October 7, 2014 Committee of the Whole Meeting
Rosedale Public School named a “Cool School” by Owl Magazine!
In October 2011 Mason, a student at Rosedale Public School, underwent surgery. Any surgery is a serious matter and this was not just “any” surgery - this was a kidney transplant. His surgery went well; he recovered and was granted a trip to Disney World courtesy of the Children’s Wish Foundation.
That was three years ago. Now, Mason and his classmates are being featured in the October 2014 issue of Owl Magazine. While in Grade 5, the class was moved to action following Mason’s experience. The students took it upon themselves, along with their teacher Mme. Zorzi, to hold a bake sale and all proceeds went to the Children’s Wish Foundation.
The students baked, organized and publicized the event. It was a great success raising over $450 dollars. One of Mason’s classmates, Audrey wrote a letter to Owl Magazine telling them about the fundraiser and submitted it to the magazine’s section known as “Cool Schools!” There is a large, colourful photo of this dedicated group of students in this month’s issue of Owl Magazine.
The students, now in Grade 6, were commended at the Board meeting on Tuesday October 7th for their thoughtfulness, caring and compassion. These qualities fit perfectly with the Board’s Priority Focus of Well-being for this month’s meeting.
Chair Jennifer Sarlo, Director Lucia Reece and Superintendent Brenda O’Neill all commented on how these students demonstrated their concern for a fellow student and organized themselves to give back, not just on a local level but on a more international level.
EQAO: Secondary Results and Recognition of Michipicoten High School
On September 24th the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) publicly released the 2014 school and school-board results from its Grade 9 EQAO Math Assessment and the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT). Algoma District School Board issued a release about our results on that date titled “Algoma District School Board EQAO Secondary Results Shared.”
Every year, EQAO visits a number of schools to talk to educators and to see how EQAO data are being used to inform discussions and planning for student achievement.
According to the Education Quality and Accountability Office they are schools whose trends in student achievement on provincial assessments show that something positive is going on within the school community. These schools are then highlighted provincially by EQAO.
Algoma District School Board is pleased to announce that Michipicoten High School (MHS) in Wawa is one of 13 secondary schools in the province being profiled this year.
In addition Michipicoten High School will be honoured with the Dr. Bette M. Stephenson Recognition of Achievement. This award was established in 2009 in honour of Dr. Stephenson’s pivotal role on the EQAO Board of Directors and her lifelong commitment and contribution to Ontario’s publicly funded education system. This recognition program acknowledges school communities throughout Ontario that have distinguished themselves through their leadership, data-driven strategies and whole-school approaches to help every child succeed. Each of these schools has adopted an action plan based on their unique circumstances to work toward improved student outcomes.
MHS will receive their Recognition of Achievement at a dinner and reception to be held in Toronto on November 19th. The next day the MHS team will take part in a Learning Forum.
Principal Petar Kusic shared his thoughts in the report “We pride ourselves here at Michipicoten for having developed a caring, challenging and safe environment in which students can excel. Through our “Team Viking” approach, we have used EQAO data to help improve our literacy skills. All the staff focus on literacy content and improvement.”
MHS is being recognized as a dedicated school community whose staff is making use of EQAO data to identify trends and make decisions about where improvements are needed for the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT). The school is committed to student success and works hard to ensure that students have the supports they need to achieve this success.
For instance, “Through the analysis of student responses on EQAO’s Item Information Reports, staff members noted that many students were close to achieving a higher score code and being successful on the OSSLT. Accordingly, the staff members chose to focus on the students’ ability to complete the short-writing questions competently. Using modelling, graphic organizers, anchor charts and direct instruction, the teachers introduced a consistent formula for paragraph writing across the curriculum. Realizing that some students needed basic literacy skills, they developed a similar process for teaching a standardized approach to the sentence: CCCAPS (Capitalization, Complete, Comma, Avoidance of run-on, Punctuation and Spelling).” ~ excerpt from EQAO School Profile (MHS).
Michipicoten High School Principal Petar Kusic (pictured left centre), Vice-Principal Tarmo Poldmaa (right) and teacher Cynthia Chiupka-Jozin (left) were on hand at the Board meeting on behalf of all MHS staff members. They were thanked by Director of Education Lucia Reece and Superintendent Joe Maurice for their “… proactive and student-focused initiatives and their commitment which has created an environment where students are engaged in their learning, are comfortable asking for help and are confident about their ability to succeed.” ~ excerpt from EQAO School Profile (MHS).
All ADSB secondary school results are available on the EQAO website at www.eqao.com.
ADSB Schools are Looking Great!
