa Schimmens, Superintendent of Finance and Administration
The Board received an update regarding the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority’s (OSTA) progress towards its goals and objectives.
Kelly McKibbin is the Board Website Coordinator with the Ottawa Catholic School Board’s Communications Department, and manages all aspects of the Board’s district website. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts, Major in Communications, from the University of Ottawa, and is the recipient of a United Way Ottawa Community Builder Award.