2019-20 Director’s Annual Report

Extraordinary lives start with a great Catholic education.

Introduction

Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board

The Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board is one of the largest school boards in Ontario with approximately 77,000 students in 151 schools located throughout Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon and Dufferin County.

Our Mission

Disciples of Christ, nurturing mind, body, and soul to the fullness of life.

Our Vision

Changing the world through Catholic education.

Director

Director's Message

It is my pleasure to present the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board’s 2019-20 Director’s Annual Report. This report outlines the goals of the Board of Trustees’ Multi-Year Strategic Plan and how we, as a system, strived to meet the goals of that plan. This past year was the first year of implementation of the 2019-2023 Strategic Plan which was approved by the Board of Trustees in 2019. This plan, around which much of this report is focused, essentially directs all we do as a Catholic school board.

The 2019-20 school year was defined by the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in unprecedented upheaval, not just within our schools and school system, but in every aspect of our lives. Throughout the year, we continued to adjust and adapt to the changing landscape and, while our root goals and mission did not change, the impact on how we worked to achieve these goals was significant.

Thanks to the Board of Trustees for providing staff with the direction and support to be a leading centre for Catholic education in this province. Thanks, also, to our faculty and staff at all levels, our unions and associations, our parish and diocesan partners, our public health partners, students and families.

May God continue to bless us and all those we serve.

Marianne Mazzorato, Ed.D.
Director of Education

Chair

Chair's Message

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to express my gratitude to our outstanding staff, under the leadership of Director Marianne Mazzorato, who embody the epitome of dedication and commitment to our mission as a Catholic educational organization. Under incredibly challenging pandemic conditions, I am also gratified that the vision of the Board of Trustees continues to be manifested across the system, as is evidenced by the outcomes outlined in the 2019-2020 Director’s Annual Report.

I am so very proud of this board’s continued commitment to student success and well-being, equity, diversity and inclusion and stewardship of resources.

And finally, thank you to our parents and guardians for choosing Catholic education for your children. It is my hope that your experiences in our system have been positive ones as we strive to work with you. While it was a challenging year, I am encouraged by the words of Pope Francis, "There is no cross, big or small, in our life which the Lord does not share with us."

Blessings to all.

Sharon Hobin
Chair

Trustees

Board of Trustees

Sharon Hobin (Chair)

Mississauga Wards 2 & 8

Thomas Thomas (Vice Chair)

Mississauga Ward 5

Brea Corbet

Mississauga Wards 9 & 10

Mario Pascucci

Mississauga Wards 1 & 3

Anna da Silva

Brampton Wards 1,3,4

Stefano Pascucci

Mississauga Ward 4

Luz del Rosario

Mississauga Wards 6 & 11

Frank Di Cosola

Caledon/Dufferin

Shawn Xaviour

Brampton Wards 7-10

Darryl D’Souza

Brampton Wards 2,5,6

Bruno Iannicca

Mississauga Ward 7

Sheanne Jesudhason

Student Trustee

Senior

Senior Management

  • Marianne Mazzorato, Ed.D. - Director of Education and Secretary to the Board

    David Amaral - Associate Director, Instructional Services

    Daniel Del Bianco - Associate Director, Corporate Services

    Julie Cherepacha - Executive Superintendent of Finance, Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer

  • Brian Hester - Superintendent of Financial Services

    Stephanie Strong - Superintendent of Human Resources and Employee Relations

    Mathew Thomas - Superintendent of Planning and Operations

  • Carmel Murphy - Superintendent of Program and Learning Services

    Deborah Finegan-Downey - Superintendent of Special Education and Learning Services

    Lucy Papaloni - Superintendent of Well-Being, Experiential Learning and Learning Services

    Martine Lewis - Superintendent – Mississauga North

    Silvana Gos - Superintendent – Mississauga South

    Wayne Brunton - Superintendent – Mississauga/Brampton Central

    Cairine MacDonald - Superintendent – Mississauga East

    Tammy-Lynne Peel - Superintendent – Brampton West

    Jodi Kuran - Superintendent – Brampton East/Caledon/Dufferin/Malton

    Les Storey - Superintendent – Brampton North East

  • Margaret Beck - Counsel

  • Richard Smith - Chief Information Officer

  • Max Vecchiarino - Superintendent of Policy, Strategy and Global Learning.

