Education/Human Resources Committee
March 23, 2011
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, March 23, 2011, at 4:30 p.m.
H. Brown, Chair
H. Chadwick, Ex-Officio
K. Burra, Assistant to the Director, Safe Schools
B. Fraser-Stiff, Superintendent of Education
R. Holmes, Supervising Principal
D. Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
A. Labrie, Superintendent of Human Resources
Chair Brown called the meeting to order, welcoming those present to meeting. She reported that regrets were received from Trustee Goodfellow.
Approval of Agenda
Chair Brown advised that Superintendent Labrie has an information item to be added to the agenda.
Trustee Jackson indicated that he would like an item, Future Agenda Items, added to the agenda.
Chair Brown stated that both items would be added to the agenda under the Other Business section of the agenda.
MOVED BY Trustee Jackson, that the agenda, as amended, be approved.–Carried
Elementary School Improvement Planning
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff provided an overview of Elementary School Improvement Planning. She distributed templates of a blank School Effectiveness Framework School Report 2011, a blank Elementary School Improvement Plan for 2010-2011, and a blank Professional Learning Plan – 2010-2011 to Support School Improvement Planning.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff stated that School Improvement Planning is a cyclic process. The School Improvement Plan is a living document, one that is constantly monitored and revised as goals are achieved. She said that goals are focused on improving student achievement. She advised that the plan is collaboratively developed by school staff, and revisited regularly through the school year.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff commented that in May/June of each year, school staff prepare the School Self-Assessment together to identify the strengths of the school and the next steps to improve school achievement. She said that this report identifies the key areas of strengths and needs and outlines the next steps for improving student learning and achievement. She said that the six components of the School Effectiveness Framework are:
• Assessment for, as and of
• School and Classroom Leadership
• Student Voice
• Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
• Home School and Community Partnerships
• Programs and Pathways
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff stated that in the fall, school staff review the self assessment, and gather and analyze student achievement data which includes how students are doing in terms of their report card, what they do well and what they need to continue to develop, what the EQAO scores are telling us and the needs identified in each student’s work to determine the areas of strength and to identify the needs. Superintendent Fraser-Stiff stated that we look at the Early Development Inventory to identify the strengths of students and areas where they are vulnerable. She said that we look at demographic data, disaggregated by subgroups to identify differentiated support.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff advised that we look at program data to ensure that the curriculum is rigorous to ensure that the skills children need as 21st Century learners are being met.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff said that the information gathered is used to generate SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-Oriented, Time-Bound). She said that schools write goals in three areas: reading, writing, mathematics, noting that the fourth goal for 2011-12 will be safe schools. She said that currently many schools write safe school goals as character education goals which addresses the issues of safety, bullying, etc.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff stated that once the schools have determined the goals for the year, the School Improvement Plan then identifies the instructional strategies, professional learning, indicators of success and measuring/monitoring for each goal.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff said that the Professional Learning Plan is a partner document to the School Improvement Plan, and identifies the professional learning plan for the school, to ensure the goals are being addressed and accomplished over the course of the year.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff said that we also have schools plan their site-based professional learning plans (capacity building) to support the achievement of their School Improvement Plan goals. She advised that the School Improvement Plan and Professional Learning Plans are collected and reviewed in the Fall by Supervising Principal Giles and herself. She said that they provide feedback to the schools where necessary. Superintendent Fraser-Stiff reported that she has a School Improvement Plan visit at each school at the mid-year point with the Administration team (often accompanied by the Family of Schools Supervisor) to review the school’s progress, and to provide feedback for further improvement and to offer support
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff remarked that the School Improvement Plans are constantly reviewed and discussed throughout the year, at staff meetings and professional learning sessions.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff commented that in May or June of each year, the process starts again, with the schools doing a self-assessment report, to identify their strengths, what they need to achieve, and what revisions need to occur for the school year.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff stated that the School Improvement Plan document is not published; however our Principals are pleased to share the focus of the school goals and learning with parents at School Council meetings. She said that many school newsletters include information about the professional learning teachers participate in on Professional Activity Days, etc., in support of their School Improvement Plans.
Trustee Jackson stated that he does not know how this process helps Trustees with their governance functions.
