February 2018 Updates: Ottawa’s Public School Board

[1] With support from the Learning Disabilities Association of Ottawa-Carleton and the Association for Bright Children of Ontario, I moved a motion at SEAC asking OCDSB staff to provide STEP-BY-STEP GUIDANCE FOR ACCESS TO SPECIAL PROGRAMS, and to support teachers with training in this area. The motion was supported by the Committee and approved by school trustees, and a report from staff is expected in March! Please keep an eye on that upcoming report, as it is expected to have a positive impact on all students, not just those with special needs. Details here.

[2] As you may have heard, there are also IMPORTANT CHANGES COMING TO OCDSB’S GIFTED PROGRAM, at both the elementary and secondary level. A Gifted Program Advisory Group is expected to release a report in March, providing recommendations on how to improve access to learning opportunities in several Ottawa schools, not just for gifted children but potentially for all elementary students. In addition, the Board plans to reduce the number of secondary (high school) gifted sites from four currently to just two in the future; and – once again – this has the potential to affect directly entire school communities in the city. Details here.

[3] Finally, as the start of the municipal elections campaign is just around the corner, just a reminder that I put together a HANDY LIST OF QUALITIES EXPECTED OF PUBLIC SCHOOL TRUSTEES over the next four years (2018-2022). Here are four key questions to ask the candidates and practical issues to explore prior to the upcoming election: (a) How to best meet the needs of students, parents and communities? (b) How to foster innovation and to support teachers’ professional growth? (c) How to fix the inner workings of school boards? (d) [Very importantly!] How to restore public trust in the school boards? Full blog post here.

As always, do not hesitate to get in contact with me should you or anyone you know have any questions, comments or suggestions. Thank you!

Dr. Dragos Popa

OCDSB SEAC Member

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