In 2017, The Canadian Safe School Network will celebrate 20 years of delivering Safe Schools conferences and professional development opportunities to educators across Canada. At the 20th annual national conference we will examine the safe schools landscape, from past to present, and consider what we must know moving forward. This conference will focus on three areas that have shifted drastically in the last two decades, and areas in which we believe important changes are yet to come:
- Technology & Digital Citizenship
Digital technology has rapidly become an integral part of education. Digital platforms provide incredible opportunities for students to connect, create, and collaborate in ways never before imagined. Although the existence of a global, digital space offers innumerable possibilities for learning, it also presents a multitude of challenges. Cyberbullying, privacy issues, and digital identity formation are just some of the concerns that schools must address. In our Age of Information, it is critical that educators teach, support, and protect their students in ways that reflect our present needs and realities. As smartboards replace whiteboards and students’ digital social networks grow larger than their in-person ones, it is becoming more important than ever for educators to understand the implications of digital technology. Not only must we enhance the way we incorporate technology into classrooms, but we must also encourage critical media literacy, support safe online environments, and promote positive digital citizenship for safer school communities.
- Diversity & Inclusion
Today Canada is considered one of the most diverse, multicultural nations in the world, and our nation’s classrooms truly reflect our diversity. Students come from a variety of backgrounds including different ethnicities, religions, family structures, orientations, languages, abilities and learning styles. Throughout the years, the country has shown tremendous progress in the way it seeks to educate and include students. However, students of racial minority, LGBTQ youth, immigrants and refugees, First Nations youth, students with exceptionalities, and others still face barriers to their education and well-being. Exclusion, discrimination and bullying are just some of the concerns that are still prevalent today. As schools across the nation continue to welcome more students of different backgrounds each year, it is becoming all the more necessary to emphasize the value of diversity and to promote safety and inclusion in schools. In order to do so, it is critical that we acknowledge the past, reflect on the present and create positive conditions for the future so that every student has an equitable opportunity to learn, grow, and belong.
- Health & Wellness Education
In recent years, ‘health and wellness’ has become as integral to the way we talk about education as ‘instruction and learning’. Educators understand better than ever just how fundamental health and well-being are to student success. Although the topic of health has almost always had a place in schools, what it means to be a healthy and well individual has evolved over the years. Health no longer just refers to a lack of illness or injury but also to the promotion of positive mental health and well-being. We understand now that health should be promoted throughout the day and nurtured both individually and as part of the school ethos. Schools, homes, and communities must continue to develop supportive health and wellness networks, and students should have access to a ‘holistic’ education – one that nourishes cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being. As whole school health becomes increasingly prioritized, health initiatives and wellness practices must continually be integrated into school communities.
7:45 am- 8:45 am – Breakfast/Registration
8:45am-9:00 am- Welcome & Opening Remarks
Canadian Safe Schools
9:00 am-10:00 am – Keynote Speaker: Dr.Tracy Vaillancourt
10:00 am-10:15 am – Break
10:15 am-11:10 am- Workshop Session A
11:10 am-11:25 am- Break
11:25 am-12:15 pm- Workshop Session B
12:15 pm-1:15 pm- Lunch
1:15 pm-2:15 pm- Keynote Speaker: Dr. Ashleigh Molloy
2:15 pm-2:30 pm- Break
2:30 pm-3:20 pm- Workshops Session C
3:20 pm- 3:30 pm- Closing
Get to know the 20/20 speakers and workshops!
Dr. Tracy Vaillancourt
Bio: Dr. Tracy Vaillancourt is a Canada Research Chair in Children’s Mental Health and Violence Prevention at the University of Ottawa where she is cross-appointed as a full professor in Counselling Psychology and the School of Psychology. She is also an elected member of The College of the Royal Society of Canada. Dr. Vaillancourt’s research examines the links between bullying and mental health, with a particular focus on social neuroscience. She is currently funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada, and the Ontario Mental Health Foundation.
Title: The long reach of childhood bullying: Longitudinal links to mental health and academic achievement
Dr. Ashleigh Molloy
Dr. Ashleigh Molloy is an energized and motivated leader with a Ph. D in Education with a focus on Diversity, Disability and Special Needs. He is currently the Director of the TransEd Institute where he consults and presents at international conferences on varied current topics that empower. He is a respected Keynote speaker, professor, author and an internationally renowned workshop presenter who has appeared on both radio and television. He has devoted himself to the public good through education focused on equity and the building of a school community that includes ALL.
