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September 2022 Return to School

August 9, 2022—We look forward to a normal return to school this fall. This includes providing an enriching school experience that enables academic success, supports students to partake in activities and programs that enhance classroom learning, and build social and life skills.

On the advice of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, for the 2022-2023 school year, most COVID-19 health and safety requirements remain unchanged from the last school year. Specifically, that means the following:

  •  Masks will not be required for students, staff and visitors in schools, school board offices, or on student transportation. Schools will actively promote respectful, welcoming and inclusive environments for anyone who chooses to wear, or not to wear, a mask within their school communities.
  • The government will continue to provide school boards with free high-quality masks for students and staff and eye protection for staff, if they choose to use them.
  • Schools will continue to have access to rapid antigen tests to be used in accordance with provincial testing guidance.
  • It is recommended that staff, students and visitors continue to self-screen every day before attending school using the COVID-19 school and child care screening tool. Individuals should stay home if they are feeling ill to prevent the spread of illness.
  • Appropriate hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette will continue to be promoted and integrated throughout the school day.
  • Schools and school vehicles will continue with enhanced cleaning protocols requiring cleaning/disinfecting high-touch surfaces at least once daily.
  • For students with disabilities, all health and safety protections will continue to be fully adhered to, as per Ministry of Education additional supports in staffing and mental health funding to support students most in need.
  • All students will continue to have access to evidence-based and timely school-based mental health services and supports.

This fall, the first day of school for students is Tuesday, September 6, 2022. Junior kindergarten (JK) students may have a staggered start to the first week of school and begin classes on a different date. Schools will contact JK families at the end of August to confirm start dates.

To register online for school, please  go to the Register for School page or the Kindergarten Registration page and follow the registration directions.

HPEDSB welcomes Kristen Niemi, Superintendent of Education

Kristen Niemi
Welcome and congratulations to Kristen Niemi, appointed as a superintendent of education, effective August 22, 2022.

August 2, 2022—Welcome and congratulations to Kristen Niemi, appointed as Superintendent of Education at Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, effective August 22, 2022.

Niemi comes to HPEDSB as an experienced superintendent, having been in a similar role at District School Board Ontario North East (DSBONE) for the past four years. While there, she led the K-12 Learning and Teaching portfolio, which included Student Success, Innovation and Alternative Education. Prior to that, she held administrator roles in several elementary and secondary schools over eight years, and taught as a secondary teacher for 11 years, at  DSBONE and Near North District School Board.

“We are fortunate to have an experienced superintendent join the senior leadership team. With her diverse background leading equity and Student Success portfolios, along with a year leading Indigenous Studies courses, Kristen is ready to take on new challenges and learn alongside staff at HPEDSB,” said Katherine MacIver, Director of Education.

Leading and learning through an equity lens are Niemi’s strengths, as she views equity as foundational throughout education. She led the DSBONE Equity Advisory Committee for two years and also supported equity work at a provincial level through the Ontario Public Supervisory Officers’ Association. Niemi has worked collaboratively with First Nations and Friendship Centres to support Indigenous students, and learning as a principal and as a superintendent.

Niemi is known as a kind and thoughtful leader who has high expectations of herself and others.  Through her diverse experiences, she has learned to challenge thinking, advocate for, and influence change, to ensure students with Special Education needs and students who identify as Indigenous have a voice at the table.

“I’m looking forward to joining HPEDSB in a senior leadership role, supporting such a dynamic public education organization. Some of my first steps will be to get settled in the community and meet staff, students and families,” said Niemi.

HPEDSB launched a process to recruit a superintendent of education in July. This role is funded through the Program Leadership Grant, which funds school boards for system level leadership. It also aligns with a recommendation in the 2022 Operational Review completed by Optimus SBR and a review of senior leadership at school boards similar in size to HPEDSB.

Niemi will be responsible for the support and supervision of the Eastside and North Hastings school groups, and the portfolios of Equity, Innovation, Indigenous Education and Safe Schools. She and her family will be relocating to the area in the coming weeks.

Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB) serves approximately 15,000 students each day at 39 in-person schools (32 elementary, two K-12; four 7-12, one secondary) and one K-8 virtual school. Supporting student achievement is the goal of approximately 1,800 teaching and support staff who, in addition to the contributions of caring volunteers and community partners, share their passion for teaching and learning.

The district covers a geographic area of 7,220 square kilometres bordered by Maynooth to the north, Deseronto to the east, Prince Edward County to the south and Quinte West to the west.

Board Meeting Update: August 2, 2022

August 2, 2022—This update provides a summary of the public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held August 2, 2022, livestreamed (the recorded version will be available within 24 hours). It is an unofficial summary of the meeting; official minutes will be approved at the next regular meeting in September.

