Message from the Deputy Director General
We are proud to present the 2015-2016 Youth Sector Annual Report. This past school year’s journey was certainly filled with great projects from all of our schools. Once again, this year’s annual report highlights the main projects in each of our departments. This will allow you to discover the areas of focus for the Youth Sector, as well as the actions we are taking to help our students reach their personal goals. This school year started off in a particularly dynamic way, with our Cree School Board Regional Education Symposium, where professional development was offered to our employees in an event that hosted well over 600 educators.
Our main responsibility in the Youth Sector is to make sure that we help ALL of our students reach their highest potential and complete their Secondary School Diploma. To do so, we need to ensure that we have engaging, inspiring, and culturally relevant lessons in our classrooms. This means being ready to explore new trails, including new ways of teaching and learning. But more importantly, it is crucial that we take collective responsibility for the success of ALL students in the Cree Nation.
An important objective for us is to give our students and teachers the opportunity to take part in the development and implementation of concentration programs. These programs allow our students to live their passions and be excited about other aspects of what school is about. The 2015-2016 school year marked the first year of implementing concentration programs in the areas of arts, sports, Cree culture, science, gaming/movie production, as well as entrepreneurship. The results of this first year have shown that we are having a direct impact on students’ attendance, motivation and academic success. Student testimonials have also revealed that these programs have allowed them to remain in school, gave them a voice and a way to express who they are, which makes them feel valued and appreciated.
Our many initiatives have contributed to the graduation of 88 Secondary V students. Congratulations to our students for their achievements!
Our departments focused on completing the 2011-2015 Strategic Action Plan (SAP) goals, and transitioning to the new goals established for 2016-2021. We can only expect an increase in student's learning outcomes and their achievements in the coming year. I invite you to continue reading for the main highlights from each department.
Sherry Weistche, Coordinator of Instructional Services
- Elementary GVC Science was developed, translated and published for Grades 2-6, which builds the students’ knowledge of science vocabulary, inquiry and exploration.
- Cree Language GVC, Secondary I development began and the team produced the first four modules.
- Secondary III GVC was rolled out in August 2015, followed by support offered in schools, along with Secondary IV and V GVC development in all core subjects.
- Consultants, together with teacher collaborators, developed culturally relevant end-of-cycle assessments in the core subject areas.
- “Read it Again in Cree” implementation and teacher training continued, targeting pre-reading strategies at an early age, with an early screening tool piloted to assess children’s progress.
- GVC School Support for Pre-K to Secondary III was offered twice a year to each school.
SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES
Catherine Rutherford, Coordinator of Special Education
- Response to Intervention (RTI) was implemented in three schools in Ouje-Bougoumou, Wemindji, and Whapmagoostui, with early results demonstrating more collaboration among teachers and improvements in student learning.
- “Empower Reading”, a reading intervention program, was implemented in eight schools. Results at the mid-point of the program demonstrate an average growth of 1.25 grade levels for students, with some increasing two to three grade levels during the year.
- MEES Special Education Programs, CASP, Challenges, and Modified Secondary I, were implemented in the enclosed classrooms in Chisasibi, Mistissini and Wemindji, whereby the goal was to provide students with mild to severe intellectual impairments with an accredited curriculum.
- CPI training was offered to teams of school personnel and all school principals. It is an early identification and intervention behavioural model focused on de-escalation and applying effective behavioural intervention strategies.
- Word Q, a software program designed to assist students with reading and writing difficulties, was installed on over 200 computers in the schools.
- Work Oriented Training Pathways (WOTP) welcomed a new consultant, who offered training through a two-day conference, and support to schools in on-site visits.
- A CSB Special Education Services Literacy Assessment Package was created using a cultural and linguistic framework which acknowledges the importance of providing students with assessments that reflect both their culture and linguistic backgrounds.
Lucy Shem, Coordinator of Cree Programs
- 27 books were published in Cree for elementary through secondary levels for use in the classroom, along with 10 oral stories recorded for the elementary level.
- All Cree Programs staff and most Cree Language teachers in the Cree School Board participated in training sessions to use “E-Book Creator” to create books and learning resources on the iPad, which resulted in over 100 e-books created for classroom use.
- The spelling manual was updated in both dialects, and professional development was offered to schools on both the manual and the writing system.
Nellie Pachanos, Coordinator of Student Services
- The Room and Board Program Consultative Review was completed in 2015-2016, which included consultations with other Cree entities and the CEA Task Force.
- The Family Engagement survey was completed in 2015-2016; analysis of the findings will guide our plans to further engage families in our schools.
- The Crisis Intervention Team Training was also completed in 2015-2016, with just a few follow-up sessions remaining; all schools will have teams in place for December 2016.
- The Anti-Bullying Manual in English and French will be available this fall. This manual has been adapted to our schools by Cree School Board personnel and it covers all levels from Pre-K to Secondary V.
- The Cree School Board hosted the Quebec Aboriginal Science Fair 2016 in Mistissini on April 5-6, 2016, where we welcomed eight First Nation groups from 20 communities from all over Quebec. It was well received by all who attended.
Debbie House, Coordinator of Professional Development
- Cree culture, language, and education courses for certificates and Bachelor of Education programs continued to be offered to students enrolled in these programs.
- Two work sessions were held with the Instructors from the Certificate in Aboriginal Literacy: CREE.
- 17 students graduated this year with certificates in Inclusive Education, Bachelors of Education, and a Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership.
- Through a committee led by the Deputy Director General’s Office, the teacher training programs and best practices within them were reviewed in an effort to improve programs in the future.
OFFICE OF SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT
Marie-Monique Villeneuve, Coordinator of School Improvement
- Two student engagement surveys were conducted with all secondary students in Eeyou Schools in the fall and spring of this year to assess their perception of student life.
- In addition to the 2013 student engagement survey, key findings indicate that:
- 87% of our secondary students feel good about being in school and feel they will graduate;
- 60-68% of students find learning of Cree language and culture important in schools; and
- 72% of students say their parents encourage them to work hard and stay in school.
- All school board and school-based data has been shared with schools, from which action plans have been developed to address areas of concern in an effort to increase student engagement.