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Return to Learning Plan for the 2021-2022 School Year

Updated October 1, 2021: Screening section
Updated September 28, 2021: Visitors section and Extra-curricular activities section, specifically Inter-school sport activities
Updated September 8, 2021: Extra-curricular activities section, specifically Inter-school sport activities
Updated September 3, 2021: Staff personal protective equipment (PPE) section
Updated September 1, 2021: Link added in the Ventilation section
Posted August 20, 2021

Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board is pleased to release updated guidance for a safe return to school in September 2021. We are confident that with the multiple layers of protective factors we have in place, we will enjoy a year of instruction, support and activity for all students. We know that regular school attendance is essential to student well-being and learning. With multiple layers of support, and inclusion of clubs and activities, we can attend to staff and student health, safety and well-being, and focus on student learning.

This plan is aligned with  the Ministry of Education guidance document. Each section begins with a link to Ministry of Education directives, followed by the HPEDSB direction.

On behalf of all of us at HPEDSB, all the best for a safe and engaging school year!

Katherine

Katherine MacIver
Director of Education


Commitment to safe learning environments

HPEDSB is committed to the ongoing health, safety and well-being of students and staff. As a public school board, HPEDSB has a responsibility to ensure students and staff feel safe, and that protective measures are in place at schools and buildings. 

This Return to Learning Plan is based on the latest direction from the Ministry of Education, provincial and local public health, and aligns with the Ministry of Education Protective Strategies directives

There is not one specific measure that will prevent COVID-19 transmission from occurring in schools, but rather multiple structural and individual elements that contribute to making schools healthier spaces, and reduce the risk of infection to in-person attendees.

Each of the control measures listed below provides some benefit in reducing spread. However, it is the combination and consistent application of these layered controls as a bundle that are most effective for reducing disease spread in schools.

Updates will be made when the guidance and directives change. We will continue to be flexible and plan for contingencies. As well, we recognize parent/guardian decisions are made for their families and that those decisions may change. Accordingly, we will be as flexible as possible, while keeping in mind that in-person learning is best for students’ engagement and well-being.

Guiding principles

  • Prioritize health and safety of students and staff
  • Maximize student learning time
  • Support student and staff well-being
  • Ensure equity of access to learning, supports and technology, and extra-curricular activities
  • Provide equity of access to extra-curricular activities, with safety protocols

As always, if you have any questions about what is happening in your child’s school, please contact the school principal.

This plan is subject to revision as updated provincial and local guidance changes. 


Topics

Screening Visitors
Student masks Student Transportation
Staff personal protective equipment (PPE) Ventilation
Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette Vaccination
Distancing and congregation Mental health and student supports
Recess and breaks outdoors Specific academic programs and requirements
Inclement weather days Extra-curricular activities
Cleaning and disinfection standards and protocols Before and after school programs
Shared materials Community use of schools
Shared spaces International students
Cafeteria use and lunch protocols Protocols for emergency management and fire safety
Food programs Management of COVID-19 in schools
Assemblies  

 


Screening

Link to Ministry of Education directive

HPEDSB direction

All staff and students must self-screen every day before attending school using the provincial screening tool (updated October 1, 2021 to provide clarity for symptoms; testing; vaccination and immunization status; personal health information and immunization status; and international travel).

All staff and students who are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, as identified in the screening tool, must not attend school and should follow the guidance provided in the screening tool, which may include seeking appropriate medical attention as required, and/or getting tested for COVID-19.

On-site screening

Schools will keep track of daily self-screening confirmation or proof of students, staff and visitors entering the school prior to, or upon, their arrival at school. 

If the Ministry of Education directs school boards and schools to perform daily on-site confirmation of self-screening, students, staff and visitors will need to provide daily confirmation or proof that they have self-screened, in a form deemed appropriate and accessible by the school or school board (for example, proof of completed paper copy of screener, mobile application indicating a “pass”) prior to, or upon, their arrival at school. The principal and those designated within the school will be responsible for ensuring all students, staff and visitors have completed and passed their daily COVID-19 self-screen.

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Student masks

Link to Ministry of Education directive

HPEDSB direction

Students in Grades 1 to 12 are required to wear properly fitted non-medical or cloth masks indoors in school, including in hallways and during classes, as well as on student transportation. 

Masks may be temporarily removed indoors for the following activities, with a minimum distance of 2 metres maintained between cohorts and as much distancing as possible within a cohort to:

Students are not required to wear masks outdoors, but physical distancing is encouraged between cohorts as much as possible.

Students in Kindergarten are encouraged, but are not required, to wear non-medical or cloth masks in indoor spaces, as well as on student transportation.

Refer to Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and Public Health Ontario (PHO) (PDF) for guidance on appropriate mask types and usage.

Students are expected to bring their own masks to wear on student transportation and at school. Non-medical 3-ply masks will be available at school for students who require them. 

Exceptions

Reasonable exceptions to masking are in place at all HPEDSB schools. Schools will review any masking exception requests with a focus on student and staff safety to the greatest extent possible.

Students with sensory or breathing difficulties may be exempted by the school principal, guided by school board guidelines.

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Staff personal protective equipment (PPE)

Link to Ministry of Education directive

HPEDSB direction

HPEDSB will continue to provide school staff and school bus drivers, school bus monitors and student aides with required PPE (personal protective equipment), including medical masks, eye protection and other PPE based on their specific role/job functions (for example, gloves, gowns).

Required PPE and critical supplies and equipment (for example, disinfectant, hand sanitizer), will continue to be provided.

Medical masks (surgical/procedural) are required to be worn by school staff and visitors indoors at schools, including in hallways and during classes. 

Medical masks (surgical/procedural) are also required to be worn by school staff outdoors if 2 metres of distance from others cannot be maintained. Eye protection is required if a staff member comes within 2 metres of an unmasked individual, indoors and outdoors, as per occupational health and safety requirements

Staff must maintain at least 2 metres distance when consuming food/drinks. Reasonable exceptions to the requirement for staff to wear masks will apply.  

Eye protection is required for education staff when 2 metres of physical distancing with unmasked students cannot be maintained (such as students mask exemptions or JK/SK students).

Special education needs

Where necessary for faces to be seen for lip reading to support students who are deaf or hard of hearing, masks with clear sections may be worn.

Where staff are required to perform an Aerosol Generating Medical Procedure (AGMP), or are required to be in the same room when an AGMP is being performed, N95 respirators (fit tested) will be provided.

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Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette

Link to Ministry of Education directive

HPEDSB direction

Hand hygiene is one of the most important protective measures to prevent COVID-19 spread. Students and staff will continue to practise regular hand hygiene throughout the day.

Dispensers with alcohol based hand rub (ABHR) are located at school entrances, in hallways and classrooms. Signs are posted throughout schools with reminders about proper hand hygiene. 

Hand hygiene reminders: 

  • Soap and water are preferred as the most effective method.
  • Alcohol based hand rub (ABHR) can be used by children. It is most effective when hands are not visibly soiled.
  • For any dirt, blood, body fluids (urine/feces), it is preferred that hands be washed with soap and water.
  • Everyone is encouraged to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze.

Refer to the Public Health Ontario how to wash your hands (PDF) fact sheet.

Refer to the Health Canada hard-surface disinfectants and hand sanitizers (COVID-19): list of hand sanitizers authorized by Health Canada, including which sanitizers may be appropriate for different groups of staff and students.

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Distancing and congregating

Link to Ministry of Education directive

HPEDSB direction

Physical distancing measures will be layered with other public health measures, such as screening, hand hygiene, cohorting, enhanced cleaning and masking. 

It is recommended that congregations of students and staff be reduced, as much as possible.

The same desk/table should be used by the same student each day, as much as possible. Cleaning materials will be available to students to wipe desks.

School arrival, departure and signage

Parent/guardian presence on school yards will be limited at this time. Schools will advise families of a designated area and protocol for drop off and pick up. Physical distancing is required, with masking if 2 metre distances cannot be maintained.

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Recess and breaks outdoors

Link to Ministry of Education directive

HPEDSB direction

Students do not need to stay within their cohort during recess and breaks outdoors, but distancing should be encouraged between cohorts, as much as possible.

When students are interacting with friends from outside their class/cohort, they should be mindful of maintaining and encouraged to maintain physical distancing.

Shared materials outdoors are permitted, with appropriate hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.

Recess may be staggered based on the size of the outdoor space and the availability of supervisors. Principals will develop a schedule and routine that allows for students to maintain appropriate physical distancing while still having an opportunity for fresh air and physical activity. 

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Inclement weather days

Link to Ministry of Education directive

HPEDSB direction

Schools will follow the HPEDSB inclement weather procedure and will be required to provide remote learning on inclement weather days. Google Classroom or Brightspace are the approved platforms for remote learning. More information is to come.

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Cleaning and disinfecting standards and protocols

Link to Ministry of Education directive

HPEDSB direction

HPEDSB has detailed routine and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols, which will continue for the start of school.

HPEDSB will continue to use asthma-safe, hospital-grade green-based cleaning products, where available. Cleaning involves the removal of dirt and disinfectants, destroying germs and preventing them from spreading.

  • Cleaning will take place in high touch areas throughout the school.
  • Cleaning will take place at the end of each day with high touch surfaces disinfected throughout the day, as permissible.
  • Classroom garbage will be collected and disposed of daily as part of normal custodian duties.
  • Classroom cleaning will focus on frequently touched surfaces, such as door handles and light switches. 
  • While the risk of transmission through shared objects is low, the focus will be on regular hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette to reduce the risk of infection related to high touch surfaces, particularly when regular/constant cleaning of shared objects is not feasible. 
  • Cleaning and disinfecting routines will continue to be based on advice from Hastings Prince Edward Public Health and direction from the Ministry of Education, in consultation with the Ontario Medical Officer of Health.

Cleaning and disinfecting products (e.g., spray bottle, wiper kits) for learning spaces are available upon request.

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Shared materials

Link to Ministry of Education directive

HPEDSB direction

Shared materials are important for learning (for example, toys for imaginative play in Kindergarten, manipulatives for math, computers and other tech materials, books, art supplies, indoor physical education equipment and shared outdoor equipment). The use of shared materials is permitted. The risk associated with transmission with shared objects is low. The focus should be on regular hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette to reduce the risk of infection related to shared equipment, particularly when regular cleaning of shared objects is not feasible.

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Shared spaces

Link to Ministry of Education directive

HPEDSB direction

When different cohorts interact in shared indoor spaces, masking and as much distancing as possible should be maintained between cohorts.

  • Classroom cubbies may be used while maintaining as much physical distancing as possible.
  • Locker use is not advised at this time if physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Physical distancing will be layered with other public health measures, such as screening, hand hygiene, cohorting, enhanced cleaning and masking.
  • Some students access alternative learning environments, such as sensory and calming rooms. When these designated spaces are within a Special Education class setting, they are considered part of the program space and can be accessed by any student within the cohort with class-based cleaning protocols implemented (for example student-specific materials brought in or out with individual students).
  • Factors and possible strategies to consider for calming rooms with multiple students accessing the same space:
    • Schedule times within a cohort of students.
    • Each student could have an individual bin of items for sole use.
    • Cleaning of surfaces between students’ use of sensory equipment as many of these items go into a child’s mouth.
    • Students will need sole access to the preferred items.
    • Items should be disinfected. Educational assistants and educators should clean sensory tools as per existing procedure/protocol.

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Cafeteria use and lunch protocols

Link to Ministry of Education directive

HPEDSB direction

Students may eat together:

  • outdoors, without distancing; or
  • indoors, with a minimum distance of 2 metres maintained between cohorts and as much distancing as possible within a cohort.
  • Where this is not possible, HPEDSB will work with public health to develop a plan that reduces the number of students and cohorts eating in proximity to each other as much as possible.

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Food programs

Link to Ministry of Education directive

HPEDSB direction

  • Breakfast and nutrition programs will be delivered in a way that enables any student who wishes to participate to do so in cooperation with The Hastings and Prince Edward Learning Foundation.
  • Grab and Go format is preferred at this time.
  • Food for Learning volunteers are permitted in schools and are expected to follow staff health and safety guidelines.
  • Nutrition programs and non-instructional food events, such as a pizza day, may occur.
  • Secondary school culinary programs will continue to work collaboratively with public health for guidance on programming options.

Schools may choose to resume purchased lunch programs. Cash is an acceptable form of payment.

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Assemblies

Link to Ministry of Education directive

HPEDSB direction

Indoor school assemblies or other student/school gatherings may not occur at this time.

Outdoor assemblies may occur with proper physical distancing. This will be reviewed during September 2021. 

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Visitors

Link to Ministry of Education directive

HPEDSB direction

Frequent visitors, or visitors who have contact with students, are required to self-screen and provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 prior to entering the building. Other visitors may access the building at the principal’s discretion. Visitors are required to self-screen and wear a medical-grade mask. A medical mask will be provided, if needed. Confirmation of self-screening is required prior to entering the building.

NOTE: “Full vaccination against COVID-19” means having received all doses required for a COVID-19 vaccine(s) approved by the World Health Organization (e.g., two doses of a two-dose vaccine, or one dose of a single-dose vaccine); and having received the final vaccine dose at least 14 days ago. 