In response to comments by Trustee Jackson, Superintendent Fraser-Stiff stated that with regard to the LDSB Strategic Plan, the School Improvement Plan process was brought forward resulting from a request at the Trustee Retreat. Trustees asked what the process looks like and how the School Improvement Plans link directly to the Board Improvement Plan. She said that the goals and focus of the School Improvement Plans support overall the Board direction and the Board Improvement Plan.
Trustee Chadwick stated that this links to the Board Improvement Plan, which links to the LDSB Strategic Plan. She said that by setting the LDSB Strategic Plan, the rest follows from that.
In response to comments by Trustee Chadwick, Superintendent Fraser-Stiff stated that the goals are set for the Board Improvement Plan and the Board direction is carried out in every school. When we report back at the Strategic Plan, we share the Board data which reflects the data of all elementary schools.
Trustee Chadwick stated that she finds it useful to understand the process. She said that this is one piece of how Trustees are accountable at the school level and to their school communities. She asked if the School Council had input on the School Improvement Plan.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff stated that the consultation with the School Improvement Plan is a shared dialogue. She said that the school shares EQAO results and school information regarding next steps for improvement.
In response to comments, Superintendent Fraser-Stiff said that at a future Trustee Retreat, Board data will be shared.
Trustee Murray stated that she would like information about the Balanced Day provided at a future Education/Human Resources Committee meeting.
Trustee Jackson stated that he does not know how Trustees can be accountable to their constituents, if they do not have the data at some level. He said that he believes Trustees should have more detail.
Trustee Chadwick stated that she has noted Trustee Jackson’s comments around the governance role of Trustees, which could be discussed at a future Trustee Retreat.
Chair Brown thanked Superintendent Fraser-Stiff for providing the above-noted information.
School Climate Surveys
Mr. Burra, Assistant to the Director, provided information about the School Climate Surveys, as follows:
School Climate Guiding Principles
“All students deserve a learning environment in which they are safe, and feel safe, and in which they feel welcomed, respected, and inspired to meet high expectations for learning.”
Safe Schools Action Team, 2008
Climate Surveys: The Rationale
• Before schools can take action to build and/or strengthen a caring and safe school culture, they need to get an accurate picture of their existing school culture
• Improving a school’s climate results in increased achievement (DeWit, McKee, Fjeld & Karioja –2003)
• It is essential to gather data from students, since research about bullying suggests that adults in a school do not witness the majority of this student behaviour
• Schools must conduct anonymous school climate surveys of their students every two years (Grades 4-12)
• Schools should also survey school staff and parents to assess their perception of safety in the school in order to inform prevention and intervention planning
• Surveys must include questions on bullying/harassment related to homophobia, gender-based violence, and sexual harassment
• Results must be shared with the Safe Schools Team
• School Climate must be incorporated into School Improvement Plans
• Biographical Information
• Teaching and Learning
• Climate Survey for Grades 4-8 on Survey Monkey (Winter/Spring 2011)
• Tell Them From Me for Grades 9-12 (Fall 2010 & Spring 2011)
• Grades 4-6 Survey
• Grades 7-8 Survey
Mr. Burra walked Committee members through Survey Monkey demonstration with regard to the Grades 7-8 Survey.
Process and Next Steps
• Letter Home to Parents
• School Specific Surveys
• Three-Week Window for Completion
• Review of Results
• Safe Schools Teams
• Informing School Improvement Plan (School Climate)
• 1-2 Year Cycle
Chair Brown thanked Mr. Burra for providing the above-noted information.
