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Board Meeting Update: February 28, 2022

February 28, 2022—This update provides a summary of the public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held February 28, 2022, 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 March.

Land acknowledgement

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.

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. 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.

Presentation

Non-profit Sector Specialist High Skills Major at Prince Edward Collegiate Institute

This presentation provided an overview of a new program at Prince Edward Collegiate Institute. The Non-Profit Sector Specialist High Skills Major is known as the Change the World!  program and replaces the Venture program. Developed in response to students’ interest in learning about leadership, the program is grounded in the school’s history and identity as a community school. This SHSM supports local, national, and global non-profit organizations through volunteering and fundraising. The program will be in full operation in September 2022. Already, it is an example of how SHSM programs provide valuable opportunities for schools to respond to student voice and innovate programming. Thank you to presenters Andrew Ross, Principal; Greer Koutroulides, Instructional Lead Teacher of Guidance and SHSM Lead; and Brett Manlow, Instructional Lead Teacher of Canada and World Studies and French.

Recommendations

2022-2023 School Year Calendar

Board members approved the dates of the 2022-2023 school year calendar after receiving information about public input. Find out more starting on page 8 of the February 28, 2022 agenda.

Information

Report from the Director of Education

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • The mask requirement for JK/SK learners was lifted at HPEDSB schools, following new guidance by the province and local public health, although masks are strongly encouraged for those students at school and on the bus.
  • HEPA filters are in Kindergarten classrooms.
  • HPEDSB is awaiting additional new guidance from the Ministry of Education as provincial COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed.
  • Families using temporary remote learning (approximately 250 students) will be encouraged to have their children return to in-person learning after the March Break.
  • Grants for Student Needs (school board funding allocations) were announced by the Ministry of Education last week; staff are reviewing the specifics for HPEDSB for budget planning. Specific funding is coming for entrepreneurship, skilled trades and tutoring.
  • The business case for the former Quinte Secondary School has been submitted and we look forward to hearing from the Ministry of Education.

Strategic plan updates

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Priority area: Strengthen Community through Equity and Social Justice
    • The new Equity Action Plan has clear, measurable actions.
    • Schools have been provided with resources for awareness of Black History Month; ongoing social media promotion for public awareness.
    • A report about the This is Me in HPE student and staff censuses from last fall is expected in the next couple of weeks.
    • We are providing and promoting access to mental health resources on a daily basis.
    • Recruitment strategies reflect diversity and inclusivity, while relying on data to be proactive in planning.
  • Priority area: Promote Safety and Well-Being
    •  The Human Resources team is seeking stakeholder input on how it can refine processes to better support current and prospective employees.
  • Priority area: Improve Student Success and Achievement
    • 110 students in the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program
    • At secondary, credit accumulation for the first semester continues to trend higher than in previous years.
    • At elementary, student literacy and numeracy skills are improving through the use of assistive technology.
    • The focus on Indigenous Education continues, through land acknowledgements, student support through graduation coaches and more.

Promotions for Kindergarten registration 

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • HPEDSB promotes Kindergarten registration annually beginning in February.
  • Promotions involve radio ads voiced by teachers, designated early childhood educators, students and parents; online advertisements; social media and website, with links to resources, school-specific videos and virtual orientation meetings.
  • All new Kindergarten students will receive the picture book All Are Welcome.

Find out more starting on page 11 of the February 28, 2022 agenda.

Anti-Sex Trafficking Protocol

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • A team was established in fall 2021 to create the HPEDSB Anti-Sex Trafficking Protocol.
  • The draft protocol was shared with several committees, including the Special Education Advisory Committee, Indigenous Advisory Committee, Safe Schools Advisory Committee, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee and Parental Involvement Committee. The draft protocol was revised based on feedback from these and other community stakeholders.
  • Staff training is scheduled for the PA Day in April.
  • Student awareness will continue to be addressed through the curriculum.

Find out more, including a look at the protocol, starting on page 13 of the February 28, 2022 agenda.

Report from student trustees

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Student Voice meeting on February 10, with 17 students participating online; break-out sessions where students discussed the question: What are the most important things students are concerned about? Some of the recurring themes were: lack of desks and Science equipment in some classrooms; need for peer support groups for specific types of communities; lack of staff diversity; the concept of consent and how it applies to many topics; cyber-security; human trafficking; washroom safety; school climate; drug use and vaping; and inequities among students.
  • Next steps involve asking school administrators to encourage at least three students from each secondary school to participate in these meetings.

Budget/Finance Committee meeting, February 22, 2022

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Review of the budget guidelines and priorities; budget risks; and budget process and documents that align with strategic priorities.

Parent Involvement Committee meeting, February 22, 2022

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Cyber safety and security presentation.
  • Parents Reaching Out Grants are being provided to individual school councils.
  • School year calendar review.
  • Anti-Human Trafficking presentation.

Special Education Advisory Committee meeting, January 27, 2022 

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Educational assistant staffing process and safe workplace guidelines.
  • Psychological services process.
  • Review and feedback on the Special Education Plan.
  • Anti-Human Trafficking presentation.

OPSBA Information Exchange

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Participation in the online Public Education Symposium on January 28, 2022; Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, was the opening speaker.

Correspondence

Condolence letter to the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board (verbal report).

For more information, please contact Kerry Donnell, Communications and Privacy Manager, 613-966-1170, extension 62354, or 613-847-0696, or [email protected]

Last updated: February 28, 2022 at 8:49 pm
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