All visitors should pre-schedule an appointment with the school administrator or designate. If a visitor has any signs or symptoms, they may not enter the school.

Parent nights and other school events involving large gatherings are on hold at this time. This approach may change in the future based on guidance from Hastings Prince Edward Public Health.

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Student transportation

Link to Ministry of Education directive

HPEDSB direction

School buses will operate as normal. Masks for students in Grades 1 to 12 are required on school buses and vehicles. Students in Kindergarten are encouraged to wear masks on student transportation. Students will be assigned seats and a record of the seating plan will be kept to assist with contact tracing. School buses will continue to have enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces.

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Ventilation

Link to Ministry of Education directive

HPEDSB direction

Ventilation is one of a number of strategies that work together to ensure healthy and safe learning environments.

Ventilation is a key element in the multiple strategies to support healthy and safe learning environments for students and staff. These strategies include hand hygiene, masks, physical distancing, etc. If these protective strategies are followed, the probability of viruses entering our schools will be reduced. 

Improving ventilation and air quality is a long term commitment. HPEDSB has spent over $6 million this year alone in ventilation upgrades at schools. Read about the actions that have been taken to enhance air quality in schools in the 2021 Ventilation Report.  

Air quality in classrooms and learning environments will continue to be optimized by improving ventilation and/or filtration. Ventilation systems in all schools have been inspected and confirmed to be in good working order prior to the start of the school year, with continued inspection and maintenance scheduled throughout the year.

 In addition to regular maintenance and controls in place for schools, improvements made the 2021-2022 school year include the following:

  • Filters are changed more frequently and the filter rating has been increased to catch smaller particles (as appropriate for each type of equipment).
  • Ventilation controls schedules have been adjusted on all equipment to do a 2-hour purge before and after each school day. 
  • Ventilation equipment has been updated or added to schools to provide a long-term solution to increased air quality.
  • Air systems are balanced to ensure that the units are supplying fresh air and air exchange in the most optimal way to all spaces. 
  • Improved automation of ventilation units with full control and scheduling abilities in all schools and buildings.
  • Portable HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter units are in teaching/learning spaces that do not have full mechanical ventilation and in all Kindergarten classrooms.
  • Bi-polar ionization systems have been installed in some spaces without full mechanical ventilation.  

School-specific ventilation information will be posted to the HPEDSB website by September 3, 2021. If you have any questions, please contact the school administrator.

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Vaccination

Link to Ministry of Education directive

HPEDSB direction

Vaccination is an important tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and allow students, families, and staff to safely resume normal activities. HPEDSB will follow direction from the Ministry of Education and Hastings Prince Edward Public Health.

The Ministry of Education has directed that all school board employees, bus drivers and essential school visitors must: 

  1. provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19; or  
  2. provide a formal/official documented medical reason for not being vaccinated against COVID-19; or 
  3. participate in an educational program approved by the Ministry of Education.

Immunization Disclosure Protocol (pdf)

Anyone who is not immunized, including anyone with medical reasons, will be required to complete regular COVID-19 testing as directed in provincial guidance.

Any student or family wishing to access vaccination may contact Hastings Prince Edward Public Health for information about vaccination clinics.  Bookings at vaccination clinics can be accessed at https://hpepublichealth.ca/vaccine-booking/

HPEDSB will continue working with public health to coordinate vaccination clinics in schools and communicate with families about the clinics. Additional information is available at COVID-19 vaccines for youth.

If you are having a difficult time accessing COVID-19 vaccination, please contact your child’s school principal for assistance.

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Mental health and student supports

Link to Ministry of Education directive

HPEDSB direction

Our primary focus continues to be the mental health, well-being and human rights of everyone in our school communities. Considerations for the well-being of all stakeholders are a lens for planning, implementing, communicating and supporting  in-person, blended and virtual/remote learning. We recognize that students and staff will be approaching the transition back to school from a diverse range of perspectives, needs and experiences.

To support a mentally healthy return to school, educators will have opportunities to focus on mental health literacy, where they will learn about mental health and to teach in ways that encourage belonging and support student mental health. Educators will also be given resources that support the implementation of everyday strategies to foster strong positive and inclusive classroom practices, that in turn lead to a mentally healthy classroom.

School Mental Health Ontario has numerous resources for students and families.

A helpful framework to consider when planning for a mentally healthy return to school is to think in tiers. Using a tiered approach to achieve a mentally healthy return to school ensures planning occurs for students, families and staff across a continuum of needs.

  • Tier 1 Good for ALL: Universal support will be available for all students and staff, as there will be a need to debrief, build relationships, feel a sense of belonging, and re-engage with school life. General school guidelines to support transitions back to school will be developed for all students.
  • Tier 2 Good for SOME: Additional support for students more impacted by COVID-19. Some students, families and staff will need to re-establish school relationships and routines. These students and staff may need access to additional mental health support through the Student Services team (Psychological Services, social workers, social service workers, child and youth workers, etc.) and the Employee Assistance Plan (EAP), respectively.
  • Tier 3 Good for FEW: Specialized support for students with significant needs and who have been the most vulnerable or affected by COVID-19. Services pathways will be available for those requiring more intensive mental health support during the transition back to school.

For more information about the pathways available for students, consultation can occur with the Mental Health Team.

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Specific academic programs and requirements

Link to Ministry of Education directive

HPEDSB direction

Cooperative education

For students enrolled in cooperative education courses, in-person community placements may be arranged (provided that relevant health and safety requirements can be maintained). If in-person placements are not possible, students may be offered virtual placements. 

Music

Music classes (including the use of wind instruments and singing) are permitted in areas with adequate ventilation (read the ventilation directive).

Singing and the use of wind instruments will be permitted as follows:

  • Use of wind instruments is permitted indoors within a cohort if a minimum distance of two metres or more can be maintained. As much distance as possible should be encouraged and use of large, well-ventilated spaces should be prioritized.
  • Use of wind instruments is permitted outdoors in mixed cohorts with distancing encouraged.
  • Singing is permitted indoors with mask wearing. Two metres of physical distancing must be maintained between cohorts and as much distancing as possible maintained within a cohort.

Health and physical education

In elementary and secondary health and physical education courses, the use of gymnasiums, change rooms, weight rooms, indoor physical education equipment and shared outdoor equipment are permitted with physical distancing.

Low-contact activities (refer to the following table) are permitted indoors and outdoors. High contact activities are permitted outdoors only at this time, as follows: 

  • Masking is not required when playing high or low contact activities outdoors.
  • Masking is encouraged for indoor sports where they can be worn safely based on the activity.
  • Windows should be opened when feasible to increase ventilation.
  • Hand hygiene processes should be followed after equipment has been used.

High and low-contact sports reference tables

High-contact sports 
Basketball
Football
Hockey
Lacrosse
Rugby
Soccer
Wrestling
Low-contact sports
Badminton
Curling
Gymnastics
Swimming
Track and Field/Cross Country
Volleyball

Field trips

Day trips and overnight stays are on hold at this time. This will be reviewed during September and will follow the relevant provincial requirements under the Reopening Ontario Act.   

EQAO

EQAO assessments for Grades 3, 6, 9, and 10 will resume.

Literacy and community involvement graduation requirements

The successful completion of the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), a graduation requirement, is waived for students graduating this school year, but will be restored as a requirement in the 2022-2023 school year. 

The community involvement graduation requirement has been reduced from 40 to 20 hours for students graduating in the 2021-2022 school year only. 

Adult and continuing education

Adult and Continuing Education programs will continue to be offered.

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Extra-curricular activities

Link to Ministry of Education directive

HPEDSB direction

Clubs

Currently, school-based clubs, activities, sport teams, bands (with wind instruments outdoors) and other extra-curriculars are permitted. Cohorts may interact outdoors with physical distancing encouraged, and indoors with masking and appropriate physical distancing.

Direction in the sections on protective strategies and specific academic programs and requirements apply to all extra-curricular activities.

Inter-school sport activities

Participation in activities beyond the classroom is an important part of the school experience. Student athletes, coaches and community volunteers dedicate themselves to athletic practice, play and competition throughout the year and is a part of the culture of each school. Inter-school athletics for students in Grades 7-12 will resume in accordance with direction from the Ministry of Education and guidance from Hastings Prince Edward Public Health beginning the week of September 27, 2021. Please refer to the Guidelines for the Safe Participation in Inter-school Athletic Activities for more information.

All guidelines must be followed to ensure the safety of student athletes, employees, and the community. Changes to this document may occur as the result of public health direction. 

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Before and after school programs

HPEDSB direction

Schools, child care operators and authorized recreation providers in schools should follow the guidance for before and after school programs and collaborate to ensure that student lists and information are maintained and readily available to be provided to public health for contact tracing purposes in accordance with all applicable legislation, including the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

We are awaiting guidance, more information is to come. 

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Community use of schools

Link to Ministry of Education directive

HPEDSB direction

A measured approach to reopening schools is important to support schools to maximize health and safety of students and staff. This includes the internal and external use of schools through community use of schools permits. 

Community use of schools for internal school permits (meaning the use of school space for school-related events, school related extra-curricular activities, etc.) will be allowed beginning in mid-September 2021 through the normal process of securing a community use permit. Approval will be based on space availability and staffing, aligned with Ministry of Education directives and public health guidance.

Community use of schools for external permits (meaning requests from community groups/individuals for use of space for events, sports, etc.) are not permitted at this time. More information is to come. 

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International students

Link to Ministry of Education directive

HPEDSB DIRECTION

International Education will continue to be offered. Schools provide welcoming and inclusive environments for international students to learn and become part of the school community. HPEDSB is in compliance with the guidelines for accepting international students, established by the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Canadian Federal Government. 

HPEDSB has been approved by the Ministry of Education to offer International Education for the 2021-2022 school year, based on the HPEDSB International Readiness Plan. The plan incorporates federal and provincial directives, along with additional precautions to provide a safe, healthy and supportive entry for both our international students and homestay families.

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Protocols for emergency management and fire safety

Link to Ministry of Education directive 

HPEDSB direction

Emergency and security drills (shelter in place, hold and secure, lockdown)

The regular practising of emergency measure drills, including shelter in place, hold and secure, lockdown, will not take place during COVID-19. Instead, modified practising will take place to review what has to happen, in the event of a real emergency. Modified practise drills will adhere to physical distance requirements.

Fire drills

School administrators will work collaboratively with local fire services for practice drills. Classes may move throughout the building while maintaining 2 metres between students in the classroom, hallway and at all exits. Principals will review with staff and students where to go in the event of a real emergency when the school needs to be evacuated. Locations on the school playground or field will be identified to allow 1 metre distance between students to be maintained.

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Management of COVID-19 in schools

Ministry of Education directive

HPEDSB direction

HPEDSB will follow direction from, and work in collaboration with, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health regarding case and outbreak management, as per the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Guidance: School Case, Contact, and Outbreak Management (pdf).

Positive COVID-19 case identified at a school

In the event that schools are made aware of a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 for staff or students, key information pertaining to staff and students will be made available to Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, upon request, contact tracing purposes. This information needs to be accessible by school administrators on short notice, both during and outside school hours, when requested by HPEPH. COVID-19 school board leads have established a system with HPEPH to ensure that these records can be accessed at all times. 

The following information will be available for contact tracing purposes:

  • attendance records
  • student portfolio
  • class lists and seating charts
  • before and after school child care lists
  • transportation lists and seating charts
  • up to date contact information for parents, staff and students
  • special assignments and programs, such as the Education and Community Partnership Program (ECPP) and Special Education
  • records of visitors

Fully immunized individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms

If the individual identified as a high-risk contact is fully immunized (meaning more than 14 days have passed after receiving the second of COVID-19 vaccinations) or has previously tested positive (meaning individual has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 where their initial positive result was less than or equal to 90 days ago and they have been cleared from their initial infection), and have symptoms compatible with COVID-19, they should:

  • isolate and get tested right away;
  • discontinue self-isolation once symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours (48 hours for gastrointestinal symptoms), if they test negative; or
  • self-isolate for 10 days if they test positive.

Fully immunized individuals without COVID-19 symptoms

If the individual identified as a high-risk contact is fully immunized or previously positive and does not have symptoms compatible with COVID-19, they are generally not required to self-isolate; however, self-isolation may be required at the discretion of public health. 

The individual should be recommended for testing but is not required to isolate while awaiting test results if they were not already directed to isolate.

Individuals who are not fully immunized

If the individual identified as a high-risk contact is not fully immunized or previously positive, the individuals should self-isolate and get tested on or after day 7 of their isolation period. Regardless of the test result, they are required to self-isolate for 10 days. 

Household members of a high-risk contact with COVID-19 symptoms

If the individual identified as a high-risk contact is fully immunized, or was previously positive and has symptoms compatible with COVID-19:

  • a household member who is fully immunized, or previously positive is not required to stay home or isolate;
  • a household member who is not fully immunized or previously positive should isolate while the high-risk contact is awaiting test results or if they are not  tested; and
  • If the risk-contact tests negative, a household member is not required to isolate.

