Coordinator of student services Cindy Tenold and coordinator of learning supports Tracey Kiliwnik shared an update on student services with the board of the South East Cornerstone Public School Division during the board's monthly meeting April 17.
Tenold and Kiliwnik offered updates on divisional priorities, based on a three-year plan implemented in 2011. They shared data on students with intensive needs, with a focus on inclusive practices and an emphasis on a less restrictive environment for all students.
To date, 268 students with intensive needs have been identified system-wide through the impact assessment set out by the Ministry of Education. Staff members are provided with professional development information about working with students using inclusive practices, which creates independence and develops a model for interventions.
The division has now completed three years of universal screening. Collected data will allow the team to identify and build on school successes, or provide more support and intervention for schools requiring the same.
Tenold also alluded to English as an Additional Language (EAL), comparing the data and areas of growth between 2012-13 and 2013-14. There has been a 13 per cent increase in the number of EAL students, with the largest representation in the division's south area.
This year, the division received another grant from the Ministry of Education to be used for an EAL project. Rural EAL high school students will be able to earn EAL credits. The funding will also provide better EAL support for teachers and students of all ages in rural schools.
The EAL Initial Assessment Toolkit, which was created using a grant from the Ministry, has been perceived as relatively easy to use. Similarly, the Levelled Literacy Interventions purchased across Grades 1 to 4 have been received positively; the resources are comprehensive, easy to use and teachers are experiencing positive results.
Tenold and Kiliwnik also shared with the board information about the multi-tiered Review360 – a solution to help schools implement anti-bullying initiatives, improve school climate, and bring in Positive Behaviour Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and Response to Intervention (RtI) initiatives for behaviour issues.
Other highlights from the meeting were:
*The Board approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Assiniboine Community College in Brandon, Manitoba, to facilitate and foster practical connections to provide greater learning opportunities and pathways for students. The MOU highlights a number of areas where both organizations will work collaboratively and cooperatively to provide programs and services to benefit students and residents. Both organizations will meet annually to explore opportunities for collaborative action, and establish other mechanisms to facilitate joint action on projects and initiatives of interest.
*The board denied a request of the provincial auditor to access student files and confidential counselor files. The student files contain information on misbehaviour and discipline. Auditors requested specific information that was deemed confidential by the division. The board wants to protect private and personal information of students and their families.
*A request for student transportation to the Carlyle Elementary School was denied, based on the board’s review of the land location, and bus accessibility to the residence.
*The board's next meeting will be Thursday, May 15.