Title:Ready! Set! GO! – Exceptional Student Safety in an Inclusive Classroom
This session will outline the importance of natural supports in a classroom. Students must feel included in classroom life. Students needs to be socially connected. Teachers and peers can facilitate what is needed to ensure that no one feels excluded. Research will be presented validating the mutual benefits for both the exceptional and abled bodied students in an inclusive classroom. Participants will be engaged through activity based learning, music, drama, and story sharing. Interactive technology will be utilized to reflect 21st century learning practices.
How to Create 21st Century Classroom Norms
Jamie Mitchell, Program Lead, Math and Computer Science & Joanne Eliuk, Vice Principal, Dr. Frank J. Hayden Secondary School, Halton District School Board
Creating classrooms that teach digital competencies involves more that simply adding a SMARTBoard or creating a class Twitter feed. Classrooms need to fundamentally change how they look and function in order to not only use technology effectively,but also to teach our students how to be good digital citizens. This session will discuss how to create a classroom that:
- Begins building a positive community from day one.
- Brings the outside world in and visits the outside world often.
- Invites perspectives from multiple sources via technology or real visits.
- Has an open door policy, all the time.
- Creates moments that will spark thinking.
- Allow students to recognize when they have created something.
- Recognizes that innovation does not mean using technology all the time.
- Tries to effect a positive change one all students, regardless of ability.
Building Sustainability for Mental Health and Wellness in your school community
Ms. Lorraine Bailey-Wallace, Ms. Talcia Richards, Ms. Nikki Silvera, Toronto District School Board
There is great need to develop awareness around mental health within our communities and the best place to begin is in our schools. This can affect change within students and will lead to a more mindful generation as we strive to change mindsets globally. This presentation will explore the role of students, administration, teacher leaders and community agencies in breaking down barriers to support student mental health and wellbeing in a uniformed manner. This hands-on, interactive presentation will provide strategies and practical resources to support the infusion of mental health and wellness into the culture of school communities while building capacity for students and teachers alike. Participants will leave with ready to use resources to support school-wide Mental Health and Wellness initiatives.
Positive Spaces Day: Building School-Wide Inclusion & Empowerment
Aaron Cowan & Amy Yanover, Sir Allan MacNab Secondary School, Hamilton Wentworth District School Board
At Sir Allan MacNab Secondary School, “Positive Spaces Day” is an opportunity for all grade nine students to attend workshops about Diversity in Sexuality, Gender and Culture. Additionally, last year workshops in Mental Health strategies and Bullying Prevention were added to the day’s events and were met with much success. All workshops are devised by teams of students and staff and delivered to the entire grade nine cohort as a rite of passage into an inclusive school environment. This day of education and empowerment is the first of its kind in the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board. Teachers Aaron Cowan and Amy Yanover will share how they got the Positive Spaces Day project off the ground, and how the project has helped to make Sir Allan MacNab a much more positive, safe and inclusive environment for all.
Supporting Students to be Healthy in Mind, Body, and Heart
Dean Barnes, Blakelock High School, Halton District School Board & Kaitlyn Visser, Halton Region Health Department
In this interactive workshop, principal Dean Barnes and public health nurse Kaitlyn Visser will share how they collaborated with students, staff, parents, community members, and some additional unique partners to propel T.A. Blakelock High school on its journey towards wellness. Inspired by research on the link between school environment and learning, the science of exercise and the brain, they set out to make wellness a priority in their classrooms and hallways. Using the Foundations of a Healthy School as their framework, Blakelock has implemented Wellness Wednesdays as one component of their comprehensive school health approach. Participants will be invited to reflect on wellness in their own settings as they learn about Blakelock’s journey and the impact of a school community that is healthy in mind, body and heart.
Lessons for Media Literacy and Digital Citizenship from Online Media Fandom
Rebecca Katz, Information Studies PhD candidate at McGill University
The last few decades have seen the emergence of blockbuster franchises specially marketed toward young adults and of prominent online media “fandom”, or fan communities. These two related phenomena have much to offer educators teaching media literacy and distal citizenship, as well as traditional reading, writing, and analytical skills. Online fan communities foster young people’s creative fiction, art, video, and provide instructive examples of critical consumption through debates about meaning, diversity, commercialism, and other issues in popular media. These fan practices should not be overlooked as potential pedagogical tools. The model Internet fan communities that provide critical debate and analysis and collaborative creativity drawing on beloved franchises may be worth emulating in classrooms concerned with critical media literacy and digital citizenship and identities. This presentation sketches the benefits of voluntary fan practices to twenty-first century classrooms and suggests ways in which these practices may adapted for educational contexts.
