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March 26, 2008 - Education/Human Resources Committee Minutes
Education/Human Resources Committee
March 26, 2008

A meeting of the Education/Human Resources Committee was held in the Board Room on Wednesday,March 26, 2008, at 4:30 p.m.                       
Present Trustees:
H. Brown, Chair
G. Beavis
E. Crawford
A. Goodfellow, Ex-Officio
D. Jackson
P. Murray
Present Staff:
D. Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary     
N. Marsh, Superintendent of Education
H. Peterson, Principal, J.G. Simcoe P.S.
P. Warren-Chaplin, Superintendent of Education
B. Woodley, Supervising Principal and Executive Assistant

H. Chadwick
B. McLaren

Chair Brown welcomed those present to the meeting and called the meeting to order.

Approval of Agenda                                                                              
The Chair advised that she received an e-mail from Trustee Jackson asking that the Notice of Motion concerning Ministry of Education Aboriginal Education funding be postponed to a future meeting of the Education/Human Resources Committee. Trustee Jackson stated that he would like this item removed from the agenda at this time, and brought back at a future Education/Human Resources Committee meeting.

MOVED BY Trustee Goodfellow, that the agenda, as amended to remove the Notice of Motion concerning Ministry of Education Aboriginal Education funding, be approved.–Carried

The Simcoe Journey

Superintendent Warren-Chaplin introduced Helen Peterson, Principal at J.G. Simcoe Public School. She said that we are extremely privileged to have Ms. Peterson with us this afternoon to share what is transpiring at J.G. Simcoe Public School. She said that Ms. Peterson has presented at an EQAO conference information about J.G. Simcoe Public School’s journey, sharing where they were in their EQAO results, and how they have improved, and what they are doing now.

Mrs. Peterson thanked the Committee for inviting her to present to them. She said it is good for the students, their families, and the school community when someone is invited from their school to talk about what is happening at their school.

Mrs. Peterson stated that she is present as a representative of a team at J.G. Simcoe Public School. She said that she, Vice-Principal Jolene Knowles, and staff at the school have worked hard to ensure the success of their students. She said that the EQAO results at J.G. Simcoe have been very promising, which indicate that they are doing something right.

Ms. Peterson advised that she, and teachers Erika Chesnick and Sue Burnett were invited to share information about J.G. Simcoe at EQAO’s annual conference. She advised that they did attend the conference, and heard wonderful speakers and stories from other schools. Ms. Peterson reported that since then, she had attended a EQAO symposium for principals, which provided her with an opportunity to meet with school leaders to see what is going on in their schools and what we can learn from each other. She commented on some of the presentations that she, Ms.Chesnick, and Ms. Burnett have done within our Board for Student Support Teachers, Vice-Principals and Principals. She said that the teachers from her staff are involved in a peer coaching relationship or observation relationship. She said that other Vice-Principals and Principals have looked at what they have achieved at Simcoe.

Ms. Peterson advised that Ms. Knowles and Ms. Chescnick were invited to a professional development community at Odessa Public School last week to talk about the things they have done at Simcoe to inspire other people at sites along their journeys.

Ms. Peterson stated that she is present representing a lot of other people. She said what happens at each individual school is an important piece, as well as the sharing of what goes on at other schools.

Ms. Peterson stated that J.G. Simcoe Public School is one of the Ministry of Education and the Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat’s OFIP schools. She said that this is Simcoe’s second year of being an OFIP school, and that they are a second level school. She commented that a lot of resources have been given to Simcoe. She said that they have had lots of time and funds to help them look at capacity building and resources as to how they use data, etc.

Ms. Peterson said that they feel very fortunate to be part of the LDSB as they feel well supported, and this helps her to continue to grow as an effective instructional leader. She commented that Educational Services staff has helped them to support students in curriculum, and educational assistants in professional development. She said in their families of schools meetings, the focus is on teaching and learning.

Ms. Peterson said it is exciting for her to see the success and gains at Simcoe. She said that it is a wonderful climate to reach out, network and share to help everyone improve.

Ms. Peterson provided information about the demographics at J.G. Simcoe Public School. She said that the QECVI family of schools has some of the most challenging schools in terms of demographics throughout the province.

Ms. Peterson said that they did work with Principals and Vice-Principals and participated in an in-service by Earl and Katz. She said that last year Simcoe had 69% of its Grade 3 students reading at a level 3 or 4. She said that those results were share in their presentation. She commented that the data indicates that Simcoe is steadily improving. She indicated that Simcoe’s writing results did not improve as well as their reading results. She said they have done an excellent job teaching reading, and they now want that to transpire to writing.

Ms. Peterson reviewed the following information:

Ministry Directions

•       CODE and ESA (Enhanced Student Achievement Project)
•       Education for All (the strategies used in schools came in that document)
•       Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat
•       Ontario Focused Intervention Partnership (OFIP)
•       Diagnostician (comes to school; report outlines the recommendations and what our next steps are. Ms. Peterson advised that the diagnostician was concerned about the writing results; after her visit we confirmed where we should put our energy.)
        •       Coaching
        •       Resources (OFIP gave us additional funds to purchase literacy materials for the school)

Ms. Peterson reviewed the Balanced Literacy Model.

