The 2018/2019 school year is off to a great start and as in past years, the Near North District School Board (“NNDSB”) continues to meet the priorities and commitments identified in the Multi-Year Plan. This Report will focus on the ways in which we are achieving the following two priorities:
- Excellent in the Teaching and Learning Environment; and
- Excellence in Creating a Culture of Caring.
Excellence in Teaching and in the Learning Environment:
The NNDSB’s Multi-Year Plan identifies the following commitments with respect to the teaching and learning environment:
- Become a learning and research driven board
- Continue to develop early years to graduation practices
- Develop and promote growth mindset in all staff and students early years to graduation
- Ensuring Equity: Provide access to resources, technology and experiences that meet student’s strengths and needs
- Set high standards for all students and address gaps as identified for targeted support
Our programming staff have been working diligently to establish programs and resources that will support of staff and students in their leaning needs. This includes the development of French as a Second Language Resources and Math and Literacy Resources. For the October Board Meeting we have chosen to highlight two programs that demonstrate how we are meeting our commitments.
Transforming FSL Resources: This project aligns very well with our primary literacy project through the shared themes of authentic meaningful learning opportunities and the use of student work captured through pedagogical documentation to support language acquisition, in this case second language.
Getting to Know our Students as Mathematicians: The work of this project dips into a fair number of areas on the grid under Numeracy. These areas include EQAO leads, Math Assessment Resource, Focusing on the Fundamentals of Math – Educator Learning, SWST and Math Facilitator School Support, as well as, Professional Development and Principal Learning Networks.
Focus on our North Bay Intermediate/Secondary Schools
Specialist High Skills Majors (“SHSM”) – Once again the NNDSB has outdone itself in the many offerings of these unique and focused programs designed to offer our Grade 11 and 12 students career path opportunities which match their skills and interests. Students receive the SHSM seal on their secondary diploma after completing 8-10 courses in the student’s selected field. Students earn valuable industry certification and may gain important skills on the job with actual employers. SHSMs offer our students the opportunity to explore, identify and hone in on career goals by making informed choices about their next steps beyond secondary school. We have nearly twice the footprint of the province for our SHSM programs and the graduation rate for SHSM students is an average of 5% higher than those who are not in SHSM!
|Almaguin Highlands Secondary
· Health and wellness
· Information Communication Technology
|Parry Sound High School
|· Health and Wellness
· Hospitality and Tourism
|Chippewa Secondary School
|Northern Secondary School||· Hospitality and Tourism|
|West Ferris Secondary
|· Arts and Culture
|· Arts and Culture
· Health and Wellness
Excellence in Creating a Culture of Caring
The NNDSB’s Multi-Year Plan identifies the following commitments with respect to the creation of a culture of caring:
- Create and understand strategies to have students feel more included and understood
- Promote a culture based on trusting relationship, shared responsibility and thoughtful action
- Celebrate and recognize the achievement of staff and students
These commitments are often achieved through the establishment of unique programming and learning opportunities in partnership with local organizations. Such opportunities provide our students and staff with the opportunity to engage in thoughtful and introspective learning in unique environments. For the October Board Meeting we have chosen to highlight two such programs that have allowed for interactive experiences outside the classroom that develop a sense of belonging and awareness in our students.
Biosphere: The NNDSB appreciates and thanks the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve for their ongoing support and educational resources including the curriculum-based Lessons in a Backpack. This program is designed for grades 1-9 with local ecology as the focus for the classroom and school yard. Classroom visits are available to explore: State of the Bay Ecosystem Health, Integrating Local Climate Knowledge and the Curriculum, Science Journals for Kids, Teaching Teens about Climate Change, and the Fall Green Teacher Webinar Series.
Learning Together: Learning Together/Apprenons ensemble is an interactive conference for families with young children (ages birth to approx. 8 years). It has been held annually for the past 13 years with the location rotating among the four school Boards. Nipissing University and Canadore College alongside the four Boards and many community agencies such as the YMCA, Early On, the Health Unit, Student Nutrition etc. are proud contributors and sponsors. This year it was held on Oct. 13 at Chippewa Intermediate Secondary School with more than 300 families and children in attendance. Together, children and families engaged in literacy and numeracy activities, outdoor nature crafts, moved through dance, yoga and Martial Arts, touched many a truck, observed reptiles, explored space and shared healthy snacks among many other activities. One of our EW families said that the Planetarium from Science North was a big hit. Their young lad loved the mini-triathlon and was very proud of completing it! This year an educator and student from Widdifield animated children and their families’ hopes and dreams for our community. This piece of art will be displayed at City Hall.
Finally, please note that West Ferris hosted an evening to meet the trustee candidates October 18, 2018. Many thanks to our incredible North Bay School Councils for their efforts to offer this important event. We are very grateful for this important night and for highlighting this opportunity to all of those interested in furthering public education and the efforts of the NNDSB.
Director of Education