The Year of Faith

Faith working through love (Gal 5:6)

The Director’s Annual Report 2013


Mission

The mission of Catholic Education in Hamilton-Wentworth, in union with our Bishop, is to enable all learners to realize the fullness of humanity of which our Lord Jesus Christ is the model.

The Catholic Community of Hamilton-Wentworth believes the learner will realize this fullness of humanity

if the learning process

  • begins at home and is part of family life
  • is nurtured within the Parish
  • is anchored in the Catholic Faith
  • takes place within the context of worship, sacraments, and the life of the Church
  • is enhanced by the school community
  • is embraced by the learner as a personal responsibility for life

if learning takes place in an appropriate and challenging environment in which members of the school community exemplify the teachings of Jesus Christ which reflects Gospel values and responsible use of human, financial and natural resources which promotes academic excellence and clear indicators of achievement.

Vision

Learners from Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Schools will demonstrate

  • knowledge and practice of their Catholic faith model
  • the capability of nurturing a strong family unit
  • esteem, respect and responsibility for self and others
  • academic competence
  • the ability to listen accurately and express knowledge clearly
  • independence, critical thinking and effective problem solving
  • proficiency with technology in order to adapt to a changing world
  • the values, attitudes and skills for effective partnerships
  • the ability to transform our society

To enable learners to achieve this vision, the faith community of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board will reflect

  • the centrality of Jesus Christ in our lives
  • the teachings of the Catholic Church
  • exemplary role models
  • social justice, respect and fairness for all
  • a dedicated staff
  • a curriculum that is dynamic, practical and relevant


Patricia Amos

Director of Education

MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION

“What the world is in particular need of today is the credible witness of people enlightened in mind and heart by the word of the Lord, and capable of opening the hearts and minds of many to the desire for God and for true life, life without end.”

This excerpt from Pope Benedict’s Apostolic Letter “Porta Fidei” for the Indiction of the Year of Faith cuts to the heart of Catholic education. Our mission in Hamilton-Wentworth is to “open and enlighten the hearts and minds” of our students through a curriculum that is dynamic, practical and relevant in a learning environment that not only reflects the teachings of the Catholic Church, but the centrality of Jesus Christ in our lives.

To enter through the “porta fidei” – door of faith – is to set out on a journey that lasts a lifetime, said Pope Benedict in announcing a Year of Faith (Oct 11, 2012-Nov 24, 2013). The journey of faith, like the journey of learning, is a lifelong process, with the roots planted early by parents in the home, clergy and religious in the parish, and educators and staff in the school. Our collective task is to prepare our children and youth for the challenges of tomorrow with minds and hearts shaped by faith.

Numerous initiatives were implemented by the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board in 2012-2013 to support our students in their learning, but more importantly, “to rekindle the gift of God that is within them” (2 Tim 1:6). The Year of Faith was an opportunity for us to reconnect with our faith through acts of compassion, love, joy, justice and charity. Many of these are outlined in this report and are a clear example of “faith working through love” (Gal 5:6).

Our success in 2012-2013 would not have been possible without the commitment, dedication and example of our teachers, principals, administrators, trustees, parents and staff. To them, I offer my sincere thanks.


Patrick J. Daly

Chairperson, Board of Trustees

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRPERSON

The Multi-year Strategic Plan, now in Year 3 of its 4-year implementation, focuses on activities and decisions in support of system goals outlined in the Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement 2013-2014. These academic goals, together with operational, financial and other non-academic goals, inform the board’s strategic direction for the upcoming year.

Not surprisingly, the themes of ‘Believing, Achieving, Serving’ were identified in this plan as strategic priorities for 2013-2014. These priorities – Faith/Catholicity, Student Achievement/Well-being and Stewardship/Resource Management – reflect our board’s ongoing commitment to excellence, a tradition that has been rooted in our system for nearly 170 years. This commitment to excellence is realized through the Christian witness and example of our senior administration, principals, vice-principals, teachers and staff, and is further complemented through our vast number of programs and resources.

Many of these are outlined in this Director’s Annual Report and speak to the unique mission of Catholic education to form students not only in knowledge, but in faith and virtue. That Catholic education is a gift was made all the more real in this Year of Faith when we were called to rediscover the joy of believing.

That joy was evident throughout the year in programs that promoted the mission and gift of Catholic Education, initiatives that demonstrated careful stewardship of Board resources, opportunities that promised equity in educational opportunity, and most importantly, activities that brought us together in faith.

In closing, I would like to recognize and thank our Director of Education Mrs. Patricia Amos, our administrative staff, teachers and staff throughout our school system for their tremendous service of the past year, and our students who inspire us by their lives.


ABOUT HWCDSB

The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board was founded in 1855 by the Sisters of St. Joseph who were charged with the daunting task of establishing Catholic schools in the Hamilton community. Since then, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board has provided a quality, faith-based education to countless generations of students from JK to high school. Today we serve more than 29,000 elementary and secondary students at 55 schools, and another 10,000 individuals through our four St. Charles adult and continuing education centres. HWCDSB employs more than 3,100 full and part-time employees, and has an annual operating budget of $316-million. Catholic schools also contribute to local prosperity through school renewal and capital building projects of close to $100-million per year. At the heart of this vibrant and very successful system is a mission statement that recognizes the value and uniqueness of each person: Our mission in Hamilton-Wentworth, in union with our bishop, is to enable all learners to realize the fullness of humanity of which our Lord Jesus Christ is the model.

SCHOOL BOARD PROFILE
(as of October 31, 2013)

 

55
Schools
29622
Enrolment
150
Self-identified First Nations, Métis and Inuit Students

 

1696
Number of Teachers
86
Principals & Vice-Principals
1343
Administrative & Support Staff

ELEMENTARY

 

 
48
Schools

90.25%

 

Percentage of Primary Classes at 20 Students or Less

 

33
Schools with Full-Day Kindergarten
16865
Enrolment (FTE); 18,679 Actual
647
ESL Enrolment
1057
Teachers

SECONDARY

 

7
Schools
10693
Enrolment (FTE); 10,943 Actual
549
ESL Enrolment
639
Teachers

 

Graduation Rate 2010-2011

85%

ST. CHARLES ADULT & CONTINUING EDUCATION

 

 
4
Adult Education Centres
10855
Enrolment
1865
Summer School

 

126
Instructors
19
Non-Teaching Staff


REVISED SPENDING ESTIMATES 2012-2013

Total Expenditures: $315,955,458
(As of August 31, 2013)

  • Instruction – 79.9%, $251,847,219

  • School Operations and Maintenance – 9.0%, $28,380,889

  • Pupil Accommodation – 6.2%, $19,553,293

  • Administration – 2.6%, $8,170,607

  • Transportation – 2.2%, $6,952,207

  • Other – 0.3%, $1,051,243



SENIOR ADMINISTRATION 2012-2013

PATRICIA AMOS


PATRICIA AMOS

Director of Education

JACKIE BAJUS


JACKIE BAJUS

Superintendent of Education

CORRADO CIAPANNA


CORRADO CIAPANNA

Superintendent of Education

MARY CIPOLLA


MARY CIPOLLA

Superintendent of Education



IVANA FORTINO


IVANA FORTINO

Superintendent of Education

GUS HUBBARD


GUS HUBBARD

Superintendent of Education

DAVID HANSEN


DAVID HANSEN

Assistant Superintendent of Education

MORRIS HUCAL


MORRIS HUCAL

Assistant Superintendent of Education



DOMENICA LEONE


DOMENICA LEONE

Assistant Superintendent of Education

SANDRA PIZZUTI


SANDRA PIZZUTI

Assistant Superintendent of Education

PAOLA PACE-GUBEKJIAN


PAOLA PACE-GUBEKJIAN

Superintendent of Finance/Treasurer

JAMES LOPRESTI


JAMES LOPRESTI

Administrator of Human Resources



DAVID MORRISSEY


DAVID MORRISSEY

Controller of Plant



EXCELLENCE

Milestones 2013

2013 was a milestone year for the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board in terms of awards, recognitions and celebrations. It was also a year of innovation and discovery as new initiatives, technologies and facilities were unveiled throughout the year. The following are our achievements of note.

