Board Meeting Update 196: August 30, 2021
August 30, 2021—This update provides a summary of the online special public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held August 30, 2021, livestreamed (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 regular meeting in September.
Mike Brant, Trustee, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, recited the land acknowledgement: Let us bring our minds and hearts together as one to honour and celebrate these traditional lands as a gathering place of the Huron-Wendat, Anishinabek and Haudenosaunee people. It is with deep humility, that we acknowledge and offer our gratitude for their contributions to our community, having respect for all as we come together and walk side by side into the future to support our students of today.
Director’s Report: Return to Learning Plan for the 2021-2022 School Year
Katherine MacIver, shared the HPEDSB Return to Learning Plan. Highlights from this report included the following:
- the focus is on returning to learning safely, a cautious return to learning plan with guidelines for students and staff;
- in some areas of the plan, we are awaiting further guidance from the Ministry of Education, public health or partner organizations, such as from OPHEA (Ontario Physical and Health Education Association) regarding extra-curriculars;
- protective measures: masking, daily screening, hand hygiene, physical distancing, cleaning and ventilation, among others;
- the opportunity to switch between in-person and virtual learning was offered from August 23 to 26, 2021; any transfer requests from now on will follow the transfer process through Procedure 340: Transfer of Students;
- COVID-19 symptoms are different this year as compared to last year;
- public health will make determination about school/work attendance when COVID-19 is confirmed or suspected;
- vaccination information for staff/adults will not be shared, as per health privacy legislation; however, vaccination attestation is required for all adults who enter our schools and administrative buildings;
- vaccinations for students are not mandatory; neither schools nor HPEDSB has access to student vaccination information;
- secondary schools will host vaccination clinics on behalf of public health; details will be shared once we know more;
- HPEDSB is not part of the provincial pilot program for asymptomatic testing;
- a ventilation report will be posted to the HPEDSB website by September 3, 2021; HPEDSB received $5.9 million for ventilation/HVAC upgrades, windows and physical distancing measures; some work will be ongoing throughout September+ due to contractor availability and scheduling;
- 303 HEPA units are at schools in locations which do not have mechanical ventilation; many are in Kindergarten classrooms due to JK/SK students being not required to wear masks;
- opening windows and using outdoor learning spaces are encouraged as much as possible; and
- the mental health and well-being of students and staff are priority areas.
Please refer to the plan for complete details as the above are highlights only.
2021-2022 Budget grant adjustment
Nick Pfeiffer, Superintendent of Business, summarized a budget adjustment that has occurred since the 2021-2022 budget was approved in June 2021. Highlights from this report included the following:
- a decrease in the Operations and Maintenance grant of $1.3 million;
- the decrease results from data input inaccuracies going back to the 2017-2018 school year;
- a review of data entry process is underway;
- Procedure 500: Financial Integrity, outlines internal controls to protect information;
- the regional internal audit team is reviewing data management, access and control functions;
- discussions are underway with the Ministry of Education; and
- there is no impact on the budget for this school year.
A full report will be presented to the Committee of the Whole on September 13, 2021.
For more information, please contact Kerry Donnell, Communications and Privacy Manager, 613-966-1170, extension 62354, or 613-847-0696, or [email protected]