In the 2015-2016 school year the Board continued with its provincially recognized strategic Mathematics Plan which has been foundational in the implementation of the Renewed Math Strategy for Ontario. HDSB offered focused professional learning with
Number Talks, Leaps & Bounds intervention,
DreamBox adaptive learning technology,
Context for Learning problem solving kits and manipulatives to support developing mathematical thinking and understanding.
Every elementary school received resources to support students in the classroom. Parent engagement focused on regional learning sessions on
Kids Don’t Know Their Facts! and included the Board’s first Math Symposium for parents. As well, many schools hosted Parent/Family Math events. Five math coaches and 25 in-school math coaches supported professional learning in 50 elementary schools, while teachers from schools across the region participated in Math Institutes.
For the third year, teachers who wished to develop leadership in math were able to take Additional Qualifications courses through the Halton District School Board. Additional Qualification courses for Mathematics Specialist were offered in 2015-16 for the first time.
Literacy support for students
Resources and professional learning was developed and implemented for French literacy instruction in both Core French and French Immersion programs. Core French for primary students beginning with Grade 1 students expanded to 39 schools. In this HDSB-developed program, students communicate and interact with growing confidence in French, while developing the knowledge, skills, and perspectives they need to participate fully as citizens in Canada and in the world. With a focus on listening and speaking, students engage in the Board’s vision for learning French through active learning activities.
Support for secondary students
In response to secondary students asking for flexible and individualized learning opportunities, the HDSB provided opportunities to engage in self-paced learning which was implemented board-wide in all secondary schools. eLearning is also a growing phenomenon with a total of 1621 credits were earned across the 47 different courses offered online in 2015-2016.
Halton secondary schools offered 56 Specialist High Skills Major Programs (SHSM) in 15 different sectors, as well as Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Programs in 13 skill areas and a vast array of regional speciality programs . In 2015-2016 a new SHSM program in the Agriculture sector was added at Acton High School and, at Milton District High School, two new SHSM programs were added in Construction and Health & Wellness.
In February 2016, the Halton District School Board hosted training in Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) for 38 SHSM Program Lead teachers. This training was passed along to students in four SHSM programs.
Dual Credit programs are offered for students who are disengaged from school for a variety of reasons, but have the potential to successfully graduate high school. In total, 226 students participated in Dual Credit programs where they could simultaneously earn high school credits and college credits or their Level 1 apprenticeship.
Approximately 400 students from nine high schools participated in FIRST Robotics program -- an increase of 100 more students than the previous year.
VEX Robotics continues to grow for Grade 7 and 8 students with more than 300 elementary students participating from 21 schools. Four secondary schools offered locally developed programming using VEX Robotics as a focused intervention for at-risk Grade 8 students in the LEAP Program.
More than 330 elementary students in Grades 1-3 and 6-8, participated in a Robotic program funded by the Council of Ontario Directors of Education (CODE).
Pathways Planning Information evenings were held in all Halton communities for parents and students in Grades 7-12 with nearly 2,000 in attendance. Information on career exploration and pathways programing included SHSM, OYAP and Dual Credit program offerings.
Goal 3 -
Every student will learn in a safe and inclusive school environment
The Welcome Centre opened in September 2015 providing a central location to welcome newcomer families and assist with making a smooth transition to school and the Halton community. Services include registration, academic and language assessment, and resources about the Ontario school system. Settlement services are also available including resources about community groups, opportunities for volunteering, and community connections. The Welcome Centre is located at 215 Ontario Street, Milton.
Goal 4 - Every Kindergarten to Grade 3 student will receive intensive guided instruction in reading. Students who do not demonstrate movement towards their grade level target, will be assessed and supported by a second tier of support.
In the 2015-2016 school year the Board continued to provide professional learning and resources support to ensure Kindergarten to Grade 3 students move toward their grade level target in reading. This support included
Leveled Literacy Intervention resources and training in every school with Grade 1, Raz Kids to all Grade 1-3 students, and home reading packages. Teachers attended Literacy Institutes for Primary, Junior, or Intermediate literacy, Running Records, and workshops to help them monitor student reading and writing.
Leveled Literacy Intervention was provided by Learning Resource Teachers (LRTs) in 29 schools.
Leveled Literacy Intervention program is a small group intervention strategy designed for students who have not met the grade level benchmark for reading and to further students’ written expression. Teachers work with students to close the gap and reach grade level performance. In the
Leveled Literacy Intervention program, 655 Grade 1 students participated and 77% of these students were approaching the end-of-year reading target at the completion of the sessions. As well as supporting students in further developing their reading and writing skills, the increased confidence levels in students enable them to access deeper learning in all parts of the Ministry of Education curriculum.
Goal 5 - Every student will receive research-based instructional strategies, differentiated to the needs of students
- 17.3% of students (11,009 students) received special education support through an Individual Education Plan (IEP) during the 2015-16 school year.
- In 2015-2016 the Board’s Applied Strategy was launched in improve engagement and achievement for students in applied level programs. The program is called “CARE” -- Challenging, Authentic, Relevant, Experiential”. Staff were provided with training to achieve CARE through five foci: culture, professional learning, curriculum, learning environments and structures such as alternative furniture.
- Students in the Community Pathways Programs continue to be actively engaged in completing the Employability Skills Certificate. In the 2015-2016 school year an additional Community Skills Certificate was developed which will lead to more opportunities for students when implemented in September 2016. These programs operate in six secondary schools with more than 100 students participating in 95 community co-op placements.