2018-19 Director's Annual Report Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board

Message from Director Mike McDonald...

It is with great pleasure that I share this annual report which outlines the successes and accomplishments of the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board in the 2018-19 school year. I am proud to be part of such an incredible Catholic community where our dedicated staff, guided by their faith, engage our students, in their faith formation and academic achievement. We look forward to continue to collaborate with all stakeholders in our community as we move forward and journey together. God bless.

Our Vision

Our faith-based communities inspire life-long learning and service to others.

Our Motto

Excellence in Learning ~ Living in Christ

Our Core Values

  • We respect the dignity of the human person, created in the image and likeness of God.
  • We exercise preferential option for the poor (financial, intellectual, social and spiritual).
  • We exercise preferential option for the poor (financial, intellectual, social and spiritual).
  • We continually strive to deepen our relationship with God and one another.

Our 2018-19 Spiritual Theme

'JOURNEY, Encounter, Transform - Hearts on Fire' Theme Launched at All Staff Faith Day, September 2018.
JOURNEY, Encounter, Transform - Hearts on Fire (Luke 24:32)

Strategic Plan Pillar Report Card...

Catholic Faith Formation

Christian Meditation with Children in Schools
  • Christian Meditation with Children continued in all schools.
  • Additional Christian Meditation ‘take home kits’ created. (60)
  • Special project: a book on student reflections of “Why I Like Christian Meditation” completed.
Implementation of the Grade 3 Religion Program (Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ)
  • The new Grade 3 Religious Education Program, “Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ” with full implementation has been purchased and distributed across the district.
Social Justice Initiatives and Work to Support Catholic Service Organizations
  • A variety of social justice initiatives have taken place across the system (e.g., volunteering at Good Shepherd, Hamilton; Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP), Brantford; Intergenerational visits at Riverview Terrace and Norfolk General Hospital; food drives; clothing drives, etc.
  • Mission Trips organized and executed.
  • Elementary social justice teams participated in Social Justice Retreat days.

Student Achievement

Improve achievement for all students in literacy and mathematics
  • Teachers new to Primary, Junior or Intermediate divisions received one day of comprehensive in-servicing regarding effective instructional techniques in literacy and mathematics.
  • Teachers who are new to Grade 3 and Grade 6 participated in a half-day workshop on EQAO
  • Ten schools whose data demonstrated a need for extra support in literacy and numeracy were given a tutor under the Tutors in the Classroom initiative.
  • All elementary schools have at least one Math Lead teacher
  • Grade 3 to Grade 6 educators participated in school-based professional learning focusing on effective assessment and instruction related to foundational concepts of multiplication.
  • Intermediate teachers participated in a professional learning network focusing on effective assessment and instruction related to the applications of multiplication.
  • All elementary school Special Education Resource Teachers (SERTs) participated in school-based PLCs for one of the bands of learning.
  • All System Special Education Resource Teachers (System SERTs) and Educational Assistants (EAs) participated in learning sessions related to early concepts of number sense and multiplication.
  • Kindergarten teams participated in a collaborative learning experience.
  • Teachers of Grade 9 Applied Mathematics at all three secondary schools have had access to in-class support from the System math teacher, based on the needs of each teacher and group of students. This support may include assisting teachers with effective instruction, working with individual groups of students, and preparing for the Grade 9 EQAO assessment.
  • Teams of Grade 9 and 10 teachers participated in collaborative, cross-disciplinary literacy learning at each secondary school, based on the unique literacy needs of students in each school.
  • Teachers of Grade 7 to Grade 12 participated in a series of workshops which target reluctant writers.
Improve the capacity of teachers and principals to lead improvements in assessment and instructional practices.
  • Principals met in Principal Learning Networks at every other Family of Schools meeting (bi-monthly), engaging in professional learning regarding principals’ identified needs in leading improved numeracy in their schools.
  • Principals engaged in professional learning regarding the leading and the monitoring of effective instructional and assessment strategies in mathematics at monthly Family of Schools meetings, facilitated by System teachers and Principals.
  • Superintendent visits to schools increased.
  • System teachers collected feedback through exit slips at each school-based PLC and as they engage with teachers in one-to-one meetings focused on determining students’ strengths and needs and planning for next steps for instruction in the area of mathematics and literacy.
  • Principals participated in a data collection and analysis workshop facilitated by an EQAO representative.
Increase the use of problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, creativity, entrepreneurialism, technology competencies in teaching and learning across the district.
  • Continuation of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).
  • Effectively used board-owned technology (e.g., Microsoft Surface device) to improve student learning and gather assessment for learning.
  • Educators participated in professional learning related to the use of Desire 2 Learn (D2L).
  • Kindergarten teams participated in professional learning related to the use of Microsoft OneNote and other tools.
  • Grade 1 to Grade 8 educators participated in professional learning related to the use of Microsoft OneNote and other tools.
  • Selected teachers participated in professional learning related to innovation and the development of the competencies identified in the Ministry of Education’s 21st Century Competencies Foundation Document for Discussion.
  • Nine schools involved in the Innovative Think Space initiative.
  • Five elementary schools involved in a Robotics Project.
Increase access to a wide variety of learning experiences and opportunities for self-reflection and goal setting in order to prepare students to make informed choices that best suit their unique talents, interests and abilities.
  • All educators who had not been previously in-serviced on the All About Me portfolio participated in a one-day learning session. In total, 30 educators participated in this learning.
  • Student exit surveys completed by all students in Grades 8 and 12. Data from these surveys analyzed by system staff to determine district needs and next steps.
  • Students from all three secondary schools participated in ongoing Board competitions offered by Skills Ontario.
  • All Grade 8 students participated in Techxploration. This initiative exposed students to trades, career pathways available within the tech courses, and provides students with a more informed course selection process.

