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January 21, 2009 - Education/Human Resources Committee Minutes
Education/Human Resources Committee
January 21, 2009

A meeting of the Education/Human Resources Committee was held in the Board Room at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, on Wednesday, January 21, 2009, at 4:30 p.m.                
Present Trustees:
G. Beavis, Chair
H. Brown
H. Chadwick
A. Goodfellow, Ex-Officio
D. Jackson
B. McLaren

Present Staff:
P. Bertelsen, Math Literacy Coach
D. Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
A. Labrie, Superintendent of Human Resources
D. Midwood, Supervising Principal
A. Murphy, PLAR Coordinator
A. Nahorny, Secondary Program Consultant
S. Richarz, Lead Success Teacher, LaSalle SS    
Chair Beavis called the meeting to order, welcoming those present to the meeting.

Chair Beavis commented on the Building Construction Internship Program Open House that he and Vice-Chair Chadwick attended in the Braebury subdivision Conservatory Pond on Sunday, January 18, 2009.  He reported that it was a wonderful event, noting that it was well attended.

Trustee Chadwick thanked Braebury, and the Board’s other community partners, for their involvement in projects, such as the ones undertaken by the Building Construction Internship Program.

Mr. Midwood advised that the Board is planning for a larger community partnership celebration in connection with the High Skills Major Program.

Approval of Agenda                                                                              

Trustee Jackson requested that an update on the Options at 7 review be provided under Other Business.  As well, he indicated that he would like to bring forward a proposal with respect to Kingston Community Profile under Other Business.

MOVED BY Trustee Goodfellow, that the agenda, as amended, be approved.–Carried

Student Success – Transitions, Interventions, Expanded Opportunities

Mr. Midwood introduced Sabine Richarz, Lead Success Teacher at LaSalle Secondary School; Andrea Murphy, PLAR Coordinator, and Anne Nahorny, Secondary Program Consultant, and Peter Bertelsen, Math Literacy Coach.

Mr. Midwood thanked the Committee for the opportunity to provide more detailed information on student success, noting that Reaching Every Student and Taking Success to the Classroom are happening across the district.  He stated that the purpose of the presentations is to give a better sense of how this translates at the classroom level in both regular and alternative settings.

Mr. Midwood stated that his role is to ensure that all student success initiatives are monitored and implemented.  He said that Transitions is for Grade 7-10 students.  He said that any intervention strategy that helps students to be successful is now being taken to the classroom to ensure every student is successful.  He said that expanded opportunities include all Focus Programs, Dual Credits and Specialist High Skills Major.

Mr. Midwood reviewed information as to how Student Success/Program Alignment relates to Ministry goals, the Board’s Strategic Plan 2008/09, the Director, the Program Team and to the Student Success Annual Action Plan 2008/09.

Sabine Richarz presented an overview of Student Success Teams, as follows:

2008-2009 Focus

•       Monitor and track students at risk;
•       Coordinate intervention plans for students at risk;
•       Encourage and support staff of students at risk through ongoing communication and follow-up
•       Monitor and measure effectiveness of school-based efforts to improve student achievement.

Ms. Richarz reviewed the Pyramid of Preventions and Interventions, as follows:

•       In-School Preventions (e.g. Transitions, Timetabling, Differentiated Instruction)
•       In-Class Interventions (e.g. Credit Rescue, Differentiated Instruction)
•       In-School Interventions (e.g. Credit Recovery)
•       Program Change
•       Transfer

Who are your support people?

•       Parents – make them your partners early on by communicating positives;
•       Other Teachers – are always willing to share strategies that work with specific students or groups of students;
•       Your Success Team – are there to support you in your efforts to help students be successful.

