Ministry of Education
Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch

Director’s Newsletter – December 2018

Date: December 24, 2018 | Categories: provincial and demonstration schools branch | Tags: newsletter

Message from the Executive Director – Dr. June Rogers

Hello Students, Staff, Parents and Guardians,

I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to the Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch (PDSB) students, staff, parents and guardians for your contributions toward improved student achievement and well-being.

We have had a busy and productive 2018-2019 school year so far and I hope that you enjoy reading through the newsletter to learn more about the great work and activities that have been taking place throughout the Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch in both the schools and the residences. I always enjoy visiting each school campus to interact with the students and staff and to learn more about how schools are advancing in student achievement.  In November, Nancy Naylor, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Education and Shirley Kendrick, acting Assistant Deputy Minister visited the Milton campus to tour E.C. Drury Schools for the Deaf and Trillium Demonstration School. Our guests had the opportunity to meet with the staff and students and learn more about their experience in PDSB. We were able to showcase our schools and the great work that takes place in them.

I would like to thank the dedicated PDSB staff members who are committed to the academic and social growth of our students as well as to their health and safety. Our staff are responsible for creating memorable experiences and opportunities for our students in the PDSB. All of the PDSB staff work together to contribute to the success of the schools and residences. Involvement and support from parents and guardians is also important as these contribute greatly to the accomplishments of our students, the schools and the residences. The partnership between staff, students, parents and guardians is integral to student success and well-being.

I would like to extend my best wishes for a wonderful holiday season. I hope that over the next few weeks you have an opportunity to enjoy this festive season with family and friends and that you take some time to relax and prepare for the new year. May 2019 be your best year yet. Happy Holidays!

Message from the Superintendent, Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch – Ginette Faubert

Our school year got off to a great start! Our schools have been busy with so many wonderful activities!

Our Robarts students continue to engage in activities that build a strong school climate.  At the end of September, we celebrated the International Day of Sign Language. To commemorate Orange Shirt day, staff and students were honoured to have a representative of the Ireland family come to discuss the importance of Orange Shirt day. November 19th kicked off the beginning of Bullying Awareness Week which included a number of activities to learn more about bullying and its effect on student learning and well-being.

Amethyst had a wonderful turnout for Take Your Child to Work Day, including the Principal’s son!  Amethyst held a beautiful Remembrance Day assembly and were honoured to welcome retired Lieutenant General and present Fanshawe College President Peter Devlin as a guest speaker.

In November, the W. Ross Macdonald School opened its doors to students throughout Ontario who are blind and visually impaired. This short term weekend program goes beyond the traditional academic curriculum and helps to support a student`s beginning steps towards independence. These weekends are a great opportunity for students to socialize with peers who are visually impaired and make lasting friendships.

Centre Jules-Léger welcomed a new Acting Principal of the Provincial School and Resource Services, Jean-François Boulanger.  The Centre Jules-Léger Demonstration School held a lovely Remembrance Day event which took place in the solarium. As the holiday season quickly approaches, students have started to prepare for their annual holiday concert where they show off their newly acquired skills in music and theatre.

All of our schools continue to work hard to implement curriculum expectations and our residence programs support and strengthen this learning. At a recent Professional Development day, the focus was on the fundamentals of math and on building essential knowledge and skills to help prepare our students for success.

Although it feels like summer was just here, the holiday season is quickly approaching! I would like to extend my thanks to our school staff for continuing to make student success and well-being their primary focus and I wish to congratulate our students for a great start to the 2018-19 school year. I hope that everyone has a chance to rest and relax with family and friends, and I look forward to you all returning in January!

Message from the Superintendent, Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch – Jeanne Leonard

Greetings to all as we enter the 4th month of this school year and incredibly watch the year fly by.  With the recent change in government, we do realize the transitions we are all experiencing and we appreciate your ongoing support as we work through some of those transitions. Ultimately, as a school system and life in general, transitions happen. They happen all the time in many facets of our lives. Of course they do. We adapt and we model that for our students and each other and support each other through them. Life would be pretty boring and stagnant without them. So as we transition in many areas of our work, we are also transitioning into the Winter season as well as the more immediate Holiday/Christmas Season. It’s the perfect time to reflect and to express appreciation and to celebrate all we have done as a system and all we have been able to accomplish over the years and particularly this school year. We also look forward to what’s ahead, none of which could be possible, without all of you. Regardless of which department or which school you work in, you all contribute to the success of our students and our system. Quite simply, we are a team.  It’s a repeated message but one worth repeating.

