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Spotlight: Board Meeting Highlights - Sept 27, 2016

The Boardroom Spotlight provides a summary of what took place at each Board meeting. This issue covers the following topics:

  • Program for Gifted Learners (PGL): Cubes in Space 
  • 2015-2016 EQAO results 
  • Supporting First Nation, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) Student Success: Engaging all learners 
  • Success Indicators - Grades 9-12

Program for Gifted Learners (PGL): Cubes in Space

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Have you ever wondered — What happens to a magnet's strength as it travels in space? What happens to the properties of wax and plasticine when they go to space? Superintendent Mary Donaghy introduced PGL teachers Lorraine O'Reilly (St. Emily) and Deborah Quail-Blier (St. Brother Andre) and some of their wondering (CB/LR, yes, it's 'wondering) students — winners in a global contest that sent their science experiments into space. Each experiment needed to meet strict criteria and fit into a 4x4x4 cm cube. 

The Board congratulated the students on being the first in Canada to have their experiments go into space as a part of the Cubes in Space contest.

Left to right - Teacher Deborah Quail-Blier, Student Alison Cachero, Superintendent Mary Donaghy, Students Lola Reshetnikov, Anyuan Tu, Jakob Leblanc, Teacher Lorraine O’Reilly, and Trustee Joanne MacEwan.

2015-2016 EQAO results

Director of Education Denise Andre, with Research Officers Dr. Lauren Figueredo, and Donna Mailloux, presented results of the province-wide assessments. 

Ottawa Catholic School Board students continue to surpass provincial scores on the annual Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) standardized tests. These tests were conducted in the school year 2015-2016 in Grades 3, 6, 9, & 10 and assess reading, writing & mathematics. The Board-wide EQAO results demonstrate a consistent increasing trend in grade 3 reading, and strong, steady trends in grade 3 writing, and both reading and writing in grade 6. 

"As we implement the province's renewed math strategy and build on our literacy gains, we continue professional development for our dedicated educators. New this year will be up to three trained Math mentors in each elementary school," said Denise Andre, Director of Education.

Results

Complete school by school results are available on pages 25-38 of the September 27, 2016 Board agenda.


Supporting First Nation, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) Student Success: Engaging all learners

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The Ottawa Catholic School Board supports student success by promoting respect for diversity, inclusiveness, and engagement of our Indigenous students. Considering the important work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, our commitment continues to evolve.

Superintendent Steve McCabe and FNMI Learning Partner, Marina Westbrook, presented highlights to the Board on the FNMI portfolio in our schools and with our community partners. 

The goal is to improve student achievement and well-being amongst FNMI students and to close the achievement gap. The Board currently has 698 self-identified students and is working on increasing that number. Encouraging students to self identify helps the Board provide an education that honours their ancestry with culturally inclusive learning opportunities. Examples: 

  • Welcoming Indigenous Spaces — Immaculata High School, St. Michael Ottawa, Notre Dame High School, and Assumption.
  • Restorative practices training and I-Bear Cultural Awareness Training for Educators 
  • Indigenous author David Bouchard visits schools 
  • Kairos Student Education Day and Teacher Education Day 
  • Travelling Tipi 
  • After School Achievement program 

Coming soon to support social and emotional well-being: Indigenous Artists and Agencies Day, November 10 as part of Indigenous Month.


Success Indicators - Grades 9-12

Superintendent Manon Séguin, was joined at the Board table by Research Officer Donna Mailloux, to share the Secondary Indicators of Success for 2015-2016. The Board's student success initiatives continue to support students in areas indicated by the data. The continuous improvement in the achievement results reinforces the efforts of educators and staff. Many practices used in our high schools are heralded by the province as exemplary. 

HIGHLIGHTS Semesters 1 & 2, 2015-16 

Credit Accumulation: 

  • This year 90.6% of Grade 9 students achieved 8 credits at the end of the year, up 0.8% from last year. 
  • Credit accumulation in Grade 10 was up 0.3%, where 84.1% of our students achieved 16 or more credits by the end of the year.
  •  Among Grade 11 students achieving 22 credits, 92.3% of our students are on target to graduate, up 0.9% over last year. Increases were also seen among students achieving 23 credits (88.8%) and 24 credits (81.4%) 
  • Grade 12 credit accumulation provides some indication of our projected graduation rate (note this is not a cohort grad rate). At the end of the year, 91.7% of students had achieved 30 or more credits. 

