Across the Boards - ET Fall 2014

Tribute to Toronto DSB Trustee Howard Goodman

In May, Howard Goodman, the trustee for Ward 8, Eglinton-Lawrence, announced he will be stepping down from the Toronto District School Board in October. A committed 11-year veteran with the board, Goodman has served for many years on a wide variety of OPSBA committees.

Joel Hertz, the vice chair of the York Region DSB, wrote this tribute to Goodman in a letter to the National Post in May, 2014.

"What a huge loss to Public Education in Ontario.

"In my humble opinion Howard was the best advocate for students, parents and staff at TDSB and the Ontario Public School Boards' Association.

"No Trustee worked so hard, was so dedicated, or was as devoted as Howard.

"He is and was an honourable man, dare I say a 'Mensch.'

"Howard will be greatly missed by me, by many Trustees across the Province, by parents and students.

"Howard devoted his time and energy to Public Education, both in Toronto and Ontario.

"He will be sorely missed, although Board Meetings at various levels sadly will be shorter."

Durham DSB Hosts Canada's First R.A.C.E. Program

More than 600 Durham DSB secondary school students gathered at Sinclair Secondary School in May for the first Canadian showing of Racing Accelerates Creative Education (R.A.C.E.). This program, sponsored by the Japanese automotive company Mazda, uses popular automotive industry events such as auto racing to teach students about the science behind the industry.  At this event, students were treated to an interactive presentation and appearances by an auto industry engineer and test driver.

The R.A.C.E. program was launched in the United States in January 2014, just days before the famous Rolex 24 auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Florida.

For more information, contact Andrea Pidwerbecki, communications, Durham DSB (905) 666-6313, Pidwerecki_Andrea@durham.edu.on.ca, or Sandra Lemaitre, Mazda, (647) 224-6790 or slemaitre@mazda.ca.

Lakehead Public Schools Regional Conference on First Nations Languages

In April, Lakehead Public Schools hosted a two-day Regional Native Language Conference. First Nations leaders and education officials gathered to discuss the importance of first languages to the Aboriginal community, highlighting methods to keep Native language skills from dying out among young people. Schools can be important key partners in helping to revive these living languages, and conference organizer Lynnita Guillet says that while the Lakehead board is doing a good job teaching First Nations students their languages and cultural identity, more is needed.   

For more information, visit www.lakeheadschools.ca/news/archive  or read

"Aboriginal Leaders, Education Experts Work Toward Preserving Native Languages," by Leith Dunick, http://www.tbnewswatch.com, April 14, 2014.

Lambton Kent DSB in Global Education Technology Study

In May, the Lambton Kent DSB announced it will be taking part in a new, three-year global education study. Five schools--Lambton Kent Composite School, Dresden Area Central School, Thamesville Area Central School, Dawn-Euphemia School and Zone Township Central School--will take part in New Pedagogies for Deep Learning, a pilot project studying the use of iPads and technologies in the classroom. The project will operate in 100 schools in 10 countries around the world, in North and South America, Europe, Scandinavia, Japan and Australia, and will be led by a consortium of international education experts including Canada's Michael Fullan. Teachers involved in the study will create a database of information and lesson plans to be shared globally.  

Corporate partners for this project include Microsoft, Intel, Pearson and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

For more information, visit http://www.lkdsb.net/Welcome/newsreleases.htm or contact Scott McKinlay, board chair, Lambton Kent DSB, 519-674-2331, Scott.McKinlay@lkdsb.net or Jim Costello, director of education, 519-336-1500, Jim.Costello@lkdsb.net.

Rainbow DSB Robotics Champions 

In June, the Robotics team at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School in Sudbury held an open house to showcase its award-winning FIRST robots. The team has competed in six regional events and two world championships since it was formed in 2012, winning a Rookie All Star Award, an Entrepreneurship Award and a regional championship. This year, it was joined by LANCERobotics, a rookie team from Lasalle Secondary School, also in Sudbury. Both teams qualified to compete in the 2014 world championship event held in Missouri in April.

The FIRST robotics program was featured in "Maker Education," Education Today, Summer 2014, page 27.

For more information, visit http://loellenrobotics.ca/Web%20App%20Mobile.html .

Carleton University Expands Aboriginal Enriched Support Program

In June, Carleton University in Ottawa announced new funding for a program that supports First Nations students pursuing postsecondary studies. The Aboriginal Enriched Support Program (AESP), launched in 2004 as part of Carleton's Centre for Initiatives in Education, has received a $150,000 grant from the Counselling Foundation of Canada and a $31,000 gift from NRStorInc. This funding will be used to hire additional Aboriginal students currently in their senior year at Carleton to mentor first-year students enrolled in science, engineering and business programs. AESP typically takes in about 25 first-year students each year and supports these students through to graduation.

For more information, visit www.carleton.ca/aesp.