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School Plan for Continuous Improvement 385
School Plan for Continuous Improvement
Director's Annual Plan

The York Region District School Board has a history of promoting strong literacy and numeracy skill development, which are anchors to success in school and life. To align with Achieving Excellence: A Renewed Vision for Education in Ontario, our YRDSB goals broadened to include student achievement and well-being.

This year’s Director’s annual plan is built upon three clear focus areas for improvement: modern learning, math and mental health. These areas support the goals of Achieving Excellence and the Trustee's Multi-Year Plan. The three focus areas are underpinned by the foundational practices of leadership, innovation and equity and are guided by the Board's Mission, Vision and Values.

Focus on Empowering Student Through Modern Learning

Modern learning is authentic, relevant, deep learning that enables learners to create, to connect, to communicate and to share their learning with the world and to be future ready. 

To improve student achievement and well-being we will:

  • Increase opportunities to engage students in authentic inquiry that is connected to their interests and strengths.
  • Increase opportunities for student voice to be heard in order to build equitable and inclusive school cultures.
  • Provide professional learning to build the capacity of staff to use pedagogies for deep learning in order to:
    • personalize learning  and assessment;
    • promote collaboration, creativity and critical thinking;
    • appropriately integrate technology as a learning and communication tool; and
    • increase the opportunities for experiential learning.
  • Pilot and learn from the development and implementation of flexible learning structures.
  • Promote the mindsets of innovation, growth, character and community as foundational to digital and global citizenship.
  • Promote collaborative leadership to engage stakeholders in moving towards a culture and mindset of modern learning.
  • Update Blueprints for Change so staff can make informed instructional decisions about appropriate technology tools.
  • Enhance our teachers’ access to digital tools in support of their professional practice through the Teacher Technology Engagement Program (TTEP).
  • Engage parents and community as partners in the move towards modern learning.
  • Continue to support the alignment of the Board's business departments with strategic priorities and initiatives that enable modern learning and modern working.
  • Create a modern learning framework and strategy.

Focus on Building Student Success in Mathematics

As YRDSB’s Frame for Effective Instruction in Mathematics outlines, successful outcomes are built through commitment, planning, effective assessment, responsive instruction, strong relationships and the engagement of all students. 

To improve student achievement and well-being we will:

  • Engage students as co-learners in achieving success in mathematics and build positive mindsets, perseverance and resilience for mathematical learning.
  • Commence implementation of YRDSB’s Comprehensive Mathematics Program.
  • Promote balance in the implementation of the mathematics’ program to support the development of strong problem-solving skills and mathematical fluency.
  • Further develop assessment strategies in mathematics that help teachers personalize instruction.
  • Promote the integration of flexible structures, digital tools and assistive technologies as supports for learning in mathematics.
  • Provide opportunities for staff professional learning and leading in mathematics and support collaborative inquiries in mathematics.
  • Engage parents as partners in students’ mathematical learning.
  • Create a renewed mathematics strategy.

Focus on Supporting Positive Mental Health

York Region District School Board’s Mental Health Strategy has four priority areas:

  • Reducing Stigma
  • Supporting Understanding and Building Capacity
  • Developing Mentally Healthy Environments
  • Creating Collaborative Care Pathways

To improve student achievement and well-being we will:

  • Promote resiliency in our students and foster welcoming, supportive communities.
  • Implement a systemic stigma reduction campaign for schools and workplaces.
  • Continue to support the implementation of a scaffolded approach to building capacity regarding mental health awareness, mental health literacy and mental health expertise.
  • Promote and implement evidence-based practices for building mentally healthy working and learning environments.
  • Support the training and implementation of the LivingWorks Suicide Prevention programs and participate in the development of a Community Suicide Intervention Protocol for York Region.
  • Support the development and implementation of the community plan for the delivery of mental health services and supports in York Region with the MCYS Lead Agency, Kinark Child and Family Services.
  • Reinforce ongoing YRDSB work in well-being via the YRDSB Well-Being Steering Committee which will:
    • continue to develop strategies to address issues of bullying, cyberbullying and substance misuse and abuse;
    • provide supports for positive student character development and good citizenship;
    • grow our environmental initiatives and Ontario EcoSchools certification rates;
    • continue to foster student involvement and citizenship through character education; and
    • continue to support schools and workplaces in their planning for Healthy, Caring and Safe environments.
  • Engage parents and the community in supporting the well-being of our students.
  • Create a renewed mental health strategy.

Foundational Practices

Foundational practices are the mobilizers for all improvement work in the York Region District School Board. They help us achieve sustainable excellence and must be embedded in all that we do. 

The Foundational Practices are:

  • Leadership that adapts, inspires and engages;
  • Innovation that sparks creativity in problem solving and new approaches to learning together; and
  • a commitment to Equity that furthers high expectations for all and our belief that each student and can reach his or her full potential given access to rich learning experiences and appropriate time and support.

To improve student achievement and well-being we will:

  • Work intentionally to embed these practices in the work of the foci and Board initiatives, making the connections to them explicit in Board and school/department improvement plans.

Professional Learning

Effective professional learning involves a comprehensive, sustained and intensive approach to improving staff members’ effectiveness in raising staff and student achievement and promoting their well-being. Quality professional learning fosters a sense of collective responsibility and moral purpose.

To improve student achievement and well-being we will:

  • Revisit our professional learning models so that there is an appropriate range of learning time spent in formal, social and experiential learning  resulting in consistent application of learning in practice.
  • Leverage technology to enhance and personalize professional learning through on-line learning communities, social media, apps and a variety of digital tools.
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