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Tentative collective agreement between HPEDSB and ETFO Hastings-Prince Edward

Joint news release from the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, and ETFO Hastings-Prince Edward

July 8, 2020—A tentative collective agreement has been reached between the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, Hastings-Prince Edward Teacher Local.

The agreement for 600 elementary teachers spans a 3-year period, from September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2022.

No details will be released until it is voted on by teachers and the Board of Trustees in August/September 2020.

Quotes

“As we continue through these extraordinary times, I would like to thank our elementary teachers for their continued support to students. I appreciate all of them and acknowledge that they are a critical part of our team. Relationships are important. We are grateful for the hard work done by both parties to reach an agreement. I wish everyone a great summer and look forward to start-up in September.” – Lucille Kyle, Chair of the Board

“We are pleased that we have reached a tentative settlement with the Board. We believe this is a fair agreement which is respectful of the needs of our members. We began local negotiations in May and this wraps up a very challenging year with what we believe is a positive outcome for our members. Our team would like to thank all our members for their patience and support as we worked to achieve an agreement.”  — ETFO Hastings-Prince Edward Local President Sarah MacKay

“I congratulate and compliment the local ETFO bargaining representatives and leadership, as well as the representatives for HPEDSB. Reaching an agreement during these incredibly challenging times is an accomplishment. This agreement contains language that provides stability and consistency for our students and those who work in service of their interests—our ETFO teachers. I am pleased for everyone involved and particularly our kids, who will benefit.” – Sean Monteith, Director of Education

CONTACTS

  • Kerry Donnell, Communications & Public Relations Manager, 613.966.1170, extension 62354, [email protected]
  • Sarah MacKay, President, ETFO Hastings-Prince Edward, 613.968.3707, extension 228, [email protected]

Director’s message to the Graduating Class of 2020

June 29, 2020

Subject: Congratulations Grade 12 Graduates, Class of 2020! (Pdf version)

You have made it, now keep going!

To the Graduating Class of 2020: She:Kon, Greetings, Good Day!

Directors message to Class of 2020You have made it! Your secondary school journey is over and you are moving on to the next stage of your lives.

Over the course of your secondary school career—and during this, the year of the COVID-19 pandemic—some of you may have experienced periods of wonder, question, and at times, perhaps uncertainty as to whether graduation was even going to happen. For others, graduating this June came relatively easily with minor or few setbacks. In either case, you achieved success whether you had support from those around you, or you feel like you made it against the odds.

As a member of the Class of 2020, your graduating year is a mix of unique meaning and reflection. The year 2020 will be remembered for the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when school stopped in the traditional sense and graduation was a term of reference, rather than an event.

There is no disputing that your graduating year feels different than any other. As graduates, you are well within your right to feel as though the ceremony and prom were taken away. As slighted as you may feel, I encourage you to remember your achievements and not let the absence of a physical graduation cloud your memories.

Graduation is a significant event for you and the people in your lives. For you, it is a mark of achievement with, perhaps, some trepidation about what lies ahead. For parents/guardians and your loved ones, it is a time of pride to watch you “cross the stage,” while also feeling anxious about what the future holds for you.

From me to all of you, congratulations on your accomplishment. I acknowledge your teachers, the support staff and the principals and vice-principals who supported you along the way. Lastly, I offer a special thank you to your families for their support, care and love of you.

Graduates, feel proud of the fact that no one can take your high school diploma away from you. You earned it every step of the way.

I started this letter by stating, “You have made it!” I end it by adding, “Now keep going!”

Che-Miigwech, thank you.

Sincerely,

Sean Monteith
Director of Education

Director’s letter about school re-entry in September 2020

June 23, 2020

Subject: School updates and re-entry in September 2020 (Pdf version)

Dear Students, Parents/Guardians, Families and Staff:

I wish to begin this letter by acknowledging all of you, every one of our students, our families and,  of course, our staff. We are all part of a bigger community, and so in acknowledging each of you, I also pay homage to the fact that we could not have made it through these several months of the COVID-19 pandemic without one another.

As we approach the end of the 2019-2020 school year, I acknowledge that many questions remain, some that none of us have ever encountered or even anticipated.

Admittedly, as the Director of Education and as an educator for over 25 years, I candidly share that I feel the same way. We must prepare for multiple scenarios and be ready to activate school re-entry plans quickly to respect public health, and the safety of our students and staff. These approaches will allow us to provide educational experiences that inspire learning, motivate our students to explore and assure families that we will be able to support their children.

Last week the Minister of Education announced that all Ontario school boards are required to be ready for September 2020 with three scenarios and to submit them to the Ministry of Education. I want to assure you that the senior administration and staff of the HPEDSB have been planning for this re-entry and the potential environments we may face for several months.

The scenarios that we are preparing for include the following:

  1. a return to a conventional (or traditional), regular classroom instruction, with health and safety requirements;
  2. a continuation of remote learning, including the use of live online instruction that incorporates a synchronous delivery between teacher and students; and
  3. an adapted hybrid delivery model where students return to class combined with online learning that is in accordance with public health requirements and limits the number of students in the physical classroom to a maximum of 15.

In addition to this intensive planning, we are also required and prepared to move quickly and seamlessly between these models depending on the situation of the COVID-19 virus spread, and in close consultation with public health and provincial directives.

It is perhaps most important to add that above all else and regardless of what model we are required to be prepared for in September, that as parents/guardians and families, the decision to send your child to school remains your choice. The HPEDSB respects parental decisions about whether you are comfortable sending your children to school.

Lastly, I appreciate that some are feeling uncertainty and anxiety at this time given the unknown nature of what the future may hold. Please do not feel pressured to have a family plan determined now for a future that is two months away. We are all experiencing the same uncertainties and will face them as we have over the past four months.

I reassure you that we will continue to work hard and be ready for any reality, and that we will communicate our actions and plans openly and transparently.

We will continue to provide updates on our website and social media streams, in addition to other media sources, such as radio and print.

In closing, I feel it imperative to speak to a concern that many educators and I have: the mental health and emotional well-being of our students, their families and our staff. This has been an incredibly difficult time in our history and we will no doubt face more challenges. Even so, I am confident we will address them with unwavering resolve and will always centre our actions around the needs of our kids.

Our website, www.HPEschools.ca contains the most current information including tips sheets for families and educators, and perhaps most important, contact information for Kids Help Phone.

Stay safe, stay healthy and stay positive.

Sincerely,

Sean Monteith
Director of Education

Electronic report cards for all students, June 2020

June 22, 2020—As the end of the 2019-2020 school nears, this is an important message for parents/guardians about report cards.

All Final Report Cards will be available electronically for viewing and printing at home.

For elementary students, the document can be accessed on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at the end of the school day from the school website. For secondary students, the document can be accessed on Friday, June 26, 2020 at the end of the school day from the school website. Once there, users will see easy to follow instructions about how to sign-in using their child’s school username and password through the connectEd link.

Anyone with questions about the Final Report Card should contact their child’s teacher or school. Anyone unable to print a copy at home can request one from the school when school resumes in September.

Contact
Kerry Donnell, Communications & Public Relations Manager, [email protected], 613.966.1170, extension 62354

Minister of Education letter to parents about return to school in September 2020

The Minister of Education congratulates 2020 graduates.

Kindergarten graduates

Grade 8 graduates

Grade 12 graduates

French-language graduates

June 19, 2020–Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education released a letter to all families about the return to school in September 2020.

Minister of Education Letter to Parents, June 19, 2020 (Pdf)

Dear Parents—

I write to you as we are just a couple weeks away from the official end to the 2019-2020 school year. Despite the challenges that we have all faced in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, I have been inspired by your determination and spirit. I know that it has not been easy, but your commitment to supporting your children over the last several months has been reaffirming, constructive and exceptionally encouraging. We will continue to safeguard the well-being of your children and preserve the continuation of learning. Your role as parents and guardians is critical to making this a reality.

We know that the start to the next school year may not look or feel the same as it did just 10 months ago.

Earlier today, I announced our government’s plan for the safe reopening of schools. While Ontario is clearly on a positive trajectory in terms of our response to the COVID-19 outbreak, my objective is to make sure that the education system is safely prepared for all potential scenarios come September. With that in mind, I have directed all school boards to plan for three scenarios:

  • A return to conventional, regular classroom instruction, with health and safety requirements,
  • A continuation of remote learning, including the use of live, synchronous online instruction, and;
  • An adapted delivery model that enables students to return to class with blended virtual learning, that includes health and safety requirements that will limit the maximum number of students to 15 per class.

We hope that public health situation will continue to improve and allow school boards to enter a conventional classroom experience, once it is safe to do so. Local and regional health authorities – in conjunction with a Ministry of Education established table of medical experts – will help shape the way forward, to ensure the realities on the ground within your communities are best reflected.

While school boards will develop their plans based on the ministry’s guidance, I want to express some of the underlying principles that we used in issuing these instructions to boards.

First, we must recognize that choice that you as parents must have. You made this clear to me, and we are ensuring you get to make that choice. Any participation in in-person class will be voluntary. We will strengthen our Learn At Home program, provide greater access to technology for more families, and stand-up for regularized, synchronous live learning that clearly benefits your child. Our government will continue to stand up for parents and insist on this impactful experience.

Second, this plan was developed with the health and safety of your child, staff, and your families as our top priority. It is why the government announced net new funding for cleaning, cleaning protocols, and financial support to hire additional custodial staff in September, to ensure schools are safe. It is also why our plan was created following extensive consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, health experts on the COVID-19 Command Table, medical experts at The Hospital for Sick Children, education sector partners, front-line workers, parents and students.

Third, our government is investing in record levels to support student mental health. We are investing $10 million in new additional funding for the coming school year alone, to help school boards ensure they are proactively supporting students given the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and well-being. This year, students will have unprecedented direct access to regulated mental health professionals, as our government invests a record nearly $50 million in support of student well-being. Medical experts have been clear, there is a need for enhanced mental health supports to respond to COVID-19. This funding can be used by school boards to hire additional mental health workers to support students through this adversity, reduce wait times, and improve access to critical services, that we know students deserve.

The school restart plan also prioritizes supports for students with special education needs, including advance planning for a smooth transition to school, a requirement that Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and Identification, Placement and Review Committees (IPRCs) are followed, along with the direction that boards plan for full-time in-class instruction for students with the most significant levels of needs. We are also asking boards to work with local partners including Children’s Treatment Centres so that students have access to the supports they need to succeed.

Fourth, we saw families rise to the challenge and adapt quickly while we rolled out the Learn at Home program. This plan will provide new online course content and digital tools, and provide other resources for educators to support continuous learning for students in the coming school year. We also know that we must do more to so that all students have greater access to technology, and for all schools have access to internet.

This week, I announced $15 million to assist school boards in purchasing devices and further embracing the digital age. This new funding will be directed to securing up to 35,000 classroom computers and ensuring students have the tools to succeed in the upcoming school year.

Fifth, today I announced that the government is spending more in education than ever before. This year, the Grants for Student Needs has increased by a record $736 million. We are investing record amounts in mental health, special education, technology, and overall –every school board will benefit from a funding increase – as we prepare for the year ahead.

We will never waver in our commitment to Ontario’s students – to their health and safety –to supporting them on their learning journey – and to set them up to succeed for the future.

Thank you to Ontario parents, education staff, and communities for your support, ideas, and commitment to the safety of our schools and the success of students.

Have a positive summer,

The Honourable Stephen Lecce
Minister of Education

HPEDSB approves Quinte Secondary School Revitalization Plan

June 17, 2020—Trustees of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board are rewriting history through an unprecedented and unanimous decision authorizing Senior Administration to proceed with repurposing the facility formerly known as Quinte Secondary School.

Involving Bayside, Belleville and Trenton area schools, the Quinte Secondary School Revitalization Plan was approved at a public Special Board Meeting earlier today. The plan, which has multiple components and affects many aspects of programming and Board operations, includes the following:

  • offers enhanced student learning opportunities, including the creation of a dedicated French Immersion K-8 school;
  • addresses existing Belleville, Bayside and Trenton area school capacity concerns;
  • consolidates three HPEDSB operational facilities, including the Ann Street Education Centre, the W.R. Kirk Alternative Education Centre and maintenance office, and the G. Umb maintenance shops;
  • re-opens Quinte Secondary School;
  • reviews unique school-based programming across the district; and
  • achieves operational and financial efficiencies.

The Quinte Secondary School Revitalization Plan is the product and outcome of many months of discussion and planning by the Board’s senior staff, beginning early in the fall of 2019.

“As Chair of the Board and also as a longer-term trustee, I am proud and inspired by this strategic and inspiring step the Board is taking. Doing something this big and bold requires taking a risk and takes courage. We, as 10 trustees, are taking this step today,” said Lucille Kyle, Chair of the Board.

The work will begin now that the proposal has been received and approved by the Board. This step coincides with work the Board is currently undertaking to develop a new 5-year strategic plan and HPEDSB corporate re-branding.

“In my experience there are two kinds of organizations: those which allow things to happen and are defined by events around them, and those which make things happen and define themselves by confronting their challenges and take advantage of their opportunities. The Trustees have given the Senior Administration a mandate to proceed and bring to life their dream of a renewed HPEDSB. I am proud to be part of it,” said Sean Monteith, Director of Education.

Monteith said extensive community consultation will occur before final plans are operationalized. More will be shared in the coming months.

Quinte Secondary School was closed in June 2018 as a result of an accommodation review that recommended consolidating it with Eastside Secondary School (formerly Moira Secondary School).

Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB) serves approximately 15,000 students each day at 40 schools (33 elementary, one K-12; four 7-12 and two secondary). Supporting student achievement is the goal of approximately 1,800 teaching and support staff who, in addition to the contributions of caring volunteers and community partners, share their passion for teaching and learning. The district covers a wide geographic area of 7,220 square kilometres bordered by Maynooth to the north, Deseronto to the east, Prince Edward County to the south and Quinte West to the west.

Contact
Kerry Donnell, Communications & Public Relations Manager, [email protected], 613.966.1170, extension 62354

Board Meeting Update #180: June 17, 2020

June 17, 2020—This update provides a summary of the public special meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held Wednesday, June 17, 2020 online through a livestream event (the recorded version will be available within 24 hours). It is an unofficial summary of the meeting; official minutes will be approved at the next meeting in September 2020.

Lucille Kyle, Chair of the Board opened the meeting acknowledging the First Peoples of the territory: This afternoon we acknowledge that the land on which we are gathered is on the Traditional and Treaty areas of the Mohawk, Haudenosaunee and Anishnabek peoples. We conduct our business, recognizing we are all Treaty people and give respect to this territory and all its young people.

Recommendation

Quinte Secondary School Revitalization Plan

Board members approved a plan directing senior administration to work with consultants to develop preliminary floor plans, cost estimates and related consolidation steps to address enrolment pressures, including the following:

  1. establishing K-8 French Immersion school at the former Quinte Secondary School; and
  2. consolidating the Ann Street Education Centre, the W.R. Kirk Alternative Education Centre and the G. Umb maintenance building at the QSS site.

The above-noted information will be presented and received by the Board of Trustees at the regular Board meeting in December 2020.

CONTACT
Kerry Donnell, Communications & Public Relations Manager, extension 62354, [email protected]

No-tech learning activities of the week

Last updated June 25, 2020—The weekly community newspapers contain a full page colour ad with learning activities that can be done at home, without using the Internet, devices or involving screen time. Look for a new one each week in these papers: Bancroft This Week, Community Press, County Weekly News, Napanee Beaver, Picton Gazette, Tweed News, Trentonian and the Wellington Times.

Look in your free community newspaper this week and in the weeks to come for a full-page colour ad with No-Tech Learning Activities of the Week.

1,200 lawn signs celebrate the Class of 2020!

Lawn signJune 11, 2020—The COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted normal year-end school celebrations like graduations and proms—but that’s not stopping the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board from celebrating students.

Communities all over Hastings County and Prince Edward County will be even more colourful than normal for this time of year through the addition of lawn signs celebrating Grade 12 graduates—the Class of 2020!

Almost 1,200 signs are being distributed this week to all Grade 12 graduates of seven public secondary schools, from north to south and east to west:

  • Bayside Secondary School
  • Centennial Secondary School
  • Centre Hastings Secondary School
  • Eastside Secondary School
  • North Hastings High School
  • Prince Edward Collegiate Institute
  • Trenton High School

“It’s the perfect time to celebrate the graduating class of 2020. This year will be remembered by many of us as the year of the pandemic. More importantly, I believe we need to celebrate our students, their perseverance and accomplishments in spite of it—and the lawn signs are a unique way to do that. We hope students and their families place them in prominent locations for themselves, their families and their communities to celebrate with them,” said Sean Monteith, Director of Education.

Watch the video by Sean Monteith, Director of Education congratulating the Class of 2020.

Contact
Kerry Donnell, Communications & Public Relations Manager, [email protected], 613.966.1170, extension 62354

Summer School registration is now open at HPEDSB

May 11, 2020—Students in secondary school interested in Summer School can register now.

Summer School is an extension of our all students first  focus at HPEDSB. Our staff are dedicated to helping close achievement gaps for students. This is our priority and we will continue to support student achievement in learning—both during the school year and through Summer School, as needed.

In order to support as many students as possible, we are offering a robust online summer learning program for students in Grades 9-12, focusing on reach-ahead credits, credit recovery and gap-closing programs.

Students and families should connect with their school Guidance teacher to explore these opportunities. We care about our students and their learning and commit to creating equity of hope and opportunity for increased student success for all.

Summer School at HPEDSB is online, and goes from June 29 to July 27, 2020. The deadline to register is June 29, 2020 by 2:00 p.m.

Find out more at the Summer School information page and poster.
For more information, please contact: Roger Ramsay, Summer School Coordinator, 613.966.1170, ext. 62551, [email protected]

$2.7 million addition and renovation for Centre Hastings Secondary School

June 16, 2020—Positive changes will be happening at Centre Hastings Secondary School in Madoc now that the Board of Trustees has approved a contractor for the school addition and renovation.

Trustees awarded a tender to Peak Engineering & Construction Ltd. in the amount of $2.7 million.

Background

As a result of a pupil accommodation review conducted in 2016-2017, a business case was submitted to the Ministry of Education for a two Kindergarten-room addition, as well as various interior renovations to the existing school in order to consolidate students from Madoc Public School at Centre Hastings Secondary School to create a
K-12 school.

A funding letter was received from the Ministry of Education on March 13, 2018 indicating a total of $3.1 million approved funding for the new consolidated school, plus approval to use $2.7 million in building renewal funds. On April 2, 2020, the Approval to Proceed submission was approved by the Ministry of Education, with an additional Ministry funding amount of $2.7 million, which will include the demolition of Madoc Public School.

Paperwork with the contractor will be finalized this week followed by an initial site meeting. The work will be scheduled in the next few months depending on the contractor’s current work schedule.

Contact
Kerry Donnell, Communications & Public Relations Manager, [email protected], 613.966.1170, extension 62354

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Board Meeting Update 179: June 15, 2020

June 8, 2020—This update provides a summary of the public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held Monday, June 15, 2020 online through a livestream event (the recorded version will be available within 24 hours). It is an unofficial summary of the meeting; official minutes will be approved at the next meeting in September 2020.

Ryan Gentle, Student Trustee, Trenton High School, acknowledged the First Peoples of the territory. This evening we acknowledge that the land on which we are gathered is part of the traditional and treaty areas of the Mohawk, Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples. We conduct tonight’s business recognizing we are all Treaty people and give respect to this territory and all its young people.

Character Moment of Reflection

Each Board meeting opens with a Character Moment of Reflection. At Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, Growing with Character is our intentional focus on creating safe, caring, respectful and inclusive learning environments where students develop the foundation for good character. Growing with Character is the foundation of the school board strategic plan. Through Growing with Character, we model, teach and expect demonstrations of our eight character traits which are: Caring, Cooperation, Honesty, Humour, Integrity, Respect, Responsibility and Trustworthiness.

This evening Shannon Binder, Trustee for Southeast Hastings and Vice-chair of the Board asked all to reflect on Caring: We demonstrate concern for self and others. We show empathy and express genuine concerns. We consider the long term effect of our actions.

Lucille Kyle, Chair of the Board, acknowledged and thanked the three student trustees who sat at the Board table this school year: Kristen Brant, Eastside Secondary School; Madison Davis, Centennial Secondary School; and Ryan Gentle, Trenton High School.

Recommendation

Appointment of student trustees for the 2020-2021 school year

Board members approved three student trustees for the upcoming school year. Their term starts August 1, 2020 and ends July 31, 2021. We welcome these student leaders who will represent the student voice at the Board table:

  • Moira Gaddes, Eastside Secondary School, as the Indigenous student trustee
  • Grace Whyte, Bayside Secondary School
  • Kayla Zachariah, Prince Edward Collegiate Institute

Tender for the K-12 addition and renovations at Centre Hastings Secondary School

Board members approved a tender in the amount of $2.7 to Peak Engineering & Construction Ltd. for an addition and renovations at Centre Hastings Secondary School. The work will involve building an addition for two Kindergarten classrooms, as well as doing various interior renovations to the existing school in order to consolidate students from Madoc Public School with Centre Hastings Secondary School to create a K-12 school. Pre-work planning with the contractor will begin this week with a start-date to be determined in the coming weeks.

