Spotlight September 27


September 27, 2016


During the September 27 Board Meeting, Director of Education John Crocco presented the 2015-2016 System Priorities Achievement Report to trustees.

The System Priorities Achievement Report is presented to trustees annual in September, so they are aware of the progress made in implementing the System Priorities the previous year.

The 2015-2016 System Priorities Achievement Report is available in Section A 6.4 of the September 27 Board Meeting Agenda.


St. KateriSt. John Valley Centre to Become Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Centre

Niagara Catholic will re-name the St. John Valley Centre, an outdoor education centre enjoyed by students for many years, in honour of St. Kateri Tekakwitha.

The request was brought forward by an Ad Hoc Committee, comprised of the Superintendent of Education – Program, the Student Success Lead and students and staff at the Centre.

The Centre is the Board’s new Indigenous Alternative Education Site, and the request to re-name the St. John Valley Centre in honour of Kateri Tekakwitha, (known as “Lily of the Mohawks,”) who devoted herself to God throughout her lifetime more than 300 years ago, is supported by the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, which owns the property. The program offered at the Centre exemplifies St. Kateri’s conviction to working with those less fortunate as their advocate, and embraces the Board’s Outdoor Education Centre, as St. Kateri is the Patroness of ecology and the environment, people in exile and Native Americans.

Prior to renaming the Centre, the Board will consult with Bishop Bergie, local Trustees, the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Board, the Director of Education, Board Chaplaincy Leader, and, when possible, facility staff, local Catholic School Councils and the local Catholic school community.


Niagara Catholic Students Exceed Provincial Averages in All EQAO Assessments

The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) has released the assessment results for Grade 3 and 6 mathematics and literacy assessments, Grade 9 mathematics assessments and the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), including results for the Niagara Catholic District School Board. This is the first time that all EQAO assessments have been released at the same time.

Grade 3 and 6 students exceeded the provincial average in reading, writing and mathematics.

Seventy-nine per cent of primary students at Niagara Catholic performed at Level 3 or above on the assessment, compared to 72 per cent of the province-wide cohort. Eighty per cent of Grade 3 students obtained Level 3 or higher on the writing assessment compared to 74 per cent across Ontario, and 68 per cent of students obtained a Level 3 or higher on the mathematics assessment, five per cent higher than all Ontario Grade 3 students who took the test.

On the Junior panel, 84 per cent of Grade 6 students who participated in the assessments achieved Level 3 or higher on reading, three per cent higher than the provincial figure, 86 per cent of Junior students obtained a Level 3 or higher on writing, compared to 80 per cent in Ontario, and 56 per cent of Grade 6 students obtained Level Three or higher in mathematics, compared to the 50 per cent province-wide figure.

In the Grade 9 mathematics, 83 per cent of students in the academic stream performed at or above the provincial standard, on par with the provincial figure, and 47 per cent of students in Applied mathematics met or exceeded the provincial standard, two per cent higher than the provincial figure.

The Ministry of Education requires students to successfully complete the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test in order to graduate from secondary school. In 2016, 86 per cent of the students who wrote the test for the first time were successful. In Ontario, that figure was 81 per cent.

Mathematics will be a key focus for Niagara Catholic throughout 2016-2017, as Board and school administrators and school staff continue to work together to improve student achievement in mathematics through the Ministry of Education’s Renewed Mathematics Strategy.

“Niagara Catholic is fortunate to have a strong team of committed partners committed to student success,” said Board Chair Father Paul MacNeil. “Students work hard every day to learn new concepts and are guided by teachers and support staff who provide support and encouragement. These lessons are reinforced at home. We recognize the value of the results of these assessments, but we believe that each student has unique gifts and talents that are far more meaningful than an assessment score. We will continue to balance student achievement with the need to build up student confidence and acceptance.”

Director of Education John Crocco said the Board will continue to work toward areas of strength continue to move forward, and to focus on areas where improvement is needed.

“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 Director Crocco. “EQAO assessments are one of the many pieces of evidence that the Board and schools use to measure student achievement. Combined with other data, assessments, and the important ongoing conversations held 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 Niagara Catholic.”

Good News!

Have you checked out the Good News section of the Board website lately? If not, you’re missing some great stories and photos about our students. Be sure to check it out often to keep up to date on the fantastic things happening in our schools and across the system.

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View the complete breakdown of Niagara Catholic’s EQAO results in section C2 of the September 27 Board Meeting Agenda.