In 2012-2013, Cathedral High School celebrated 100 years of “Probitas et scientia” – goodness and knowledge with a reunion weekend that united current students, staff and alumni in a number of activities including a Cathedral Gaels’ football legacy event, homecoming football games, an evening social, school tours and an anniversary mass. Elsewhere, Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Elementary School celebrated its golden jubilee while Our Lady of Peace Catholic Elementary School marked 50 years of Catholic education in Hamilton-Wentworth.

In October 2012, His Excellency Bishop Douglas Crosby kicked off the Year of Faith in Hamilton Diocese with an invitation to Catholics to experience “an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord” (Porta Fidei 6). A number of activities were planned at the school and system level through which students and staff were able to “rediscover the joy” of their faith.

After six years, the new St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Elementary School was finally completed in November 2012. A Blessing and Official Dedication took place on May 6, 2013 during Catholic Education Week, whose theme fittingly was “Growing Together in Faith.” A new 15-room addition at St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School also opened in 2013 to accommodate the school’s growing population. In other construction developments, Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary unveiled an 110,000 sq. ft. artificial turf sports field – only the second secondary school in Hamilton, after St. Thomas More, to offer such a facility.

In June 2013, Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic schools again had the distinction of being the only school board in Ontario to achieve 100 percent Ontario EcoSchools certification. Not only did they achieve full Ontario EcoSchools certification, but five high-performing eco schools were invited to pilot the program’s newly established platinum level. The five schools – St. Daniel, St. Marguerite d’Youville, Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Kateri Tekakwitha and St. Michael Catholic Elementary Schools – were presented with platinum certificates at an Eco Celebration at Marydale Park for their efforts to engage in deeper levels of achievement within the existing six sections of Ontario EcoSchools certification.

In other recognitions, Superintendent of Education Jackie Bajus received the Ontario Catholic Supervisory Officers’ Association 2013 Distinguished Leadership Award for demonstrated outstanding leadership on committees or projects which focus on enhancing the interests and needs of students.

Also honoured were Arlette McGrath, Rose Wong and Kathy Bruckmann who were named “Champions of Inclusion” by the Centre of Inclusive Education at its annual conference in October 2013. The Educational Assistants were recognized for using assistive technology to improve learning for students with special needs.

Superintendent of Education Ivana Fortino was presented with a 2013 Agency Award by the Week of Child and Youth for her efforts to create a better community for children and youth. Mrs. Fortino is a tenacious advocate and champion who has dedicated her professional life to the education and well-being of young people. In November 2013, Denise Yamoshita, Teacher-Librarian at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School, was part of a dynamic lineup of speakers at EdmodoCon 2013, a digital conference that explored how Edmodo, an effective blogging platform, can be used to leverage learning in schools. Ms Yamoshita uses Edmodo to stay connected with other educators and help students approach work from a more modern and collaborative standpoint.

Jos Nederveen, a teacher and coach at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School, was recognized for his significant contributions to high school and community sports programs with the Ray Johnson Coach of the Year Award and a Distinguished Volunteer Service Award at the City of Hamilton’s 27th Annual Sport Volunteer Appreciation Banquet in September 2013. Earlier this year, Blaize DiSabatino, coach of four-time OFSAA ‘AAAA’ senior girls’ basketball gold medallist, St. Thomas More, won the 2013 Wismer Award for High School Coaching Excellence. Not only did St. Thomas More reclaim its OFSAA champion title in 2013, but St. Mary’s girls’ won their fourth gold medal in triple A action. Other OFSAA gold medals were won in Girls’ Track by Christian Brennan (St. Mary CSS) and Taysia Radoslav (Cardinal Newman CSS), Boys’ Track by Robert Heppenstall (St. Thomas More CSS), Swimming by Martyn Siek (Bishop Tonnos CSS), and Girls’ Wrestling by Laura Chechalk (St. Jean de Brébeuf CSS).

Other student awards were realized at the Bay Area Science and Engineering Fair (BASEF) where four students from the HWCDSB – Alex Tomala (Cardinal Newman CSS), Jessica DeForest (St. Luke CES), Catharine Bowman (St. Mary CSS) and Graham Bohm (St. Augustine CES) – received Canada Wide Science Trip Awards to Lethbridge, Alberta as well as numerous corporate prizes for their exhibits. Two other students from St. Augustine Catholic Elementary School – Claire Hunter and Isabella O’Brien – were recipients of the Summa Cum Laude Award at the Canadian Virtual Science Fair in their first foray into the virtual world of science. St. Augustine also celebrated Meghan Bird’s appointment to the Minister’s Student Advisory Council in June 2013.

A new artifical turf sports field at Cardinal Newman was blessed by Rev. Martin Vallely.

Canada Wide Science Fair trip award winners at the 2013 BASEF, from left to right: Alex Tomala; Jessica DeForest; Catharine Bowman; and Graham Bohm.

St. Jean de Brébeuf student Laura Chechalk won OFSAA gold in Girls’ Wrestling.

Other firsts achieved by HWCDSB students included the Hamilton Rotary Club’s Paul Harris Fellowship awarded to Patrick Bowman (St. Mary CSS); an EF Global Citizen Student Scholarship to Costa Rica awarded to Paige Kellner (St. Mary CSS); a bronze medal at the Ontario Bar Association’s Provincial Mock Trial Competition won by St. Thomas More “Legal Knights”; a gold medal in culinary arts at the Ontario Technical Skills Competition and a silver medal at the Skills Canada National Competition won by Khalil Kinnarath (Cathedral High School); 2013 ODA Provincial Senior Concert Class and ODA Central Regional Senior Concert Class Championship Titles won by St. Mary Crusaders’ Drumline; and the Judges’ Award at the FIRST Robotics Waterloo Regional Competition by St. Mary’s MakeShift Robotics Team.

In September, members of St. Mary’s senior boys’ football team were involved in a youth cultural exchange with football players from Terry Fox Secondary School in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. The exchange, facilitated and funded by SEVEC (Society for Educational Visits and Exchanges in Canada), was designed to build bridges between young Canadians, and provide them with an opportunity to learn more about their country by seeing and experiencing its history, geography and cultural diversity. The students spent one week in Hamilton before heading out west to Port Coquitlam for two weeks of friendship, football and fun.

Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School, meanwhile, was identified as one of the province’s safest schools. In 2013, the school was recognized for creating a safe and inclusive environment with a Premier’s Award for Accepting Schools. In addition, the CN Peer Mentor Group received the Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce’s Recognition Award for iMATTER: Taking Care of Teen Mental Health.

2013 was also a milestone year for St. Charles Adult and Continuing Education which not only marked its 30th high school graduation since the program began, but its largest graduation yet with a record 177 graduates. Moreover, St. Charles was named Hamilton’s favourite adult learning centre in this year’s Hamilton Spectator Readers Choice Awards. Since 1985, St. Charles Adult and Continuing Education Centres have been providing educational and employment training to thousands of individuals in the community.

In another sign of affirmation, Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic schools played host this fall to educators from Holland and the Republic of Indonesia who wished to see the board’s Each Belongs philosophy and school improvement plans in action. In October 2013, Dutch educators participated in a Teachers’ International Professional Development (TIPD) Exchange to learn about the board’s inclusive and transition practices, while a ten-member delegation of educators from the Indonesian Ministry of Education were interested in learning how Ministry and board initiatives fostered improvement and supported achievement in Ontario’s publicly funded schools.

Much of the board’s focus this year was on parental engagement. In September 2013, a new digital learning tool called e-math+ was introduced in Catholic elementary schools to support the delivery of the Grade 3-6 math curriculum by engaging parents in the home learning process. Home Grown Math Success, another online math tool, moved into its third year of implementation, providing SuccessMaker licenses to parents for home support. A parent conference in October 2013 offered workshops to parents on a number of topics, including Supporting the 21st Century Mathematics Learner at Home, Parenting Your Anxious Child, Executive Functioning, Collaborative Problem Solving, Financial Literacy, Engagement Strategies, Supporting Readers and Writers at Home, Encouraging Positive Behaviours, Healthy Eating on a Budget, and the Impact of Job Loss on Families. Several schools were able to offer Parent Nights through Parents Reaching Out (PRO) grants to help increase parent involvement in support of student achievement and well-being.

Finally, in answer to our call to serve, the board celebrated its 10th annual “Walk with Christ” pilgrimage in response to the poverty of the Developing South in October 2013. Since 2003, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board has raised $480,000 for development projects and relief efforts in Haiti, Uganda and the Dominican Republic.