Amendments to the 2019-2020 Special Education Plan

Board members approved amendments to the 2019-2020 Special Education Plan. This public document provides detailed information about Special Education programs and services for students available through Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board.

Information

HPEDSB Pandemic response update

Sean Monteith, Director of Education provided an update on actions at HPEDSB and within the province during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the following:

  • different options being considered by the Ministry of Education for school start-up in September, such as smaller class sizes, alternate day or week options, while also considering the possibility of a full in-school/in-class entry, fully remote approach (as is in place now), or a hybrid of the two (some learning happening from home and some at school);
  • no definitive direction from the Ministry of Education to school boards is expected until late July at the earliest;
  • HPEDSB is prepared for any number of options and all have implications for staffing, cleaning and maintenance of schools and transportation;
  • re-entry, whenever it occurs, will be non-traditional, it will be gentle, accepting and accommodating; the emotional and mental health needs of staff, students K-12 and families are going to be unlike anything we have ever seen before and the senior team has spent a lot of time preparing;
  • four child care centres in HPEDSB schools are anticipated to open next week (date to be confirmed);
  • consultation with the YMCA about the possibility of summer camps;
  • ongoing access to schools at this time for students and families to retrieve students’ personal belongings from schools;
  • graduation is different from what we all want it to be; schools are doing what they can to make graduation real and meaningful; some are doing drive-bys, some online and some are waiting until the fall;
  • lawn signs celebrating the Class of 2020 are being distributed to Grade 12 graduates through all seven secondary schools;
  • the Summer Learning Program is expanded this year to include students in SK-Grade 8 and there has been a tremendous response for it;
  • families who now have HPEDSB technology are able to keep it in their possession during the summer if they wish; and
  • we are in discussion about whether the the weekly newspaper ads with no-tech activities can continue during the summer; more to come.

Board Improvement Planning for Student Achievement (BIPSA)

Members of the Curriculum Services team provided a year-end progress update and next steps about the implementation of the HPEDSB Board Improvement Plan (BIP). Reflecting on system and student achievement data of previous board improvement plans, the results are underachieving and unacceptable. The senior team committed to reversing the declining trend in student achievement by demonstrating a willingness to change system practices and processes specific to improvement planning and staff capacity building. This required an openness to innovative thinking and taking evidence-informed risks to provide increased autonomy to schools for improvement planning.

It is important to note that the 2019-2020 school year presented unique circumstances that influenced implementation and potentially impacted outcomes arising from some of the actions and strategies within the BIP, including the following:

  • interruptions to the learning environment, such as labour action, rotating work stoppages and school closures as of March 13, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • school closures impacted the ability to implement some of the actions and strategies of the board improvement plan; and
  • unanticipated opportunities to think and act in more innovative ways also emerged in response to this unprecedented online learning situation that supported the goals of system culture and practices, leadership development, and teaching and learning.

Thank you to Tina Elliott, Superintendent of Education, and system leads Rob McFadden, Darren McFarlane and Bessie Stelatos.

Summer learning and student support

For elementary students, the Summer Learning Program (SLP) supports vulnerable SK-Grade 8 students who are experiencing achievement gaps, while mitigating summer learning loss. The Ministry of Education has provided HPEDSB with $60 thousand to operate the SLP. The online delivery will occur daily from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM from July 6 – 24, 2020. The primary focus will be on the remediation, or reteaching, of essential literacy and numeracy skills required for the start of a new grade in September. This gap closing approach may address curriculum expectations that were unable to be covered extensively during the Learn at Home phase of the pandemic.

For secondary students, the SLP is offered by eLearning through the Adult and Continuing Education Program. This year, summer school is scheduled from June 29 – July 27, 2020.

Additional summer funding has been allocated for mental health supports, staff resources to support students with special education needs and a transition back to school program.

Reports from trustees

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • information about the annual general meeting of the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association;
  • OPSBA seeking input on anti-racism; and
  • two scholarship recipients to soon be announced, including the regional recipient of the Public Property Network Scholarship which provides $1,000.

Audit Committee update

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • new committee member Kim Egan;
  • internal audits are continuing despite COVID-19; and
  • proposed meeting dates for the 2020-2021 school year.

Parent Involvement Committee update

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • at the last meeting, trustee representatives provided updates on Board of Trustee decisions, priorities during COVID-19; and a strategic planning update.

Questions, reports and proposals from trustees

  • In response to a question about report cards, Superintendent Tina Elliott reported that all report cards will be available online for parents/guardians to access. For elementary, the report cards will be available June 23, 2020; for secondary it will be June 26, 2020. Communications and instruction on how to access will be available. Anyone preferring to receive a paper copy can request one from their child’s school.
  • Transcripts will be available during the summer which is a new and welcome approach for HPEDSB.
  • 99.3 County FM is hosting a radio broadcast to celebrate Grade 8 students in Prince Edward County. It will air on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 12:10 PM and again at 6:10 PM. All students in Prince Edward County graduating from Grade 8 will be announced. On-air messages will be broadcast featuring students, school board officials and school principals.
  • Lucille Kyle, Chair of the Board, made closing remarks reflecting on the 2019-2020 school year.

A special public Board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 17, 2020, online through a livestream event at 1:00 PM.

For more information, please contact Kerry Donnell, Communications & Public Relations Manager, extension 62354, [email protected]

Register now: Summer Learning Program helps fill learning gaps for elementary students

June 10, 2020—Planning for the annual Summer Learning Program for elementary students is  well underway and is expanding from previous years.

Students currently in SK-Grade 8 are eligible to register. The program will run from Monday, July 6 to Friday, July 24, 2020 five days a week, from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. It will be online with live interaction among the educators, students and parent/guardians who want to join in.

Parents/guardians who are concerned that your child has gaps in learning should consider registering their children.

Registration deadline is Friday, June 12, 2020 by contacting the student’s teacher.

Contact
Kerry Donnell, Communications & Public Relations Manager, [email protected], 613.966.1170, extension 62354

Board Meeting Update 178, June 8, 2020

June 8, 2020—This update provides a summary of the special public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held Monday, June 8, 2020 online through a livestream event (the recorded version will be available within 24 hours). It is an unofficial summary of the meeting; official minutes will be approved at the next meeting on June 15, 2020.

Recommendation

Ratification of the 2019-2022 local terms of two OSSTF-PSSP collective agreements

Board members approved the terms of two local collective agreement between HPEDSB and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, District 29 – Professional Student Services Personnel Bargaining Unit (OSSTF-PSSP) for the periods June 25, 2019 to August 31, 2019 and September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2022.

Staff covered by the PSSP collective agreement include the following:

  • attendance counsellors;
  • autism coordinators;
  • child and youth workers;
  • psychoeducational consultants;
  • speech language pathologists; and
  • social workers.

The next public Board meeting is Monday, June 15, 2020, online through a livestream event at 7:00 p.m.

For more information, please contact Kerry Donnell, Communications & Public Relations Manager, extension 62354, [email protected]

School board and 99.3 County FM partner to celebrate students

Joint news release from the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, and 99.3 County FM 

June 8, 2020—The Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board is pleased to announce that it has partnered with radio station 99.3 County FM to broadcast Grade 8 graduation ceremonies for Prince Edward County elementary schools.

Transitioning to high school is a momentous occasion for students. While the COVID-19 pandemic has taken away some aspects of the traditional year-end ceremonies, the school board and radio station are proud to recognize these students in a unique way.

The 80-minute broadcast will begin at 12:10 PM on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 on 99.3 and will be repeated at 6:10 PM that evening. Approximately 160 Grade 8 students are graduating from five schools:

  • Athol South-Marysburgh Public School
  • CML Snider School
  • Kente Public School
  • Sophiasburgh Central School
  • Prince Edward Collegiate Institute

The event will feature messages from the following people:

  • Trustees Jennifer Cobb, North Prince Edward County and Alison Kelly, South Prince Edward County
  • Sean Monteith, Director of Education
  • Tina Elliott, Superintendent of Education
  • Principals from each school
    • Heather McMaster, Athol South-Marysburgh Public School
    • Tina Jones, CML Snider School
    • Annette Huizenga, Kente Public School
    • Lee Prophet, Sophiasburgh Central School
    • Andrew Ross, Prince Edward Collegiate Institute
  • One Grade 8 student from each school

The name of each student going to high school in September will be announced.

Quotes

“Celebrating the end of the school year in June is a decades-old tradition and the COVID-19 isn’t stopping us from making that happen! The sense of community—and family—in Prince Edward County is what keeps everyone connected and together. This partnership with 99.3 County FM is another example of the HPEDSB helping students and families to feel part of our HPEschools family. We appreciate the efforts and radio time of 99.3 County FM to showcase the students of Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board. Congratulations to each of them!” – Sean Monteith, Director of Education

“At 99.3 County FM, our volunteers were eager to do something significant to celebrate the students. It doesn’t matter the grade they’re graduating from, there are so many emotions for the students and families as the school year concludes. We are grateful to the Prince Edward County elementary schools for allowing us to be a part of the celebrations. By broadcasting at 99.3 FM and streaming the event (www.993countyfm.ca) we hope students and families from all grades will share in the joy of these PEC Grade 8 students.” – Craig Mills, Station General Manager

 Contacts

Tentative collective agreement between HPEDSB and OSSTF/PSSP

Joint news release from the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, and the Professional Student Services Personnel (PSSP)/OSSTF

June 1, 2020—A tentative collective agreement has been reached between the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, and the Professional Student Services Personnel (PSSP)/OSSTF District 29.

At HPEDSB, employees who are part of PSSP provide professional supports for students and work primarily in schools. They are caring and dedicated members of the HPEDSB family who support student achievement every day, and include the following:

  • attendance counsellors;
  • autism coordinators;
  • child and youth workers;
  • psychoeducational consultants;
  • speech language pathologists; and
  • social workers.

Two agreements were negotiated due to the new connection between PSSP and OSSTF. The first one was for the period June 24 to August 31, 2019 and the second for September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2022. Ratification votes are expected to take place by mid-June 2020.

No details of the agreement or anything further will be released at this time.

Quotes

“The PSSP Bargaining Committee is very pleased to bring this tentative agreement to its members for ratification. The process was inclusive and collaborative. Even when negotiations moved to online meetings rather than in-person, we felt the discussions progressed well and with intentionality. We appreciate the efforts of management to work with us.” – Melissa Lafrance, President, OSSTF/PSSP District 29

“We are so happy that we have reached another agreement with a valued group of employees. The employees in the Professional Student Services Personnel group work with students who have unique needs often and require a special level of support. We are pleased that we have reached an agreement that values them as professionals and recognizes the important work they do.” – Lucille Kyle, Chair of the Board

“We are again very pleased and proud to reach our first collective agreement with this important employee group. The PSSP group focuses entirely on the needs of students who often have unique needs. They are critical to the success of these students and ultimately they are an essential part of the overall success of the HPEDSB. I congratulate both negotiating teams for concluding this successful collective bargaining effort.” – Sean Monteith, Director of Education

CONTACTS

  • Kerry Donnell, Communications & Public Relations Manager, 613.966.1170, extension 62354, [email protected]
  • Melissa LaFrance, President, PSSP/OSSTF District 29, [email protected]

Board Meeting Update #177, May 25, 2020

May 25, 2020—This update provides a summary of the public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held Monday, May 25, 2020 online through a livestream event (the recorded version will be available within 24 hours). It is an unofficial summary of the meeting; official minutes will be approved at the next meeting in June 2020.

Lucille Kyle, Chair of the Board, acknowledged the First Peoples of the territory. This evening we acknowledge that the land on which we are gathered is part of the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee people. We acknowledge the land to show respect and recognize the First Peoples of the territory; their history, culture and perspectives and as a step towards reconciliation.

Character Moment of Reflection

Each Board meeting opens with a Character Moment of Reflection. At Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, Growing with Character is our intentional focus on creating safe, caring, respectful and inclusive learning environments where students develop the foundation for good character. Growing with Character is the foundation of the school board strategic plan. Through Growing with Character, we model, teach and expect demonstrations of our eight character traits which are: Caring, Cooperation, Honesty, Humour, Integrity, Respect, Responsibility and Trustworthiness.

This evening Ryan Gentle, Student Trustee, Trenton High School asked all to reflect on Trustworthiness: We can be counted on to do what is right. We instill confidence in one another through our actions.

Recommendation

Offer to purchase Earl Prentice Prentice Public School

Board members approved a recommendation for the sale of Earl Prentice Public School to “Fei Pan – For a Company to be Incorporated” in the amount of $280,000, pending all conditions are met, with a closing date of June 5, 2020.

Tender for electrical distribution and replacement at multiple sites

Board members approved a recommendation totaling $1.1 million for the renewal and replacement of electrical distribution services at seven schools: Bayside Secondary School, Foxboro Public School, Frankford Public School, Massassaga-Rednersville Public School, North Hastings High School, Trenton High School and Tyendinaga Public School. The work will be scheduled in the coming weeks.

Tender for roof replacement at multiple sites

Board members approved a recommendation totaling $3.6 million for roofing projects at eight schools: Eastside Secondary School, Frankford Public School, Harry J. Clarke Public School, Kente Public School, Massassaga-Rednersville Public School, Maynooth Public School, Park Dale School and Prince of Wales Public School. The work will be scheduled in the coming weeks.

Ratification of the 2019-2022 Local Terms of the CUPE Collective Agreement

Board members approved the terms of the local collective agreement between HPEDSB and CUPE Local 1022 for the period September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2022. Support staff covered by the CUPE collective agreement include the following:

  • central support workers;
  • communicative disorder assistants;
  • custodian and maintenance workers;
  • designated early childhood educators;
  • educational assistants;
  • intervenors;
  • IT technologists and analysts;
  • library technicians;
  • school secretaries; and
  • student supervision monitors.

Information

Report from the Executive Committee

Highlights from this verbal report included the following:

  • explanation of the revised process to select student trustees for the 2020-2021 school year;
  • progress in planning the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan.

HPEDSB COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Report

Sean Monteith, Director of Education provided an update about COVID-19 actions at HPEDSB as of May 25, 2020.

Highlights included the following:

  • continued planning for at-home learning now that schools are closed until the end of June 2020;
  • communications actions to date;
  • funding and expenditures;
  • access to schools and administrative offices;
  • voluntary redeployment of staff; and
  • technology and broadband access for students and families.

Communications & Public Relations update

Kerry Donnell, Communications & Public Relations Manager provided a summary of communications and public relations actions since the beginning of the school year, along with enhanced activities during COVID-19 and known initiatives planned for the 2020-2021 school year.

Highlights included the following:

  • the team’s actions and initiatives are focused on the HPEDSB all students first approach, through planned and targeted communications with internal and external audiences;
  • communications and public relations initiatives and engagement have increased exponentially since August 2019, and particularly since mid-March 2020 during COVID-19;
  • Communications & Public Relations uses a wide variety of means and methods to communicate with target audiences and stakeholders;
  • on a daily basis, the team engages with the senior team, trustees, departments, school administrators, student and parent leaders, the media and community partners;
  • COVID-19 has demanded an extremely high level of communications planning and response from mid-March 2020 to now. Efforts to keep employees, students, families and the media engaged and informed will continue through to the end of the school year and beyond; and
  • 10 large projects are already planned for the 2020-2021 school year.

2020-2021 committee meeting dates (draft)

Proposed dates for Board and Committee of the Whole meetings were shared for information.

Report from trustees

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) update:
    • ratification votes by the OPSBA in recent weeks; late release of GSNs (school board funding) from the province; advocacy from OPSBA to Queen’s Park about what schools opening in September will look like;
  • a new process to select an HPEDSB representative for the OPSBA Board of Directors (presently Lisa Anne Chatten) was conducted: interested trustees put forth their name during the meeting and, after being supported by others, all Board members voted on the interested candidates; Lisa Anne Chatten will continue at the OPSBA representative;
  • the next step was to select an alternate director; Alison Kelly was selected.

The next public Board meeting is Monday, June 15, 2020, online through a livestream event at 7:00 p.m.

For more information, please contact Kerry Donnell, Communications & Public Relations Manager, extension 62354, [email protected]

Director’s letter about schools remaining closed, continuity of learning

May 19, 2020

Subject: Continuity of learning and schools closed until the end of the school year (Pdf version)

Dear Students, Parents/Guardians, Families and Staff:

As I have with every one of my letters to you through the past two and half months, it is incumbent to begin by wishing that all of you are safe, healthy and remain hopeful. We have nothing if we do not have our health and our families; and it is both of these critical pieces of our lives that will carry us through these incredibly challenging times. As you read this important update, please remind yourself of this: health, family and loved ones, responsibility to community . . . and then education.

Today, the Ontario government announced it is keeping schools closed for the rest of this school year. This decision was made after consulting with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, health experts on the COVID-19 Command Table, and medical experts at The Hospital for Sick Children.

Last week, the Minister of Education gave all school boards and Directors of Education an update on provincial “continuity of learning.” For us in the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, at the outset of this pandemic the priority was and continues to be the education for all our students and support for all our families. This support it must be mentioned, also was required to be extended and assured to all our staff, who like families share similar challenges and concerns for the future.

At the HPEDSB we have continued for the past 10 weeks to insist, that in spite of learning from home and remote learning regardless of where you live across the district, we are entirely committed to continuing to provide learning, and prioritizing learning as our main focus. Assessment, grading, marks and reporting, while important for learning for both students and their families, as well as staff, is and will remain different from the traditional sense.

It is equally important to publicly reaffirm this commitment to learning opportunities for all our students, and with clear expectations that our staff not just reach out to families, but reach all our families; this commitment is unwavering and we are resolved in meeting it. How we are providing learning and what that experience looks like and feels like, will be different than what we are all used to in the traditional sense; and this includes myself not only as the Director of Education, but as a father of two sons who continue to benefit from our public education system.

Like all educators and parents together what we want for our own children, is what we want for all Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board students. With this in mind, our approach to virtual learning remains in effect, our emphasis on student-teacher contact unchanged, and our commitment to supporting the whole needs of our families unwavering.

In short, our focus remains on learning and ensuring we are reaching all our students, and to that end I am proud of our staff and families and how we have all responded together. Our website, www.HPEschools.ca contains the most current information including tips sheets for families and educators, and perhaps most important, contact information for Kids Help Phone.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay positive,

Sean Monteith
Director of Education

Tentative agreement reached between HPEDSB and CUPE Local 1022

Joint news release from Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, and CUPE Local 1022

May 13, 2020—A tentative collective agreement has been reached between the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, and CUPE Local 1022.

At HPEDSB, employees who are part of CUPE work in schools, administrative offices and at other sites. They are caring and dedicated members of the HPEDSB family who support student achievement every day, and include the following:

  • central support workers;
  • communicative disorder assistants;
  • custodian and maintenance workers;
  • designated early childhood educators;
  • educational assistants;
  • intervenors;
  • IT technologists and analysts;
  • library technicians;
  • school secretaries; and
  • student supervision monitors.

The agreement is for a 3-year period from September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2022. Ratification votes are expected to take place by the end of May 2020.

No details of the agreement or anything further will be released at this time.

Quotes

“The CUPE Bargaining Committee is absolutely thrilled to bring this tentative agreement to its members for ratification. It was a collaborative process challenged by forced online bargaining, but both management and the union were committed to reaching a deal that will enhance the working life of CUPE members. Thank you to management for working together with us!” – Jo-Anne White, President, CUPE Local 1022

“As the Board of Trustees, we are proud of all our employees! It takes a village to raise a child. We want our staff to feel safe and valued. Well-being is a key piece of a successful day. To our CUPE employees—we need you. Thank you for your continued service to students.” – Lucille Kyle, Chair of the Board

“The process to reach a successful collective agreement with our local CUPE bargaining unit has taken the repeated efforts of both parties. I want to thank the bargaining unit representatives and the management team for remaining resolved and focused on an agreement that prioritizes our students, acknowledges the importance of equity for all our staff and sees an opportunity to develop strong working relationships. This is a good day for our CUPE staff, a good day for the HPEDSB and a good day for kids.” – Sean Monteith, Director of Education

CONTACTS

 

 

Grade 10 and 11 students—apply to become a student trustee

May 5, 2020—Students in Grades 10 and 11 now (going into Grades 11 and 12 in September) are invited to apply to become a student trustee.

Involving students in Board business is a valuable learning experience. Hearing from student trustees at Board meetings about student issues and opinions is a way to engage these leaders beyond their school community. They represent student opinions at the Board level and participate actively on committees.

What do student trustees do?

Student trustees are involved in many different ways at their school and also at the Board level. The are leaders who represent the voices of all student. For example, student trustees:

  • Attend school Board meetings and are knowledgeable about policies and procedures
  • Serve as student representatives between the Board and the Student Senate
  • Serve as the Board’s representatives at the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association
  • Attend the annual Ontario Student Trustees’ Association conference
  • Undertake a mentoring role with the incoming Student Senate

HPEDSB has three student trustees, including one representing Indigenous students.

Interested in applying?

