In February, the DSB of Niagara announced the opening of a new Educational Research and Innovation Hub. Created in partnership with Brock University's faculty of education, the Hub will comprise a growing number of entrepreneurs and start-up companies developing education-related technologies and services. Officials chose to house the Hub at the DSBN Academy to give developers direct access to researchers and school board officials, and to the school environment, hoping to foster dialogue between the groups. At the same time, it will allow students to see the creative process in action and give them direct work-related contacts.
2013-14 is a landmark for both Brock University and the DSBN Academy. Brock marks its 50th anniversary and the DSBN Academy is celebrating a move from the original site in Welland to a new facility in nearby St. Catharines. The Academy also launched a grade 9 curriculum this year. Plans are in place to develop a full grade 6-12 program at the school in coming years.
For more information, visit www.dsbn.edu.on.ca
Throughout the year, school boards across the province honour Aboriginal culture with a variety of events. In November, students and staff at the DSB of Niagara participated in a week-long celebration of First Nation traditions. Authors David Bouchard and Joseph Boyden were keynote speakers.
For more information, visit http://www.dsbn.edu.on.ca and click on More News.
In January, the Durham DSB launched the First Nations Literacy Partnership Program, which connects students in Ontario's remote northern communities with their counterparts in the Durham board via books written by First Nations, Métis and Inuit authors. In this year's event, First Nation author Chad Solomon gave a presentation at five of the board's elementary schools. Solomon was also a featured guest at Oshawa Central Collegiate Institute's "Think Indigenous" celebration where he led literacy and art workshops. This event showcased displays, workshops, storytelling, food and dancing lessons all produced by the students.
For more information, visit www.ddsb.ca and click on "What's New"
Four teachers from Ontario schools were honoured in the 2013 Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence in January.
Aviva Dunsiger (Hamilton-Wentworth DSB), Viviane Gaudreault (Ottawa-Carleton DSB), Vernon Kee (Toronto DSB) and Gabriel Roman Ayyayoo (Toronto Catholic DSB) were included in the group of 21 teachers from across Canada recognized for outstanding work in the classroom; each received a cash prize of $5,000. A further seven Ontario teachers were recognized regionally with Certificates of Achievement and cash prizes of $1,000.
The Prime Minister's Awards also offers a program recognizing excellence in Early Childhood Education, honouring early years educators at the regional and national levels.
For more information, visit http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/pmate-ppmee.nsf/eng/home
In February, Cindy Tang, a 17-year-old student from Dr. Norman Bethune Collegiate Institute in Scarborough, was named the national winner in the inaugural Canadian student Doodle 4 Google contest. Organizers had asked students to imagine an invention that they would want to create, and Cindy's design, titled Sea Telescope, shows a telescope that would reveal the 95 percent of the ocean that remains uncharted. She was joined at the February awards ceremony at the Royal Ontario Museum by the four regional finalists, Xusheng (Sam) Yu from Manitoba, David Isaiah Jeans from Nova Scotia, Quebec's Meriam Akkou and Maria Angela Viaje from British Columbia.
Top prize was a $10,000 scholarship, a computer and a $10,000 grant for the school. Cindy's design was featured on www.google.ca on February 26, and was on display at the Royal Ontario Museum until April.
For more information, visit www.tdsb.on.ca and click on More News.
In January, the Upper Canada DSB announced a new international partnership between the board and a large school district in Lyon, France. The director of international affairs for l'Académie de Lyon visited board offices and several schools to gain insights on current pedagogical practices, with a special interest in teaching foreign languages, teaching math and supporting students at risk. Further professional exchange visits are planned between the two districts.
In a related news item, the board extended an existing international partnership with Suzhou International Foreign Language School last December. This program has been in operation for the past seven years, and has enabled Chinese students to study at Upper Canada DSB secondary schools, where they work on language skills and complete an Ontario Secondary School Diploma.
For more information, visit www.ucdsb.on.ca/ucdsbnews/20132014 and click on the relevant links.
A pilot project with a difference at Algoma District School Board is trying to help young people re-engage with their education. According to an article in the November 5, 2013 edition of the Saultstar.com written by Michael Purvis, the pilot is the brainchild of board teacher Rachel Reiter and is targeted to teen girls and boys who have quit school because of a pregnancy. Launched in September 2013, the pilot operates in conjunction with the Parent and Family Literacy Centre at Étienne Brûlé Public School in Sault Ste. Marie, and encourages teen mothers to bring their babies to class, where they can blend their roles as mothers and students.
For more information, visit http://www.saultstar.com/news/local/archives/2013/11/05