If the individual identified as a high-risk contact and the household member of the high-risk contact is not fully immunized or previously positive and:

  • has no symptoms compatible with COVID-19: the household member should stay at home except for essential reasons (for example, work, school) during the high-risk contact’s isolate period
  • has symptoms compatible with COVID-19: the household member should isolate while the high-risk contact is awaiting test results or if they are not tested

If the high-risk contact tests negative, the household member should stay at home except for essential reasons (for example, work or school) during the high-risk contact’s isolation period.

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Letter from the Director: This is Me in HPE Student Census coming in November 2021

Student Census infographicOctober 14, 2021—Director of Education, Katherine MacIver shared a letter today with HPE School families about the upcoming This is Me in HPE Student Census. Please read the following letter and infographic to learn more about this exciting initiative.

Dear Families:

This is Me in HPE Student Census, coming in November 2021

Fall has arrived and the school year is well underway. At Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB), we are committed to the learning and achievement of all students. In order to ensure our schools meet the needs of all our students, we will be participating in a first-ever, district-wide student census called This is Me in HPE.

The This is Me in HPE Student Census will collect identity-based information to help us learn about our students and create more equitable, inclusive schools. This will help us to be aware of and support the diversity of our students and families.

Why are we doing this? We are committed to meeting the learning needs of all students. For us to identify and address inequities, barriers, or discriminatory biases, we need to better understand the diversity that exists across our system. That includes knowing more about our students and school communities.

As a public education provider, HPEDSB welcomes all students, and values the diversity of our students and staff. This includes reaffirming our commitment to equity and inclusion for all. At the same time, we also commit to supporting all individuals in our school communities through a sense of belonging, regardless of their background or personal circumstances.

We need your help! The census will be conducted through your child’s school from November 15-19, 2021. Participation is voluntary and will take about 20 minutes. It is confidential but not anonymous. This means individual responses, and all personal student and family information, will remain strictly confidential with your child’s educators and protected under freedom of information and protection of privacy legislation. As a school board, we will use this data to improve learning opportunities for all students.

Even though the census dates are a few weeks away, we are communicating with you now because teachers will start preparing students to varying degrees. For example, students will learn why the census is being done and will be able to ask questions to clarify their understanding of unfamiliar words or concepts.

In early November, you will receive another letter with specific information about the student census. In the meantime, you can learn more by viewing an information slideshow, infographic, sample census questions and FAQs online at www.hpedsb.on.ca/census. If you have other questions or are looking for additional information, please contact the principal, or the project leads by email at [email protected] or call 613-966-1170 ext. 62121.
These are exciting times at HPEDSB. We are on a journey to re-engage and reimagine learning. Thank you for joining us, as we continue learning together.

Sincerely,

Katherine MacIver
Director of Education

 

Letter from the Director: Inter-school extracurriculars resuming this week

September 28, 2021

Dear Families:

Inter-school athletics will resume this week with a mandatory vaccination plan for students, coaches, volunteers and officials
As the school year progresses, so do requirements for the COVID-19 pandemic. At Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, the Return to Learning Plan provides guidance for the safe return to school. We review the plan on a regular basis and make adjustments to enhance student learning, engagement and well-being.

Participation in activities beyond the classroom is an important part of the school experience. With that in mind, I am pleased to let you know that inter-school athletics for students in Grades 7-12 will resume this week, in accordance with guidance from Hastings Prince Edward Public Health. Inter-school activities occur between two or more schools, as compared to in-school activities, which are referred to as intramurals.

Permission to play
Students in Grades 7-12 participating in inter-school events (athletics and/or extracurriculars) are required to be fully vaccinated by November 12, 2021 to participate in activities that take them out of their home school. OFSAA guidelines and COVID-19 protocols will be followed.

To minimize the number of contacts for students, coaches, officials and volunteers, all events will be closed to spectators.

Students who are in the process of acquiring full vaccination status will be permitted to participate in inter-school activities if they are meeting vaccination milestones, as follows:

  • The first dose of vaccination must be completed by October 1, 2021.
  • The second dose of vaccination must be completed by October 29, 2021.
  • All participants must be fully vaccinated (including the 14-day waiting period following dose 2) as of November 12, 2021.
  • Participants will provide proof of vaccination to confirm eligibility but will not be required to submit a copy of this proof.
  • Schools will record that proof has been provided and that a participant is eligible.
  • Those who have provided valid exemptions may be required to provide proof of negative rapid antigen tests prior to the activity.
  • HPEDSB will not collect or store any medical documentation.

All students in Grades K-12 may participate in intra-school activities (intramural sports, clubs) without being subject to the vaccination expectations outlined above.

For more information, please refer to the Guidelines for the Safe Participation in Inter-school Athletic Activities.

HPEDSB is committed to student and staff safety, and to following health measures to protect in-person learning. Thank you for your support of your child’s school and for your understanding as we continue a cautious approach to school activities and events.

Sincerely,

Katherine MacIver
Director of Education

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]

September 30 is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 24, 2021—In Canada, September 30, 2021 marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The day honours the lost indigenous children and residential school survivors, their families and communities. Public commemoration of this tragic and painful history, and the ongoing impacts of residential schools, is a vital component of the reconciliation process.

September 30 is an opportunity for everyone to learn about Truth and Reconciliation. At HPEDSB, students at every school will engage with age appropriate curriculum resources and learning opportunities to gain a better understanding of this chapter of Canadian history.

In its 2015 final report, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was clear: “Without truth … there can be no genuine reconciliation.” The problem, the commissioners explained, is that “too many Canadians know little or nothing about the deep historical roots” of the ongoing issues stemming from settler colonialism generally, and residential schooling specifically.

Every one of us has a responsibility to reflect upon our role in reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and learn more about Indigenous history, cultures, the legacy of systemic discrimination and the residential school system, that continue to have ongoing impacts on First Nation, Métis and Inuit children, families and communities.

To learn more about the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, please visit the Government of Canada website page National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

COVID-19 Immunization disclosure for school board employees

Updated October 1, 2021—Achieving high immunization rates in Ontario’s schools through vaccination is part of a range of measures and actions that can help prevent and limit the spread of COVID-19 in schools. It also supports the Ministry of Education goal of keeping schools open and safe for in-person learning.

The Ministry of Education requires school boards to publicly post aggregated, depersonalized statistical information about employee vaccination status.

Employee attestation and proof of vaccination

As of September 7, 2021, all HPEDSB employees were required to affirm whether they are:

  • Fully vaccinated
  • Partially vaccinated
  • Not vaccinated

Individuals subject to immunization disclosure were required to provide proof of one of the following three things:

  1. full vaccination against COVID-19; or
  2. a medical reason for not being vaccinated against COVID-19; or
  3. completion of a COVID-19 vaccination educational program prescribed by the Ministry of Education.

At HPEDSB, anyone who is not fully vaccinated will be required to complete COVID-19 rapid antigen testing twice a week. This does not apply to students.

Individuals who are required to disclose vaccination status

The following groups of individuals are covered by the policy:

  • all school board employees/staff, including daily and long-term occasional teachers and casual education workers;
  • school board trustees;
  • student transportation drivers; and
  • the following individuals, if attending the school premises frequently and directly contacting staff or students:
    • students on educational placement, including professional services students on a placement / work-integrated learning visit (e.g., teacher candidate practicums, nurse, psychologist, behavioural therapist, speech-language pathologist, etc.);
    • volunteers;
    • those who provide professional services to children at school; and
    • visitors, including third-party contractors.

Statistical information about employee vaccination status

(last updated October 1, 2021)

Attestation Summary Information: School board employees and trustees

1. Total number of individuals to which this policy will apply 2210
2. Total number of individuals who have attested to being fully vaccinated, with supporting documentation 1875
3. Total number of individuals who have attested to being fully vaccinated, without supporting documentation 26
4. Total number of individuals who provided a documented medical reason for not being fully vaccinated 6
5. Total number of individuals who completed an educational session about the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination as an alternative to 2, 3 or 4 above, where applicable 0
6. Total number of individuals who have not yet completed an educational session about the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination as an alternative to 2, 3 or 4 above, where applicable (NEW) 303
7. Total number of individuals who have not yet submitted the attestation 0
8. Percentage of individuals who have attested to being fully immunized, with supporting documentation 84.8%
9. Percentage of individuals who have attested to being fully immunized, without supporting documentation 1.2%
10. Percentage of individuals who have attested to being fully immunized, (with or without supporting documentation) out of those individuals who have submitted an attestation (NEW) 86.0%

 

Attestation Summary Information: Other individuals who may have direct contact with staff/students

1. Total number of individuals to which this policy will apply 841
2. Total number of individuals who have attested to being fully vaccinated, with supporting documentation 693
3. Total number of individuals who have attested to being fully vaccinated, without supporting documentation 59
4. Total number of individuals who provided a documented medical reason for not being fully vaccinated 2
5. Total number of individuals who completed an educational session about the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination as an alternative to 2, 3 or 4 above, where applicable 71
6. Total number of individuals who have not yet completed an educational session about the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination as an alternative to 2, 3 or 4 above, where applicable (NEW) 9
7. Total number of individuals who have not yet submitted the attestation (if known) (NEW) 7
8. Percentage of individuals who have attested to being fully immunized, with supporting documentation 82.4%
9. Percentage of individuals who have attested to being fully immunized, without supporting documentation 7.0%
10. Percentage of individuals who have attested to being fully immunized, (with or without supporting documentation) out of those individuals who have submitted an attestation (NEW) 90.2%

Welcome from the Director of Education: Re-engage, recover and reimagine learning

September 7, 2021—Welcome students, staff and families to the 2021-2022 school year!

As Director of Education, I am excited to be embarking on a new school year that presents opportunities for learning, support and activity for our students. HPEDSB staff are focused on a return that will re-engage, recover and reimagine learning in our schools and classrooms.

I am especially pleased that the 2021-2022 school year will give us the opportunity to re-engage in our schools, to build community and to support our learners in person. There is no doubt that the past 18 months have challenged us in a variety of ways. While we did not all experience the pandemic in the same way, we all felt the impact in our lives. As we re-engage in learning, wellbeing is at the forefront for our students and staff as they return to our schools, either in-person or virtually. We look forward to the return of some of our essential supports, such as Food for Learning, in-person mental health supports, and school clubs and activities.

As we recover, we will ensure learning is hand-in-hand with wellbeing. Our students have been very active learners over the past year, whether in our physical and virtual classrooms, or in the home and community. We know there may still be learning gaps to address. Be assured, as we recover, staff will target key learning for our students to ensure they are equipped with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to be successful.

HPEDSB will continue to reimagine learning. The pandemic has given us an opportunity to look at teaching and learning differently. We have harnessed the power of technology in learning and have discovered that there is flexibility in our structures and approaches. It is an exciting time to think through how we can provide equity of hope, opportunity and outcome for our students in new ways.

I commit to you that we will balance re-engagement, recovery and reimagining with a close eye on safety for our staff and students. Numerous protocols and processes are in place to ensure our schools continue to be safe learning environments for all. Please refer to our Return to Learning plan for more information and further updates.

I look forward to a very successful 2021-2022 school year of learning together!

Sincerely,

Katherine MacIver
Director of Education

Ventilation at schools

September 1, 2021—School boards are using multiple strategies to support healthy and safe learning environments for students and staff as they return to in-person learning this fall. Supported by Ministry of Education investments in ventilation system improvements during the 2020-2021 school year, HPEDSB has undertaken extensive work over the past year to optimize and improve ventilation and air filtration in schools.

What is HPEDSB doing to improve air flow?

Air quality is being optimized at schools through improved ventilation and filtration, depending on the type of ventilation. This is a key element as part of the multiple protective strategies in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, and support healthier and safe learning environments for students and staff.

  • Ventilation: Increasing the flow of outdoor/fresh air for diluting the concentration of any infectious particles.
  • Filtration: Involves the use of different types of fibrous media designed to remove particles from the airstream.

The Ventilation Strategy (see Graphic 1 below), includes the following best practices:

  • Implemented a preventive maintenance inspection/service program on all mechanical units to ensure continued effective operation of ventilation equipment (including operating windows).
  • Increased filter ratings to catch smaller particles, as appropriate for each type of equipment and conduct more frequent filter changes.
  • Updated or added ventilation equipment at schools to provide a long term solution to increased air quality and adjusted to do a 2-hour purge before and after the school day.
  • Placed standalone HEPA units in all Kindergarten classrooms and all occupied learning spaces without mechanical ventilation, as per Ministry of Education guidelines.

Investments at HPEDSB schools

The investments made by the Ministry of Education and school boards enabled all Ontario schools to implement a range of measures to improve ventilation and air quality (see Graphic 2 below).

2021-2022 school year

  • Ventilation funding: $0.5 million
  • 16 projects in progress/planned
  • 7 schools to receive an investment, representing 17% of total schools
  • Standalone HEPA filter units deployed: 381

2020-2021 school year

  • Ventilation funding: $6.9 million
  • 9 projects completed
  • 21 schools received an investment, representing 51% of total schools
  • HPEDSB will continue to implement best practices to improve ventilation and/or filtration to support healthy and safe learning environments for students and staff.
School board ventilation strategy
Graphic 1: Ventilation Strategy
Board investments in ventilation
Graphic 2: Ventilation Profile

 

 

Board Meeting Update 196: August 30, 2021

August 30, 2021—This update provides a summary of the online special public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held August 30, 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 September.