Land Acknowledgement

Jennifer Cobb, Trustee, North Prince Edward County, recited the Land Acknowledgement: As Trustees for Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board and as settlers to this land, we acknowledge and honour the land on which we reside, occupy and meet as part of the traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat and Anishinabek people. These Indigenous Nations agreed to mutual sharing obligations and responsibilities as stewards of the land and water. Today these responsibilities and obligations extend to all Peoples. These lands are steeped in rich Indigenous history, traditions and modern cultures that are proud and vibrant. The Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board supports and is committed to the stewardship of the land and the responsibilities that we hold to ensure learning, education programs and services support all staff and students.

Recommendations

Appointment of a superintendent of education

Board members approved the appointment of Kristen Niemi as a superintendent of education, effective August 22, 2022.

Ms. Niemi comes to HPEDSB as an experienced superintendent, having been in a similar role at District School Board Ontario North East (DSBONE) for the past four years. While there, she led the K-12 Learning and Teaching portfolio, which included Student Success, Innovation and Alternative Education. Prior to that, she held administrator roles in several elementary and secondary schools over eight years, and taught as a secondary teacher for 11 years, at DSBONE and Near North District School Board.

Ms. Niemi will be responsible for the support and supervision of the Eastside and North Hastings school groups, and the portfolios of Equity, Innovation, Indigenous Education and Safe Schools. She and her family will be relocating to the area in the coming weeks.

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

Congratulations to Governor General’s Academic Medal recipients for 2021-2022

July 6, 2022—Congratulations to seven secondary school students who are recipients of the Governor General’s Academic Medal.

Since 1873, the Governor General’s Academic Medal has recognized the outstanding scholastic achievements of students in Canada. It has become one of the most prestigious awards that a student in a Canadian educational institution can receive. The medal is awarded to the student graduating with the highest average from a high school, college or university.

photo of young woman
Amy MacLean
Bayside Secondary School

photo of young woman
Sophie Clark
Centennial Secondary School

photo of young woman
Delaney Stoltz
Central Hastings School

photo of young woman
Alisha Haseeb
Eastside Secondary School

photo of young woman
Gwendolyn Beauchamp
North Hastings High School

photo of young woman
Emily Stasiw
Prince Edward Collegiate Institute

photo of young man
Zachary Nastatos
Trenton High School

Pierre Trudeau, Tommy Douglas, Kim Campbell, Robert Bourassa, Robert Stanfield and Gabrielle Roy are past recipients.

Medals are presented on behalf of the Governor General by participating educational institutions, along with personalized certificates signed by the Governor General. There is no monetary award associated with the  award.

For more information, please contact:
Kerry Donnell, Communications & Public Relations Manager, 613-966-1170 or 1 800 267-4350, extension 62354, [email protected]

School and Education Centre open/close dates for summer 2022

July 5, 2022—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 26, 2022. An annual 2-week shutdown will occur for the weeks of July 25 and August 1, 2022.

General enquiries 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.

Best wishes for a safe and enjoyable summer!

This message is from Katherine MacIver, Director of Education

June 29, 2022

As the 2021-2022 school year comes to an end, I express my gratitude to the students, staff, parents/guardians and community members who helped to make this year a success. While you were never sure what the pandemic might throw your way, you managed the turns and changes with grace and safety. Thank you for adapting and responding throughout this school year.

It was rewarding to witness and take part in the many activities that resumed at schools this spring. For the first time in two years, school activities, field trips, outdoor activities, art celebrations and assemblies happened again. Student smiles were matched by those of staff once the special events we were accustomed to and took for granted returned to our schools.

To our graduates, congratulations on all you accomplished! You have persevered, shifted, demonstrated resilience and succeeded. The last few years of your secondary school learning had challenges which no other generation has experienced. Take what you have learned and apply it to your chosen future. We are proud of you!

I look forward to welcoming students and staff back to school in September. The first day for students is September 6. That week, we will welcome approximately 950 JKs to the HPEDSB family. At secondary school, timetables will return to the regular semester schedule.

From all of us at Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board to you and your family, all the best for a safe and enjoyable summer. See you in September!

Sincerely,

Katherine MacIver
Director of Education

Inviting applications for a superintendent of education

June 29, 2022—Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board is inviting applications for a superintendent of education.

Working as an integral member of the Senior Leadership Team, and reporting to the Director of Education, the Superintendent of Education will:

  • model exemplary personal and professional commitment to learning and achievement;
  • seek opportunities through collaboration to create system coherence, build capacity and enhance practice and service;
  • provide exceptional leadership in service to all students and schools through the lens of the Board’s 2020-2025 Strategic Plan (Pdf);
  • assume portfolio responsibility for Innovation and Inclusion, which includes leadership and collaboration across schools and the system for Equity and Inclusive Education, Indigenous Education, Learning Opportunities and Safe Schools;

and much more.

