Regular Board Meeting November 25th, 2014
Special Education Update
Superintendent Kime Collver and System Administrator Special Education Kelly Colter (pictured left) provided Trustees with an over view and update on Special Education programming and shared information from the Ministry of Education Special Education Branch.
Also shared was the provincial Special Needs Strategy and the community partners with whom Algoma District School Board (ADSB) is working to provide support for our youth. These partnerships are allowing our students to receive timely and effective services that they need to participate fully at home, at school and in the community.
Ms. Colter also provided an overview of our special education classes (Supported Learning Classes, Communication Classes, Section 23 classes) and the successes our students have had working with our dedicated special education teachers, school administrators and support staff. We also have many students with special education needs being supported in regular classrooms.
Our special education department continues to focus on supporting our students who present with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) by providing professional development opportunities for Special Education Resource Teachers (SERTs), teachers, educational assistants and administrators.
7-12 Schools – Transition Planning
Superintendent Joe Maurice shared with Trustees planned activities in Sault Ste. Marie secondary schools for transitioning grade 8 students into secondary schools and grade 6/7 students into our 7-12 Programs. Korah Collegiate hosted an evening Open House for grade 8 students and parents on November 19 and is planning Grade 8 Days for students on December 3 and 4. Superior Heights has an evening Open House planned for grades 6, 7 and 8 students on December 2 and is planning a Grade 8 Day for students on December 10. White Pines will be hosting grade 8 students during the day on December 3 and will be following up with an evening Open House that same day. Both Korah and White Pines are planning activities for grades 6 and 7 students who might be interested in their 7-12 Programs in the new year.
Program information for all Algoma District School Board (ADSB) secondary schools will be available online in the ADSB Common Course Calendar in the new year.
S.E.E.D.S. (Sci-FY) Pilot Program
Director Lucia Reece was pleased to introduce Trustees to a new pilot program being
offered to Algoma District School Board students at two schools. Melissa Kargiannakis, an ADSB graduate, is leading the initiative – a program called Sci-FY, which stands for Science &
Reading for Youth. The program is a partnership between Sci-FY, Algoma University and the Algoma District School Board and is a peer-to-peer mentoring program (with university students as mentors) that is conducted after school hours. The 9-week program focuses on curriculum in three domains – science, literacy and numeracy – but also includes activities to promote living a healthy life and enjoying lifelong learning. S.E.E.D.S. (Supporting Education, Empowerment and Development through Science) is a primary supporting partner with respect to the curriculum development. The ADSB is planning to pilot the program at Parkland Public School and Northern Heights Public School.
It is with mixed emotion that the Algoma District School Board bids farewell to four trustees who have served the board collectively for over 50 years. Chair Jennifer Sarlo acknowledged the expertise these individuals brought to the Board and the impact they have made.
“I would like to thank our outgoing trustees who have served our board passionately and faithfully over the past 4 to 26 years. We will miss
your presence, expertise and wisdom around our table. Wanda McQueen has served our board for 26 years as a trustee. She has served on every committee imaginable and was chair and vice chair of our board for much of her time. I personally will miss her assistance, sound advice and wise leadership on our board.
Larry Pallot has served faithfully for 14 years on the board. He was the vice chair of the board for 6 years and has consistently served on the operations and budget committee and the recreation committees in his area. We will miss his insightful questions and his knowledge of the diverse communities he served.
Joel Robert served over the last 4 years and quickly became knowledgeable of his role. His “youth” was welcomed at the board table as was his perspective as a parent of young children in our school system. His feedback and insight will be missed on the Parent Involvement Committee. As a member of a small rural community, Joel strove to understand the many diverse needs of his constituents who were spread over a large geographic area to the east.
We also are saying goodbye to our Native Trustee Harry Jones. Harry has dedicated himself to our board for the past 7 years and has served on the board in the past. Harry did not speak often around the board table, but when he did we all listened carefully as he was a voice of reason and practical wisdom. We wish you all well and hope you will stay engaged in education and serving your communities,” ADSB Chair Jennifer Sarlo.
Hour of Code
Algoma District School Board students are being offered an opportunity through the Sault Ste Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) to take part in a global movement called Hour of Code whereby students try their hand at computer science for one hour.
"The Hour of Code is designed to demystify code and show that computer science is not rocket-science – that anybody can learn the basics,” according to the founder and CEO of code.org Hadi Partovi.
All area elementary and high schools and teachers are being encouraged to take part as a classroom activity. The Hour of Code is not just a local movement, but a global movement reaching 15 million students across Canada and the United States last year alone. This year, Hour of Code coincides with Computer Science Education Week which runs December 8th through the 14th.
The activities and tutorials are easy and fun and link in themes from popular media including the game Angry Birds. Superintendent Joe Maurice (pictured left) previewed an activity with Trustees that is based off the popular Disney movie “Frozen”.
Students are encouraged to think about things in their everyday lives that use computer science – a cell phone, a microwave, a computer, a traffic light – and to come to realize that all of these things needed a computer scientist to help build them. In today’s economy, computing jobs outnumber students graduating in the field by 3-to-1. Through the Hour of Code initiative students can be taught critical 21st century skills, and can be at the forefront of creating technology for the future – as opposed to simply consuming it.
Algoma District School Board’s Director Lucia Reece supports the Hour of Code event. “This is a wonderful way to engage our students in an aspect of technology that they might not realize is explorative, exciting and even a possible career choice. The widespread, global participation in this event is also a great way to remind our students of the power of technology to connect them to the world. We hope to have students from across our district participating.”