WCDSB director of education shares annual report

GUELPH – Wellington Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) director of education Michael Glazier said his annual director’s report “highlights the many … successes of our schools.” 

A link to the report was included in the agenda for the board meeting on Feb. 6, but the report has not yet been released on the board’s website.   

Glazier’s executive assistant Sue-Ann Maharaj prepared the report, which  summarizes the 2022-23 school year. 

“After two difficult years adopting new practices to provide instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022-23 school year offered an uninterrupted year of learning and opportunities for students to grow, succeed and develop their God given talents,” the report states. 

As of Oct. 31, 2022 the WCDSB had 8,297 full-time students enrolled in 18 elementary schools, three secondary schools and one alternative education program. The board employed 855 staff at that time. 

Accomplishments celebrated in the report include: 

– Our Lady of Lourdes  (OLOL) Catholic High School won the Robotics World Championship; 

– WCDSB students performed at or above provincial standards in most EQAO categories; 

– the board’s high school graduation rate was in the provincial  top 12; 

– Bishop Macdonnell Catholic High School (Bishop Mac) welcomed 17 exchange students from Wakaba High School in Japan; 

– the board expanded learning opportunities for Indigenous education and experiential learning;

– provincial grants will lead to St. Joseph Catholic School in Fergus expanding and a new childcare centre opening at St. Patrick Catholic School in Guelph; 

– a new track and turf field is coming to Bishop Mac;

– the board purchased an accessible and efficient Catholic Education Centre at 255 Speedvale Ave. W.;  and

 – inclusive practices were implemented that benefit all students, particularly multilingual learners, students with special education needs, and students from marginalized or underrepresented groups.

Director Michael Glazier presenting ribbons at the Special Olympics on May 1.


All 184 early childhood educators and kindergarten to Grade 3 teachers participated in half a day of literacy training, during which they learned about recommendations from the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Right to Read Report and the Effective Early Reading Instruction teacher’s guide. 

The board also implemented Heggerty, a new phonemic awareness resource “that supports explicit and systematic instruction on reading development for all kindergarten to Grade 2 students. 

“We have observed significant gains in our students’ foundational skill in phonemic awareness after a full year of implementation,” the report states.  

The board purchased “culturally relevant and responsive books” including First Nations, Métis and Inuit content to support equality, diversity and inclusion, the report states. 


All primary teachers participated in professional development that “focused on using core resources and high-impact instructional practices to deliver engaging lessons and build a strong foundation in numeracy for students,” the report states.

Intermediate teachers were offered coding sessions designed to help teachers integrate coding and computational thinking into their math instruction. 

Two resource teachers were hired to support students with special education needs in mathematics. 


The report highlights opportunities students had to explore French culture and apply French language skills, including: 

– Chef à l’école baking and language program visited Mary Phelan Catholic School; 

– St. Peter Catholic School hosted a Mardi Gras celebration;  

– St. Joseph and St. Mary Catholic Schools in Fergus and Mount Forest hosted French cafés;  

– students at St. Mary in Elora connected with pen pals in France;

– Holy Trinity students created French Food Trucks; and 

– OLOL Grade 12 students visited Quebec. 

Multilingual learners

A record-breaking 314 multilingual newcomers in Grades 1 through 12 joined the WCDSB during the 2022-23 school year. 

The board received a C.O.D.E grant, which helped them purchase Binogi, a Canadian multilingual digital learning platform with animated lessons and interactive quizzes  for students in Grades 6 to 9.

“A key feature is that Binogi offers audio and text translations of our top served language, Tigrinya,” the report states.    

The board expanded its partnership with Immigrant Services Guelph Wellington to extend settlement workers to St. James Catholic High School, Bishop Mac, St. Paul Catholic High School, and St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic School. 

Environmental education and sustainability

Outdoor classrooms were set up at Bishop Mac, Mary Phelan, Guelph Sacred Heart, St. James, and Mount Forest St. Marys schools. 

The WCDSB collaborated with the Upper Grand District School Board and the City of Guelph to present a virtual series called Water Shed Movements to all Grade 7 and 8 classes. 

All Catholic primary schools in the county participated in the Green Legacy’s Trees in the Classroom initiative.

St. John students planted trees with Root 2 Rewards, and students at St. Peter, St. Joseph, St. Michael, St. Patrick, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Francis, OLOL, Bishop Mac, St. Paul and Holy Trinity schools planted trees with Trees for Guelph. 

The report congratulates St. Joseph in Guelph for achieving Gold Status with EcoSchools Canada. 

St. Peter Catholic School Grade 3 teacher Christina De Silva selected 200 new books for the WCDSB during the Turn the Page event in January 2023.

Mental health and well-being

The board’s first development training day in September 2022 offered instruction to all WCDSB staff about student well-being.  

All staff also received training on anti-sex trafficking, delivered in collaboration with Guelph Wellington Women in Crisis. 

“This training provided information on signs that may indicate a student is being groomed or trafficked, how to engage in a conversation if a staff member is concerned about a student, as well as internal and external pathways to ensure safety,” the report states.   

High school English and physical education teachers  attended training on trauma-informed classroom and supporting sensitive themes. 

Select staff also received training on assessing suicide, trauma-informed schools from an Indigenous perspective, supporting students with eating-related concerns, and newcomer mental health. 

Parents and caregivers were offered five webinars throughout the school year, including: 

– parenting for positive mental health; 

– understanding and managing screentime; 

– behaviour as communication; and 

– understanding addictions and addictive behaviour. 

Indigenous education

Indigenous Knowledge Keepers and Helpers worked closely with WCDSB staff to implement Indigenous presentations and learning opportunities that centred on Indigenous culture, content, knowledge and ways of knowing. 

This included: 

– visiting the Six Nations of the Grand River; and

– participating in the Kairos Blanket Exercise. 

Indigenous Family Nights were held in collaboration with the Upper Grand District,  Dufferin-Peel Catholic and Peel District school boards.