School Administrator Mentoring Program Overview
Supervising Principal Holmes provided an overview of the School Administrator Mentoring Program, as follows:
• Mentoring Pilot Project (2007-08)
• 10 Principals trained as Mentor/Coaches through Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC)
• Mentoring for Newly Appointed School Leaders
• province-wide rollout (2008-09)
• 38 Principals/Vice-Principals trained as Mentor/Coaches through OPC
• Cornerstone of the Ontario Leadership Strategy
• Develop a network of supports ranging from peer support to professional learning opportunities
• To help Principals and Vice-Principals develop into the best possible instructional leaders
• To attract the right people to the principalship
• Develop a culture of supporting each other while developing individual strengths
• To develop instructional leadership skills with respect to critical thinking (K-12) in reading, writing and mathematics, as outlined in the Board Improvement Plan
• Steering Committee
• Tiffany Mountenay
• Krista Nitschke
• Janet Sanderson
• Angela Salmond
• Richard Holmes
8 Elementary Mentors
• Tiffany Mountenay
• Tina Ridley
• Anne Marie Lacoursiere
• Sue Perry
• Joan Dufresne
• Jolene Knowles
• Peter Mouncey
• Mary Ellen Card
3 Secondary Mentors
• Janet Sanderson
• Erin Pincivero
• Caroline Worthy
• 18 Elementary Principals
• 20 Elementary Vice-Principals
• 2 Secondary Principals
• 3 Secondary Vice-Principals
• 8 Secondary Assistant Vice-Principals
• what is discussed stays within the group
• the parameters of confidentiality are agreed upon by the group
• it is about learning and growing together and being able to ask questions in a safe place
• it is an opportunity to receive and give feedback that is non-evaluative
“There is an agreement that the personal work/stories stay in the room and that the learning and application go out into the world.” – Kate Sharpe and Jeanie Nishimura
Role of the Mentee
• to be open to learning together
• to be open to discovering who they are as a leader
• to be open to tapping into their strengths
• to be accountable to the group
Role of the Mentor
• to create with the mentees, a collaborative relationship which is built on trust and mutual respect
• to offer ongoing support, challenge and encouragement
• to encourage the mentees to be creative and resourceful and to realize their potential
• to support strengths and invite curiosity and reflection
For the Mentee:
• A safety net
• Learning in a non-judgmental and inclusive environment
• An opportunity to test out ideas
• Candid feedback
• Less stress
• Quicker learning
• Needed support
• Help in navigating the organization
• More strategies for being productive
• Cultural knowledge
• Learning with group support
• Forging supportive learning relationships for the future
• Additional professional development opportunities and resources
For the Mentor:
• Satisfaction from helping others
• Energizing experience
• More knowledge about operations and best practices in other parts of the organization
• Expanded perspectives
• Opportunities to share experience and wisdom
• Opportunity to strengthen mentoring skills
• Reconnection to other people
• Reaffirmation of approaches
• Meaningful relationships
• Additional professional development opportunities and resources
For the Organization:
• Helps retain the next generation of leaders
• Improves leadership and managerial skills
• Develops new leaders
• Enhances career development
• Honours potential leader’s strengths and capacity for growth
• Promotes diversity
• Improves technical knowledge
• Manages knowledge within the organization
• October – beginning ½ day
• October – end ½ day
• November ½ day
• January ½ day
• February ½ day
• March ½ day
• April ½ day
• May ½ day
Total 4 Full Days
Meeting Agenda (designed by group)
• Management Tools
• Sharing Issues & Solutions (Adobe Mentoring Protocol)
• Larger Educational Issues
• Philosophical Issues
• Specific Issues (i.e. Trillium Support)
• Next Meeting Focus
• Release Time
• Professional Development and Resources
• Meeting Expenses
• Mentor Training
Chair Brown thanked Mr. Holmes for his excellent presentation.
Secondary Assistant Vice-Principal Placement
Superintendent Labrie advised that Dale Huddleston was appointed
Acting Assistant Vice-Principal at LCVI, effective March 21, 2011.
Future Agenda Items
Trustee Jackson requested that Future Agenda Items be included in the Education/Human Resource Agenda package.
Trustee Murray requested that a presentation on the Balanced Day be included in the list of future agenda items.
Superintendent Labrie advised that the following is a list of items to be included in the agenda package under Future Agenda Items:
• Secondary Improvement Planning
• ITS Strategic Plan
• Overview of Continuing Education Programs
• Balanced Day
• Community Group Access to Students within Schools
KFL&A Science Fair
Trustee Chadwick advised that the KFL&A Science Fair is being held April 7 and 8, 2011 at McArthur Hall, Faculty of Education, Queen’s University. She further advised that the awards ceremony is being held the afternoon of April 8th.
Next Meeting Date
The next meeting of the Education/Human Resources Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, April 20, 2011, at 4:30 p.m.
MOVED BY Trustee Chadwick, that the meeting adjourn at 5:50 p.m.–Carried