The NG Times Newspaper

The Joint Protocol for Student Achievement (JPSA) is a partnership between seven regional school boards and four regional children’s aid societies/family and children’s services agencies (CAS), to establish and implement processes and policies to support student achievement and wellbeing for crown ward and CAS involved students. The protocol sets the foundation for effective communication and collaboration among local boards of education and the CAS.
Sue Giff and Trudy VanDyke, Behaviour Crisis Consultants with the Board, presented details on the protocol to the Board of Trustees. The JPSA outlines the way in which school boards and CAS work together to create Educational Success Plans (ESPs) to ensure crown ward and CAS students are well supported in their educational and post-secondary opportunities.
“In the fall of 2015, we partnered with select teachers from our Board to review the protocol in a consultation process, which resulted in excellent feedback,” noted Ms. VanDyke. “Their input has also be reflected in the development of the “Activation Steps,” the Educational Success Plan, and the development of the REACH teams within their schools. Teachers felt excited to be receiving tools to assist crown ward and CAS involved students to achieve not only their academic but social and community goals as well.”
A REACH (Realizing Educational Achievement for Children/Youth) Team is a student focused support system that consists of a school member, CAS worker, guardian/parent, and a significant adult as identified by the student. Each crown ward or CAS involved student will have access to his/her REACH team, who will support the student in developing their individual success plan. The REACH meetings are positive, student-centred, and strength-based solution-focused, and allow the students to have a voice and participate in their own success plan.
The student and REACH team will meet a minimum of twice per year, with the first meeting happening within 30 days of the student being registered at the school. Subsequent meetings align with existing school reporting periods, and the CAS Point Person meetings (and/or caseworker meetings).
The student Educational Success Plan is designed to encompass not only the academic goals of the student, but also their dreams for the future and their community involvement activities.
In September 2016, the JPSA was finalized and shared with schools for implementation. The implementation will also provide additional training to both CAS and school personnel beginning in the spring, 2017. The Steps to Success, as outlined in the protocol, allows for specific requirements to be determined and explicitly outlined for crown ward and CAS students’ learning needs at the time they register for school.
“We have also developed a student booklet, with input from crown ward and CAS students, and it has been extremely successful as a resource to guide this group of learners through their rights and responsibilities with regard to student success,” noted Ms. VanDyke. “The booklet has been received and distributed widely throughout the Board, and was also well-received by the Ministry of Education.”


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