Friday, Nov. 3, 2023
Dear Parents and Guardians,
The monthly Letter to Families, distributed on the first Friday of the month, is intended to keep you apprised of news that affects all students and families of Near North District School Board (NNDSB).
Schools in NNDSB will be acknowledging Indigenous Veterans’ Day (Nov. 8) and Remembrance Day (Nov. 11) next week.
Anyone interested in learning more about Francis Pegahmagabow, a soldier from Wasauksing First Nation in the First World War is invited to watch Sounding Thunder: The Stories of Francis Pegahmagabow. Grade 11 students from across the board attended this live performance last year.
Beginning this September, all publicly funded school boards were required to adopt provincial student achievement priorities and metrics to help students improve EQAO scores in reading, writing and math. To further support students facing challenges with math, Ontario launched the math action achievement plan, a strategy to boost math competence in the classroom and improve board accountability. This includes:
- one math lead per school board with the focus of helping improve math outcomes for students. These leads will be responsible for curriculum implementation and standardized training and lead board-wide actions to meet targets;
- more than 300 math coaches province-wide, who will provide direct support in classrooms;
- new math action teams working directly with school boards to identify and recommend targeted strategies to improve student achievement.
NNDSB has allocated school-based math facilitators in our priority schools to support the province’s math achievement action plan. System-wide, we are working to implement professional learning, assessment and instructional resources, and planning tools to support quality math learning in our schools.
Families are important partners in students’ learning, and we look forward to hosting math information events and sharing new tools and resources to our school communities throughout the 2023-24 school year.
Here are some key digital resources that can support a home/school connection in math:
DreamBox Learning – Grades 1-3: DBL is an adaptive tool that NNDSB has provided for primary students over the last several years. This engaging digital platform provides opportunities for gamified math learning based on each student’s unique needs. Students have access to interactive math tasks and tools that connect to resources they use at school. Students are encouraged to continue this learning at home through the Clever portal, found on the NNDSB Home Page.
Knowledgehook – Grades 4-10: This digital tool is new to NNDSB, and we are excited to see the benefits of its integration in our junior and intermediate math classes through “game shows” and “missions”. If your child has used this tool in their math classroom, they can continue to explore grade-appropriate practice questions at home by accessing Knowledgehook through Clever on the NNDSB Home Page. They will log in using the same username and password they use at school.
The annual Bullying Awareness and Prevention week is happening Nov. 19-25, 2023. Students will engage in a variety of activities to support conflict resolution, building and maintaining healthy relationships, cyber safety and more.
Pink shirt day (Nov. 22) is dedicated to addressing bullying awareness and promoting initiatives to prevent it.
Each school will make its own plans for the week, so watch for details from your child’s school.
The board’s mental health team engaged in two days of cultural mindfulness training to work towards the department’s multi-year strategic plan (MYSP) goal of providing culturally responsive mental health supports. The staff received training in the history of and continued impact of colonialism on Indigenous Peoples, and cultural traditions and practices.
A mental health and addiction MYSP priority is equitable and inclusive supports that help address the barriers that reinforce marginalization and oppression and ensure that mental health services are culturally response to the unique mental health and well-being needs of each student and family.
The training (attended by 28 staff and five Bachelor of Social Work practicum students) provided base knowledge of historical issues and how they continue to impact upon First Nations, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) communities and individuals as well as cultural practices to support our work with students.
On Friday, Sept. 20, approximately 85 French as a Second Language (FSL) teachers from NNDSB met for a professional development session featuring a keynote address by Katy Arnett, professor at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and author of Accès au Succès. Her expertise in the field of FSL education is widely recognized; she delivered an inspiring speech that left a lasting mark on the attendees.
She shared her experiences and insights from her book, which has become a valuable resource for FSL educators seeking to help their students achieve success in language learning. This event, organized in conjunction with Nipissing University, was a remarkable opportunity for FSL teachers to enhance their skills, gain fresh insights, and connect with fellow educators in a collaborative setting.
It’s through events like this that we can collectively work to elevate the quality of French language education in NNDSB.
A reminder about inclement weather days: alerts for delays and cancellations can be found on Nipissing Parry Sound Student Transportation Services’ website. Delays and cancellations will also be posted on NNDSB’s Facebook page as early as possible (usually by 6 or 6:15 a.m.), and local radio stations broadcast this information. Families are encouraged to create an account with NPSSTS so they can access information via the parent portal. NPSSTS has a tip sheet that can help families prepare for inclement weather days.
When buses are cancelled, schools usually remain open for students who can safely make it to school. We kindly remind you that transportation is cancelled for the whole day, so students who are dropped off in the morning must also be picked up at school at the regular dismissal time.
If buses to your school are either cancelled for the day and/or schools closed, instruction and related student activities should be provided for your child to complete at home. These activities may include online or offline activities that every child can access. We understand that because each school and community is unique, plans will vary across the board in response to local contexts. However, we endeavour to ensure that the learning continues for students, despite the weather outdoors. For more information visit this page of the website.
The public is invited to all committee of the whole and Board meetings, which can be accessed via this link. The meeting ID is 899 1167 8742, the passcode is 859936 and the number to dial in is 1-855-703-8985.
The next meeting of the Board will be held Tuesday, Nov. 14. The committee of the whole meeting takes place at 5 p.m., the annual organizational meeting will take place at 6 p.m. and the business portion of the Board meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m
The audit committee will be meeting on Nov. 27 at 3 p.m. Here is the link to the meeting. The meeting ID is 836 2983 5030, the passcode is 672917 and the number to dial in is 1-855-703-8985.
For more information on board and committee meetings, visit this page of the website. Open the accordions of each section to find membership and meeting information.
Near North District School Board