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April 16 - Education/Human Resources Committee Minutes
Education/Human Resources Committee Meeting Minutes
Limestone District School Board
April 16, 2014

A meeting of the Education/Human Resources Advisory Committee was held in Committee Room A at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, ON, on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, at 4:30 p.m.

H. Brown, Chair
G. Beavis
H. Chadwick (ex-officio)
A. Goodfellow
D. Jackson
M. McCormac (Student Trustee)
P. Murray
S. Ruttan       
B. Fraser-Stiff, Superintendent of Education
A. Labrie, Superintendent of Education, Human Resources & IT
S. Lehman, Supervising Principal
N. Marsh, Superintendent of Education
W. Toms, Manager of ITS and Planning Officer
K. Burra, Supervisor of Safe & Caring Schools, Assistant to the Director
H. Chadwick, Trustee
S. Ruttan, Trustee
M. Aitken, Records Management Coordinator

        Chair Brown called the meeting to order at 4:33 p.m., welcoming those present to the meeting.

1.      Approval of Agenda
MOVED BY Trustee Goodfellow that the agenda, as distributed, be approved. Carried.

2.      Declaration of Conflict of Interest

        No declarations were made.

3.       Information Technology Plans (Plan Ref. 32.) – Supervising Principal Lehman

        Supervising Principal Lehman gave a presentation on the work that the Information Technology Services and Program Departments are involved in to foster learning through technology. He shared that the IT/Program Steering Committee has met during the year and has representation from administrative groups, teachers, managers, non-union people, and support staff. The committee provides ideas and input into how IT can enhance program and corporate workings. The committee conducted student and staff consultations in the fall of 2013, speaking with approximately 100 grades 7 – 12 students, and approximately 75 teachers from elementary and secondary schools.

        Supervising Principal Lehman shared Bring IT Pilot schools are Sir John A. MacDonald, Calvin Park Public School, La Salle Secondary School, Ernestown Secondary School, Sydenham High School, and LCVI. The project’s focus is on sharing effective practices with other sites, and the goal is system-wide Bring IT implementation planned for September 2014.

        Supervising Principal Lehman presented a Mind Share Video submission from Calvin Park Public School, which is part of a province wide video competition open to schools.

        Supervising Principal Lehman advised the committee of the Mobile Technology Project, in which five different devices (6 Google Chrome Books, 6 Surface RT Tablets, 6 IPad, 6 IPad minis, 6 Dell Laptops) have been deployed to 5 teachers in the system for a period of 5 weeks to use with their students (there will be two cycles of this process this school year). Each teacher completed a pre-survey based on how they expect to use the mobile technology and will complete a post survey. Their feedback will help in making decisions around the types of technology to recommend for purchase in our system. Joanne Borges, our Connected IT Teacher is conducting the survey and supporting teachers in the use of this technology.

        Supervising Principal Lehman reported on the D2L Desire to Learn program, which is part of the Blended Learning initiative. Mr. Rob Switzer is working with teachers and schools on the effective use of D2L. The features of D2L have been shared with our K – 12 Program Team, Instructional Coaches and some schools. The OSSLC in four Alternative Sites is being delivered through a blended approach that includes D2L. Careers and Civics were delivered through D2L in the Summer Session last year and will be done again in Summer Session 2014. Careers in two high schools are being delivered through Blended Learning this semester.
        Supervising Principal Lehman informed the committee about the Learning Connections program, of which Limestone is one of eleven districts in the province participating. In this program, approximately ten K – 8 educators explore the effective use of technology in classrooms through an inquiry approach.

        Supervising Principal Lehman stated that there are a number of networking opportunities underway for teachers throughout the system. We have also engaged in a partnership with Queen’s Occupational Therapy Master’s program and Professor Richard Reeve’s Education Technology course. These opportunities will further assist educators in effectively using technology to improve learning.

        Manager Toms updated the committee on ITS Maintenance. He stated that since September, 2013, over 4,500 help desk tickets have been dealt with and closed. Also ITS is currently working on three major projects:  Active Directory/Device Management Implementation, wireless infrastructure, and upgrading computers to Windows 7.

        Manager Toms noted that ITS is working on an updating timeline for Windows 8 devices, training staff,  and the Wake On LAN program which automates hibernation and saves energy.