The Senior Management Team, along with our students, parents and community sincerely appreciate the job you do every day ensuring the best possible educational experience for the students we serve. We know it’s not always easy. We also sincerely appreciate our students, families and the community for their ongoing support and partnerships. Collectively, we are a very diverse community and with that we are fortunate to have among us many skills, talents, gifts and leadership at all levels of our organization.  All of which have been shared over the many years of our existence with one another and most of all with our students. Together we make things happen and we all have roles in the realization of our goals.

On a personal note, I am again particularly grateful to all of you for the daily support of me in this role.  I am humbled and proud to work with such a fine team. I look forward to continuing working together in the coming new year with you all to ensure that the Provincial and Demonstration Schools remain vibrant and continue as a much-needed option for the students we serve.

May the holidays ahead be peaceful and enjoyable. Spend time with those you love doing what you love. Thank you again for all you do, for our students and their families that we serve, and enjoy this special time of the year.

Staffing Updates

Mr. Jean-François Boulanger joined the Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch as Acting Principal of Centre Jules-Léger (CJL) Provincial School and CJL Resource Services. Mr. Boulanger is an experienced school principal at Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est. He brings in-depth knowledge of the French-Language education system and vast leadership experience in the collaborative process of engaging students and their families.

Mr. John Grochot was the successful candidate in the competition for the position of Transportation Coordinator effective September 1, 2018.  John was seconded to the Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch (PDSB) in 2005 to conduct a comprehensive review of the delivery of transportation services for the Provincial and Demonstration Schools. John continues to bring a wealth of expert knowledge of the student transportation industry and effective supplier management while maintaining the principles of student safety, accountability, efficiency, transparency and effectiveness.

Mr. Sean Gregory will be joining the Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch for the 2018-2019 school year as the Principal, Amethyst Demonstration School. Sean’s passion and advocacy for special education as well as his experience as a classroom and special education teacher, and a school administrator have provided him with a strong background which will be beneficial to the PDSB team.

New School and Residence Staff:

Amethyst Demonstration School

  • Mary Stapleford, Teacher (Elementary)

Centre Jules-Léger Demonstration School

  • Caroline Sauvé, Teacher
  • Fritz Larivière, Teacher, Arts and Music
  • Marc Larivière, Teacher
  • Martine Bertrand, Teacher

Ernest C. Drury School for the Deaf

  • Fazai Istiaq, Teacher (Elementary)
  • Jeri Buzny, Teacher (Secondary)
  • Katie Drewes, Teacher (Secondary)
  • Laura Hardman, Teacher (Elementary)
  • Lindsay Plant – Teacher (Elementary)
  • Matt Wilson, Teacher (Secondary)
  • Scott Garant, Teacher (Secondary)

W. Ross Macdonald School and Residence

  • Andrew Sigmaringam, Student Support Counsellor
  • Bridget Tremblay, Teacher (Vision Resource)
  • Charles Alfano, Student Support Counsellor
  • Darren Rorabeck, Teacher (Secondary)
  • Dean Rideout, Seasonal Aquatics Instructor
  • Faaiza Jakda, Student Support Counsellor and Educational Assistant
  • Gage Donahue-Boyd, Student Support Counsellor
  • Geoff Aitchison, Student Support Counsellor
  • Ian Boyd, Vision Resource Teacher
  • Jenny Sterzaj, Residence Team Leader
  • Tara Hickman, Vision Resource Teacher

Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf

  • Joan Hutt, Librarian

Resource Services

  • Amy King, Educational Consultant
  • Angela Dillion, Home Visiting Teacher

Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch

Amethyst Demonstration School

Principal: Sean Gregory

The launch of the new school year has been a particularly successful one at Amethyst Demonstration School and our new and returning students have responded extremely well to our instructional program along with the routines and expectations of everyday school life.  This fall we have held numerous school wide events including our Welcome Back BBQ, Terry Fox fundraising initiative, Remembrance Day ceremony, Bullying Awareness & Prevention Week activities and our new ‘Respect the Tech’ days.

One of many fall highlights has been our Student Led Conferences prepared and facilitated by each elementary and secondary student. These conferences were a wonderful opportunity for students to celebrate their individual skill sets, review their academic goals, program highlights, social skill objectives and prepare their reading plan of action for the year.

We continue to learn and focus our attention around demonstrating grit and a growth mindset and work daily towards our school motto – Work Hard, Be Nice, and Believe in Ourselves.  We look forward to what lies ahead at Amethyst!