The closing date is July 14, 2022 at 4:00 PM.

Find out more on the Apply to Education website.

Public school Board approves $222 million budget for 2022-2023

June 28, 2022—Board members for Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board approved a budget of $222.1 million for the 2022-2023 school year.

This budget has revenues of $221.6 million, expenses of $222.1 million and a projected in-year deficit for compliance purposes of $1.7 million. School boards are required to have balanced budgets. Because planned expenses exceed revenues, the budget was balanced by using surplus funds. 

“Passing a balanced budget is one of the most important aspects of the Board’s work. Although it was challenging work, we remained laser-focused on allocating the funding to where it needs to be, which is to support student learning and well-being. As a public education provider that welcomes all students, Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board continues to re-engage and reimagine learning together. Thank you to the staff who developed the drafts for Board members to review, debate and approve,” said Shannon Binder, Chair of the Board. 

The main factors impacting the 2022-2023 budget are the tightening of core Grants for Student Needs funding, plus additional restraints, which include the reduction of temporary funding streams related to COVID-19 and labour agreements, the current inflationary environment, and compliance with class size regulations and collective agreement obligations.

Education funding is intended to mirror cost structures; however, school boards have flexibility in their actual expenditures to enable response to and support for local circumstances and priorities. There are restrictions on how school boards may use their funding allocation, which include 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 deficit is compliant with Ministry of Education direction and the Education Act, whereby a school board may incur an in-year deficit up to 1% of the school board’s operating revenue. The budget deficit represents approximately 0.87% of the operating allocation and will reduce the accumulated surplus to $10.5 million.

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: June 27, 2022

June 27, 2022—This update provides a summary of the public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held June 27, 2022, livestreamed (the recorded version will be available within 24 hours). It is an unofficial summary of the meeting; official minutes will be approved at the next regular meeting in September.

Recommendations

Tender for Culinary Arts renovation at Trenton High School

Board members approved a tender to K. Knudsen Construction Limited in the amount of $1.2 million for Culinary Arts renovations at Trenton High School. This project is proposed to start in July 2022 with an anticipated substantial completion date of March 2023. Find our more on page 2 of the June 27, 2022 agenda.

2022-2023 Budget

Board members approved the 2022-2023 budget. It includes revenues of $221.6 million, expenses of $222.1 million and a projected in-year deficit for compliance purposes of $1.7 million. Find out more starting on page 2 of the June 27, 2022 Committee of the Whole agenda.

In-year Deficit Elimination Plan

Board members approved the In-year Deficit Elimination Plan for the 2022-2023 budget. If a school board budgets or reports an in-year deficit for 2022-2023, it must submit a plan indicating the measures it will take to balance its budget and eliminate the in-year deficit within two years. Find out more starting on page 2 of the June 27, 2022 Committee of the Whole agenda.

Board members also approved two additional recommendations, as follows:

  1. That at the August 29, 2022 Committee of the Whole meeting, trustees discuss and plan for education funding solutions and advocacy to be sent to the Ministry of Education; and
  2. That the chair, vice-chair and director of education schedule bi-yearly meetings with both elected MPPs between 2022 and 2026.

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: June 20, 2022

June 20, 2022—This update provides a summary of the public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held June 20, 2022, livestreamed (the recorded version will be available within 24 hours). It is an unofficial summary of the meeting; official minutes will be approved at the next regular meeting in September.

Land Acknowledgement

Bonnie Danes, Trustee, Central Hastings, recited the Land Acknowledgement: As Trustees for Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board and as settlers to this land, we acknowledge and honour the land on which we reside, occupy and meet as part of the traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat and Anishinabek people. These Indigenous Nations agreed to mutual sharing obligations and responsibilities as stewards of the land and water. Today these responsibilities and obligations extend to all Peoples. These lands are steeped in rich Indigenous history, traditions and modern cultures that are proud and vibrant. The Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board supports and is committed to the stewardship of the land and the responsibilities that we hold to ensure learning, education programs and services support all staff and students.

Presentations

International Student Program

Emily Mosher, Manager, International Student Program, presented a year in review, featuring statistics, as well as showcasing students, activities they participated in and homestay families. During this school year, the program hosted students from 14 countries, including Austria, Bermuda, Brazil, China, Germany, Korea, Mexico, Spain, Netherlands, Thailand, Vietnam and more. Recruiting for the upcoming school year is underway and already 55 students from 13 countries have been accepted for September 2022.

presentation photo
Congratulations to Rihanna Harris, Queen Elizabeth School, recipient of the Achievement Award through the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association. Also pictured are Katherine MacIver, Director of Education (L) and Shannon Binder, Chair of the Board (R).

presentation to student trustees
Thank you to student trustees for representing the student voice at the Board table. L to R: Shannon Binder, Chair of the Board; Lawson Hung, Trenton High School (returning for the 2022-2023 school year); Moira Gaddes, Eastside Secondary School (graduating); Kiydan Zachariah, Prince Edward Collegiate Institute (graduating); and Spencer Hutchison, Vice-chair of the Board.

