Across the Boards - ET Summer 2013

Rainbow DSB Homework Help for French as a Second Language

French immersion students and their anglophone parents will find much to love about this homework help site launched in 2011 by the Rainbow DSB. The sections under the Homework Tips tab will help demystify classroom procedures for parents, allowing them to better help their children. The Toolbox tab is an invaluable guide to grammar, with pointers on current idiom and usage. Where appropriate, an aural pronunciation guide is included. Site updates in 2012 added over 30 math and literacy videos, close to 2,000 new audio clips and new Web site listings on a variety of topics, including career education.

For more information, visit www.fslhomeworktoolbox.ca.

DSB Niagara Principal Honoured

In February, DSB Niagara announced that Tom Reynolds, principal of DSBN Academy, was named one of Canada's Outstanding Principals for 2013 by the Learning Partnership. The DSBN Academy launched in 2011, enrolling students from grades 6 to 12 who will be the first in their families to attend college or university. As principal, Reynolds helped to develop this unique program and is credited for much of its success. Initially housed in a Welland school, it has had to relocate to a larger facility in St. Catharines for 2013-14 because of growing enrolment.

Reynolds and the 50 other recipients of this year's award, who hail from public and separate school boards across Canada, met in Toronto at the end of February for a gala awards dinner and a five-day executive leadership program at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. A full list of the 2013 recipients is available on the Learning Partnership's Web site.

For more information, contact Brett Sweeney, media relations officer, District School Board of Niagara, (905) 641-2929, ext. 54106, Brett.Sweeney@dsbn.edu.on.ca; or www.thelearningpartnership.ca.

Toronto DSB Partners on Youth Mental Health Seminar

In March, Jarvis Collegiate Institute hosted Café Scientifique, an evening seminar on youth mental health. The event, attended by board staff, students and parents, was held in conjunction with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and featured a panel of researchers from CAMH and community health support groups who spoke on topics central to youth mental health. CTV news anchor Pauline Chan moderated the panel and spoken word artist Mustafa Ahmed provided entertainment. The event was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

For more information, contact Michael Harvey, principal, Jarvis Collegiate Institute, (416) 393-0149.

Ontario's First Baseball Academy at Avon Maitland DSB

Not only does Stratford Northwestern Secondary School grow heritage wheat in its school garden (see page xx), but in September 2013, it will become the home of Ontario's first baseball academy program. In partnership with the school board and the Internatio­nal Canadian Academy of Sports Excellence­ (iCASE), the school will offer a full-time program to qualified grade 11 and 12 students, combining academics with baseball-focused athletics. The program will be headed by renowned baseball coach Tom Valke, president of iCASE. The school developed the program to help increase its student enrolment and reach into the international market.

For more information, visit http://yourschools.ca/2012/10/04/icase-is-coming-to-stratford-northwestern/

Jim Grieve Honoured with IABC Award

In January, the Toronto chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators named Jim Grieve, assistant deputy minister of the Early Learning Division at the Ministry of Education, the 2012 Communicator of the Year. The award honours excellence in communications strategies and achieved results. In their comments, judges noted Grieve's achievement in promoting the implementation of the government's full-day kindergarten program despite its costs during a recession economy. His enthusiasm and commitment to the education of young children were demonstrated during a seminar at OPSBA's Public Education Symposium in February. The awards ceremony was held in March.

New Study Supports the School Board Governance Model

Findings from a study released in January by the Canadian School Boards Association confirm that well-run school boards provide the best governance models for successful public schools. School Boards Matter: Report of the Pan-Canadian Study of School District Governance, by Bruce Sheppard, Gerald Galway, Jean Brown and John Wiens, also includes 12 recommendations on how public boards and board associations can work better and improve their communications with the public.

For more information, visit www.cdnsba.org.

Halton DSB Students' Book Drive for Northern Ontario Community

In March, the Burlington Post reported on a local student-led project that is sending books to students in the Nishnawbe Aski nation in Fort Severn. Through Books With No Bounds, sisters Julia and Emma Mogus from White Oaks Secondary School in Oakville have sent more than 12,000 books to the northern Ontario community since June 2012. Books for kindergarten to grade 8 students have been donated by a number of Halton Region's public and separate schools, as well as from Westgate Collegiate and Vocational Institute in Thunder Bay. Student contributions to the project have extended beyond the printed word; one Burlington high school student crafted a wooden box to house the books and another carved a wooden sculpture as a gift to the northern students. The Books With No Bounds project is also supported by the girls' mother and an Oakville municipal councillor.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/bookswithnobounds or www.youtube.com/bookswithnobounds. Email bookswithnobounds@cogeco.ca or Twitter @bookswithnobounds.