Amethyst Demonstration School, Residence Program

Residence Manager: Janet Smye

What a GREAT start we have had to our school year. We are extremely excited for the school year and residence staff will be doing their very best to provide a safe, inclusive and accommodating living experience for every student. We look forward to providing each student with experiences that help with their success – socially and academically.

Our Back to School BBQ was a huge success. It was a time for families, students, staff and teachers to meet one another and start the year off with a positive learning experience.

Student Led Conferences were a highlight in October as well as our Halloween Dance. The conferences were very successful as residence counsellors, teachers, and students presented their learning and social goals for the year. Congratulations to our students for a job well done. Clubs and activity nights are in full swing with a very active Rock and Roll Club, Ukulele Club, First Aid and Bronze training. Upcoming events include volunteer work at the Food Bank and Ronald McDonald House.

Centre Jules-Léger (CJL) Demonstration School

Principal: Manon Provost

Integrating Technology in the Classroom:  A Motivating Tool for Students

Class Dojo and Classcraft are interactive tools used in the classroom to motivate students to perform. Each student has his or her own avatar or interactive character that they have chosen from a list of different monster avatars or characters. They personalize their monster or character so that they become more invested and stimulated in the process. Students can earn points for different skills the teacher wants to reinforce. For instance, if a student is hard at work without constant supervision, the teacher can give him or her points for working independently. Once the students have accumulated enough points, they can purchase certain privileges and rewards in the classroom. What they can purchase is determined by the entire class beforehand. Some of the rewards students have chosen are playing with Lego for 20 minutes, sitting in the teacher’s chair for a day and being the teacher of the class for 20 minutes. The best thing about Class Dojo or Classcraft is that the teacher can project the results on the Smart Board so students can see and track their progress. The students are able to collaborate, support each other and build their teamwork skills. It’s an enjoyable activity. It is similar to videogames with mission and power upgrade but without violence. Finally Class Dojo or Classcraft is also a great communication tool. Teachers can post pictures of students and their work and parents can see their progress from home.

Centre Jules-Léger (CJL) Provincial School

Acting Principal: Jean-François Boulanger

Students were engaged in project-driven inquiry in social studies and science. The student in the first picture below is working on a science project identifying the parts of the human body, while the student in the second picture is working on a social studies presentation about animals. Congratulations to our staff members for their willingness to come up with new and innovative activities that continue to inspire and engage our learners!

Centre Jules-Léger, Residence Program

Residence Manager: Richard Gosselin

Students are actively involved in their weekly workshops and activities in residence. Some exciting activities included creating artwork in wood shop class as demonstrated in the picture below, and baking cupcakes and decorating them for Halloween.

Ernest. C. Drury School for the Deaf – Elementary

Principal: Cindy Smith

It has been widely recognized that all students benefit from understanding their own learning needs and learning how to become full participants in their learning journey.  Emotional self-understanding and emotional self-regulation are key to helping our children grow in their ability to relate to the world in ways that make others feel comfortable relating to them.  Executive functioning and cognitive control of behaviours are brain-based skills that serve as the foundation to overcoming hurdles that often stand in one’s way in reaching a goal.  Based on these key learnings, students and staff of E. C. Drury Elementary School have been participating in a school wide initiative to engage, enlighten and encourage learning across all areas of school life, while at the same time learning to better understand and ultimately manage emotions in order to become the best that we can be.  The GotYa reward system was implemented to recognize and reward positive behaviour, using a consistent and shared language, and has our ‘Little Beavers’ accomplishing great things.

Figure 9: A sample of a GOTYA ticket
Figure 9: A sample of a GOTYA ticket

Ernest C. Drury School for the Deaf – Secondary

Principal: Cindy Smith

Students at E. C. Drury Secondary School have been highly active in advocating for their school and participating in special events in the local community.  As part of the Specialist High Skills Major – Arts and Culture Program, students have been participating in visits to the improvisational stage of Second City, University of Waterloo’s theatre production of “Tomorrow Love”, as well as a sit down chat with Mr. Jonathan Dorf, writer and creator of the one-act play entitled, “Me, Myselfie and I”.  Mr. Dorf, just happened to be in Toronto and was able to drop into the school to visit with the production team and the students who will be bringing his play to life in the upcoming Spring Production of “Me, Myselfie and I”.

