The Boardroom Spotlight provides a summary of what took place at each Board meeting. This issue covers the following topics:
- Partners for Growth program
- School Year Calendar for 2017-2018
- New Pre-School Child Care Centres - Prince of Peace and St. Luke (Nepean)
- Children Support and Engagement Schools update
- Incorporating Methods of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) into Programs for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
- Asbestos containing materials in school board buildings
- Update on school trips to the United States
- OCSB Superintendent to receive award from peers
- Employee compensation - extension agreements
Partners for Growth program
The Partners for Growth program was developed to enhance the professional development of vice-principals and principals who are new to their roles. Each new vice-principal or principal mentee is paired with a veteran who acts as a mentor, able to provide professional supports and advice for the first two years of the mentee's new assignment.
Tania Gonsalves - mentee, Principal of Holy Family, and Luce Paradis - mentor, Principal of Our Lady of Victory, shared their current experience with the Board. Ms. Gonsalves was able to choose her own mentor and finds the process is designed to meet her needs. She spoke about feeling more confident in her role as a principal with support from Ms. Paradis and a connection to her mentor's experience, skills and network.
The Partners for Growth program also includes sessions that focus on the Catholic School Level Leadership Framework, the Personal Leadership Resources, annual growth plans, effective communication skills, human resources -- including staffing, scheduling, etc. -- and a number of case studies designed to prepare mentees for effective job readiness.
School Year Calendar for 2017-2018
The Board approved the school year calendar for 2017-2018. The calendar will be submitted to the Ministry of Education for final approval. The first day of school will be Tuesday, September 5, 2017.
The development of the calendar is the result of deliberations by the Board's Executive Committee, in consultation with the superintendent responsible for the school year calendar at the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.
The Ottawa Student Transportation Authority is kept apprised of the process. Input is received from the school year calendar committee, comprised of representatives from the Catholic School Parents' Association, the Parent Involvement Committee, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association, the Ottawa Catholic Principals'/Vice-Principals' Association, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Locals 2357 and 3689, the Ontario Public Service Employee Union, UNITE Here, and nonaffiliated groups.
New Pre-School Child Care Centres - Prince of Peace and St. Luke (Nepean)
On behalf of the Board, the Planning Department has received approval from the Ministry of Education to add new pre-school child care spaces at Prince of Peace and St. Luke (Nepean).
- Prince of Peace - 24 preschool age places at a cost of $259,648
- St. Luke (Nepean) - 15 toddler spaces and 24 pre-school age places at a cost of $519,295
Early Learning Services will collaborate with Planning and Facilities to review the existing facilities and develop a new space program for these projects, after which the projects will be tendered and constructed. Principals will be consulted both in terms of the construction impact these projects will have on the life of their schools, and in the timelines and schedules for opening the new centres.
Children Support and Engagement Schools update
Superintendent of Learning Technologies, Brenda Wilson, and Superintendent of Student Success, Intermediate/Secondary, Manon Seguin, shared examples of differentiated support that is being provided to specifically address the needs of the Board's Children Support and Engagement Schools. The identified schools have portions of their populations with financial, language, emotional and/or social challenges.
Staff are implementing a variety of strategies to close the achievement gap using the four elements introduced through the Deep Learning Framework. Our system strives to ensure safe, equitable and inclusive learning environments for all of our students.
Differentiated support can mean additional staffing, social work support, breakfast programs, clothing programs, and more technology.
As part of the Equity Committee's work this year, there will be more system support for the 14 Children Support Schools and the 6 Engagement Schools to overcome challenges.
Incorporating Methods of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) into Programs for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
Mary Donaghy, Superintendent of Special Education and Student Services, announced that the department received one-time funding to help incorporate methods of Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) into programs for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
With these monies, the department will augment the team that supports schools in the use of ABA strategies with students with ASD. The multidisciplinary team now includes our ABA lead, a speech language pathologist, a behaviour consultant, and itinerant teachers. This team supports all schools and, with the new monies, ABA trainers will be hired and release time allocated to train school staff.
The use of ABA strategies, which are evidence-based educational practices, helps meet the wide-range of needs of students with ASD. The use of ABA instructional strategies is also effective for students with other special education needs.
For more details, see pages 33-34 of the February 14, 2016 Board Agenda.
Asbestos containing materials in school board buildings
Planning and Facilities Superintendent, Fred Chrystal, gave a verbal update on asbestos. The Board has comprehensive policies and procedures for dealing with asbestos-containing materials in schools.
Information is on the Board website about how asbestos is managed in Board buildings constructed before 1985. Buildings constructed after 1985 do not have asbestos or asbestos-containing materials.
Update on school trips to the United States
Trustees were given a verbal update about school trips to the U.S. After careful review, senior administration feels the benefits of the trips outweigh the risks. Eleven scheduled trips are continuing with the following steps in place:
- Principals are reviewing options with parents and providers are making decisions on an individual basis. Principals are conducting thorough passport reviews and talking to parents of students that might be affected.
- Each trip organizer develops a contingency plan in case any one student gets ill or is held back at the border for any reason.
- As a Board, we continue to monitor all government travel advisories prior to any trip, and make the necessary adjustments if required.
As with all school-based travel, principals and trip supervisors place student safety as a priority while balancing the benefits of experiential learning opportunities that enrich Catholic education.
OCSB Superintendent to receive award from peers
Nominated by the OCSB Executive Team, Simone Oliver will receive the OCSOA-CASSA Excel Award at the OCSOA (Ontario Catholic Supervisory Officers' Association) conference and AGM in April 2017. Ms. Oliver will also be recognized at the CASSA (Canadian Association of School System Administrators) conference being hosted in Halifax in July 2017. Sponsored by Xerox Canada, the award is given to an educator/superintendent who has guided children's educational experience with dedication and enthusiasm. Ms. Oliver has led collaborative teams to shape both the Special Education and Student Services Department as well as the Student Success Department (Elementary) in her years as Superintendent in the OCSB. She has also served as President of OCSOA, and currently represents CASSA on the AASA Board (American School Superintendents' Association).
The Board of Trustees congratulated Superintendent Oliver and thanked her for her tireless devotion as a servant leader and champion of Catholic Education.
Employee compensation - extension agreements
For the period September 1, 2017 - August 31, 2019, the Board ratified conditional extension agreements with OECTA, Unite Here (EWAO), and OPSEU (OCEW).