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.

Information

Director’s Report: Return to Learning Plan for the 2021-2022 School Year

Katherine MacIver, shared the HPEDSB Return to Learning Plan. Highlights from this report included the following:

  • the focus is on returning to learning safely, a cautious return to learning plan with guidelines for students and staff;
  • in some areas of the plan, we are awaiting further guidance from the Ministry of Education, public health or partner organizations, such as from OPHEA (Ontario Physical and Health Education Association) regarding extra-curriculars;
  • protective measures: masking, daily screening, hand hygiene, physical distancing, cleaning and ventilation, among others;
  • the opportunity to switch between in-person and virtual learning was offered from August 23 to 26, 2021; any transfer requests from now on will follow the transfer process through Procedure 340: Transfer of Students;
  • COVID-19 symptoms are different this year as compared to last year;
  • public health will make determination about school/work attendance when COVID-19 is confirmed or suspected;
  • vaccination information for staff/adults will not be shared, as per health privacy legislation; however, vaccination attestation is required for all adults who enter our schools and administrative buildings;
  • vaccinations for students are not mandatory; neither schools nor HPEDSB has access to student vaccination information;
  • secondary schools will host vaccination clinics on behalf of public health; details will be shared once we know more;
  • HPEDSB is not part of the provincial pilot program for asymptomatic testing;
  • a ventilation report will be posted to the HPEDSB website by September 3, 2021; HPEDSB received $5.9 million for ventilation/HVAC upgrades, windows and physical distancing measures; some work will be ongoing throughout September+ due to contractor availability and scheduling;
  • 303 HEPA units are at schools in locations which do not have mechanical ventilation; many are in Kindergarten classrooms due to JK/SK students being not required to wear masks;
  • opening windows and using outdoor learning spaces are encouraged as much as possible; and
  • the mental health and well-being of students and staff are priority areas.

Please refer to the plan for complete details as the above are highlights only.

2021-2022 Budget grant adjustment

Nick Pfeiffer, Superintendent of Business, summarized a budget adjustment that has occurred since the 2021-2022 budget was approved in June 2021. Highlights from this report included the following:

  • a decrease in the Operations and Maintenance grant of $1.3 million;
  • the decrease results from data input inaccuracies going back to the 2017-2018 school year;
  • a review of data entry process is underway;
  • Procedure 500: Financial Integrity, outlines internal controls to protect information;
  • the regional internal audit team is reviewing data management, access and control functions;
  • discussions are underway with the Ministry of Education; and
  • there is no impact on the budget for this school year.

A full report will be presented to the Committee of the Whole on September 13, 2021.

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

Stakeholder input needed for new HPEDSB board and school websites

August 25, 2021

Hastings and Prince Edward School Board is seeking input from all internal and external stakeholders regarding the board and individual school websites. The updating of all websites is planned for the 2021-2022 school year. Insights and feedback from those who use the websites will inform the design and content of the new versions.

Interested contributors are asked to complete the brief website survey before the end of day on Friday, September 17, 2021.

Director of Education, Katherine MacIver interviewed on YourTV Quinte

August 23, 2021

Last week, Katherine MacIver, Director of Education at HPEDSB, was interview by Paul Martin of YourTV Quinte to discuss recently introduced return to learning COVID-19 regulations, what to expect this fall, and the toll the pandemic has been taking on education workers and families. The interview also provided viewers the chance to learn more about our new director and the experience, perspective and priorities she brings to our board.

Letter to families: Return to Learning Plan for the 2021-2022 School Year

August 20, 2021

To All Families:

Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board is pleased to release updated guidance for a safe return to school in September 2021. We are confident that with the multiple layers of protective factors we have in place, we can enjoy a full year of in person instruction, support and activity for all students.

Link to the Return to Learning Plan for the 2021-2022 School Year

We know that regular school attendance is essential to student well-being and learning. With multiple layers of support, we can attend to student health, safety and well-being so that we can focus closely on student learning.

The HPEDSB protective factors are informed by the Ministry of Education and Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, and include the following:

  • voluntary vaccinations for students age 12+;
  • masking indoors;
  • daily screening;
  • cohorting classes;
  • outdoor learning, where possible;
  • distancing, where possible and necessary;
  • rigorous cleaning schedules;
  • increased ventilation, including but not limited to, MERV filters, extended air purging, increased air flow and portable units;
  • regular hand hygiene;
  • sneeze and cough etiquette;
  • contact tracing through public health, when necessary; and
  • COVID-19 testing.

We are pleased and encouraged that through these multiple layers of protection and local vaccination rates, activities such as clubs, all arts, and sports will be possible in our schools. These activities not only enhance the experience of our students in our schools but are shown to be supportive of student mental health and in-person attendance.

We know that the past 18 months of education have been filled with challenges along the way. I hope you will join me in extending appreciation to the education and support staff in our schools and offices for their dedication and hard work to ensure our students have experienced success. While we know there may be some learning recovery, I am confident that our educators will continue to identify and prioritize key learning for students to prepare them with the knowledge, understanding and skills to be successful.

At this time, a limited opportunity is being offered to families who wish to revise the registration choice they made in the spring. Starting Monday, August 23 to Thursday, August 26, 2021, anyone wishing to be considered for re-registration at the K-10 Virtual School, or return to in-person school, is asked to call 613-966-1170, then press 5, then extension 58402.

I encourage you to fully review the Return to Learning Plan. Please feel free to contact your child’s school principal with any questions.

Thank you for your continued support of HPEDSB as we continue learning and growing together.

Sincerely,

Katherine

Katherine MacIver
Director of Education

Ontario guidelines for the return to school

August 3, 2021–Today the Ministry of Education released guidelines, and health and safety measures for all public and private schools in Ontario. These rules support safe in-person learning for students and staff for the 2021-2022 school year.

We are looking forward to a full return in September, including some extracurriculars, as we join with the province for a cautious return to school.

Specifics for HPEDSB students, staff and schools will be available in the coming days.

School and Education Centre open/close dates for summer 2021

June 30, 2021—Now that the school year has ended, hours of operation for schools and the Education Centre will change to the summer schedule.

Please see below for specific dates.

Requests for student records and transcript will be responded to when schools open. In the meantime, find out more online.

The Education Centre will operate on reduced hours from July 5 to August 20, 2021 and staff will continue to work from home. An annual 2-week shutdown will occur for the weeks of July 26 and August 2, 2021.

General inquiries during the summer

Contact the Communications team at [email protected], or 613-966-1170, extension 62201. Emails and calls will be responded to on weekdays within 24 hours. Please be aware that we will do our best to assist, although if your question is specific to a school, it may need to wait until schools re-open in late August.

Emergency contact (answering service) for building or community concerns

Call TAS at 613-967-8684

Happy summer! Make it safe and enjoyable.

Announcing the new director of education

Katherine MacIver
Congratulations to Katherine MacIver, new Director of Education, effective July 1, 2021.

June 21, 2021—A new Director of Education has been selected for Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board. Congratulations and welcome to Katherine MacIver.

MacIver, known as an influential leader and strategic, innovative thinker, comes to the role with over 25 years of experience in elementary and secondary education. She is a results oriented leader who establishes a culture of high expectations and accountability, with a focus on student well-being, equity and learning.

“I am excited and pleased to welcome Katherine to our team. Everyone is ready to press the reset button as we continue to make students the priority. Our focus is fulfilling the strategic plan goals of student achievement; high expectations; safety and well-being; equity and responsible communication. As the Board of Trustees, we know that Katherine is well-prepared to lead this dynamic, people-centred organization as we continue to learn together,” said Lucille Kyle, Chair of the Board. 

Throughout her career, MacIver’s focus has been on being supportive and responsive to all learners in order to achieve equitable outcomes and strengthen communities. She uses data to make decisions, then collaboratively sets high impact, transparent and clear direction.

“I am excited and honoured to be joining the HPEDSB in the role of Director of Education. I appreciate the confidence the Board of Trustees has in me to lead and support HPE students, staff and communities. As a leader and learner, I keep students at the core of decisions and lead by building relationships with transparency and integrity. I am aware of the care and dedication of staff who have been navigating the pandemic response while supporting HPE students and families. I embark on this new journey with enthusiasm and curiosity, as we move into a period of recovery. I am looking forward to working with all students, staff, families and communities to further realize the vision of the strategic plan, Learning Together.

Some of MacIver’s professional highlights include the following:

  • restructured system supports and budget to meet constraints through rethinking structures with an equitable and student centred lens;
  • established a phonological awareness and phonics continuum to support primary reading skills;
  • coordinated an innovative approach to secondary school scheduling during COVID-19 for the return to school through stakeholder input and strategic planning;
  • conducted Indigenous community outreach and engagement to build partnerships, trust, confidence and student achievement; and
  • identified gaps and set bold goals to align the board improvement plan with the strategic plan.

MacIver most recently served as a superintendent of education at Trillium Lakelands District School Board. She joined TLDSB as a secondary school principal in 2010 after having been a teacher and administrator at elementary and secondary schools at the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board.

MacIver has a 5-year term which takes effect July 1, 2021. She and her family will be relocating to the area in the coming months.

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

How HPEDSB is keeping students engaged in learning during the summer

June 28, 2021—Summer learning is underway for some elementary and secondary school students.

Elementary school summer program

Over 250 K-8 elementary students are participating in the online Summer Learning Program (SLP), with dozens coming from direct referrals from their school. This is significant because the focus is on keeping students engaged in learning for a few weeks after the school year ends. The program runs from July 5-23, 2021 and has 17 classes of 15 students each, with two teachers per class. Learning coaches, learning partners and curriculum coordinators are providing support to the educators.

SLP outcomes are specific, and support students and families to address learning gaps in literacy and math. Pre- and post-program diagnostic assessments are conducted as part of the performance measurements.

Secondary school summer programs

New for this year is the Summer Transition Project: Indigenous Grad Coach Program for students who self-identify as Indigenous and who are going into Grade 9 in September. Two programs will run in late August 2021, one at Eastside Secondary School and another at North Hastings High School. The program focus will be on culturally-informed land-based experiences, integrating well-being, academic strategies and transitions support to enhance Indigenous students’ sense of readiness for high school. Students are eligible to receive a half credit or full credit, upon completion of a two-week or four-week program.

As in previous years, Summer School is online and runs from June 28 to July 26, 2021.

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

 

 

Ministry of Education introduces new de-streamed Grade 9 math for September 2021

June 6, 2021

Earlier this week, the Ministry of Education released the curriculum for the new de-streamed Grade 9 math course, coming into effect this coming September for students entering Grade 9. Per the Ministry, “The new course ends the practice of streaming Grade 9 students into applied and academic courses, a practice that has in the past disadvantaged some students. Ending streaming will keep options open for all students to pursue postsecondary education and training in any pathway they choose.”

All students entering Grade 9 in September will take the new math course, they will not choose between Academic or Applied math. The new course is replacing both Grade 9 Academic Math (MPM1D) and Grade 9 Applied Math (MFM1P).

To assist HPEDSB families with the transition to the new Grade 9 math, an infographic and parent letter have been sent to school families explaining how the change affects students entering Grade 9 this fall.

HPEDSB Grade 9 de-streamed math information package

For more information, please review the curriculum for the new Grade 9 Mathematics course, available on the Ontario Curriculum and Resources website.

De-streamed Grade 9 Math infographic

 

 

Letter to Minister Lecce regarding Easthill Elementary School construction

June 21, 2021—On June 17, Lucille Kyle, Chair of the Board, wrote to Minister of Education Stephen Lecce to request additional funding for the construction of Easthill Elementary School in Belleville. The complete letter and pdf version are included below.

Letter to Minister Lecce requesting additional funding for Easthill Elementary School (pdf)

June 17, 2021

Dear Minister Lecce:

I am writing to express appreciation to you and the Premier for being champions of public education. I also acknowledge our staff who work behind the scenes to improve infrastructure, as well as to create beautiful and safe learning spaces for students. As you well know, the cost of building materials has increased considerably in recent years, yet the work must still go on. Public confidence in education is at its lowest right now, and we need to bring back tangible, visible projects that were anticipated and promised several years ago.

A business case was submitted to and approved by the Ministry of Education for the construction of a new school in Belleville to consolidate Queen Elizabeth School and Queen Victoria School. This was the result of an accommodation review that took place in 2016-2017. The new school is designed for 472 pupil places and a 3,600 sq. ft., 3-room childcare centre. A funding letter was received from the Ministry of Education on March 13, 2018 indicating $12,042,831 in approved funding for the new consolidated elementary school. HPEDSB retained an architect to prepare design drawings and assist with project administration. It is important to point out that the final design was arrived at after several rounds of changes and reductions to match available funding, resulting in a bare-bones school.