Cathedral’s Khalil Kinnarath won a gold and silver medal in culinary arts at provincial and national technical skills competitions.

St. Thomas More’s Legal Knights won bronze at the Ontario Bar Association’s Provincial Mock Trials.

St. Mary’s MakeShift Robotics Team wins the Judges’ Award at the FIRST Robotics Waterloo Regional Competition.

STRENGTHENING OUR CATHOLICITY

NURTURING OUR CATHOLIC COMMUNITY

 
This priority is a proclamation of our Catholic tradition within the school learning community, and engages the Catholic and broader community to be stewards, guardians and advocates for Catholic education. The goal is to ensure that Catholicity remains the foundation upon which the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board is governed, organized and administered.

Year of Faith

On October 11, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI, in one of his final acts as pontiff, announced a Year of Faith – a time and an opportunity for Catholics “to rediscover the joy of believing and the enthusiasm for communicating the faith” (Apostolic Letter “Porta Fidei” of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI for the Indiction of the Year of Faith). Faith, Our Holy Father tells us, grows when it is lived as an experience of love received and when it is communicated as an experience of grace and joy. This Year of Faith (October 11, 2012 – November 24, 2013) was an opportunity for students and staff of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board to not only grow together in faith, but to invite others to the table.

Bishop Ryan students perform the passion of Christ.



Learning with Faith: Our Catholic School Identity

The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board is committed to working with all students, their parents and local parishes to integrate knowledge and Catholic doctrine in order to promote students’ growth in faith and virtue, and to deepen commitment to Christ and the Church. Through School Improvement Plans, both elementary and secondary schools have established action plans to support the “Learning with Faith: Our Catholic School Identity” system goal.


Students at Corpus Christi Catholic Elementary School walk the Way of the Cross at an annual Lenten pilgrimage.

‘Best Buddies’ at Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School.

Practices of our faith.


Elementary and secondary strategies and actions in support of this goal include the integration of faith and culture across the curriculum and the purchase of resources with a uniquely Catholic perspective for students and staff. Other school and classroom strategies have been implemented that focus on creating and sustaining a vibrant Christian community. These include the introduction of a Faith in Action calendar based on Catholic Social Teaching and the Saints; the establishment of Virtues Education and programs such as Tribes, Restorative Justice, Tools for Life and Roots of Empathy that strengthen the school climate; support for marginalized students through programs such as Peer Mentors, Best Buddies, Prefects and Chaplaincy Teams; articulation of the Equity and Inclusive Education Policy through Diversity Conferences in all elementary and secondary schools; Human Rights and Holocaust Education programs; and an annual leadership retreat for secondary student council members. Prayer and worship continue to be given primacy of time and place in schools and Culture of Life activities such as March for Life, Respect Life Sunday and presentations/speakers are widely supported at the secondary level. In the area of social justice, school and system initiatives, such as the Board’s annual “Walk with Christ: Justice for the Poor” pilgrimage, Christmas hampers, community food drives, and fundraising for St. Vincent de Paul, Catholic Missions in Canada, Holy Childhood Association and Development and Peace, give witness to the Church’s corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

“Walk with Christ: Justice for the Poor” Pilgrimage

Ours is a faith journey, our Holy Father Pope Francis reminds us. On October 20, 2013, that journey was continued as several thousand students set out on an 8-kilometre “Walk with Christ: Justice for the Poor” Pilgrimage in support of Third World development projects. The annual Pilgrimage began in 2003 as a system-wide service project for students in Grades 7 to 12 to raise awareness of issues facing the developing world – such as hunger, inadequate health care, housing and education – and to create a mechanism through which students could commit their support by raising money, through pledges, for development projects in Uganda, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Since 2003, HWCDSB students have raised $480,000 on their quest for justice, and today, are not only “walking” but are “living” with the poor through school service trips to the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Uganda. More than a fundraiser, the annual Pilgrimage has, over these ten years, become an opportunity for students and staff in the HWCDSB to turn towards Jesus Christ and rediscover the joy of believing – precisely what we, as Catholics, were called to do in this Year of Faith.



D.R.E.A.M.S.

Since D.R.E.A.M.S. (Dominican Republic Education and Medical Support) was launched at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School in 1999, thousands of students from five Catholic secondary schools in the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board have travelled to the Dominican Republic on Christian service missions to build houses for families living in poverty.

In the past 14 years, they’ve built roughly 80 homes, a school and a teacher’s residence in remote mountain villages in Ocoa province. Their labours have not only transformed whole communities but a generation of young people who realize they have the power to make a difference in the world.



Catholic Community, Culture & Service

The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board is focused on establishing and fostering equitable, inclusive, healthy, safe and engaging school and classroom environments that support and build on student achievement. Evidence-based strategies and targeted actions have been adopted to support all students, JK to Grade 12, as well as the unique learning needs of distinct groups. In all, care has been taken to ensure that student voice and diversity are not only respected but celebrated, and that students are able to see themselves in the curriculum, their surroundings and broader environment. Through the power of “student voice,” the themes of social justice and service have emerged as key areas of focus for elementary and secondary students. Nurtured by school and board staffs, and often supported by local community organizations, students representing all socio-economic, cultural and ability levels have challenged peers to “walk the talk” as Catholic youth to make a difference locally and internationally. Other initiatives undertaken over the past year that promote a Catholic culture of caring and service include the creation of school community gardens, Diversity conferences, programs for students identified as gifted, a Native Language course at Mohawk College to engage/re-engage Aboriginal students, and anti-bullying activities such as Pink Shirt Day. Student mental health and well-being has also been a major thrust in the past few years, with schools working closely with Hamilton Public Health to develop Healthy Action Teams and Girl Talk programs to promote mental wellness among students. Partnerships with Kiwanis Boys and Girls Clubs and the Virtual Y have led to after-hours recreational and social opportunities for children in central city schools. Moreover, an early intervention/prevention program has been established at Cathedral High School to provide on-site support to students dealing with medical and emotional issues.

An “SJB cares” assembly at St. Jean de Brébeuf Catholic Secondary School focused on acceptance at all levels.

Travis Price joined forces with the Titans for Titans student group at Bishop Tonnos Catholic Secondary School to spread the anti-bullying message.

St. Mary students don pink shirts in an annual anti-bullying campaign.

Student Voice

When students have a voice, they’re more invested in their learning and more empowered to become leaders and role models in their schools. Over the past year, the student voice has resulted in greater participation and engagement in student-led school liturgies and church masses, system and school-based social justice projects, eco initiatives and teams, student council and peer mentor groups. Students have also lent their voice to surveys, including the HWCDSB’s Budget Priorities Survey to determine budget priorities for the upcoming year. Ministry “Speak Up” grants have enabled students to initiate projects at their school in support of student learning. In 2012-2013, 18 Speak Up projects were implemented at 12 schools of the HWCDSB. These included breakfast/nutrition programs, iMATTER: Taking Care of Teen Mental Health, tutoring, an outdoor classroom, active recess, Eco-friendship Days, a book club and a youth photo video project.



School Climate Survey: Tell Them From Me

In compliance with the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Bill 13: Accepting Schools Act and in support of the Catholic Community, Culture and Service system goal, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board conducted an anonymous school climate survey using the “Tell Them From Me” tool to gauge student engagement. The survey was completed by students in Grades 6, 8, 10 and 12 in January 2014 during class time, and measured basic demographic factors, social/emotional outcomes and drivers of student outcomes. Data from the online survey will enable board staff to assess the students’ perception of safety; make informed planning decisions about programs to prevent bullying and promote safe and inclusive schools; determine the effectiveness of programs; and build and sustain positive school climates.

Faith Formation

Staff are supported in the development of their faith through programs, resources and learning opportunities that not only educate them in their faith, but are aimed at nurturing their sense of vocation and deepening their spirituality. Opportunities such as religious instruction and renewal programs, daily prayer, the New Teacher Induction Program, the Employee Assistance Program, the Catholic Coaching Program, conferences, retreats, mission trips and justice projects enable staff to broaden their understanding of the vision, ideals and mission of Catholic education. In addition, programs such as DREAMS (Dominican Republic Education and Medical Support), Haiti and Uganda service trips, Halloween 4 Hunger and the annual system-wide Pilgrimage are initiated within schools of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board to help students connect with the poor, both locally and abroad. Committees have also been formed in each of the board’s secondary schools to promote a “Culture of Life” through such activities as the annual Respect Life Sunday, March for Life, grade-level presentations and an annual leadership conference. These various initiatives have led to the formation of strong and observable educational communities of faith.

