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Board Meeting Update #171, October 28, 2019

October 28, 2019—This update provides a summary of the public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held Monday, October 28, 2019 at the Education Centre. It is an unofficial summary of the meeting; official minutes will be approved at the next meeting in November 2019.

Shannon Binder, Chair of the Board, acknowledged the First Peoples of the territory. This evening we acknowledge that the land on which we are gathered is part of the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee people. We acknowledge the land to show respect and recognize the First Peoples of the territory; their history, culture and perspectives and as a step towards reconciliation.

Character Moment of Reflection

Each Board meeting opens with a 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. Growing with Character is the foundation of the school board strategic plan. 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 County, asked all to reflect on Cooperation: We work as a team for a common good. We value the opinions of others and show a willingness to work together towards a common goal.

The Wolf Pack group photo
Thank you to guests from North Hastings High School for sharing their experiences as part of the Wolf Pack. L to R: Marsha Depotier, Social Worker; Zack Kisslinger, Student; Heather Taylor, Teacher; Noah Lorusso, former NHHS Student now at Fleming College; Liah Wood, Student; Ken Dostaler, Superintendent of Education and Wayne Stewart, Principal.

Celebrating students: The North Hastings High School Wolf Pack

The Wolf Pack is the North Hastings High School (NHHS) Indigenous studies club. It was formed in 2009 as a recognized need in the school. Many students had taken the then new Native Studies courses and wanted to learn more about First Nations, Métis and Inuit cultures. This initial group of students hosted the first NHHS Think Indigenous Symposium which was a huge hit with the community. Since then, the Wolf Pack has evolved into a strong presence at NHHS, popular with all grades and pathways. The Wolf Pack is made up of both Indigenous students and non-indigenous allies. Students actively participate in community events, sharing their knowledge and experiences. Wolf Pack members build relationships and form community partnerships through drumming, ceremony, teachings, experiential learning on the land and yearly culture camp. The students become leaders in the school and in the community.

Wolf Pack graduation rates are 100 percent even though students in risk are often members.

The Wolf Pack gives students a place to call home where everyone is accepted for who they are and where they are in their lives. The bonds and relationships that are formed are life long as evidenced in contact with former members who are proud to call themselves Wolf Pack Alumni. See it for yourself in this video.

Thank you to the presenters Heather Taylor, Teacher; Marsha Depotier, Social Worker; and students Sophia Wagland, Liah Wood, Zach Kisslinger and former NHHS student Noah Lorusso who now attends Fleming College.

Recommendations

New Audit Committee member 

Board members approved Kim Egan for a three year term effective November 1, 2019. An external recruiting process was undertaken to find a replacement external member due to a vacancy prior to the term ending.

Appointment of External Auditors for 2019-2020

Board members approved BDO LLP as the external auditor for 2019-2020 for $40,000. Administration is satisfied with BDO’s performance to date. BDO has delivered its services in a professional, timely and accurate manner.

Internal Audit Activities update

Board members approved the Regional Internal Audit Plan which describes the purpose, mandate, responsibilities and reporting mechanisms for internal audits, among other topics.

Disposition of Hillcrest School

Board members approved the disposition of Hillcrest School to the City of Belleville for $800,000. In May 2018, HPEDSB obtained an appraisal for the property from Stanley T. Reid & Associates in the amount of $950,000. In September 2019, HPEDSB received a letter from Mayor Mitch Panciuk, City of Belleville, offering to purchase the property for $800,000 and provided a copy of their appraisal in this amount prepared by MW Cotman & Associates.

Multi-year Annual Accessibility Plan

Board members approved the Multi-Year Annual Accessibility Plan for the period September 2019 to August 2024. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005) (AODA) and the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2001) (ODA) require school boards to prepare annual plans to address barriers to persons with disabilities. The plan has had several revisions since it was first published in 2005.

Information

Calendar of events

A number of district and school events (Pdf) are scheduled for November 2019. Upcoming events include the following among many more:

  • November 5 & 7: COSSA Girls Rugby AAA, Centennial Secondary School
  • November 6: Rocks and Rings Curling, Bird’s Creek Public School, all classes
  • November 11: Remembrance Day Ceremonies, various schools
  • November 13: School Bus Safety Presentation, V.P. Carswell Elementary School
  • November 14: Arts Night, Centennial Secondary School
  • November 15: Elementary Progress Reports go home
  • November 22: Student Recyclers Conference, Frankford Public School
  • November 26: Cardboard Boat Races, Wellness Centre, various secondary schools

Report from the Chair

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Changes in Board processes and procedures to assist in improving student achievement

Report from the Executive Committee

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Changes to committees, specifically Program and Human Resourcess, and Operations and Finance, to reduce the number of committees. This work will transfer to a public Committee of the Whole Board meeting each month

Report from the Audit Committee

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Appointment of a new Audit Committee member and other audit-related topics mentioned above
  • Discussion of the annual audit report to be submitted to the Ministry of Education by the end of November

Report from Trustees

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Summary of the Ontario Public School Board Association (OPSBA) Board of Directors meeting held Thursday, September 27 to 28, 2019 in Toronto
  • Summary of the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) meeting held October 23, 2019
  • Update from the Parent Involvement Committee held October 24, 2019
  • Mention of the possible creation of a policy about racism as a companion to two existing procedures

Report from Student Trustees

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Student Senate actions for this school year are in the areas of outreach to fellow students; hosting a student-led  symposium; and engaging elementary students to expand the student voice
  • Desire to ban single-use plastics throughout HPEDSB

Report from staff: Education Quality & Accountability Office (EQAO)

The EQAO achievement results for HPEDSB students were released September 25, 2019. A system level review of the data involved an analysis of trends over time and areas of strengths and needs, and how to align resources and supports provided to schools and educators. The analysis indicates student performance is static in some areas and trending downward in others. Achievement results are concerning. Higher levels of achievement for HPEDSB students is required in order to close achievement gaps and have more students progressing towards graduation.

HPEDSB has exceptional educators who are committed to supporting student achievement. We know we have the right people in our schools to change this trend. We are are confident that with an increased effort to hear from our teachers and administrators about the learning needs of students from the classroom and school levels, the appropriate resources can be provided to address these student needs.

What is next? EQAO outreach officers are going to each school to help with the following:

  • complete a three-year item analysis;
  • develop a plan to implement supports for  schools based on their needs; and
  • support schools through focused use of learning partners, instructional coaches and coordinators.

Upcoming meetings

All meetings take place at the Education Centre unless otherwise noted.

  • Monday, November 4: Executive Committee, 11:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, November 6: Audit Committee, 3:30 p.m.
  • Monday, November 25:
    • Public Committee of the Whole, Eastside Secondary School, 275 Farley Avenue, Belleville, 6:00 p.m.
    • Public Board Meeting, Eastside Secondary School, 275 Farley Avenue, Belleville, 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 28, Special Education Advisory Committee, 5:00 p.m.

For more information, please contact Kerry Donnell, Communications Manager, extension 62354, [email protected]

Last updated: October 28, 2019 at 8:48 pm