Some Other Resources

•       Special Education
•       Cooperative Education and Other Forms of Experiential Learning
•       eLearning
•       Independent Study
•       Learning Strategies Courses
•       Foundation Programs
•       Focus Programs
•       Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course
•       Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition – PLAR
•       School-to-Work Program Pathway Counselling
•       Dual Credit Partnership with St. Lawrence College
•       Specialist High Skills Major Programs
•       Character Education Programs

Know Your Support People
What Success Teams Look Like in Your School

What to ask yourself:
•       Who are your lead and support success teachers?
•       Who are your LPS teachers?
•       Who are your grade administrators?
•       Who are your Adolescent Care Workers?
•       When and where are your success meetings?
•       Where can I access transitions sharing notes, success meeting notes, and IEP information?

Credit Rescue and Credit Recovery

Credit Rescue:
•       Preferred intervention that occurs before the end of a course;
•       For best results, contact your success team early and provide your success teacher with specifics – e.g. assignments, practice quizzes and tests.

Credit Recovery:
•       Occurs after a student is unsuccessful in a course;
•       Final recommendation for credit recovery is at the discretion of the success team and ultimately the principal; however, generally the success team follows the recommendation of the teacher;
•       For credit integrity the Recommended Credit Placement Form should be completed; also supplying copies of missing assignments is helpful, but at your discretion.

Ms. Richarz reviewed the Recommended Course Placement Form & Credit Recovery Profile form, as well as the Credit Recovering Learning Plan – OSR Document form.  She also reviewed the communication via First Class information.  She provided information outlining two scenarios wherein students are not able to meet curriculum expectations.

Aligning Student Success with Alternative and Adult Education

Andrea Murphy reviewed the following information:


•       Teacher Assisted Self Study Program – students working full time and trying to earn their OSSD via correspondence on Wednesday evenings
•       Day school students (18-21) working part-time, earning roughly 1.5 credits/semester

Our Goal

•       To re-engage students, make success attainable, improve credit accumulation and increase graduation rates

Reaching Every Student

“Innovation at the secondary school level is also critical to encouraging adults – whether in their early twenties or well into their working life - to come back and continue their education”
                                                                Page 7, Energizing Ontario Education

Co-Op is Working

•       Is a unique program which allows students to continue paid workplace training while earning up to three co-op credits toward an Ontario Secondary School Diploma.
•       GLN40A Navigating the Workplace + GLN40C

Students must have their Work Education Agreement signed by the employer and have Unit 3 (Health and Safety) completed and submitted to their co-op teacher prior to the start of counting work placement hours.

Co-op Journals and Focus writing assignments must be completed weekly and submitted to the teacher by the Monday following the work week.  Students may hand deliver or fax the weekly journal to the Limestone Education Centre.  All weekly journals must be signed by the workplace supervisor to verify the student’s time.

The employer reports are completed by the supervisor three times over the course of the program usually at the end of the month.  It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the employer completes the evaluation and submits it to the teacher.

•       Extremely successful
•       75 students graduated last semester at the Limestone Education Centre along

Teacher Assisted Self Study

•       Opportunity for alternative students to have enhanced academic programming
•       A place to drop off CIW assignments, journals, etc.
•       An opportunity for LDSB students to obtain courses not available in their regular day school programming
•       Currently 50 LDSB students registered in program
•       Over 30 Regi and Holy Cross students register in program

PPM 132 – Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition for Mature Students (MPLAR)

Who is a Mature Student?

A student who is:

•       at least 18 years of age (i.e. an adult) on or before December 31 of the school year in which he or she returns to school
•       was not enrolled in a day school program for a period of at least one year

The MPLAR Process

•       PLAR is the formal evaluation and credit-granting process whereby students may obtain credits for prior learning.
•       Student have their knowledge and skills evaluated against the expectations outlined in provincial curriculum policy documents in order to earn credits towards the secondary school diploma.

