Students - Every student will be
intellectually engaged in their learning and socially engaged in their school.
To support literacy development in Kindergarten students, a variety of strategies were put in place to document learning and monitor progress. The Halton District School Board’s Literacy Plan includes an Emergent Literacy Project that focuses on building knowledge and understanding how to support emergent readers and writers with effective assessment and instructional strategies.
During the 2016-2017 school year, the Board experienced its highest results ever in the Grade 3 EQAO Reading assessment. An increase of 3 percentage points moved the Board’s results to 82% of students achieving the provincial standard. The Board continues to focus on Comprehensive Literacy Programs in primary classrooms. These include assessments for learning, differentiated learning for individual students and monitoring student achievement.
On the Grade 6 EQAO Mathematics assessment, the proportion of students achieving the provincial standard increased by 1% to 57%. The Halton District School Board’s Math Plan provides extensive support for student and staff learning. In particular, there is a focus on developing students’ learning profiles, analyzing student work and monitoring student achievement to create differentiated and responsive learning environments.
A series of Math video’s were developed during the 2016-2017 school year and shared with families of Halton District School Board students. These videos were viewed more than 2,400 times by members of our school communities.
At the secondary school level, staff working with students in applied courses continue to implement the Halton District School Board’s Applied Learning Strategy which includes release time for monitoring and co-planning and professional learning for teachers. The Applied Learning Strategy was developed with qualitative and quantitative data along with student input.
In Applied French classes, students benefit from Google Read and Write and Snapverter to build reading comprehension strategies while simultaneously listening and reading their Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) levelled text. This was made possible through partnerships with Student Services and teachers who attended the Applied Institutes professional development day to learn how to support students through Assistive Technology.
What the data says…
In the 2016-2017 school year, 54% of secondary students reported being intellectually engaged (provincial average 45%), according to results from the Tell Them From Me survey.
Secondary schools are working to increase the number of students who report being intellectually engaged through their School Improvement Plan for Student Achievements (SIPSAs), professional learning plans and student voice to understand which students feel engaged and which do not.
Elementary schools have identified strategies in their SIPSAs to increase the level of intellectual engagement in students. The Board will continue to encourage and support schools in exploring innovative practices and creating engaging learning environments where students can thrive while developing global competencies.
Staff - All staff will contribute to collaborative and inclusive learning environments to enhance innovative practices and build a strong learning organization.
Utilizing the Have Your Say community engagement tool, the Human Resources department conducted a stakeholder survey that asked system leaders how they perceived their proficiency in areas such as performance management, progressive discipline and equitable recruitment. The collection of this baseline data is being used to design a training plan and track the Board’s progress in increasing system leader proficiency over the next three years.
A review has been undertaken by the School Programs and Facility Services departments to determine appropriate divisions of responsibility with respect to repairs and upgrades to facilities and equipment in technological areas within schools.
Cross-department teams between academic and corporate areas have been established to provide enhanced service to the system. The French Model Change Implementation Steering Team and the PAR Steering Team are examples of these cross-department committees, consisting of representation from multiple departments to support the implementation of the new French Immersion (FI) model.
The SHIFT project was implemented in the 2016-2017 school year as a collaborative way for teachers to look at learning conditions to foster innovation, in schools and for students.
The Technology Help Desk is a collaborative project between students, families and educators to enable them to share their knowledge about technology and its use within the classroom. Students and educators work side-by-side to produce videos that help users navigate the tech tools used within classrooms in a way that is authentic.
System - We will engage stakeholders using strategies to build relationships and enhance confidence in our public education system.
The Have Your Say
surveys for staff, students, parents and community members were implemented in the spring of 2017. Data was tabulated and shared with the Board and stakeholders in October 2017 and is available here.
Improved consistency in communications
One of the broad goals of the Communications department was to improve the consistency of communications between Board and individual school websites. By providing web design support to schools, all school websites were moved to the Google site platform. Web content consistency between the Board and school websites was improved with the requirement of a standardized banner of Board web links on all school homepages.
New corporate website
Following community feedback and staff involvement, the Halton District School Board launched a new website in August 2016 to provide an improved web experience. The new website was designed with parents and guardians in mind and input was gathered from parent, staff and school community focus groups across the Halton region to ensure many voices were heard.
The website offers users a clean, fresh look, improved search capabilities and uses the latest web design technology to bring attention to important updates and provide accessible content. The new website enabled the Board to incorporate video as another method to engage and inform the community of the exceptional learning taking place in schools. A total of 45 videos were produced by the Communications department in the 2016-2017 school year and were viewed nearly 10,000 times. An additional 95 short videos were posted on the Board’s social media channels. The Spotlight on Schools section of the new website is an area where users can find unique stories about students and schools within the Halton District School Board. During the 2016-2017 school year, the Board published 53 of these stories.
Stakeholders are kept up to date on Board decisions, changes and key events by having news releases displayed prominently on the site and board meetings live-streamed on the homepage and available for viewing later on the Board’s YouTube page, with links accessible through the Board Agenda and Minutes section of the website. During the 2016-2017 school year, the Board published 69 news releases for stakeholders and the media.
To be compatible with an increasingly mobile world, the new website was built to be responsive and operate on mobile and tablet devices. The new website was designed to improve the Board’s compliance with the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
Individualized trustee web pages were created to improve communication and access for parents and community members, which included a biography and ward maps.
To expand its presence and continue to reach an increasingly digital audience, the Halton District School Board initiated a Facebook social media platform (@HaltonDistrictSchoolBoard) in February 2017. The Halton District School Board continues to be active on Twitter (@HaltonDSB) and currently reaches nearly 20,000 followers on this platform. Throughout the 2016-2017 school year, the Halton District School Board kept followers engaged and informed by posting 461 times on Twitter.
The presence of the Halton District School Board’s senior administrative team and trustees on Twitter and Facebook has improved community engagement.