The Therapeautic Benefits of Humour in Education
Tina Vankuren, Safe Schools Teacher, Grand Erie District School Board
What did Norman Cousins and Patch Adams have in common? Both of these individuals knew and understood the importance of utilizing humour to help promote health and wellness. If you are interested in learning some simple practical tips for implementing humour and laughter into your life, as well as, the lives of those for whom you provide services then this will be an enjoyable workshop for you to attend. Your experience as a participant in this interactive session will be ‘time well spent’ and will leave you with food for thought about how to capture the value of humour. If all else fails you will be provided with an opportunity to exercise your funny bone and consider how to assist others to use humour to improve their well-being.
Joining the Circle: An Educator’s Toolkit to Support First Nations, Metis and Inuit Students
Deb St. Amant, retired teacher and honorary life member of ETFO & Mohini Athia, COPA
Designed with and for all education staff across Ontario, Joining the Circle is the result of a journey that shares wisdom and guidance from First Nations, Métis and Inuit Elders, educators, community partners, parents, families and caregivers so that together we may strengthen support for Indigenous students and their families. Come and learn about this multimedia resource and reflect on topics such as pride and identity; understanding racism and discrimination against First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples; building and strengthening relationships with Indigenous students and families; and nurturing safe and healthy schools and communities. Each participant will receive a copy of the Joining the Circle toolkit as well as other COPA resources.
Peer to Peer – An Initiative in Whole School Health & Wellness
Alan Richardson & Sandra Crockard, Co-Directors, Trinity Theatre
An interactive presentation/workshop on how to establish a student-led mental health and wellness program in your school. In this program, senior student leaders are trained to hold regular sessions in classrooms throughout the school year, distributing up to date health information on handling stress at key academic times of the year, harm reduction strategies, and guidance to available resources. These visits are supported by lunchtime workshop in stress management and an online mentoring site maintained by the student leaders, schools staff and retired educators. The senior students train in facilitation and up to date health and wellness materials with Trinity and CAMH. Attendees to the presentation/workshop receive sample training materials and copy of Trinity’s ebook, Surviving and Thriving in High School…and Other Challenging Times in Life.
Teenagers, How to Love Them In: applying a mindful, restorative approach to practice
Christine Klaassen-St Pierre, FH Collins Secondary/Yukon College
Christine Klaassen-St Pierre will share what she knows for sure about loving her high school students in, even the toughest ones! The shift to restorative practices flipped her discipline model on its head and changed her school culture to a place where students are on wait lists to get in. It also created connection with the First Nation families and students as they recognised and appreciated the use of their traditional restorative approach to living together in community. She will share her mindful, simple but practical ideas that can be used the day you get back to your school and facilitate a sharing of ideas from those attending the session as well.
Participants will be able to:
- Shift their commonly used phrases in student interactions to more restorative language
- Use mindfulness to stay grounded and model a regulated calm, soothing nervous system for their colleagues and students
- Connect with and find the gold in even the toughest students they work with
Body-Based Bullying, Social Media and Eating Disorders
Marbella Carlos, The National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC)
One in seven Canadian teens and 40% of 11 and 12 year olds are teased about their appearance, making body-based bullying the most common form of bullying in today’s schools. Young people are living in an age where it is increasingly difficult to escape from the social pressures they face. The the popularity and usage of social media, there are definitive links between frequent use, self-image and confidence. In this presentation, we will explore how social media impacts the body image of young people and how that may contribute to the development of greater issues, including eating disorders. Through group activities, discussion, icebreakers and audio-visual tools, participants will learn engaging, interactive strategies to discuss the issues and to increase resilience. We work to prevent and address body-based bullying while helping youth celebrate physical diversity
In addition to our main event, we will be hosting a FREE Student Stream for high school students! Please note that attendance at our Student Stream event is limited to 5-7 students per school, and students must be accompanied by a chaperone. Priority will be given to students from schools where a member of the staff or administration has registered for the main conference. To register your student group, please submit the Student Stream Form to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in exhibiting at the conference, please fill out the Exhibitor Form!
If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com
We look forward to seeing you there!
Venue: Allstream Centre
- 20/20 Conference
February 24, 2017
7:45 am - 3:30 pm