        Chair Brown thanked Supervising Principal Lehman and Manager Toms for the presentation and the information shared. She complimented them on the “amazing progress” that is happening at Limestone.

4.  “Elementary Math Strategy" (Strategic Plan Ref. 1.1.1) - Supervising Principal
        Tammy Giles and Superintendent Barb Fraser-Stiff

        Supervising Principal Giles and Superintendent Fraser-Stiff stated that this program
is one of growth mindset, and that all our stakeholders at Limestone are committed to the success of this multifaceted strategy in support of learning at all levels (students, teachers,
senior staff, administrators).

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff stated that the Elementary Math Strategy has the following components:

  • Growth Mindset
  • Capacity building
  • Uncovering the Curriculum
  • Proportional Reasoning
  • Instructional Tools
  • Balanced program
  • Resources
        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff informed the committee that some of the program’s resources are DVDs, school-made resources, assessments, and manipulatives (every school has a bucket of hands-on resources) so as to have strategies on how to solve problems.

        Supervising Principal Giles explained Proportional Reasoning by saying that “if students understand the concepts, they really will understand procedures, such as the five strands in mathematics. It is the foundation of math. It is the deliberate use of multiplicative relationships to compare quantities and to predict the value of one quantity based on the values of another.” Real life examples, such as cooking measurements, money, and property parameters, are used to convey the concept to students. Both students and parents can engage in conversations about where math is used in real life situations, thus fostering both comprehension and family ties.

        Supervising Principal Giles advised that plans are in place to further these programs, and during monthly meetings, organizers will speak with administrators and bring back success stories, and feedback of struggles and questions from both students and teachers. Principals and Vice-Principals are asked to bring back “artifacts’ to each monthly meeting and speak about the evidence of mathematics; what was successful, identifying the critical evidence, and what worked. Sometimes videos of students using the skills they’ve learned are brought to the meetings for presenting results. Superintendent Fraser-Stiff stated that the goal is to document the “thinking of students”; to ask students to represent their thinking on the paper so we can know what they are thinking, and how they think, and to then advise students as to how to solve their problems. She stated that this is a guided practice where once it is understood where the gap is, those students are taken aside and helped to apply the concepts. In so doing, students are required to think critically.

        Supervising Principal Giles said the system implementation and monitoring has a built-in growth mindset for the adolescent learners, and noted that this model is very similar to the Student Work Strategy (SWS) and supported by our Literacy Coach and Student Success teachers. At present, fifteen schools have participated in collaborative learning sessions, with teachers participating in co-planning. In the Student Work Strategy five schools select teachers to collaborate with the SWS teacher in the classroom, examine student work, collaborate using their knowledge, evidence and research and then devise the next steps for student learning and instructional practices of math.

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff stated that “learning doesn’t have to happen in isolation and that we should never limit our students as we cannot know what our youngest can know. We must not limit them, as per the growth mindset, but instead give them the resources to expand.”

        Supervising Principal Giles informed the committee of the Math in Action pilot project which took place in the fall of 2013 and involved seven schools. For one-and-a-half hours after school, two nights per week, Collaborative Learning (CLM) trained the tutors. The data collected from this project confirms that the confidence level of students went up, due to their success. A follow-up is being planned for the fall of 2014.

        Chair Brown thanked Superintendent Fraser-Stiff and Supervising Principal Giles for their presentation and stated that such programs will “surely make a difference in math skills in Limestone!”

5.   Update on Bill 122 (Strat. Plan Ref. 3.9) – Superintendent Labrie

        Superintendent Labrie provided an update on Bill 122. He answered Trustees’ questions.

        Chair Brown thanked Superintendent Labrie for the information shared. She asked that any questions or comments the committee might have should be brought forward at the next meeting, and asked that this item be added to the agenda.

6.      Other Business

        There was no other business at this time.

7.      Future Agenda Items
        A list of 2013/2014 tentative topics and meeting dates was distributed prior to the meeting for reference and consideration.

8.      Next Meeting Date

The next meeting of the Education/Human Resources Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, May 28, 2014, at 4:30 p.m.

9.      Adjournment             

MOVED by Trustee Beavis that the meeting by adjourned at 6:13 p.m. Carried.