An amended funding request was made to the Ministry of Education for the demolition of Queen Elizabeth School, which is on the site of the new build. This was to avoid a time delay given that the demolition of Queen Elizabeth will be essential to the completion of the new Easthill Elementary School. Following Ministry review of detailed construction and site cost estimates prepared by a consultant, an amended funding letter was received from the Ministry of Education on April 28, 2021 indicating a revised total of $12,977,423 in approved funding, which includes an additional $934,592 to demolish Queen Elizabeth School and site costs. An initial cost estimate prepared for the project estimated a construction budget of approximately $11 million, plus architectural fees, applications/permit fee, commissioning, etc.

HPEDSB recently released a construction tender for the new elementary school. Construction was planned to begin this summer, with an anticipated substantial completion date of January 31, 2023. All tender submissions have come in several million dollars over the available budget, ranging from $14 million to $16.6 million. It is not possible to recommend awarding the project given the terms of the Capital Priorities funding. Project timing and budget have been impacted by COVID-19.

As chair of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, I am asking you to reconsider allowing us to proceed with constructing the new Easthill Elementary School by approving the additional funding required for this project. This project has been delayed long enough. The student’s families of two schools have been excited about a new school and we cannot allow this to drag on indefinitely.

Our students need something positive to look forward to. It would be a shame to add one more disappointment to our community with everything else going on.

I urge you to provide additional funding to allow this new school to be constructed. I look forward to hearing back at your earliest opportunity.

Sincerely,
Lucille Kyle
Chair of the Board

cc: Todd Smith, MPP, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services
Sean Monteith, Director of Education

Board Meeting Update 195: June 24, 2021

June 24, 2021—This update provides a summary of the online special public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held June 24, 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 September.

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.

Recommendations

2021-2022 Draft budget

Board members approved the draft budget for the 2021-2022 school year representing $215,149,504 for operating expenses and $31,347,113 for capital expenses.

Education funding is intended to mirror cost structures; however, school boards have flexibility in their actual expenditures. There are restrictions on how school boards may use their funding allocation which includes that budgets must be generally balanced, certain components of funding must be spent in a specified manner, and provincial regulations and  ministry memoranda must be complied with.

The draft budget is generally a status-quo budget with adjustments for enrolment changes and the continuing operation of a virtual school to support remote learning. The draft budget contains a deficit for Ministry  of Education compliance purposes of $794,581 which is solely due to the planned continuation of the HPEDSB COVID-19 response and which is compliant with ministry direction and the Education Act. Ministry memo 2021:SB08 states, “[a] school board may incur an in-year deficit up to the lower of one per cent of the school board’s operating revenue or the accumulated surplus for the preceding school year, consistent with the requirements set out in Ontario Regulation 280/19.” The proposed budget deficit is approximately 0.4% of the HPEDSB operating allocation and will reduce the accumulated surplus to $6.1 million.

ASSUMPTIONS

The draft budget was built around the following underlying assumptions:

  • a COVID-19 response will continue into the fall;
  • the current lowered elementary enrolment will continue and the secondary enrolment is forecast to remain at about the same level;
  • a virtual school from Kindergarten to Grade 10 will be offered with a planned enrolment of 356 elementary and 118 secondary students;
  • funding will be as calculated by the ministry’s Electronic Financial Information System (EFIS) forms and is based on the GSN and PPF funding as announced by the ministry on May 4, 2021;
  • central and local labour agreements, which include salary increases and specific funding allocations;
  • number of central and department staff remain similar to 2020-2021;
  • department and school budgets remain generally the same as 2020-2021;
  • absence replacement costs do not increase;
  • some new initiatives and cost adjustments that support student achievement, improve board operation, or reflect cost increases; and
  • there is no explicit provision for a contingency amount.

ENROLMENT

Enrolment in 2020-2021 is lower than forecast in response to COVID-19 and students not attending school. The enrolment has gradually increased over the year and is above the level reported in Revised Estimates as students have gradually returned to school.

In 2020-2021, one-time stabilization funding was provided to offset the decline in revenue due to the unplanned decline in enrolment attributed to COVID-19. This funding is not available for 2021-2022 and the ministry has advised that school boards should take a conservative approach in their planning for the 2021–2022 school year given the uncertainty in enrolment.

Final average daily enrolment (ADE) projections for the purpose of developing the 2021-2022 budget were calculated based upon input from schools. There is a forecast of lower than normal elementary enrolment and little change for secondary enrolment.

Find out more starting on page 2 of the June 24, 2021 agenda (pdf).

Recommendation to dissolve the Ad Hoc QSS Revitalization Committee

Board members approved the dissolution of the Ad Hoc QSS Revitalization Committee.

Find out more starting on page 31 of the June 24, 2021 agenda (pdf).

————-

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

Board Meeting Update 194: June 21, 2021

June 21, 2021—This update provides a summary of the online public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held June 21, 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 September.

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 Bonnie Danes, Trustee, Centre Hastings, asked all to reflect on Respect: We value ourselves, others and our environment. We give consideration to the thoughts and actions of others. We treat others as we would want to be treated ourselves, with courtesy and dignity.

Recommendations

Katherine MacIver
Congratulations to Katherine MacIver, selected as Director of Education, effective July 1, 2021.

Appointment of the Director of Education

Board members approved the appointment of Katherine MacIver as the new director of education. MacIver, known as an influential leader and strategic, innovative thinker, comes to the role with over 25 years of experience in elementary and secondary education. She is a results oriented leader who establishes a culture of high expectations and accountability, with a focus on student well-being, equity and learning. Throughout her career, MacIver’s focus has been on being supportive and responsive to all learners in order to achieve equitable outcomes and strengthen communities. She uses data to make decisions, then collaboratively sets high impact, transparent and clear direction. Congratulations and welcome, Katherine.

(Former) Quinte Secondary School revitalization

Board members approved a recommendation for the former Quinte Secondary School site to remain part of Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, to be revitalized and repurposed to include:

  • a single stream French Immersion K-8 school;
  • Quinte Adult Education; and
  • the amalgamation of the Education Centre, William R. Kirk building and Georg Umb maintenance building at the former QSS site.

The recommendation further directed staff present options to address capacity and enrollment challenges at the Bayside Public School Annex, Bayside Secondary School, Harmony Public School, Harry J. Clarke Public School and Prince Charles Public School (Trenton), including relocating students, grade structure changes and/or boundary changes, and that this information be provided to the Board in fall 2021.

Find out more starting on page 9 of the June 21, 2021 agenda.

2021-2022 Proposed budget

This item was deferred to Thursday, June 24, 2021 through a motion. It will be presented at a public Committee of the Whole meeting and a public Special Board meeting that evening.

2020-2021 Special Education Plan

Board members approved amendments to the 2020-2021 Special Education Plan. The in-year changes were to program and service offerings, among other topics. The document aligns with the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan: Learning Together and reflects the recommendations in the Special Education in Ontario Kindergarten to Grade 12 Policy and Resource Guide 2017.

Find out more starting on page 92 of the June 21, 2021 agenda.

Policy revisions

Board members approved revisions to the following 13 policies:

  • Policy 3E: Honoraria for Board Members
  • Policy 3F: Expense Reimbursement for Board Members
  • Policy 3G: Hospitality
  • Policy 3H: Filing Vacancies on the Board
  • Policy 3I: Indemnification of Board Members
  • Policy 11B: Executive Committee
  • Policy 11C: Special Education Advisory Committee
  • Policy 11D: Supervised Alternative Learning Committee
  • Policy 11E: Audit Committee
  • Policy 11F: Parent Involvement Committee
  • Policy 11G: Accessibility Advisory Committee
  • Policy 11H: Student Discipline Committee
  • Policy 11I: Ad Hoc Committee

Find out more starting on page 150 of the June 21, 2021 agenda.

Information

Equity Action Plan

This presentation provided an update about the Equity Action Pan and next steps. In 2017, the Ministry of Education released Ontario’s Education Equity Action Plan which establishes clear deliverables and targets for which school boards are accountable. While HPEDSB is progressing in the areas of equity and social justice, the main goal of the 2020-2021 school year was to establish an equity and inclusivity advisory committee (EIAC) and develop an equity action plan. The 2021-2024 Equity Action Plan will be presented to the Board in September 2021 with a rollout plan.

Find out more starting on page 189 of the June 21, 2021 agenda.

2021-2022 Board and committee meeting dates

This report presented meeting dates for Board and committee meetings for the period September 2021 to June 2022.

Find out more starting on page 191 of the June 21, 2021 agenda.

Report from the outgoing Director of Education Sean Monteith

Sean Monteith provided a verbal report in advance of his last day at HPEDSB, which is June 30, 2021. Highlights from this report included the following:

  • planning for the September school start-up is continuing among senior staff; HPEDSB is prepared based on the information available at this time; and
  • acknowledged National People’s Day today; and
  • acknowledged the students, families, staff and the Board of Trustees during the 18 months of his tenure.

Presentation to the outgoing student trustees

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • remarks by Megan Adam, Student Services Coordinator, who acknowledged the leadership positivity and efforts of student trustees Moira Gaddes, Eastside Secondary School; Kiydan Zachariah, Prince Edward Collegiate Institute; and Grace Whyte, Bayside Secondary School. Grace is going to university in the fall; and
  • welcome to Lawson Hung, Trenton High School, who is joining the student trustee team in August.

Report from the Audit Committee, June 2, 2021

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • appointment of new committee member James Edmunds;
  • update from the external auditor and the regional internal audit team; and
  • reviewed pertinent dates for the upcoming year.

Report from the Special Education Advisory Committee, June 10, 2021

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • student use of technology and supports for students during the summer; and
  • IEP and mental health updates.

Report from Indigenous Education Advisory Committee, June 17, 2021

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • new committee members;
  • a new graduation coach role for North Hastings High School;
  • update on the summer transition camps, one in the north and one in the south; and
  • online sessions offered to staff to learn more about Indigenous history, culture and learning.

OPSBA Information Exchange

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • education funding, student transportation review; Indigenous Education Committee meeting;
  • government and public affairs issues;
  • transitioning from COVID-19 to the new school year;
  • French as a Second Language; and
  • the Canadian School Boards’ Conference in early July.

Report from the Chair of the Board

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • acknowledged the efforts of students, staff and families during remote learning;
  • support from Food for Learning and The HPE Learning Foundation;
  • learning to be still and take care of oneself;
  • the importance of interacting in person;
  • missing people’s smiles behind masks and learning to read people’s eyes; and
  • best wishes for a good summer, be kind to one another and help people who are in need.

Correspondence

Letter sent to Minister Lecce regarding Easthill Elementary School

Find out more starting on page 194 of the June 21, 2021 agenda.

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

Letter to Grade 12 graduates from Sean Monteith, Director of Education

June 2021

Congratulations Grade 12 Graduates, Class of 2021!

To the Graduating Class of 2021: She:Kon, Greetings, Good Day!

You did it! You achieved academic success during your last year of secondary school and you are moving to the next stage of your lives. Congratulations!

Your accomplishments are significant given the realities of the 2020-2021 school year. The COVID-19 pandemic crept into your lives once again—and you faced it with strength and determination. Some of you may have experienced periods of wonder, question, and at times, perhaps uncertainty, as to whether graduation was even going to happen. For others, graduating this June came relatively easily with few setbacks. In either case, you achieved success, whether you had support from those around you, or you feel like you made it against the odds.

As a member of the Class of 2021, your graduating year is a mix of unique meaning and reflection. It is hard to believe that this school year, like the previous one, will be remembered for the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when school stopped in the traditional sense and online learning became the norm.

I recognize that, for you, graduation is a term of reference, rather than an event. Ceremonies and celebrations look different than in years gone by. I encourage you to remember your achievements and not let the absence of a physical graduation cloud your memories.

Your high school graduation is a significant milestone for you and the people in your lives. For you, it is a mark of achievement with, perhaps, some trepidation about what lies ahead. For your parents/guardians and loved ones, it is a time of pride, while also feeling anxious about what the future holds for you.

From me to all of you, congratulations on this significant life accomplishment. I acknowledge your teachers, the support staff and the principals and vice-principals who supported you along the way. Lastly, I offer a special thank you to your families for their support, care and love of you.

Graduates, feel proud of the fact that no one can take your high school diploma away from you. You earned it every step of the way.

I started this letter by stating, “You did it!” and end it by adding, “Now keep going!”

Che-Miigwech, thank you.

Sincerely,

Sean Monteith
Director of Education

HPEDSB International Student Program seeking Homestay Families for 2021-2022

Would you and your family like to have a cross-cultural experience? The International Student Program (ISP) is looking for families interested in hosting a student from another country for the 2021-2022 school year.

HPEDSB ISP staff manage the host, academic and cultural program, allowing us to support families 24/7 and create a great experience for all! Families are generously compensated monthly for hosting and all families are welcome to apply.

If you are interested, or require more information, please contact the HPEDSB International Student Office at 613-966- 1170  ext. 62422 or [email protected]

The program strictly follows all COVID -19 government & health regulations. The safety and well-being of our students, host families, schools and community is our top priority. As such, the ISP team will be quarantining arriving students in a hotel for their 14-day quarantine period, instead of with host families. Students must be tested and receive a negative COVID-19 result 72 hours prior to leaving their country. Students will take a second COVID-19 test upon entry into Canada, and they will have a third test and negative test result while in ISP care before being released to the host families.

