Education/Human Resources Committee
October 16, 2013
A meeting of the Education/Human Resources Committee was held in Committee Room A at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, on Wednesday, October 16, 2013, at 4:30 p.m.
H. Brown, Chair
K. Burra, Supervisor of Safe & Caring Schools and Assistant to the Director
B. Fraser-Stiff, Superintendent of Education
A. Labrie, Superintendent of Human Resources
N. Marsh, Superintendent
K. Smith, Communications Officer
D. Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
Chair Brown called the meeting to order, welcoming those present to the meeting. She reported that regrets were received from Trustee Chadwick.
Approval of Agenda
MOVED BY Trustee Goodfellow, that the agenda, as distributed, be approved.–Carried
Preview of Website (Strategic Plan Reference: Item 3.10)
Mr. Burra stated that Trustees may recall that at a Trustee Retreat held the summer of 2012, Trustees talked about the different things they wanted to look at with regard to communications. He indicated that a report about school websites was brought forward, and during last year, Karen Smith, Communications Officer, and Maria Christopher, ITS Department, have been working on updating the Board’s central website. He said that Trustees will be pleased to see the appearance of it, noting that there are more user-friendly services available with it.
Mr. Burra stated that we put out a survey and received constructive feedback that echoed the frustrations we had with the website itself. He said that the initial plan was for the website to become active in early October, noting that we are now looking at having it go live later this month. He said that some segments may be delayed.
Trustees requested that the Accommodation, The Food Sharing Project and Special Education tabs be included in the quick links area on the first page.
Ms. Smith provided a virtual tour of the Board’s website, with its different type of capabilities.
Chair Brown thanked Mr. Burra and Ms. Smith for providing the above-noted information and preview of the Board’s updated website.
Ms. Smith withdrew from the meeting.
Secondary Student Achievement Results (Strategic Plan Reference: Item 1.1)
Superintendent Marsh reviewed the EQAO results for the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT). She advised that this year, 99% of the 1,419 first-time eligible students wrote the test, compared with 93% provincially. She said that with the increased participation, 76% of the first-time eligible students were successful, just one percentage point below the 77% success rate across the province.
Superintendent Marsh stated that of first-time eligible students, Limestone students scored higher than the provincial average across the Board. This year’s success rates were 95% for academic English (compared with 92% for the province), 46% for applied English (compared with 46% for the province) and 10% for locally-developed English (compared with 7% for the province).
Superintendent Marsh reviewed the results for students with special needs (which excluded gifted students). She said that 98% of students with special education needs participated in the test compared to 86% provincially, and 50% of first-time eligible students with special needs were successful, compared to 44% across the province. She advised that the proportion of Limestone students with special needs remains higher than the provincial average (+14%); however, 2013 results show our students scored 6% higher than the provincial average.
Superintendent Marsh reviewed the results for LDSB self-identified Aboriginal students. She said that these students are being more successful each year. She also reviewed the results for LDSB English language learners. She said that the provincial results are similar to ours. She said that of these LDSB students, 57% were successful, the same as the province. She said that the deferral rate in the province was 28%, and ours was also.
Superintendent Marsh reviewed the OSSLT Cohort: Grade 6 to 10, as follows:
The reading results for the 1,271 students in the cohort are as follows:
- 66% (833) met the provincial standard in Grade 6 and were successful on the OSSLT;
- 11% (146) did not meet the standard in Grade 6 but were successful on the OSSLT;
- 7% (91) met the standard in Grade 6 but were unsuccessful on the OSSLT; and
- 16% (201) did not meet the standard in Grade 6 and were unsuccessful on the OSSLT.
The writing results for the 1,271 students in the cohort are as follows:
- 59% (756) met the provincial standard in Grade 6 and were successful on the OSSLT;
- 18% (223) did not meet the standard in Grade 6 but were successful on the OSSLT;
- 7% (85) met the standard in Grade 6 but were unsuccessful on the OSSLT; and
- 16% (207) did not meet the standard in Grade 6 and were unsuccessful on the OSSLT.
Superintendent Marsh reviewed the results for the Grade 9 mathematics assessment. She said that the proportion of Limestone students who met or exceeded the provincial standard in the Grade 9 mathematics assessment was 79% in academic math and 11% better than the provincial average in applied math at 55%. She said that both results show positive trends over the past five years, with gains of 4% in academic math and 17% in applied math.
