Director of Education Update: January 2019
North Bay Secondary Schools
With a decision regarding the 2019/202 student transitions confirmed, the focus is now on communicating that message to the community. All North Bay high schools remain open and the Fricker graduating Grade 8 students will be either moving to specialized programs offered at Chippewa and West Ferris or Widdifield as their receiving home school. WJ Fricker remains open next year as usual and the work schedule for the new building has been reassessed.
Communication mechanisms include media releases and use of social media platforms. In addition, radio ads highlighting the parent information nights for Chippewa and Widdifield will be released soon indicating the dates as February 13 and February 12, 2019.
Thanks to West Ferris staff and students who welcomed parents to their building to explain their programming expectations and offerings on January, 17, 2019.
3:2 Consolidation -Staff Input
On January 8, 2019, the Director met with any staff members from the three North Bay high schools who wished to share their thoughts/concerns/considerations regarding the 3:2 North Bay high school consolidation with trustees. This information was shared with all Trustees.
Bus Cancellation Days
With inclement weather resulting in bus cancellations, Senior staff, principals and teachers have been focusing on communicating that that our schools remain open with learning opportunities during the day. Parents can expect that classes may be combined, or teachers may work with small groups, as educators continue to welcome students and complete or update communication and lesson plans, offer extra support for individual students and work through EDSBY to communicate work that students could complete at home (as available). We also continue to try to address equity issues for those students and families who may not have access to wifi in our pre-planning.
Overall our enrolment in the elementary panel throughout the region has increased by 199 students over projected enrolment.
Within the secondary panel enrolment has decreased across the region by 78 student. Schools most affected were Northern, FJ McElligott, Parry Sound, Chippewa and Widdifield. Again, some of the numbers can be explained and others are of concern with specific grade loss leaving us with questions. Almaguin and West Ferris are both up in their overall FTE of 30 FTE for both schools combined. Chippewa and Widdifiled are down a total of 39 FTE.
Some variances can be easily explained, and others require further analysis to understand trends and projections.
Parent Involvement Committee – Upcoming Speaker
Congratulations to our Parent Involvement Committee who have secured Annie Kidder as presenter for the Near North District School Board on March 4, 2019. Ms. Kidder is a highly influential figure in Ontario and Canada as the Executive Director of People for Education
“People for Education is a unique organization in Canada: independent, non-partisan, and fueled by a belief in the power and promise of public education. We create evidence, instigate dialogue, and build links so that people can see – and act on – the connection between public education and a fair and prosperous society.” (https://peopleforeducation.ca/)
Ms. Kidder is often on TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin discussing educational issues.
The Women of Lockerbie:
I had the distinct pleasure of attending the production of The Women of Lockerbie (By Deborah Brevoort) which completed its 4-day run just Friday. The play dealt with some challenging and emotional subject matter of the crash of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland December 21, 1988 and the aftermath for those in Lockerbie and parents of a victim. The performances of Grade 9-12 students from all three North Bay high schools enrolled in the night school theater arts program were profoundly moving. Congratulations to all cast and crew who took part in this production.
Naagaanshki-Nishnaabemjik, The new language speakers leading the way
The NNDSB Indigenous Education team were successful in their application to the Ministry of Education for funding to support the delivery and development of a leadership opportunity for Indigenous students (Grades 7-12) in a culturally relevant context. Consistent with the priorities set as by the First Nation Advisory Council, Indigenous Education Advisory Circle and the Truth and Reconciliation: Calls to Action, the focus of the leadership gathering was to be around language revitalization. Students from schools of the NNDSB that currently offer Ojibwe Language as well as Nibissing Secondary School on Nipissing First Nation alongside their language teachers, took part in a 3-day Language Learning and Leadership Gathering at Spirit Point with a focus on language revitalization and leadership through the development of a network of youth language leadership. Local Elders and Knowledge keepers supported this locally rich learning and leadership opportunity.
Director of Education
January 22, 2019