Education Committee Report April 17, 2012

Education Committee April 17, 2012 report to OCASC by Chris Ellis

 Michael Wilson, Co-Chair, Advisory Committee on the Arts re Roles of the Arts in OCDSB Strategic Plan presented a report which contained the following recommendations.

1. The OCDSB should examine how effective opportunities in all of the arts, to all of our students, in all of our schools can be ensured.

2. The OCDSB should examine how best to ensure that all regular classroom teachers, Grades 1 – 6, can provide meaningful instruction in all of the arts or the arts as a whole.

3. The ACA recommends re-examination of how best to use the “networking” model and instructional coaches, in the provision of the most effective possible in-service education in the arts for all Grade 1 – 6 teachers.

4. The ACA recommends that all separate arts subjects, taught in Grades 7 – 12, are taught by OCT qualified teachers.

Report 12-076, Revisions to P.044.CUR Supervised Alternative Learning for Excused Pupils Committee (SALEP) 

Supervised Alternative Learning is applicable to students between the ages of 14 and 18. The purpose of supervised alternative learning is to provide pupils who have significant difficulties with regular attendance at school with an alternative learning experience and individualized plan to enable the pupil to progress towards obtaining an Ontario secondary school diploma or achieving his or her other education and life goals.

Changes to P.044.GOV, – Supervised Alternative Learning for Excused Pupils (Now SAL)

The proposed revisions to the policy reflect the new regulation, bringing our district to compliance. Also, the policy will establish the principles for the Board of Trustees to support student achievement, retention and graduation rates. Subsequently, the development of a procedure will provide specific direction and support for staff in implementing SAL programs and direction and support for the Supervised Alternative Learning Committee (SALC) on the requirements and processes of the committee.

Currently, the district’s committee for SALEP uses the process for a very limited number of students, approximately half a dozen per year.

11. The key changes to the policy includes:

  • Renaming the policy P.044CUR Supervised Alternative Learning. This change corresponds with the movement of the policy to the curriculum area.
  • A definitions section was added.
  • General policy principles about the Board of Trustees and District supporting student attendance, retention, and achievement.
  • A purpose statement about SAL which is linked to the success and well-being of the student.
  • The updated requirements for the SAL referral and application process.
  • Minor revisions to the Committee Composition section and the addition of a Committee Meetings Section.
  • The reflection of the overall changes in the regulation including the new regulation number (374/10) and new terms such as Student Success lead, and Student Success teacher.

Recommendations of the OCDSB Special Education Policy Ad Hoc Committee 

A significant portion of the meeting was taken up reviewing this report. There were a number of questions directed to and answered by the authors of this report, Trustee Funiciello, Trustee Campbell, and Trustee FitzGerald. Staff indicated that a response to the recommendations would be forthcoming. They will get back to trustees regarding when that report might be expected. This would be a significant policy change from the current special education policy if the recommendations are accepted.

Report 12-078, Update regarding English as a Second Language Initiatives in the OCDSB 

was a lengthy report but has some very interesting information on how the District is addressing the needs of students were in English as a second language.

Report 12-075, OCDSB Environmental Education Steering Committee Update 

Among other items the following are from this report

  • OCDSB schools have participated in the following system-wide events in support of National/International Environmental Education initiatives, including: Waste Free lunch, Sweater Day, Walk to School Day, Water Bottle Free Day and Earth Hour. Additionally, our district continues to support the School Travel Planning program which has the goal of creating greater supports for students walking to school.
  • The EESC has continued its support for the implementation of the provincial EcoSchools program. As a result of the support of both the Curriculum and EcoSchools sub-committees, our district has experienced an increase in participation in the EcoSchools certification process from 23 schools becoming certified in the Spring of 2011 (year one of the program) to a total 73 schools working towards certification this spring.