Learning and Improving

Learning and Improving in the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board

"I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for." Jeremiah 29:11

Our vocation as members of the Catholic community calls all individuals in the system to contribute to an environment that supports a responsive, equitable, inclusive, and caring culture of learning. Our vocation is reflected in the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board’s (DPCDSB) Multi-Year Strategic Plan (MYSP) 2019-2023, the Catholic Board Improvement Learning Cycle (CBILC) and Catholic School Improvement Learning Cycles (CSILC), as well as the revised mission and new vision for DPCDSB.

The 2019-20 school year represented the first year of the system's new MYSP 2019-2023. Additionally, the CBILC and CSILC have been aligned with the MYSP. In addition to rolling out 2019-2023, this school year represented the formal release of the revised mission and new vision for DPCDSB: "Disciples of Christ, nurturing mind, body, and soul to the fullness of life" and "Changing the world through Catholic education."

The 2019-2020 school year has been extraordinary in terms of interruptions to student learning. Labour challenges limited the reach of professional learning. Although these challenges were resolved in early March, the advent of COVID-19 and its associated public health-mandated school closures have brought new obstacles to supporting student learning. Given the unprecedented upheavals associated with a transition from classroom to the fully online environment of the Continuity of Catholic Learning, all but one of the planned student and educator data collections that would have been used to inform progress in the CBILC have been postponed. Data collection and monitoring of progress related to the CBILC goals are anticipated to recommence in 2020-2021.

The MYSP 2019-2023 has five core values that frame the essence of our work as a Catholic learning community: Believe, Excel, Respect, Thrive, and Trust. Future annual CBILCs will be aligned to support all learners across these five core values, as outlined on the following page.

Learning Cycle Goals

2019-20 Catholic Board Improvement Learning Cycle Goals



Learning Cycle Goals

BELIEVE

GOALS

  • Increase student application of scripture, sacrament and Catholic social teachings to daily life.
  • Enhance positive staff perceptions of DPCDSB.
  • Enhance positive parent perceptions of DPCDSB.


Learning Cycle Goals

EXCEL

GOALS

  • Increase proportion of students meeting or exceeding provincial standard in literacy and numeracy.
  • Increase student critical thinking, communication, collaboration, innovation (global competencies).
  • Elevate organizational effectiveness.
The COVID-19 closure changed assessment and evaluation, postponed student surveys about math and literacy, and cancelled EQAO and OSSLT administration. Such changes to the learning environment and the reduction of available achievement data has necessitated a change in assessing goal progress.







Learning Cycle Goals

RESPECT

GOALS

  • Enrich student connection to Catholic community (e.g. reduce aggressive behaviours).
  • Increase sense of belonging among all equity-seeking groups.
  • Increase staff awareness and reduce experience of discrimination and harassment.

Learning Cycle Goals

THRIVE

GOALS

  • Increase student engagement and well-being.
  • Enhance student Catholic digital citizenship.
  • Increase awareness of, and accessibility to, mental health and well-being supports.
  • Enhance safety and security measures to support well-being (physical environment, technology, data integrity, privacy).
  • Increase staff well-being and belonging.

Learning Cycle Goals

TRUST

GOALS

  • Increase confidence in stewardship of resources.
  • Promote practices that value the sacredness of creation.
  • Enhance engagement of schools with community partners and parishes.
  • Increase operational and customer service quality.


Catholic Learning

Continuity of Catholic Learning

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of schools in March 2020. However, DPCDSB continued instruction through the Continuity of Catholic Learning (online learning). Surveys were conducted in the spring of 2020 to assess their enjoyment of online learning and how easy it was for them to access online learning.






Catholic Learning

Catholic Education Week

Like many other things, the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board celebrated Catholic Education Week (May 3-8) differently in 2020. With the closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DPCDSB asked staff, students, parents/guardians and alumni to share what they love about their Catholic school and how they ignite hope in their communities through posts, pictures and videos as part of a Catholic Education Week social media campaign #DPCDSB_IgnitingHope. The theme of Igniting Hope could not have been more profound during these unprecedented times. Following are a few examples of what was shared online.



