At Upper Grand we recognize that each child has his or her own unique interests, goals and strengths. We believe that every student should have the same opportunity to succeed and graduate from high school.
This is why the Upper Grand District School Board is always working to improve the learning experience for all students. We share a common goal — to help all students build a promising future for themselves.
Upper Grand District School Board has responded by focusing on:
- More high-quality learning and engagement options inside and outside of the classroom
- More targeted, intentional support when students need extra help
Our Board strategy strives to include educators, parents, employers, postsecondary education and other community partners in creating engaging, safe and inclusive, learning opportunities for all students.
The primary goal of our Board’s Student Success strategy is to increase the graduation rate with all graduates having equitable access to outcomes.
The key priorities that support this anchor to effective practices that increase credit accumulation, including engaging programming, numeracy and literacy support, and safe and inclusive environments where all Upper Grand students can experience success in K-12 and beyond.
UGDSB Students will:
- See themselves as part of a community of learners through subject centered practices
- Receive intentional responsive support to overcome challenges related to achieving academic, social, emotional, and pathway related goals
- Have opportunities to explore programs that engage and challenge them in positive ways
- Be supported through educational milestones, including transitions from school to school, elementary to secondary, and secondary to postsecondary
- Have diverse opportunities to explore careers and the world of work beyond school as part of their consideration of who they are and who they want to become
- Be provided with opportunities to explore and develop transferable skills for employment and life beyond high school
- Have teachers who model and encourage reflection, curiosity, and lifelong learning
Student Success Pillars
Goal: Increase the graduation rate
Priorities: Increasing credit accumulation, engaging programming, and numeracy and literacy access
Outcomes: All Upper Grand students are successful within K to 12 schools, and beyond secondary school
Student Success Teams
At each school, a dedicated team that includes, at minimum, a principal, student success teacher, guidance counselor and special education teacher provides extra attention and support for individual students who benefit.
Who are they for?
The teams are for students who are recognized, based on different factors, as ones who might benefit from additional support to engage with the learning community, with learning and/or developing and implementing their individual pathways plan.
How can they help?
Students have the opportunity to:
- Codevelop plans for success that celebrate their identity, skills, and strengths and focus on meeting their individual needs and goals
- Choose from more options for learning, such as expanded co-operative education, Specialist High Skills Majors, dual credits and eLearning
- Have support to overcome barriers that they may have otherwise faced alone
Increase the graduation rate with an emphasis on supporting equitable access to outcomes.
Priorities: Increasing credit accumulation, engaging programming, safe and inclusive learning environments, and numeracy and literacy access
Outcomes: All Upper Grand students are successful within K to 12 schools and transition to life outside of secondary with hope and optimism.
Outline of Student Success Initiatives and Plans
- Develop and support the implementation of a comprehensive career/life planning program K-12 that is age, developmentally, and culturally relevant and appropriate
- Support school-based Student Success Teams around effective practices and tiered interventions focused on long term student success
- Support the successful implementation of destreaming and equitable access to all pathway options
- Provide support for effective instructional practices that reflect Universal Design for Learning, Culturally Relevant and Responsive Pedagogy, Differentiated Instruction, and Equitable Assessment and Evaluation Practices
- Refine and support the UGDSB Transitions Plan
- Work with in school teams and community partners to develop and support diverse learning opportunities, including summer and after school skills upgrading, reach ahead, and experiential learning programs
- Encourage effective practices that reinforce student agency and the development of transferable skills for K-12 and beyond
- Provide professional development opportunities to teachers & support staff in order to enrich their abilities to meet the needs of students using asset based approaches
- Celebrate student successes including and beyond credit accumulation
Literacy and Numeracy – two pillars of Student Success
Why do we do the work?
We believe that:
- All students can succeed
- Each student has their own identity, experiences, and unique patterns of learning
- Students learn best when instruction, resources, and the learning environment are suited to their particular strengths, interests, needs, and stage of readiness
- Successful instructional practices are founded on evidence-based research, and reflect a commitment to well-being through curriculum learning
- Universal design and differentiated instruction are effective and interconnected means of meeting the learning or productivity needs of any group of students.
- Classroom teachers are the key educators for a student’s literacy and numeracy development.
- Classroom teachers benefit from the support of the larger community, including parents and caregivers, to create a learning environment that supports all students.
- Fairness is not sameness.
*Adapted in part from Learning for All (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2013)
How does the work look/sound/feel?
We take action to:
- Research/develop and implement effective instructional and assessment practices which align curriculum to meet the abilities and needs of students
- Provide cross-panel opportunities for teachers to refine instructional and assessment practices
- Provide teachers/administrators with opportunities to address the curriculum continuum, and implement best, research-based, practices
- Support preparation and remediation for the OSSLT and Grade 9 EQAO Assessment of Mathematics
- and support OSSLC teachers
- Consider and plan instruction to meet the specific needs of students who are experiencing barriers to success in the classroom including those with an Individualized Education Plan
- Support students and teachers with understanding implications of course selection on postsecondary pathway options so that programming best prepares students to achieve their short and long term goals
How do we measure effectiveness? We measure effectiveness by:
- Evaluating achievement on formal assessments such as EQAO, diagnostics, and report card marks
- Monitoring credit counts, course selection choices, and graduation rates
- Monitoring high quality discussions around collecting, reviewing, and using student achievement data to set goals for next steps
- Reviewing student, teacher and parent feedback on programming and instruction
Community, Culture and Caring – pillars of Student Success
Why do we do the work?
We believe that:
- Recognition of success fosters students’ awareness of personal strengths and abilities that supports their agency in planning, goal setting, and persevering through challenges
- Timely and effective supports for students at risk improve their engagement in school and result in increased personal success
- Strong support teams include students, teachers, support staff, administrators, parents and community agencies
- Flexible school structure/timetables and “pyramids of intervention” are important for the inclusion and engagement of students experiencing risk factors
- A positive classroom/school climate is created when students with diverse identities, strengths, interests and abilities are represented and considered as part of instructional, assessment and evaluation practices
- Comprehensive and relevant transition programs and a caring community help students connect with their school & their future