 

St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Elementary School celebrates an outdoor mass.

HWCDSB students participate in Respect Life Sunday to give silent public witness to the sacredness of life from conception to natural death.

 

This is the faith we believe, we live, we profess, we celebrate and we share.

Thousands of students gathered for a system-wide mass with Bishop Douglas Crosby to kick off Catholic Education Week.

 
Faith in Action Calendar

A “Faith in Action” calendar was produced by the board’s Religion and Family Life Department for use in schools as a teaching support. The calendar focuses on one principle of Catholic Social Teaching each month and demonstrates that principle in action using the example of a saint whose feast day is featured that month. The feast days of other saints, including the patron saints of schools in the board, are also listed. The principles and saints are grouped under a general theme – a virtue – to help students connect their learning. Each month, students are challenged with a Faith in Action question, for example: “What can we do to ensure that everyone’s basic human rights are respected?” Many schools have instituted an award program based on the Catholic Social Teaching of the month.

Parent Conference

Parents and educators came together in November 2013 for the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board’s 21st annual Parent Conference, whose theme, “Weaving the Catholic Partnership” celebrated the 150-year plus partnership of parish, home and school. The day began with an opening mass, followed by a presentation by Rev. Jarek Pachocki who spoke of the important role of parents as first teachers of their children in the faith. Parents and teachers had an opportunity to visit exhibits and participate in morning workshops. The conference provides an opportunity for parents, educators and staff to come together, talk, share and explore new ideas in child growth and development. Research continues to show that parent engagement is important to children’s learning.

And what used to be Environment Stewardship …

Equal Opportunities

An Equal Opportunities Project was formed in 2006 to mitigate the effects of poverty on student learning by providing additional supports to socio-economically disadvantaged schools. Through the provision of breakfast/nutrition programs, out-of-classroom cultural experiences, Arts curriculum, after hours tutoring, Focus on Youth summer camp opportunities and community partnerships, the HWCDSB has made tremendous progress in removing socio-economic barriers to student performance and post-secondary success. In the past year, HWCDSB has partnered with the National Golf in Schools Program, An Instrument for Every Child, Bike for Mike, and McMaster University’s School of Nursing to provide recreational, artistic and health opportunities for children in Equal Opportunity schools. In 2013, the Hamilton Bulldogs Foundation pledged $40,000 for breakfast programs at six schools of the HWCDSB. St. Patrick also received sponsorship funds from Big Bee Convenience Store for a Food4Kids program in memory of a former employee which provides students with a delivery of fresh food once a week.

St. Patrick Catholic Elementary School receives a $40,000 from the Hamilton Bulldogs Foundation to launch a “Dawgs” Breakfast Program.



Environmental Stewardship

The Social and Ecological Responsibility in Education (SERE) Committee was established in December 2000 to assist the HWCDSB in implementing its environmental policy. The Ontario EcoSchools program has become the primary instrument through which SERE supports Stewardship of Creation within the board. In June 2013, for the second consecutive year, all schools of the HWCDSB achieved Ontario EcoSchools certification for their efforts to conserve energy, minimize waste and green school grounds. Five schools piloted and successfully achieved the program’s newly established platinum level. School initiatives which resulted in 100% certification by HWCDSB schools included Waste Free lunches, recycling, ecological education programs, active transportation, community gardens, outdoor classrooms, greenhouses, bio-diverse gardens, energy efficient lighting, mechanical and control systems, green bin composting, and energy audits – in an effort to reduce the board’s carbon footprint.

Members of Cardinal Newman’s eco team participated in the annual Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.

Green bins are currently used by thirty schools for the collection of compostable waste. The program is expected to roll out at several additional schools as well as four administrative sites in 2014. The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board has also partnered with Hamilton Smart Commute in piloting a Stepping It Up program at six schools in support of sustainable transportation. Other initiatives include air quality monitoring programs aimed at improving air quality through anti-idling campaigns, and Hamilton Victory Gardens/School Community Gardens that generate fresh produce for local food banks. In June 2013, the board adopted School Ground Greening Guidelines to support schools in the planting of trees and enhancement of outdoor facilities. School ground greening also encourages the planting of native and drought-resistant shrubs and bushes, and promotes plant biodiversity.


Students at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Elementary School participate in activities in support of active transportation.

Kindergarten students at Guardian Angels Catholic Elementary School demonstrate care for God’s Creation by planting a garden in front of their school.

St. Lawrence and St. Marguerite d’Youville Catholic Elementary Schools receive the City of Hamilton’s Community in Motion Award for Active Transportation.


ELEMENTARY STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND WELL-BEING


In Porta Fidei, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI announced a Year of Faith that began on October 11, 2012 and ended only recently on November 24, 2013. While the Porta fidei – door of faith – in the pope’s Apostolic Letter was meant as an invitation to Catholics to rediscover the joy of believing, the open door has also been widely used as a metaphor in education for opportunity and choice. Not only are choice and opportunity at the core of our pathways planning, but the open door also reflects our mission in Hamilton-Wentworth to enable all students to realize their full potential in Christ.

As our Mission Statement informs our Multi-Year Strategic Plan, so does the Board Improvement Plan form the basis of our academic priorities. In the past year, our curriculum teams have implemented effective, high-yield instructional and assessment strategies to help our students achieve local and provincial education standards while promoting a unique vision of the learner as outlined in the Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations.

While the stated goal of Student Achievement is to raise assessment/ report card data and graduation rates to provincial expectations, the intentional goal of our Board Improvement Plan is to make all students feel valued and supported in their learning journey.

Board Improvement Plan

The Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (BIPSA) provides the framework for individual School Improvement Plans and Departmental Improvement Plans with goals and targeted actions to support student achievement. Plans are monitored throughout the year and revised annually. As one example, changes were made this year within the numeracy pillar to reflect the introduction of e-math+ and additional numeracy software programs aimed at supporting student math achievement.

Critical to the Board Improvement Plan is the effective use of data that allows for incisive, objective and thorough analysis of EQAO and school-based data. Professional learning initiatives have also been purposefully developed by curriculum staff that both support Ministry core priorities and with the Board Improvement Plan.

Literacy System Goal

The staff of the HWCDSB will work to ensure all students acquire, understand and apply literacy competencies: thinking, reading, writing and oral communication, across all subject areas.

Numeracy System Goal

The staff of the HWCDSB will work to enhance all students’ mathematical thinking and reasoning using a variety of tools and strategies in order to deepen their understanding of mathematical concepts.


Literacy activity.

Technology to support student achievement.

Students work in pairs in math class during a three-part math lesson to build 3-dimensional shapes with polyhedrons.

Program Pathways

The staff of the HWCDSB will work to implement equitable, innovative and supportive programming that reflects the learning needs and interests of all students in their development as independent, lifelong learners.

Curriculum projects to improve student achievement

Committed to becoming a more fulsome learning organization for the purpose of raising student achievement, the HWCDSB’s curriculum and program departments have designed a very comprehensive professional learning agenda to meet the goals of the Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement and to meet mandates of Ministry project outlines. These initiatives identify practices that support educators in reaching every student. They include:

  • Catholic School Student Achievement Visits in which central curriculum staff guide principals and teachers in meeting targeted goals;
  • A Collaborative Inquiry for Learning Mathematics (Grade 3-6) which engages school teams in co-planning and co-teaching to observe student thinking, engagement and responses for the purpose of targeting actions to needs;
  • An Early Primary Collaborative Inquiry (K-Grade 2) by school teams to examine the impact of changes in instructional practice on student learning in mathematics;
  • System Implementing & Monitoring (SIM) which explores the effectiveness of literacy strategies by observing and documenting student learning;
  • The Student Work Study (SWS) co-learning model that allows classroom teachers from different schools to observe students in a variety of learning environments, compare those observations to current research findings, and then develop high-yield strategies to raise student work to provincial expectations;
  • Tutors in the classroom to support Grade 3 and Grade 6 students in closing learning gaps in reading and mathematics;
  • A Technology Inquiry Project which focuses on the use of technology to capture student thinking during reading, writing, oral communication and media literacy instruction;
  • A FDK Inquiry which examines current sources of student achievement data and research-based instructional strategies. Colleagues have the opportunity to visit classrooms in small clusters to participate in co-observation of students engaged in learning and co-reflection of documentation captured during the classroom visits; and
  • A Transitions Inquiry that supports student learning and engagement of students with persistent achievement challenges by exploring a deeper understanding of transitions, and integrating student voice and engagement and the New Education & Career/Life Planning program.

iPads and laptops are used in schools to support literacy learning.