ISP1ISP2

 

Flags flown at half-mast in HPEDSB schools to honour deceased Indigenous children

May 31, 2021

All Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB) schools and the Education Centre will be flying flags at half-mast to honour the memory of the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were recently discovered on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School in Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation Territory.

Beginning today, HPEDSB flags will be flown at half-mast for a total of 215 hours – one hour for every child whose life was lost, until June 8, 2021.

Our condolences and deepest sympathies are offered to the survivors, families and First Nations communities impacted by this lamentable tragedy. The discovery of the mass grave is a troubling reminder for survivors of the residential schools, and their families, of the trauma they experienced. Students and families who are distressed by this news, or in need of resources, are asked to contact their school for support.

HPEDSB is dedicated to continue educating our school communities about the disgraceful legacy of residential schools in Canada and the ongoing need for Truth and Reconciliation with Indigenous people.

Every Child Matters logo

#EveryChildMatters

HPE Public Health offering special COVID-19 vaccination clinics for students age 12-17

This information is shared on behalf of Hastings Prince Edward Public Health.

May 26, 2021—The province has made a commitment to offer first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccine to eligible youth before the end of the summer. To ensure eligible youth have access to vaccines as soon as possible, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) will be holding special youth clinics over the next two weeks. These clinics will offer the Pfizer vaccine, which is currently the only COVID-19 vaccine that has been authorized by Health Canada for use in individuals age 12 and older. 

Letter from HPE Public Health to parents/guardians about upcoming vaccination clinics (pdf)

Book an appointment at special youth vaccination clinics

To get vaccinated as soon as possible, eligible students are invited to book an appointment at the HPEPH special youth clinics taking place from May 31 to June 12, 2021. Please note students need to be 12 years of age at the time of the appointment.

To book an appointment, please visit canadaehs.com/hpepublichealth/students.

If you are unable to book online, please contact HPEPH at 613-966-5500 from  8:30 AM-4:30 PM and follow prompts for the COVID-19 vaccination call centre.

Why is vaccination so important?

Infection prevention protocols have ensured the potential of COVID-19 transmission in the school setting has remained low in Hastings County and Prince Edward County. Ensuring the vaccine is available to eligible youth will further reduce potential risk for everyone in a school setting. All eligible students are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity for vaccination to help keep schools and community as safe as possible.

Where to find more information

The following resources are available to help youth and families make informed decisions about COVID-19 vaccination:

Additional information about vaccine safety, potential side effects, and building immunity is available at covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-vaccines-youth or hpepublichealth.ca/covid-19-vaccines/

For any additional questions about the vaccines, please contact the HPEPH COVID-19 information line at 613-966-5500 from 8:30 AM-4:30 PM.

Board Meeting Update 193: May 25, 2021

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

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 Lisa Anne Chatten, Trustee, Belleville/Thurlow, 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

2021-2022 Student trustees

Board members approved three student trustees effective August 1, 2021 to July 31, 2022. Congratulations to new student trustee Lawson Hung, Trenton High School; and reappointed student trustees Moira Gaddes, Eastside Secondary School and Kiydan Zachariah, Prince Edward Collegiate Institute. Find out more on page 10 of the May 25, 2021 agenda.

New name for Centre Hastings Secondary School

Board members approved the name Central Hastings School for the consolidated K-12 school located on the existing Centre Hastings Secondary School site, effective September 2021. Find out more starting on page 11 of the May 25, 2021 agenda.

Audit Committee membership

Board members approved the appointment of James Edmonds to the Audit Committee for a three-year term effective June 1, 2021. Find out more on page 13 of the May 25, 2021 agenda.

Review of policies 1, 3, 3A, 3B and 3J

Board members approved revisions to policies 1, 3, 3A, 3B and 3J. Find out more on page 14 of the May 25, 2021 agenda.

Information

Policy 19: Board Improvement Plan Mid-year Report

Student achievement and well-being are priority areas for improvement planning and actions. The Board Improvement Plan (BIP) connects to the strategic plan to create alignment between the goals and actions. A BIP goal is to empower each school to effectively program to meet the needs of all students by refining system level support through an integrative and responsive service model. Building the pedagogical capacity of educators leads to growth in student achievement. The BIP mid-year report summarizes several highlights about achieving positive outcomes for students.

Thank you to guest presenters Steve McFadden, Principal, Marmora Public School; Andrew Ross, Principal, Prince Edward Collegiate Institute; and Bessie Stelatos, System Lead. Find out more on page 29 of the May 25, 2021 agenda.

Math destreaming

This presentation highlighted the new approach in Ontario to offering Grade 9 Math to students, which is discontinue routing students through either the Applied pathway or the Academic pathway. This is known as destreaming.

Key points highlighted included the following:

  • all students benefit when they learn together with students of diverse abilities and interests;
  • school systems that do not stream students see higher levels of student achievement for all students; and
  • at HPEDSB, 25% more students are in the Applied stream as compared to the provincial average.

Thank you to guest presenters Dayna Scaletta, Principal, Centre Hastings Secondary School and Dave Lanovaz, Teacher, Trenton High School, for sharing their experiences in planning for the new Math curriculum.

Reports from committees and trustees

Report from student trustees

Highlights of this report included the following:

  • discussions with the director and staff about online learning and planning for September;
  • reviewing applications for the new student trustee; and
  • (from new student trustee Lawson Hung) feeling excited about being selected.

Report from the Parent Involvement Committee, May 17, 2021

Highlights of this report included the following:

  • recognition of regular meetings of this committee as compared to the rest of the province; and
  • specifics from the above-noted meeting. Find out more starting on page 32 of the May 25, 2021 agenda.

Report from the Trustee Policy Review Working Group, May 18, 2021

Highlights of this report included the following:

  • a brief mention of the next policies to be reviewed.

Report from the QSS Revitalization Ad Hoc Committee, May 5 and 19, 2021

Highlights of this report included the following:

  • updates about the four sub-committees: French Immersion, Adult Education, enrolment challenges and amalgamating administrative offices at the site;
  • presentation from Tri-Board Student Transportation Services; and
  • results from a public survey asking for input related to the sub-committees.

Report from the Indigenous Education Advisory Committee, April 22 and May 20, 2021

Highlights of this report included the following:

  • mention of the committee terms of reference;
  • the new reach-ahead Indigenous summer program for students going into high school;
  • funding to support Indigenous programs; and
  •  asking students about what they feel will help them learn and be connected to school.

OPSBA Information Exchange

Highlights of this report included the following:

  • Lisa Anne Chatten, Trustee, Belleville/Thurlow was re-elected as the OPSBA Board of Director’s representative for HPEDSB; and Alison Kelly, Trustee, South Prince Edward County was re-elected as the alternate, for the period May 2021 to May 2022.

Recognition of Jackie Waller, Principal, Trenton High School

  • Last week, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education and Todd Smith, MPP, visited Trenton High School, online, and met with two classes of students with special needs.
  • Thank you to Jackie Waller, Principal and staff for hosting the visit, and to the students for engaging in conversation and showing off their artwork.

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

We’re recruiting a Director of Education

May 7, 2021—Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board is recruiting a Director of Education.

This is an exciting opportunity for a highly collaborative, principled and visionary public-sector senior educator to lead with integrity, strengthen a culture of excellence, inclusion and high expectations for all, and promote the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board priorities and mission in support of student achievement. We welcome diversity.

The closing date is May 25, 2021 at 10:00 AM.

For more information, please read the complete position posting (pdf) and the Opportunity Brief (pdf).

 

Letter from the Director Sean Monteith: Secondary transition to quadmesters Fall 2021

May 13, 2021

Letter from Director Sean Monteith: Secondary transition to quadmesters Fall 2021 (pdf)

Dear Students, Families and Staff:

Planning for the 2021-2022 school year

I hope this letter finds you well, and that you and your family continue to take care of each other as we deal with the prolonged impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. On behalf of the entire Senior Administration, I want to acknowledge the challenges that you have experienced during the past 18 months; we recognize it has not been easy.

In previous letters, I have mentioned that planning is already underway for the new school year starting September 3, 2021 for staff and September 7, 2021 for students. Late last week, the Ministry of Education sent a memo to school boards with additional guidance for preparations.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

We are planning to operate elementary schools full-time and in person. Elementary students will continue to be cohorted with their classmates and their homeroom teacher. Specialized teachers, for classes such as French, the arts, or health and physical education, will be able to go into classrooms to provide the full range of programming for students.

SECONDARY SCHOOLS

We are planning to operate secondary schools full-time, in person and with a continued emphasis on cohorting students to limit student-to-student contact. Students will take two courses each day, one in the morning and another in the afternoon, for a 10-week block. This schedule is known as a quadmester, dividing the school year into four, 10-week blocks. We will communicate at a later date if any changes to this schedule are required.

The Ministry of Education has asked school boards to have plans to switch to online learning, if necessary. Our experience over the past year has taught us a lot about online learning. I am confident that educators and support staff will be able to provide seamless learning and engagement, if the switch is required.

More guidance from the Ministry of Education about health and safety measures for the 2021-2022 school year will be communicated to school boards this summer. I expect that will include guidance for masking, hand hygiene and screening.

Over the past two school years, the pandemic has had a significant impact on the delivery of education in Ontario. Everyone has demonstrated resilience and flexibility in responding to these changes and for that I thank you. We recognize that whatever mode of learning you choose for your children, ultimately the decision is yours and we respect your choice.

At Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, we remain committed to the learning, well-being and safety of everyone in the HPEDSB family. We are doing our best to communicate the facts as soon as we know them and this will continue as new information is released.

I wish you the very best. Please stay safe and, equally important, remain hopeful.

Thank you for your patience and ongoing support.

Sincerely,

Sean Monteith
Director of Education

Invitation to join the 2021-2022 EQAO Student Engagement Committee

The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) is calling for applications from students in Grades 7 to 12, who have completed at least one EQAO assessment, to join the 2021-2022 EQAO Student Engagement Committee. The committee is one of the key sources of student voice for the EQAO and is an opportunity for interested students to have a positive impact on the agency’s activities and the Ontario education system.

To learn more about the committee’s previous work, visit the EQAO website.

You can find the application form at this link: https://forms.gle/a5SHQrDPRRmbbVQi9

Submissions must be received by June 7, 2021, and selections will be announced by the end of June 2021.

Survey: Community input on a K-8 French Immersion school

May 7, 2021—The HPEDSB/QSS Revitalization Committee is inviting community input from the Belleville/Thurlow region about repurposing the former Quinte Secondary School to accommodate the following: 1) a K-8 French Immersion school; 2) Quinte Adult Education; and 3) the Education Centre (for administrative, facilities and maintenance departments).

The committee has created this short survey, which is open until May 16, 2021.

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

Infrastructure improvements to HPEDSB schools underway with support from Ministry grant

May 2, 2021—To support infrastructure improvements needed to enhance COVID-19 safety protocols in schools, the Ministry of Education and Infrastructure Canada have offered Ontario school boards infrastructure improvement funding through the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream – Education Related Projects (CVRIS-EDU) as part of Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). In total, the CVRIS-EDU projects will support up to $656M in projects in school boards across Ontario.

The projects in HPEDSB making use of this funding are in various phases, some have already been completed, some are underway, some are in design, and some are not yet started. All work under this funding will be completed on or before December 31, 2024.

The schools using the CVRIS-EDU funding for infrastructure improvements include:

  • Bayside Public School
  • Bayside Secondary School
  • Birds Creek Public School
  • C.M.L. Snider School
  • Deseronto Public School
  • Foxboro Public School
  • Frankford Public School
  • Harry J. Clarke Public School
  • Hermon Public School
  • Kente Public School
  • Marmora Public School
  • Massassaga-Rednersville Public School
  • Maynooth Public School
  • North Hastings High School
  • North Trenton Public School
  • Prince Charles Public School (Trenton)
  • Prince of Wales Public School
  • Sophiasburgh Central School
  • Trenton High School
  • Tyendinaga Public School
  • V.P. Carswell Elementary School

For more information about these and other school infrastructure projects, please visit the Infrastructure Canada website:

Investing in Canada button

Roof improvements at Eastside SS through the Climate Action Incentive Fund

May 2, 2021—Earlier this year, the Climate Action Incentive Fund, a joint initiative of the federal and Ontario government, awarded Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board funding to replace portions of the roof at Eastside Secondary School. The project, which was completed in late 2020, was to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by increasing insulation and reducing air leakage in the roofing systems.

Read more about the Climate Action Incentive Fund.

Google G Suite for Education information for parents/guardians

April 27, 2021—As all HPEDSB students have now transitioned to online learning, their studies are being conducted online using Google’s G Suite for Education, featuring numerous Google workspace extensions and applications. All HPEDSB students and staff have a G Suite account, known as their “@apps account.”

To assist parents and guardians in supporting their children’s online learning, HPEDSB has created a reference document titled Information for Parents/Guardians about Student Use of Google Workspace Extensions and Applications (Pdf) that details the different apps and extensions, their purposes and how they can be accessed. Please review it for more information.

Board Meeting Update 192: April 26, 2021

April 26, 2021—This update provides a summary of the online public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held April 26, 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 May.