Presentation of the OPSBA Achievement Award

Congratulations to Rihanna Harris, Queen Elizabeth School, recipient of the Achievement Award through the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association. In February 2021, Rhianna presented at the Board meeting about Black history being taught at HPEDSB schools. It was acknowledged that Rhianna demonstrated leadership in other roles, including fundraising for Sick Kids in Toronto, writing articles and being a part of community events.

Presentation to outgoing student trustees

Outgoing student trustees, Moira Gaddes, Eastside Secondary School and Kiydan Zachariah, Prince Edward Collegiate Institute, were acknowledge for their service. Both were in the student leadership roles for the past two school years. It was noted that being a student trustee is a significant time commitment. Moira and Kiydan were thanked for their leadership and commitment to ensuring the student voice was heard at the Board table. Chair Binder welcomed back Lawson Hung, Trenton High School, who will serve a second term, and be joined by Julia Webster, Eastside Secondary School and Shoshannah Spencer, Centennial Secondary School, for the 2022-2023 school year. Their term begins August 1, 2022.

Recommendations

Borrowing resolution

Board members approved various borrowing resolutions in order to meet 2022-2023 operating and capital expenditures, as follows:

  • authorizing borrowing up to $24,198,065 for various school improvements under the School Condition Improvement Program;
  • authorizing borrowing up to $7,713,800 for an addition and renovations at Eastside Secondary School under the Capital Priorities Grant;
  • authorizing borrowing up to $1,646,960 for an addition and renovations at Central Hastings School under the Capital Priorities Grant; and
  • authorizing borrowing up to $14,295,520 for the demolition of an existing building and the construction of the new K-8  Easthill Elementary School on the Queen Elizabeth site under the Capital Priorities Grant, Full Day Kindergarten and Child Care programs.

2022-2023 Budget

Board members did not approve the 2022-2023 budget in the amount of $221.6 million. The Budget/Finance Committee will meet again at a date to be determined. Find out more starting on page 11 of the June 20, 2022 agenda.

Information

Report from the Director of Education

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Congratulations to three students for achieving top honours at the Canada Wide Science Fair held in May in New Brunswick
    • Nina Graciano, Eastside Secondary School
    • Surya Narayan Santhakumar, Virtual School
    • Harshita Srikanth, Eastside Secondary School
  • Congratulations to two Bayside Secondary School students for winning Gold and Bronze in welding at the national Skills Competition
    • Ian Ketcheson, National Champion, Gold Medal in Welding
    • Marshal Tebworth, National Champion, Bronze Medal in Welding
  • Attending art installations at various schools; thank you to artist Emebet Belete and the Arts Council for making these activities possible for students
  • 100th anniversary celebration at C.M.L. Snider School earlier this month
  • Retirement Dinner and Celebration last week attended by 24 of 53 retiring employees
  • Participation in the Think Indigenous Day at North Hastings High School last week

Committee meeting dates for the 2022-2023 school year

The various Board and committee meeting dates for the next school year were shared. Find out more starting on page 36 of the June 20, 2022 agenda.

Capital and building renewal projects update

Kim Horrigan, Senior Manager, Facility Services, presented capital and building renewal projects underway. The team reviews building condition assessment reports on a regular basis and works with schools each year to develop a list of high priority building renewal projects. The bulk of the construction/renovation work occurs during the summer months. This report outlined various capital funding sources and scheduled work at various schools. Find out more starting on page 39 of the June 20, 2022 agenda.

Report from the student trustees

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • meeting of current and new student trustees on June 2, 2022 to plan for the future;
  • plan to increase social media presence to connect and communicate with students; and
  • times are scheduled for Student Voice meetings starting in September.

Report from the Audit Committee meeting, June 1, 2022

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • introduced to Tracey Rodgers, Senior Manager, Finance;
  • reviewed completed audit summaries for payroll, expense claims and safe schools;
  • upcoming procurement process for year-end audit external audit; and
  • meeting in July or August to complete a final audit report in September 2022.

Report from the Parent Involvement Committee meeting, May 30, 2022

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • updates of the student and staff This is Me in HPE census reports;
  • playground equipment report; and
  • strategic plan update.

Report from the Budget/Finance Committee, June 6 and 13, 2022

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • no updates further to the budget mentioned above.

Report from the Special Education Advisory Committee, April 28 and May 17, 2022

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Ministry funding and Special Education grant changes;
  • Special Education Plan for the 2021-2022 school year;
  • summer supports for students;
  • meeting dates for the upcoming school year.

