Skip to main content

New Frontiers School Board Portfolio

214 McLeod, Châteauguay, QC J6J 2H4
(450) 691-1440
New Frontiers School Board  EBP Journey

In 2016, Québec’s nine English school boards generously shared their stories with the EBP project about how they implemented evidence-based practices in their schools. In doing so, they hoped that the experience and knowledge gained as well as the support they received could illuminate and inform others embarking on a similar journey. 

Whereas important aspects of these stories have been captured on video , the story here provides a fuller picture of a complex work in progress and reflects how local conditions, constraints and challenges, such as the school board’s mission, the size of its territory and demographic make-up, factor into making this school board’s implementation journey unique.


Implementing Common Formative Assessments: A Smart Goal for Student Success 

Common formative assessments (CFAs) are already well on their way to becoming part of the New Frontiers School Board (NFSB) learning culture that aims to support and sustain student success. This developing culture, a source of pride for the Board, is founded on evidence-based practices and their use to bring about change in instructional practices. As this initiative has grown, the Board has seen continual professional growth and progress towards instructional improvement, as well as greater student achievement and success.  However, this successful initiative has not taken place within a vacuum. Therefore, before getting into the ‘nitty-gritty’ of the implementation of CFAs, it is important to understand the environment in which this key aspect of the learning culture is being successfully embedded. So, following a short overview of the school board, the lens will be adjusted to zoom out for a moment to look at the bigger picture before zooming back in to look at the scope of the work accomplished to-date, future directions, and what has been learned along the way. 

Read the entire story



New Frontiers School Board EBP Journey Timeline (2008 to present) 

Each school board has its own story when it comes to the adoption of evidence-based practice. While the approach and structure may vary from one school board to another, the common element between all boards is that evidence-based practice is a long-term endeavour which offers viable results.

  • 2018 ● Lead Data Team Seminar # 26

    Connecting Professional Development to Student Success: Are We Making a Difference? Building an Action Research Plan:The third and final seminar for this year focuses on building a concrete action plan and considering the details of their data collection in order to answer the question of impact of PD on teacher practices and student outcomes. 

  • 2018 ● Lead Data Team Seminar #25

    Gap & Goal: Action Research: This second seminar of the year is aimed at further developing members’ plans for their action research projects by exploring Thomas Guskey’s model of evaluation and considering the importance of and means to evaluating professional learning for teachers to ensure that it is having an impact on student learning and improving outcomes.

  • 2018 ● Lead Data Team Seminar #24

    Developing the Rational: Action Research: By making a connection between professional learning & student success in the first of this year’s seminars, participants further develop their rationale for carrying out action research on the impact of professional development.


  • 2017 ● Lead Data Team Seminar #23

    Bringing it all together: reviewing the year’s learning, planning action research projects to be led by each participant in their school boards, and creating Special Interest Groups (SIGs), while asking ‘will it work for me?’.


  • 2017 ● Lead Data Team Seminar #22

    How Much Does it cost? - in developing a deeper and more critical understanding of how to evaluate research, participants ask ‘how much does it cost?’ and ‘is it worthwhile?’



  • 2016-2017 ●

    Dept Head LDTs (CfA) - Teachers worked with consultants to continue to build Common Formative Assessments in Middle School. It provided the opportunity for new teachers to meet with consultants to be introduced to and supported in the practice of using CFAs.

  • Goal Teams (2016)

    Rob Buttars, Director General and Mike Helm, Assistant Director General

  • 2016 ● Lead Data Team Seminar #21

    The focus is How Does it Work?

  • 2016 ● Lead Data Team Seminar #20

    This begins a series of seminars in a one year cycle examining research and research based strategies.  The focus, for the first session is, Does it Work?


  • 2016 ● Lead Data Team Seminar #19

    Setting the Scene: Participants begin to establish a knowledge base for accessing research and becoming familiar with the available research in education.

  • 2016 ● Lead Data Team Seminar #18

    Focused on Response to Intervention (RTI) frameworks-that of Dr. Mary Howard and that was presented by Solution Tree.