Send a one-page letter or 60-second video to Sean Monteith ([email protected]), Director of Education, saying why you are interested in being a student trustee. The deadline is Monday, May 25, 2020. The Board of Trustees will make the decision by the end of May 2020.

For more information, please contact Kerry Donnell, Communications Manager, extension 62354, [email protected]

Director’s letter to families about HPEDSB Together—Education Week and Mental Health Week

May 4, 2020

Subject: HPEDSB Together—Education Week and Mental Health Week, May 4 to 8, 2020 (Pdf version)

Dear Students, Parents/Guardians, Families and Staff:

First, and most importantly foremost, I hope this letter finds you safe, remaining hopeful, positive and healthy. We are almost coming to the end of the second month of the COVID-19 global pandemic and the closure of all our schools and offices. We realize and accept with the very real recognition that these past number of weeks and months have not been easy for anyone.

Today we mark the start of two important commitments during May 4-8, 2020.

This is “Education Week 2020,” always an important week-long commemoration of why public education is so important, and what public schools can represent for so many young people and their families. The other important recognition is “Mental Health Week” as identified and endorsed by the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Both of these weeks are important for so many people: Education Week is significant for some, and Mental Health Week for others, and likely for very personal reasons. For us in the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, we are using Education Week 2020 to focus on the collective strength we have together, and that together we will emerge from this crisis, resolved, confident and committed to all our community members.

It is important to publicly reaffirm that our priority, after our health and the health of our loved ones, is the relationship and connection we have with you, and that you have with your child’s school. Curriculum expectations, teaching, assessment and a student’s grades remain very important, but only after the care and security of our families and communities. Our kids need us and we need to be there for them, especially now. Therefore, our focus remains on learning and ensuring we are reaching all our students.

Our website, www.HPEschools.ca contains the most current information we have about COVID-19, including tips sheets for families and educators, links to public health agencies, and perhaps most important, contact information for Kids Help Phone.

Keep in touch with your child’s teacher(s) because they care about your child’s learning and engagement. Stay safe, be well and remain optimistic that better days are ahead. The HPEDSB community will see its finest hour together and with all of you.

Sincerely,

Sean Monteith
Director of Education

Director’s letter to families about Grade 12 graduates during the COVID-19 Pandemic

April 20, 2020

Subject: Update for Grade 12 Graduates during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Pdf version)

Dear All HPEDSB Graduating Grade 12 Students and Families of the Class of 2020:

I want to acknowledge the current reality that we all face through COVID-19, and specifically what you, as graduating students, are facing. This is quite simply a situation that nobody anticipated nor has anyone encountered before. Therefore, if you are feeling uneasy and experiencing uncertainty, you are not alone and have good reason for it; there is nothing we can compare our current challenges to.

As the Director of Education and as a former high school principal, I recognize a number of the important factors that go into a Grade 12 graduating year for you. These include completing the prerequisite courses for admission to colleges, trade schools and universities. There is also emphasis on marks, grades, exams, culminating activities, and even out-of-classroom experiences, such as COOP and OYAP placements. I also recognize that many of you are thinking of applications for scholarships and bursaries as you plan for the future. For many, extra-curricular activities, such as music and drama performances, field trips, out of country school trips and athletics are not happening. Your senior prom and graduation itself are also affected.

All of the above are considerations that go into the workings of a memorable graduating high school year. Our reality remains that there is nothing normal about this school year.

I want to assure you that if you were on track to graduate this school year, you will graduate. In saying that, I want you to know that this is not a reprieve on the work now being provided by your teacher. As a graduating student who was on-track, I encourage you to do the work that will keep you learning and preparing for your future.

I also want to share that the Ministry of Education has announced that for students graduating in June 2020, the requirement of 40 hours of community service is waived. Hours accumulated to date are valid and still count towards awards. All secondary aged students are encouraged to find safe and appropriate ways to be of service to their communities. Community involvement hours that have been completed will be reported on the report cards of graduating students.

I recognize that many of you will have questions around the actual graduation event itself. While there is no denying that graduating from high school is a significant moment in your lives, it will, in all likelihood, look different this year. As we live through and make history together, I encourage you to think of different possibilities to consider. You, your graduating peers, your teachers and all staff in your school are in this together as you celebrate the culmination of your senior year.

Life can, at times, feel and appear unpredictable and even uncertain. As young adults, and our leaders of tomorrow, I ask you to look at the challenges we are facing and consider the big picture—what our priorities are and need to be at this time: our health and the health of our families, our responsibility to each other, and the hope for a long and promising future.

Stay safe and be well.

Sincerely,

Sean Monteith
Director of Education

Minister of Education letter to parents about extended school closures

April 28, 2020–Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education released a letter to all families about extended school closures

Minister Letter to Parents, April 28, 2020 (Pdf)

Text version

I sincerely hope that you, your children, and your families are staying safe and healthy during this unprecedented time.

Over these past weeks, our government has been inspired by you and your children’s eagerness and flexibility in transitioning toward remote learning. We know that this has not been easy, especially with the profound impact COVID-19 has had on your lives and livelihood. The ability to keep our students engaged in their learning journey has been remarkable.

As the Ontario Minister of Education, I am committed to keeping you informed about new developments regarding the impacts of COVID-19, especially when it comes to child care, early learning programs and the status of the current school year. Our government will continue to support you and your children during this difficult period.
Our government’s foremost priority is the safety and well-being of every child and every student, and those who nurture and support them. In considering any options for welcoming students back to an in-class model of learning, our decisions will be based on safety, consistency and the guidance of public health officials. We have been clear and unwavering in our commitment to ensure every measure is taken to protect students’ health and safety before re-entering a classroom.

With that principle in mind, our government has ordered that all public schools in the province will remain closed to students until at least May 31, 2020.

The expert advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and the COVID-19 Command Table informed our decision. While the modelling that public health experts recently presented shows we are making progress, we are not at a stage in our fight against COVID-19 where students can safely and confidently return to their classrooms.

I know this news is frustrating for many of you. The compassion and commitment of Ontario’s parents have been constant. Since we first announced the suspension of in-person learning on March 12, we have heard from parents across the province on how they are doing their best to encourage continued learning with their children. Parents and families have been an incredible source of comfort as children react uniquely to this global outbreak.

Since the beginning of school closures, our plan for the continuity of learning has evolved significantly and successfully. Most recently, we reintroduced teacher-led learning in the province and students are now being assigned work and resources for continuing their education.

As part of this plan, we have outlined expectations for student work-time in a given week based on learning materials and work assigned by your child’s teacher. I want to emphasize that no student will have their graduation jeopardized by the current outbreak.

Our government has set out the following minimum suggested standard for instruction:

  • Kindergarten to Grade 3: Five hours of work per student per week, with a focus on literacy and math;
  • Grades 4 to 6: Five hours of work per week, with a focus on literacy, math, science, and social studies;
  • Grades 7 to 8: 10 hours of work per week, with a focus on math, literacy, science and social studies; and,
  • Grades 9 to 12: Three hours of work per course per week for semestered students, and 1.5 hours of work per course per week for non-semestered students, with a focus on credit accumulation and graduation.

While it is understandable that there are going to be differences in educational experience during this period, my expectation is that all students will be supported and engaged by their teachers and other education workers. We want to thank educators who have embraced these unusual circumstances to ensure their students continue having every opportunity to excel and achieve their potential. If you have concerns related to the sufficiency of the assigned work or the need for enhanced contact, you are encouraged to reach out to your principal or school board. We want to do everything we can during this outbreak to ensure our students receive a quality learning experience.

To maximize the instructional time for your children, we are converting remaining Professional Activity (PA) and examination days into instructional time. This would ensure that your children remain engaged and learning for the greatest number of days possible during this school year. Perhaps now more than ever, every bit of instructional time matters even if it means just one or two days.

While we try to facilitate instructional time during the school closure period, one of the challenges many families experience is that, even in our digitally-connected age, some students do not have access to the Internet or the technology to access Learn at Home.

I’m pleased to inform you that the Government of Ontario is working with Rogers Communications and Apple to help meet the educational needs of students and families during the COVID-19 outbreak. To date, over 21,000 iPad devices, pre-equipped with free Rogers LTE wireless data have been purchased and distributed to families in need by school boards, with the over $75 million provided by the provincial government through the Grants for Student Needs. In addition, Apple is providing on-going support in French and English to teachers, parents and students, with a collection of resources to support learning and working from home. These 21,000 delivered devices are in addition to the over 200,000 computers and tablets that school boards have provided to students in need during this period.

Rogers is also working with Ontario school boards to provide high-speed, low-cost Internet to subsidized tenants and members of housing partners across Ontario through its Connected for Success program, as well as the Government of Canada Connecting Families initiative.

Partnerships like this – between school boards and tech firms like Rogers Communications and Apple – truly showcase the spirit of Ontario.

While we remain committed to meeting students’ needs in the current school year, our government has already started planning for the 2020-2021 school year. While this school year was certainly unlike anything we have seen before, we need to prepare ourselves for the fact that school may not look or feel the same come September.

With the safety and well-being of your children as our guiding principle, let me assure you that schools, child care centres, and school buses will be required to undergo thorough deep cleaning before being ready to welcome students and early learners back into their physical spaces. Despite the extremely minimal contact risk posed after this length of closure, we want to allow every student to feel safe and confident as they return to school.

In terms of instruction, we will be unveiling our proposed plan for an expanded summer learning program that will enable students to continue their learning through the summer, if desired. While over 100,000 students typically participate in summer learning, we know that many more students may wish to continue their teacher-led learning after this school year formally ends. This proposed plan for expanded summer learning would focus on credit recovery, a new option to upgrade courses, and a focus on gap-closing programs and supports for vulnerable students.

Our government understands that the COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in unsettling times for children. We must continue to pay close attention to the emotional and mental health needs of all students, even if there are no immediate signs of distress.

To that end, our government has directed school boards to ensure mental health workers and professional staff engage with students immediately, as needed, in a secure and safe conversation. We want you to know there are many organizations that provide critical support for children facing mental health concerns or distress. For example, Kids Help Phone offers 24/7 counselling and referral services across the province. To use this free resource, children can call 1-800-668-6868, or text CONNECT to 686868.

Child care centres and EarlyON Child and Family Programs continue to be closed until at least May 6, 2020. I can assure you the health and safety of your children will be paramount as we make decisions about re-opening and we support Ontario’s outbreak response and recovery plan.

I want to express my appreciation to the teachers and education workers who have been adapting to these new circumstances and doing their best to deliver learning and supports for our students. While we cannot guarantee what the “new normal” will look like in our child care and education systems, I promise you; no decision will be made that does not answer “yes” to the following question: does this promote the health, safety, and well-being of our children and students?

There is simply no question — and no answer —more important.

Stay safe,

The Honourable Stephen Lecce
Minister of Education

Announcing school leadership teams for the 2020-2021 school year

April 29, 2020—Each year at this time, the HPEDSB reviews school leadership strengths and opportunities for realignment, and announces changes at some elementary and secondary schools.

School leaders are pivotal to the development of excellent teaching, effective schools, and ultimately, enhanced student achievement and well-being. As school leaders, principals and vice-principals play a critical role in student learning, second only to teaching. At HPEDSB, the precision and credibility of the school leadership selection process is of the highest calibre.

HPEDSB principals and vice-principals are educators who care about kids. They are also parents, family members and community leaders who have influence on thousands of children and youth during their careers. Being an HPEDSB school leader means being thoughtful and caring when interacting with staff, students and their families. It means being lifelong learners and mentors who act with integrity and responsibility. It means promoting collective accountability and responsibility for student achievement. It also means contributing to welcoming, respecting and inclusive school environments, where parents/guardians are valued as partners in their children’s learning.

Lucille Kyle, Chair of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board welcomed the new appointments, saying, “On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we welcome these school leadership appointments and offer the support of all of us for their success. When they are successful, our schools and students will be, as well. If there is one thing that these recent weeks have demonstrated, it is how important leadership is in our communities. We wish all our school leaders the greatest success as they move into or continue in their principal or vice-principal roles.”

Sean Monteith, Director of Education added, “Working in education during today’s challenges and demands is complex, and requires a high-level of commitment from all staff. The role of principal and vice-principal can be the most demanding and also the most rewarding in our schools. If the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board is to strive towards excellence in all schools, it will require the strength and leadership of its principals and vice-principals. We will be successful if they are successful. I congratulate each and every one of them, and wish them successful careers in administrative leadership.”

Changes for the 2020-2021 school year

Beginning with retirements, the following school leaders will retire at the end of this school year.

  • Ken Manderville, Principal at Eastside Secondary School
  • Ian Press, Principal at Bayside Secondary School
  • Anne Slager, Principal at Deseronto Public School
  • Liane Woodley, Principal at Centennial Secondary School

In addition, Kim Sampson, Principal at Trenton High School, will begin a personal leave of absence effective the end of this school year.

School leadership teams for the 2020-2021 school year

(names in bold represent a change from the current school year)

School Principal Vice-principal
Athol-South Marysburgh Public School (JK-8) Heather McMaster None
Bayside Public School (JK-6) Nicola Wand Todd Hinks
Bayside Secondary School (7-12) Ruth Ellen Cummings Katherine Wannamaker

Brad Wilson

Bird’s Creek Public School (JK-6) Marion Wilson None
Centennial Secondary School (7-12) Marg Thompson Doug Callaghan

Tara Reid

Centre Hastings Secondary School (9-12) Dayna Scaletta Duane Wiltshire
C.M.L. Snider School (JK-8) Tina Jones None
Coe Hill School (JK-6) Rob Lake None
Deseronto Public School (JK-8) Carla McFarlane None
Eastside Secondary School (9-12) Eric Fetterley Therese McMahon

Kelly Tsarouhas

Foxboro Public School (JK-8) Bill Launderville None
Frankford Public School (JK-8) Joanne Barry None
Harmony Public School (JK-8) Kim Myderwyk Laura Maclellan Fraser
Harry J. Clarke Public School (JK-8) Jennifer Slater Teri Cook
Hermon Public School (JK-6) Lisa Resmer (shared with York River Public School) Taras Humen
Kente Public School (JK-8) Annette Huizinga None
Madoc Public School (JK-8) Kim Reid Paul Longhurst
Madoc Township Public School (JK-8) Louise Gunning None
Marmora Public School (JK-8) Steve McFadden Jason Carman
Massassaga-Rednersville Public School (JK-6) Cassandra Bellwood None
Maynooth Public School (JK-6) Lisa McKenna-Sutherland None
North Hastings High School (7-12) Wayne Stewart Lynn Andrews
North Trenton Public School (JK-6) Chad Harvey None
Park Dale School (JK-8) Cassandra Windsor Angela Harvey
Prince Charles School (Belleville) (JK-6) Stephanie Taylor-Harvey Shelley Bonter
Prince Charles Public School (Trenton) (JK-6) Suzanne Cholasta None
Prince Edward Collegiate Institute (JK-12) Andrew Ross Joe Doran

Angie Friel

Dean Goodman

Prince of Wales Public School (JK-8) Derek DeLarge Kelly MacKay
Queen Elizabeth School (JK-8) Tanya Whittaker Twyla Jackson (shared with Queen Victoria School)
Queen Victoria School (JK-6) Kevin MacLaurin Twyla Jackson (shared with Queen Elizabeth School)
Sir John A. Macdonald School (JK-6) Leanne Pond None
Sophiasburgh Central School (JK-8) Lee Mahon-Prophet None
Stirling Public School (JK-8) Susan Carleton-Maines Lisa McGeachy
Susanna Moodie Elementary School (JK-8) Clinton Breau None
Trent River Public School (JK-6) Steve Toffelmire Geoff Said
Trenton High School (7-12) Jackie Waller Adrian Bertrand

Tera Brough

Tweed Elementary School (JK-8) Derek Potts Lindsay Chisholm
Tyendinaga Public School (JK-8) Jennifer Hawkins None
V.P. Carswell Elementary School (JK-6) Earle Wright None
York River Public School (JK-6) Lisa Resmer (Hermon Public School) Susan D’Angelo

For more information, please contact Kerry Donnell, Communications Manager, extension 62354, [email protected]

 

Board Meeting Update #176, April 27, 2020

April 27, 2020—This update provides a summary of the public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held Monday, April 27, 2020 online through a livestream event. It is an unofficial summary of the meeting; official minutes will be approved at the next meeting in May 2020. A recorded version will be available at the aforementioned link.

Lucille Kyle, Chair of the Board, acknowledged the First Peoples of the territory. This evening we acknowledge that the land on which we are gathered is part of the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee people. We acknowledge the land to show respect and recognize the First Peoples of the territory; their history, culture and perspectives and as a step towards reconciliation.

Character Moment of Reflection

Each Board meeting opens with a Character Moment of Reflection. At Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, Growing with Character is our intentional focus on creating safe, caring, respectful and inclusive learning environments where students develop the foundation for good character. Growing with Character is the foundation of the school board strategic plan. Through Growing with Character, we model, teach and expect demonstrations of our eight character traits which are: Caring, Cooperation, Honesty, Humour, Integrity, Respect, Responsibility and Trustworthiness.

This evening Madison Davis, Student Trustee, Centennial Secondary School asked all to reflect on Responsibility: We have a sense of duty to fulfill commitments. We take ownership for our own thoughts and actions. We are reliable and accountable in our words and actions.

Recommendations

Photo of Tina Elliott
Thank you to Tina Elliott, Superintendent of Education, for the presentation on Policy 19: Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement.

New Policy 19: Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement

Board members adopted new Policy 19: Board Improvement Planning for Student Achievement.

Each year HPEDSB creates a board improvement plan that aligns with the strategic plan and guides the development of school improvement plans. With the renewed vision of “all students first” and a focus on increasing student achievement outcomes, a policy placing student achievement as a core priority of the work of the Board is essential.

This policy establishes the following expectations for all schools and throughout HPEDSB:

  • shared accountability for student achievement;
  • processes leading to effective improvement planning;
  • guidelines for the responsibilities of the Director of Education, senior administration and school administrators; and
  • specific processes for the submission, review, and communication of:
    • the Board Improvement Plan; and
    • school improvement plans.

The policy will be reviewed by May 2021.

Information

Photo of Sean Monteith
Sean Monteith, Director of Education, provided a verbal report about operations planning and actions during COVID-19.

HPEDSB Pandemic Operational Report

Sean Monteith, Director of Education provided a verbal update on actions taken to address COVID-19.

Highlights from Director Monteith’s report included the following:

  • The current circumstances demand leadership at the highest level
  • Leadership is coming from everyone at HPEDSB: from educational assistants, secretaries, maintenance workers, teachers, to name just a few
  • The Ministry of Education has extended school closures to at least May 31, 2020 with a re-evaluation expected prior to that date
  • Core operations at HPEDSB are continuing in a proactive way
  • Reassurance about the continuity of learning and connecting with students and families
  • Over 150 different training opportunities have been available to educators and support staff; the HPEDSB Learning at Home website has had more than 150,000 hits over the past three weeks
  • This week was week 4 of no-tech learning activities advertised in the weekly community newspapers
  • Reminder about the need to be concerned about the stresses in households throughout the district at this time ; staff are doing whatever is in their power to meet the needs of students
  • Still, the regular work is continuing: collective bargaining, staffing, budget planning
  • Utilization of (the former) Quinte Secondary School by Quinte Health Care as a COVID-19 assessment centre is expanding to 30,000 square feet; the main office, library, staff room and  cafeteria are being used and needed renovations are being done, paid paid for through provincial funds

Update from The Hastings and Prince Edward Learning Foundation, COVID-19 response

The HPE Learning Foundation  fundraises for programs and services to help students overcome barriers and succeed in school in a non-stigmatizing way.

As of April 20, 2020, the Learning Foundation has provided support to 1,788 students through grocery gift cards valued at $104,500. An additional $32,557 has been provided to food banks for families with children by way of food product and coupons in the following amounts: $28,887 for food; $3,120 for fruit and vegetable coupons; and $550 for egg coupons.

In addition, the Food for Learning Steering Committee has approved $50,000 monthly expenditures until schools reopen. The Food for Home Program will support students during July and August with $58,000 in grocery gift cards. HPELF support to students up to the end of August will be at least $306,720.

Events that would have happened this year are postponed to 2021: Take a Bit out of Hunger, Mainly Music, Food for Learning Student Benefit Auction, and the annual Student Emergency Fund Golf Tournament.

Photo of Maribeth deSnoo Photo of Susan Sweet
Thank you for Susan Sweet, Chair, The Hastings and Prince Edward Learning Foundation, and Maribeth deSnoo, Executive Director for this presentation.

Supporting children’s mental health in HPEDSB, COVID-19 response

Mental health service delivery changed suddenly with the onset of COVID-19. Social workers, and child and youth workers were responsive and quickly organized support systems for students, families and staff. Social workers are reaching out by telephone to students on their caseload and accepting new referrals. Child and youth workers are connecting with vulnerable families. Referrals and direct communication with collateral agencies to assist with pathways to care is ongoing.