Report from the HPE Learning Foundation/HPEDSB Ad Hoc Committee Final Report

At the January 24, 2022 Board meeting, a motion was approved to establish an ad hoc committee to review Board Policy 18: The Hastings and Prince Edward Learning Foundation  collaboratively with members of The HPE Learning Foundation. Several meetings have occurred since that time. Through discussions, the Ad Hoc Committee agreed to write a revised Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining the future work of the two organizations. It was agreed that upon signing a new MOU, the March 2020 MOU would be  revoked.

As part of the path to establishing a revised MOU, further discussions of the Ad Hoc Committee included a review of the following:

  • The HPE Learning Foundation as the lead agency for the Student Nutrition Program;
  • partnership proposal between Food for Learning and Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board;
  • 2018 Student Nutrition Program Guidelines; and
  • The HPE Learning Foundation COVID-19 priority student programs, March 2020 – March 2022.

Find out more starting on page 62 of the June 20, 2022 agenda.

Director’s Performance Appraisal Ad Hoc Committee, May 30, 2022

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • the process for the Director’s Performance Appraisal is underway;
  • a third party consultant has been hired to conduct interviews with stakeholders;
  • interviews will take place in June and July.

OPSBA Information Exchange (Ontario Public School Boards Association)

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • a few trustees attended the AGM in Ottawa in early June;
  • presentation from Nik Nanos about provincial politics;
  • panel discussion about government relations;
  • planning additional pandemic recovery through hearing the student voice; and
  • new trustees were voted in for the Eastern Region.

Report from trustees

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • participation on the committee to review the Public Property Scholarship applications;
  • acknowledgement of Indigenous History Month and Pride Month;
  • educators and students participating in community Pride events;
  • request to engage stakeholders to find solutions for the budget shortfall.

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: May 24, 2022

May 24, 2022—This update provides a summary of the public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held May 24, 2022, livestreamed (the recorded version will be available within 24 hours). It is an unofficial summary of the meeting; official minutes will be approved at the next regular meeting in June.

Land Acknowledgement

Lawson Hung, Student Trustee, Trenton High School, recited the Land Acknowledgement: As we begin this meeting, we would like to acknowledge that we are gathering on the traditional land of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinabe and Wendat Huron peoples. As we, as a society, delve deeper into truth and reconciliation, we need to consider not only our relationships with each other but the relationship we have with the land. What does this land mean to you and how can you protect and nourish it? A Land Acknowledgement is nothing without action to support a path forward together. What relationships do we need to cultivate? What actions do we need to take? What is necessary to enact real, substantive change?

Presentation

Indigenous Culture Camp

This presentation described the Indigenous Culture Camp from last summer for students at North Hastings High. The camp was for students going in to Grade 9 in September 2021. The presenters shared how they connect with Indigenous students on a daily basis. While at the camp, the students participated in outdoor learning on the land and in the water, in ceremonies and teachings, and they also developed long-lasting relationships. The 12 students from last year continue to be involved in the NHHS Wolf Pack extra-curricular club. This year, 15 students will participate in the camp. Thank you to Marsha Depotier, Social Worker; and Trevor Pearce, Graduation Coach for their song and expressive presentation celebrating Indigenous culture.

Recommendations

Special Education Plan

Board members approved amendments to the 2021-2022 Special Education Plan, which included the addition of pandemic supports; statistics for referrals, reviews and appeals; and updates to the Staff Development section. Find out more starting on page 8 of the May 24, 2022 agenda.

Ad Hoc Director of Education Performance Appraisal Committee

Board members approved the formation of an ad hoc committee to facilitate an appraisal of the Director of Education. Trustees Binder, Danes, Kyle, Parks and McConnell will participate.

Information

Report from the Director of Education

Highlights from this report the following:

  • Mental health event for students during Education Week the first week of May 2022 featuring Dr. Julie Gowthorpe
  • Special project at Eastside Secondary School for OYAP (Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program), which involved students producing lacrosse heads using a 3D printer
  • A meeting with the Military Family Resource Centre in Trenton to build the relationship and collaborate on opportunities for military students and families. Options discussed included sharing HPEDSB job postings, tutoring supports for students and a student ambassador program
  • HPEDSB hosted the Regional Education Council last Friday, a meting of 12 directors of education from the east region. Topics discussed included the online learning graduation requirement, the recent Right to Read Report and next steps, and learning recovery for students.

Proposed committee meeting dates for the 2022-2023 school year

The proposed dates for Board and committee meetings were shared for planning purposes. Find out more starting on page 65 of the May 24, 2022 agenda.

Summer Learning Program

HPEDSB be offering a variety of summer learning opportunities to students in Grades SK-12 in all regions during July and August 2022. Each will provide rich and diverse learning  for students to engage in learning recovery, opportunities to stay and/or reach ahead to be on track to graduation, and have access to learning experiences and connections in preparation for the transition to the new school year. Find out more starting on page 68 of the May 24, 2022 agenda.

