A few notes from ADSB

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Hour of Code

At the January 12th Committee of the Whole Meeting, Superintendent Joe Maurice provided Trustees with an update on the participation of Algoma District School Board students and staff in the Hour of Code. As an international event, “The Hour of Code is designed to demystify code and show that computer science is not rocket-science – that anybody can learn the basics,” according to Hadi Partovi, the founder and CEO of code.org.

Locally, in partnership with the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC), students and teachers were invited to try their hand at computer science for one hour from December 7thto 18th including Computer Science Education Week. Over 1800 Algoma District School Board students from JK to Grade 12 took up the challenge and participated across the District. This was an increase of 300 students from last year.

Superintendent Joe Maurice previewed activities with Trustees that were based on the Star Wars and Frozen movies, and the Minecraft game. Feedback from teachers and students alike was very positive. In today’s economy, computing jobs outnumber students graduating in the field by 3-to-1. Through the Hour of Code initiative students can be taught critical 21st century skills, and can be at the forefront of creating technology for the future.

Kindergarten Registration is under way at
Algoma District School Board

child in kindergarten

Early in January, following the Christmas holiday, Algoma District School Board began its annual Kindergarten Registration campaign encouraging parents/guardians throughout the Algoma District to register their 4 and 5 year olds for Junior and Senior Kindergarten for September 2015.

Two days (January 6th and 7th) were set aside as dedicated days to register at all ADSB elementary schools. Children born in 2011 registered for Senior Kindergarten (SK) and those born in 2012 registered for Junior Kindergarten (JK). Of course, all families are reminded that Kindergarten Registration is on-going. Parents and families may contact an elementary public school at any time to register their child for Kindergarten in the fall.

This year and last, we have tried to help explain to parents why we ask them to register their children so early in the year prior to the start of school. Registering early allows us to have a better sense of the needs and the number of students in a classroom. Registering early means staff are able to personalize the classroom. A cubby and a special spot in the classroom will be ready in September for each child who has pre-registered. When we know the number of students in a classroom, we have a better sense of the number of primary teachers we will require and where they will be needed.

Additionally, by registering early we are able to add names to our list of families to invite to Welcome To Kindergarten. This is a great event held in the spring for students entering JK and SK. They get to take their first bus ride, see their classroom and receive goody bags with school supplies, books and games.

We believe all these efforts make for a smoother transition and a welcoming environment for a young Kindergarten student at the beginning of their first year of school.

Consultation under way for 2016/2017 school year calendar

Calendar_0Algoma District School Board (ADSB) is currently in the consultation process for the 2016-2017 School Year Calendar. It is our expectation that everyone in our school communities will have an opportunity to provide their input to ensure a full response to this consultation.

There are three other District School Boards with whom we need to coordinate calendars. All four Boards will work to a consensus once the consultation process has been completed.

There are 196 potential school days between September 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017. There must be at least 194 school days in a school year calendar of which no more than seven can be professional activity days. Proposed Professional Activity Days are as follows:
• Friday, September 30, 2016 (Professional Activity Day)
• Friday, October 28, 2016 (Professional Activity Day)
• Friday, November 25, 2016 (Professional Activity Day)
• Friday, February 3, 2017 (P* – Assessment [Elementary Report Card Preparation] )
• Friday, March 31, 2017 (Professional Activity Day)
• Friday, April 28, 2017 (Professional Activity Day)
• Monday, June 12, 2017 (P* – Assessment [Elementary Report Card Preparation] )

March Break has been set by the Ministry of Education for the week of March 13 to 17, 2017. Students and staff begin classes on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 after Labour Day.
The last day of classes for elementary students and final day of exams for secondary students is Friday, June 30, 2017. Staff are in school until Friday, June 30, 2017 which is the last day of school.

There is one area on which the four School Boards are requesting feedback from their respective stakeholders. The Ministry of Education has set the Christmas Break from Monday, December 19, 2016 to Friday, December 30, 2016. (Last Day of Classes: Friday, December 16, 2016. Classes Resume: Monday, January 2, 2017)

As part of the consultation process with the other three coterminous Boards, ADSB is looking for feedback on whether to keep this schedule or change the Christmas Break to Monday, December 26, 2016 to Friday January 6, 2017 (Last Day of Classes: Friday, December 23, 2016. Classes Resume: Monday, January 9, 2017)

Feedback can be provided by visiting our website www.adsb.on.ca. and going to School Calendar (under About Us). Feedback is requested by Friday, January 29, 2016.