Guided reading circles.


Reading Recovery™

Reading Recovery™ is an early literacy intervention designed for Grade 1 students who are having great difficulty learning to read and write. In 12 to 20 weeks of intensive, individualized instruction, many students are brought to the average functioning age related cohorts and continue to learn from ongoing classroom experiences thus reducing the number of students referred for Special Education services. Of the 231 students who completed lessons in 2011-2012, 71% were successfully discontinued and 29% were recommended for further literacy support. By June of 2012, 80% of the students had reached grade level targets for reading. EQAO data from 2011-2012 shows that 79% of Reading Recovery students were able to achieve Levels 2, 3 and 4 in reading by Grade 3 and 96% in writing.

EQAO PRIMARY AND JUNIOR


EQAO Primary and Junior Reading, Writing and Mathematics assessment results for the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board showed sustained and improved scores in Grade 3 and Grade 6 Reading and Writing in 2012-2013. Although the majority of students continue to meet or exceed the provincial standing in Reading and Writing, Math scores took a downturn in 2012-2013, dropping 3 percent in Grade 3 and 6 percent in Grade 6. Achievement across the province in mathematics at the junior level continues to decline steadily. A gender study indicates that girls continue to outperform boys on assessments in all subjects.

In October 2013, Chairperson Patrick J. Daly recommended the establishment of a Task Force of current and retired teachers and administrators with math expertise to examine mathematics education in the HWCDSB and provide recommendations to the board and Ministry of Education on the math curriculum in relating to provincial assessments.

ELEMENTARY PROVINCIAL ASSESSMENTS


Primary Reading

 


 
 
 HWCDSB
 
 Province
2008-2009
67
61
2009-2010
64
62
2010-2011
66
65
2011-2012
68
66
2012-2013
69
68


Primary Writing

 

 
 
 HWCDSB
 
 Province
2008-2009
77
68
2009-2010
76
70
2010-2011
77
73
2011-2012
79
76
2012-2013
79
77



Primary Mathematics

 

 
 
 HWCDSB
 
 Province
2008-2009
76
70
2009-2010
74
71
2010-2011
67
69
2011-2012
70
68
2012-2013
67
67


Junior Reading

 

 
 
 HWCDSB
 
 Province
2008-2009
71
69
2009-2010
72
72
2010-2011
75
74
2011-2012
78
75
2012-2013
76
77



Junior Writing

 

 
 
 HWCDSB
 
 Province
2008-2009
71
67
2009-2010
75
70
2010-2011
79
73
2011-2012
80
74
2012-2013
81
76


Junior Mathematics

 

 
 
 HWCDSB
 
 Province
2008-2009
61
63
2009-2010
58
61
2010-2011
57
58
2011-2012
60
58
2012-2013
54
57




Primary EQAO
Gender Gap by Percentage Male-Female


 
 Reading
 
 Writing
 
 Math
2008-2009
6
10
4
2009-2010
17
15
4
2010-2011
14
17
5
2011-2012
10
11
2
2012-2013
13
12
2


Junior EQAO
Gender Gap by Percentage Male-Female


 
 Reading
 
 Writing
 
 Math
2008-2009
4
19
0
2009-2010
10
17
4
2010-2011
14
16
7
2011-2012
4
13
1
2012-2013
11
18
8



Primary EQAO
Results for Students with Special Needs


 
 Reading
 
 Writing
 
 Math
2008-2009
36
55
48
2009-2010
26
52
29
2010-2011
28
52
29
2011-2012
28
50
33
2012-2013
33
56
35


Junior EQAO
Results for Students with Special Needs


 
 Reading
 
 Writing
 
 Math
2008-2009
34
32
26
2009-2010
32
39
20
2010-2011
30
38
15
2011-2012
39
44
19
2012-2013
36
44
14



Primary EQAO
Results for English Language Learners


 
 Reading
 
 Writing
 
 Math
2008-2009
28
39
47
2009-2010
43
58
55
2010-2011
45
60
60
2011-2012
39
66
53
2012-2013
51
64
53


Junior EQAO
Results for English Language Learners


 
 Reading
 
 Writing
 
 Math
2008-2009
29
20
29
2009-2010
48
53
40
2010-2011
53
58
43
2011-2012
53
63
55
2012-2013
51
64
53

Grade 8 to Grade 9 Transitions

A number of programs and activities have been developed to assist students in successfully transitioning from Grade 8 to high school. Secondary school teams, made up of Guidance, Special Education Resource and Student Success Teachers as well as student peer mentors, work with Grade 8 teachers to not only promote programs, activities and supports available to Grade 8 students upon entering Grade 9, but to help with course selections and dispel myths about high school. Orientation sessions are organized throughout the year to familiarize Grade 7 and 8 students with the physical layout of the high school and timetable changes. Parent information nights are also held at each high school, where information on programs and pathway choices is shared with parents, and questions and concerns are addressed by secondary staff. In-depth meetings enable transition teams to identify the individual strengths and needs of each student to ensure that transition planning for appropriate programming and other relevant supports are flagged early in the student’s placement.

Peer Mentors at Cardinal Newman help Grade 9 students transition to high school.


Full-Day Kindergarten Program

Full-Day Kindergarten (FDK) was offered in 75 classrooms at 24 Catholic elementary schools in 2012-13, representing 50 percent of 4 and 5-year olds across the system. Measuring the impact of FDK on student achievement has been achieved through the use of the Early Development Instrument (EDI). EDI is a population-based measure used internationally which quantifies the health and well-being of young children in five developmental domains. Results suggest a significant difference in vulnerability for two domains in particular: Language/Cognitive Development and Communication/General Knowledge. These findings coupled with observations made during Catholic School Achievement visits suggest a strong FDK implementation within the HWCDSB. The program expanded to an additional 10 sites in 2013-2014.

FDKP students show early aptitude for the construction trades.

Parental Engagement

Research continues to show the correlation between parental involvement and student success. A Home Grown Math Success: Parental Engagement in Numeracy Initiative was introduced in 2012-2013 to support math learning at home. The program, an online math support for Grades 1-6 called Successmaker, was offered for eight weeks, followed by a second eight-week cycle if desired. At the end of June 2012, quantitative and qualitative data showed an average skills mastery level of 94% among the 473 participating students. The program was offered in 2013-2014 with 868 students registering for online math home support.

In 2012-2013, HWCDSB partnered with Nelson Education Limited to design a math website called e-math+ for students, parents and educators in support of math learning, Grades 3-6. Key features of the website included a pdf online version of Nelson textbooks, tutorial videos, lesson supports and lesson support solutions, a math language glossary, math tools, workbook solutions, practice questions, additional assessment/practice questions, and math fun – puzzles and games to reinforce math concepts. The project not only supports students and parents at home, but provides an additional resource for teachers in school.

Parenting and Family Literacy Centres have also been set up in five Catholic elementary schools throughout Hamilton to help prepare pre-school children for school through a wide range of play-based learning activities. A sixth centre opened at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Elementary School in 2013. Since 2008, 53,590 children and 40,567 parents and caregivers have made use of the centres.

HWCDSB launches SuccessMaker, an online math program to support parents.

A Math Curriculum Night at St. Eugene engages parents in ways they can support their children’s mathematics learning.

A new Parenting and Family Literacy Centre opened at St. James the Apostle Catholic Elementary School in March 2013.

A “Your Child, Our Future” Parent Engagement Evening was held at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta through a Parents Reaching Out (PRO) grant.