This update provided a thorough explanation of the services being provided to students and families during school closures, including the following:

  • Social workers and child and youth workers continue to provide crisis, ASIST suicide intervention services, and tragic event support to students and families including responding after the death of a parent/guardian, providing support to students after the sudden death of a former student, and supporting a family after they lost everything in a fire.
  • Mental health resources and links are provided on an ongoing basis to Communications Services for posting on the HPEDSB web and social media sites.
  • School staff, students and families are being provided community resources, supports and links including mental health resources, crisis lines, financial, parenting, and another supports.
  • Communications Services is assisting social workers and child and youth workers with the production of videos to support student mental health and well-being.
  • Food security was immediately identified as an urgent need for many families. Child and youth workers, social workers, administrators and school staff assisted with providing lists of families who may be in need, and assisting with the delivery of grocery cards.
  • School staff, child and youth workers, and social workers assisted with the distribution of technology to students and families. Students and families are being supported in accessing on-line learning as our mental health teams work in collaboration with teachers.
  • Tier 1 work continues through the posting of social emotional learning strategies prepared and provided for elementary schools by child and youth workers including activities and videos that can be used on Google Classroom (e.g., read alouds, mindfulness activities) from programs and resources such as FRIENDS, Stress Lessons, and Everyday Mental Health Classroom Resource. Child and youth workers worked with staff to create a collage of pictures for students and also sent cards through Canada Post to families and students with whom they have a connection.
  • Social workers and child and youth workers have quickly learned Google Classroom and Google Meet and are participating in virtual staff meetings, student success team meetings, and team meetings in order to ensure there is clear communication and pathways to care for students and families. Child and youth workers have been building, populating, and maintaining a Google Document to hold and share the numerous resources that they use.
  • Trauma training specific to the pandemic was provided on April 21 and 23, 2020 to HPEDSB social workers, child and youth workers, guidance heads, social workers from neighbouring boards and community partners. School Mental Health Ontario (SMHO) is working with mental health leads to support and train social workers to implement virtual counselling services.
  • Additional training opportunities being offered include Triple P Webinar (teach Triple P virtually), Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) for Educators Level 1, Autism course through the Geneva Centre, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) training and Infant Mental Health 101.

This report further provided an update on the 2019-2020 Mental Health and Addictions Strategy and Action Plan.

photo of ken and deb
Thank you to Ken Dostaler, Superintendent of Education and Deb Warring, Mental Health Lead for the mental health presentation.

Planning for the New HPEDSB Strategic Plan 

The Director of Education provided an update on planning for the new HPEDSB strategic plan. The director has been working with two aspiring leaders, Ruth Ellen Cummings, Vice-Principal at Centre Hastings Secondary School and Rob McFadden, System Lead in Student Services to review the feedback from the Thoughtexchange process. They have boiled it down to five main themes from thousands of ideas. Trustees expressed interest in meeting with the Sean, Ruth Ellen and Rob to begin synthesizing the data into strategic priorities and goals.

Planning for student trustees for the 2020-2021 school year

The Director of Education referred to Policy 3C: Student Representation on the Board and the process for selecting student trustees for the new school year (August 1, 2020 to July 31, 2021). The normal process, which requires new student trustees to be selected by April 30, 2020, will not work during COVID-19. The director asked trustees and the student trustees for their ideas on how to move forward.

Report from trustees

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • The Ontario Public School Boards’ Association ratified the ETFO provincial agreement earlier this month
  • The OPSBA vote for the provincial OSSTF agreement is scheduled for May 21, 2020
  • The trustee representative for the OPSBA Board of Directors will be voted on at the public Board meeting in May 2020; trustees are encouraged to put their name forward

Questions from trustees

  1. What is the status of secondary school exams? Formal exams will not take place as per an amendment to the Education Act regulation. This applies even if schools are open after May 31, 2020.
  2. Can the Board of Trustees participate in a self-assessment as per Module 21 of the OPSBA learning sessions? Trustees are asked to report back to Alison Kelly about participating in a book club style of learnng.

The next public Board meeting is Monday, May 25, 2020, online through a livestream event at 7:00 p.m.

For more information, please contact Kerry Donnell, Communications Manager, extension 62354, [email protected]

Public school board, Quinte Health Care and City of Belleville partner to open Quinte Secondary School temporarily as an assessment centre

Joint news release on behalf of Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, Quinte Heath Care and the City of Belleville

April 20, 2020—The COVID-19 pandemic has three organizations working together for the benefit of the community.

Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board and Quinte Health Care have partnered to open portions of Quinte Secondary School in central Belleville temporarily as an assessment centre.

Individuals who have been pre-screened for COVID-19 and who meet certain criteria are being directed to the temporary assessment centre for further testing. It is important for the public to know that it is not a walk-in clinic.

The City of Belleville was a major contributor by providing supplies and equipment, as well as providing expertise for traffic flow, and fire prevention and planning.

The continued need and viability of the COVID-19 assessment centre will be re-evaluated by Quinte Health Care on a regular basis.

Quinte Secondary School was closed at the end of June 2018 following a public accommodation review and decision to consolidate it with then-named Moira Secondary School, now known as Eastside Secondary School.

Quinte Health Care reminds the community that if anyone has symptoms of COVID-19, don’t go anywhere yet, stay away from others and do the following:

  1. If you are able, do the online assessment.
  2. Call your health care provider or the Hastings Prince Edward Public Health at 613-966-5500; TTY 711; 1-800-267-2803 or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. 80% of people with this virus have mild to moderate symptoms, need to isolate themselves at home, and do not need to be tested for the virus.
  3. Your health care provider, public health or Telehealth Ontario will either refer you to your local assessment centre or have you call the central COVID-19 Assessment Centre (CAC) hotline at 613-961-5544 to seek additional care after being screened. Phone lines are answered between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., 7 days/week.
  4. Individuals deemed to have moderate symptoms will be scheduled for a virtual consultation with a doctor (either over the phone or online) or scheduled for an on-site appointment at a local COVID-19 Assessment Centre (CAC). Not all appointments at a CAC will result in swabbing/testing—only those meeting the Ministry of Health criteria may be swabbed.
  5. Individuals deemed to have severe symptoms, requiring hospital-level care, will be sent to the hospital.

If you are you looking for general information about COVID-19, including symptoms, tips for self-isolation or number of cases locally, please visit the Hastings Prince Edward Public Health website.

Quotes

Lucille Kyle, Chair, Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board

“The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust all of us into this unfamiliar territory. The only seemingly consistent thread through it all has been uncertainty. As we continue to support our students, our staff, and our families through this unprecedented challenge, the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board also views itself as a regional leader and partner in being there for our communities. When QHC approached us to utilize Quinte Secondary School and with an eye to a bright future for that facility, we felt ethically responsible to play our part.”

 

Jeff Hohenkerk, QHC Vice-President

“QHC is extremely appreciative to be working in close partnership with several local community partners including the HPE District School Board and municipal leaders as our communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. This community-wide collaborative approach is aimed at meeting the health care needs of individuals in our community who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 in a way that minimizes the risk for our dedicated front-line health care providers and for the patients we serve.”

Mitch Panciuk, Mayor, City of Belleville

“Part of why we’re such a great community is because of our partnerships. Hastings and Prince Edward School Board, Quinte Health Care and the City of Belleville all worked together to establish the COVID-19 Assessment Centre here in our city. The location is safe, accessible and meets all the requirements for such a facility. Residents throughout Belleville and the region are now being referred here for testing which is helping us get through this challenging time. I want to thank everyone involved in making this happen.”

– end –

For information, please contact:

  • Kerry Donnell, Communications Manager, Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, 613.966.1170, extension 2354, [email protected]
  • Catherine Walker, Director, Communications and Organizational Development, Quinte Health Care, 613.969.7400, extension 2689, [email protected]
  • Marilyn Warren, Communications Coordinator, City of Belleville, 613.967.3200, extension 3263, [email protected]

Letter to families about the renovation and addition at Centre Hastings Secondary School

April 9, 2020

Subject: Renovation and addition at Centre Hastings Secondary School (Pdf version)

Dear Centre Hastings Secondary School and Madoc Public School Families:

We are writing with an update about the renovation and addition project at Centre Hastings Secondary School. During this time of pause in our home, school and work lives, we acknowledge that the current circumstances related to COVID-19 are beyond control.

Throughout this school year, you have heard us talk about putting all students first. The health, safety, and well-being of our students and staff are top priorities as we all engage in new ways of learning, and also as we plan for the consolidation of Centre Hastings Secondary School and Madoc Public School.

The most recent announcements from the Premier of Ontario that schools will be closed until May means a shift in focus. At this time, all efforts at the school and Board levels are on planning for and supporting students and families for learning at home.

The additional announcements that workplaces and construction sites are shut down means the renovation and addition project is on hold. A project of this scope and magnitude takes an immense amount of time, planning and school board personnel to make it happen—all of which are now focused on supporting students and families with learning at home.

We have been part of meaningful discussions with the school board senior team about next steps for the renovation and addition project. This collaborative approach has enabled us to share our school community perspectives.

Although this project pause will cause a delay, planning and work will resume when we are all back to calmer and more familiar times. At this time, we anticipate that our new school will open in September 2021. We will continue to work together to create a welcoming and inclusive, modern K-12 community school that will serve the students of Madoc and the broader community for years to come.

We encourage you to keep in touch with your child’s teacher(s) about learning at home and please feel free to contact one of us with questions about the renovation project.

We are committed to being as responsive and forthcoming with accurate information as we possibly can. Thank you for your understanding as we navigate this most unusual time in history.

Take care and be well.

Dayna Scaletta
Principal, Centre Hastings Secondary School

Ruth-Ellen Cummings
Vice-Principal, Centre Hastings Secondary School

Kim Reid
Principal, Madoc Public School

Paul Longhurst
Vice-Principal, Madoc Public School

Director’s letter to families about learning at home and access to technology

April 7, 2020

Subject: Update on learning at home and access to technology (Pdf version)

Dear Students, Parents/Guardians, Families and Staff:

In these uncertain times, I want to let you know that, first and foremost, our thoughts continue to be the health of everyone in our HPEDSB family. We urge you to continue practicing physical distancing in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

I am communicating with our entire school community to share primarily two key messages. The first is to inform you of what is happening this week and in the weeks ahead in terms of your child’s learning and progress, and teacher contact with all of our students. I will also speak to accessing technology, for families who may require assistance.

Our teachers and school principals/vice-principals are eager to reconnect and re-engage with their students. By now, your child’s teacher will have contacted you about what to anticipate for learning expectations. This is in response to a letter to parents from the Minister of Education last week. The letter outlined the minimum expectations for teachers to provide school work/learning materials, which are as follows:

  • JK-Grade 6 will be provided with 5 hours of work per student, per week;
  • Grades 7-8 will be provided with 10 hours of work per student, per week; and
  • Grades 9-12 will be provided with 3 hours per course, per student, per week.

I also want you to know that we are aware of many families who have limited access to, or are totally without technology at home. Principals have been in touch with families who they know could use assistance in this area. As a result, next week we will be distributing school-owned Chromebooks to our most needy families on a loaner basis. I want to reassure our families and students that any laptop or Chromebook that is loaned to you will have undergone a cleaning and met the required local public health cleansing protocol before being distributed.

The other matter I wish to raise is parent/staff expectations of their children learning at home, and ensuring that report cards, marks/grades and assessment (as it might have occurred in the normal classroom experience) are approached from a very non-traditional perspective. We are not living, working, teaching and learning in the “regular” classroom environment. Assignments, lessons and assessments are going to look very different. While we maintain high expectations, it is a cause of great concern for me, as Director of Education, that the stress level in households is exponentially increasing during these incredibly challenging times.

Calls to the Kids-Help Phone have increased in recent weeks by 350% nationally and calls provincially to domestic violence centres are seeing dramatic spikes. The last thing our families need is an additional stressor by feeling that their children are not keeping up, or have concerns about marks. I ask—both as a teacher myself and as a father—for all of us to do the best we can to be reasonable and understand that every one of us is working in very challenging environments.

We must never lose perspective that our kids need us to be there for them, now more than ever.

image of Learning at Home newspaper ad
Look in your free community newspaper this week and in the weeks to come for a full-page colour ad with No-Tech Learning Activities of the Week.

We, at the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, will continue to establish clear parameters and support structures for our staff, families and our students. In doing this, we need to always be mindful of what is reasonable to expect and what is reasonable to ask of our kids in this environment. As a colleague once reminded, “We only come this way once.” Let’s remember that kids are kids.

To support families and students, we continue to make available two at-home learning/engagement options: one is our HPEDSB Learning at Home website and the other is our full-page, colour ads in the free weekly community newspapers. The resources and activities at both are educator created and verified, and are listed by grade. The newspaper ads, in particular, feature a series of language and mathematics activities for K-12 that can easily be done at home. Both the online resources and newspaper ads are available at the above link.

Our website, www.HPEschools.ca contains the most current information we have about COVID-19, including tips sheets for families and educators, links to public health agencies, and perhaps most important, contact information for Kids Help Phone.

I encourage you to keep in touch with your child’s teacher(s), as they care about your child’s learning and engagement. Stay safe and be well.

Sincerely,

Sean Monteith
Director of Education

Teaching and learning to resume Monday, April 6, 2020

Updated April 21, 2020 (iPads)—The 21,000 iPads recently announced by the Ministry of Education are devices some school boards are deploying as part of an Apple short-term lease program. Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board did not participate in that program. Instead, we deployed 3,500 Chromebooks to some families. We are in the process of procuring other devices for student Internet access and will have more to share once those devices are in our hands.

Updated April 4, 2020 (Chromebooks)

April 3, 2020—Teaching and learning will resume for thousands of HPEDSB educators and students on Monday, April 6, 2020.

Over the past few weeks, educators have been preparing the possibility of remote learning pending the provincial school closures being extended beyond the original date of April 5, 2020. With the provincial announcement earlier this week that schools will now be closed to students until May 4, 2020, plans are ready to roll out next Monday through a phased-in approach.

Phase 1 covers the period April 6-17, 2020. During that time, the focus will be on meeting Ministry of Education-designated hours of work per student, per week, as well as developing learning tasks to meet the profiles of students, including supporting students with special education needs by providing appropriate accommodations and modifications.

Earlier this week the minister of education announced the following expectations for the amount of student work:

  • JK-Grade 6 will be provided with 5 hours of work per student, per week;
  • Grades 7-8 will be provided with 10 hours of work per student, per week; and
  • Grades 9-12 will be provided with 3 hours per course, per student, per week.

What parents/guardians can expect from April 6-17, 2020

FROM TEACHERS

  • Teachers will maintain weekly, two-way communication with students and families.
  • Learning tasks/plans will be available to families by Monday afternoons.
  • Teachers will check in on the progress of student learning, and support students and families through unanticipated challenges;
    • this can be done by the teacher posting to an already established online learning platform that students and families are familiar with; or
    • if a teacher is new to the digital/remote learning platform, they may connect with families through email, a phone call or text.

FROM SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS

  • School administrators will communicate individually with families by selecting a different sample of families each week. This approach will enable administrators to do the following:
    • support the connections and learning experiences to ensure continuity of learning;
    • gain a school -based awareness of successes associated with this remote teaching approach; and
    • find out about any unanticipated challenges families are experiencing when accessing learning tasks provided by teachers.

What’s happened up to now to prepare for remote learning

In preparation for remote learning, this week educators had access to online refresher training through an HPEDSB-specially designed website. They could participate in online training sessions, book a meeting with a trainer, participate in peer-to-peer collaboration sessions, access online versions of textbooks and other resources that would normally be used in the classroom, or watch tutorials and videos.

Schools are in the process of surveying families to find out who needs technology. Chromebooks will be available for those in most need.

HPEDSB Learning at Home website (for high-tech resources and low-tech activities)

HPEDSB is supporting students and families with educator curated and created at-home learning activities in two ways:

  1. access to over 250 online resources for anyone with access to technology and the Internet; and
  2. access to 150 no-tech activities that can be done without screen time.

image of newspaper adWhile both are available through the HPEDSB Learning at Home website, a unique approach is in place for the no-tech activities.

Starting the week of March 30, 2020, the free, weekly community newspapers feature a full-page, colour advertisement with a series of language and mathematics activities for K-12. The newspaper ads will continue until such time as they are not needed.

For more information, please contact:
Kerry Donnell, Communications Manager, 613.966.1170 or 1.800.267.4350, extension 62354, [email protected]

 

 

 

Minister of Education letter to parents about the next phase of Learn at Home

April 1, 2020–Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education released a letter to all families about COVID-19 and next phase of Learn at Home.

Minister Letter to Parents, March 31, 2020 (Pdf)

Text version

Dear Parents,

I am writing to you today exactly two weeks since our government declared a State of Emergency in the province.

I know this period has not been easy for you or your children, especially as the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak begin to have increasing effects on your day-to-day lives and livelihoods.

The battle against COVID-19 has not been easy, but I continue to be incredibly inspired by the bravery and steadfastness you and your children have demonstrated in our efforts to stop the spread of this outbreak. Since Cabinet made the decision to close the public-school system on March 12, we have seen cascading steps taken by the public and private sectors to protect our most vulnerable.

I want to assure you that, as Minister of Education, the health and safety of your children remains our government’s utmost priority; there is simply no priority more critical. Every decision we make is rooted in the fundamental commitment to safeguard your children’s well-being. We are incredibly grateful for the considerable understanding and flexibility you and your children have shown during this period of school closure.

With that commitment in mind, today our government decided to extend the closure of public schools in the province to May 4, along with child care centres and private schools until April 13. In ordinary times, this would be a difficult decision. However, given that Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health concurs that this is in the best interest of you and your children’s’ health, this decision was clear and obvious.

While this announcement is consistent with public health policy, I know that this will raise questions about what your children will be doing over the coming weeks with regards to their education, as in-school instruction will not be taking place.

Today, I was proud to announce our government’s plan for the next phase of Learn at Home and how we are supporting students, families, and educators during this period.

To start, we have instructed school boards that, by Monday, April 6, teacher-led learning will resume across the province. Students will begin receiving communication from their teachers and school board staff this week to determine the best way your child can continue learning during this period. For our youngest learners, especially, I am asking you to lend a helping-hand in facilitating these initial conversations with educators when they begin reaching out. This early communication will help ensure all students can participate actively and fully in the rich online learning strategy. We have designed the strategy based on the technology and resources that currently exist at home.

I also know many families in the province may not have access to the technology and broadband connection needed to participate fully in online learning. To remedy this situation, our government has instructed local school boards to offer their existing inventory of computers and devices to students who do not have in-home access. Boards will work with the Ministry to develop a plan to expand the technology to those who need it. I also want to recognize that boards have explored alternative options for students’ access to technology, including engaging in regular conversations with telecommunications providers to determine what options exist to allow families to access Ontario’s world-leading online learning resources.

This is especially necessary for rural and remote communities where connections might not be optimal. I will update you as these conversations regarding technology and broadband options continue to evolve.
As part of this plan for online learning, our government has outlined the minimum expectations for student work-time in a given week based on learning materials and work assigned by your student’s teacher. These expectations, for each teacher, include:

  • Kindergarten to grade three: Five hours of work per student per week, with a focus on literacy and math;
  • Grades four to six: Five hours of work per week, with a focus on literacy, math, science, and social studies;
  • Grades seven to eight: 10 hours of work per week, with a focus on math, literacy, science and social studies; and,
  • Grades nine to 12: Three hours of work per course per week for semestered students, and 1.5 hours of work per course per week for non-semestered students, with a focus on credit accumulation and graduation.

Based on these expectations, this second phase of LearnAtHome will require students to adopt academic discipline and commitment to ensure that they can experience continued academic growth and achievement. I know our students are up to the task.

While these are unprecedented times, I encourage you to support and enable your children to fully commit to the strong learning program we have created for this period of school closure. Your support, inspiration, and motivation will continue to prepare your children to succeed in their learning journey.

I know this period is concerning for parents of students in a graduating cohort. I have said before, and I want to reiterate: no student will have their graduation jeopardized by the developments of COVID-19. I am working closely with the Honourable Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities, and the post-secondary sector. Our government will ensure students, who plan on entering college or university in September 2020, have our full support to accomplish this goal.

As students continue to accumulate credits during this closure period, we will provide further information about how students can align with the post-secondary application process in the coming weeks.

I understand parents with children who may have special education needs, have concerns about at-home learning and the physical absence of educational support staff and resources during this period. I am firmly and unequivocally committed to ensuring that all students continue to have access to the wrap-around supports that promote continued learning and development.

Our government has instructed boards to enable immediate restoration of communication between students and educational assistants, paraprofessionals, and other education workers to reintroduce the continuity of professional support to students. We will not allow any student to fall through the cracks during this unprecedented time. My Ministry is equipping educators with the tools and supports they need to maximize the opportunities and achievements of all learners in the province in an online setting.

While much of the discourse around COVID-19 focuses on the impacts on physical health, I want to acknowledge the significant effects this outbreak may be having on the mental health of Ontarians. Particularly, our youngest learners may be struggling to fully understand and process what it means to their lives, families, friends, and communities. This may very well be a time of fear and anxiety for your child, even if it is not readily apparent.

While you and your children may have many questions about what the future holds, I want to express my heartfelt hope that all children know there are a variety of supports to help process and overcome the multitude of emotions and reactions they may be facing during this period. Our government has directed school boards to ensure mental health workers and professional staff are ready to engage with students immediately in a secure and safe conversation. We continue to support the incredible work being done to provide wrap-around counselling and resources to students across the province.