Credit Recovery:

  •  629.5 credits (677 courses) were attempted in credit recovery this year, maintaining the growth seen over the last 3 years. The pass rate in Credit Recovery was 92%. 
  • Pass Rates and Registration: 
  • This year, pass rates in all compulsory courses continued to be high. Slightly higher pass rates were seen in some Applied level courses such as: Grade 9 English, Grade 10 Math, Grade 9 and 10 Science, Grade 9 French, and Grade 9 Geography. 
  • In general, the number of Grade 11 and 12 students taking workplace and college courses remains relatively consistent over the years. This year saw a slight increase in the number of Grade 11 students taking workplace level courses and a slight increase in Grade 11 students taking College level courses. 

Graduation Rates: 

  • Cohort grad rates for 2014-15 was 93.4%, 7.9% higher than the Province. 2015-16 results have not yet been released from the Ministry. 

Grade 8 Exit Surveys: 

  • 2,039 Grade 8 students answered an exit survey and indicated that they used myBlueprint.ca predominately for course selection but also for community service ideas and opportunities at school.
  • Students indicated that lessons in class, high school tours, and pathways information sessions were the most helpful resources for high school planning.
  • 65% of students in Grade 8 were familiar with Co-op, however less than 40% were familiar with other programs (e.g. Focus Program, SHSM, OYAP, Dual credit, and eLearning).
  • Grade 8 students were most worried about failing in high school — exams, workload, and making new friends. 

Grade 12 Exit Surveys: 

  • 1,884 Grade 12 students completed an exit survey and 58% indicated they were attending university next year, 24% college, 1% trade/apprenticeship, 10% taking time off before attending college or university, and 4% were not sure.
  • 29% of students indicated taking a high school program (e.g., Focus, SHSM, etc…) and 68% of those students indicated it helped to engage them in school and affected their career choice. Of those that did not participate in any programs, most indicated that they were not interested in any of them (58%).
  • 86% of students felt prepared to follow their plans after high school with 54% knowing what career they would like to pursue. 

Co-operative Education:

  • 1,033 students (1,184 courses) took Co-op in Grade 11 or 12 this year. The pass rate in Co-op was 97% and credit accumulations similar to the Board as a whole.

Comments

 
Guest - GeoffreyBurrows on Tuesday, 04 October 2016 16:58

I am glad to see two girl participants in the PGL piece. When my daughter was in PGL a few years ago, she was one of only four in her PGL class at St. Emily and she thought even fewer, if any girls, were in the East end PGL sattelite on her day. Despite some initial communications with the Superintendent, I never really got a sense of how many girls participate in PGL, certainly no concrete numbers, nor what, if anything, was being done to get girls involved in the gifted program. This has been an ongoing interest and concern of mine even though my daughter has moved on to intermediate school and I would be interested to know female participation rates are being tracked in a systematic way by the Board?

I am glad to see two girl participants in the PGL piece. When my daughter was in PGL a few years ago, she was one of only four in her PGL class at St. Emily and she thought even fewer, if any girls, were in the East end PGL sattelite on her day. Despite some initial communications with the Superintendent, I never really got a sense of how many girls participate in PGL, certainly no concrete numbers, nor what, if anything, was being done to get girls involved in the gifted program. This has been an ongoing interest and concern of mine even though my daughter has moved on to intermediate school and I would be interested to know female participation rates are being tracked in a systematic way by the Board?
Guest - MardideKemp on Tuesday, 04 October 2016 17:43

Hello Geoffrey,

If you are interested in the numbers of students in PGL currently, how many girls, how many boys etc, why not email me and I will try to find out the numbers for you.

Mardi de Kemp mardi.dekemp@ocsb.ca 613 224 4455 ext. 2326

Hello Geoffrey, If you are interested in the numbers of students in PGL currently, how many girls, how many boys etc, why not email me and I will try to find out the numbers for you. Mardi de Kemp mardi.dekemp@ocsb.ca 613 224 4455 ext. 2326
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