… Student engagement has skyrocketed. They’re identifying areas where they need to improve. They’re extending well beyond task and the quality of work is astounding.
New Pedagogy for Deep Learning (NPfDL)
Principals April Smith, Wendy Armstrong Gibson, Emma Bannerman, Erin Cassone, Sylvia Cattryse, Vice Principal Lorrie Goos, Program Coordinator Laurie Long, and Assessment and Evaluation Coordinator Sandy Lee presented ‘New Pedagogy for Deep Learning’ to the Board.
The Global Partnership for New Pedagogies for Deep Learning asked 1000 schools in 10 countries to be a part of the game-changing movement. Avon Maitland, represented by six schools, was chosen to represent the Canadian ‘cluster’ alongside 12 other Canadian School Boards.
Translated: ‘New Pedagogy for Deep Learning’ is a new method of teaching that encourages students to think hard, ask questions, and really work.
‘Deep learning’ occurs when a student ultimately builds their own new knowledge. In order for this to happen, the student needs to “do something” with information he/she is given – to solve problems and to think critically. The teacher challenges the student to analyze, evaluate, collaborate & communicate while asking questions, clarifying information, receiving feedback and creating something as a result of their findings.
The goal of this new method is “to create compassionate, global citizens who have the ability to communicate effectively, think critically and collaborate to create knowledge and solve real world problems in an increasingly complex and connected world.” (Michael Fullen & Maria Langworthy – authors of A Rich Seam)
“We realized that as teachers we are no longer gatekeepers of knowledge anymore. We knew something had to change and this opportunity – to be a select part of this Global implementation – came at the right time. Especially with our recent roll out of technology across the Board” – April Smith, Principal at St. Marys District Collegiate Vocational Institute.
By leveraging digital technologies and building learning partnerships in the real world students become partners in their learning.
“Since we have implemented this new approach in conjunction with digital technology student engagement has skyrocketed. They’re identifying areas where they need to improve. They’re extending well beyond task and the quality of work is astounding” – Emma Bannerman, Principal at Mitchell District High School.
More can be learned about New Pedagogy for Deep Learning in Avon Maitland by reviewing their presentation.
Communications Manager Wes MacVicar brought word a new initiative called TAKE TECH.
160 Avon Maitland students from grades 7 & 8 will be participating in a district-wide initiative that allows them to get their hands and minds on the possibilities of a career in Technology.
In partnership with Lambton College and the Technological Education departments at Listowel District Secondary School and Central Huron Secondary Schools , the AMDSB TAKE TECH – Elementary Exploration event will provide hands-on activities related to trade-related careers. Students will have the opportunity to learn and work with college instructors and secondary school staff and students. This experience will provide students exposure to skilled trades and promote better informed academic pathways and career decisions. The 8 session event will take place April 14 – 20.
Trustee Randy Wagler expressed his pride in once again being both a judge and representative of the Board for the annual Huron Perth Science Fair. Held on April 7, student scientists (Grades 7 to 9 ) from across the Avon Maitland and Huron-Perth Catholic District School Boards stood project to project for the annual event and participation in the Fair doubled over last year with 84 students and 56 projects in all. As a result of her winning project on ‘Teen Stress’, Averlee Jardine-Pilion from Huron Centennial will be going to Canada Wide Science Fair. This year the 55thCanada Wide Science Fair is being held in Montreal, QC from May 15 to May 20.
Superintendent Jodie Baker highlighted a recent trip where Stratford Northwestern students experienced Inuit culture in Pangnirtung near the Arctic Circle. The trip was part of the Eat Fit program, which was started at Northwestern by teacher Paul Finkelstein. The object is to encourage young people to cook healthy and locally sourced foods, when possible, rather than rely on packaged so-called convenience foods. Teens here who have taken culinary classes at Northwestern share the skills they’ve acquired with teens in other communities. Students at Northwestern have gone to the far north on several occasions but this was the first trip to Pangnirtung.
In May, 12 students from Pangnirtung will make their way south and will cook some more, this time at Northwestern. On May 18, the school will host a day of discovery workshop that will bring students already attending Northwestern from Cape Dorset, the students from Pangnirtung, First Nations and Metis students together to experience the food and culture of each community.
More on the trip can be read online via an article by the Stratford Beacon Herald or heard from the perspective of student Jessica Ross on CBC’s Ontario Morning Show with Wei Chen (beginning at minute 24:50).
Superintendent Peggy Blair told the Board about some visitors that Avon Maitland hosted last week. 25 educational representatives from the Netherlands visited several of our schools over two days. They are looking for ways to make their schools back home a more inclusive learning environment for all students and were studying us as an example of what can be achieved.