We have numerous organizations providing critical and professional support for children facing mental health concerns or distress. For example, Kids Help Phone offers 24/7 counselling and referral services across the province. To use this free resource, children can call 1-800-668-6868, or text CONNECT to 686868.

As we move forward in the next phase of school closure, the expectations of parents, guardians, students, educators, and my Ministry will continue to rise. Having already met countless driven and determined students, educators, and educational workers across the province, I know that we are ready to meet the challenges ahead.

To you, and your child, I want to extend my sincere and unwavering commitment to ensuring every student in the province can continue learning in Ontario’s world-class education system. Our collective commitment to inspiring, supporting, and uplifting our future leaders during this time is unwavering.

Sincerely,

The Honourable Stephen Lecce
Minister of Education

Director’s letter to families about extended school closures

March 31, 2020

Subject: HPEDSB school closures during the month of April (COVID-19 pandemic) (Pdf version)

Dear Students, Parents/Guardians, Families and Staff:

Let me start by sharing that, as an experienced educator in Ontario for the past three decades, I have never seen nor experienced anything quite like what we are going through now in public education. But perhaps more importantly, and more meaningful to most of you, as a father of two sons, I am sharing the same concerns and conversations that many of you are having. It is a time that we will look back on years from now, and talk about how we managed to work through it, how we became closer as a community, and I hope, how we, as families, became closer, as well. As I have remarked numerous times in the last few weeks, we are witnessing and living history in real-time, right before our eyes.

Earlier today, I participated in a conference call with the Minister of Education, Deputy Minister of Education, other Directors of Education in the province and Chairs of Ontario school boards. The nature of the call was to communicate expectations and provide direction as we prepare for a prolonged closure of all schools.

Today the Premier announced that all Ontario school boards are to close schools to teachers until May 1, 2020 and students until May 4, 2020. This unprecedented closure is based on the advice and evidence of the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health. There is no further information at this time regarding whether the closures will go past that date. The decision is solely based on ensuring and protecting the health and safety of the people of Ontario, including students, staff, families and our communities.

We, at the HPEDSB, realize that these closures present numerous challenges for learning, including having access to technology, graduations and the student school experience, in general. I also recognize that you have many questions, and I commit to all of you that we will try to answer and communicate information that is prudent, factual, and responsive to our school communities.

 Accordingly, the HPEDSB is taking the following actions at this time:

  • changing our entire approach to providing education and way of doing business during this extended school closure period;
  • providing a robust and credible continuity of learning environment that will be different from the regular classroom experience by utilizing technology, virtual and online learning, and remote teacher-student contact;
  • developing a plan for controlled access to schools to allow staff to retrieve professional materials and learning supplies, and families to access student personal belongings;
  • making available an inventory of credible online learning resources through our HPEDSB Learning at Home website for families to use at home, and staff and students to be able to use during this closure period; and
  • effective immediately, making available, through ads in weekly community newspapers, educator-created learning activities that do not require screen time or technology.

I recognize that you want to know more about the short- and long-term future of education and the many related concerns, such as supporting your children with special needs, accessing technology at home, teacher-student contact time, the future of students who are on track to graduate this June and even co-op placements. We are working very hard to address all of these scenarios during the most challenging situation many of us have faced, and amid a constantly changing environment.

We, at the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, also recognize that many of you are facing challenges in accessing food, clothing, technology and even safe housing. We accept that, throughout this time, the role of HPEDSB is changing and that we are being called upon, more and more, to assist in providing basic necessities for an increasing number of our families. We commit to serving this social responsibility.

The Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board also strongly believes that our decisions must be made through an equity perspective.

My staff and I are committed to maintaining communication, timely updates, and clear and supportive actions under these incredibly challenging times. As I said in a previous letter home to families and staff, we need to safeguard the following priorities in this order of importance:

  1. our health, and the health of our families and loved ones;
  2. our safety and the basic necessities we are fortunate to have, and that others may not have;
  3. our responsibility to each other, especially our most vulnerable; and
  4. our children’s education and their academic needs.

With your support and the support of my team, we will approach a very uncertain future together, but one that we will overcome together, buoyed by resiliency and the strength of our families and communities.

I ask that you take all the necessary precautions and safety measures, and I wish you to all take very good care of yourself and each other.

Sincerely,

Sean Monteith
Director of Education

FAQs for COVID-19, school closures and more

Last updated May 29, 2020

These FAQs are for HPEDSB students and families. They will be updated as often as required. If you have a question that you don’t see here, email it to: [email protected] Please be aware that we do not have all the answers and say so if that is the case.

School and school closure FAQs

    1. Premier Doug Ford announced that schools will not open on Monday, April 6, 2020 as previously thought. When are they going to open? As of now, we don’t know when schools will re-open. This is all happening so fast. We will share more as soon as we know more.
    2. If schools close indefinitely will students start in their present grade or will they advance? For K-8, students will progress to the next grade in September. We are awaiting specific direction from the Ministry of Education for secondary school credits. Nothing has been communicated regarding this for any grades.
    3. If school is closed indefinitely, is there a plan for holding graduation ceremonies? We do not know the answer at this time and will share more as soon as we can.
    4. When can students get their belongings from school/their lockers? Not at this time. All schools have been cleaned and disinfected, and are locked until April 5, 2020 at this point. No one is allowed to enter the buildings.
    5. My child uses a SEA laptop and it is at the school. Can we get access to it? Not at this time. All schools have been cleaned and disinfected, and are locked until April 5, 2020 at this point. No one is allowed to enter the buildings.
    6. Can the school loan equipment for my child to use at home? Not at this time. All schools have been cleaned and disinfected, and are locked until April 5, 2020 at this point. No one is allowed to enter the buildings.
    7. For online learning, we don’t have a computer/we don’t have access to the Internet. What other options are available? We are investigating options and will share more as soon as possible.
    8. How can I get a copy of my transcript? We are unable to process transcripts at this time.
    9. When will my Learn While You Earn (co-op) start again? All LWYE Co-op is suspended until further notice.
    10. I am a student and have forgotten or am locked out of my login account, how do I get the password? Email [email protected] with your name and school with a request for your password to be reset.
    11. Will students receive report cards? We do not know the answer at this time and will share more as soon as we can.
    12. How will students be prepared for learning next year? There are presently two sources for online resources: HPEDSB Learning at Home resources; and Ministry of Education resources through TVO/TFO (linked off the HPEDSB resources page).
    13. Even if schools reopen and I’m not comfortable sending my child, will they be penalized? The re-entry plan for schools opening is being considered. We will share more as soon as we can.
    14. Will post-secondary institutions accept my child? The Ministry of Education is in consultation with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to plan for high school graduates going to post-secondary in the fall.
    15. My son was in a co-op placement. Will he still get his credits? Students will not be penalized for not achieving credits due to the school closures.
    16. I know the government is offering online learning, but there is no way I can help my children with science or math. How are they supposed to learn on their own? There are presently two sources for online resources: HPEDSB Learning at Home resources; and Ministry of Education resources through TVO/TFO (linked off the HPEDSB resources page). These resources are for voluntary use to support learning during this time and will not be assessed or evaluated by educators.
    17. Will students be disadvantaged who don’t do the online learning? No. Online learning is not mandatory. It is strongly recommended that students try to keep to a learning routine as much as possible.There are presently two sources for online resources: HPEDSB Learning at Home resources; and Ministry of Education resources through TVO/TFO (linked off the HPEDSB resources page). These resources are for voluntary use to support learning during this time and will not be assessed or evaluated by educators.
    18. My child’s teacher already had a digital aspect to their class through Google classroom/other. Can my child continue with work that was already shared or does he have to stop that work and start a whole new Ministry course for two weeks? Students can continue with online learning previously provided by their teacher.
    19. Is financial support available assist with the costs of educational resources as a result of Ontario’s declared emergency to stop the spread of COVID-19? Yes, to a limit, through the Ontario government. Find out more at https://www.iaccess.gov.on.ca/FamilyAppWeb/public/index.xhtml

Quinte Adult Education (QAE) FAQs

    1. Is Quinte Adult Education open? Not at this time. Questions can be sent to QAE through email at  [email protected]
    2. Can adult students still register? Yes, by going to www.quinteadulteducation.ca.
    3.  Are you offering correspondence courses? At this time we have moved all our courses online. Find out more at www.quinteadulteducation.ca.
    4. Where can I find the courses offered by QAE? Visit our website at www.quinteadulteducation.ca.
    5. Who can I call if I have a question?  Email [email protected] with a phone number and we will contact you.
    6. I have finished all my lessons and need to complete the exam, what do I do now? Final exams will be delivered online. Email [email protected] to set up your final exam.

If you have a question that you don’t see here, email it to: [email protected] Please be aware that we do not have all the answers and say so if that is the case.

For more information, please contact:
Kerry Donnell, Communications Manager, 613.966.1170 or 1.800.267.4350, extension 62354, [email protected]

HPEDSB-verified resources for students to learn at home

March 23, 2020—Today the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board launched a new portal for students and families to access learning resources.

HPEDSB Learning at Home is a repository of over 100 learning resources to support and stimulate ongoing learning for children and youth while schools remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

These resources are for voluntary use to support learning during this time and will not be assessed or evaluated by educators.

The portal is searchable by grade, subject and area of learning interest or priority. It includes the following categories:

  • elementary Ontario curriculum-based resources;
  • secondary Ontario curriculum-based resources;
  • other online resources that support learning but may not have explicit curriculum connections;
  • well-being resources; and
  • a link to the Ministry of Education Learn at Home resource page.

All resources have been reviewed and validated by HPEDSB educators. Staff who wish contribute additional resources can click the For Staff link the follow the prompts.

We recognize that not all families have access to online resources. This portal is  a starting point while we continue to navigate the weeks ahead in a most unusual time.

For more information, please contact:
Kerry Donnell, Communications Manager, 613.966.1170 or 1.800.267.4350, extension 62354, [email protected]

 

Minister of Education letter to parents

March 22, 2020–Today Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education released a letter to all families about COVID-19 and actions to support keeping students safe and continuing their education at home.

Minister Letter to Parents, March 22, 2020 (Pdf)

Text version

Dear Ontario parents,

I am writing to you in unprecedented times.

The foremost priority of the government is to keep all Ontarians safe, including our students and educators. Working with our partners and all levels of government, we will do whatever it takes to deliver on this imperative.

Since we first learned of COVID-19, Ontario has been diligently monitoring the developing situation to protect the health and well-being of all Ontarians. We have also taken decisive action to ensure the province is positioned to be ready for any scenario.

That is why on March 12, 2020, based on the advice of Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, I issued a Ministerial Order to close all publicly-funded schools in the province until April 6, 2020. Our government took decisive action—one of the first jurisdictions in the industrialized world to have closed schools—with the aim of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

We are also the first province in Canada to declare a state of emergency. This declaration under Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act enhances the province’s ability to support our heroic frontline workers as they continue to confront this challenge fully.

While this period is marked by uncertainty, I hope that this letter can, in some part, provide answers to some of the questions I know many parents have.

Although this virus has been characterized and spoken about largely in terms of physical impacts, I believe we need to acknowledge and respond to the sense of fear and concern that your children may be feeling, especially for our younger learners. We have heard from many of them and their parents directly that these reactions come from a place of uncertainty and heightened media exposure that leads to more questions than answers.

During this time, I encourage you to continue to have open conversations with your children about COVID-19 and acknowledge that their reactions to this period—however emotional—are understandable and normal. There are many resources available to you and your children, notably Kids Help Phone, which is Canada’s only 24/7 national support service. They offer professional counselling, information and referrals and volunteer-led, text-based support to young people in both English and French. Please visit their website: www.kidshelpphone.ca, call: 1-800-668-6868, or text CONNECT to 686868.

While the health and safety of your children is my priority, I also know many of you are wondering how we will ensure students continue their journey of learning while out of the classroom.

As a first step to ensure the continued learning of your children, our government has launched an online portal dedicated to curating and providing access to a wide variety of educational resources, for all students from Kindergarten through to Grade 12.

This online portal, which is available at Ontario.ca/learnathome, enables students at every grade level to continue learning while away from school. These resources are developed by Ontario educators, and resources for all grades are informed by leading instructional guidance. For those students who are in secondary school, we are providing access to online courses directly based on Ontario curricula.

Although publicly funded schools are ordered closed until April 6, the fluidity of developments around COVID-19 means we are preparing in the event the closure period is further extended.

Specifically, we are working to ensure that students will be able to continue their coursework and credit accumulation, even when we aren’t able to be in a classroom setting. Ontario is a leading jurisdiction in the availability and richness of online courses, so we will be continuing to leverage these tools and other resources to promote students’ learning and development. We are working with school boards to ensure students that currently do not have access to computers gain the technology needed to participate.

We know for those with children in a graduating year, there may be uncertainty about whether these students will be able to graduate. We want to make this clear: no graduating student will have their ability to graduate impacted by the two-week closure and the COVID-19 developments. For example, I have cancelled EQAO assessments for this school year. I have also approved a change in graduation requirements so the completion of the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) is not a barrier for students on track to graduate. We are also working with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities and the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development to ensure students can apply to post-secondary education (including Apprenticeship, College and University), regardless of the situation this semester.

In this time, it is more important than ever that we take every precaution to ensure that, when students return to class, they return to a safe and healthy learning environment.

The Ministry of Education is providing all school boards with access to funding for the deep cleaning of school facilities, childcare centres, and school buses. Following the closure period, we will minimize any risks to students, learners and our educators.

And for those of you who are returning from travel outside of Canada, it is critical that you follow the strong recommendations of Dr. Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and self-isolate for 14 days when you and your family return. This means staying at home and avoiding contact with other people to help prevent the spread of disease to members of your family who may not have travelled with you or to your community.

If you think you or a family member have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, in addition to self-isolation, please take the self-assessment test on ontario.ca/coronavirus to help determine how to seek further care. This site will also provide you with all the information you need to keep you and your family healthy and safe.

The Government of Ontario is committed to ensuring all Ontarians remain safe and secure during the challenging time. As the Minister of Education, I assure you I will make decisions based on scientific facts, the best advice of public health professionals, and always with the health and safety of your child at the top of mind.

While our work continues, we will continue to keep you informed along the way.

Stay safe.

The Honourable Stephen Lecce
Minister of Education

Information about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

Letter to families about school re-entry in September 2020, June 23, 2020

Dear Students, Parents/Guardians, Families and Staff:

I wish to begin this letter by acknowledging all of you, every one of our students, our families and,  of course, our staff. We are all part of a bigger community, and so in acknowledging each of you, I also pay homage to the fact that we could not have made it through these several months of the COVID-19 pandemic without one another.

As we approach the end of the 2019-2020 school year, I acknowledge that many questions remain, some that none of us have ever encountered or even anticipated.

Admittedly, as the Director of Education and as an educator for over 25 years, I candidly share that I feel the same way. We must prepare for multiple scenarios and be ready to activate school re-entry plans quickly to respect public health, and the safety of our students and staff. These approaches will allow us to provide educational experiences that inspire learning, motivate our students to explore and assure families that we will be able to support their children.

Last week the Minister of Education announced that all Ontario school boards are required to be ready for September 2020 with three scenarios and to submit them to the Ministry of Education. I want to assure you that the Senior Administration and staff of the HPEDSB have been planning for this re-entry and the potential environments we may face for several months.

The scenarios that we are preparing for include the following:

  1. a return to a conventional (or traditional), regular classroom instruction, with health and safety requirements;
  2. a continuation of remote learning, including the use of live online instruction that incorporates a synchronous delivery between teacher and students; and
  3. an adapted hybrid delivery model where students return to class combined with online learning that is in accordance with public health requirements and limits the number of students in the physical classroom to a maximum of 15.

In addition to this intensive planning, we are also required and prepared to move quickly and seamlessly between these models depending on the situation of the COVID-19 virus spread, and in close consultation with public health and provincial directives.

It is perhaps most important to add that above all else and regardless of what model we are required to be prepared for in September, that as parents/guardians and families, the decision to send your child to school remains your choice. The HPEDSB respects parental decisions about whether you are comfortable sending your children to school.

Lastly, I appreciate that some are feeling uncertainty and anxiety at this time given the unknown nature of what the future may hold. Please do not feel pressured to have a family plan determined now for a future that is two months away. We are all experiencing the same uncertainties and will face them as we have over the past four months.

I reassure you that we will continue to work hard and be ready for any reality, and that we will communicate our actions and plans openly and transparently.

We will continue to provide updates on our website and social media streams, in addition to other media sources, such as radio and print.

In closing, I feel it imperative to speak to a concern that many educators and I have: the mental health and emotional well-being of our students, their families and our staff. This has been an incredibly difficult time in our history and we will no doubt face more challenges. Even so, I am confident we will address them with unwavering resolve and will always centre our actions around the needs of our kids.

Our website, www.HPEschools.ca contains the most current information including tips sheets for families and educators, and perhaps most important, contact information for Kids Help Phone.

Stay safe, stay healthy and stay positive.

Sincerely,

Sean Monteith
Director of Education

Minister of Education letter to parents about return to school in September 2020, June 19, 2020

Dear Parents—

I write to you as we are just a couple weeks away from the official end to the 2019-2020 school year. Despite the challenges that we have all faced in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, I have been inspired by your determination and spirit. I know that it has not been easy, but your commitment to supporting your children over the last several months has been reaffirming, constructive and exceptionally encouraging. We will continue to safeguard the well-being of your children and preserve the continuation of learning. Your role as parents and guardians is critical to making this a reality.

We know that the start to the next school year may not look or feel the same as it did just 10 months ago.

Earlier today, I announced our government’s plan for the safe reopening of schools. While Ontario is clearly on a positive trajectory in terms of our response to the COVID-19 outbreak, my objective is to make sure that the education system is safely prepared for all potential scenarios come September. With that in mind, I have directed all school boards to plan for three scenarios:

  • A return to conventional, regular classroom instruction, with health and safety requirements,
  • A continuation of remote learning, including the use of live, synchronous online instruction, and;
  • An adapted delivery model that enables students to return to class with blended virtual learning, that includes health and safety requirements that will limit the maximum number of students to 15 per class.

We hope that public health situation will continue to improve and allow school boards to enter a conventional classroom experience, once it is safe to do so. Local and regional health authorities – in conjunction with a Ministry of Education established table of medical experts – will help shape the way forward, to ensure the realities on the ground within your communities are best reflected.

While school boards will develop their plans based on the ministry’s guidance, I want to express some of the underlying principles that we used in issuing these instructions to boards.

First, we must recognize that choice that you as parents must have. You made this clear to me, and we are ensuring you get to make that choice. Any participation in in-person class will be voluntary. We will strengthen our Learn At Home program, provide greater access to technology for more families, and stand-up for regularized, synchronous live learning that clearly benefits your child. Our government will continue to stand up for parents and insist on this impactful experience.

Second, this plan was developed with the health and safety of your child, staff, and your families as our top priority. It is why the government announced net new funding for cleaning, cleaning protocols, and financial support to hire additional custodial staff in September, to ensure schools are safe. It is also why our plan was created following extensive consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, health experts on the COVID-19 Command Table, medical experts at The Hospital for Sick Children, education sector partners, front-line workers, parents and students.

Third, our government is investing in record levels to support student mental health. We are investing $10 million in new additional funding for the coming school year alone, to help school boards ensure they are proactively supporting students given the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and well-being. This year, students will have unprecedented direct access to regulated mental health professionals, as our government invests a record nearly $50 million in support of student well-being. Medical experts have been clear, there is a need for enhanced mental health supports to respond to COVID-19. This funding can be used by school boards to hire additional mental health workers to support students through this adversity, reduce wait times, and improve access to critical services, that we know students deserve.

The school restart plan also prioritizes supports for students with special education needs, including advance planning for a smooth transition to school, a requirement that Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and Identification, Placement and Review Committees (IPRCs) are followed, along with the direction that boards plan for full-time in-class instruction for students with the most significant levels of needs. We are also asking boards to work with local partners including Children’s Treatment Centres so that students have access to the supports they need to succeed.

Fourth, we saw families rise to the challenge and adapt quickly while we rolled out the Learn at Home program. This plan will provide new online course content and digital tools, and provide other resources for educators to support continuous learning for students in the coming school year. We also know that we must do more to so that all students have greater access to technology, and for all schools have access to internet.

This week, I announced $15 million to assist school boards in purchasing devices and further embracing the digital age. This new funding will be directed to securing up to 35,000 classroom computers and ensuring students have the tools to succeed in the upcoming school year.

Fifth, today I announced that the government is spending more in education than ever before. This year, the Grants for Student Needs has increased by a record $736 million. We are investing record amounts in mental health, special education, technology, and overall –every school board will benefit from a funding increase – as we prepare for the year ahead.

We will never waver in our commitment to Ontario’s students – to their health and safety –to supporting them on their learning journey – and to set them up to succeed for the future.

Thank you to Ontario parents, education staff, and communities for your support, ideas, and commitment to the safety of our schools and the success of students.