Two components are involved in MPLAR
•       Equivalency
•       Challenge .. Is only necessary if a student requires a percentage grade on their transcript

The “Equivalency” Process

•       Individual student assessment for the purpose of granting up to 16 Grade 9 or 10 Credits
•       A mature student who has evidence of partial completion of the first two years of secondary school – or a comparable transcript – will be required to successfully complete an individual assessment in English, Mathematics, Science, Canadian history and Canadian geography in order to earn the credits to bring the total up to 16 Grade9 and 10 credits
•       Assessment of credentials and other appropriate documentation from jurisdictions within and outside Ontario for the purpose of granting a credit for a grade 11 or 12 course developed frm an Ontario curriculum policy document published in 2000 or later. (SECA)

Grade 11/12 Equivalency Process

Mature students may present the following for assessment as part of the SECA application:
•       education credentials
•       training credentials
•       other appropriate documentation

With credits earned in secondary school, plus equivalency credits from grade 9 and 10, or 11 and 12, a mature student still must complete a minimum of four credits at the senior level.

Possible Programming to include:
•       1 Senior Level English Credit
•       3 Cooperative Education Credits (CIW)
•       40 Hours Community Involvement

Writing the Literacy Test is no longer a requirement for mature students.  Students may proceed directly into the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course.

Ms. Murphy reviewed the MPLAR Totals for 2008-2009, and the Under 21 MPLAR Totals for 2008-2009.

Innovative Programming

Combine Student Success Programs:
•       Co-Op is Working
•       MPLAR (Prior Learning and Assessment for Mature Students)
•       TASS (Teacher Assisted Self Study)

Benefits for Students

•       OSSD is within reach
•       Work while obtaining their OSSD
•       Link further work hours if additional credits are needed
Benefits for Centre

•       Developing relationships with business, industry and community organizations that may not have been a part of your data base
•       Utilizing community resources
•       Accumulating credits
•       Graduating more students

Mr. Midwood advised that the Eastern Region Lead Success Teachers, Regional Education Officer and Toronto Ministry Learning to 18 Leaders got together at the Ministry of Education Ottawa Office for a panel presentation which was to demonstrate how one board had organized to approach the delivery of the many Ministry initiatives that have been implemented over the past four years, and to explore the networking possibilities that exist regionally for key players such as consultants, program leaders and coaches.  He said that the presenters were asked to provide information about their role, their goal(s) in the role, the impact of what they have been focusing on; the challenges they faced, and their final “best thought” re: Student Success.

Anne Nahorny provided the information that she had submitted.  She said that her role is Program Consultant for Pathways, noting that her portfolio includes transitions, dual credit coordination, development of Pathways programming through St. Lawrence College, Aboriginal Education, Character Education, regional contact for Co-Op and Guidance.  In addition to this, she also assists the Guidance and Co-op Subject Councils, and works closely with the Board’s Student Success leader on a number of committees.

Ms. Nahorny said that her goals in the role is to be a facilitator for teachers and a developer of new initiatives that pertain to her portfolio.  She said that her goal is also to promote a viability of all pathways so that all students feel valued and respected.

With regard to the impact of what she has been focusing on, she stated that she believes that there has been a major shift in the Board in terms of dual credits.  She said that we have expanded the number of programs and credits that are available to students that may not have considered the college pathway previously.  This initiative has also engaged workplace students who ma not have been aware of college programs.  She said that she also believes that web-based programs for co-op teachers (MTEL) and guidance counsellors (My Blueprint) will make a difference to teachers, students and parents.

Ms. Nahorny stated that one of the challenges that she faces with many aspects of her portfolio is implementing changes.  Many teachers and counsellors are already working at capacity and feel that they cannot change or do any more than they are doing.  She said that her goals in this is to assist them to look at alternative ways of doing some aspects of their job which can ultimately ease the workload.

With regard to the Final “best though” re: Student Success, she indicated that she believes that Student Success has changed the perspective of student achievement.  Student Success Teams in every school ensure that students in need of assistance will be tracked and monitored.

Peter Bertelsen stated that the Mathematical Literacy Coach works at school sites with teachers and departments; assisting teachers to identify overall expectations with which students are having most difficulty and providing assistance in the planning and developing of lessons, activities and assessments to help alleviate those difficulties, assist teachers in the implementation of research-based instruction and assessment techniques, facilitate professional development. The Mathematical Literacy Coach also facilitates opportunities for cross-panel collaboration within families of schools.  The coach also works with the student success teachers in the schools to help make sure that the programs and strategies that are in place are utilized by the mathematics teachers.

