Friday, June 3, 2022
Dear Parents and Guardians,
This monthly Letter to Families is intended to keep you apprised of news that affects all students and families of Near North District School Board (NNDSB). The Letter to Families is distributed on the first Friday of the month.
Nipissing Parry Sound Transportation Services (NPSSTS) and its partner bus lines are presenting the First Rider Program in August throughout the district.
The program is designed to familiarize junior kindergarten students with the bus, help them overcome fears and teach children and their families bus safety procedures, including how to get on and off the bus safely.
The First Rider program allows students to ride a bus on their own for the first time while their families take part in an information session. Upon completion of the session, students will receive a snack and certification of accomplishment.
Sessions are taking place on the following dates. To register your child for a session call NPSSTS at 705-472-8840.
West Nipissing: English and French sessions taking place twice each day on Wednesday, Aug. 17 and Friday, Aug. 19.
North Bay: Monday Aug. 15 through Saturday, Aug. 20 several times throughout the day, with a session in French on Aug. 17 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Parry Sound: Tuesday, Aug. 16 at 9:30 and 11 a.m. and Thursday, Aug. 18 at 11 a.m. and a French session at 1 p.m.
Sundridge (at the Sundridge Fire Department, 146 Ontario St.) on Wednesday, Aug. 24 at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. and a French session at 4:30 p.m.
It is that time of year again when we look to welcome our newest and youngest learners into the NNDSB family! If you have a child that was born on or before Dec 31, 2018, they are eligible to begin school this September.
To register, follow this link and complete the form. We recommend families register as soon as possible. Your child’s school will be conducting Journey into Learning events this spring to share information about your child’s classroom, program and school community; call your local school to find out more.
Following is information about program supports for all students and their families.
Students in Grades 7-10 in 35 schools throughout the board continue to use Lexia PowerUp to close literacy gaps. This resource addresses the instructional needs of a wide range of students, from struggling to nearly proficient readers, by identifying skill gaps and providing personalized, systematic instruction in word study, grammar and comprehension. Professional development and support continue to be provided to teachers to assist them in driving instruction while implementing best practice in their classrooms.
Acadience Reading 7/8
Intermediate teachers across the board have been given access to Acadience Reading, a universal screening and progress monitoring assessment that measures the acquisition of content area literacy skills for students in Grades 7 and 8. This literacy tool will assist teachers in planning daily classroom instruction and assessments that are evidence-based while providing differentiated and personalized instruction to meet students’ specific needs.
The diplôme d’études en langue française (DELF) is an internationally-recognized certification in the French language based on the levels of the CEFR. The DELF exam is taken outside the required component of the regular French as a Second Language program. Upon successful completion of the exam, students will receive a DELF certificate awarded by the French Ministry of National Education (France). This year, 47 NNDSB secondary students across all regions will be challenging the exam.
Forest Practitioner Course
Eleven NNDSB kindergarten teachers and early childhood educators participated in the first installment of a year-long forest practitioner course provided by the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada at the Canadian Ecology Centre. Educators are learning to deepen and foster a meaningful relationship with the land, deepen their understanding of child-led inquiry and child-led, play-based learning and integrate forest philosophy within a regular school. The course aligns with the full-day kindergarten program, NNDSB’s outdoor education framework and NNDSB’s multi-year strategic plan.
The Skilled Trades ‘RISES” to the Occasion
On April 27, 2022, approximately 75 NNDSB families received their culinary kits in preparation for the Build a Pizza Night Initiative. Build a Pizza night was an engaging opportunity for students and their families to test their culinary talents while learning more about the pathways to the skilled trades. This was a virtual interactive experience guided by a red seal chef and hosted by the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) and School College Work Initiative (SCWI).
Secondary Summer Learning Program
NNDSB is pleased to offer students across our district a number of opportunities for summer learning. Our registrations for high school credit courses will occur through the provincial PRISM system and will be offered via e-learning. If your child is interested, please have them see their guidance counsellor to register. The courses will take place from July 4-29 and the registration deadline is June 24. The Summer of the Arts program is a credit granting program that is new this year and will be offered in-person at West Ferris Secondary School. Also new this year is NNDSB STEM camp. This will be in-person for students in Grades 7-10. This program will run in the mornings for three weeks and students will get hands-on experience with STEM education while learning foundational literacy and numeracy skills. For information on any of our summer learning programs, please contact Terri Reidt, Summer School Secretary at 705-472-5419 ext. 5991.