Board Improvement and Equity Plan update

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • the current plan, which was for the past three years, will end June 30, 2022
  • the plan focused on three main areas: equity of hope, equity of opportunity and equity of outcome, through five guiding questions: 1) who are our learners? 2) what do we want them to learn? 3) how do we program for them? 4) how will we know if they are progressing/achieving? 5) what will we do if students do not achieve?

Report from student trustees

Congratulations to two students elected as student trustees: Julia Webster, Eastside Secondary School and Shoshannah Spencer, Centennial Secondary School, who represent the Indigenous student voice. They will begin their term on August 1, 2022. Lawson Hung, Trenton High School, will return in September for a second term as student trustee. Find out more starting on page 70 of the May 24, 2022 agenda.

Report from the Parent Involvement Committee meeting, April 4, 2022

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • distribution of Parents Reaching Out grants provided by the Ministry of Education
  • single-streaming courses at secondary school
  • the final PIC meeting for this school year is May 30, 2022; all are welcome to participate online

Report from the Budget/Finance Committee, May 16, 2022

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • update on the QSS Capital Priorities Submission, which was not approved for funding by the Ministry of Education
  • preliminary draft budget, which contained a significant deficit and is being revised by staff
  • the next meeting is June 6, 2022

Report from the HPE Learning Foundation/HPEDSB Ad Hoc Committee meeting, May 9, 2022

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • gathering data and continuing to meet
  • the next meeting is May 31, 2020

Report from the Special Education Advisory Committee, May 19, 2022

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • year-end summary
  • updates for mental health, summer supports, impaired driving prevention
  • correspondence from Near North DSB
  • presentation from the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario

OPSBA Information Exchange (Ontario Public School Boards Association)

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • guest speaker Patricia DeGuire who discussed the Right to Read Report

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

Team Quinte brought home Gold from the CWSF

May 24, 2022—Congratulations to HPEDSB students who achieved top honours at the Canada Wide Science Fair held in Fredericton, N.B. from May 16-20, 2022.

  • Surya Narayan Santhakumar and his project Snow Sbot V2 received a gold medal in the Junior Division and a Challenge Award for Digital Technology. His project involved creating a robot that can help seniors by plowing snow from driveways and sidewalks. Surya attends the Virtual School.
  • Harshita Srikanth and her project Creativity = TRIZ won a bronze medal in the intermediate Division. Her project involved creating a novel process for recycling hardcover books by using the TRIZ (The Theory of Inventive Problem-Solving) principles to solve this environmental problem. Harshita attends Eastside Secondary School.

The third team member was Nina Graciano from Eastside Secondary School. These young scientists demonstrated dedication, expertise and determination through their involvement. They have been working continually on their projects for many months.

At CWSF, students competed for almost $1 million in prizes and scholarships. During the week, they took part in many activities including judging, lab tours, inspirational seminars and speeches, chess tournaments, and the awards ceremony.

Photo of Team Quinte, CWSF
Congratulations to HPEDSB students who achieved top honours at the Canada Wide Science Fair held in Fredericton, N.B. from May 16-20, 2022. Pictured L to R: Nina Graciano, Eastside Secondary School; Surya Narayan Santhakumar, Virtual School; and Harshita Srikanth, Eastside Secondary School.

Interested in tutoring for your child(ren)?

May 10, 2022—Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board is inviting families to let us know if they are interested in tutoring for their child(ren). The sessions will start in late May and take place after the school day, either in-person or virtual, based on student needs and the availability of tutors. The tutors will be qualified elementary and secondary teachers.

  • The focus for tutoring in elementary school: foundational literacy and numeracy skills using HPEDSB assessment tools and complementary classroom instruction
  • The focus for tutoring in secondary school: foundational literacy and numeracy skills along with credit accumulation (Credit Recovery and Credit Rescue)

If you are interested, please complete the online Expression of Interest for Tutoring Support form by May 16, 2022.

For in-person tutoring, transportation home will be a family responsibility.

Questions? Contact the Curriculum Services team at [email protected], or 613-966-1170, ext. 62299.

OPSBA Public Property Assessment Network Scholarship 2022

February 25, 2022—Grade 12 students graduating in June 2022 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, 2021-22 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 20, 2022.

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.

Red Dress Day, May 5

Red Dress Day is on Thursday, May 5, 2022. It is a day that brings awareness and calls for all Canadians to speak out on violence against Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people.

What is Red Dress Day?

Red Dress Day is a day of honouring missing and murdered Indigenous people. It’s a day to raise awareness and education about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, two spirited, and men. Red Dress Day started as REDress project established by Indigenous artist Jamie Black to focus on the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women across Canada and United States in 2010.

The dresses are empty, to evoke the missing women who should be wearing them.