Mr. Midwood stated that the Mathematical Literacy Coach has been piloted in QECVI and Bayridge Secondary School.  It was then expanded to Ernestown Secondary School, and will be expanded to Napanee District Secondary School, as well as to one elementary school.

Mr. Bertelsen said that his goals are to increase student achievement in grade 9 mathematics courses, to increase student involvement in their learning, to increase the use of a three part problem-solving lesson format among elementary teachers, and to provide more opportunities for collaboration between elementary and secondary schools within the same family of schools.

Mr. Bertelsen reviewed the impact of what he has been focussing on, as follows:

Last year – increased dialogue among panels and among colleagues.  At one site there was a significant improvement in credit attainment and an improvement in EQAO results second semester.  At another secondary site there was an improvement in EQAO results, but not an increase credit attainment.

Mr. Bertelsen that this year, at the midterm, all grade 9 applied students at both sites were achieving level 2 or higher (at one site all students were achieving level 3) and at the site where all students were at level 3, that students’ attitudes toward math had increased significantly.  In the elementary sites, teachers that he is able to work with are trying more problem-solving than before and are reflecting on the impact of these lessons on students.

Mr. Bertelsen reviewed the following challenges:

•       Takes time to build a trusting safe environment for collaboration and learning.  Also difficult to build this environment while expecting change.
•       Sustaining growth and learning (especially as staff changes from semester to semester)
•       Moving from showing and sharing to a more collaborative learning model
•       Secondary coaching seems to be more about culture change than anything else.  Quietly challenging beliefs and questioning accepted practices.  Helping move away from mathematical procedures and toward developing mathematical processes.  This takes time and the benefits are not always immediately apparent.

Mr. Bertelsen said that his Final “best thought” re: Student Success is that he is beginning to see a shift in teacher perspective about student success.  It is a growing understanding that student success is not just about passing students and reducing the drop-out rate, but really about student learning and success for all.  He said that he believes that this movement will continue if the support is maintained.

Mr. Midwood provided an update on the Student Success Annual Action Plan.  He said that the Minister will be visiting the Board on March 23, 2009.  He advised that a Student Success Team Follow-Up Session will take place on March 5, 2009, providing information about Closing the Gap Strategies.

Trustee Jackson suggested that the Board market what it is doing in this regard.

Chair Beavis thanked Messrs. Midwood and Bertelsen, Ms. Richarz, Ms. Murphy and Ms. Nahorny for providing the above-noted information.  

Mr. Midwood reported that the Board has received funding from the Ministry for its Speak Up Initiative for a number of projects, including Student-Led Teacher-Facilitated Projects, and Student Council Transitions, Diversity and Inclusion Projects.  

Messrs. Midwood and Bertelsen, Ms. Richarz, Ms. Murphy and Ms. Nahorny withdrew from the meeting.
Other Business

Trustee Jackson asked if there was an update with regard to the selection process for the Options at 7 programs.

Superintendent Labrie stated that the selection process is being reviewed, and that an update could be added to the next Education/Human Resources Committee agenda.

Trustee Jackson stated that the Social Planning Council of Kingston and Area, in collaboration with the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Queen’s University, has completed its discussion draft of the Kingston Community Profile report.  He said that the Profile extensively analyzes and maps socio-economic factors affecting children.  He said that the Executive Director of the Social Planning Council has indicated that he would be pleased to make a presentation to the Committee.  He suggested that this be a future agenda item for the Committee to consider.

Chair Beavis stated that if anyone has an item that they would like added to an agenda, to please speak to him to get some direction as how to handle a request.

Next Meeting Date

The next meeting of the Education/Human Resources Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, February 18, 2009, at 4:30 p.m.


MOVED BY Trustee McLaren, that the meeting adjourn at 6:10 p.m.–Carried