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Board Meeting Update: January 24, 2022

January 24, 2022—This update provides a summary of the public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held January 24, 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 February.

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 Kristen Parks, Trustee, Sidney and Frankford, asked all to reflect on Honesty: We choose to live truthfully. We communicate and act in a sincere and respectful way.

Presentation

Foundational Literacy Practices at Harry J. Clarke Public School

The journey to focus on foundational literacy practices at Harry J. Clarke Public School began in 2020. The professional learning has been so robust and impactful that even with the switches between remote learning and in-person learning, foundational literacy has remained the core component of Primary literacy blocks.

The presenters shared their excitement about tools and programs that have ignited their passion for teaching, and improved their literacy instruction and understanding of the skills students need to be proficient readers and writers. For example, Flyleaf is a reading program that provides evidence based instructional materials to support educators in explicitly teaching students the skills and habits of competent readers: focus on phonics instruction and foundational phonics skills.

Thank you to presenters Stefanie Cranshaw, Grade 1 Teacher; Lori Denard, Grade 3 Teacher; Heather Marchiori, Primary Prep and Literacy Support Teacher; and Jaclyn Del Zotto, Kindergarten Teacher, along with Principal Jennifer Slater and Vice-principal Kerri Denyes.

Recommendations

Rise and report from the Closed Committee of the Whole

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • ETFO-Occasional Teachers Local Tentative Agreement
  • Recommendation from the Closed Committee of the Whole this evening
    • Appointment of Darren McFarlane as Superintendent of Education, effective February 1, 2022

Rise and report from the Public Committee of the Whole

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Policy and by-law review
  • Learning Foundation/Trustee Ad Hoc Committee
  • Policy 20: Equity

Information

Report from the Director of Education

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • 2021 Director’s Annual Report—Pandemic Portraits, by Kerry Donnell, Communications and Privacy Manager. This visual and written online exhibit features articles, photos, videos and infographics, which can easily be printed, distributed and shared through social media. It showcases learning and engagement during the 2021 calendar year.
  • Return to school updates by Katherine MacIver, Director of Education
    • Students and staff were happy to be back to school/work last week
    • Changes to isolation guidelines are in place
    • We have received N95 masks for staff and cloth masks for students
    • We have received rapid antigen test kits for students and staff, with enough for two per person; thank you to Facility Services personnel who worked for 133 combined hours on a weekend to de-kit and re-package the rapid antigen tests into sets of two, then arrange delivery to all schools in temperature-controlled environments
    • The anticipated staff shortages did not occur, we have been pleasantly surprised that staff absences are the same as last fall; we were prepared to send central staff to schools although that was not required
    • Ongoing work with Hastings Prince Edward Public Health; principals are required to report certain levels of absences to HPEPH
    • Public health has confirmed there is little COVID-19 transmission within schools, it is from community spread; the reality is COVID-19 is in our communities and there will be times when it is in our schools, as well
    • Reminder for families/students/staff to screen every day and if ill or do not pass screening, stay home and do not go to school/work; students who are home can stay connected through online learning
    • HPEPH is arranging vaccination clinics for 5-11 year-olds in select schools; vaccinations for  these students are voluntary and signed parent consent is required
    • We are looking forward to offering extra-curriculars and are hoping to return to normal very soon

Foundational Literacy Teacher and Learning Practice

A scan of 582 students in K-6 last fall showed an average of only 38% meeting age-level benchmarks as measured by standardized reading assessments. Curriculum Services has numerous supports in place to address systematic, explicit reading instruction and intervention, aimed at increasing achievement for all students. Find out more starting on page 22 of the January 24, 2022 agenda.

French as a Second Language Program and Promotion

French as a Second Language (FSL) is a priority for Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board. Three types of FSL programs are offered across the district:

● Core French
● Extended French
● French Immersion

All three programs are valued as pathways to bilingualism in Canada’s two national languages. A team of central and school based Core French educators is planning for the creation of a single stream Grade 9 FSL class for September 2022. Promotions for Extended French and French Immersion are underway now. Find out more on page 24 of the January 24, 2022 agenda.

Long-Term Capital and Accommodation Plan 

This report provided an update to the Long-Term Capital and Accommodation Plan (LTCAP) that includes updated data on enrolment projections, schools, programming, and transportation. Find out more starting on page 25 of the January 24, 2022 agenda.

Grant adjustment update

Late last summer, HPEDSB was notified by the Ministry of Education that as a result of recent changes to the On the Ground (OTG) capacity of schools, the amounts of the 2021-2022 grant related to school operations and school renewal would be reduced by about $1.3 million.

When the elementary students were first consolidated at secondary schools, errors in adjusting the OTG in the Ministry school facility database were created. The effect of the OTG errors is that the board was  overfunded for building operations and renewal at some secondary schools with elementary students, notably PECI, for 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020, 2020-2021, and 2021-2022. Find out more starting on page 143 of the January 24, 2022 agenda.

Report from student trustees

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Asked students to join the Student Voice group; received 40+ responses from all schools
  • Short-term goal for Student Voice is to hear issues from students; long-term goal is to host a conference in the spring with guest speakers, panel discussions

Audit Committee meeting, November 10, 2021

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Reviewed the consolidated financial statements
  • Follow-up review from past audits
  • Expense claim audits
  • In future will review Safe Schools practices

Indigenous Education Advisory Committee, November 25, 2021

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • This was an information meeting due to not having enough members for a quorum
  • Investigating Mohawk language speakers getting certified
  • Questions about where to find information about this committee and meeting minutes

Budget/Finance Committee, January 17, 2022

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Established dates for future meetings
  • Revised estimates
  • Budget planning timelines

OPSBA Information Exchange

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • The annual Public Education Symposium for trustees is this Friday, January 28, 2022; workshops will be on Zoom
  • Questions from the Ministry of Education, which will be circulated to trustees after this meeting

Questions, reports and proposals from trustees

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Participation on the Information Services Technology Advisory Committee on January 12, 2022
  • Participation in an equity and diversity online forum with Shakil Choudry
  • Question about the Quinte Secondary School Revitalization Plan; the next step is to submit a business case to the Ministry of Education once enrolment numbers are updated in the Long-Term Capital and Accommodation Plan

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 4:28 pm
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