Board Meeting Update #126

Board Meeting Update #126, January 25, 2016

This update provides a summary of the public meeting of Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held Monday, January 25, 2016 at the Education Centre. It is an unofficial summary of the meeting; official minutes will be approved at the next meeting in February 2016.

Character moment: “Say One Nice Thing” at North Trenton Public School and Prince Edward Collegiate Institute
Superintendent of Education Mark Fisher, School Climate & Student Well-Being Services, made opening remarks about the provincial and local approaches to equity and well-being for students.

Provincially, ensuring equity means students reaching their full potential through access to school experiences, as noted in Achieving Excellence. Locally, it means students attending school every day and being engaged in learning, as noted in the HPEDSB Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement & Well-Being.

Provincially, well-being means students developing a positive sense of self. Locally, it means HPEDSB creating safe, welcoming and inclusive learning environments for all students, as noted in the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan.

Guests from two schools presented examples the Say One Nice Thing (SONT) campaign. SONT was created as a direct result of listening to students who said that saying ‘hello’ or asking how they were doing would help them to feel included and like they belong at school. This is the second year of SONT and it continues to be going strong at schools. SONT is featured on a Ministry of Education website as an example of best practices to promote well-being.

Say One Nice Thing at North Trenton Public School
Principal Jennifer Slater is helping to lead equity at a system-wide level. She introduced Mrs. Lessardo, teacher of the Grade 4/5 class and students Christopher, Albert, Faylyn and Gabrielle. They talked about being Superfriends who always Say One Nice Thing. The students referenced the book The Invisible Boy which they have used as a resource for becoming Superfriends. Through their learning, they wanted to ensure that everyone felt included and happy. Older students at the school take turns teaching younger students to be Superfriends during recess and lunch.

Other examples of SONT actions at North Trenton Public School include the following:

  • bulletin boards featuring SONT post cards with nice messages about other students, staff and volunteers
  • school assembly to share SONT pictures, songs, with student wearing pink Superfriends capes

Say One Nice Thing at Prince Edward Collegiate Institute
Principal Darren McFarlane is helping to lead safe schools initiatives at a system-wide level. He introduced Mrs. Koutroulides, teacher, and students Abby and Brooke. They talked about the tremendous success of the SONT initiative at Prince Edward Collegiate Institute last fall. The Entrepreneurship class led actions that fit seamlessly with the school improvement plan and community activities.

Examples of SONT actions at Prince Edward Collegiate Institute included the following:

  • message wall featuring student literacy activities
  • SONT posters featuring PECI students
  • tremendous use of Twitter and social media to promote student actions
  • creation of large banners with caring messages for positive awareness within the school
  • drama performance called “Am I in Trouble” featuring short vignettes about healthy relationships
  • a visit by the Royal Kindness Ninjas (students) from Queen Victoria School; PECI students then blitzed the community to spread the kindness messages
  • support for fellow students who are ill and away from school
  • creation of a new Panther Ambassador Club which welcomes students who are new to the school
  • Report from Committee of the Whole
  • This report included the following:
  • Director’s performance appraisal


Calendar of events
A number of district and school events are scheduled for February 2016. Some upcoming events include the following:

  • Extended French or French Immersion Information Nights on February 8, 9, 10 or 11
  • Visits by Grade 8 students to secondary schools
  • Family Day activities at the H.R. Frink Outdoor Education Centre
  • Adventure Class Information Night on Wednesday, February 24
  • Report from Executive Committee

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Director’s Annual Report

Report from the Student Enrolment/School Capacity Committee

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Long-term capital planning

Report from the Program and Human Resources Committee

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Introduction of a new booklet called Globally Minded Learners & Leaders, featuring 10 competencies of HPEDSB graduates

Report from the Operations and Finance Committee

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Update on the new Trenton elementary school (see below)

Update on the new Trenton elementary school
Nick Pfeiffer, Controller of Facility Services, showed a visual presentation of the progress of construction on the new Trenton elementary school. Construction is progressing on schedule. The new school is scheduled to open in January 2017.

Director’s Annual Report
Mandy Savery-Whiteway, Director of Education, presented the 2015-2016 Director’s Annual Report. Its design is bright and colourful, featuring students and schools throughout the district. Thank you to all who contributed stories and photos. Printed copies will be available in the coming weeks.

Revised estimates
Leslie Miller, Superintendent of Business Services, presented a report detailing the revised estimates (budget) for the 2015-2016 school year. This is a normal part of school board operations; budgets are set in June and then revised if needed later in the year, based on factors such as additional Ministry of Education funding and updated student enrolment numbers.

Long-term strategic planning
Mandy Savery-Whiteway, Director of Education, presented an outline of dates for the strategic planning cycle. The 2015-2020 Strategic Plan will be reviewed in April, with any changes announced in late August, prior to the new school year. The usual cycle of HPEDSB hosting regional meetings, focus groups and a public survey, over three years, will begin in the fall.

Report from Trustees
Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Positive comments about the Northern Outdoor Studies Open House at North Hastings High School. The students were well-spoken about the program and their learning experiences. This program has proven, worthwhile connections to the local job market.
  • Positive comments about the Our Graduates: Globally Minded Learners & Leaders publication.

Farewell to Leslie Miller, Superintendent of Business Services
Dwayne Inch, Chair of the Board announced that Leslie Miller, Superintendent of Business Services, will be leaving HPEDSB in early February to return to the private sector. Inch praised Miller for her leadership since starting with HPEDSB in June 2013. She has led the process for balanced budgets, capital priority initiatives, strategic plan initiatives and involvement with the Operations and Finance Committee. In her remarks, Miller said it has been a pleasure to work at HPEDSB and that as a life-long learner, she will take away many experiences from her time her.

Upcoming meetings

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

  • January 28, 2016: Special Education Advisory Committee, 5:00 p.m., Prince of Wales Public School
  • February 1, 2016: Executive Committee, 11:00 a.m.
  • February 3, 2016: Parent Involvement Committee, 6:00 p.m.
  • February 8, 2016: Student Enrollment/School Capacity Committee, 3:30 p.m.
  • February 8, 2016: Program and Human Resources Committee, 5:30 p.m.
  • February 8, 2016: Operations and Finance Committee, 7:00 p.m.
  • February 22, 2016: Public Board Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
  • February 25, 2016: Special Education Advisory Committee, 5:00 p.m.

For more information, please contact Kerry Donnell, Communications Officer, extension 2354, [email protected]

Last updated: August 2, 2017 at 2:32 pm
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