CDSBEO Board meeting report

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by Amber LaBerge, Communications Lead, CDSBEO
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Superintendent of School Effectiveness Norma McDonald, along with CDSBEO Faith Animator John Whyte, presented information on how CDSBEO embeds equity, diversity and inclusion practices within our school communities. The Board spiritual theme, I Belong Here – Together We Are God’s Good News, provides the foundation for appropriate supports and resources.

Through the Board of Trustees Faith and Equity Advisory and Parent Involvement committees, community partnerships have been expanded to support this work. 

The Department of Religious and Family Life Education continues to collaborate with the Curriculum Department to plan activities for schools around various themes including CDSBEO Week, Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week, Black History Month, Asian Heritage Month, and Catholic Education Week, to name a few. Additionally, the CDSBEO Service Trip to the Dominican Republic, the grade 10 Just Us Youth Day, and a new grade 12 Social Justice course all provide robust opportunities for student learning. These programs promote a variety of ways to promote a shared understanding and support the ongoing process of acceptance and belonging.

“Thank you for highlighting the many ways that we as a board implement Equity, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. It was a very powerful presentation and the many examples you have provided make it even more meaningful for all of us,” concluded Chair Wilson.

Online Learning at CDSBEO:

Superintendent of School Effectiveness Tracy O’Brien, along with St. James Catholic Education Centre Principal Jennifer Lentz and Online Learning Coordinator Karen Tobin presented information about online learning opportunities at CDSBEO. Following the 2021-2022 school year, the educational landscape shifted to accommodate the new requirement of two online learning courses for secondary students to attain their Ontario Secondary School Diploma. 

To address this shift, and the increased demand for online learning courses, CDSBEO became part of two consortia: Catholic Virtual Ontario and Ontario eLearning Consortium. Together, these two consortia helped to support more than 600 students enrolled in online courses last year. All courses were then centralized under St. James Catholic Education Centre in spring 2023, to help further support staff and students with online learning.

The adjustments have led to a noticeable rise in online student achievement, and 98 per cent of students achieved a successful credit outcome in semester one of this year. CDSBEO online courses have been integrated into the selection process on myBlueprint, and courses are now added based on student feedback during the course selection phase. While CDSBEO will no longer be offering the VLES due to a significant decline in enrolment, a preference to return to in person learning and the growth in online course offerings will continue to support students in their future learning journeys.

CDSBEO has offered online learning to students since 2006.

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