Welcome to the 2015-2016 Director’s Annual Report, my first with the Limestone District School Board, following my appointment in August 2015. My sincere thanks to every one of you for your dedication and focused efforts to support our students and their success.
In my first year, I have made it a priority to take the time to understand what is important – to students, parents, staff, and the community. Every time I visit a school, I am struck by the collaboration of all staff members working tirelessly to inspire our students, and one another, in continuous self-improvement.
Public education is about improving student achievement, creating good citizens and using resources wisely. We must continually adapt to meet the changing needs of students in a complex and evolving world. Such an enormous task cannot be managed in isolation. It hinges on the development of relationships and partnerships. Working together with our teachers, support staff, school and district leaders, school councils, families and partners, Limestone will continue to deepen these relationships to provide more opportunities than ever before for our students to learn, share and lead.
The 2015-2016 school year was not without its challenges and controversy - with provincial labour contracts, and the updated Health and Physical Education curriculum, as well as excitement and successes like the ground breaking of our new Molly Brant Elementary School, design concepts and transition plans for our new Central Kingston Intermediate/Secondary school, as well as the hard work of our Board of Trustees on improving board governance.
More students are graduating than ever before because of focused efforts by educators and engaging specialty programs aimed at helping students achieve success whatever their strengths, interests and career goals. LDSB’s five-year graduation rate exceeds the province’s target and students that remained in Limestone throughout their secondary career have an even higher graduation rate.
Provincial assessments indicate that we still have work to do, but there are notable improvements in EQAO student achievement results: Limestone students have sustained gains in key areas including those with special needs, and students in Grade 9 and 10 who previously did not meet the provincial standards in Grade 6 writing and math.
The LDSB is a caring community of people who work together to help our students learn, grow and discover who they are, and who they want to be. I also know that our most important work is always ahead of us, not behind us. I look forward to building our success on trust, respect and rapport where we innovate and embrace change in pursuit of our mission which is to prepare students, within safe and inclusive environments, to embrace a changing world as lifelong learners and informed, responsible citizens.
I am proud of the students and staff of the Limestone District School Board, and what we have accomplished together. It is my privilege to serve.
Director of Education
Limestone District School Board
As the second year of our four-year term comes to a close, I wish to thank my fellow Trustees for their continued focus on our students and our collective commitment to Limestone.
Despite the ongoing challenges of declining enrolment and reduced provincial funding, Trustees remained focused on student achievement and well-being.
Through the hard work of Senior Staff and Trustees, the Board put together a balanced budget that directed resources in a manner that best supports the priorities, values and objectives of the Board, as outlined in our Success for All: Strategic Plan.
Although we are always striving for improvement, much has been achieved over the 2015-2016 school year, including:
• A balanced budget;
• The Board’s Long-Term Accommodation Plan;
• The district review of Limestone’s Special Education Services and the development of a comprehensive vision to sustain us over the next few years;
• More students graduating from high school and transitioning smoothly to the post-secondary destination of their choice (college, university, workplace, apprenticeships);
• The construction of Molly Brant Elementary School;
• The draft design concept for Kingston’s new intermediate and secondary school and continued progress in preparing the property for construction; and
• The renewal and extension, of our partnership with the City of Kingston, and transit passes for all secondary students.
Trustees have contributed both locally, and at the provincial level, in maintaining and advancing positive changes in education. Perhaps that is best represented by the recent acclamation of our own Trustee, Laurie French, as President of the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association. We’ve had an extraordinary year.
Partnerships with parents, guardians and our communities are vital to providing an effective education for each student. Maintaining strong public education is a responsibility shared by all. Over the past year, my fellow Trustees and I have worked hard to make decisions that represent the interests of all students. With input from parents, the community, students and staff, we have made a number of critical decisions that will ensure safe, inclusive and inviting learning environments for all students.
On behalf of all Trustees, I wish to acknowledge the leadership of Director Rantz and Senior Staff for the development and delivery of initiatives that support student transitions, career paths, character development, and interventions that ensure success for all students. It is also extremely important to express our sincere appreciation to teachers and support staff for their outstanding work on behalf of our students.
It has been an honour to serve as Chair of the Board, and I am very proud of the accomplishments of our students and staff.