Equity & Inclusive

Equity & Inclusive Education

Believe

As a Catholic institution, faith is the cornerstone and foundation of the work of the DPCDSB, and equity and inclusion are the cornerstone of our Catholic faith. One cannot exist without the other. The dignity of the person is a fundamental principle in both the Catholic faith and Human Rights. As such, DPCDSB is in the unique position of being able to uphold and center equity from both a legal and moral call to action. In order to identify, address and eliminate barriers to understand that this work needs to take place at all levels of the organization. DPCDSB has made a commitment to ensure that all stakeholders contribute and participate in this equity journey. The following highlights some of these efforts:

Excel

Supporting System Leaders
System leaders are in the unique and privileged position to address inequities within the school community. In order to address those inequities, administrators need the tools and knowledge to recognize inequities from a variety of lenses. Through-out 2019-2020, DPCDSB administrators and system leaders were provided with a variety of opportunities to develop those skills. System leaders were provided with training specific to anti-Black racism, colonialism and bias. This learning was based on the understanding that neutrality does not exist in the implementation of policy. Administrators and Supervisory Officers examined privilege and structures in order to be discerning leaders who understand inclusivity from a variety of lenses.

Supporting Student Achievement
What happens when we use a system-wide intentional focus on Culturally Responsive Texts and pedagogy to support the Human Dignity of all students? This was the critically-conscious practitioner inquiry question that guided our team’s work last year on Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy. Some of the highlights included a critically-conscious inventory of texts traditionally studied in English classes and the addition of new titles that better reflect the diversity of our school communities. Professional development was offered to 55 English teachers with Dr. Nicole West Burns; the focus was on The Hate U Give as a student text and So You Want to Talk about Race? for educators. Student voice data was collected through a survey and focus groups with Grade 11 and 12 English students from eight schools so that they could share their responses to their reading histories and hopes for future direction in text selection, choice, and voice in their reading materials. The work continues with the goal of diversifying book lists, elevating the voices of diverse and emerging authors, and inspiring the students who read them. Feeling “seen” by the curriculum is a crucial foundation for student achievement and life-long literacy skills. Not only will they learn from this “windows and mirrors” approach to seeing experience of themselves and others reflected, but here is where the next generation of writers begins to find their own voice to add to the ever-unfolding story of Canadian experience.

Supporting the System

In supporting all staff during the transition to online learning, DPCDSB created a central hub with information, Professional Development, resources, etc. This SharePoint features a variety of resources supporting equitable and inclusive education for your professional development.

    This hub includes relevant information related to equity and inclusion such as:
  • Equity Updates - Monthly diversity briefings that will increase your awareness/knowledge of issues and initiatives related to equitable and inclusive education at DPCDSB.
  • Equity Links - Quick links to curriculum resources and documents supporting equitable and inclusive education.
  • The Equity Shelf - Find current articles and resources about equity and inclusion.
  • Equity Bytes - Here you will find quick entry points to equity and inclusion topics, questions and resources. These Bytes explore and reflect on professional practice and unpack some of the resources.
  • Good Equity Reads -This book club has been developed to challenge thinking, enhance understanding, and build capacity.
  • Words Matter - In an effort to ensure equity at DPCDSB and create a climate of inclusivity and respect, this list of equitable and inclusive terminology will help to enhance understanding and improve support for students within our schools and communities.
  • Beyond February- Black history resources to help educators weave the historical and contemporary experiences, achievements, and struggles of Black people into the fabric of the curriculum.
Supporting Reconciliation

DPCDSB serves families who are First Nation, Inuit, and/or Métis. DPCDSB is committed to working in partnership with the Mississaugas of the Credit as a treaty partner.

In June of 2020, a policy was adopted to support opportunities for First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students and staff, and to increase the knowledge and awareness of all students about Indigenous histories, contributions, and perspectives for all students within DPCDSB. Guided by a moral imperative, the purpose of this new policy is to outline DPCDSB’s commitment to reconciliation with the Indigenous community.