Have a positive summer,

The Honourable Stephen Lecce
Minister of Education

Letter to families about schools remaining closed, continuity of learning, May 19, 2020

Dear Students, Parents/Guardians, Families and Staff:

As I have with every one of my letters to you through the past two and half months, it is incumbent to begin by wishing that all of you are safe, healthy and remain hopeful. We have nothing if we do not have our health and our families; and it is both of these critical pieces of our lives that will carry us through these incredibly challenging times. As you read this important update, please remind yourself of this: health, family and loved ones, responsibility to community . . . and then education.

Today, the Ontario government announced it is keeping schools closed for the rest of this school year. This decision was made after consulting with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, health experts on the COVID-19 Command Table, and medical experts at The Hospital for Sick Children.

Last week, the Minister of Education gave all school boards and Directors of Education an update on provincial “continuity of learning.” For us in the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, at the outset of this pandemic the priority was and continues to be the education for all our students and support for all our families. This support it must be mentioned, also was required to be extended and assured to all our staff, who like families share similar challenges and concerns for the future.

At the HPEDSB we have continued for the past 10 weeks to insist, that in spite of learning from home and remote learning regardless of where you live across the district, we are entirely committed to continuing to provide learning, and prioritizing learning as our main focus. Assessment, grading, marks and reporting, while important for learning for both students and their families, as well as staff, is and will remain different from the traditional sense.

It is equally important to publicly reaffirm this commitment to learning opportunities for all our students, and with clear expectations that our staff not just reach out to families, but reach all our families; this commitment is unwavering and we are resolved in meeting it. How we are providing learning and what that experience looks like and feels like, will be different than what we are all used to in the traditional sense; and this includes myself not only as the Director of Education, but as a father of two sons who continue to benefit from our public education system.

Like all educators and parents together what we want for our own children, is what we want for all Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board students. With this in mind, our approach to virtual learning remains in effect, our emphasis on student-teacher contact unchanged, and our commitment to supporting the whole needs of our families unwavering.

In short, our focus remains on learning and ensuring we are reaching all our students, and to that end I am proud of our staff and families and how we have all responded together. Our website, www.HPEschools.ca contains the most current information including tips sheets for families and educators, and perhaps most important, contact information for Kids Help Phone.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay positive,

Sean Monteith
Director of Education

Minister of Education letter to parents about extended school closures, April 28, 2020

Dear Parents,

I sincerely hope that you, your children, and your families are staying safe and healthy during this unprecedented time.

Over these past weeks, our government has been inspired by you and your children’s eagerness and flexibility in transitioning toward remote learning. We know that this has not been easy, especially with the profound impact COVID-19 has had on your lives and livelihood. The ability to keep our students engaged in their learning journey has been remarkable.

As the Ontario Minister of Education, I am committed to keeping you informed about new developments regarding the impacts of COVID-19, especially when it comes to child care, early learning programs and the status of the current school year. Our government will continue to support you and your children during this difficult period.
Our government’s foremost priority is the safety and well-being of every child and every student, and those who nurture and support them. In considering any options for welcoming students back to an in-class model of learning, our decisions will be based on safety, consistency and the guidance of public health officials. We have been clear and unwavering in our commitment to ensure every measure is taken to protect students’ health and safety before re-entering a classroom.

With that principle in mind, our government has ordered that all public schools in the province will remain closed to students until at least May 31, 2020.

The expert advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and the COVID-19 Command Table informed our decision. While the modelling that public health experts recently presented shows we are making progress, we are not at a stage in our fight against COVID-19 where students can safely and confidently return to their classrooms.

I know this news is frustrating for many of you. The compassion and commitment of Ontario’s parents have been constant. Since we first announced the suspension of in-person learning on March 12, we have heard from parents across the province on how they are doing their best to encourage continued learning with their children. Parents and families have been an incredible source of comfort as children react uniquely to this global outbreak.

Since the beginning of school closures, our plan for the continuity of learning has evolved significantly and successfully. Most recently, we reintroduced teacher-led learning in the province and students are now being assigned work and resources for continuing their education.

As part of this plan, we have outlined expectations for student work-time in a given week based on learning materials and work assigned by your child’s teacher. I want to emphasize that no student will have their graduation jeopardized by the current outbreak.

Our government has set out the following minimum suggested standard for instruction:

  • Kindergarten to Grade 3: Five hours of work per student per week, with a focus on literacy and math;
  • Grades 4 to 6: Five hours of work per week, with a focus on literacy, math, science, and social studies;
  • Grades 7 to 8: 10 hours of work per week, with a focus on math, literacy, science and social studies; and,
  • Grades 9 to 12: Three hours of work per course per week for semestered students, and 1.5 hours of work per course per week for non-semestered students, with a focus on credit accumulation and graduation.

While it is understandable that there are going to be differences in educational experience during this period, my expectation is that all students will be supported and engaged by their teachers and other education workers. We want to thank educators who have embraced these unusual circumstances to ensure their students continue having every opportunity to excel and achieve their potential. If you have concerns related to the sufficiency of the assigned work or the need for enhanced contact, you are encouraged to reach out to your principal or school board. We want to do everything we can during this outbreak to ensure our students receive a quality learning experience.

To maximize the instructional time for your children, we are converting remaining Professional Activity (PA) and examination days into instructional time. This would ensure that your children remain engaged and learning for the greatest number of days possible during this school year. Perhaps now more than ever, every bit of instructional time matters even if it means just one or two days.

While we try to facilitate instructional time during the school closure period, one of the challenges many families experience is that, even in our digitally-connected age, some students do not have access to the Internet or the technology to access Learn at Home.

I’m pleased to inform you that the Government of Ontario is working with Rogers Communications and Apple to help meet the educational needs of students and families during the COVID-19 outbreak. To date, over 21,000 iPad devices, pre-equipped with free Rogers LTE wireless data have been purchased and distributed to families in need by school boards, with the over $75 million provided by the provincial government through the Grants for Student Needs. In addition, Apple is providing on-going support in French and English to teachers, parents and students, with a collection of resources to support learning and working from home. These 21,000 delivered devices are in addition to the over 200,000 computers and tablets that school boards have provided to students in need during this period.

Rogers is also working with Ontario school boards to provide high-speed, low-cost Internet to subsidized tenants and members of housing partners across Ontario through its Connected for Success program, as well as the Government of Canada Connecting Families initiative.

Partnerships like this – between school boards and tech firms like Rogers Communications and Apple – truly showcase the spirit of Ontario.

While we remain committed to meeting students’ needs in the current school year, our government has already started planning for the 2020-2021 school year. While this school year was certainly unlike anything we have seen before, we need to prepare ourselves for the fact that school may not look or feel the same come September.

With the safety and well-being of your children as our guiding principle, let me assure you that schools, child care centres, and school buses will be required to undergo thorough deep cleaning before being ready to welcome students and early learners back into their physical spaces. Despite the extremely minimal contact risk posed after this length of closure, we want to allow every student to feel safe and confident as they return to school.

In terms of instruction, we will be unveiling our proposed plan for an expanded summer learning program that will enable students to continue their learning through the summer, if desired. While over 100,000 students typically participate in summer learning, we know that many more students may wish to continue their teacher-led learning after this school year formally ends. This proposed plan for expanded summer learning would focus on credit recovery, a new option to upgrade courses, and a focus on gap-closing programs and supports for vulnerable students.

Our government understands that the COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in unsettling times for children. We must continue to pay close attention to the emotional and mental health needs of all students, even if there are no immediate signs of distress.

To that end, our government has directed school boards to ensure mental health workers and professional staff engage with students immediately, as needed, in a secure and safe conversation. We want you to know there are many organizations that provide critical support for children facing mental health concerns or distress. For example, Kids Help Phone offers 24/7 counselling and referral services across the province. To use this free resource, children can call 1-800-668-6868, or text CONNECT to 686868.

Child care centres and EarlyON Child and Family Programs continue to be closed until at least May 6, 2020. I can assure you the health and safety of your children will be paramount as we make decisions about re-opening and we support Ontario’s outbreak response and recovery plan.

I want to express my appreciation to the teachers and education workers who have been adapting to these new circumstances and doing their best to deliver learning and supports for our students. While we cannot guarantee what the “new normal” will look like in our child care and education systems, I promise you; no decision will be made that does not answer “yes” to the following question: does this promote the health, safety, and well-being of our children and students?

There is simply no question — and no answer —more important.

Stay safe,

The Honourable Stephen Lecce
Minister of Education

Letter to families about learning at home and access to technology, April 7, 2020

Dear Students, Parents/Guardians, Families and Staff:

In these uncertain times, I want to let you know that, first and foremost, our thoughts continue to be the health of everyone in our HPEDSB family. We urge you to continue practicing physical distancing in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

I am communicating with our entire school community to share primarily two key messages. The first is to inform you of what is happening this week and in the weeks ahead, in terms of your child’s learning and progress, and teacher contact with all of our students. I will also speak to accessing technology, for families who may require assistance.

Our teachers and school principals/vice-principals are eager to reconnect and re-engage with their students. By now, your child’s teacher will have contacted you about what to anticipate for learning expectations. This is in response to a letter to parents from the Minister of Education last week. The letter outlined the minimum expectations for teachers to provide school work/learning materials, which are as follows:

  • JK-Grade 6 will be provided with 5 hours of work per student, per week;
  • Grades 7-8 will be provided with 10 hours of work per student, per week; and
  • Grades 9-12 will be provided with 3 hours per course, per student, per week.

I also want you to know that we are aware of many families who have limited access to, or are totally without technology at home. Principals have been in touch with families who they know could use assistance in this area. As a result, next week we will be distributing school-owned Chromebooks to our most needy families on a loaner basis. I want to reassure our families and students that any laptop or Chromebook that is loaned to you will have undergone a cleaning and met the required local public health cleansing protocol before being distributed.

The other matter I wish to raise is parent/staff expectations of their children learning at home, and ensuring that report cards, marks/grades and assessment (as it might have occurred in the normal classroom experience) are approached from a very non-traditional perspective. We are not living, working, teaching and learning in the “regular” classroom environment. Assignments, lessons and assessments are going to look very different. While we maintain high expectations, it is a cause of great concern for me, as Director of Education, that the stress level in households is exponentially increasing during these incredibly challenging times.

Calls to the Kids-Help Phone have increased in recent weeks by 350% nationally and calls provincially to domestic violence centres are seeing dramatic spikes. The last thing our families need is an additional stressor by feeling that their children are not keeping up, or have concerns about marks. I ask—both as a teacher myself and as a father—for all of us to do the best we can to be reasonable and understand that every one of us is working in very challenging environments.

We must never lose perspective that our kids need us to be there for them, now more than ever.

image of Learning at Home newspaper ad
Look in your free community newspaper this week and in the weeks to come for a full-page colour ad with No-Tech Learning Activities of the Week.

We, at the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, will continue to establish clear parameters and support structures for our staff, families and our students. In doing this, we need to always be mindful of what is reasonable to expect and what is reasonable to ask of our kids in this environment. As a colleague once reminded, “We only come this way once.” Let’s remember that kids are kids.

To support families and students, we continue to make available two at-home learning/engagement options: one is our HPEDSB Learning at Home website and the other is our full-page, colour ads in the free weekly community newspapers. The resources and activities at both are educator created and verified, and are listed by grade. The newspaper ads, in particular, feature a series of language and mathematics activities for K-12 that can easily be done at home. Both the online resources and newspaper ads are available at the above link.

Our website, www.HPEschools.ca contains the most current information we have about COVID-19, including tips sheets for families and educators, links to public health agencies, and perhaps most important, contact information for Kids Help Phone.

I encourage you to keep in touch with your child’s teacher(s), as they care about your child’s learning and engagement. Stay safe and be well.

Sincerely,

Sean Monteith
Director of Education

Minister of Education letter to parents about the next phase of Learn at Home, March 31, 2020

Dear Parents,

 

I am writing to you today exactly two weeks since our government declared a State of Emergency in the province.

I know this period has not been easy for you or your children, especially as the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak begin to have increasing effects on your day-to-day lives and livelihoods.

The battle against COVID-19 has not been easy, but I continue to be incredibly inspired by the bravery and steadfastness you and your children have demonstrated in our efforts to stop the spread of this outbreak. Since Cabinet made the decision to close the public-school system on March 12, we have seen cascading steps taken by the public and private sectors to protect our most vulnerable.

I want to assure you that, as Minister of Education, the health and safety of your children remains our government’s utmost priority; there is simply no priority more critical. Every decision we make is rooted in the fundamental commitment to safeguard your children’s well-being. We are incredibly grateful for the considerable understanding and flexibility you and your children have shown during this period of school closure.

With that commitment in mind, today our government decided to extend the closure of public schools in the province to May 4, along with child care centres and private schools until April 13. In ordinary times, this would be a difficult decision. However, given that Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health concurs that this is in the best interest of you and your children’s’ health, this decision was clear and obvious.

While this announcement is consistent with public health policy, I know that this will raise questions about what your children will be doing over the coming weeks with regards to their education, as in-school instruction will not be taking place.

Today, I was proud to announce our government’s plan for the next phase of Learn at Home and how we are supporting students, families, and educators during this period.

To start, we have instructed school boards that, by Monday, April 6, teacher-led learning will resume across the province. Students will begin receiving communication from their teachers and school board staff this week to determine the best way your child can continue learning during this period. For our youngest learners, especially, I am asking you to lend a helping-hand in facilitating these initial conversations with educators when they begin reaching out. This early communication will help ensure all students can participate actively and fully in the rich online learning strategy. We have designed the strategy based on the technology and resources that currently exist at home.

I also know many families in the province may not have access to the technology and broadband connection needed to participate fully in online learning. To remedy this situation, our government has instructed local school boards to offer their existing inventory of computers and devices to students who do not have in-home access. Boards will work with the Ministry to develop a plan to expand the technology to those who need it. I also want to recognize that boards have explored alternative options for students’ access to technology, including engaging in regular conversations with telecommunications providers to determine what options exist to allow families to access Ontario’s world-leading online learning resources.

This is especially necessary for rural and remote communities where connections might not be optimal. I will update you as these conversations regarding technology and broadband options continue to evolve.
As part of this plan for online learning, our government has outlined the minimum expectations for student work-time in a given week based on learning materials and work assigned by your student’s teacher. These expectations, for each teacher, include:

  • Kindergarten to grade three: Five hours of work per student per week, with a focus on literacy and math;
  • Grades four to six: Five hours of work per week, with a focus on literacy, math, science, and social studies;
  • Grades seven to eight: 10 hours of work per week, with a focus on math, literacy, science and social studies; and,
  • Grades nine to 12: Three hours of work per course per week for semestered students, and 1.5 hours of work per course per week for non-semestered students, with a focus on credit accumulation and graduation.

Based on these expectations, this second phase of LearnAtHome will require students to adopt academic discipline and commitment to ensure that they can experience continued academic growth and achievement. I know our students are up to the task.

While these are unprecedented times, I encourage you to support and enable your children to fully commit to the strong learning program we have created for this period of school closure. Your support, inspiration, and motivation will continue to prepare your children to succeed in their learning journey.

I know this period is concerning for parents of students in a graduating cohort. I have said before, and I want to reiterate: no student will have their graduation jeopardized by the developments of COVID-19. I am working closely with the Honourable Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities, and the post-secondary sector. Our government will ensure students, who plan on entering college or university in September 2020, have our full support to accomplish this goal.

As students continue to accumulate credits during this closure period, we will provide further information about how students can align with the post-secondary application process in the coming weeks.

I understand parents with children who may have special education needs, have concerns about at-home learning and the physical absence of educational support staff and resources during this period. I am firmly and unequivocally committed to ensuring that all students continue to have access to the wrap-around supports that promote continued learning and development.

Our government has instructed boards to enable immediate restoration of communication between students and educational assistants, paraprofessionals, and other education workers to reintroduce the continuity of professional support to students. We will not allow any student to fall through the cracks during this unprecedented time. My Ministry is equipping educators with the tools and supports they need to maximize the opportunities and achievements of all learners in the province in an online setting.

While much of the discourse around COVID-19 focuses on the impacts on physical health, I want to acknowledge the significant effects this outbreak may be having on the mental health of Ontarians. Particularly, our youngest learners may be struggling to fully understand and process what it means to their lives, families, friends, and communities. This may very well be a time of fear and anxiety for your child, even if it is not readily apparent.

While you and your children may have many questions about what the future holds, I want to express my heartfelt hope that all children know there are a variety of supports to help process and overcome the multitude of emotions and reactions they may be facing during this period. Our government has directed school boards to ensure mental health workers and professional staff are ready to engage with students immediately in a secure and safe conversation. We continue to support the incredible work being done to provide wrap-around counselling and resources to students across the province.

We have numerous organizations providing critical and professional support for children facing mental health concerns or distress. For example, Kids Help Phone offers 24/7 counselling and referral services across the province. To use this free resource, children can call 1-800-668-6868, or text CONNECT to 686868.

As we move forward in the next phase of school closure, the expectations of parents, guardians, students, educators, and my Ministry will continue to rise. Having already met countless driven and determined students, educators, and educational workers across the province, I know that we are ready to meet the challenges ahead.

To you, and your child, I want to extend my sincere and unwavering commitment to ensuring every student in the province can continue learning in Ontario’s world-class education system. Our collective commitment to inspiring, supporting, and uplifting our future leaders during this time is unwavering.

Sincerely,

The Honourable Stephen Lecce
Minister of Education

Letter to families and employees regarding extended-school-closures, March 31, 2020

Dear Students, Parents/Guardians, Families and Staff:

Let me start by sharing that, as an experienced educator in Ontario for the past three decades, I have never seen nor experienced anything quite like what we are going through now in public education. But perhaps more importantly, and more meaningful to most of you, as a father of two sons, I am sharing the same concerns and conversations that many of you are having. It is a time that we will look back on years from now, and talk about how we managed to work through it, how we became closer as a community, and I hope, how we, as families, became closer, as well. As I have remarked numerous times in the last few weeks, we are witnessing and living history in real-time, right before our eyes.

Earlier today, I participated in a conference call with the Minister of Education, Deputy Minister of Education, other Directors of Education in the province and Chairs of Ontario school boards. The nature of the call was to communicate expectations and provide direction as we prepare for a prolonged closure of all schools.

Today the Premier announced that all Ontario school boards are to close schools to teachers until
May 1, 2020 and students until May 4, 2020. This unprecedented closure is based on the advice and evidence of the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health. There is no further information at this time regarding whether the closures will go past that date. The decision is solely based on ensuring and protecting the health and safety of the people of Ontario, including students, staff, families and our communities.

We, at the HPEDSB, realize that these closures present numerous challenges for learning, including having access to technology, graduations and the student school experience, in general. I also recognize that you have many questions, and I commit to all of you that we will try to answer and communicate information that is prudent, factual, and responsive to our school communities.

 Accordingly, the HPEDSB is taking the following actions at this time:

  • changing our entire approach to providing education and way of doing business during this extended school closure period;
  • providing a robust and credible continuity of learning environment that will be different from the regular classroom experience by utilizing technology, virtual and online learning, and remote teacher-student contact;
  • developing a plan for controlled access to schools to allow staff to retrieve professional materials and learning supplies, and families to access student personal belongings;
  • making available an inventory of credible online learning resources through our HPEDSB Learning at Home website for families to use at home, and staff and students to be able to use during this closure period; and
  • effective immediately, making available, through ads in weekly community newspapers, educator-created learning activities that do not require screen time or technology.

I recognize that you want to know more about the short- and long-term future of education and the many related concerns, such as supporting your children with special needs, accessing technology at home, teacher-student contact time, the future of students who are on track to graduate this June and even co-op placements. We are working very hard to address all of these scenarios during the most challenging situation many of us have faced, and amid a constantly changing environment.

We, at the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, also recognize that many of you are facing challenges in accessing food, clothing, technology and even safe housing. We accept that, throughout this time, the role of HPEDSB is changing and that we are being called upon, more and more, to assist in providing basic necessities for an increasing number of our families. We commit to serving this social responsibility.

The Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board also strongly believes that our decisions must be made through an equity perspective.

My staff and I are committed to maintaining communication, timely updates, and clear and supportive actions under these incredibly challenging times. As I said in a previous letter home to families and staff, we need to safeguard the following priorities in this order of importance:

  1. our health, and the health of our families and loved ones;
  2. our safety and the basic necessities we are fortunate to have, and that others may not have;
  3. our responsibility to each other, especially our most vulnerable; and
  4. our children’s education and their academic needs.

With your support and the support of my team, we will approach a very uncertain future together, but one that we will overcome together, buoyed by resiliency and the strength of our families and communities.

I ask that you take all the necessary precautions and safety measures, and I wish you to all take very good care of yourself and each other.

Sincerely,

Sean Monteith
Director of Education

———————-

Letter to families and employees regarding novel coronavirus, March 9, 2020

To HPEDSB Families, Guardians and All Staff:

The health and safety of all students and employees is our top priority. We are working collaboratively with both the regional public health authority and our co-terminus school boards to remain proactive in our response and sensitivity to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) situation and your possible concerns.

At this time, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) continues to advise that the risk to the public remains low. Also, HPEPH advises that, as of now, there are no reported cases of COVID-19 in our region.

