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It’s been a busy winter for the Knowledge Network and our communities of practice, but we thought we would take a little time to update you on our activities. Since our last update in December, the KNSWB has continued to meet with our communities of practice, our partners in the Knowledge Network for Applied Education Research, and with our partners in student well-being at the Ministry of Education.

At the January 22, 2018 meeting of the KNAER Coordinating Committee, we met new colleagues from the Réseau de Savoir sur l’Équité / Equity Knowledge Network (RSEKN) at the University of Ottawa, who are leading the equity network, and our colleagues from the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centre (OFIFC) who are leading the development of the Indigenous Knowledge Network. While much of the conversation was focused on getting to know the other networks, we also talked about how we might work together with other networks and ministry partners to mobilize knowledge.

This was followed by a full-day meeting of the KNAER Secretariat and Networks prior to the 2018 Ontario Education Research Symposium, where we shared updates and ideas on how we were connecting with various audiences. We also heard details of the Developmental Evaluation that the team from Queen’s University will be leading. We wrapped up with a discussion of the planned monograph about the KNAER networks.

We had representatives from each of our communities of practice at this meeting and they found the opportunity to meet and share information about what they were doing was invaluable. This sharing helped set the stage for the KNSWB Project Steering Committee meeting on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. Our objective for this meeting was to identify and prioritize actions that would enhance a collaborative implementation plan for the Knowledge Network for Student Well-Being.

March 28 2018 meeting

The KNSWB Meeting was well attended, with every community of practice and our research partner, the Offord Centre for Child Studies, all being represented. Participants were led through priority setting and planning by our facilitator Bryan Boyle.

We started the process by conducting a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis which covered the walls of our meeting room. We then used this data to identify some goals for our work together, ranked the goals, and developed plans for the high priority goals.

One of the highest priority goals was the development of a communications plan to share information about and between members of the KNSWB. An often mentioned challenge was time constraints and balancing internal priorities of the community of practice with the collective priorities of the knowledge network. 

The facilitator will be pulling all of this work together in a report, which will be circulated to the KNSWB members. We will use these results to develop our implementation plans for the KNSWB and for each community of practice over the next 18 months.

Our communities of practice have also been busy over the past few months. School Mental Health ASSIST has developed “Taking Flight”,  an overview of their strategic directions for 2017-2020. You can learn more at: https://smh-assist.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017-2020-Strategic-Directions-English.pdf

The Social Planning Network of Ontario has also been busy with a number of activities. They are working on the first of three knowledge resources, on parent engagement. They have continued to work with the RSEKN at the University of Ottawa, as well as continuing their conversations with local communities across Ontario. You can find more details about their work on their new website: https://studentwellbeing.spno.ca/

The Ontario Healthy Schools Coalition held their 2018 Annual Conference, March 26 & 27 at the Hamilton Sheraton. There were a number of excellent speakers and workshops. Dr. Kwame McKenzie was the first keynote speaker, and showed the connections between poverty and learning in children and youth.

The Knowledge Network for Student Well-Being was highlighted in a panel presentation where each partner talked about their work, and how their work might complement the work of other communities of practice.

Our partners at PREVNet are excited about a new grant they have received to work more closely with schools, stay tuned for more details in the future!

The Knowledge Network for Student Well-Being has also been busy producing new knowledge resources. We have five new “Research in Brief” summaries of recent systematic reviews. The titles are:

“Features of Professional Development associated with positive educator and student outcomes”

“Universal School-based ‘Resilience’ Interventions and Substance Use”

“Impacts of early childhood education (ECE) on educational outcomes”

“Physical activity interventions for depression in children and adolescents”

“Health Promoting Schools Framework for Improving Student Health and Well-Being”

These titles (and all of our other RIB’s) are available in English and French on the KNAER Knowledge Hub or the Ontario Education Research Exchange.

We have also developed a new type of knowledge resource, titled “A Closer Look at …” These are short summaries of recent articles that may be of particular interest to educators and administrators. The first title in this series is “A Close Look at Bullying and Immigrant Youth in Ontario”. This summary was shared at the Ontario Education Research Symposium by Dr. Kathy Georgiades at the Offord Centre for Child Studies, McMaster University, who led the Hamilton Youth Study looking at mental health in immigrant children.

Upcoming Events for the KNSWB

May 4 Burlington, ON 
SPNO Cross-Community of Practice