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.

Delegation

Kate MacNaughton, Prince Edward County Councillor, presented on behalf of Project Prince Edward and the PE Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC). Ms. MacNaughton, in the  capacity as an elected representative, as EAC communications lead and as co-organizer of Project Prince Edward, introduced several developing opportunities to engage youth Prince Edward County initiatives through the Hour-for-Hour Challenge. This initiative encourages municipalities to formally establish a mechanism to provide volunteer hour compensation for  students who engage in civic activities in all forms: surveys, open houses/forums, town halls, viewing or participating in council meetings and watching relevant webinars.

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 Grace Whyte, Student Trustee, Bayside Secondary School, 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.

Report from the Closed Committee of the Whole meeting

This report included the following from the April 26, 2021 Closed Committee of the Whole meeting:

  • approved the establishment of an Ad Hoc Director’s Selection Committee. Trustee Krista McConnell, Belleville/Thurlow, will chair the committee.

Recommendations

Tender ITT 2021-012: Mechanical renewal at seven sites

Board members approved tenders totaling $3,083,384.55 for mechanical renewal projects at seven schools. Find out more starting on page 18 of the April 26, 2021 agenda.

Tender ITT 2021-015: Roof replacements and repairs

Board members approved tenders totaling $3,784,358.57 for roof replacements and repairs at 10 schools. Find out more starting on page 20 of the April 26, 2021 agenda.

Rural and Northern Education Fund Allocation Report

Board members approved adding Centre Hastings Secondary School-Elementary to the list of schools eligible for Rural and Northern Education Fund  (RNEF) allocation. The RNEF allocation is dedicated funding to further improve education for students from rural and northern communities. Funding is allocated to school boards based on the number of rural students and two factors measuring the density of rural student enrolment in the school board. The ‘List of Schools Eligible for Rural and Northern Education Fund Allocation’ is determined by the Ministry of Education and comprises schools in which at least half of the students are from rural communities. Find out more starting on page 22 of the April 26, 2021 agenda.

Policy 3-C: Student Representation on the Board

Board members approved revisions made to Policy 3-C: Student Representation on the Board. The approval included a commitment to revisit this policy at the beginning of the next school year to determine if the Student Senate will continue as part of this policy. Find out more starting on page 23 of the April 26, 2021 agenda.

Information reports from staff

Learning Foundation presentation

Maribeth deSnoo, Executive Director of The Hastings and Prince Edward Learning Foundation, presented recent activities and initiatives coordinated by staff to support student achievement and well-being. Find out more starting on page 28 of the April 26, 2021 agenda.

Indigenous education: Purpose, priorities and impact

Troy Maracle, Curriculum Coordinator, presented an overview of Indigenous education priorities and the impact on student achievement. In keeping with the school board vision of Leading with integrity and high expectations for all, this presentation emphasized the importance of learning together for equity for all and to secure greater success for the achievement of our Indigenous student population. Find out more starting on page 44 of the April 26, 2021 agenda.

Information reports from trustees

Report from student trustees

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Policy 3C: Student Representation on the Board; and
  • participation on the Mental Health Committee.

Report from the Parent Involvement Committee meeting, March 29, 2021

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • destreaming of Grade 9 Mathematics;
  • education worker vaccinations; and
  • COVID-19 spread.

Find out more on page 46 of the April 26, 2021 agenda.

Report from the Special Education Advisory Committee, April 2021

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • tiered supports available to students;
  • preparing a plan to use additional funding this summer; and
  • a return to in-person learning for students with high special needs who cannot be accommodated at school.

Report from the Policy Review Working Group, March 23 and April 20, 2021

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • revisions to Policy 3C: Student representation on the Board;
  • seeking stakeholder input for SEAC and other policies;
  • funds directed to Marmora Public School for playground equipment; and
  • drafting a racism policy.

Report from the QSS Revitalization Ad Hoc Committee, March 31 and April 21, 2021

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • identified the key priorities of facility layout, safety, programming and proposed building use.

OPSBA Information Exchange

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • participation in an Ontario Public School Boards’ Association meeting on April 24, 2021.

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

Board of Trustees speak with Public Health about COVID-19 and schools

April 26, 2021—On April 7, the Board of Trustees participated in a virtual Question and Answer session with Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health and Dr. Ethan Toumishey, Resident Physician, from Hastings Prince Edward Public Health. The session provided the chance for trustees to ask questions of the doctors regarding a range of COVID-19-related topics and receive information and reassurance from local medical authorities. The entire session was recorded and can be viewed below or on the HPEDSB YouTube channel.

 

Letter from Director of Education Sean Monteith regarding remote learning after April break

April 14, 2021

Remote learning after April break (pdf)

Dear Students, Parents/Guardians, Families and Staff:

On April 12, 2021, the provincial government announced that the return to in-person learning for Ontario students after the April break will be delayed. This announcement was made in consultation with Dr. David Williams, the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario, and was based on what provincial public health officials feel is in the best interests of our students, staff and their families.

According to the provincial announcement, “This move has been made in response to the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, the increasing risks posed to the public by COVID-19 variants, and the massive spike in hospital admissions.”

For students of Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB) who normally attend in-person school, the delay in returning to school means that teacher-led remote learning will be in effect starting the week of April 19, 2021.

Early next week, your child’s teacher will communicate with you and your child about the remote learning schedule for synchronous and asynchronous learning.

Access to technology for remote learning

Some students may require technology to use at home during the remote learning period. If your child requires technology, please contact your child’s school on April 19, 2021 to make arrangements to obtain it. Please note that devices will be provided based on availability and may take time to distribute.

Support for students with special needs

Safety is our top priority to minimize the possibility of COVID-19 transmission among our most vulnerable learners. With that in mind, all students with Special Education needs will remain home and are invited to engage in remote learning beginning Monday, April 19. School teams will ensure that specific plans are in place to support all students with Special Education needs through remote learning. HPEDSB education workers and professional support staff will work together, along with students and families, for continuity of learning, as much as possible.

Every effort will be made to develop individualized learning opportunities to engage students and keep them learning. Specific schedules of learning activities will be shared by individual classroom educators and support staff, and students will be invited to engage, as appropriate, with their specific plan.

School teams will contact families beginning April 19 to gather information to help inform how we can best meet student needs, while keeping safety as the top priority. More information about a return to face-to-face learning will be provided as it becomes available.

Mental health supports for students

During the remote learning period, various school-based and community supports and resources will be available for students, including the following:

  • Students will continue to have remote access to services, through school-based social workers, child and youth workers, and community partners.
  • Mental health resources are available, including Kids Help Phone, which offers 24/7 counselling and referral services across the province. To use this free resource, children and youth can call 1-800-668-6868, or text CONNECT to 686868.
  • School Mental Health Ontario also has a number of worthwhile resources for students and families on its website at smho-smso.ca.

Child care centres

As per the provincial announcement, child care for non-school age children will remain open. Before and after school programs will be closed. Free emergency child care for the school-age children of eligible health care and frontline workers will be provided.

If you have questions about emergency child care, please contact one of the following:

I want to assure you that we continue to be focused on supporting students and families. Even though the spread of COVID-19 continues to present challenges, our school and central office teams are doing all they can to ensure students are engaged in learning and staying in contact with their teachers and classmates.

I understand how important predictability is at this time. We are doing our best to communicate the facts as soon as we know them and this will continue as new information is released. In the meantime, I encourage you to connect with your child’s teacher next week for any questions about remote learning.

Thank you for your patience and ongoing support.

Sincerely,

Sean Monteith
Director of Education

Grade 10 and 11 students—apply to become a student trustee

May 10, 2021—Students in Grades 10 and 11 now (going into Grades 11 and 12 in September) are invited to apply to become a student trustee.

Involving students in Board business is a valuable learning experience. Hearing from student trustees at Board meetings about student issues and opinions is a way to engage these leaders beyond their school community. They represent student opinions at the Board level and participate actively on committees.

What do student trustees do?

Student trustees are involved in many different ways at their school and also at the Board level. The are leaders who represent the voices of all student. For example, student trustees:

  • Attend school Board meetings and are knowledgeable about policies and procedures
  • Serve as student representatives between the Board and the Student Senate
  • Serve as the Board’s representatives at the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association
  • Attend the annual Ontario Student Trustees’ Association conference
  • Undertake a mentoring role with the incoming Student Senate

HPEDSB has three student trustees, including one representing Indigenous students. Watch the video from the 2020-2021 student trustees sharing their experiences and encouraging other students to become trustees this fall.

Interested in applying?

Tell us who you are! Discuss your lived, living, volunteer and other experiences that you think make you a great candidate.

Send a one-page letter or 60-second video to Sean Monteith, Director of Education ([email protected]), saying why you are interested in being a student trustee. The deadline is Monday, May 17, 2021 at noon. The Board of Trustees will make the decision by the end of May 2021.

For more information, please contact the Director’s Office at [email protected].

Letter from Director Sean Monteith: Planning for school after the April break

April 8, 2021

Planning for school after the April break (pdf)

Dear Students, Families and Staff:

Planning for school after the April break

The much-anticipated April break is almost here. Schools will be closed from April 12 to 16, 2021.

The importance of supporting the emotional well-being of students and staff over the past year has become even more apparent in recent weeks with the increase of COVID-19 cases locally and across the province. We are doing our best to provide as much predictability as possible about schools being open for in-person learning.

At this time, we are planning for all schools to be open when school resumes on April 19, 2021. We continue to operate with as much consistency as possible, while respecting parent/guardian rights to decide whether or not to keep their children home.
Maintaining safe learning environments has been our commitment from the start of the pandemic and continues to be a priority. During the break, additional cleaning and disinfecting will be done at schools.

As a reminder, before coming back to school on April 19, 2021, students and staff must screen for COVID-19 symptoms. If you, your child or anyone in your household is ill, stay home and follow the guidance in the school screener. By following public health advice, we can all enjoy a safe April break and continue to support in-person learning in our schools.

We will share updates as information becomes available. Please continue to monitor our website and social media (@HPEschools), school social media and the local news. The Hastings Prince Edward Public Health website has information and several resources about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Have a safe, fun and restful break.

Sincerely,

Sean Monteith
Director of Education

Letter from Director of Education: students and staff please take personal belongings home

March 31, 2021

Letter to families regarding personal belongings (pdf)

Dear Students, Families and Staff:

Preparing for the long weekend, please take personal belongings home from school

The long weekend is almost here, a welcome break for all. Even so, it will look different this year throughout the province due to COVID-19 social gathering and other limitations, specifically in Hastings County and Prince Edward County, as ordered by Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health, on March 29, 2021..

On Thursday, April 1, 2021, as a precautionary measure, it is recommended that students and staff take home personal effects, including eyeglasses, shoes, and materials required for teaching and learning remotely, such as technology/SEA equipment,  before heading out for the long weekend.

At this time, it is anticipated that students and staff who are currently learning and working in-person will return to school on Tuesday, April 6; however, we want staff and families to be ready and supported if the Ministry of Education and provincial Medical Officer of Health announce a shift to remote learning for all students.

While this is not intended to cause speculation or added anxiety, our purpose is for students, families and staff to be as prepared as possible after the long weekend. Our hope is that this approach allows everyone to prepare for whatever scenario we may face in the coming days and weeks.

The Hastings Prince Edward Public Health website has information and several resources about the COVID-19 pandemic.

We will share updates as information becomes available. Please continue to monitor our social media (@HPEschools), school social media and the local media.

Thank you for your understanding and support of Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board. If you have any questions, or need further clarification, please contact your child’s principal.

Sincerely,

Sean Monteith, Director of Education

Follow-up Letter from Director of Education Sean Monteith Regarding 2021-2022 Virtual School Registration

March 24, 2021

Follow-up letter from Director of Education regarding 2021-2022 Virtual School registration (pdf)

Dear Students, Families and Staff:

Every year at this time, we begin to plan for the upcoming school year, which starts in September. Part of this planning involves determining the number of students expected in our schools, which directs the number of teaching and support staff required.

To assist in this planning, we are asking families to let us know now if their child will attend in-person school or virtual school for the upcoming school year. Our intention is to be as informed as possible about family choices. This will assist in making accurate decisions to staff our schools, and be as prepared as possible for safe, welcoming and inclusive learning environments in the fall.

If you choose for your child to attend the virtual school in the fall, please contact your home/in-person school principal by Monday, March 29, 2021 to formally register for virtual school for the 2021-2022 school year. If you do not contact the principal by that date, your child will be registered for in-person school.

Please be aware that students currently enrolled in the virtual school will automatically be returned to their home schools at the end of June 2021.

As we look ahead to the fall, we know many Canadians will be vaccinated, and that COVID-19 health and safety practices are expected to remain in place.

In-person learning is the best way to meet students’ academic, social-emotional, physical and well-being needs. Although we expect that most students will return to in-person learning, the Ministry of Education has made it clear that families will have a choice, and that school boards must be responsive to those choices. That means offering a virtual school in addition to the traditional in-person school environment.

We are planning for a JK-10 virtual school to operate for the 2021-2022 school year. Programming for Grade 11 and 12 students will be provided through their home/in-person schools, enabling access to a greater variety of courses to support graduation pathways.