Safe and Accepting Schools

Enhance inclusive school environments that support mental health
  • Mental Health and Well-Being presentations for staff.
  • Each school has a Mental Health Champion and Mental Health Leadership Team.
  • Utilized feedback back from school climate surveys to develop understanding of Mental Health and Wellness.
  • Participated in activities within the school and community which promote mental wellness.
  • Communication through various media.
Improve policies and procedures to have an impact on safety in schools and improve training for students, staff and leaders
  • Revised Student Behaviour, Discipline and Safety Policy and Administrative Procedure.
  • Created the District Safe and Accepting Schools Committee.
  • Developed a system training plan for the Respect in School Program.
  • Developed plans by schools that align with the Board’s Spiritual Theme and Family and Religion curriculum.
Improve the communication of initiatives and supports that are in place to ensure student safety
  • Parents, staff and students completed the climate survey.
  • Communication through newsletters, school websites, board website and twitter.

Communication and Community Engagement

Valuing and Supporting Our Community Partners
Increase our profile in the community
  • New visuals used for the 3-year term.
  • Standardized ‘Guide for Parents' added to Kindergarten Registration Package.
  • Increased use of Twitter to inform community.
  • Worked with the Catholic Service Organizations, local parishes and community partners.
Improve customer service perceptions in our community
  • New school-to-home / home-to-school communication system
  • Second public consultation process - school climate survey

Board Improvement Plan

The BHNCDSB is committed to providing all students with learning experiences that are rooted in effective research-based practices. Our goals continue to be improving student learning and achievement in mathematics and increasing and enhancing principal and teacher learning in mathematical content knowledge and instruction. In the area of Student Achievement in Mathematics, we implemented several initiatives that were embedded in the Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement 2018-2019:

Grade 2 and Grade 5 Measurement Networks
  • All teachers of Grades 2 and 5 participated in three modules of learning related to building content and math knowledge for teaching in the area of Measurement.
  • Educator learning was measured by a pre and post survey as well as an exit survey after each module’s learning.
  • Diagnostic assessments were completed on all students in grade 2 and grade 5 in September 2019. The same assessment was be re-administered to all students in May 2019 in order to measure student progress.
EQAO Pilot Project
  • Grade 3 and 6 teachers from 5 schools participated in a full day of professional learning focused on deepening understanding of the curriculum achievement categories Knowledge & Understanding, Thinking and Application. Additionally, new information from EQAO regarding the administration of the assessment was shared with educators. View our 2018-19 EQAO assessment results.
  • Teachers were provided a mid-year assessment resembling EQAO experience for students.
  • The mid-year assessment included multiple choice and open response questions that targeted concepts which the district has not performed well on in the last few years, including number sense and measurement.
  • Teachers used student responses from the midyear assessment as the basis for moderated marking during the learning of the day.
School-based Numeracy Professional Learning Communities (PLCs): K-8
  • Teachers and administrators participated in PLCs at the school level to deepen their understanding of content related to fundamental math concepts including foundational concepts of number sense, computational fluency, foundational concepts of multiplication, and/or fractions.
  • Principals used educator self-assessment data and 1:1 meetings with staff to monitor educator growth regarding implementation of the concepts of fundamental mathematics.
Secondary Intermediate Professional Learning Communities (PLCs): 9-10
  • Teachers of Applied and Locally Developed Mathematics courses participated in three PLCs to develop awareness and deepen their understanding of the fundamental concepts in mathematics.
  • PLCs met three times during each semester. Topics included Multiplication, Representing & Comparing Fractions and Operations with Fractions.
  • Teacher learning was measured and monitored through Pre and Post-Learning Surveys. Student learning was measured and monitored through diagnostic assessments administered prior to each module and again at the end of Semester
Principal Learning
  • At monthly Family of Schools meetings, principals were provided with professional learning that deepened their own understanding of the fundamental math concepts and the instructional practices that were delivered at the school-based PLCs.

Pathways, Planning and Supports

To support pathways and planning at both the elementary and secondary levels we held/hosted/participated in:
  • Pathways - Women in Trades, Males in the Trades
  • Pathways Day
  • Ontario Skills Competitors- Board/Regional/Provincial
  • Ontario Skills Students Trip- Board / Provincial
  • Techxploration Days
  • Destination College - Elementary Schools
  • What Works - Our Community Work
  • Elementary Schools
  • Manufacturing Day - Secondary
  • Women in Trades Days
  • Future Build Event Toronto - Alternate years - Trades Day
  • Elementary Schools
  • Epic Jobs - Skilled Trades Day Brantford
  • OYAP Opportunity Days
  • Jill of All Trades - Secondary
  • LIUNA Construction Symposium
  • Certification/Training with Sector Partners
  • Elementary Reach Ahead to Secondary
  • Pathways to Work (Elementary)
  • Sector Specific Guest Speakers
  • 'EdgeFactor'
  • Gifted and Skills Trades Boat Builds
  • Job Skills/Special Education Reach Ahead
  • BRC Summer Business
  • Manufacturing Career Day
  • Indigenous Engagement Apprenticeships
  • Take Our Kids To Work

Schools and Classrooms that Support All Students

First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) Education

  • First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) Education Mentor contacted families who have chosen not to self-identify to obtain feedback and to understand of choice not to self-identify.
  • First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) Education Advisory Committee addressed ways to improving/including Indigenous parents in self-identification process.
  • Students toured the Woodland Cultural Centre.
  • At Assumption College School, all Indigenous students (with their non-Indigenous peers) had an increased visibility and opportunity to participate in Haudenosaunee dancing throughout the school year.
  • Board-wide recognition of Orange T-Shirt Day - to remember Children who attended residential schools.
  • All secondary schools promoted a “Cultural Day Social” to celebrate Indigenous history and culture.
  • First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) Education Mentor sat on the Board Mental Health Advisory Group to communicate and provide input on relevant Indigenous mental health issues.
  • First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) Education Mentor sat on planning committee for Board Mental Health PA day on April 12th, 2018 to incorporate Indigenous focused workshops for all teachers.
  • Continued collaborative partnerships with community agencies.
  • First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) Education Mentor met meet with elementary school principals from Six Nations regarding high school transition process.
  • Held a Summer Transition Camp for Six Nation students transitioning to Assumption College School.
  • Student Registration packages highlights Indigenous system supports available to new self-identified students.
  • First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) Education Mentor met with Guidance Department Heads at all three secondary schools to assist them with providing support for Indigenous students in Grade 8 who are transitioning to secondary school.
  • All teachers from Grade 4 ,6, 7 and 10 attended a two day cultural competency work-shop/in-service at Woodlands Cultural Centre.
  • Working collaboratively with the community, student achievement leads and the Arts lead, together, grade three teachers were in-serviced on how to use 'beading' as an Indigenous method of teaching mathematics.
  • Offered PLC (Professional Learning Community) opportunities at each secondary school to improve cultural competency.
  • Established Indigenous contacts at all schools to assist in communicating initiatives.

