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Board Meetings

October 16, 2007

TUESDAY, October 2, 2007

Cindy Aitken (Committee Chair), John Chapman, Marg Gaviller, Jan Johnstone, Ross King, Marilyn McComb, Natalka Pucan, Tim Reaburn, Jean Sullivan and Jennifer Yenssen
Steven Reid (Co-ordinator), Mary Anne Alton, Lori Wilder, Alana Murray, Marnie Coke, Richard Gerson, Brenda Booth, and Joan Farrow (Executive Assistant)
Natalka Pucan, Marg Gaviller and Jean Sullivan


The Educational Issues Committee received the following reports:
arrow_bullet.jpg        CODE Education For All
arrow_bullet.jpg        EQAO Reports – Grades 3, 6 and 9
arrow_bullet.jpg        Summer Activities Report

CODE Education For All
Karen Moss, a retired Bluewater educator and Brenda McLister, board Psychologist, provided an overview of the CODE Education For All project.  Last year was year two of the project and funding has been received to continue the project in 2007/2008.  A number of ‘at risk’ classrooms were chosen to participate in the project that included:

development of class profiles by analyzing literacy data
development of a literacy plan
participating in Differentiated Instruction training
development and sharing of a unit of study that incorporated Planning with the End in Mind and Differentiated Instruction
training in the use of Assistive Technology
participation in co-teaching and professional dialogue in order to share learning  

Data gained through an Academic Self Esteem Index and assessment of Reading and Language skills at the end of June provided some interesting results.  Students in higher grades provided lower ratings of their self-esteem related to academics and below average academic self esteem ratings were statistically more common among boys than girls.  Students were seen to have made significant growth on both Reading and Language scores between January and June to the extent that the ‘at risk’ students were closing the gap with their classmates.

A celebration of the results of the project took place in June with special guest Avis Glaze in attendance.

EQAO Reports – Grades 3, 6 and 9
Marnie Coke provided an overview of EQAO results from assessments completed in May and June of 2007.These assessments assess the reading, writing and mathematics skills that students are expected to have learned by the end of each of these grades as outlined in the Ontario Curriculum.  Bluewater scores were above those of previous years in all assessments and Bluewater students surpassed the provincial averages in reading and mathematics for both grades 3 and 6.  Steady improvement in writing skills in both grades 3 and 6 have been noted over the past six years.  Important next steps include continuing to focus on instruction, using research-based instructional strategies, analyzing of EQAO data to determine system support in the area of professional learning and implementation of literacy and mathematics initiatives in grades K to 6.  Marnie recognized the tremendous efforts by students, teachers and administrators in their quest for excellence in literacy and numeracy.

Alana Murray provided a summary of EQAO results for grade 9 students on the Ontario Secondary School Literacy and Mathematics assessments.  82% of Bluewater students taking the Literacy test for the first time were successful.  The success rates for academic and applied English students increased as did the success rate for students with special needs.  All eleven secondary schools have sustained pass rates greater than 75% for the past three years and this is a tribute to the dedication and hard work of the staff and students.

The EQAO Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics is written twice a year in semestered schools and once a year in full year schools.  Bluewater students have performed at or above the provincial level for the past five years in both applied and academic mathematics with consistent sustained achievement over time.  There continues to be a gap between applied and academic students but the gap has been lowered.  Boys continue to slightly out-perform girls, a trend that is seen provincially.  Next steps include continuing to focus on instruction and the use of research based strategies, analyzing of EQAO data on a student by student basis, the implementation of intervention strategies for struggling learners, expansion of credit recovery, continued staff development for teachers and implementation of the Student Success Mathematics Initiatives in grades 7 to 12.

Summer Activities Report
Steven Reid summarized activities that took place in Bluewater throughout the summer months.  This included details on the eighth annual Summer Institute, autism training for Student Services staff, educational assistants and administrators by the Geneva Centre For Autism in Toronto, the provision of Summer School courses at two locations, and activities that took place at the Institute For Outdoor Education and Environmental Studies in Wiarton.

The report also shared information on implementation of Smart Find Express, an automated telephone and internet contact system for finding replacement staff, community use of schools throughout the summer months and details of the August Leadership Symposium attended by Bluewater Administrators and Superintendents during the third week of August.  Dr. Bruce Ferguson, Director of the Community Health System Resource Group at the Hospital for Sick Children introduced the system focus on Character Development in his keynote address.  Dr. Ferguson also shared his message with all Bluewater employees at the September System Professional Development Day on September 24th.

THAT Bluewater District School Board receives the Educational Issues Committee report dated September 4, 2007.

Submitted to:
Bluewater District School Board
16 October 2007
For more information please contact
Chair Cindy Aitken
or Steven Reid, Superintendent of Instruction

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