OTTAWA, Feb. 16, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - In 2010, The Children's Aid Society of Ottawa (CASO), the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) and the Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) developed a joint protocol entitled "Unlocking Dreams, Opening Doors". This protocol was created to address several opportunities, primarily the educational outcomes and services for the children and youth in the care of, or receiving services from CASO.
Meanwhile, as a means to further support and increase consistency with children's aid societies and school boards across the province, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) and the Ministry of Education (EDU), jointly established an External Working Group of educators, CAS representatives, and former youth in care, to assist in developing a provincial protocol template entitled "Joint Protocol for Student Achievement (JPSA).
By late 2016, the prevailing protocol was amended and the JPSA entered into effect. This protocol details the school boards and CASO's commitment, by way of establishing and implementing a variety of policies and procedures to support student achievement from kindergarten to grade 12.
"Together with the Ottawa school boards, we are dedicated to improving the outcomes for children and youth in care. I am proud of the rich relationships we have developed to ensure a successful outcome," says Barbara MacKinnon, CASO's Executive Director.
The educational attainment of children and youth in care is significantly lower than that of the general school population. According to the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies, in 2012-2013, approximately 46% of Ontario's Crown Wards graduated from high school, while Ontario's overall high school graduation rate was 83%.
"We are committed to supporting children and youth in care. Our goal is to work closely with our community partners to ensure each student has a pathway to success and to graduation. The educators and staff at the Ottawa Catholic School Board work diligently to close the gap for these students and support the whole child - mind, body and spirit", affirms Denise André, Director of Education, OCSB.
The five key elements found the local protocol are intended to support students in achieving their highest educational potential. These elements: information sharing, administrative processes, planning for student achievement, dispute resolution and ongoing monitoring and evaluation are essential to achieving this goal.
"The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board is committed to ensuring that all students can pursue their dreams of post-secondary education and/or success in the workplace. Children and youth in care deserve and need our very best. This happens through close working relationships with our partner organizations. We are proud to be part of this important work", noted Dr. Jennifer Adams, OCDSB Director of Education.
Today, February 16th, 2017, we are pleased to announce the official launch of the new JPSA in Ottawa. This launch is a reflection of our commitment towards strengthening our partnership, improving educational achievements and the well-being of children and youth in care.
SOURCE Children's Aid Society of Ottawa
For further information: Cindy R. Perron, Communications, The Children's Aid Society of Ottawa, (613) 747-7800 x 2227, [email protected]; Sharlene Hunter, Communications/Media Relations Officer, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, 613-596-8264, [email protected]; Mardi de Kemp, Manager of Communications, Ottawa Catholic School Board, 613-224-4455 ext 2326, [email protected]