Welcome to the Waterloo Catholic District School Board’s Director’s Annual Report for the 2016-17 school year.
In the spring of the year, we reviewed our progress against our new Multi-Year Strategic Plan – Living in Faith – in which we committed ourselves to preserving and enhancing the legacy of Catholic Education in Waterloo Region. In our interim report card we were pleased to observe that we were making strong progress against virtually all stated goals, but also took note of those areas where there was an invitation to increased effort and attention. During 2016-17, we collectively committed ourselves to the second year of our Pastoral Plan, set new expectations for student achievement and re-examined how we are building capacity to lead and learn within our system.
The launch of the second year of our Pastoral Plan was celebrated by the Most Rev. Bishop Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., and saw all of our relevant stakeholders from each school community represented. This second year was symbolized by the Ark, as the wood of the Giving Tree transformed into the wood of the Ark, allowing each school to reflect upon and celebrate the ways that we are People of Hope. The year was marked by remarkable and varied acts of charity, giving faithful witness to who we are as a people Living in Faith.
Over the course of last year, gains were made in critical priority areas within student achievement, realizing not only positive gains in our numeracy goals, but also in our 5-year graduation rate. We navigated into new territory as we adopted New Pedagogies for Deep Learning as a critical lens for our work within the areas of both 21st Century Learning and general student engagement and achievement. Numeracy was our specific focus for this work. Several updates to our IT infrastructure, a new corporate website and increased support networks were also all effectively launched.
Our student leaders exemplified our mission statement as they embraced their role as true agents of change in the world. Our student leadership conference at THE MUSEUM, the S.A.C. Unity Conference at St Jerome’s University and our Town Hall with the Director of Education were some of the events that brought out a wide array of students, empowered to make a difference in their local and broader community. The leadership strategy for staff continued to experience excellent growth, thus bringing many opportunities for adult learning to flourish.
Our stewardship of resources continues to be exemplary as we delivered a balanced budget, earning our fifth consecutive Meritorious International Budget Award for excellence in budget presentation. Our strong capital plan saw the construction of St. Brigid CES and St. Vincent de Paul CES begin and many smaller capital projects and renovations were completed – such as the new entrance at St. Paul CES.
It is a privilege and an honour to work with the staff and boarder community at Waterloo Catholic. Similarly, we are proud to share our collective accomplishments with you. Our schools are Heart of the Community, providing success for each and a place for all…and for that, they are truly worthy of celebration.