Spotlight October 13

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Niagara Catholic Continues to Exceed Provincial Averages in EQAO Assessments

The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) has released the assessment results for Grade 10 students, who wrote the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) in March, 2015, including the results for the Niagara Catholic District School Board.

Ninety-three per cent of students in Ontario fully participated in the OSSLT in their Grade 10 year, and 82 per cent successfully completed the test.

Ninety-two per cent of Niagara Catholic’s Grade 10 students participated in the annual literacy test in the spring of 2015, and 88 per cent successfully completed it. Niagara Catholic’s results were again higher than the provincial average, and are an increase from last year’s assessment. Niagara Catholic’s 2015 OSSLT results are available online.

Board Chair Father Paul MacNeil said this year’s result is the culmination of many years of partnerships, all aimed at ensuring students meet their full potential. “We at Niagara Catholic are most grateful for all our partnerships, including parents, teachers, support staff and volunteers who play such an important role in student success,” said Father MacNeil. “We will use the data released today to help us make wise, fact-based decisions. At the same time, we also believe that every student – and indeed every partner – is a child of God with their own unique gifts and talents, and they are meant to shine brighter than any data point can ever show. These two principles – wise use of data and the uniqueness of each student – will continue to enrich every relationship, guide every decision and help us remain committed to the well-being of every individual at Niagara Catholic.”

Director of Education John Crocco congratulated the students and staff for their focused work which results in student success throughout the year.

“At Niagara Catholic, we are extremely proud of the exemplary Catholic leadership of our school and system administrators, the dedication and skills of our talented staff and the commitment of our students to academic excellence” said Mr. Crocco. “The OSSLT is a requirement for all Ontario students to receive their Ontario Secondary School Graduation Diploma, and is one of the many pieces of evidence that Niagara Catholic uses as a system, and schools use individually, to measure student achievement. Combined with other data, assessments, and the important interactive dialogue with students, parents and staff throughout the school year, this provides consistent opportunities for feedback and planning to design and provide programs and services for the success of all students in all schools throughout the Niagara Catholic District School Board.”


Making Math Meaningful

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Niagara Catholic’s Mathematics team has been introducing a comprehensive Mathematics program, modelled after the School Effectiveness Framework. This framework encompasses all the components required to deliver an effective Mathematics program at any level, and focuses on an entire Mathematics program, rather than any one aspect in a Mathematics program. This provides a “big picture” for staff, and sets the direction of the Mathematics team for coming years, as staff work to continually increase student achievement across the system.

Niagara Catholic Superintendent of Education Mark Lefebvre and Chris Moscato, the Board’s K-12 Math Consultant, presented the report to the Board  during the October 13 Committee of the Whole Meeting. Read the full report in the agenda.


Parent Involvement Update

According to provincial legislation, School Councils are required to make an annual report to their Board, outlining the membership and activities of the Board.

During the October 13 Committee of the Whole Meeting, Shonna Daly, Chair of the Niagara Catholic Parent Involvement Committee (NCPIC), presented the 2014-2015 Report to the Board. The report is available in the October 13 Committee of the Whole agenda.


Parents Reaching Out Grants

Twenty-eight Niagara Catholic schools have been approved for more than $26,000 from the Ministry of Education, as part of its Parents Reaching Out Grant initiative. Projects this year include ones for parent engagement, online safety/social media awareness, bullying awareness and prevention, health and wellness sessions including mental health programs, literacy and numeracy sessions and an Aboriginal knowledge family evening. View the complete list of projects in the Committee of the Whole agenda.

In addition, the Niagara Catholic Parent Involvement Committee (NCPIC) has been granted $10,000 for its Pray, Love and Learn: A Family’s Educational Journey Project. This initiative is a partnership with the Alliance Committee, and will host a series of parent workshops throughout the Niagara Region, in support of parent engagement, student achievement and well-being.


Policy Vetting

As part of its regular, cyclical review of policies, Niagara Catholic is currently vetting two policies with stakeholders. Stakeholders may provide comments about Attendance Support Program Policy (201.16) and Asthma (New) by November 12, 2015. Comments are to be sent to Jennifer Pellegrini, Communications Officer, by email at Jennifer Pellegrini by 4 p.m. on November 12 for consideration at the next Policy Committee meeting.


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