  • 2016 ● Three-Board Network for Principals & Administrators - Network 1

    Building the Foundation of the Network - By the end of the two day session, participants had received a clear understanding of the purpose, organisation and expectations of the network, carried out a self-assessment on the knowledge and skills pertaining to PLCs & collaborative inquiry and drafted a school portrait using demographics.

  • New Frontiers School Board EBP Journey (2016)

    Rob Buttars, Director General and Mike Helm Assistant Director General

  • 2016-2017 ● Network for Principals

    Year 1 of the Three-Board Principal Network, including ETSB, RSB and NFSB. A joint professional development Initiative about professional learning communities in secondary schools.  
  • Professional Learning Community (2016)

    Kara Johnstone, Coordinator of Educational Services

  • 2015-2016 ● Launch of common formative assessments - secondary

    NFSB launches its collaborative development of formative assessments at the secondary level with two high school Cycle 1 teams.

  • 2015-2016 ● Ongoing development of common formative assessments

    With further EBP Project funding, efforts continue by looking at driving the evidence from the assessments towards instructional strategies.

  • 2015 ● LDT Seminar: Special edition

    Learning For Us: Formative Assessment - This year’s final Seminar aims to familiarise participants with topics related to Formative Assessment.

  • 2015 ● Lead Data Team Seminar #17

    Data Types: The overall goal for participants is to have brought all their learning (data types, research, coaching for data literacy) together and made links to their roles in supporting data teams in schools.

  • 2014-2015 ● Ongoing common formative assessments - elementary

    Common formative assessments for all elementary cycles in ELA, Mathematics and FSL are ongoing. 

  • Common Formative Assessment

    Joanne Henrico, Consultant and Mike Helm Assistant Director General

  • 2014-2015 ● Professional development for elementary educators

    A Board-wide pedagogical day was used to give all elementary school teachers an opportunity to review the proposed assessments.

  • 2014-2015 ● Development of subject-specific formative assessments - elementary

    Four assessment team development meetings are held between November and March for elementary FSL, ELA and Math teachers (one representative per school, with each cycle represented) to develop common formative assessments for each cycle of each targeted subject. 

  • 2014-2015 ● Development of formative assessments - secondary

    Secondary school department heads are released for three days to support the development of common assessments and instructional processes. Secondary teachers then complete an item analysis of exam results and develop appropriate instructional approaches to respond to student learning needs.

  • 2013-2014 ● Launch of formative assessments - elementary

    NFSB launches its collaborative development of formative assessments at the elementary level. Lead teachers and three subject consultants develop assessments for Grades 1 through 6 in English Language Arts (ELA), Mathematics, and French as a Second Language (FSL).

  • 2012-2013 ● Data Team training for Subject Consultants

    Subject consultants attend a data team training session led by Cathy Lassiter.

  • 2012-2013 ● Shift of focus to formative assessments

    An evidence-based analysis on the time, effort and expense put into the creation, delivery, and marking of end of cycle evaluations leads to a shift from results to the use of common formative assessments to stimulate improvements in instructional practice. 

  • 2012-2013 ● New Frontiers PLC established

    With funding and support from EBP Project, the New Frontiers School Board (NFSB) forms a Professional Learning Community (PLC) comprised of individuals from the Board, schools and centres. All ten elementary schools, both high schools and three adult and vocational centres are represented.  

  • 2012-2013 ● Ongoing professional development

    The Educational Services Department coordinates ongoing professional development activities, including five PDIG projects developed by the subject consultant team, a PLC session through Solution Tree, as well as a LCEEQ Research & Development grant and a DEEN LES/ES project, both with a focus on mathematics instruction at the elementary level. Board-wide sessions in formative assessment and strategic literacy interventions in the classroom are also offered. 

  • 2012-2013 ● Results review meetings

    Meetings are held with department heads and with teachers throughout the school year to review results, and to decide on intervention strategies to be used before the June examinations.

  • 2008 ● Introduction of Bill 88

    Partnership Agreements between school boards and the Ministry of Education are signed, committing schools and boards to specific success rate targets.