School board names first Indige­nous stu­dent trustee

The Expositor (Brantford) - - NEWS - MICHELLE RUBY EX­POS­I­TOR STAFF

A Grade 12 stu­dent from Toll­gate Tech­no­log­i­cal Skills cen­tre has been named the Grand Erie District School Board’s first Indige­nous stu­dent trustee.

Al­lan St. Pierre will join Ay­den Hsiao, a Grade 11 stu­dent from Brant­ford Col­le­giate In­sti­tute, and Alexan­dra Hauser, a Grade 10 stu­dent from McKin­non Park Sec­ondary School in Cale­do­nia, as the stu­dent trustees for the 2018-19 school year. Hauser rep­re­sents the south and Hsiao the north of the board’s cov­er­age area.

They will be­gin their terms in Au­gust.

While they don’ t vote, stu­dent trustees at­tend school board meet­ings and rep­re­sent the voice of stu­dents in de­ci­sion-mak­ing. They com­mu­ni­cate reg­u­larly with stu­dents about the ac­tiv­i­ties of the school board and gather stu­dent in­put about up­com­ing is­sues.

EAs al­lo­cated

A to­tal of 303 ed­u­ca­tional as­sis­tants have been al­lo­cated to Grand Erie District School Board class­rooms for 2018-19 to help stu­dents with spe­cial needs.

Ed­u­ca­tional as­sis­tants sup­port stu­dents who have med­i­cal and phys­i­cal needs, re­quire sup­port for safety/su­per­vi­sion and those with autism and com­mu­ni­ca­tion is­sues.

Grand Erie teacher con­sul­tants for spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion met with school prin­ci­pals, teach­ers and sup­port staff to re­view the needs of iden­ti­fied ex­cep­tional stu­dents. Also con­sid­ered is data gath­ered from meet­ings be­tween teacher con­sul­tants and lo­cal agen­cies, in­clud­ing Lans­downe Chil­dren’s Cen­tre and Haldimand Nor­folk Reach to de­ter­mine if ad­di­tional sup­ports that might be needed for ju­nior and se­nior kinder­garten and Grade 1 stu­dents en­ter­ing the sys­tem in the fall.

“There con­tin­ues to be an in­crease in the num­ber of stu­dents en­ter­ing school with per­va­sive needs that re­quire di­rect sup­port,” Liana Thomp­son, su­per­in­ten­dent of ed­u­ca­tion, said in a re­port to the school board. “Stu­dents with th­ese per­va­sive needs are now en­ter­ing the school sys­tem with the ex­pec­ta­tion of many fam­i­lies that they will be at­tend­ing school full days, ev­ery day. For stu­dents with per­va­sive needs this can be an ex­tremely dif­fi­cult tran­si­tion.”

Ed­u­ca­tional as­sis­tants are as­signed to schools, not in­di­vid­ual stu­dents. grant to sup­port stu­dent needs. The fund­ing is linked to cen­sus data and so­cio-eco­nomic in­di­ca­tors or risks that can present bar­ri­ers for th­ese stu­dents when at­tend­ing school.

To re­ceive fund­ing, boards need a way of iden­ti­fy­ing schools based on need. Over the past two years, Grand Erie has de­vel­oped its higher im­prove­ment per­for­mance (HIP) in schools strat­egy. In ad­di­tion to op­por­tu­ni­ties for pro­fes­sional learn­ing, ele­men­tary HIP schools have smaller class sizes.

Vari­ables used to se­lect schools for ex­tra help in­clude me­dian and low in­come, rent­ing ver­sus own­ing a home, low ed­u­ca­tion and lone-par­ent fam­i­lies.

Ef­fec­tive Septem­ber, the HIP sec­ondary schools are Val­ley Heights Sec­ondary School in Lang­ton, Toll­gate Tech­no­log­i­cal Skills Cen­tre, Pauline John­son Col­le­giate, Grand Erie Learn­ing Al­ter­na­tives, and Delhi District Sec­ondary School. The HIP ele­men­tary schools are Cen­tral Pub­lic, Gra­hamBell Vic­to­ria, Princess El­iz­a­beth, Ma­jor Bal­lachey, Grand­view, King Ge­orge, Prince Charles and Bel­lview Schools, all in Brant­ford; along with Houghton Pub­lic School and Port Rowan Pub­lic School.

“In Grand Erie, data show all of our schools have groups of stu­dents that are at risk due to so­cio-eco­nomic stress,” said a re­port pre­pared by Liana Thomp­son, su­per­in­ten­dent of ed­u­ca­tion. “Since 2015, rel­a­tive risk of schools has shifted, in­creas­ing for some schools and de­creas­ing for other schools.”

What is con­sis­tent since 2015, said Thomp­son, is that the schools that are at the great­est risk are also those iden­ti­fied by the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion as schools that re­quire in­ten­sive sup­port through the Re­newed Math Strat­egy. Fund­ing is pro­vided to th­ese schools through the Re­newed Math Strat­egy grant and other grants of­fered by the min­istry.

Sub­mis­sions for Fete de Folk

Sub­mis­sions from artis­tic stu­dents at Brant­ford-area schools are be­ing ac­cepted for Fete de Folk, hosted by Pauline John­son Col­le­giate.

Stu­dents in the school’s me­dia arts spe­cial­ist high skills ma­jor pro­gram are or­ga­niz­ing the sev­enth an­nual event, a multi-dis­ci­plinary arts fes­ti­val that cel­e­brates the artis­tic tal­ents of stu­dents.

The fes­ti­val will be held from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Fri­day, June 1, and noon to 9 p.m. on Satur­day, June 2. There will be mu­si­cal per­for­mances, visual arts dis­plays, fash­ion, dra­matic arts, po­etry read­ings, artis­tic work­shops, culi­nary arts and other ac­tiv­i­ties.

Fete de Folk will be ac­cept­ing artist sub­mis­sions un­til 3 p.m. on Fri­day, May 25. The fes­ti­val is also ac­cept­ing ap­pli­ca­tions for vol­un­teers. Stu­dent vol­un­teers will be given credit for re­quired com­mu­nity hours. Ap­pli­ca­tions are avail­able at www.fet­ede­folk.com

BRIAN THOMP­SON/THE EX­POS­I­TOR

A to­tal of 303 ed­u­ca­tional as­sis­tants have been al­lo­cated to Grand Erie District School Board class­rooms for 2018-19 to help stu­dents with spe­cial needs.

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