Welcome to HWDSB’s 2015 Director’s Annual Report
In 2014-15, HWDSB continued to embrace district-wide changes to make every school a great school for our students. We have worked toward our goals within each strategic direction: Achievement Matters, Engagement Matters and Equity Matters. We do this to realize our vision of all students achieving their full potential.
We want all students to successfully move toward their chosen pathway.
To prepare all elementary students to be ready for success at the secondary school level…
- Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 2 Oral Language and Early Learning: As we learned more about oral language, self-regulation and early literacy, we saw improved oral language, early literacy and self-regulatory skills in students entering Grade 1 and on Grade 1 report cards.
- Early Learning & Child Care: Extended funding let us continue to work with community partners who may be considering re-location of their early learning and child care programs.
- Literacy Strategy: More kindergarten educators are using CLiC (Capturing Learning in the Classroom) to document student learning and track progress.
To prepare all secondary students to be ready for success in their chosen pathway: apprenticeship, college, community, university or workplace…
- Math Strategy: We used data to personalized instruction, especially for applied, Aboriginal and English language learning students and then monitored their results to see if instruction was effective. We saw gains in math results and teacher confidence.
- Literacy Strategy: In the nine schools where we offered High School Empower™ students were engaged, improved their decoding, letter sound identification and sound combination skills while also contributing to improvements on the OSSLT.
- Program Strategy: In 2014-15, we expanded Specialized High Skills Majors (SHSM) to 25 programs representing 13 sectors in 14 schools. Our 57% SHSM red seal graduation rate exceeded the 47% provincial rate.
To prepare all adult students to be ready for success in their chosen pathway: apprenticeship, college, community, university or workplace…
- Adult Options: Adults were able to complete their Ontario Secondary School Diploma in large programs at Red Hill Learning Centre and the King William Learning Centre; English Language Learners in the Advantage program also provided in-class and co-op learning. Other adult options included Work for Credit, Independent Study and Night School.
- New Initiatives: In 2014 we created a FASTtrack program so adults could learn for the year out of school before writing Prior Learning and Recognition tests for grades 9 and 10 credits.
Positive relationships among students, parents, community members and staff make everyone feels like they belong in our schools and communities.
To achieve high levels of student engagement in our schools…
- Our work on HWDSB’s Secondary Program Strategy, Arts Strategy, Positive School Climate and Transforming Learning Everywhere are leading to improved problem-solving, creativity, innovation and use of technology, according to report card data and provincial assessment results. Student and staff input also shaped secondary option sheets. Meanwhile, we have communicated a clear student re-engagement framework.
To achieve high levels of parent engagement in our school communities…
- Tiered Approach: We ensured that all schools engage a selected group of parents in an effective way, invited diverse engagement and gathered data on this targeted engagement.
- Parent Voice: We uses a Parent Voice Survey and community-based focus groups to help schools better understand how to build positive school climate.
To maintain and strengthen collaborative relationships with employee groups…
- Regular communication with employee groups discussed issues, concerns and identified next steps; we worked to ensure all staff engage in this inquiry.
- Networking within panels and across panels focused on effective math instruction and diagnostics, as well as staff needs.
- Professional development for staff included learning teams, operations meetings, cognitive coaching, leadership development and more.
- Staff Voice: We reviewed the Staff Voice Survey to see if it can be streamlined and, with the District Effectiveness Leadership Survey, used to strengthen HWDSB.
- Hiring: We built on equitable hiring practices and aligned our approach with legislation.
- Capacity: We educated Principals, Vice Principals, Managers and Supervisors on specific areas of collective agreements, legislation and Board policies.
- Employee Groups: We fostered positive labour relations with all of our stakeholders, including work to maintain a healthy work environment in schools and departments.
To maintain and strengthen collaborative relationships with community partners…
- Community Engagement continued to grow with implementation of our Community Engagement Report Card. We simplified our partnership process to help create opportunities for parent/community engagement to improve student achievement and well-being.
Equity work requires shifts in practice, thinking and culture at every level of our organization, as well as daily work to equitably include all voices, all people and all needs.
To ensure equitable resource allocation to schools, staff and students…
- Secondary Program Strategy work involved preparing to implement French Immersion at Sherwood secondary, preparing for student transitions to the New North School, development of an ESL delivery model and review of secondary instructional support.
- Kindergarten to Grade 1 Strategy work saw HWDSB increase the number of students reading at grade level by the end of Grade 1 as well as increase Early Learning and Child Care programs located in, or linked to, our schools.
- Elementary Program Strategy was developed and supported in our budget. We also aligned our budget support for equitable staff allocation, based on local need and Ministry compliance as well as the rightsizing of schools and their needs.
- School and Program Fees and allocation of Social Workers had new guidelines.
- Executive Council built capacity around equity of opportunity, access and outcomes, specifically how we ensure that HWDSB works toward equity of outcomes for all.
To ensure that our diverse learners receive the appropriate programming and support to achieve their full potential…
- With about 400 secondary English Language Learners requiring specialized programming, we created a Secondary ELL Committee to give input on program structure, delivery and the role of Transforming Learning Everywhere in an ESL classroom.
- On Aboriginal Education, HWDSB continued to collaborate with students, parents and the community to support FNMI students. To support Aboriginal student achievement, staff worked with the FNMI advisory committee and Corporate Communications to understand barriers and improve the rates of self-identification. We also offered our first Kindergarten Orientation for parents of Aboriginal children and continued many other supports.
- About 9,200 students receive special education supports and services from classroom teachers, other educational professionals and specialists in conjunction with support from community partners and families. At HWDSB, we continued to focus on knowing our students with increased precision so we can effectively respond to their learning profiles. We strive to do this in the most inclusive environment possible.
To provide safe, inclusive and respectful learning environments for all staff and students…
- Supports for all Staff and Students: We engaged students, parents and community to develop a Positive School Climate plan at each school, with Positive School Climate Teams trained on social health, autonomy and self-regulation.
- Supports for some Staff and Students: We aligned and communicated Tier 2 supports so schools know who to contact and promoted student leadership and responsibility. We expect data to show that students are better able to problem-solve when faced with issues.
- Supports for Few Staff and Students: We aligned and communicated Tier 3 supports and services so there are clearer ‘pathways to care.’ We continued to work with community partners, for example, on assessing violent threat risks and mental health and addiction interventions.