The colour red was chosen after Jamie Black had a conversation with an Indigenous friend who shared with her “(Red) is really a calling back of the spirits of these women and allowing them a chance to be among us and have their voices heard through their family members and community.” Red also symbolizes “our lifeblood and that connection between all of us,” and both vitality and violence.

What is Red Dress Day? (pdf)

The Final Report on the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was released in June 2019.  There were 2,836 individuals who participated in the truth–gathering process and 231 calls to justice were recommended.

More from artist Jaime Black: This day began as “an aesthetic response to more than 1000 missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada”.

Because the day is about building awareness of this ongoing harm and honouring those we have lost and their families, people can mark the day by:

  • Wearing red and posting it to social media. Use hashtags such as: #MMIWG, #MMIWG2S, #RedDressDay, #WhyWeWearRed, and #NoMoreStolenSisters
  • Hanging a red dress in your window or your yard
  • Educating others about this issue

2022 Municipal elections

May 2, 2022—Municipal elections will be held on October 24, 2022. School board trustees are included on the ballot to represent their community for the next four years. 

Learn more about the role of trustees at Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, and find out general information on the website elections.ontarioschooltrustees.org.

Logo

Key dates

  • March 31, 2022: No by-election shall be held after this date.
  • April 3: Last day for school boards to provide a copy of the report on determination and distribution of trustees.
  • April 30: Last day for municipalities and school boards to establish rules and procedures regarding the use of municipal and/or board resources during the election campaign period.
  • May 2: The nomination and registration periods begin.
  • August 19: Nomination Day, with a deadline of 2:00 PM. The last day to register as a candidate. A candidate who wishes to withdraw their nomination must notify the municipal clerk in writing before 2:00 PM.
  • October 24: Voting day.
  • November 15: New term of office begins.

Candidate and community resources

Find out what school trustees do, who won the 2018 and 2014 elections, how to become a trustee, how and where to vote, who ran in your ward or region and everything you need to know about school boards at elections.ontarioschooltrustees.org.

All candidates are encouraged to submit their profiles (name, school board and ward) to [email protected]. Candidates can also include a photo, a brief biography, social media handles, email addresses and website URLs with their profile.

Reference documents to find out more

OPSBA’s Guide to Good Governance (web page)

Making a Difference: Running for Election as a School Board Trustee (pdf)

HPEDSB Trustee Information Sheet (pdf)

Looking for Help with Questions and Concerns? (pdf)

 

Students fundraise $1.2 million for cancer research

April 28, 2022—Students at all HPEDSB schools truly care about others. They were recently recognized by The Terry Fox Foundation for reaching the incredible milestone of $1.2 million, a fundraising total since the early 1980s.

Schools participate in annual Terry Fox Run/Walk events every September. The fundraising tally for the 2021 event is $65,895.

“Part of educating students is to help them learn about giving back and civic responsibility. Participating in a fundraising event like the Terry Fox Run/Walk is a way for students to connect with their communities and support a worthy cause. I am so proud of all HPEDSB students, their families and communities for their contribution and caring,” said Katherine MacIver, Director of Education. 

Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB) serves approximately 15,000 students each day at 39 in-person schools (32 elementary, two K-12; four 7-12, one secondary) and one K-10 virtual school. Supporting student achievement is the goal of approximately 1,800 teaching and support staff who, in addition to the contributions of caring volunteers and community partners, share their passion for teaching and learning. The district covers a geographic area of 7,220 square kilometres bordered by Maynooth to the north, Deseronto to the east, Prince Edward County to the south and Quinte West to the west.

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

HPEDSB receives national award for excellence in school board communications

April 28, 2022—Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board has received national recognition with a BRAVO! Award from the Canadian Association of Communicators in Education.

No-Tech Learning Weekly Newspaper Ads

In mid-March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic hit Ontario hard and fast. Within one day, it caused schools and businesses to close throughout the province. All of a sudden, students, families and workers were at home. Going to school, as we knew it at the time, was on hold until at least the end of April 2020.

The challenge—or opportunity—was to come up with a way to keep students engaged in learning without having to use technology, such as computers or devices, or by using the internet. Enter the idea for No-Tech Learning Weekly Newspaper Ads: full-page, colour ads in eight weekly newspapers for 14 weeks to keep students and families connected to learning. The ads were fun, engaging, colourful and appealed to the young and old alike! Each week offered new, fun and engaging activities for Primary (JK-Grade 3), Junior/Intermediate (Grades 4-8); and Senior (Grades 9-12).

Congratulations to Kerry Donnell, Communications and Privacy Manager, for demonstrating excellence in communications practices. Donnell worked with a team of educators who created weekly ad content.