Figure 10: Me, Myselfie and I
Figure 10: Me, Myselfie and I

Finally, as advocates for their school, students have had our second of three student panel-led discussions with professionals who have expressed an interest in learning more about Deaf Education in Ontario. Who better to share their stories then the students themselves?  Our most recent visit included a fireside chat with Nancy Naylor, Deputy Minister of Education, Shirley Kendrick, Acting Assistant Deputy Minister of the Student Support and Field Services Division, as well as our own Dr. June Rogers, Executive Director and Jeanne Leonard, Superintendent.  Students were able to share a little bit of personal history as well as insight into the importance of Deaf Education in Ontario, particularly at the Provincial and Demonstration Schools.  After each and every panel discussion, visitors have been impressed with the student’s ability to articulate their goals, dreams and vision for the future of Deaf Education.

Robarts School for the Deaf

Principal: Linda Wall

In the kindergarten class, students are identifying “who” and “where” through the use of ASL Graphemes and English words, and are learning about story structure (beginning, middle, end). A student from the kindergarten class demonstrates by writing (and drawing) his own story.

Sagonaska Demonstration School

Principal: Tina MacCauley-Gray

During the month of November, each of our students presented at their fall review meetings.  This is an opportunity for students and Sagonaska school and residence staff to share their progress with parents, home school teachers, administrators and board representatives.  For most students, presenting in front of a group of adults can be a daunting and fearful task.  Students provide support to each other by taking the time to openly acknowledge obstacles and find strategies for success together.

In the review meetings, our students discuss their LD profile, their strengths and challenges and the work-arounds that they find most helpful.  Parents learn how the students use the Empower program, fluency passages, technology and develop an understanding of their executive functioning to improve their reading scores. These student-led conferences are a celebration of our students’ grit and growth mind-set in ‘climbing the Reading Mountain’!

Figure 16: Students in Grades 5-7 go through a mock ‘review meeting’ with their teachers to prepare for their own celebration of success!
Figure 16: Students in Grades 5-7 go through a mock ‘review meeting’ with their teachers to prepare for their own celebration of success!

Sagonaska Demonstration School, Residence Program

Residence Manager: Ian Flynn

The grade 7 boys have been the largest advocates and drivers behind the residence morning workout routine. This was an awesome opportunity for the students to utilize their powerful energy in a positive way.

The following are some major developments since the beginning of this new routine.

  1. Dedication: From day one, everyone has been up at 6:00 AM ready for the day. Shoes ready, water bottles filled, and the amount of focus and drive to engage their busy bodies into something meaningful and integral to their wellbeing.
  2. Team work: The amount of team work and interest in the physical development of others seem to be a core value of these students.
  3. Respect for the gym facility: They quickly understood the importance of respecting the equipment and keeping a clean gym.
  4. Focus and a willingness to learn: These boys are incredibly focused while in the gym.
  5. Positive Feeling: The amount of positive feedback about how they feel after their gym sessions is wonderful, especially since this is a self-driven project.
Figure 17: Grade 7 boys at their morning workout
Figure 17: Grade 7 boys at their morning workout

Often times the amount of excess energy expressed by students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can have an impact on their education, social relationships, and overall functioning. Staff have made a point to acknowledge the students’ hard work and accomplishments and help them recognize that their extra energy can be of extreme value when channeled properly.

The junior boys started a new Christmas tradition. The group went out to a local tree farm to pick out a Christmas tree for residence.  Most of the students had never had an opportunity like this before and it was a great way to start off the holiday season. Every program has been busy doing Christmas crafts and getting ready for Christmas break.

Meanwhile, the girls have decorated the residence for Christmas, made Christmas cookies and are excited to exchange their Secret Santa gifts. They recently went bowling, out for a dinner and a movie and did some Christmas shopping.

In the new year, they are excited to hold their own Paint Nite in residence! Happy Holidays from Sagonaska Residence!

Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf

Principal: Janice Drake

Sir James Whitney School (SJW) celebrated its 148th school anniversary on October 19, 2018 with our wolf mascot!

Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake, British Columbia, Canada in the spring of 2013.  It grew out of Phyllis’ story of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the Mission, and it has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually. The date, September 30, was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools.

On September 30, 2018, SJW commemorated Orange Shirt Day by convening in the auditorium to discuss the legacy of the residential school system and the impact it had on Indigenous groups. The event started off with an Indigenous student conducting the smudging ceremony and all students and staff gave thanks for water.  Most students and staff wore orange shirts.