At this time, the following actions are being taken at HPEDSB schools and administrative buildings to help prevent the spread of infection:

  • increased environmental cleaning (using a low-level disinfectant), with particular attention to high-touch surfaces such as desks, door knobs, light switches, phones;
  • additional education to school populations regarding infection control strategies, such as importance of hand hygiene and proper respiratory etiquette; and
  • providing alcohol-based hand sanitizer for front entrances and non-alcohol-based hand sanitizer for classrooms (with supervised access).

Public health also recommends the following infection control strategies for everyone:

  • wash your hands frequently using soap and water, or alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
  • cough and sneeze into the bend of your arm, not into your hand;
  • if you use a tissue, throw it away immediately and wash your hands;
  • avoid touching your nose, mouth or eyes with your hands;
  • get plenty of rest, eat healthy and stay physically active to keep your immune system strong;
  • stay home when you are sick and avoid contact with other people until you are better;
  • if you suspect you are sick, avoid visiting people in long-term care, or individuals with health concerns; and
  • if you are seeking medical care and are experiencing respiratory symptoms, always put on a mask when you arrive to help protect others.

We are committed to providing you with updates as we receive new information. The most current information about COVID-19 is on our website at www.HPEschools.ca, including links to local, provincial and national public health agencies.

Additional resources are available at the HPEPH website https://hpepublichealth.ca/. You can also call the Infectious and Communicable Diseases Program intake line at 613-966-5500 x349, talk to your doctor or call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000.

Thank you for your support as we work to minimize the risk and spread of COVID-19.

Sincerely,

Sean Monteith
Director of Education

Reference documents 

More information

———————-

Updated February 12, 2020 to include another reference document.

January 30, 2020—Information about the Wuhan Novel Coronavirus is being shared through school boards on behalf of local, provincial and national public health agencies.

Outside Canada, a new virus (2019-Novel Coronavirus) not previously seen in humans, has been reported as the cause of several cases of pneumonia originating in Wuhan, China. This virus has spread from animals to humans and also between humans. Symptoms of this illness have ranged from mild cold-like symptoms to severe illness with fever, cough, difficulty breathing and pneumonia. Cases of the new virus have now been reported in Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and the United States.

The risk to Canadians is deemed to be low at this time; however, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health is in continuous contact with Public Health Ontario and the Ministry of Health to monitor the situation. We are working proactively with local health care providers, hospitals, and schools to prepare for any potential cases, and to protect our community.

Preventing the spread of illness
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health provides these reminders of some key ways to prevent the spread of infection:

  • Wash your hands frequently using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Cough and sneeze into the bend of your arm, not into your hand
  • If you use a tissue, throw it away immediately and wash your hands
  • Avoid touching your nose, mouth or eyes with your hands
  • Clean objects/surfaces that a lot of people touch (door handles, phones, light switches, desks)
  • Get plenty of rest, eat healthy and stay physically active to keep your immune system strong
  • Get your influenza vaccine
  • Stay home when you are sick and avoid contact with other people until your symptoms are gone
  • If you suspect you are sick, avoid visiting people in long term care, or individuals with health concerns

Reference documents 

More information

Or contact the Communicable and Infectious Disease Program at Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, 613-966-5500, extension 349

Read More

Director’s letter to families about post-March Break contingency planning for students and staff

March 20, 2020

**Do you have questions for us? If so, email [email protected]. We will respond as quickly as possible**

Letter to students, families and staff about post-March Break contingency planning for students and staff (Pdf version)

Dear Students, Parents/Guardians, Families and Staff:

Like many of you, we at the senior level of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board have continued to watch the evolving events around the world as they pertain to COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus), and the responding actions being taken by countries, governments and even school boards. I think it is probably a safe assumption that there has been, at times, a surreal feeling about the reality that faces us all. In saying this, however, the Senior Administration and Board of Trustees have continued to work throughout this past week, attempting to mitigate every challenge that we face as a school board, and that face our students and families, and our staff.

As you know, the Minister of Education has directed all school boards in Ontario to close schools and general on-site operations until April 5, 2020. Today, the Premier of Ontario and the Minister indicated that should the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health advise the closures to go beyond April 5, they are prepared to take such action. At this time, we have not received that message or direction.

We, at the HPEDSB, realize that these closures present numerous challenges for learning, access to technology, graduation and the student school experience in general. To support students during this incredibly challenging time, the province has announced that as of Monday, March 23, 2020, TV Ontario will be used to provide a home learning platform called Learn at Home.”

We have been told that there will be an emphasis on literacy and numeracy activities, and that more resources will be launched to support students in the days and weeks ahead. I also want to let you know that our staff are compiling and building an additional repository of credible online learning resources that can be used at home, and these, too, will be available on March 23 on our website www.HPEschools.ca.

I also want to inform you that the Minister of Education has announced EQAO assessments for Grades 3, 6 and 9, and the Grade 10 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), will not occur this school year. For Grade 12 students set to graduate in June, the Ministry of Education has waived the OSSLT as a graduation requirement. Further, the Minister has provided assurance to every potential graduate and their families that graduation will not be compromised.

My staff and I are committed to maintaining communication, timely updates, and clear and supportive actions under these incredibly challenging times. Earlier today I communicated to the entire HPEDSB system, and shared that as staff and families, we need to safeguard the following priorities in this order of importance:

  1. our health, and the health of our families and loved ones;
  2. our safety and the basic necessities we are fortunate to have, and that others may not have;
  3. our responsibility to each other, especially our most vulnerable; and
  4. our children’s education and their academic needs.

With your support and the support of my team, we will approach a very uncertain future together, but one that we will overcome together, buoyed by resiliency and the strength of our families and communities.

I ask that you take all the necessary precautions and safety measures, and I wish you to take very good care of yourself and each other.

Sincerely,

Sean Monteith
Director of Education

Provincial Learn at Home resources for K-12 during COVID-19

March 20, 2020—Today, the Ministry of Education announced measures to help students learn while schools are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn at Home is a new online portal that provides resources so students can continue their education.

The Ministry of Education has partnered with TVO/TFO for the online resources to be available. Certified tutors will be available to answer questions.

More about the current status of education in Ontario

In addition to the above, the Ministry of Education has announced the following:

  1. all EQAO assessments area cancelled for the remainder of this school year. These include assessments for Reading, Writing and Mathematics for Primary (Grade 3) and Junior (Grade 6); Mathematics for Grade 9; and the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test for Grade 10. The OSSLT graduation requirement is waived for this year; and
  2. as of now, all schools in Ontario remain closed until April 5, 2020. The Ministry of Education will take direction from the provincial Chief Medical Officer of Health if any changes are required.

The HPEDSB Senior Team is in contact with one another and the Ministry of Education on a daily basis. Any updates about specifics for our students and families will be announced as soon as possible.

Please continue to follow the advice of health professionals by self-isolating as much as possible, washing your hands and coughing into your elbow. Keep in touch with family, friends, loved ones and neighbours to say ‘hi’ and check on their safety, and to be a caring, supportive contact.

For more information, please contact:
Kerry Donnell, Communications Manager, extension 62354, [email protected]

All HPEDSB schools to close, March 14 – April 5, 2020

March 12, 2020–Following a directive by the Ministry of Education, all publicly-funded schools will close for three weeks. This decision was made by the Ministry in consultation with the provincial medical officer of health and is in response to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic.

All HPEDSB schools will be closed to all students, staff, community groups and the public from March 14 to April 5, 2020.

All decisions taken both provincially, and locally in HPEDSB are based on one premise: the safety of our students, staff, volunteers and families.

Consequently, HPEDSB is taking the following actions effective March 14 through to April 5, 2020 (unless otherwise noted):

  1. During March 16-20, 2020 extensive cleaning and disinfecting will be done at all schools. Contractors scheduled to work in schools during March Break will continue to do so. Following that, ALL SCHOOLS WILL BE LOCKED AND INACCESSIBLE FROM MARCH 21 TO APRIL 5, 2020. NO STAFF OR SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS WILL BE PERMITTED TO ENTER OUR SCHOOLS; THIS INCLUDES MAINTENANCE AND CUSTODIAL STAFF. The only exception will management and supervisors checking school heating and controls systems. It is imperative that NO STAFF OR SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS enter our schools from March 14 to April 5, 2020 inclusive.
  2. All schools and administrative buildings are closed to lease and permit holders, including all day child care, before and after school child care and EarlyON programs.
  3. All community use permits are cancelled.
  4. Any March Break camps scheduled to be hosted in our schools are cancelled.
  5. The Education Centre and administrative buildings will be closed to the public.
  6. The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) scheduled for March 31, 2020 is postponed until further notice. At this time we have no information as to whether there will be an opportunity to write the OSSLT at all this year.
  7. Further to the cancellation of international trips announced earlier this week, all school trips–day trips and extended/overnight trips–are cancelled until further notice. This includes any trips within or outside Ontario.
  8. All student co-op placements and dual credit programs are cancelled, during this shutdown, and will be re-evaluated once we return to school and normal work structures.
  9. The Centurion Hoops Basketball Program is postponed until further notice.
  10. All local negotiations are suspended until further notice.

The most current information we have about the novel coronavirus is posted to our COVID-19 page.

For more information, please contact:
Kerry Donnell, Communications Manager, 613.966.1170 or 1.800.267.4350, extension 62354, [email protected]

Director’s letter to families about cancelling international travel, March 11, 2020

March 11, 2020

Letter to families about cancelling international travel 

Dear Parents, Guardians, Caregivers and Students:

Like many of you, staff and Board administration have been watching the evolving events around the world as they pertain to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), and the responding actions being taken by countries, governments and even school boards. The Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board is no exception. Due to the increasing concern about the spread of COVID-19, the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board is cancelling all international school trips effective immediately. The sole reason for this action at this time is the safety of students, staff and travelling chaperones.

This cancellation comes amid travel advisories for much of Europe and Asia to try to contain any further spread of the virus, and follows extensive conversations with local health authorities, the provincial government and representatives through the Ministry of Education, and school boards across Ontario.

I recognize that this will be disappointing to our students, staff and your families; however, we are not prepared to risk illness for unnecessary travel and are equally unprepared to compromise safety in any way.

Our schools are working with the respective travel companies to investigate options for accessing refunds. Please contact your child’s school if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Sean Monteith
Director of Education

PDF version

Labour updates

This page is your source for information and updates about labour issues facing the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB). Updates will be posted as information becomes available.

For more information, please contact Kerry Donnell, Communications Manager, 613.966.1170, extension 62354, [email protected], or your child’s principal.


March 9, 2020

Phase 7 of job action for ETFO and additional job action for OSSTF

Effective today, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario announced additional job action for its members. The job action involves picketing, making calls to MPPs, sending letters to the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association, organizing leaflet distribution, among other actions.

Also effective today, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation announced additional job action for its members. The job action involves interim report cards, non-attendance at meetings and professional development, among other actions.


February 28, 2020

One-day strike for OSSTF on Thursday, March 5, 2020

Today the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation announced its members at select school boards will participate in a one-day strike on Thursday, March 5, 2020. Students in Grades 9-12 should not go to school that day. This strike does not affect students in JK-Grade 8.

A voicemail message will go home to families of secondary school students by Monday, March 2, 2020. Messages are also posted to our Twitter and Instagram feeds at @HPEschools.


February 26, 2020

Phase 6 of job action for ETFO

Effective today, the following applies to elementary teachers.

ETFO teacher and occasional teacher members will:

  • do only their scheduled teaching and supervision assignments during their regular instructional time. Teacher and occasional teacher members will not agree to, or participate in, any additions/modifications to their schedule, with the exception of attending meetings to support students with special needs or to discuss student safety.
  • not do any coverage for absent members, regardless of the reason for the absence (except in the case of an occasional teacher hired to replace an absent teacher).
  • not accept/disperse students from/to other classrooms when a member is absent, regardless of the reason for the absence. (Note: If a member requires coverage for any reason, it is the responsibility of the school administration to arrange that coverage.)
  • not miss their regularly scheduled planning or preparation time.
  • not spend personal funds to purchase instructional materials or resources for students, the classroom, the school or the board.
  • not upload data related to assessments on board systems. Teacher and occasional teacher members will continue to do assessments using their professional judgement. Members may complete assessments for supports and/or funding for students with special needs or ELL students.

Read more at the link below.

https://etfocb.ca/phase-6-strike-protocol/


February 12, 2020

No school for all students due to province-wide strike on Friday, February 21, 2020

This afternoon school boards were informed that ETFO and OSSTF members will take part in a province-wide strike on Friday, February 21, 2020. All students in JK-Grade 12 should not go to school that day.

Families will receive a voicemail message about this over the next two days, on Thursday, February 13 and Friday, February 14, 2020.


February 5, 2020

No school for elementary students due to strikes

JK-Grade 8 students should not go to school on the following days:

  • Thursday, February 6, 2020 (all elementary teachers in Ontario on strike)
  • Monday, February 10, 2020 (HPEDSB elementary teachers on strike)
  • Tuesday, February 11, 2020 (all elementary teachers in Ontario on strike)

These strikes are being directed by the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO).

Families of elementary students will receive a voicemail message about this on February 5, 2020.


January 28, 2020

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) announced that its members will engage in a one-day strike on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 and also Thursday, February 6, 2020. As a result, students in JK-Grade 8 should not go to school either day. Please note that if the provincial government and union come to an agreement prior to either day, the strikes will not happen. Updates will be posted here, on social media and through local media.

This strike does not affect students in Grades 9-12.

In addition, effective February 3, 2020, ETFO members will not participate in extracurricular activities at any time, as per the Phase 5 Work-to-Rule Protocols.


January 27, 2020

The provincial government released a document to support parents during job action. Support for Parents Program Frequently Asked Questions (Pdf).


January 23, 2020

Today the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) announced that its members will engage in a one-day strike on Tuesday, January 28, 2020. As a result, students in JK-Grade 8 should not go to school on Tuesday, January 28, 2020. Parent letter from Sean Monteith, Director of Education (Pdf)

This strike does not affect students in Grades 9-12.


January 21, 2020

Letter to families about the OSSTF one-day strike and elementary report cards

Parents, guardians and caregivers: please see the letter from Sean Monteith, Director of Education (Pdf) about the one-day strike by OSSTF members scheduled for January 21, 2020 and also an update about report cards. If you have questions about how the strike will affect your child going to school, please contact the school principal.

Secondary

To confirm, the one-day strike on January 21, 2020 affects students in Grades 9-12 only; they will be redirected home if they show up at school.

Elementary

It is a normal school day on January 21, 2020 for all students in JK-Grade 8.


January 20, 2020

Childcare and before/after school programs in the event of an ETFO strike

In the event of a strike at HPEDSB elementary schools, childcare and before/after school programs may still operate at existing sites in schools. Parents/guardians should contact their provider to find out the status of the program (if it will be open or not) if a strike occurs.


January 17, 2020

Voicemail message to families this weekend

Families should listen for a voicemail message this weekend with information about the one-day strike by OSSTF members on Tuesday, January 21, 2020. A parent letter will be available on Monday, January 20, 2020.

Secondary

Schools will be closed to students in Grades 9-12 on Tuesday, January 21, 2020. Any who show up at school will be redirected home.

Elementary

Schools will be open, as usual, on Tuesday, January 20, 2020 for elementary students, including for Grade 7s and 8s who attend classes at a high school.


January 15, 2020

OSSTF to hold a one-day strike at HPEDSB on Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Today the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (OSSTF) announced that its members will engage in a one-day strike on Tuesday, January 21, 2020. As a result, students in Grades 9-12 should not go to school on Tuesday, January 21, 2020read more about the OSSTF job action

Secondary

To confirm, the one-day strike on January 21, 2020 affects students in Grades 9-12 only; they will be redirected home if they show up at school.

Elementary

It is a normal school day for all students in JK-Grade 8, regardless of where they go to school.


January 9, 2020

ETFO to escalate job action to Phase 3 on Monday, January 13, 2020; Phase 4 to follow on January 20

Today the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) announced that its members will escalate job action to Phase 3 starting Monday, January 13, 2020.

As of that date, ETFO members will:

  • not plan or participate in any assemblies, except to provide supervision to students;
  • not participate in extracurricular activities except for those that are scheduled within the regular school day;
  • not participate in field trips;
  • not arrive at work any earlier than 30 minutes before the start of the instructional day for students (or for hourly paid ETFO members, not arrive any more than 30 minutes before the start of the scheduled work day); and
  • not remain at the worksite later than 15 minutes after the end of the instructional day for students (or for hourly paid ETFO members, not remain later than 15 minutes after the end of the scheduled work day).

In addition, job action will escalate to Phase 4 Strike Protocol on Monday, January 20, 2020 at which time ETFO members will not participate in any school board or Ministry of Education professional learning.

ETFO has further stated that if no agreement is reached at the Teacher/Occasional Teacher and Education Worker Central Tables by January 17, 2020, ETFO locals will begin full-withdrawal of services strikes on a rotating basis effective January 20, 2020.


December 9, 2019

Letter to families (Pdf) about the one-day strike at HPEDSB on December 11, 2019. Parents/guardians and caregivers, if you have questions about how this will affect your child going to school, please contact the school principal.


December 6, 2019

OSSTF one-day rotating strikes on December 11, 2019

Today the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) announced that it will be holding rotating one-day strikes throughout the province on Wednesday, December 11, 2019.

HPEDSB is one of the affected school boards.

The strike will include all OSSTF members, who are secondary school teachers and education workers (professional and para-professional support personnel, such as child and youth workers, social workers and speech and language pathologists, to name a few).

Secondary

As a necessary consequence, all secondary classes will be cancelled and our secondary schools will be closed to students in Grades 9-12 on Wednesday, December 11, 2019.

Families of secondary school students will receive a voicemail message on Sunday, December 8, 2019. A letter will be available on this page and through schools on Monday, December 9, 2019.

Elementary

This strike does not involve the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) therefore all elementary schools will be open to students on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 and students should go to school as usual that day. 

Families of elementary school students will receive a voicemail message on Monday, December 9, 2019. A letter will be available on this page and through schools that same day.


December 3, 2019

Letter to families about the OSSTF one-day strike

Parents, guardians and caregivers: please see the letter from Sean Monteith, Director of Education (Pdf), about the one-day strike by OSSTF members scheduled for December 4, 2019.

Secondary

To confirm, it affects students in Grades 9-12 only; they will be redirected home if they show up at school.

Elementary

It is a normal school day for all students in JK-Grade 8.


December 2, 2019

Voicemail message to families this afternoon/evening

Families should listen for a voicemail message this afternoon/evening with information about the one-day provincial strike by OSSTF members on Wednesday, December 4, 2019.

Secondary

Schools will be closed to students in Grades 9-12 that day. Any who show up at school will be redirected home.

Elementary

Schools will be open, as usual, that day for elementary students, including for Grade 7s and 8s who attend classes at a high school.


November 29, 2019

OSSTF one-day strike on December 4, 2019

Yesterday the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) announced that it will be holding a one-day strike throughout the province on Wednesday, December 4, 2019. Secondary school students should not go to school that day.

The strike will include all OSSTF members, which are secondary school teachers and professional and para-professional support personnel, such as child and youth workers, social workers and speech and language pathologists, to name a few.

OSSTF has stated that negotiations at the provincial negotiating table will continue and if an agreement is reached before December 4, the strike will not happen. This one day strike will follow six days of information pickets and a limited withdrawal of administrative services that began November 26.

Secondary

All HPEDSB secondary schools, 7-12 schools and our K-12 school will be affected for Grades 9-12 only.

Elementary

All elementary schools, 7-12 schools and our K-12 school will be open, as usual, for elementary students on Wednesday, December 4, 2019.

Communications from schools to families will be available on Monday, December 2, 2019.


November 22, 2019

Important information for families regarding OSSTF job action

On November 21, 2019 the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) announced that job action will begin across the province on Tuesday, November 26, 2019.

HPEDSB schools will remain open, as usual, during this job action. HPEDSB has approximately 4,600 secondary students at one K-12, four 7-12 schools and two 9-12 schools.

We will monitor the situation and keep you updated as information becomes available. Job action specifics posted on the OSSTF Provincial website


November 15, 2019

Important information for families regarding ETFO job action

Yesterday the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) announced that job action will begin across the province on Tuesday, November 26, 2019.

HPEDSB elementary schools will remain open, as usual, during this job action. HPEDSB has approximately 10,340 elementary students at 33 elementary, one K-12 and four 7-12 schools.

We will monitor the situation and keep you updated as information becomes available. Job action specifics posted on the ETFO Provincial website

Board Meeting Update #175

February 24, 2020—This update provides a summary of the public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held Monday, February 24, 2020 at the Education Centre. It is an unofficial summary of the meeting; official minutes will be approved at the next meeting in March 2020.

Lucille Kyle, Chair of the Board, acknowledged the First Peoples of the territory. This evening we acknowledge that the land on which we are gathered is part of the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee people. We acknowledge the land to show respect and recognize the First Peoples of the territory; their history, culture and perspectives and as a step towards reconciliation.

