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Highlights from October 10 Board Meeting
Highlights from October 10 Board of Trustees Meeting
Posted on 10/17/2018
October 17, 2018 (Brockville, ON) – Trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) met on Wednesday, October 10 to discuss several agenda items.

Supervised Alternative Learning (SAL) Program: Superintendent of Schools Tim Mills and Principal Robert Currier presented their report on the 2017-18 SAL program. During the last school year, twelve students participated in the program which provides alternative learning opportunities to students between the ages of 14-17 for whom other supports have been unsuccessful. Under the program, students are excused from attending regular classes by a SAL Committee, and can work on: credit or non-credit courses; training, employment preparation or employment search; volunteer work and full or part-time employment; or counselling and other approved activities. Students follow a learning plan tailored to their needs and are monitored regularly. They remain connected to learning and are supported by caring adults, offering them a path toward graduation or to meet life goals. SAL students are also connected to their home school. The program allows students to participate in sports and other extra-curricular activities.

Parent Involvement Committee: Director Stephen Sliwa presented on the UCDSB Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) and efforts to recruit more members. The eight member advisory board meets regularly and serves three main objectives: to provide information on ways parents can engage with the District, to support school councils throughout the Board, and to promote opportunities to support student learning at school or home. Sliwa said the committee met these objectives by: hosting presentations on student transportation services and what parents need to know; engaging in a dialogue about inclusion and equity; hosting a series of outreach meetings in Rideau Lakes Township and Almonte informing school councils about efforts to improve communication, as well as the Board-sanctioned, district-wide timetable model. In addition, PIC ran a Writers in Residence program, and informed the public about projects funded through Parents Reaching Out grants.

The Committee also purchased an elephant mascot costume in support of the school board’s “Character Always” focus, referred to as the Teaching Unconditional Support and Kindness (TUSK) project. Our mascot will be promoting this emphasis through school visits and at special events.

Indigenous Education Strategy: Superintendent Jodie Barrett led a presentation on the 2019 Board Improvement Plan for Indigenous Education, designed to improve opportunities for Indigenous students and to increase knowledge among the wider student body about Indigenous histories, cultures and perspectives. Key areas of focus are: using data to support student achievement; supporting students; supporting educators, and building engagement and awareness within the system. Actions planned to meet these goals include: continued use of student achievement data to help Indigenous students succeed; promotion of the Indigenous Self-Identification program; increasing community understanding and awareness through Pow-Wows and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission + 4 Gathering; continuation of the iLead program (with nearly 200 student participants); increasing opportunities for Indigenous Languages and First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Studies education; and providing educational services to the Ahkwesahsne Mohawk Board of Education through an ongoing service agreement. Barrett was joined in the presentation by Principal of Indigenous Education Programs Gail Brant-Terry, and Indigenous Education Lead Bill Montgomery.

2018 Summer Educational Programming: Superintendents Jodie Barrett and Tim Mills presented on the Board’s 2018 summer learning programs – the Elementary Summer Learning Program, Elementary English as a Second Language Program, and the Summer Semester Program. The Elementary Summer Learning Program is a three-week, half-day program. This summer, it helped students in Grades K-3 with literacy and numeracy skills, and offered a range of experiences including robotics, cultural activities and games. The program attracted 265 students to 19 sites. It drew positive reviews from parents because of its results. Seventy-eight per cent of participants increased their literacy skills at least one reading level and 48 per cent increased at least two levels. The Elementary English as a Second Language Program supported 58 students in Grades K-3 at four sites. Through the program, ESL students made friends and built confidence while focusing on oral language and vocabulary. The Summer Semester program is operated by the TR Leger School of Adult, Alternative and Continuing Education. The program allows students in Grades 8-12 to make up credits or take advance credits toward their diploma. Thirty-one staff supported the program this summer. A total of 1,144 students enrolled in online or cooperative education courses, earning 1243.5 credits in subjects ranging from mathematics to First Nation, Metis,and Inuit Studies.

You can view the complete agenda from the October 10 meeting here.

Board Meeting October 10

For media inquiries, please contact:

Stephen Sliwa
Director of Education
Upper Canada District School Board
613-342-0371 ext. 1234

Jeff McMillan 
Upper Canada District School Board 
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