Health & Wellness

With childhood diabetes and obesity on the rise, experts are looking to heighten awareness around physical literacy and its importance to the overall health and well-being of children and youth. In September 2013, a Physical Literacy Summit in Hamilton was attended by 375 delegates, including 80 teacher-coaches from Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic elementary and secondary schools. In addition to the work being done at the city level, the HWCDSB has been implementing a number of initiatives to improve the physical literacy of students. In September 2013, a Physical Literacy Pilot Project was implemented in the board’s Equal Opportunity schools aimed at, among other things, building capacity in delivering the physical education component of the curriculum and training staff in fundamental movement skills to increase students’ competence and confidence in movement. The project uses a L.E.A.D. (Linking the school, Energy on the playground, All play, Dynamic Leaders) model which trains intermediate students to become play mentors to younger students. Benefits include increased physical activity, reduction in bullying, promotion of inclusive practices, and development of social skills.

Partnerships have also been formed to expand on opportunities for physical literacy. These partners — which include Hamilton Public Health, Lettuce Make Thyme, Start2Finish, Rising Stars, YMCA and Catholic Youth Organization – not only have a passion but expertise in supporting physical activity.

Healthy Action Summit at St. David focuses on healthy active living.


Tools for Life

In September 2013, a Tools for Life program was piloted in seven of the board’s elementary schools as an early intervention strategy for at risk students, aged 3 to 13. The program has fundamental concepts that complement early intervention strategies that support the board’s mental health initiative. It seeks wellness for all children by supporting existing system-level approaches, such as Each Belongs, Safe Schools, TRIBES and Restorative Justice, and diversity, focused on teaching positive social behaviours.


Balanced School Day

Following a successful pilot in which three elementary schools adopted a balanced school day, ten additional schools were identified by the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board to implement a Balanced School Day schedule in 2012-2013. Under the Balanced School Day model, school days are organized into three large instructional blocks of approximately 100-minutes balanced by two 40-50 minute nutritional breaks. The model is believed to engage students more fully in their learning, provide a more intensive teaching/learning environment, better meet the nutritional needs of children, and provide more time for physical activity and play. At the end of the trial period, seven of the schools opted to continue with the balanced school day schedule while three chose to revert to the traditional schedule. Another three schools are scheduled to pilot the balanced school day in 2013-2014.

An after-hours ‘Health Eating’ Club at St. Martin of Tours teachers students about nutrition and food preparation.


Pope Francis

Let us thank all those who teach in Catholic schools. Educating is an act of love; it is like giving life.


SECONDARY STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND WELL-BEING

Improving Outcomes for All Students

School-based Student Success teams have implemented a number of strategies and targeted actions to increase graduation rate and credit accumulation among secondary students. These include:

  • implementing high-yield instructional strategies such as gradual release of responsibility, visual and graphic organizers, cooperative learning, accountable talk and differentiated instruction;
  • meeting the learning and achievement needs of all students with special education needs in a fully inclusive setting;
  • developing the Learning Commons in each school to promote and teach inquiry-based learning through cross-curricular connections, multiple literacies, digital learning and collaboration;
  • providing opportunities for disengaged, suspended and expelled students and students unable to attend regular school to maximize credit accumulation and feel supported in their learning through varied programming and program delivery, including credit recovery, credit rescue, gap closing, Program to Assist Student Success (PASS), Student Opportunity to Achieve Re-Entry (SOAR), Supervised Alternative Learning (SAL), St Mary’s Alternative Education, e-Learning/Blended Learning, Home Instruction and St. Charles Day Credit Program;
  • and engaging and supporting students and parents through community building events to assist with the transition from grade 8 to grade 9, between grades, between schools, and from grade 12 to post-secondary/career/community living.
  • In 2012-2013, 77.84 percent of students achieved 16 or more credits by age 16.

EQAO GRADE 9 MATHEMATICS


EQAO assessment results for the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board decreased 2% from 85% in 2011-2012 to 83% in 2012-2013 in Academic Mathematics, and in Applied, were sustained at 43%. In both strands, HWCDSB results were one percent below provincial results. The decline in student achievement in mathematics, both locally and provincially, has led to the formation of a task force of current and former mathematics experts from the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board to examine mathematics education in the board and provide recommendations to both the board and Ministry of Education on practices to support math achievement in students.

2012-2013 Grade 10 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test results for the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board continue to be significantly high. Students studying at the academic level continue to meet with great success; achievement for students studying at the applied level, however, has declined over the last few years. A resource for teachers and students was centrally produced in 2012-2013 for use in secondary schools. Professional learning funds have been provided to schools for the purpose of identifying students who require support and for identifying learning gaps that need to be addressed by all subject teachers.

SECONDARY PROVINCIAL ASSESSMENTS


Academic


 
 
 HWCDSB
 
 Province
2008-2009
82
77
2009-2010
87
82
2010-2011
86
83
2011-2012
85
84
2012-2013
83
84


Applied


 
 
 HWCDSB
 
 Province
2008-2009
45
38
2009-2010
52
40
2010-2011
40
42
2011-2012
43
44
2012-2013
43
44



Results for Students with Special Needs


 
 
 HWCDSB
 
 Province
2008-2009
75
28
2009-2010
74
39
2010-2011
82
31
2011-2012
74
29
2012-2013
63
32


Results for English Language Learners


 
 
 HWCDSB
 
 Province
2008-2009
57
29
2009-2010
75
48
2010-2011
88
28
2011-2012
81
33
2012-2013
71
29

Grade 10 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) Assessments


Success Rate


 
 
 HWCDSB
 
 Province
2008-2009
86
85
2009-2010
86
84
2010-2011
82
83
2011-2012
81
82
2012-2013
80
82


Results for Students with Special Needs and English Language Learners


 
 
 Special Needs
 
 ELL
2008-2009
60
46
2009-2010
63
17
2010-2011
55
42
2011-2012
50
66
2012-2013
42
58




Pathways Activities

The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board’s Pathways System Goal is committed to implementing equitable, innovative and supportive programming that reflects the learning needs and interests of all students in their development as independent, lifelong learners. Targeted actions this past year included explicitly connecting instruction and programming to the areas of learning competencies outlined in Choices in Action, Guidance and Career Education Program Policy for Ontario Elementary and Secondary Schools, 1999 and increasing the participation rate in pathway programs and activities.

All schools continue to provide activities that support the successful transitioning of students. A variety of programs are available in all five pathways. These programs enable students to concentrate on courses that are directly related to specific aspirations and have been developed to increase students’ awareness of the range of educational and career opportunities that exist within a field of study. Programming at the secondary level continues to support opportunities and programs such as the Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM), Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP), dual credit and various alternative programs. A Pathways/Career Awareness Night hosted by the HWCDSB in November 2013 gave students and parents an opportunity to explore different pathway destinations by speaking with representatives from various Ontario colleges and universities, employment services, local businesses and the trades.

A Pathways/Career Awareness Night on November 19th gave secondary students and their parents an opportunity to the pathways of university, college, apprenticeship and work.



Supported Work Experience Program

The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board is dedicated to helping students realize their fullness of humanity by providing programs and services for students with a variety of learning needs and abilities. Programs like the Supported Work Experience provide opportunities for youth to transition to meaningful, adult community engagement activities (co-operative education, employment, volunteering and daily living) and acquire essential skills, work habits, knowledge and behaviours that will maximize their potential for future engagement opportunities. Students typically begin the program in Grade 11 and are supported in their placement by a Job Coach. In 2012-2013, 248 students with a reported exceptionality enrolled in a co-op program. Twenty-seven percent opted for supported work experiences in the retail sector, followed by Health and Wellness with 13 percent and Hospitality with 12 percent. In June 2012, 24 graduates of the Work Experience Program successfully transitioned from school to the community.

The Supported Work Experience Program provides an opportunity for students with special education needs to experience the world of work and establish relationships with peers and adults.


The Learning Commons

A review of Library Services was conducted in 2011-2012 to begin the task of transforming school libraries/resources centres into 21st Century Learning Commons using the vision and framework described in the document Together for Learning: School Libraries and the Emergence of the Learning Commons, 2010. A targeted action within the Literacy pillar of the Board Improvement Plan, the Learning Commons will be used to promote and teach inquiry-based learning through cross-curriculum connections, multiple literacies, digital learning, and collaboration connected to the Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations. Teacher-Librarians are part of school improvement teams and participate in the development of a collaborative culture in the school. The focus for school Learning Commons in 2012-2013 was the continued implementation of the Guided Inquiry model in conjunction with the integration of technology in learning partnerships and literacy engagement. Working with the classroom teacher, Teacher-Librarians support the implementation of the literacy curriculum by co-designing and co-teaching units/lessons in the media literacy strand, using Web 2.0 technology to engage the students, and providing a wide variety of materials in multiple formats to supplement literacy strategies. Other initiatives in 2012-2013 included the Forest of Reading program, Bruce Trail Guided Inquiry and Bring Your Own Device Project.