Mental Health Initiatives.

Building capacity, using a tiered approach to mental health literacy continued to be a priority as per the 2017-20 BHNCDSB Mental Health and Addictions Strategy.
  • April 2019 saw the board’s 5th annual Professional Activity Day designated to building capacity and embedding practices to promote student mental health and well-being. This year’s focus was on Trauma Sensitive Schools.
  • Administrators and System staff participated in the Traumatic Events System Training through the North American Center for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response
Legalization of the Recreational Use of Cannabis Transfer Payment Agreement allowed for further capacity building in the area of Cannabis Use through the following:
  • Training with Administrators and Student Success Teams
  • • Community Drug Forum: Substance Use and Youth- What Adults Need to Know
Transfer Payment Agreement for Mental Health Workers in Secondary Schools allowed for an increase in Social Work Support by 1.5 staff and the hiring of a Research Associate. The increase in personnel not only allowed for an increase in one to one support offered to students, but to assist in bringing Mental Health Information and initiatives directly into the hands of our students.
  • Students enrolled in Co-operative education were provided with Mental Health Literacy opportunities during their first week of class designed to address the pressures students may encounter while trying to balance pressures of school, work, and student life.
  • Social Emotional Learning Program Mindfulness Without Borders- Mindful Ambassador Program was piloted in Grade 9 and 10 English curriculum.
As in past year, schools continue to promote mental health and well being through:
  • School Mental Health Leadership teams which operate in each school and emphasize the inclusion of students as co-creators of initiatives and activities.
  • Students and staff participated in well-being activities that aligned with our spiritual theme during Mental Health Week including “Chalking” positive messages
Safe and Accepting Schools Activities
  • The District and Safe and Accepting Schools Committee (DSASC) continues to meet four times per year.
  • Schools continue to develop, review and implement Safe and Accepting School Plans (SSASP) that are consistent with the Code of Conduct, DSASP and the Board’s spiritual theme.
  • The district implemented a board-wide on-line Bullying Prevention/Safe Schools training Bullying Response and Recognition in the fall of 2018.
  • Joint Protocol for Student Achievement (JPSA) was introduced at AAC. This formal process ensures timely and individualized response to students in the care of the Children’s Aid Society. Implementation of the process was initiated and is reviewed on an on-going bases by both local school boards and child protection agencies.
  • Using various mediums (e.g. Twitter, newsletters, media) effective communication celebrating the evidence of our safe and accepting schools has been ongoing.

Special Education Detailed Initiatives

  • Implemented Lexia Core 5 to further assist students with a Learning Disability profile to master fundamental literacy skills.
  • Launched PowerSchool SpecEd (PSSE) online Individual Education Plan (IEP) software designed to support the development of, and access to, IEPs and other essential documentation for students.
  • Participated in and executed improvements as a result of an internal Board audit completed by an outside agency in order to assess management controls in the allocation of resources to effectively provide special education programs and services.

2018-19 Budget


  • Provincial Grants $109,120,799.00
  • Taxes $17,919,753.00
  • Other $3,760,780.00
Total $130,801,332.00


  • Classroom $91,311,711.00
  • Transportation $5,406,159.00
  • School Support $10,663,101.00
  • Accommodations $19,078,164.00
  • Administration 4,342,197.00
Total $130,801,332.00

Celebrating our 2018-19 learning, successes and initiatives!

Imagine the unimaginable.
Celebrating the Arts
Stewards of the environment

Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board

Excellence in Learning ~ Living in Christ

Created By
Tracey Austin