Respect

Digital Resources to support hybrid learning and decolonize the curriculum
Lessons from the Earth is a comprehensive digital resource that was produced in collaboration with many Indigenous Knowledge Holders, Elders and DPCDSB’s treaty partner. This resource provides elementary students a glimpse into the old stories of the Indigenous Peoples from this land in order to further understand the connection to the great spirit, our Mother Earth. This cross-curricular resource is a provocation for student inquiry into topics such as the environment, First Peoples of Canada, Science, Social Studies, and more. Digital lesson plans, video clips and step-by-step instruction on how to incorporate this resource into an online classroom are also provided.

The Lessons from Beyond project brings Anishinaabe, Kanyen’kehaka, Maori and NASA together to create innovative and engaging opportunities for experiential learning centered on Indigenous star knowledge with explicit connections to Mathematics and STEAM. This joint curriculum project was created to engage students through technology and community. Partners include Anishinaabe (Ojibway), Kanyen’kehaka (Mohawk), The Navajo Nation, Maori (New Zealand) and NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), the Math Knowledge Network, First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Organization and the Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board (FNMIEAO/DPCDSB). A key component to creating authentic and meaningful projects is to have open discussions on navigating relationships. The project focuses on building real partnerships that bring two worldviews together creating deep, meaningful relationships and sustainable learning.

Thrive

Supporting Staff
Understanding that equity and achievement are inextricable, DPCDSB is dedicated to providing staff with the professional development necessary to reflect and act with regard to identifying, addressing and eliminating biases in the delivery of curriculum. Through the 2019/2020 school year school-based staff were required to participate in mandatory anti-oppression training. This training provided an understanding of disproportionality, as well as how to identify and address barriers.

Supporting Students
DPCDSB is participating in the Black Graduation Coach Ministry of Education Pilot. The graduation coach acted as a mentor for students ensuring that they felt valued in the school system. The graduation coach would also advocate during meetings for the specific needs of Black students. Some of the promising practices that supported Black students and their families was the collaboration with community agencies. The graduation coach had over 40 community agencies for Black families, where referrals were consistently made. These community agencies were also shared with the support services department board wide, which impacted not only the two schools the graduation coach worked in but all schools in DPCDSB.

Decolonizing the Curriculum
In order to support online learning, the Indigenous Education Department offered the opportunity for classes from K-12 to participate in a virtual session with an Indigenous Knowledge Keeper. The Virtual Visiting Knowledge Keeper Program explored various topics such as Indigenous world views, the impact of colonization, artistic expression, historical perspectives, and a deeper understanding of Treaty education. This program has impacted over 1,000 students across the DPCDSB and continues to promote Indigenous Education within the virtual classroom, while also strengthening our relationship with community partners. The program contributes to the initial intention of expanding on the Ontario curriculum expectations.

Trust

Addressing Anti-Black Racism
Students in Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board have shared with us that that they are profoundly impacted by Anti-Black Racism (ABR) and requested an opportunity to connect, talk and be heard about the impact on their lives. In response, the Special Education and Learning Services Department and staff from Equity and Inclusive Education hosted virtual Student Voice Forums on ABR for Secondary Schools. The Forums provided an opportunity for students to support one another and grow as a Catholic school community. They were hosted by Child and Youth Workers and Social Workers who are passionate, trained and eager to listen and respond to young people who have been impacted by ABR.

Decolonizing the Curriculum
DPCDSB offered a summer learning course introducing students to the basics of Anishinaabemowin (Ojibway language) while learning about the process involved in building a traditional canoe. Students were taught about the harvesting of materials (spruce roots, cedar, birch bark), as well as the construction of the canoe, through live video demonstration. Connections to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) were explored and students were able to create real life connections back to the canoe build. Students were also provided with an overview of Anishinaabek history and the significance of our treaty relationship as it pertains to sustaining and protecting Indigenous lands, rights and responsibilities.

"As a Anishnawbe mother, I am so grateful for this program and the life lessons that my daughters have learned and will carry with them for the rest of their lives. For all of this, I say Chi Miigwetch." – DPCDSB Parent

Budget

2019-2020 Budget

The 2019-2020 budget was developed under the New Vision for Education model introduced by the Ministry of Education intended to modernize curriculum, modernize classrooms and empower educators to better prepare students for the realities of today’s modern world. The New Vision and the subsequent Grants for Student Needs (GSN) announcement resulted in significant funding reductions and a very difficult budget development process.

