Meeting Notes - October 6, 2015

The first meetings of the Education and Ops and Finance Committees for the 2015/16 year were convened tonight.

To begin the evening, trustees received copies of the GECDSB’s Parents’ Guides to Understanding the curriculum from Kindergarten to Grade 8 to help parents understand the expectations for their children through each year of school. Parents can use these resources to support their children in order to ensure they are meeting the curriculum expectations and identify any areas of concern. The guides outline expectations for each grade in the areas of Social and Emotional Development, Language, Math, Science and Technology, Health and Physical Education, and Arts.  If you have not received one for your child this year, please don’t hesitate to request one. Some schools even have them online

We also received the Thumbnail Sketches for Early Years, Elementary, and Secondary teachers and administrators which are resource booklets detailing expectations around learning and teaching settings with brief program descriptions. Example sections include facilitating a Growth Mindset, establishing routines, stages of learning and development, and parent engagement. A description of core resources is provided which includes math, science, and social studies kits. A list of additional resources is also provided. These booklets have been requested by Boards across Ontario as well as the United States.

Next, we heard that our Summer Learning Programming (SLP) has grown tremendously. In 2010, there were 60 students at 3 sites that offered literacy programming. This year there were 600 students across 31 sites offering literacy, math, and FNMI programming to name a few! Through our primary-age Camp Wonder, there was an optional free breakfast each morning then 200 minutes of literacy and math. In the afternoon, kids had a variety of gym and recreation activities. When I visited Camp Wonder this summer, a 10-year-old girl wanted to show me the bridge that she had constructed from various materials including Legos, straws, and so forth. I asked her about her experience, and to paraphrase, she told me, “I like math and I am really good at it now. I make new friends here every year. This year is my last year and I hope there is something for me next year.” I asked administration about the possibility of expanding programming and was told that they are already looking for ways to extend the program to older students.

These articles from the Windsor Star further highlight the great feedback from students, teachers, and parents: here and here

We then heard about the summer programming for older students. In total, 1377 students participated in Summer School 2015 and 1446 credits were granted. We offered a new program this year, Reaching Ahead, for students transitioning into grade 9 which included confidence and academic-boosting activities. Fifty-two students participated and 100% were successful. This article from the Windsor Star highlights the program. 

Finally, Director Kelly presented the Operational Plan for this school year which details goals and targets that correspond to our new Strategic Plan. You can find the documents here.  This plan is an accountability document designed to help the board stay on track with strategic goals for the next 4 years.

The Board will hold a Special Board Meeting on October 13 to debate and decide on Administration’s recommendations as a result of the PARC. Before then, I will be touring the schools involved in the PARC to gain an understanding of the course offerings and day-to-day programming in order to inform myself as best I can before making a decision.

Please note I have started keeping a blog about the Math Task Force meetings. You can find it on the home page!

Jessica

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Jessica Sartori