The focus of education is to ensure that all students have a positive outcome in school. To this end, the Ministry of Education and school boards have implemented many initiatives to help students stay in school to complete their high school education.
Most of these initiatives are rooted in one of the four main areas referred to as the “Pillars of Student Success”:
Catholicity, Community, Culture and Caring
Because every student learns differently, the Ministry of Education has introduced various ways that students can take learning beyond the traditional classroom, thereby encouraging them to stay in school and complete their high school education.
At each school, a dedicated team of a principal, student success teacher, guidance counsellor and special education teacher provides extra attention and support for individual students who need it. The teams are for students facing barriers to success, who need extra attention to help them graduate or who are looking for new challenges in high school.
Each high school has a Student Success Teacher who identifies, tracks, monitors and provides programs for students at risk of not graduating. The Student Success Teacher works in collaboration with the Student Success Team and with the wider school community to ensure that, together, they help students earn the credits necessary to graduate while providing them with information on a variety of pathway opportunities.
One of the Board's key initiatives to support literacy and numeracy, and learning in general, is a formalized Professional Learning Team approach.
Secondary and elementary school Professional Learning Teams between principals, teachers in a school, and among teachers in different schools, meet several times throughout the year to focus on professional learning aimed at facilitating transition and improving student success.
The main goal of the Catholicity, Community, Culture and Caring pillar is to build inclusive and engaging classrooms, schools, and communities that enhance student achievement and well-being. System-wide initiatives focus on the spiritual, social-emotional needs of students, student leadership, and student engagement.
Student engagement is contingent to a large degree upon student mental health and well-being. Student mental health is inextricably tied to student engagement and achievement. TCDSB’s Mental Health Strategy recognizes that mental health is critical in the promotion of Student Success and well-being in an effort to assist our students reach their fullest potential.
Students transitioning from Elementary School to High School will be provided with information and resources such as the following Guides to outline the available programming in every Secondary School.
In addition, students can expect support from the Elementary and Secondary Guidance staff in determining interests and goals, course selection, pathways and aspirations beyond High School.
Literacy provides opportunities for students to engage in developing understandings of critical literacy, metacognition, questioning, strategy, use of voice and identity. Students develop abilities to think, express, and reflect on real world issues and applying strong global competencies across all curriculum areas that support the Catholic Graduate Expectations.
The goal of the Numeracy pillar is to develop students’ confidence and awareness to know when and how to apply quantitative and spatial understandings at home, at school, at work or in the community.
Numeracy initiatives include:
Increased student achievement, well-being and engagement in mathematics.
Increased educator math knowledge and pedagogical expertise.
Increased leader use of knowledge of effective mathematics pedagogy to provide the necessary supports and conditions for school and system improvement.
Increased parent engagement in their children’s mathematics learning.
The goal of the Pathways Pillar is to provide multiple pathway possibilities beginning in high school, to ensure that all students have the opportunity to transition to the next stage of their education regardless of their chosen destination.
Developing an Individual Pathway Plan (IPP) using myBlueprint:
All students in the TCDSB are asked to use myBlueprint, an educational planner, that can be accessed at home or at school.
By using their school board login information or their own email address and password, they will be able to complete interest inventories, plan high school courses, explore post-secondary opportunities and programs across Canada, set goals, and research various occupations.
For students who are interested in learning about American colleges or universities, they may access this information as well.
Students will be able to formulate an online Individual Pathway Plan (IPP) and keep a record of important experiences to build an interactive resume.
In addition to planning, secondary school students use myBlueprint to make course selections for their subsequent academic year.
Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is a formal evaluation and credit-granting process that allows students to obtain credits for prior learning. Prior learning includes the knowledge and skills acquired in both formal and informal ways, outside secondary school.
Students may apply to have their knowledge and skills evaluated against the expectations outlined in the provincial curriculum policy documents in order to earn credits.