Thank you for your understanding and support of Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board. If you have any questions, or need further clarification, please contact your child’s principal.

Sincerely,

Sean Monteith

Director of Education

 

Board Meeting Update 191: March 22, 2021

March 22, 2021—This update provides a summary of the online public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held March 22, 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 April.

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 Moira Gaddes, Student Trustee, Eastside Secondary School, asked all to reflect on Caring: We demonstrate concern for self and others. We show empathy and express genuine concerns. We consider the long term effect of our actions.

Presentation

Special Equipment Amount (SEA): Process and Assistive Technology Deployment Initiative

Providing students with technology to use for learning is a tremendous undertaking at any time and particularly during a pandemic. This presentation described what has happened in schools for all students in Grades 4-8 to have a Chromebook to use to meet their individual learning needs. Key highlights are that devices remain in classrooms rather than being moved from room-to-room or among schools; ability for staff to build sustainable best practices for teaching and learning; create a level playing field for all students to use technology rather than students with special needs feeling uncomfortable using it; and teachers being able to assess student work in ways not available when the work is only pen and paper based.

Thank you to presenters Geoff Courneya and Matt Charles, Student Services Coordinators; Tanya Whittaker, Principal and Michael McKeown, Teacher, Queen Elizabeth School; and Nathan Lumsden, Teacher, Prince Charles Public School (Trenton).

Recommendations

OSSTF/HPEDSB Tentative Collective Agreement

Board members ratified the terms of the local Collective Agreement between HPEDSB and Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation District 29 for the period September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2022.

Policy 11-A: Committee of the Whole Board

Board members approved revisions to policy 11-A: Committee of the Whole Board. Find out more starting on page 14 of the March 22, 2021 agenda (Pdf).

Appointment of QSS Ad Hoc Committee

Board members approved an updated list of names of people to participate on the QSS Ad Hoc Committee. One committee member approved earlier this month was unable to remain on the committee.

  • Trustees: Kiydan Zachariah, Student Trustee, Prince Edward Collegiate Institute; Lisa-Anne Chatten, Belleville/Thurlow; Spencer Hutchison, Trenton and CFB Trenton; Krista McConnell, Belleville/Thurlow
  • School staff: Anika van der Vink-Neri, Teacher, Prince Charles Public School (Trenton); Rhonda McFaul, Secretary, Park Dale School
  • Union representative: Jo-Anne White, President, CUPE Local 1022
  • Adult/Alternative Education Staff Member: Roger Ramsay, Curriculum Services Coordinator
  • Parents of students attending French Immersion programming: Christine Herrington, Harry J. Clarke Public School; Mark Langewisch, Prince Charles Public School, Trenton; Ashley Thomson, Bayside Public School
  • Community members: Kassandra Bateman; Jim Chapman
  • HPEDSB Senior Staff: Kim Horrigan, Senior Manager, Facility Services; Bessie Stelatos, System Lead, French Immersion

Find out more starting on page 20 of the March 22, 2021 agenda (Pdf).

Information reports from staff

Secondary School Student Achievement Presentation

This presentation highlighted secondary school student achievement and the factors contributing to student success. It featured a comparison of credit completion rates for students in Grades 9-12 for the 2019-2020 and the 2020-2021 school years; credit accumulation rates over this and the previous two school years; evolving culture changes at schools; changes in beliefs and practices; and teamwork and co-teaching. The presenters explained the focus on the tiered approach to supporting students and how it continues to be refined.

Virtual School Planning Report

This report provided an overview of planning for a virtual school operating for the new school year starting in September 2021. The virtual school will be for JK-Grade 10. Students in Grades 11 and 12 will participate in in-person learning to be able to access greater diversity of course offerings in support of their graduation pathways. Find out more starting on page 23 of the March 22, 2021 agenda (Pdf).

Information reports from trustees

Student trustee updates

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • planning for the student-led mental health event;
  • student concerns about the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT); and
  • student concerns navigating classes using the hybrid model where some students are in-person and some are online.

Parent Involvement Committee from March 1, 2021

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • student trustees participating in the meeting and talking about mental health issues;
  • different ideas for food days at schools; and
  • next meeting is March 2, 2021 at 6:00 PM.

Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) from February 25, 2021

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • discussion at the meeting about why SEAC exists;
  • school year calendar;
  • communications and strategies for supports through a student’s IEP; and
  • vaccinations for students with special needs.

Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) Pathway Partnership Committee Report

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • discussion with Loyalist College about pathways in the skilled trades.

Indigenous Education Advisory  Committee Update from March 11, 2021

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • discussions with Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte and upcoming meeting dates;
  • using data to make evidence-informed decisions in planning for outcomes; and
  • the next meeting is April 22, 2021.

OPSBA Information Exchange

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • next trustee terms begin in October 2022;
  • the OPSBA Annual General Meeting is scheduled for June 12, 2021;
  • the Canadian School Boards’ Conference is in mid-July, 2021 and will be online; and
  • the next regional meeting for Eastern Ontario school boards is in April 2021.

Questions from trustees

A question was asked about cameras on school bus arms. A question was asked about the new student information system, Aspen. A request for updates from the QSS Ad Hoc Committee to be on Board meeting agendas. Condolences to the family of Rick Locke, a former HPEDSB teacher.

Correspondence

Expression of Interest from YMCA about a child care centre at the re-purposed (former) Quinte Secondary School site.

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

Letter from Director of Education Sean Monteith Regarding 2021-2022 Virtual School Registration

March 11, 2021

Letter to Parent of Virtual School Students (pdf)

RE: Virtual School Enrolment for the 2021-2022 School Year

Dear Parent/Guardian and families of Virtual School student(s):

I hope this letter finds you well, and that you and your family continue to take care of each other as we deal with the prolonged impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is truly hard to believe it was one year ago today when we learned our schools would be closed, and how we taught, learned, and interacted with one another in education would be altered in ways we had never imagined.

As we look ahead to September 2021 and the start of the next school year, we know many Canadians will be vaccinated, and that COVID-19 health and safety practices are still expected to be active. With this in mind, we are planning for the majority of students to return to in-person learning with enhanced safety precautions in place. We will continue to offer a virtual school as part of our pandemic response.

The establishment of the HPEDSB Virtual School was not part of a longer-term plan or vision, but rather a direct outcome and response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In-person learning is the best way to meet students’ academic, social-emotional, and physical well-being needs. Acknowledging that there remains much uncertainty for the fall, HPEDSB will offer a Kindergarten to Grade 10 Virtual School option, should families decide it fits their child/ren’s style of learning and meets the needs of their family. Programming for Grade 11 and 12 students will be provided through their home secondary school.

This past year, families have had to navigate so much uncertainty. We want to foster predictability for all to reduce the amount of change for students and staff in the upcoming school year. Good planning provides room for modifications and reduces the chance of school reorganizations (e.g., changing classrooms, grade configurations, teaching assignments, or timetables). The more accurate our student enrolment information is now, the better our planning will be, reducing the likelihood of school reorganizations and promoting predictability for student learning in the fall.

Registering in the Virtual School for 2021-2022 is a full-year commitment with mandatory attendance expectations. There will be no transition dates provided throughout the year. We remain committed to providing high-quality programming through dedicated educators in all our schools, in-person and virtual, no matter which format you choose.

Overview of In-Person and Virtual Learning

In-Person Learning  Virtual Learning
  • All elementary programs will be offered
  • Full-range secondary programs will be offered
  • Specialized Program Classes will be offered
  • Students receive 300 minutes of instruction per day
  • COVID-19 safety procedures in place – distancing, masks, hand washing, protective equipment for staff
  • Cohorting of students and emphasis on smaller class sizes, where possible
  • Incremental resumption of regular operations, as possible, based on health guidance
  • Students enrolled in specialized program classes who opt for virtual learning will be enrolled in regular virtual classrooms
  • School day parental supervision required
  • Students receive 180-225 minutes of online (synchronous) instruction per day, with the remaining 75-120 minutes off-line (asynchronous)
  • Consistent course packages offered to students in Grades 9 & 10

To ensure accurate enrolment projections, all students currently enrolled in the Virtual School will be automatically returned to their home schools at the end of June. If you intend to have your child/ren continue with virtual learning in September 2021, you are asked to contact your home school Principal within the next two weeks. This contact will be considered your formal intent to register in the Virtual School for the 2021-2022 school year.

The conversation with your home school principal about your desire to register your child/ren in Virtual School must occur before the end of the school day on March 26, 2021. If you do not reach out to your child/ren’s home school by March 26, your child will be attending in-person learning in the fall.

In closing, our schools remain open and safe with enhanced health and safety protocols to protect staff and students from COVID-19. This commitment will not change.

I wish all of you the very best, and encourage all families, parents/guardians and students to remain safe, and equally importantly, remain hopeful.

 

Sincerely,

Sean Monteith

Director of Education

 

 

 

Board of Trustees accepts resignation of Director of Education Sean Monteith

March 10, 2021—The Board of Trustees has accepted the resignation of Director of Education Sean Monteith, effective June 30, 2021. The Board intends to begin its search for a new Director of Education quickly in the coming weeks.

Chair Lucille Kyle stated, “Upon accepting the Director’s decision to resign from HPEDSB, I would like to extend my best wishes to Sean Monteith as he pursues other professional and career opportunities. During his time with us, the Director demonstrated his willingness to work hard on behalf of the board and all its constituents.

“Among his accomplishments were his actions of increasing meaningful engagement with Indigenous communities in HPEDSB, working with the Board to develop a five-year strategic plan with a focus on equity, developing board structures intended to improve efficiency in delivering education for our students, and facilitating a fluid response to the significant and ongoing challenges of delivering education in the time of pandemic.

“Thank you for the work you have accomplished in this short time. I respect your desire to focus on your family’s, and your personal, best interests.”

Monteith, who has been an Ontario Director of Education since 2013, and with HPEDSB since 2019, commented after offering his resignation, “I want to thank the staff, students and families of Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board for allowing me the privilege and honour to serve the interests in asserting a student-centered stance. I also want to thank the Board for the opportunity to support them in advancing the organization.

“I am proud of the fact that we created together a brand-new strategic plan that enforces principles of equity, student achievement, and outcomes for all of our learners. The Board’s commitment to reconciliation with First Nation partners is commendable and underscores the desire to be champions of equity and social justice.

“At this time, and with a few good years ahead, the prospect of being part of system-level change in support of Indigenous communities, and in continued support of marginalized and racialized students, is one that I am looking forward to. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been part of the HPEDSB Family and wish the organization nothing but the best.”

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

Invitation to apply to become an external member of the audit committee

March 1, 2021 – Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board is seeking one community member with financial expertise and business knowledge to serve on the Audit Committee for a 3-year term, effective spring 2021. The Audit Committee is comprised of three trustees and two independent members from the community at large.

Invitation to apply for audit committee The primary role of the committee is to assist the Board of Trustees in fulfilling its duties related to governance and oversight. The Audit Committee duties include the following key areas: financial reporting process; internal control framework; risk management practices; performance and function of the HPEDSB internal and external auditors; and HPEDSB compliance with obligations under legislation.

The Audit Committee meets at least three times a year, plus ad hoc meetings, as required. Induction training material is available online to all committee members to clarify roles and responsibilities of audit committees for the school board sector.

Candidate eligibility

  • Applicants must have sufficient accounting, senior financial management or other relevant business experience to understand public sector accounting and auditing standards.
  • Applicants must not be a current employee or officer of HPEDSB, or of any other district school board or school authority.
  • Applicants must not have a parent, child or spouse currently employed by HPEDSB.

Application submissions

Suitably qualified candidates interested in serving on the Audit Committee are invited to submit a letter of interest and resume by 4:00 PM on Friday, April 9, 2021 to:

  • Nick Pfeiffer, Superintendent of Business Services, 156 Ann Street, Belleville, ON, K8N 3L3, or email Carmel Lessard, Executive Assistant, Business Services, [email protected]

Candidates who are short-listed may be requested to attend a private interview conducted by the Selection Committee.

OPSBA Public Property Assessment Network Scholarship 2021

March 2—Grade 12 students graduating in June 2021 and going into the trades are eligible to apply for the OPSBA Public Property Assessment Network Scholarship.

The Public Property Assessment Network Scholarship: Eastern Region, 2020-21 School Year (pdf)

The Public Property Assessment Network Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 will be awarded to one recipient of the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association’s (OPSBA’s) Eastern Region. Scholarship recipients are students of strong character, leadership skills and potential, who care deeply about their communities and furthering their own learning.

Please send your package in PDF format to David Shields, Eastern Regional Chair at [email protected] by May 28, 2021.

More information about this scholarship

The funds were established from an organization with a core purpose to determine values for properties, which is the foundation for our property tax system in Ontario. This scholarship is to provide financial assistance to students who are pursuing an apprenticeship in the trades, more particularly the building trades, such as HVAC, carpenter, plumber or other property building trade.

Interested students should write a brief statement about why they are pursuing the building trades as an area of study, how the funds would assist them in pursuing this career, and how they intend to give back to the community.

Last updated: October 14, 2021 at 10:26 am
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