Across the Boards - ET Summer 2016

Visualizing Reconciliation in Canadian Schools

In November 2015, Wab Kinew, a well-known Canadian broadcaster, musician and author, issued a Facebook challenge to Canadian students to explore reconciliation. With the help of their teachers, students collaborated online, learned about each other's cultures and worked together to develop a vision of reconciliation, as in the Ontario partnership between classes from the Wikwemikong First Nation on Manitoulin Island and Simcoe County District School Board. Using the video game Minecraft, students created images of these visions and were asked to submit them by the June 1 deadline for judging.

For more information, visit #CraftReconciliation, or search for "Wikwemikong First Nation School Taking Part in Craft Reconciliation Challenge" at www.cbc.ca, January 14, 2016.

See My Voice at Upper Canada DSB

From February 24 to April 13, students in the Upper Canada DSB participated in See My Voice, an annual campaign launched in 2013 to promote inclusivity among members of the education community. While welcoming activities are ongoing throughout the year, See My Voice spans the six weeks between Pink Shirt Day on February 24 and International Day of Pink on April 13 to highlight these initiatives and commemorate the importance of these two dates. Students posted messages and videos of the initiatives at their schools with #SEEMYVOICE. They are to be included in a video.

For more information, contact Allison Grange, communications, Upper Canada District School Board, 1 (800) 267-7131, ext. 1260, Allison.grange@ucdsb.on.ca. 

New Health Clinics for Toronto's Model Schools for Inner Cities 

Education Today recently featured a story on the Toronto DSB's Model Schools for Inner Cities (MSIC), a program that offers educational and community health supports to children in at-risk communities ("Enhancing Opportunities for Inner-City Students," Spring 2016). In February, the board opened an additional MSIC children's health clinic, the seventh in the city, at Parkdale Junior and Senior Public School in Toronto's west end. The clinic is staffed by 10 medical practitioners from nearby St. Joseph's Health Centre and includes interpretation services to serve this multilingual community. The board also hopes to open a further clinic at Chester Le Junior Public School by the end of the school year.

For more information, contact Ryan Bird, media relations, Toronto District School Board, (416) 540-4449, Ryan.bird@tdsb.on.ca; or Todd Leach, St. Joseph's Health Centre, (416) 530-6387, pubaff@stjoe.on.ca.

Ontario Expands Secondary Athletics

The Peel DSB will be hosting Canada's first high school football academy this fall at Clarkson Secondary School in Mississauga. The program will operate in partnership with Football North Canada and will support top-level student athletes with dedicated training from Football North staff and a schedule of games against top high school teams from the United States. The student athletes will be fully integrated into the school's academic program and community, and Clarkson's own varsity football team will continue to compete in the regular season games scheduled by Region of Peel Secondary School Athletic Association.  

For more information, contact Polleen Grewal, superintendent of curriculum and instruction support services, Peel District School Board, (905) 890-1010, ext. 2343, polleen.grewal@peelsb.com; or Larry Jusdanis, head coach and director of football operations, Football North Canada, coach@footballnorth.ca

The Keewatin-Patricia DSB plans to expand its current partnership with Hockey Canada Skills Academy for 2016-17. Current programs running in Dryden, Kenora and Sioux Lookout will be extended and a new program added in Red Lake. The Hockey Canada program welcomes male and female students of all skill levels, offering students on- and off-ice activities from September to April, along with coaching from noted experts. The program is a partnership between the school board, Hockey Canada and regional hockey associations, and adheres to the standards of Hockey Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Education.

For more information, visit www.kpdsb.on.ca  or search for "Keewatin Patricia School Board Students Learning More Than Just Hockey," at www.cbc.ca, November 17, 2015.

Ontario Grade 10 History Course Makes the Grade

According to a recent report, Ontario's history curriculum is the tops in the country. Scoring 82 percent in the Historica Canada 2016 report released in January, Ontario earned credit for the quality and comprehensiveness of its grade 10 history course, one that includes a mandatory, unique segment on Canadian citizenship. The Historica report assesses provincial history instruction as taught in grades 4 through 12, and looks at how well each province's teaching strategy incorporates key themes like First Nations issues and diversity. It also measures how well students have learned to think critically about historical concepts. Results from this assessment show marked improvement over the 2009 report, indicating that Canadian history classes are developing more relevant content. Historica Canada is a national charitable association with a mandate to raise awareness about Canadian history.

For more information, search for "Ontario Lauded for High School History Curriculum," at thestar.com, January 23, 2016.