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Director of Education - June 27, 2014

OCDSB > About OCDSB > Director of Education
Director of Education and Secretary of the Board Dr. Jennifer Addams

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The End of the School Year

It’s hard to believe that we’ve arrived at the end of the school year 2013-2014. It’s a busy time in our schools with elementary students and teachers wrapping up their learning experiences and special year-end activities, and secondary students finishing exams and grade 12 students participating in graduation ceremonies. A huge thank you to our staff in schools and our many parent volunteers who help to make these important events happen for our students.

The end of the year is a time for reflection as well. My senior team and I spent a day together reviewing this year’s work towards the OCDSB 2011-2015 Strategic Plan. Here are a few of the highlights:

Objective #1 – Graduation Rate: We have developed a methodology for calculating a certification rate that will honor the accomplishments of all students in our school district who successfully complete their program pathway regardless of whether they are heading to post-secondary studies, directly to the workplace, or to community living.

Objective #2 – Student Achievement: Our district has an Action Plan for Numeracy clearly stating that a balance between the development of operational skills (e.g. multiplication tables) and problem-solving skills will be the instructional focus in all of our math classes from kindergarten to grade 12.

Objective #4 – Student Well-Being: We understand that student well-being is the foundation for student learning. Our district has developed a student well-being framework that focuses on three components – physical well-being, social/emotional well-being, and cognitive well-being (readiness to learn).

Objective #6 – Full-Day Kindergarten: This spring, our Board approved two new policies – for the Extended Day Program and for Child Care Programs (toddler/pre-school). We now have 100 schools offering the Extended Day Program to facilitate a seamless day for children and families.

Objective #7 – Equitable Access to Programs: Our district has begun the shift to a geographic model for specialized programs. This means that our students with the greatest special needs have access to a designated school. We have added 11 new Autism classes and 2 new General Learning Program classes to meet the needs of these special learners.

Objective #8 – Improved School Climate: Annually, most school now administers the Tell Them From Me Survey to students in grades 7 to 12. The intent is to hear from the student voice so that all of us can work together to ensure that all students have a sense of belonging and feel safe in our schools.

These are just a few of the examples of the work taking place in our schools and across the district. We are carefully monitoring the impact of this work on student well-being and student achievement. Our teachers and support staff see the impact on a daily basis in the classroom. We hope parents are seeing it as well, as their children come home after a day of learning in our schools.

We are already in the planning stages for the 2014-2015 school year. But first, it’s time for all of us, students, staff, and parents to enjoy the summer weather.

I look forward to continuing our work together in August.

Jennifer Adams
Director of Education/
Secretary of the Board

 

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Dr. Jennifer Adams became Director of Education/Secretary of the Board for the OCDSB on July 1st 2011.

Dr. Adams has been a leader in public education throughout her distinguished 27 year career. She began her teaching career with the Lakehead District School Board, followed by promotions to curriculum coordinator, elementary principal and superintendent. In 2005, Dr. Adams joined the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board as a Superintendent of Instruction and until becoming Director of Education, served as the Executive Superintendent.

Throughout her career, Dr. Adams has been passionate in her focus on student learning. She is recognized for developing strategies to improve student achievement through research, instructional practice, and strong academic leadership.

A mother of two and married to a teacher, Dr. Adams is dedicated to fostering well-being, engagement, leadership and learning, both at home and at the OCDSB.

 

 

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