LIFT (Learning and Innovation Fund for Teachers) Projects Advance Skills in Math and Coding
At the start of the 2021-2022 school year, several school teams applied for and were granted funds to support educator learning projects. Many of these projects included opportunities for educators to collaborate and increase their understanding of effective mathematics and coding instruction. Alongside coordinators and curriculum leads from NNDSB’s program department, educators at Mattawa District Public School and intermediate educators at Chippewa Secondary School engaged in learning about the latest math curriculum and problem-solving, and used this to co-plan, co-teach, and reflect on lessons. Educator teams, supported by the school-based math facilitator at Silver Birches Public School, co-planned, co-taught and reflected on collaborative mathematics lessons in all math classes across the school. Educators and students at E.T. Carmichael School extended their understanding of coding and participated in a variety of activities using coding tools like Scratch and Spheros. Educators in all projects were inspired by these experiences, commenting on the value of learning collaboratively and in-person to further develop professional skills in teaching mathematics and coding.
Mathematics Knowledge Network (MKN) Professional Learning Project on Fractions
Intermediate educators and students at White Woods Public School have deepened their understanding of fractions through their participation in a project funded by the MKN through the University of Windsor. Through this work, educators participated in professional learning about how children come to understand fractions and deepened their own understanding of the complexities of fractions. Together with NNDSB math facilitators, the educators designed several lessons in response to the research and their students’ current understanding of fractions. Through these lessons, students collaborated to solve fractions problems and engaged in daily mini-lessons to strengthen their understanding of fractions. Teachers commented on how their learning in this project has deepened their understanding of fractions and has made working with fractions more accessible and enjoyable for them and their students.
Ontario Association of Mathematics Educators (OAME) Virtual Conference
OAME’s annual math conference was held virtually from May 4-10 and more than 20 NNDSB educators took part in the learning to enhance their understanding of mathematics learning and instruction. Educators participated in sessions led by math education researchers, authors, and mathematics educators from across Ontario and the globe. Sessions addressed topics such as learning recovery, social emotional learning in mathematics, problem-solving, building thinking classrooms, fractions, 2020-2021 mathematics curriculum release and more. Participating educators demonstrated great dedication to their practice by attending these sessions during the evenings and weekend through the duration of the conference. Educator participation in the conference was subsidized by the NNDSB.
Edsby Report Card Pilot
An Edsby report card pilot has been underway at the elementary level across four schools and included Grades K-8. The pilot has been successful at learning more about report card implementation using Edsby and feedback from teachers has been valuable in helping refine support documentation and resources. In addition to the benefits around digital distribution and access for students and parents, teachers were able to efficiently access their documentation and observations to help inform report card comments, marks and learning skills.
Learning Recovery Tutoring Services
Students in all regions of NNDSB have had access to tutoring support over the 2021-2022 school year. The Ministry of Education initiated additional funding for tutoring support in March of 2022 to support students at risk and close gaps due to the pandemic. Since receiving these additional funding dollars, 27 after-school tutoring programs began in 23 school settings. Additionally, 32 tutors were hired to support students during the school day in 18 school settings. Those supports are being provided to students from JK to Grade 12.
Summer Learning Programs
Students in Grades 1-8 have been invited to participate in camp-like experiences that promote resilience, well-being, social interaction, and grow literacy and numeracy skills through fun and engaging activities. The Power Learning Camps and Reel Writers Camps will respond to the interests and abilities of children, leveraging curiosity and enabling authentic exploration and learning. Camps are offered in all three regions of the board and instruction is provided by qualified teachers, educational assistants and tutors.
This will be the last of the monthly Letters to Families for this school year. You can expect the next monthly letter on Friday, Sept. 2, 2022.
Near North District School Boa