The Learning Commons is used to promote and teach inquiry-based learning through cross-curricular connections, multiple literacies, digital learning and collaboration.



Specialist High Skills Major

There are currently 35 SHSM programs available across eight sectors with expansion planned for 2013-2014. SHSM participation has increased from 4% in 2007 to 24% of all Grade 11 and 12 students in 2013 due to increased SHSM awareness and expanded program choices. Overall, students in SHSM programs are accumulating credits at greater levels than students in the general population. This data supports the trend that career-focused programs can have a significant impact on boys’ achievement as well as research that recommends the need for relevancy to engage boys.

Teachers engage in developing contextualized learning activities targeting SHSM sectors.



School-College-Work (Dual Credit and Accelerated OYAP)

Expanded activities with the School-College-Work initiative have made it possible for hundreds of students in 2012-2013 to engage in reach-ahead experiences at Mohawk College. Moreover, School-College-Work dual credit opportunities with Mohawk College have been effective in supporting credit accumulation and graduation rate at the senior secondary level. Dual Credit enrolment in the Mohawk Bridge programs has increased five-fold since 2009-2010. Many students have benefited from these programs including students with an IEP who are underachieving and disengaged, or are enrolled in OYAP accelerated programs. Emphasis this past year was on building better pathways to college through mathematics. Grade 11 and 12 students at Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School pursuing a college pathway were offered a Trade Calculations dual credit pilot. This gap closing mathematics course is team taught in partnership with Mohawk College faculty.

OYAP students receive specific WHMIS and Fall Arrest Training needed to work on a construction site.


Experiential Learning

Experiential learning opportunities that tie classroom learning with authentic real-world application have expanded. Activities within the School-College-Work Initiative have made it possible for students to engage in reach-ahead experiences with Mohawk College. In October 2012 and February 2013, over 400 senior students participated in a health care career day at the Institute of Applied Health Sciences with students and faculty from Mohawk-McMaster Health Sciences programs. Experiential learning opportunities were also provided to students of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board through a partnership with the Ontario Justice Education Network, the Hamilton Law Association and the Hamilton Justice Education Network. Since 2008, an estimated 1,000 students have participated in Mock Trials at the John Sopinka Courthouse.

Supporting Distinct Student Groups in Numeracy

As part of the Board Improvement Plan Numeracy goal, there continues to be a focus on closing achievement gaps and improving success for students with special education needs, English Language Learners (ELLs), boys and aboriginal students. Numerous strategies, including the use of assistive technology, PRIME (Professional Resources and Instruction for Mathematics Educators), gap closing resources, and math manipulatives for visual learners, are used to provide opportunities for distinct student groups to delve into and explore math concepts and problems, interact with peers, and demonstrate knowledge.

Aboriginal Education

The NYA:WEH (Native Youth Advancement with Education Hamilton) program is a culture-based support system designed to help Aboriginal students flourish in Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic secondary schools. In addition to community supports, NYA:WEH incorporates Aboriginal culture and traditions into mainstream education to engage Aboriginal youth in their learning. The program, located at Cathedral High School, offers home-work assistance, tutoring, guidance and support services, after-school cultural and social activities, and healthy meals. Eighty-one students participated in the program in 2013; of those, 20 graduated with their OSSD and five received awards. An Aboriginal Student Self-Identification Policy, implemented in September 2012, allows the board to track the achievement of First Nation, Métis and Inuit students in provincial assessments, and monitor their retention and graduation rates and advancement to post-secondary education. This will happen for the first time with the 2013 assessments. At present, 150 students are self-identified. Other supports offered this past year included a native language course through the board’s St. Charles Adult and Continuing Education program, as well as Guiding Spirits, a student leadership program created to connect aboriginal youth across the system through travelling circles. At the elementary level, a Shé:kon! Hello! To Literacy initiative progressively infuses levelled reading text with the Aboriginal perspective. In 2013-2014 the focus will move to the intermediate division.

Adult and Continuing Education

Since 1985, St. Charles Adult and Continuing Education Centres have been providing educational, employment and training programs to thousands of people in the Hamilton community annually. St. Charles currently delivers 25 programs in four core areas: credit, English language instruction, literacy and numeracy, and general interest. A number of School-to-Work programs have been developed over the years to meet the changing social and economic needs of the community. These include Chef Training and Personal Support Worker. In 2012-2013, 5,306 adults, 2,430 secondary students and 3,119 elementary children participated in continuing education programs. One hundred and seventy-seven adult learners graduated in 2013 with their OSSD.

St Charles Chef: St. Charles Chef Training students teach healthy eating on a budget to clients at Mission Services.


Secondary students explore careers in Construction Trades and Cooking at the 9th Annual Liuna Trades Symposium.

A Mental Health Assembly at Cardinal Newman raises awareness and reduces stigma around teen mental illness.

A “St. Mary’s in Motion” event encouraged healthy eating and active living in teens
.


STEWARDSHIP – EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT OF RESOURCES

 
HWCDSB is committed to building and sustaining the infrastructure necessary to improve student achievement and nurture our Catholic community through inspired leadership, organizational values, and the responsible and effective use of human, financial and natural resources.

Areas of focus for 2012-2013 included: Finance and Capital Planning; Facilities/Plant Operations; Human Resources; Information Communication Technology; and Transportation. This section will highlight some of the work that was done in the past year.

Budget

In June 2013, trustees of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board approved a balanced operating budget of $310,418,285 and a capital budget of $20,768,595 for the 2013-2014 school year. The budget supports the continuation of initiatives that facilitate and promote faith formation, religious education, improvement in student achievement, support for socio-economically disadvantaged students and schools, and excellence in academic and co-curricular programs.

Finance and Capital Planning

An audit committee has been established at the HWCDSB in compliance with Ontario Regulations 361/10. The committee meets three times per fiscal year as per regulation to monitor and advise on the board’s internal audit plan. Over the past three years, the Board achieved its Finance and Capital Planning goal in full through the enhancement of financial management and reporting practices; implementation of new procurement and expense directives in supply chain management; development of a fully integrated ISYS/Payroll/BAS system; development of an investment policy and capital maintenance system; and improvement in planning and statistics department efficiencies.

Capital Maintenance

In order to ensure the effective management of resources, the board has been working to align plant operations with finance to enhance budget management on capital projects and plant operations/maintenance accounts. Capital projects for 2012-2013 included:

  • A new St. Gabriel Catholic Elementary School will be built in Winona in April 2014 at a projected cost of $9.96-million. The 57,330 sq. ft. building will have a ministry-rated capacity of 504 pupil places. Other projects in progress include FDKP additions at Year 5 schools, and upgrade/renewal projects in existing HWCDSB schools. Early Learning projects are also in design at St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School, and St. Bernadette and St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Elementary Schools.
  • A replacement school for Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School on Stoney Creek Mountain, built at a cost of $36.75-million. The 190,000 sq. ft. facility opened in January 2014 and houses 65 classrooms, a 600-seat theatre auditorium, Learning Commons, cafeteria, chapel, three gymnasiums and a press box. Other amenities include an artificial turf sports field, natural sodded turf practice field, 8-lane surfaced running track, 1000 capacity terrace seating, and a 330-car parking lot.
  • St. Ann Catholic Elementary School in Hamilton, which amalgamated with St. Columba and Holy Spirit Catholic Elementary Schools in September 2013, moved into its new facility on February 10, 2014.

Other projects in progress include the new St. Gabriel Catholic Elementary School in Winona with a ministry-rated capacity of 504 pupil places, set to begin construction in the spring of 2014, FDKP additions at Year 5 schools, and upgrade/renewal projects in existing HWCDSB schools. Early Learning projects are also in design at St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School, and St. Bernadette and St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Elementary Schools.

Investments in capital additions for 2012-2013 totalled $49.1-million – $20.6-million for construction projects in progress and $28.5-million for assets in service. Assets in service include land and land improvements ($2,785,910), buildings ($23,134,267) and moveable type assets ($2,611,594).

Construction on the new 190,000 ft.² Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School was completed at the end of 2013.