Limestone District School Board

•       Educational Services
•       Moderation
•       Professional Development Opportunities
•       Data Management

        Ms. Peterson commented on the following Environmental Factors:

•       Historical Perspective
•       Plant Organization/Timetable
•       Communication of Mission
        •       Hallways, Newsletters, Assemblies

Ms. Peterson reviewed the Capacity Factors, as follows:

•       Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
•       Coaching/Mentoring
•       Peer Supports
•       Embedded Professional Learning
•       Research and Resource Base

        Ms. Peterson reviewed the following components of the School Improvement Plan:

•       Community
•       Capacity Building
•       Data Management
•       Resources

•       Classroom Community
        •       Code of Conduct
        •       Simcoe Agreements
        •       Consistent Language
        •       Routines
                •       Aligned and Consistent
        •       Education for All
                •       Focus on Differentiation

•       School Community
        •       Staff Dedication
        •       Co-operative Learning Environment
        •       Agendas and Newsletters
        •       Family Literacy Nights
        •       Literacy-Based Prizes
        •       Field Trips to build Schema
Capacity Building
•       Professional Community
        •       PLCs
        •       SST, EA and Administrative Support in Classrooms

        •       PD Opportunities
                •       OFIP

        •       Networking Opportunities
                •       Family of Schools
                •       OFIP
        •       Ontario Curriculum
                •       Supported by British Curriculum
                •       Education For All

Balanced Literacy at Simcoe

•       2-hour uninterrupted literacy block
•       Components of Balanced Literacy Program
        •       Read Aloud
        •       Shared Reading
        •       Guided Reading/Reading Response
        •       Independent Reading
        •       Word Study
•       Classroom Libraries
•       Word Walls
•       Anchor Charts

Ms. Peterson reviewed the following information related to Data Management:

•       Using Assessments to Inform Instruction
        •       EQAO
                •       “Unpacking” of results to direct teaching practice
        •       PM Benchmarks, DRAs, CASIs
        •       Report Card Data
        •       First Steps Continuum

Ms. Peterson reviewed information regarding Resources, as follows:

•       Book Room
        •       Big Books
        •       Levelled Books
•       5-/day Plans
•       Cross-Curricular Integration
•       Field Trips to Build Schema

Ms. Peterson advised that the next steps are:

•       Focus on Guided Reading
•       Numeracy
•       Continue to develop enhanced teaching capacity

Ms. Peterson advised that J.G. Simcoe Public School’s slogan is “Learning to Read, Reading to Learn”.

In response to comments by Trustee Jackson, Ms. Peterson advised that J.G. Simcoe Public School was interviewed by EQAO, and there will be an article about the school in EQAO’s Success magazine. Superintendent Warren-Chaplin reported that the EQAO results on J.G. Simcoe’s performance last year are available from EQAO, and it is a public document.

Chair Brown stated that she is sure the staff at J.G. Simcoe Public School would invite any Trustee to school to observe what is taking place at the school.

Trustee Murray congratulated J.G. Simcoe Public School on their success, and commended the staff for their commitment to provide an enriched learning environment.

Trustee Goodfellow congratulated the school on its success, and said that it is nice that Ms. Peterson is representing a team from her school. She commented on her visit to the school, noting that the energy at the school is amazing. She congratulated Ms. Peterson on being asked to present this information at the provincial level.

Ms. Peterson thanked Trustees for their comments. She said that J.G. Simcoe Public School is an exciting place to be. She said it is a place where one has to work hard, the environment is nurturing and the focus is on the positive. She said that when staff see the success at the school, it balances out the challenges.

Trustee Jackson stated that he would like information on Numeracy provided at a future meeting.

Chair Brown thanked Ms. Peterson for her presentation, and said that we can see the excitement and dedication of her staff. She thanked her for sharing this information with those present, and with other schools.

Ms. Peterson withdrew from the meeting.
Character Education

Superintendent Marsh stated that at the last meeting of the Education/Human Resources Committee, she brought forward information about the Character Education Framework. She indicated that the Steering Committee is meeting on April 18th, and if Trustees have any feedback with regard to the framework, to please provide her with their input. She said that they are looking forward to launching the framework.

Chair Brown thanked Superintendent Marsh for her comments.

Other Business

Chair Brown advised that she has received from Queen’s University, an invitation to the 8th Annual Queen’s University Graduate Students in Education Symposium, “Towards a Global Community: Theoretical and Practical Perspectives on Education”. The conference is being held on Wednesday, April~2, 2008 from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the Faculty of Education, Duncan McArthur Hall. She said that she had attended this conference previously and enjoyed it. She further advised that Superintendent Labrie has previously spoken at the symposium. Trustee Brown stated that she will post the information in the David Parry Trustee Room.

Trustee Jackson indicated that the government has increased the Aboriginal Education Program funding by $5 million, and stated that he would like information as to how this will impact some of our programming during the upcoming year provided at a future meeting. Chair Brown indicated that some of that information will be provided during budget deliberations.

Next Meeting Date

The next meeting of the Education/Human Resources Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, April 16, 2008, at 4:30 p.m.


MOVED BY Trustee Beavis, that the meeting adjourn at 5:40 p.m.–Carried