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Board Meeting Update: October 25, 2021

October 25, 2021—This update provides a summary of the public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held October 25, 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 November.

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 Alison Kelly, Trustee, South Prince Edward, 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.

Presentation

Valuing all students: Thanksgiving address in the Mohawk language, Prince of Wales Public School

Thank you to Nahkira (Gimbo) Yenonhkwatsheronni Brant-Cummings, a student in Grade 3 at Prince of Wales Public School in Belleville, who recited the Thanksgiving Address, a welcome message, in the Mohawk language. The address represents the words that come before all other. It is recited when the Mohawk community begins a meeting, formal or informal. It gives thanks and expresses gratitude to all things that are provided for life. It begins with referencing people, respect and gratitude. Next, it asks people to come together, their minds as one.  Thanks are then given to the Earth, birds, grasses, waters, trees, food plants, medicine plants, air, rain, sun, moon and stars, then to the creator. The words (in Mohawk) Now we bring our minds together as one are repeated at the end of each section.

Principal Kelly Mackay acknowledged that she is a settler whose role is to listen deeply, to acknowledge the past, to learn and plan for the future, as part of truth and reconciliation.

Recommendations

Notice of Motion recommendation

Board members approved a motion for staff to initiate, in consultation with the Indigenous Education Advisory Committee and Equity Advisory Committee, a review of the names of all schools within the district named after individuals to ensure that the school names reflect the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, then draft an equity policy with a focus on reconciliation, human rights, decolonization, anti-racism and anti-oppression principles. Find out more starting on page 13 of the October 25, 2021 agenda.

Appointment of external auditors for 2021-2022

Board members appointed BDO LLP as the external auditor for 2021-2022 at a fixed remuneration of $42,200. BDO has provided audit services to HPEDSB for a number of years and has developed a strong relationship with staff, management, the Board of Trustees and other stakeholders, including Audit Committee members. Administration is satisfied with BDO’s performance to date. BDO has delivered its services in a professional, timely and accurate manner. Find out more starting on page 14 of the October 25, 2021 agenda.

External Auditor’s Plan

Board members approved the Audit Planning Report to the Audit Committee dated September 22, 2021. This report features an executive summary, team biographies, significant audit risks and planned responses, among other topics. Find out more starting on page 15 of the October 25, 2021 agenda.

Multi-Year Internal Audit Plan

Board members approved the 2021-2024 Multi-Year Internal Audit Plan, which will guide the audit activities for HPEDSB on an annual basis, for a three-year period. This plan addresses the HPEDSB priorities, as well as determined risks, as the highest as a region in order to maximize Regional Internal Audit Team’s resources. Find out more starting on page 34 of the October 25, 2021 agenda.

2021-2022 Regional Internal Audit Plan

Board members approved the 2021-2022 Regional Internal Audit Plan. It includes the following topics: continuation of work started in 2020-2021; cyclical follow-up procedures; a placeholder to account for management’s requests and potential changing priorities during the year; and one new engagement, when and if time and situation allows. Find out more starting on page 39 of the October 25, 2021 agenda.

Policy 11-C: Budget/Finance Committee

Board members approved Policy 11-C: Budget/Finance Committee, which will reinstate the committee as a standing committee in December 2021. Find out more starting on page 41 of the October 25, 2021 agenda.

Information

Director of Education report

Highlights from this report include the following:

  • trustee professional development, November 6, 2021; and
  • return to learning update, specifically:
    • staffing shortages in the occasional staff complement; a long-term plan is underway;
    • small shortage of bus drivers affecting a few routes;
    • ongoing response to COVID-19 positive cases, in cooperation with HPE Public Health;
    • some concerns raised about student vaccinations for inter-school extra-curricular activities (outside the school community);
    • community campaign to provide schools with letters about student vaccinations; and
    • staff are reviewing curriculum expectations and identifying student learning needs, particularly foundational literacy and numeracy skills, at all schools.

This is Me in HPE Censuses

HPEDSB has embarked on a large-scale, multi-faceted, board-wide demographic data collection for staff and students, as have most other public and Catholic school boards in Ontario. The This is Me in HPE censuses will be conducted in November 2021. Gathering demographic data will help us better understand the diversity across our system. This data will allow us to establish baselines, track progress, make evidence-informed decisions, and measure the success of equitable and inclusive learning and workplace policies, practices, and programming.

With financial support and direction from the Ministry of Education and in collaboration with local federations and union partners, we will collect, analyze, and use identity-based data to support equity of opportunity and outcomes for all staff and students with the intention of identifying and addressing systemic barriers and discriminatory biases. Find out more starting on page 44 of the October 25, 2021 agenda.

Capital and Building Renewal Projects update

This update provided provide an update on current and proposed capital and building renewal projects for 2021-2022. The report is comprehensive. Find out more starting on page 47 of the October 25, 2021 agenda.

Reports from student trustees

Highlights from this report include the following:

  • will be seeking input from students about quarterly Student Voice meetings and issues of interest to students.

Parent Involvement Committee, October 18, 2021

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • this first meeting of the school year included over 40 participants;
  • Nancy Cherwinka was elected as the new chairperson;
  • received information about the This is Me in HPE censuses;
  • update about the former Quinte Secondary School and the Adventure Class;
  • a reminder that meetings are open to the public; and
  • the next meeting is November 15, 2021 at 6:00 PM.

Indigenous Education Advisory Committee, October 21, 2021

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Indigenous Education Action Plan for 2021-2022 and the four priority areas; and
  • planning to create and share resources for the upcoming Treaty Week.

OPSBA Information Exchange

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • upcoming online (Zoom) sessions for trustees in December 2021; and
  • public input on a new trustee code of conduct is open.

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: October 25, 2021 at 8:38 pm
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