Superintendent Marsh said that the proportion of students with special education needs achieving the provincial standards was 44% in applied math compared to 35% in the province, and 77% in academic math, compared to 73% in the province. She said that 66% are achieving at levels 3and 4, compared to 39% in the province.
Superintendent Marsh stated that we have seen a growth in the number of LDSB self-identified Aboriginal students who are achieving at levels 3 or 4. She said that 76% of LDSB self-identified Aboriginal students achieved at level 3 or higher in academic math, and 58% achieved at level 3 or higher in applied math. She said that these numbers are similar to the trend overall in our district.
Superintendent Marsh reviewed the EQAO Math Cohort: Grade 6 to 9 information, as follows:
The mathematics results for the 863 students in the academic course in the cohort are as follows:
- 66% (571) met the provincial standard in Grade 6 and Grade 9;
- 13% (114) did not meet the standard in Grade 6 but met it in Grade 9;
- 8% (70) met the standard in Grade 6 but did not meet it in Grade 9; and
- 13% (108) did not meet the standard in Grade 6 nor in Grade 9.
The mathematics results for the 342 students in the applied course in the cohort are as follows:
- 16% (55) met the provincial standard in Grade 6 and Grade 9;
- 40% (136) did not meet the standard in Grade 6 but met it in Grade 9;
- 4% (14) met the standard in Grade 6 but did not meet it in Grade 9; and
- 40% (137) did not meet the standard in Grade 6 nor in Grade 9.
Superintendent Marsh commented on the research on how the brain learns. She further commented on a fixed mindset, noting that it believes that:
- Ability (talent/intelligence) is fixed
- Talent/intelligence determines potential
- Success and failure are measures of self-worth
- Seeks tasks where success is guaranteed
- Receives feedback on work as personal criticism
- Resists effort (effort + failure = humiliation)
Superintendent Marsh stated that a growth mindset believes that:
- Ability (talent/intelligence) can be increased with effort
- Strategic effort determines potential
- Failure and struggle are necessary to maximize learning
- Seeks challenges and feedback
- Applies effort to learning tasks
- Persists in the face of setbacks
Superintendent Marsh provided information about developing a growth mindset in students, as follows:
- Avoid praising talent, intelligence or smarts
- Provide students with feedback that helps them understand how to improve and give them time to use it
- Help students set goals that focus on acquiring or developing skills
- Make the value of mistakes, struggle and challenge visible to students
- Avoid giving evaluative feedback. Rather, praise and reward the process of learning that leads to achievement
- Teach students about the mindset; emphasize the values of a growth mindset
Trustee Jackson requested that information about educational training techniques be provided at a future meeting.
Chair Brown thanked Superintendent Marsh for providing the above-noted information.
Mr. Burra and Trustee Ruttan withdrew from the meeting.
Aboriginal Month (Strategic Plan Reference: Item 3.8)
Superintendent Marsh reported that in November we will be celebrating Aboriginal Month in Limestone DSB schools. She said that promotional posters focusing on cultural activities will be made available to Principals to display in their schools. She said that a secondary school conference will be held again this year. She said that we will be bringing elders into elementary school classrooms in November. She said that schools will be participating in the different Aboriginal peoples’ war efforts that Canada has been recognized for. She said that we will talk about how pleased we are to have Aboriginal students in our schools. She said that Aboriginal students will be recognized by their Principals.
Chair Brown thanked Superintendent Marsh for providing the above-noted information.
The tentative topics for future meetings include:
November 20, 2013 Specialist High Skills Major/Focus Programs
January 15, 2014 Safe Schools Update
School Year Calendar
February 19, 2014 School Year Calendar
March 19, 2013 Integrated Accessibility Standards
April 16, 2014
May 28, 1014 Climate Surveys
The following topics are also to be included at future meetings, with the timing to be determined:
Early Years Update (FDK, Extended Day, PFLC)
Information Technology Plans
Creating Pathways to Success (Individual Pathway Plan)
34 Credit Threshold
Mental Health Initiatives
Possible examples of math specifics or math as a general topic
Trustee Goodfellow requested that Mary Jane Short or another representative from Public Health be invited to a future meeting to provide information about some of their programs for schools.
Next Meeting Date
The next meeting of the Education/Human Resources Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, November 20, 2013, at 4:30 p.m
MOVED BY Trustee Jackson, that the meeting adjourn at 5:45 p.m.–Carried