The Algoma District School Board presented its Capital Project work to Trustees and the Board expressed its pride in the work done by Plant department staff over the summer months and on a continuous basis in our schools by care staff and maintenance employees. Pictures were shared of the work that was done which included approximately $7.5 million in projects. These included 18 projects that were approved by the Board and Operations and Budget Committee on February 25, 2014. The projects included upgrades to air handling units to improve air quality in our buildings, replacement of lockers, classroom renovations, roof replacements and lighting upgrades, improvements to Early Learning classrooms and parking lot upgrades. In addition, minor capital projects such as painting, flooring and playgrounds took place in 25 schools.
The Board is very pleased with the execution of its Capital Plan throughout the Algoma District. Chair of the Operations and Budget Committee Susan Thayer has commented that “We are proud of the investment in our schools and communities. Our schools are not just buildings but welcoming places for our students and staff to learn.”
Strategic Priority of Well-Being
“Improving student achievement and student engagement is directly linked to ensuring that we work collaboratively and in a purposefully integrated way for the social, emotional, mental and physical sell-being of all children and youth.” Ontario Public School Board’s Association
During their strategic planning process, the ADSB identified Well-Being as one of three Strategic Priorities for the Board and determined the following priorities:
• Sustain and enhance learning and working environments that are safe and caring for all.
• Support the mental health of our children and youth through school-based resources and programs that are well coordinated and aligned within our system and with our community partners.
• Build capacity of all staff in their roles to increase skills, job satisfaction, leadership competencies and well-being.
Superintendent Vezina provided an overview to Trustees around some of the planning that has taken place currently around Well-Being focusing in on 5 key areas:
1. character education
2. safe and caring school communities
3. mental health and well-being
4. equity and inclusive education
5. Healthy and active living.
The Board has established a Well-Being Team made up of representatives from each of the five key areas who will be working together to develop a strategy to support/align and move forward with this strategic priority of the Board. Vezina highlighted many of the wonderful initiatives already underway in ADSB including but not limited to:
• Daily physical activity in all elementary classrooms;
• Healthy food and beverage policy and implementation;
• Character Education;
• Project ABCD (Action for Building a Community that is Drug Free);
• Community partnerships and protocols in place to support mental health and well-being, the Algoma Model;
• Aboriginal initiatives and supports;
• Work with the local immigration partnership to support new comers
• Student Senate Leadership and Student Voice Projects
• Restorative Justice
• Al’s Pals Resiliency Program
• Pink Shirt Day in support of our work around anti-bullying
• RespectEd training for all staff
Vezina acknowledged there are many other well-being practices going on in our Board and schools and re-iterated that this focus is in line with the Ministry of Education who has also added well-being as one of their 4 goals in the recently released Achieving Excellence – A Renewed Vision for Education in Ontario.
Algoma District School Board Actively Engaged in Algoma Fall Festival
The Algoma District School Board is proud to be one of the key educational sponsors of the Algoma Fall Festival’s Festival of Learning.
This year we are particularly excited to welcome Chef Michael Smith not just to the community but to an exclusive engagement for ADSB students on Saturday October 25th.
Chef Smith was approached last year about coming to Algoma Fall Festival and to speak to ADSB students and he jumped at the opportunity! On October 25th, Chef Smith will be presenting a free career seminar to high school students who are currently in Foods Programs throughout the Algoma District. Students from Superior Heights, White Pines, Korah and Elliot Lake Secondary will gather in the Bistro at Superior Heights and will spend the morning with Chef Smith listening to and learning from this internationally respected culinary expert.
Chef Michael will share with students what it takes to be successful within the hospitality and culinary industry. This will be a chance for students to learn about exciting career opportunities first-hand from a Canadian celebrity chef.
Later that morning, Chef Smith will be part of a two-hour Student Culinary Cook Off Challenge. Eight teams of students will compete as they prepare a creative salad and homemade dressing. Students will use locally grown produce from the Mill Market and compete for the top original creation. Chef Michael and two local chefs will be judging and offering constructive feedback.
This very special event with Chef Smith provides the perfect opportunity for Superior Heights to launch their Specialist High Skill Major (SHSM) in Culinary Hospitality now available to students at SHCVS.
Additionally this year, ADSB students have had or will have opportunities to interact with and learn from other notable professionals as part of the Festival of Learning portion of the Algoma Fall Festival.
Carlos Nunez is a world renowned Celtic musician. Last week, he and his band performed concerts for Grade 4, 5 and 6 students at the Community Theatre Centre and gave workshops featuring bagpipes, whistles and flutes. For more information about this artist please visit www.carlosnunez.com.
Dr. E. Paul Zehr, a Canadian professor of kinesiology and neuroscience, is best known to the general public as the author of the popular science books Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero, Inventing Iron Man: The Possibility of a Human Machine and Project Superhero, his first combined fiction/non-fiction book for tweens. Next week (October 17th) Dr. Zehr will be making presentations to Grade 7 and 8 students at the Community Theatre Centre. He will also be visiting Korah Collegiate’s International Baccalaureate students.
For more information about Dr. Zehr visit his website at www.zehr.ca.