The new 49,000 ft.² St. Ann Catholic Elementary School boasts an oversized gymnasium and stage, spacious naturally-lit front atrium, SMARTBoards and white boards in every classroom, hydration stations, and much more.

St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School unveils its new 25,900 ft.² addition in September 2013.

School Renewal Projects

In its continued commitment to make schools better places to learn, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board invested $2,326,597 in school renewal projects in 2011-2012. Another $1,431,688 in School Conditions Funding will be used on capital improvements over the next year.

Facilities – Plant Operations

The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board is committed to establishing consistency in maintenance standards across all facilities in support of operation and budget priorities. ‘Green’ cleaning strategies, technologies and products are being used by the board in an effort to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy costs. New school buildings have been fitted with LED lights and sensors along with water matrix systems to reduce power and water use. New automated heating and cooling systems, high-efficiency boilers and mechanical systems have also been installed in new schools using the LEED model adopted by St. Matthew Catholic Elementary School. The Plant Department is also working to expand recycling and green bin composting programs to all HWCDSB school and office sites, and this past year, in partnership with the board’s Social and Ecological Responsibility in Education (SERE) Committee, Hamilton Public Health Services and Evergreen, developed guidelines for school ground greening to ensure that healthy, safe, low-maintenance and vandalism-resistant landscapes are planted at our schools.

In compliance with Ontario’s integrated accessibility standards, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board submitted a multi-year accessibility plan in February 2013 that describes the strategies planned to prevent and remove barriers and enhance accessibility for individuals who work at, and learn in Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic schools. Accessibility standards in Employment, Communication and Information, and Student Transportation were implemented at staggered intervals throughout the year with full implementation in place for January 1, 2014. In addition, all new construction is designed to comply with Ontario’s accessibility standards to provide greater accessibility to all.

An online permitting process, adopted by the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board in 2010 to streamline Community Use of Schools (CUS) programming, has not only made it easier for user groups to apply for facilities use, but has enabled the board to collect and manage CUS data, and track its continued growth. Community Use of Schools is a Ministry of Education initiative which supports access to school spaces outside of school hours for local not-for-profits as well as businesses or organizations. The largest use of schools continues to be for sport and recreation programs, with the largest targeted age group identified as children aged 7-12, followed closely by teens 13-18. Permitted hours for both age groups have nearly doubled from 60,000 in 2010-2011 to 112,000 in 2011-2012.

A Green Tux Project by parents and teachers at St. Joseph transforms the school playground blacktop into an environmentally friendly and creative play area for kids.

Eco and Healthy Action teams from five schools come together to share best practices at St. Marguerite d’Youville’s 1st Annual Community Health & Eco Fair.

Students at St. Joseph launch an anti-idling campaign.

Human Resources

The summer of 2012 and the 2012-13 academic year brought significant discussions with all employee groups on the implementation and amendment of all collective agreements and terms and conditions documents in compliance with new government legislation and regulations. The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board successfully negotiated local collective agreements and terms and conditions with all of its employee groups. The implementation of Regulation 274 – Teacher Fair Hiring Practices and significant changes in short term sick leave provisions have been a challenge for Human Resources staff and indeed all employees as the board transitions to the new model.

Over the past year, the board has been working to implement the required difficult changes and has benefited from the strong and respectful relationships that have been developed with the various leaders of our many employee groups. In September 2013, 38 newly hired teachers of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board underwent a New Teacher Induction Program (NTIP) which began with an orientation, and was followed by opportunities throughout the year for professional development, mentoring and teacher performance appraisal.

Other goals identified by the Human Resources Department for 2012-2013 were to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of Human Resources employee data and customer service systems, and implement Labour Relation best practices in formal orientation programs, performance appraisal, attendance support, progressive discipline, and exit strategies. In compliance with Ministry mandates, the Health & Safety Department was brought under the auspices of Human Resources early in the year, and Bill 168, an Act to amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act, was implemented at the school and system level to ensure a safe and respectful workplace for all employees. The HWCDSB also focused on developing the leadership skills and competencies of principals this year based on the Catholic Educational Leadership Framework in order to build Catholic leadership capacity.

Thirty-eight newly hired teachers were officially welcomed at a New Teacher Induction Program (NTIP) ceremony in September 2013 where they were each presented with a teachers’ handbook and candle, and commissioned to “go and teach as Jesus did.”


Information Communication Technology (ICT)

The Multi-Year Strategic Plan identified three main goals for Information Communication Technology for the period 2011-2014:

  • to provide the infrastructure to support 21st century learning;
  • to support student achievement through the effective use of the data; and
  • to enhance and support board operations through the appropriate use of technology.

In April 2013, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board approved a technology blueprint for 2013-2016 that outlines strategies and initiatives to assist the board in meeting its goals.

The blueprint is organized into five areas of focus: Governance (Policies & Procedures); Learning Environment; Devices & Applications; Web Strategy – Capacity Building; and Improved Workflow. Under governance, ‘acceptable use’ policies have been developed to remind students of their moral and ethical responsibility when using computer and information technologies, while under Learning Environments, digital technologies are being leveraged to expand the Catholic learning environment through network infrastructures, wireless capabilities, the school Learning Commons, and e-Learning/Blended Learning opportunities. Projects and initiatives under Devices & Applications call for an ongoing refresh of existing computers and devices, increased exploration of mobile devices for use during instruction, up-to-date software, cloud computing and increased digital collaborative spaces, increase in specialty devices such as SMARTboards, whiteboards, etc, and support for the B.Y.O.D. (Bring Your Own Device) strategy in schools. The Technology Blueprint also recognizes the importance of online digital tools to build capacity through a staff learning portal, First Class teacher collaboration and professional development, online resources, upgraded data warehouse, and easy-to-maintain and user-friendly board and school websites. Finally, the blueprint supports stewardship of HWCDSB resources through the provision of technologies that will result in improved workflows and service delivery.

The HWCDSB Technology Blueprint supports the use of information and communication technologies in schools.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Trustee Membership 2013-2014

MARK VALVASORI

MARK VALVASORI

Trustee, Ward 1 & 2

Canadian Martyrs
St. Joseph
St. Lawrence
St. Mary Secondary

RALPH AGOSTINO

RALPH AGOSTINO

Trustee, Ward 3 & 4

Holy Name of Jesus
Holy Spirit
St. Ann (Hamilton)
St. Brigid
St. Columba
St. Eugene / Saint Eugène
St. John the Baptist
St. Patrick
Cathedral

SAM AGOSTINO

SAM AGOSTINO

Trustee, Ward 5

St. Agnes
St. David
St. Luke
Bishop Ryan

RAYMOND BARTOLOTTI

RAYMOND BARTOLOTTI

Trustee, Ward 6

St. Kateri
Blessed Sacrament
St. Daniel
St. Margaret Mary

PATRICK DALY

PATRICK DALY

Trustee, 7

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
Our Lady of Lourdes
Blessed John Paul II
Sacred Heart
St. Marguerite d’Youville
St. Michael
St. Jean de Brebeuf
Sts. Peter and Paul / Saints Pierre et Paul

JOHN VALVASORI

JOHN VALVASORI

Trustee, Ward 8

Annunciation of Our Lord
Corpus Christi
Regina Mundi
St. Teresa of Avila
St. Thérèse of Lisieux
St. Vincent de Paul
St. Thomas More

MARY NARDINI

MARY NARDINI

Trustee, Ward 9, 10 & 11

Immaculate Heart of Mary
Our Lady of Peace
Our Lady of the Assumption
St. Clare of Assisi
St. Francis Xavier
St. James the Apostle
St. Mark
St. Martin of Tours
St. Matthew
St. Paul
Cardinal Newman

PAUL DIFRANCESCO

PAUL DIFRANCESCO

Trustee, Ward 9, 10 & 11

Immaculate Heart of Mary
Our Lady of Peace
Our Lady of the Assumption
St. Clare of Assisi
St. Francis Xavier
St. James the Apostle
St. Mark
St. Martin of Tours
St. Matthew
St. Paul
Cardinal Newman

CAROLYN CORNALE

CAROLYN CORNALE

Trustee, Ward 12, 13, 14 & 15

Bishop Tonnos
Guardian Angels
Holy Name of Mary
Immaculate Conception
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
St. Ann (Ancaster)
St. Augustine
St. Bernadette
St. Joachim
St. Thomas