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Board Meeting Update: September 27, 2021

September 27, 2021—This update provides a summary of the online public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held September 27, 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 October.

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 Spencer Hutchison, Trustee, Trenton and CFB Trenton, asked all to reflect on Responsibility: We have a sense of duty to fulfill commitments. We take ownership for our own thoughts and actions. We are reliable and accountable in our words and actions.

Recommendations

New build: Easthill Elementary School

Board members approved a tender in the amount of $14,025,000 to Garritano Bros. Ltd. for the construction of Easthill Elementary School.

The start of construction was planned for summer 2021 with an anticipated substantial completion date of January 31, 2023. However, all tender submissions came in several million dollars over the available budget. An initial cost estimate that was prepared for the project estimated a construction budget of approximately $11 million, plus architectural fees, applications/permit fee, commissioning, etc. Under the terms of the capital priorities funding, the board is unable to award a tender if it exceeds the available funding. In July 2021, a revised Approval to Proceed request was submitted to the Ministry of Education for additional funding. The situation was explained to bidders who were informed that the award is being delayed pending response from the Ministry of Education. On September 2, 2021, the Ministry approved the additional funding request with $400,000 from board Proceeds of Disposition (POD) and $2.2 million from unencumbered capital savings on other projects. Total approved project funding is now $15,579,580. Find out more starting on page 17 of the September 27, 2021 agenda.

Borrowing resolution 

Board members approved various borrowing resolutions in order to meet 2021-2022 operating and capital expenditures. Find out more starting on page 19 of the September 27, 2021 agenda.

Board recommendations

Board members approved two recommendations presented at the Committee of the Whole meeting on September 13, 2021. One is with regard to HPEDSB affirming its support that COVID-19 vaccines be considered for addition to the list of vaccinations for all eligible students for the purpose of immunization records; and the other is to reinstate the Budget Committee as a standing committee. Find out more starting on page 25 of the September 27, 2021 agenda.

Information

Enrolment update

At the start of each school year, administration collects elementary and secondary enrolments, compares them to projections and determines the impact on teaching staff and school organizations in order to address provincial class size guidelines and match funding to expenditures.

  • Elementary: The revised elementary enrolment projection is 10,575 compared to a budget projection for 2021-2022 of 10,211. The significant increase of 364 students occurred primarily in kindergarten (increase of 289) and offset the substantial decrease that occurred the previous year. The number of students in the virtual school is 370, very close the budget enrolment projection of 356. Overall, 3.5% of elementary students are enrolled in the virtual school.
  • Secondary: The revised secondary average daily enrolment (ADE) projection is 4,465 compared to a budget projection of 4,335. The significant increase of 130 students is a change from prior years of declining secondary enrolment. The number of students in the virtual school is 114, very close the budget enrolment projection of 118. Overall, 2.6% of secondary students are enrolled in the virtual school. 

Find out more starting on page 26 of the September 27, 2021 agenda.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 30, 2021 marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The creation of this federal statutory holiday was through legislative amendments made by Parliament. Both the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day take place on September 30.

Several resources have been shared with schools to support and enhance learning about reconciliation, residential schools and colonial policies: 

  • interactive Google Slides for elementary and secondary schools;
  • pedagogical considerations for teaching about residential schools;
  • webinars to engage in dialogue about approaches to talking about residential schools with students;
  • access to the Nelson Professional learning series to enhance educator awareness, understanding and capacity to engage students in reconciliatory learning experiences;
  • daily links to learning opportunities by The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation;
  • Orange Shirt Day promotion;
  • radio ads for community awareness about the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation;
  • internal communications to HPEDSB staff reflecting the importance of making meaningful time on September 30, 2021 to promote awareness and engage in the critical conversations and work needed to work together towards reconciliation;
  • provision of mental health resources to students or staff in need of support as these important conversations and truths come forward; and 
  • consultation with the Indigenous Education Advisory Committee.

Find out more starting on page 28 of the September 27, 2021 agenda.

Summer Learning update

The Ministry of Education (EDU) provided funding to school boards to deliver summer learning programming to students in grades K-8 to mitigate learning loss during the course of the summer, in support of increasing student achievement and in closing learning gaps in literacy and numeracy. Additionally, we were able to access ministry funding to support Indigenous students in preparing for the transition to grade 9 in two regions of the school board through the provision of reach ahead credits as part of a culture camp. Find out more starting on page 29 of the September 27, 2021 agenda.

Equity Action Plan, 2021-2024

In 2017, the Ontario Ministry of Education released Ontario’s Education Equity Action Plan which established clear deliverables and targets that school boards were accountable to move forward. While HPEDSB has accomplished intentional work in the area of equity and social justice, the main goal of the 2020-2021 school year was to reinstate the Equity and Inclusivity Advisory Committee (EIAC) and develop the first HPEDSB Equity Action Plan. This plan will guide our work across the system in support of the strategic plan and Board Improvement Plan goals, each firmly grounded in equity. The Equity Action Plan will be rolled out this fall. Find out more starting on page 31 of the September 27, 2021 agenda.

2021 Summer mental health supports

The Ministry of Education provided funding to school boards to retain mental health supports over the summer months. Social workers and social services workers were offered the opportunity to provide services during the summer to students and families who requested ongoing mental health support. The top presenting issues were anxiety, low mood and grief/loss. Find out more starting on page 41 of the September 27, 2021 agenda.

Ontario Scholars

The number of students who achieved Ontario Scholar recognition was presented. Find out more starting on page 43 of the September 27, 2021 agenda.

Public health communication regarding extra-curricular activities

Two public health partners have provided a letter about students participating in extra-curricular activities. Find out more starting on page 44 of the September 27, 2021 agenda.

Reports from student trustees

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • smooth school start-up so far;
  • the quadmester approach is going well; and
  • looking forward to extra-curricular activities starting up.

Report from the Audit Committee

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • training for committee members;
  • reviewed the audit plan for this school year; and
  • reviewed the internal audit recommendations.

Report from the Special Education Advisory Committee

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • goal-setting for this school year.

Report from the Indigenous Education Advisory Committee

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • seeing a video of students doing a land acknowledgement in the Mohawk language;
  • Indigenous summer camps for students; and
  • the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

OPSBA Information Exchange

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • a request from the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) to promote an online  survey to employees and stakeholders. Find out more starting on page 47 of the September 27, 2021 agenda.

Report from trustees

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • participation on the Mental Health Committee;
  • students sharing candid feedback about mental health supports;
  • a question about when in-person Board and committee meetings will resume;
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: September 27, 2021 at 9:14 pm
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