Approval of Tender
Approval of Tender: Roofing to F.E. Madill Secondary School, Listowel District Secondary School and Stratford Northwestern Secondary School
As part of the ongoing infrastructure improvements to be funded through Ministry capital funding a tender was let for re-roofing at F.E. Madill Secondary School, Listowel District Secondary School and Stratford Northwestern Secondary School. The Board accept the tender from Smith Peat Roofing & Sheet Metal Limited for re-roofing at F.E. Madill Secondary School in the contract amount of $355,554.50, Smith Peat Roofing & Sheet Metal Limited for re-roofing at Listowel District Secondary School in the contract amount of $201,641.72 and Smith Peat Roofing & Sheet Metal Limited for re-roofing at Stratford Northwestern Secondary School in the amount of $371,334.95.
Approval of Tender: Renovations to Howick Central Public School
The project at Howick Central is to upgrade five classrooms in the south wing of the school in a similar fashion to the work undertaken last year at this school. Work includes window, floor, door and frame replacement, as well as painting and new millwork in the classrooms. Also included is ventilation upgrades in these classrooms with demand control ventilation which will provide improved indoor air quality. Work also includes fire separation upgrades throughout the entire school. The Board accept the tender from K & L Construction for renovations at Howick Central Public School in the tender amount of $666,926.00.
Approval of Tender: Mechanical and Lighting Upgrades to Central Huron Secondary
As part of the ongoing infrastructure improvements to be funded through Ministry facility grants, mechanical and lighting work was identified as required in the small gym at Central Huron Secondary School. The work includes replacing the original 1962 heating and ventilation system with a new air handling unit. This new unit will provide improved indoor air quality with demand controlled ventilation. The original 1962 gym lighting with T12 florescent bulbs will be replaced with LED fixtures as well as upgrading the emergency lighting to meet current code. The Board accept the tender from Brad Baker Plumbing, Heating & Electrical Inc. for mechanical and lighting upgrades at Central Huron Secondary School in the amount of $139,451.04
Grants for Student Needs (GSNs) 2016/2017 Analysis
Associate Superintendent Cheri Carter presented an information report confirming the Ministry of Education’s release of the 2016-2017 Grants for Student Needs (GSNs) on March 24, 2016. As expected, the Ministry will adjust the grants for the upcoming school year to cover the costs of the centrally bargained employee collective agreements, and will provide some enhancements to cover inflationary cost increases. Adjustments are also expected to special grant funding, as the Ministry refocuses funds to support their Renewed Math Strategy. According to Carter, the Ministry’s estimates for AMDSB are in line with internal projections. She will provide updates during the budget process via the upcoming Finance Committee meetings, which are open to the public.
School Climate Survey
As in 2014, the board again surveyed all grade 4-12 students, staff and parents using anonymous climate surveys. These surveys, conducted on a regular basis, can help schools to: assess perceptions of safety, make informed planning decisions about programs, help prevent bullying and promote safe and inclusive learning environments, determine the effectiveness of programs on an ongoing basis and build and sustain a positive school climate.
The Ontario Ministry of Education provides four surveys for board use, which were conducted in February 2016. The surveys were administered as follows:
- A Survey for Students in Grades 4 to 6 About Equity and Inclusive Education, Bullying/Harassment, completed by 2618 of our junior students;
- A Survey for Students in Grades 7 to 12 About Equity and Inclusive Education, Bullying/Harassment, completed by 4701 of our intermediate/senior students;
- A Survey for School Staff About Equity and Inclusive Education, Bullying/ Harassment, completed by 581 staff members down from 806 in 2014; and
- A Survey for Parents About Equity and Inclusive Education, Bullying/Harassment, completed by 581 parents, up from 381 in 2014.
Please see the results of the survey.
Future Board Meetings
(at Education Centre unless otherwise noted)
- Tuesday, April 26, 2016 – 8:00 p.m. Regular Board Session
- Tuesday, May 10, 2016 – 5:45 p.m. Committee of the Whole – Open Session, 8:00 p.m. Regular Board Session
Future Meetings/Events with Trustee Representation
(at Education Centre unless otherwise noted)
- Ad Hoc Policy Committee: Tuesday, April 12, 2016 – 3:00 p.m.
- Learning for All Parent Workshop: Tuesday, April 19, 2016 – 6:30 p.m.at Anne Hathaway Public School Gymnasium, 77 Bruce Street, Stratford
- PIC/Digital Citizenship event: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 – 6:30 p.m.
- SAL: Tuesday, April 26, 2016 – 9:00a.m.
- Recognition Committee: Tuesday, April 26, 2016 – 5:00p.m.
- SEAC: Wednesday, May 11, 2016 – 4:00 p.m.