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Educators dive into workshops focused on DDSB strategic priorities

With 40 workshops, 68 presenters, and over 850 attendees, this year’s Summer Learning Institutes at the Durham District School Board (DDSB) Education Centre was two weeks of deep learning. Running from August 13 to August 23, the workshops focused on Well-Being, Inclusive and Equitable Practices, Student Achievement and Curriculum, and Innovation and Technology.

Open to all DDSB educators and staff, here are just a few examples of the interactive and engaging workshops offered:


Innovation & Technology

DDSB Science Facilitator Jane Kennedy offered educators the chance to further their knowledge of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). In the Inquiry and STEM workshop, Kennedy showed educators how different forms of inquiry can be used in the classroom to engage students. In the Inquiry and STEM – Teaching and Learning through Future City workshop, Kennedy shared information, helpful tips, and lesson plans with participants looking to enter their students in the 2018 Future City competition. Future City asks students “how can we make the world a better place?” Students answer by researching, designing, and building a solution to a citywide sustainability issue. The 2018-2019 theme is “Powering Our Future” where students will design a power grid that can withstand and recover from a natural disaster.


Student Achievement & Curriculum

Literacy and Numeracy Coach Tara Armstrong and Elementary Teacher Will Deacon led an insightful two-day institute called 7/8 Comprehensive Literacy: The Nuts, Bolts, The “How-To” & More. In this workshop Armstrong and Deacon provided educators with various ways to engage students in self-selected reading, incorporating choice-based responses in lessons, and many other helpful tools. Other curriculum-based workshops included: Refreshing the 7-12 Writing Program, A Plan for a Successful September, and BAS 101 – What you need to know to use this reading assessment.



Steffanie Pelleboer, Mental Health Lead for the DDSB, hosted a half-day workshop entitled Leading Mentally Healthy Schools. Pelleboer encouraged educators to adopt a three-tiered approach to supporting well-being in schools. Tier one consists of well-being promotion for ALL staff and students. Tier two consists of methods of prevention that are only necessary for SOME school community members. Finally, tier three is intervention for a FEW, which includes assessment and treatment services.

“The Summer Learning Institutes offer elementary and secondary educators the opportunity to demonstrate system leadership, or learn more about DDSB priorities for the 2018-2019 school year,” explains Kristin Bugelli, Curriculum Officer at the DDSB. “We would like to thank all of our presenters, administrators, and educators who attended.”

By Sarah Racioppa

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