Figure 18: Indigenous student conducting the smudging ceremony
Figure 18: Indigenous student conducting the smudging ceremony

Our monthly literacy (American Sign Language (ASL) and English) and numeracy stars were selected for this month and the October winners were:

  • Reading: Cooper, Keegan, Vaylena, Zoe and Owen
  • Writing: Keegan, Kaila, Myla
  • ASL Comprehension: Dominic, Kaila, Vaylena
  • ASL Construction: Miranda, Noah, Jasmina
  • Math: Wyatt, Jasmina
Figure 19: The Literacy Stars for October
Figure 19: The Literacy Stars for October

On October 17, 2018, Abbey Flower, a certified archaeologist from Infrastructure Ontario and Joanna Brown, Environmental Specialist, presented an unusual topic – archeology and its implications to our school. They provided sessions for the SJW elementary and secondary students at SJW and a separate session for the students from the Sagonaska Demonstration School. The students were very engaged in the three sessions. The elementary students enjoyed digging for artifacts in bins of soil, while the high school students had to guess the type of mammals based on the skeletal structures. Students also had to guess the use of each of the artifacts displayed. Abbey plans to come back in the spring to do a dig for artifacts with us.

Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf, Residence Program

Residence Manager: Ian Flynn

Every Wednesday, the Sir James Whitney School’s residence holds our “Wolf Den,” a combination of fun and educational activities for all students and staff.  We started out with “Charades” and “Pictionary,” challenging participants to practice their skills in acting, ASL classifiers, English vocabulary, and drawing.  The students made excellent efforts and had a great time!

Staff also practiced similar skills on a separate occasion by playing a difficult game consisting of 3 rounds:

  • Round 1: Describing words without using the actual signs for those words.
  • Round 2:  Describing the same words in Round 1, but using only two handshapes specified at the start of Round 2.
  • Round 3:  Describing the same words again, but each word could only be described by one carefully-chosen sign to trigger staff’s memory of the word being described.

Trillium Demonstration School

Principal: Desiree Smith

Spearheaded by teacher Kevin Pickett, the Trillium Demonstration School has integrated gamification into their school by introducing the Nocturne program. No matter the class or teacher, students can now earn virtual items and points for their created avatar by completing schoolwork, contributing to the learning community, and demonstrating socially responsible behaviour in a roundtable game of imaginative, curriculum-based scenarios. To date, the use of game elements in Canadian schools has been limited to the preferences of individual teachers, implementing other gamification programs or not into their select classes; Nocturne is a schoolwide initiative, with all teachers and staff awarding points or items through a simple app available on all devices.

Figure 24: Students, role-playing as their Nocturne characters, work together to solve the mystery of the old king’s ghost and its relations to the royal family
Figure 24: Students, role-playing as their Nocturne characters, work together to solve the mystery of the old king’s ghost and its relations to the royal family

Junior students in Mary Evan’s classes are receiving specialized instruction in the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children’s Primary Vocabulary and Comprehension Program (P-Comp), intermediate students in Anna Cifani’s classes are piloting the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children’s research version of the Intermediate Vocabulary and Comprehension Program (I-Comp). Both are extensions to the Empower Reading Program, designed to develop and enhance the vocabulary development and comprehension component of reading.

Grades 6, 7 and 8 students read “The House with the Clock in its Walls” by John Bellairs.  Students in Richard Parker’s class learned about, researched and analyzed each of the story elements (e.g., protagonist, antagonist, climbing action, climax, problem and solution).  As they worked through these elements, the students collaborated on an interactive wall using Scratch coding and Makey Makey.  They recorded information about each of the elements into Scratch, and when they pressed one of the buttons on the wall, the coding took over and played back the information that they had recorded.  Now that they’ve learned the story elements, they will be writing a story in the style of Hugo Cabret about their structures, and when finished, they will use Google Slides to publish their E-Book.

Figure 25: Interactive Wall using Scratch to code
Figure 25: Interactive Wall using Scratch to code

In order to learn more about Ontario college programs and the careers they lead to, teacher Ina Bhalla facilitated a high school visit to the Ontario College Information Fair at Exhibition Place on October 24th.

Trillium Demonstration School, Residence Program

Residence Manager: Lisa Morden

Trillium Residence has been busy with the Communications Workshop phase of the program which included workshops relating to Creative Expressions, Young Men’s Council, the Image of ME and Above and Beyond. Creative Expressions focuses on emotional identification and coping through expression of a variety of different mediums. Young Men’s Council address strengths of diversity, being a positive role model and mentor and developing healthy relationships. The Image of ME goals focus on educating around positive sense of self, identifying the dangers of social media, and how to use social media as a positive platform. Above and Beyond is focussed on finding the meaning of self and how to cope with stress and adversity.