The key elements of the funding model that changed for the 2019-2020 year were an increase in secondary average class sizes from 22:1 to 28:1 over a four year period and a pause on the Local Priorities Funding (LPF) that had been established in the prior year. The LPF supported several staff positions across many employment groups.

The magnitude of the funding reductions required a comprehensive review of all operating expenditures and staffing in order to find efficiencies and present a compliant budget for approval by the Board of Trustees. DPCDSB continues to be faced with some enrolment decline and funding challenges in the areas of benefits, long-term disability and transportation.

Guided by collaboration, inclusivity and transparency, an integral component of the process involved consultation with all stakeholders and receiving feedback to help inform budget decisions. The public consultation process included a webcast and use of the ThoughtExchange™ application which provided a forum for sharing input. In developing the budget for 2019-2020, the priorities of quality Catholic education, student well-being and achievement, accountability and transparency were paramount in all discussions, as well as aligning the allocation of resources to the Multi Year Strategic Plan (MYSP) of DPCDSB and ensuring that impacts of any required reductions were minimized for students and the classroom.

At the June 18, 2019 Regular Board meeting, the Board of Trustees were presented with a compliant 2019-2020 Operating and Capital budget of just over $1.0 billion.





Technology

Technology

ICT continued to evaluate enhanced and innovative technology solutions such as enhanced Chromebooks, webcam, wireless mics, and hotspots to support changes in the delivery of education within the classrooms. Plans include improved cybersecurity best practices to provide an enhanced and safe experience for students and staff. Steps were also taken to extend ICT Service Desk hours to support students with technology support issues.

ICT has worked closely with school administration to track the deployment of mobile devices to staff and students following the “Deployment of Technology” protocol. The following devices (Chromebooks, Hotspots and Laptops) were deployed to students and staff.

  • 14,000+ devices have been distributed to students
  • 1300 hotspots deployed to students
  • 13,000+ devices deployed to instructional staff
  • 18,000 new Chromebooks and laptops purchased centrally

The following learning management platforms were made available to support schools and students with their online leaning needs: Google Classroom, D2L, Microsoft TEAMS, and Zoom.


2019-20 Technology Improvements

  • Service Desk Management Application – An enhanced Service Desk software was implemented to support staff and students' technology issues.
  • Ministry Broadband Management SDWAN initiative – Funded through the Ministry of Education, this project is designed to improve internet access to students across the board.
  • Student Information System Replacement – The Student Information System facilitates student information flow and management across the Board. The application is scheduled to be replaced in late 2021.
  • Teacher Web Attendance - Provides schools with a quick and efficient way of managing student’s attendance. The solution is currently being used throughout the elementary and secondary school panels.
  • School Messenger – A communication tool used to notify a parent of school activities. Both elementary and secondary schools currently used this solution to send information to parents/guardians and students via phone/email/SMS messages.
  • Safe Arrival – An attendance reporting tool that makes it easier for parents and guardians to report student attendance. Through this tool, parents can send attendance alerts to schools for all their children and provide a reason for each absence. This solution will be implemented in early 2021.
  • WiFi Infrastructure Upgrade - Work began on the upgrade of the entire WiFi infrastructure within all elementary and secondary schools. The upgrade will improve connectivity performance and provide a more robust and stable Wi-Fi network infrastructure.

Investments

Investments in infrastructure

During the 2019-20 school year, DPCDSB underwent three major capital projects – a two-storey, 17 classroom addition to Holy Name of Mary Catholic Secondary School and renovation to the childcare spaces at Father Michael Goetz Secondary School and St. Albert of Jerusalem School. Despite construction delays due to COVID-19, Holy Name of Mary C.S.S. is scheduled to reopen on January 4, 2021.

In addition to the Capital Priorities and ongoing preventative maintenance programs, the Board completed a variety of school renewal interior, exterior and site projects in over 100 schools to ensure that these schools remain in a state of good repair.

DPCDSB’s in-house maintenance staff performed HVAC assessments, repair and adjustment to ensure all mechanical systems are fully operational along with ongoing preventative maintenance in preparation for school re-opening for the 2020-2021 school year. Maintenance staff initiated the upgrading of current air filters to the highest possible minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) and increasing the frequency in which filters are replaced to ensure maximum airflow in all schools.