News Item

Board Highlights (February 2020)

February 14, 2020

​Notes from the February 12, 2020 Regular (Public) Meeting of the South East Cornerstone Public School Division (SECPSD) Board of Educationlogo-vertical.jpg

Monitoring Report on System Goal #3

System Goal #3 – Our division and its schools effectively use information to measure, monitor and report continuous improvement – was well evidenced through a monitoring report brought to the Board by Director of Education Lynn Little jointly with the school superintendent of each of the three service areas: Shelley Sargent (South), Kevin Hengen (East) and Gord Husband (West) who each provided an overview of a sample of data and information used to drive work and supports in separate areas.

Little began the presentation stating that, "we are sharing the data that we are using in order to make informed decisions," be they for financial, direct supports for students or programming purposes.  Gesturing towards wall walk data posted along two long whiteboards on the west wall in the board room, Little said there are many forms of data that are collected and used for the core piece of SECPSD's work which is student achievement.  The data is used for a variety of purposes, i.e. diagnostic, screening and reporting.

Sargent spoke to the Saskatchewan Alliance for Youth and Community Well-Being (SAYCW) student survey which is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the Saskatchewan population, as well as the Universal Behaviour Screen through the Review 360 program. 

The superintendent stated that Grade 7-12 students were invited to participate in the SAYCW survey entitled Thriving Youth, Thriving Communities from March 4 to April 6, 2019. Although SECPSD was to have received results back in October, due to the volume of interest across Saskatchewan, division results have just now been received, with individual school results soon to follow.  Sargent said the data will be used to move forward in building plans to put the necessary supports in place in each school, if not already in place, to best meet the needs of students.  She zeroed in on the division data pertaining to mental health where students shared information in four areas:  wellness, depressive symptoms, self-harm and suicide, noting that in the survey both teachers and students rated mental health as the most important topic. Of significance, she observed that self-injury behaviours usually start between 13 and 15 years of age and that many mental health professionals believe that in most cases youth use self-harm behaviors to cope with stress, anxiety, depression and anger. Overall survey results will be analyzed at the division level and upon receipt of school results, staff will examine the data in all categories and develop action plans.  Sargent explained that a group of school division professionals, including a recently hired mental health consultant, is working on a self-harm and suicide prevention plan for SECPSD which will focus on three areas:  prevention, intervention and postvention and outlined several other initiatives already in place in SECPSD in support of mental health.

The second portion of Sargent's report related to the Universal Screen, completed by all Grade 4 to 12 students annually in the fall. The behavioural and emotional screening system is a tool that can be used to determine a child's risk level for developing emotional and/or behavioural problems that require intervention. Students completed a self-assessment survey and teachers completed a survey on all students, with teacher/student results being very close: normal risk (81% vs 80%; elevated risk (13% vs 14%) and extremely elevated risk (6% vs 5%). The data is being examined and action plans are being established to address the needs, with re-screening of any students scoring in the red on the self or teacher survey to be done in the spring.

Hengen's segment of the monitoring report focused on some of the division work that is done around outcome data for report cards and Skopus graduation reports.  He explained, "We did a deep dive analysis into ELA and mathematics outcome data and are looking for patterns, what it tells us and what we can do with that information." He provided two sets of data for each of the two subjects.  The outcome data, which can show patterns year over year or with a specific class so that supports can be planned and implemented, is shared and discussed monthly by superintendents with their school principals, resulting in staff having detailed discussions with English and Math teachers to ascertain what they need to do in their classrooms to reach targets.

Hengen reported that the Skopus graduation reports give an immediate snapshot of credits completed as well as projected credits in accordance with the subject in which students are enrolled.  Teachers submit student marks via Gradebook which data automatically feeds into the division's data warehouse system.  It is then used to monitor individual student credit attainment and track whether a student is on track to graduate or what is yet required.  Deputy Director of Education Keith Keating stressed the importance of reporting by outcome.  Some students may only be missing one little slice of a course and staff can see that and offer the opportunity for a credit recovery through completion of that item.  Hengen explained that previously the student would have had to take the whole course over but this way if they are unsuccessful in completing a course, they can be given a 30-day window, a period currently underway from the end of January to the end of February, for example, to complete the missing component.  Hengen said there are less students in credit recovery at the end of the school year likely due to students spending more time in May and June ensuring they don't have to repeat the process.

Superintendent Husband reported on the Lexia Core 5 Reading (Tier 1 instructional platform for grade 2-5) and PowerUp Literacy (Tier 2 instructional platform for grade 6 and up) programs to support achievement for students who have been identified as needing the supports.  As described at www.lexialearning.com, the program empowers literacy educators through adaptive assessment and personalized instruction in which students are motivated by their own success and have their own personalized learning paths.

