Summer learning a boon to TLDSB students, says director

By James Matthews

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Summer learning has a direct impact on student success at schools within the Trillium Lakelands District School Board.

The school board got an overview of the summer learning program when it met Aug. 29.

Jay MacJanet, the board’s superintendent if learning, said the July program drew 175 students from Grades 1 to 4 at eight locations.

The program focused on literacy, mathematics, and targeted instruction was delivered based on the needs of individual student participants, he said.

Tanya Fraser, the board’s acting associate superintendent of learning, provided an overview of summer learning at the secondary level.

That facet of the program attracted 76 students enrolled in courses.

Nineteen students entering Grade 9 took part in the learning strategies course that focused on developing skills and self-confidence in numeracy and learning strategies.

Fraser said the co-op summer program saw 240 students who gained valuable experience in various sectors and trades. Fraser noted that the employers of co-op students praised the students for their work ethic.

Education Director Wes Hahn said such results illustrates how important summer learning is across all ages as it provides a direct impact on student success.

Hahn also shared that many staff all across TLDSB are continuing their own professional learning.

Teachers availed of advanced qualifications courses and sessions for professional development on a variety of topics before school start-up.

The information gained through the staff and student voice during director’s summits last spring was invaluable, Hahn said, and will be implemented into the board’s school improvement plans.

The board meeting kicked off with the swearing-in of new student trustee Maiya Dyni, a Grade 11 student from Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes Secondary School. She will be a trustee for the next two school years.

Dyni joins Logan MacInnis from Fenelon Falls Secondary School as the board’s second student trustee.

Dyni said it’s an honour to be chosen to represent students.

“I am most looking forward to being able to share in the dialogue surrounding student issues by collaborating with peers, my fellow student trustee, and G7 student senate representatives to bring a diverse student perspective to these discussions,” said Dyni.

The G7 student senate is a group of students made up of one representative from each secondary school elected by their peers to bring student issues to the Board of Trustees.

She said her purpose as trustee is to ensure fellow students feel heard and to assist in creating a positive and inclusive school environment for all students.

“Furthermore, at the most recent student voice summit, we received feedback about test/exam anxiety,” she said. “As a result, I plan to collaborate with MacInnis and our student senate to create a new initiative to help tackle test/exam anxiety within our schools.”