ANNUAL DIRECTOR'S REPORT TO THE COMMUNITY 2019-20
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A Message from the Director of Education, Joanna Roberto
Grand Erie’s Annual Director’s Report is an opportunity to share with the board and our wider communities the many accomplishments and initiatives throughout the system during the past 12 months, and helps set the direction for the upcoming year. As the new Director of Education for Grand Erie District School Board, I continue to build upon those who served before me and strive to reinforce the Board’s valued tradition of focusing on achievement and well-being for everyone across our learning communities, part of our shared goal of Success for Every Student.
The unprecedented impact from the global pandemic continues to influence in 2020. In response, our Grand Erie team did an admirable job to pivot, consult with, and adopt best practices advised by our Ministry of Education and Public Health Unit partners, to ensure a safer reopening of schools. This fall, we launched the Virtual Academy (Kindergarten to Grade 12) with more than 4,500 students taking part. We also delivered additional technology enhancements during the first quadmester structure of learning. While we will continuously adjust for many months to come as we deal with COVID-19, the good news is, our Grand Erie team will adapt accordingly and stay focused on our students.
Additionally, the announcement this fall of a new Grand Erie elementary school in southwest Brantford has set the course for a new direction of growth that we will design together.
The 2019-20 school year marked the fourth year of Grand Erie’s Multi-Year Plan. The six indicators that support the Multi-Year Plan are: Achievement, Community, Environment, Equity, Technology and Well-Being. A video celebrating Grand Erie’s Multi-Year Plan was created for the 2019-20 school year. Find that video here. The annual Director’s Report provides an overview of the work accomplished by our students and staff during the past year. This work can be seen through the Annual Operating Plans and Outcomes for each indicator as well as through some of our top stories from 2019-20.
My vision is to inspire learning, innovation, equity and serve the communities within Grand Erie by modelling leadership with a sense of pride, compassion, hope and my own lived experiences. Student achievement is at the core of everything we do. Continuing a strong culture of learning with high expectations at all levels of the organization ensures our decisions positively impact student improvement.
A Message from the Chair of the Board, Greg Anderson
On behalf of all Grand Erie Trustees, I’m pleased to showcase some of the terrific work that was accomplished during the past school year.
Throughout all of the challenges Grand Erie faced in 2019-20, I’m so proud that our staff remained focused on our students. Faced with the enormous and sudden impacts of a global pandemic, Grand Erie pulled together to fundamentally change the way we deliver education, ensuring learning continued for our students throughout the COVID-19 shutdown. The COVID-19 crisis showcased Grand Erie’s strengths at every level of our organization: teamwork, innovation, responsiveness and care. As Trustees, we couldn’t be more grateful for the extraordinary work that was accomplished by staff in 2019-20.
As Trustees, we serve our communities, including students, parents and staff. We take great pride in our role of being the link between our school board and those we represent in the City of Brantford and the Counties of Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk as well as Six Nations of the Grand River and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.
Of our many tasks, the most important is to listen and collect input from the community on issues that impact education in Grand Erie and across the province. We want to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation for all of these discussions over the past year as they help us shape our direction moving forward.
At the end of the 2019-20 school year, we said goodbye to Director Brenda Blancher. Brenda provided exceptional leadership for Grand Erie during her five years as our Director of Education. She was thoughtful, compassionate and humble, always putting the needs of our students, our staff and our system first. Always graceful under pressure and incredibly hardworking, Brenda was the guiding light for all of us during the 2019-20 school year. After an incredible 35-year career in education, we wish Brenda much joy in her retirement.
With Brenda’s departure, we said hello to our new Director of Education, JoAnna Roberto. JoAnna joins Grand Erie following eight years as a Superintendent at the District School Board of Niagara. She will lead Grand Erie for the next five years. Her history of building relationships with staff and students as a way to boost confidence and increase overall achievement and well-being aligns nicely with our Multi-Year Plan and its focus on Success for Every Student.
We have much to be proud of from 2019-20, as you will see in the Annual Director’s Report. We also have much to build on as we continue to grow and move forward together.