In November, the residence council planned Anti Bullying Week, which included developing Community Affirmation Trees, We are Silent movement from Me to We, Pink Shirt Day and Stand up Speak Up.

W. Ross Macdonald School and Residence Program

Principal: Dan Maggiacomo

Residence Manager: Emily Ricker

The school and residence staff of W. Ross Macdonald School are working together to ensure the success of our students!  We all share a common goal — a strong commitment to supporting students in achieving academic success and reaching their chosen goals.

As outlined in our ‘School Improvement Plan for Student Achievement’ (SIPSA) on the October 26, 2018 Professional Development Day, all staff joined together in a session that we called “Let’s Communicate”.

In this session, school, residence, and support staff, including residence counsellors, teachers, educational assistants, orientation and mobility instructors, independent living skills instructors, nurses, aquatics staff, etc., met in a structured forum to discuss each student’s strengths, needs and plan for achievement.  Together they discussed the student’s Individual Education Plan and their Individual Residence Plan and how to best support each student.  Teachers shared with our residence staff strategies that could be used to support the academic needs of each student during the evening study hour (see pictures).  As well, our Orientation & Mobility (O&M) and Independent Living Skills (ILS) instructors shared ways to support students, both throughout the school day, and in after-school residence programming.  The consistent implementation of instructional practices throughout their entire day has proven to significantly increase our students’ level of academic achievement and overall success.

Discussions were focused on specific areas based on data around daily numeracy and literacy skills, as well as orientation and mobility and independent living skills, in order to support each student’s achievement and to determine where students may require additional support.  We also talked about alternative strategies for learning, including experiential learning through field trips, extra-curricular activities and after-school activities.

We are excited about implementing some of our ideas and look forward to seeing great improvements in our students’ achievement!

Resource Services, Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program

Principal: Julia Robinson

The Play and Learning Centre (PALC) program fosters a transparent space where children and families can feel comfort, support and security as they journey through their early years. Exploration, play and inquiry are the foundations for our emergent curriculum. This is created from the children’s interests (and what challenges them), and the teacher assessment which lead to supported learning experiences. Our teachers consider themselves as co-learners who ultimately support student and parent engagement, freedom of expression, sense of belonging and well-being. We are excited to share our new ideas and fun activities for each age group.

All families in our program are welcome to join! A focused lesson is provided and led by the teachers.

  • Tuesdays: Infants/ Early Toddlers
  • Wednesdays: All ages
  • Thursdays: Late Toddlers/ Preschoolers

Once a month, children are engaged in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) activities as part of the “transition” to kindergarten (see picture below – children engaged in a STEAM activity called pumpkin bubbles). We also invite special guests to do special activities such as storytelling or well-being activities.

Figure 32: Children engaged in STEAM Activity called Pumpkin bubbles
Figure 32: Children engaged in STEAM Activity called Pumpkin bubbles

Figure 32: Children engaged in STEAM Activity called Pumpkin bubbles

We are also proud that many of our teachers have started “Play Groups” across the province, in local communities. This allows families and children the ability to get together, in their community area, for a morning or afternoon of learning.  This is an area that we will continue to expand on in future months.

Resource Services, Blind, Low Vision and Deafblind Program

Principal: Dan Maggiacomo

On November 12, 2018, W. Ross Macdonald School teachers of both the school and Resources Services participated in an all-day math training session dedicated to the Ministry of Education’s Focusing on the Fundamentals of Math resource.

The day was approached from a holistic standpoint, looking at differentiated math instruction specifically highlighting the Number Sense and Numeration strand of the Ontario math curriculum including how it fits into instruction in the Expanded Core Curriculum.

Figure 33: Math tools
Figure 33: Math tools

Teachers continued to develop their understanding of number concepts and skills that help inform instructional decisions. They explored essential math concepts and problems of practice specific to students who are blind or have low-vision, through the use of manipulatives, technology and hands-on activities. Many opportunities to continue building math connections locally, nationally and internationally were identified.

Contact Us

Dr. June Rogers
Executive Director, Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch
(905) 878-2851 ext. 214
TTY: (905) 878-7195 ext. 214

Ginette Faubert
Superintendent, Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch
(905) 878-2851 ext. 237
TTY: (905) 878-7195

Jeanne Leonard
Superintendent, Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch
(905) 878-2851 ext. 213
TTY: (905) 878-7195 ext. 213