Character Moment of Reflection

Each Board meeting opens with a Character Moment of Reflection. At Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, Growing with Character is our intentional focus on creating safe, caring, respectful and inclusive learning environments where students develop the foundation for good character. Growing with Character is the foundation of the school board strategic plan. Through Growing with Character, we model, teach and expect demonstrations of our eight character traits which are: Caring, Cooperation, Honesty, Humour, Integrity, Respect, Responsibility and Trustworthiness.

This evening Kristen Parks, Trustee, Sidney and Frankford, asked all to reflect on Integrity: We do what is right for ourselves and others. We demonstrate values and ethics that are good for all. We speak directly, clearly, and respectfully.

Celebrating students

Centre Hastings Secondary School: Showcasing the skilled trades and Specialist High Skills Majors

group photo of the Centre Hastings Secondary School presentation team
Thank you to the CHSS presentation team pictured with Darren McFarlane, Experiential Learning and Safe Schools Lead (back row left); Mitch Darby, Automotive Teacher (back row second from left); Nicholas McFadden, Student Success Lead Teacher (back row second from right); Thomas Kirk, Communications Technology Teacher (far right); Dayna Scaletta, Principal (second from left); Jessica Davies, Grade 12 (front centre) and Sarah Wannamaker, Guidance Department Head (second from right). .
Centre Hastings Secondary School team doing their presentation
A different view of the Centre Hastings Secondary School team doing their presentation

The presentation showcased the skilled trades and Specialist High Skills Majors (SHSM) programs at Centre Hastings Secondary School.

SHSMs are Ministry of Education-approved specialized programs where students focus their learning in a specific economic sector. SHSMs assist students transition to apprenticeship training, college, university or the workplace after graduation. As part of the Construction SHSM, students have done work in the community, including building a bridge at O’Hara Mill and constructing buildings at the H.R. Frink Outdoor Education Centre. 

Student Jessica Davies, Grade 12, shared how the Construction SHSM changed her school experience for the better: she got excited to go to school, to do homework, to do the training and certifications. She will be going to Loyalist College for a 3-year architecture program after graduation.

In Jessica’s words: “I would 100% recommend SHSMs to other students. I tell people that if they’re interested in hands-on work and want to pursue a career in construction or mechanics, for example, the SHSM will give you a really good idea of what the work will be. If something breaks down, you’ll have an idea of what’s wrong or how to fix it before calling someone else.”

Another student, Nat, was featured in a video and said this about his SHSM learning: “If you want to get out of high school with enough knowledge to get to where you want to go, you will have the experience to get there.” 

Thank you to the CHSS presentation team:

  • Jessica Davies, Grade 12
  • Mitch Darby, Automotive Teacher
  • Thomas Kirk, Communications Technology Teacher
  • Nicholas McFadden, Student Success Lead Teacher
  • Sarah Wannamaker, Guidance Department Head
  • Dayna Scaletta, Principal

Recommendations

Fire alarm renewal at multiple sites

Board members approved a tender for fire alarm system renewal, including emergency lighting, at several schools totalling $1,948,145, as follows:

  • Ferguson Electric Company Ltd. for fire alarm system upgrades at:
    • Foxboro Public School in the amount of $129,000
    • Frankford Public School in the amount of $151,000
    • North Hasting High School in the amount of $539,000
    • Park Dale School in the amount of $164,000
    • Trenton High School in the amount of $269,000
    • V.P. Carswell Elementary School in the amount of $68,000
  • McClement Electric Ltd. for fire alarm system upgrades at:
    • Bayside Secondary School in the amount of $246,960
    • Harry J. Clarke Public School in the amount of $213,260
    • Prince Charles School (Belleville) in the amount of $167,925

2020-2021 School Year Calendar

Each spring, school boards are required to establish a school year calendar for the next school year in accordance with Regulation 304 School Year Calendar. This regulation sets the beginning and end dates for the school year, stipulates school holidays, and prescribes the minimum number of instructional days (194) and the maximum number of professional activity days (7), examinations days (10) and board designated holidays (2).

A consultation process occurred with employee groups, parents, school councils and community members. An online survey was also available for public input.

Board members approved the following dates for the 2020-2021 school year calendar. These dates are subject to Ministry of Education approval, which is expected by the late spring of 2020.

  • First day of school for students will be Tuesday, September 1, 2020
  • Winter Break will be be from Monday, December 21, 2020 to Friday, January 1, 2021
  • Semester 2 will begin Friday, January 29, 2021
  • Mid-winter Break will be from Monday, March 15 to Friday, March 19, 2021
  • Last day of school for students be Thursday, June 24, 2021
  • Seven professional activity days:
    • Monday, August 31, 2020
    • Friday, September 25, 2020
    • Friday, November 20, 2020
    • Friday, January 29, 2021
    • Friday, April 30, 2021
    • Friday, June 4, 2021
    • Friday, June 25, 2021
  • 10 examination days be approved for secondary schools*
    • Thursday, January 21, 2021 through to Wednesday, January 27, 2021
    • Wednesday, June 16, 2021 through to Tuesday, June 22, 2021

*Actual dates may vary, please confirm with each secondary school

The following dates are included for reference.

Statutory, Ministry of Education and School Board Holidays
Statutory Holidays Ministry of Education proposed dates for the 2020-2021 School Year Calendar HPEDSB dates for the 2020-2021 School Year Calendar
Labour Day Monday, September 7, 2020 Same
Thanksgiving Day Monday, October 12, 2020 Same
Winter Break (inclusive) Monday, December 21, 2020 to Friday, January 1, 2021 Same
Family Day Monday, February 15, 2021 Same
Mid-winter Break (inclusive) Monday, March 15 to Friday, March 19, 2021 Same
Good Friday Friday, April 2, 2021 Same
Easter Monday Monday, April 5, 2021 Same
Victoria Day Monday, May 24, 2021 Same

Information

Calendar of events

A number of district and school events (Pdf) are scheduled for March 2020.

  • March 2: Lacrosse Clinic K-8, Athol-South Marysburgh Public School
  • First week of March: Dr. Seuss Week at various elementary schools
  • Various dates in early March: PAWS Reading Program, Bayside Public School
  • March 11 & 12, 2020: Basketball Tournament, Bayside Secondary School
  • March 28: OPSBA Eastern Regional Meeting, Sophiasburgh Central School

Mental health and social/emotional supports for students

Highlights from this staff report included the following:

  • Use of a tiered approach to support mental health and well-being for all students:
    • Tier 1 is mental health promotion: universal class-wide mental health promotion initiatives (good for all); welcoming, inclusive, understanding environments using resources and supports that reinforce every day mental health practices in classrooms
    • Tier 2 is mental health prevention: supports for students who might be at greater risk for mental health problems (good for some)
    • Tier 3 is mental health intervention: services for students who experience mental health problems (good for few); interventions
  • Student Services is in the process of hiring an additional permanent full-time social worker for Centre Hastings Secondary School. Each secondary school will have one social worker
    • Social workers provide Tier 3 therapeutic support to students in secondary schools; in addition to providing therapy, they respond to crisis, trauma and suicide intervention situations
  • There were 149 Tier 3 files open in December, 86 crisis, trauma, and suicide intervention responses in December, with the primary reasons for referrals being anxiety, grief, and depression

Child and youth worker update

  • Child and youth workers have been redistributed in Belleville enabling service at Prince Charles School, Prince of Wales Public School, Queen Elizabeth School and Queen Victoria School
  • Supports have also been redistributed in the Centre Hastings and North Hastings school groups
  • CYWs continue to support Tier 1 and Tier 2 initiatives using evidence-based classroom programs, small groups, targeted intervention, crisis response and community connections in support of social skills, emotional regulation, improved attendance and positive mental health

boy in a cardboard car2020 Kindergarten promotion

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Welcoming Kindergarten students and families into HPEDSB schools is one of the first steps in developing a long term partnership with parents, guardians and students and creating a sense of belonging
  • Kindergarten Orientation at schools will take place in the spring, between March 23 and May 29
  • Elementary schools will invite Kindergarten students and families to visit the school to:
    • learn about the Kindergarten program
    • interact with educators and others within the school community
    • interact with community partners who may be a part of their child’s early years and who can support in accessing services within the community
  • Promotions for Kindergarten were re-visioned through the Communications team, introducing a new theme of “Welcome to Our Family,” a new look and branding
  • Each family registering their child for Kindergarten will receive a book with a welcome message from the Director of Education printed inside the cover
  • Updated promotional materials have been created with a more comprehensive and family-friendly approach
    • tips on how families can be prepared for the first day of school
    • sample questions parents/guardians can ask during Kindergarten orientations
    • overview of the Kindergarten learning program, play-based inquiry, and communication with families

OPSBA Information exchange

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Participation in a meeting of directors of the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA)
  • An upcoming promotional campaign called “Take Your MPP to Work Day”
  • An OPSBA scholarship award for a student
  • A form letter circulating to trustees asking the OPSBA to take a stance on provincial negotiations

Report from trustees

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • A proposal for the Board of Trustees to write a letter to the provincial government about e-Learning courses
  • The next Trustee Retreat is April 17 and 18, 2020 at Wesley Acres in Prince Edward County

Parent Involvement Committee update

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • A written summary of public Board meetings from October 2019 to January 2020 and from the October 2019 Parent Involvement Committee meeting
  • Planning is underway for an event in the spring hosted by the Parent Involvement Committee and student trustees

Ontario Student Trustees’ Association Conference update

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Participation in the above-noted conference in Ottawa this past weekend; more will be shared at a next meeting

Upcoming meetings

All meetings take place at the Education Centre unless otherwise noted.

  • Monday, March 2: Executive Committee, 1:00 p.m.
  • Monday, March 9: Public Committee of the Whole, 6:00 p.m.
  • Monday, March 23: Public Board Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 26: Special Education Advisory Committee, 5:00 p.m.

For more information, please contact Kerry Donnell, Communications Manager, extension 62354, [email protected]

How can we improve HPEDSB? We invite you to share your thoughts

January 6, 2020—With the start of the new year comes an opportunity to be part of shaping the future of Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board.

We are creating a new strategic plan and are committed to getting better at serving students. An important part of our planning involves hearing from our families, students, employees and community members about how we can improve and build confidence with you. letter to parents/guardians, community and elders (Pdf)

We want to hear from you about how we can improve Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board. That’s why we’re inviting you to participate in our Thoughtexchange. It’s an online crowdsourcing forum where you can share your ideas, and read about and rate the thoughts of others. The premise is to seek and accept everyone’s thoughts about what we want HPEDSB to be, how we can improve and be the public education choice in our communities.

Using Thoughtexchange, you can share your thoughts and suggestions, building on the ideas of others. Thoughtexchange is anonymous and includes thousands of voices in the conversation, not just a handful. All thoughts and ratings are public but your identity remains private.

The brief  introductory video (.mov) includes stories from our students and a message from Lucille Kyle, Chair of the Board, so be sure to watch it.

As you reflect on your interactions with HPEDSB, please consider this question: What are the most important things we can do as a public education system to improve and build confidence with you? when you input ideas.

We invite employees, students, families and the community to be part of this movement and opportunity to share your thoughts and experiences to improve Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board.

For more information, please contact:
Kerry Donnell, Communications Manager, 613.966.1170 or 1.800.267.4350, extension 62354, [email protected]

 

 

Teachers, interested in taking the Principal’s Qualification Program?

event flyerFebruary 10, 2020—The spring offering of the Principal’s Qualification Program (PQP), Part 1, is being hosted at Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board.

The PQP is organized into 12 modules, six in part one and six in part two. The modules incorporate the five domains of the Ontario Leadership Framework and Personal Leadership Resources. This Additional Qualification (AQ) course is developed based on the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) PQP guidelines. The expectations are met through eLearning and face-to-face interaction between the candidates, instructors and guest presenters.

Find out more at the Ontario Principals’ Council.

 

 

Board Meeting Update #174

January 27, 2020—This update provides a summary of the public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held Monday, January 27, 2020 at the Education Centre. It is an unofficial summary of the meeting; official minutes will be approved at the next meeting in February 2020.

Lucille Kyle, Chair of the Board, acknowledged the First Peoples of the territory. This evening we acknowledge that the land on which we are gathered is part of the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee people. We acknowledge the land to show respect and recognize the First Peoples of the territory; their history, culture and perspectives and as a step towards reconciliation.

Character Moment of Reflection

Each Board meeting opens with a Character Moment of Reflection. At Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, Growing with Character is our intentional focus on creating safe, caring, respectful and inclusive learning environments where students develop the foundation for good character. Growing with Character is the foundation of the school board strategic plan. Through Growing with Character, we model, teach and expect demonstrations of our eight character traits which are: Caring, Cooperation, Honesty, Humour, Integrity, Respect, Responsibility and Trustworthiness.

This evening Krista McConnell, Trustee, Belleville/Thurlow, asked all to reflect on Humour: We celebrate the fun in life. We lighten the emotions of others by interacting in a joyful manner.

photo of presenters
Thank you to Stephanie Taylor-Harvey, Principal and Tera Brough, Vice-principal, Prince Charles School (Belleville) and guest presenters Aaron denEngelsen, Grade 6 student who has participated in many of the initiatives; Mark Hymus, Community Partner; and Marg Werkhoven, Community Partner.

Celebrating students: Leveraging Community to Support Student Achievement, Prince Charles School (Belleville)

The Prince Charles School (Belleville) community works closely with the community to engage and support students. The adults care about students and go the extra mile to help students achieve success. The education and care of children in the school is a shared responsibility and opportunity to be difference makers for all.

Thank you to Stephanie Taylor-Harvey, Principal and Tera Brough, Vice-principal, Prince Charles School (Belleville) and guest presenters:

  • Aaron denEngelsen, Grade 6 student who has participated in many of the initiatives
  • Mark Hymus, Community Partner
  • Marg Werkhoven, Community Partner

Marg and other volunteers connect with the school through the One 2 One Readers program. Mark connects with the school through the Game On program and Kids Connect. Additional community partners include Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, City of Belleville, Belleville Police, Good Live Fitness, Canadian Tire, Belleville Dodge Chrysler, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Girls Incorporated, Giant Tiger, Loyalist College, Queen’s University and Centennial Secondary School, to name a few.

In the words of student Aaron, “Participating in the programs gives me a chance to be a role model.”

Information

Calendar of events

A number of district and school events (Pdf) are scheduled for February 2020.

group photo of presenters
Thank you to school administrators for being part of a BIPSA sub-committee: Louise Gunning, Principal, Madoc Township Public School; Ian Press, Principal, Bayside Secondary School; Stephanie Taylor-Harvey, Principal, Prince Charles School (Belleville); and Eric Fetterley, Vice-principal, Eastside Secondary School.

New process for developing the Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement

Promoting increased student achievement needs to begin in a context closest to the students served in HPEDSB. This required a change to the process to develop the Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (BIPSA) (Pdf). In keeping with the HPEDSB approach of putting all students first, BIPSA development was flipped to be based on trends and themes that emerged from school improvement plans. This change represents a commitment to intentionally reflect the student and staff learning needs in the development of the BIPSA as a responsive plan versus a system direction that potentially drives improvement practices in areas that are not indicative of student and staff needs.

Educators in all schools engaged collaboratively in a process led by school administrators to:

  • collect and analyze school specific student data;
  • set goals related to student needs;
  • identify actions to implement to support increased student achievement; and
  • establish relevant measures to monitor impact and growth.

Thank you to school administrators for being part of a BIPSA sub-committee: Louise Gunning, Principal, Madoc Township Public School; Ian Press, Principal, Bayside Secondary School; Stephanie Taylor-Harvey, Principal, Prince Charles School (Belleville); and Eric Fetterley, Vice-principal, Eastside Secondary School.

2019 Director’s Annual Report

Kerry Donnell, Communications Manager, presented this interactive, online annual report. It showcases student and employee learning and leadership during the 2019 calendar year, celebrates community engagement and well-being initiatives, while also describing progress made on building renewal and information technology projects.

Report from Trustees

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Presentation to a provincial government committee for pre-budget consultations
  • Fundraising by student groups to support secondary school initiatives
  • Student Senate work on advocacy and media

Upcoming meetings

All meetings take place at the Education Centre unless otherwise noted.

  • Monday, February 3: Executive Committee, 1:00 p.m.
  • Monday, February 10: Public Committee of the Whole, 6:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, February 20: Parent Involvement Committee, 5:30 p.m.
  • Monday, February 24: Public Board Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 27: Special Education Advisory Committee, 5:00 p.m.

For more information, please contact Kerry Donnell, Communications Manager, extension 62354, [email protected]

HPEDSB and CUPE heading to conciliation

January 15, 2020—Today the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board and the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1022 announced that the parties will be moving to conciliation.

To date, five days of local bargaining have occurred since late November 2019.

“We value CUPE employees who support and engage with students every day. Our focus through these negotiations has been all students first and that focus  will continue. We believe in collective bargaining and going to conciliation is a next step in the process. We will continue to have discussions in good faith with the intention on coming to a settlement that is agreeable to both parties and supports student achievement.” – Sean Monteith, Director of Education.

Meeting dates will be set once the two sides agree on a conciliator. This is a normal process of collective bargaining.

Nothing further will be released at this time.

For more information, please contact:
Kerry Donnell, Communications & Public Relations Manager, 613.966.1170 or 1.800.267.4350, extension 62354, [email protected]

Invitation to provide input to the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board

January 13, 2020—Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board is creating a new five-year strategic plan. An important part of the planning involves hearing from families, students, employees and community members about how we can improve and build confidence with them.

We want to hear about how we can improve HPEDSB. That’s why we’re inviting stakeholders to participate in our Thoughtexchange, an online crowdsourcing platform where people can share their ideas, then read about and rate the thoughts of others. The purpose is to seek everyone’s thoughts about what they want HPEDSB to be, how we can improve and be the public education choice in our communities.

“Our unwavering belief is all students first and we are committed to getting better at serving students. Creating a new five-year strategic plan is important work for the Board of Trustees and staff. We’re looking forward to getting input from our families and communities because it will help us understand what to focus on as we plan for the future of education at HPEDSB. I invite everyone to participate.” – Lucille Kyle, Chair of the Board.

Using Thoughtexchange, you can share your thoughts and suggestions, building on the ideas of others at this link: http://bit.ly/howcanweimproveHPE. Thoughtexchange is anonymous and includes thousands of voices in the conversation, not just a handful. All thoughts and ratings are public but your identity remains private.

A brief introductory video includes stories from our students and a message from Lucille Kyle, Chair of the Board.

As you reflect on your interactions with HPEDSB, consider this question: What are the most important things we can do as a public education system to improve and build confidence with you? then add your thoughts.

For more information, please contact:
Kerry Donnell, Communications & Public Relations Manager, 613.966.1170 or 1.800.267.4350, extension 62354, [email protected]

HPEDSB honoured to receive Commendation Certificate from National Cadets organization

Group photo
Sean Monteith, Director of Education (third from left) was presented with the Commendation Certificate by Barry Leonard, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Officer of the Regional Cadet Support Unit. Spencer Hutchinson, Trustee for Trenton/CFB Trenton (third from right) was also at the presentation.

Commendation Certificate
This Commendation Certificate is signed by Brigadier-General D.B. Cochrane, Commander, National Cadet and Junior Canadian Rangers Support Group and is in recognition of the 35+ year partnership between that organization and HPEDSB.

January 10, 2020—It’s not every day that a Commendation Certificate is awarded by the Canadian Armed Forces. This recognition was given to Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board by Brigadier-General D.B. Cochrane, Commander, National Cadet and Junior Canadian Rangers Support Group.

Lieutenant-Colonel Barry Leonard, Commanding Officer of the Regional Cadet Support Unit travelled from Base Borden to present Director of Education Sean Monteith with the certificate at CFB Trenton.

“It is truly an honour to receive this Commendation Certificate. Being a Cadet helps youth develop citizenship and leadership skills, and be active in their communities. Partnerships like this mean so much because they help to keep kids engaged in school. We truly value the long-standing relationship with the Trenton Cadet Training Centre.” – Sean Monteith, Director of Education.

The certificate reads as follows:

“For over 35 years, Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board has demonstrated professionalism, community spirit, and inter-organizational friendship with the Canadian Cadets Organizations. This outstanding support and cooperation has allowed countless local cadet unit activities to be conducted within Southeastern Ontario and at the Trenton Cadet Training Centre. The Board’s continued and distinguished support of Canadian Youth is sincerely appreciated by both the Regional Cadet Support Unit (Central) and the National Cadet and Junior Canadian Rangers Support Group.”

For more information, please contact:
Kerry Donnell, Communications Manager, 613.966.1170 or 1.800.267.4350, extension 62354, [email protected]

HPEDSB not administering the Grade 9 Math EQAO assessment

January 8, 2020—School boards have received information from the Ministry of Education indicating that the administration of the Grade 9 EQAO Math assessment, scheduled for January 2020, will be a board-based decision.

At HPEDSB, the assessment will not be administered, meaning that students will not be required to complete it at this time.

This is in light of the current labour situation with members of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF). Under the terms of the job action, OSSTF members may not participate in EQAO preparation or testing.

If students or parents/guardians have questions, please contact the school principal.

For more information, please contact:
Kerry Donnell, Communications Manager, 613.966.1170 or 1.800.267.4350, extension 62354, [email protected]

Last updated: July 8, 2020 at 2:59 pm
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