Teachers have access to the program such that as a student works through the lessons, the progress data is updated moment to moment and is available as soon as they log off.  Monitoring occurs at four levels:  division, school, classroom and student with data being organized and examined under five areas:  usage, progress, progress by usage, predictors and certificates/celebrations. Husband was pleased to explain that some schools are becoming quite creative with celebrations, for example, at Lyndale School in Oungre, they have a fun competition between classes utilizing a map of Canada which they have integrated with a "trek across Canada" for the entire school. "They get to add a car each time a student completes a unit, and it's a race between the grade 2 and 3 students vs the grade 4 and 5 students," he said.

Superintendents receive usage reports via a comparable snapshot every four weeks showing progress for each school and have access to a dashboard representing cumulative data of all schools, which results are discussed with principals.  Husband provided data monitoring piece samples for the four levels previously mentioned, with the division level pieces indicating that over a four-week period the combined usage (students' amount of time in the program) percentage was 77 covering the period January 6 to 27.  Teachers can view results for this week, last week, the year or customized data results. The students must get the target minutes in (from 20 to 80 minutes) in order to see desired results. An analysis of dashboard results gives a quick picture of how many students still need time to reach their usage minutes and allows teachers to see what the next level of intervention should be, which assists them in organizing classroom work to provide for that. 

The full monitoring report PowerPoint presentation may be viewed here.

Top Major Capital Projects

A motion was passed by the Board identifying the renovation of the Estevan Comprehensive School; a new Estevan PreK-6 joint-use school with Holy Family Roman Catholic Separate School Division; and a new Carlyle PreK-12 school as the top three major capital projects for this year's submission to the Ministry, which will be submitted by the end-of-February deadline. 

The Ministry's major capital program provides funding to school divisions for new schools or major additions/renovations to their facilities.  School division requests for major capital funding are prioritized by the Ministry of Education and are approved pending budget appropriation. The ministry ranks requests based on three components:  health and safety; efficiency and facility condition. (source:  www.saskatchewan.ca)

Facilities & Transportation Annual Report

Andy Dobson, Manager of Facilities & Transportation, walked the Board through a celebratory pictorial presentation pertaining to the three sectors (caretaking, transportation and facilities) that compose his department, stating that he wanted to "show the workmanship that we do inside our schools … redoing classrooms, science labs …"  His report included renderings of the two capital projects currently underway, which are the construction of the new Legacy Park Elementary School in Weyburn (opening date of September 2021) as well as the new Weyburn transportation shop (completion date of June 17, 2020) which are both on time and on budget.  The shop will have four drive through bays with one washing bay for two buses at a time and an outside bay for washing buses in the spring and fall.  The facility colours will be matched as best as possible with the division office building adjacent to it. As well, future planning will see the department take over the west contracted bus routes currently serviced by FirstCanada.

The new Weyburn school is actually slated to be completed by March 2021 and then commissioning will take place to ensure everything is operable.  Dobson stated that the school colours were decided via the park theme with the changing seasons and that the school will face south into a green space parking area.  He described it as "an exciting project" and said there will be lots to see, i.e. rooms and some areas - come June or September.

On March 16th Dobson will host the 10th annual departmental inservice in Weyburn bringing the entire department of 216 individuals together with sector breakout sessions incorporated into the agenda.  With a price tag of $8,000 Dobson mentioned that going forward the inservice will perhaps be offered on a biennial basis.

The manager provided listings of Preventative Maintenance and Renewal (PMR) funded projects to the tune of $2,659,500 as well as SECPSD budget funded projects ($299,000) in addition to a list of major renovation projects undertaken by the facilities department over the past roughly five years, mentioning that there is really only July and August to do a major project and usually one gets done per year with smaller projects sometimes being carried out over the February and Easter school breaks. Dobson praised the PMR program/structure stating that preventative maintenance certainly works.  For example, there was a 46% reduction in roof leaks and 62% reduction in heating system failures. He is pleased that the government recognizes that PMR funding across the province needs to increase.  The full report may be accessed here.

Articles by Norm Park

Articles submitted by Norm Park, contracted reporter for SECPSD, are available at these links:  Facilities, Monitoring Report, Phones.

Upcoming Meetings

02 24 20Public Section Executive Teleconference
02 26 20Governance/Human Resources Committee Meeting
02 26 20Board Strategic Planning Meeting
03 16 20Board Chairs Council Teleconference
03 25 20Committee-of-the-Whole Board Meeting
03 25 20Regular (Public) Board Meeting

 

– 30 –

For more information, please contact:

 

South East Cornerstone Public School Division

80A-18th Street N.E., Weyburn, SK S4H 2W4

Telephone: (306) 848-0080,Website: www.secpsd.ca, Email:  contactus@secpsd.ca

​Calendar Picture.jpg