The BRAVO! Awards recognize and honour exemplary work in all aspects of school public relations, communications, marketing and engagement. Submissions are judged on the demonstration of the RPIE process (research, planning, implementation and evaluation). Judging is done by a panel of public relations/communications practitioners outside the field of education, with each entry judged individually against the contest criteria, not against other entries. Entries that obtain a score of 90 points and higher receive an Award of Excellence; 80 to 89 points receive an Award of Distinction; and 75 to 79 points receive an Award of Merit.

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

Letter from Director Katherine MacIver about in-person and virtual school for September 2022

April 26, 2022

Dear Families:

Update on in-person and virtual school for September 2022

Recently we contacted you about planning for the upcoming school year and whether your children will attend in-person or virtual school.

In-person learning is the best way to meet students’ academic, social-emotional, physical and well-being needs. Programming at in-person schools provides access to a greater variety of courses to support graduation pathways, as well as peer-to-peer interactions. Enrolment numbers for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year indicate that the vast majority of families are choosing in-person learning for their children.

Based on the number of families requesting virtual school, we will offer a K-8 virtual school for the 2022-2023 school year.

Virtual schools were created for the 2020-2021 school year as part of the Ministry of Education response to the pandemic. That first year, HPEDSB had 1,516 elementary and 819 secondary school students at virtual school. The following year (current school year), enrolment decreased significantly to 361 elementary and 109 secondary students. For next year (the upcoming school year), requests are for 113 elementary and 86 secondary school students. For elementary, it is expected that combined and triple grade classes will be required. It is not feasible to offer virtual school for Grades 9-12 due to the variety of courses and pathways required.

Options are available for eLearning and accessing TVO courses, with the cost paid by HPEDSB, or a hybrid approach combining the two with some in-person learning. If you are interested in exploring these options, please contact the Guidance teachers at your child’s home school. Without this communication, students will be registered for a full course load at in-person school for the 2022-2023 school year.

Our educators and support staff remain committed to providing high-quality programming at all our schools, whether in-person or virtual. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s principal. Thank you for your continued support of your child’ school.

Sincerely,

Katherine MacIver
Director of Education

Board Meeting Update: April 25, 2022

April 25, 2022—This update provides a summary of the public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held April 25, 2022, livestreamed (the recorded version will be available within 24 hours). It is an unofficial summary of the meeting; official minutes will be approved at the next regular meeting in 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 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 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.

Presentation

Student-created Science Fair website

Two students from Centennial Secondary School, Ethan and Austin Williams, presented a website they created to engage students in the Quinte Regional Science and Technology Fair. Their efforts were connected to the Duke of Edinburgh Program, which presents bronze, silver or gold awards to students who complete actions in four categories: adventurous journey, physical activity, skills development and volunteering. Although the COVID-19 pandemic stifled traditional volunteer opportunities for Ethan and Austin, they decided to  volunteer their time to create a website. It was named Quinte Science Fair Project Guide, a website for students by students. The site featured an interactive, step-by-step process to help students create a virtual science fair project—presented from a student perspective. Ethan and Austin shared website statistics: from February 1 to April 11, 2022 there were 833 new users from six continents, 24 countries, 193 cities, resulting in 4,900 clicks in three months and about two minutes per  visit. The best part was unexpected promotion by astronaut Chris Hadfield through his Twitter account. Parting words of encouragement from Ethan and Austin were: never give up, pursue your passion, teamwork makes the dream work.

Thank you to Ethan and Austin Williams; Marg Thompson, Principal; Shannon Alexander, Guidance teacher.

Delegation

All Welcome Here

Judith Burfoot from Prince Edward County was welcomed to the meeting. She presented data from a recent BIPOC survey of residents. The presentation included an overview of BIPOC residents in PEC; challenges identified in the survey; demographic data (age, income, employment, education); residency; time lived in PEC. The survey also asked an open-ended question inviting respondents to share if they had experienced racism in PEC. Ms. Burfoot asked Board leadership to consider taking actions to support BIPOC, including: issuing a clear statement on anti-racism; prioritizing supporting BIPOC students; providing ongoing anti-racist education for all staff; supporting student-focused BIPYC youth groups; and developing a complaint mechanism.

Recommendations

Board Opening/Land Acknowledgement 

Board members approved a recommendation to revise the opening of the public Board meetings to remove the Character Moment of Reflection and replace it with a Land  Acknowledgement that includes a small learning component.

Principal/Vice-principal Pool

Board members approved the placement of the following people into the K-12 principal and vice-principal pools:

  • Principal pool: Kerri Denyes, Angela Harvey, Duane Wiltshire
  • Vice-principal pool: MacKenzie Best Hagerman, Anne Brown, Rob Garden, Anita Halfpenny, Natalie Vader, Chatalee Rowe

Information

Report from the Director of Education

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Letter to families on April 13, 2022 outlining steps to maintain in-person learning; pausing the use of supply staff for professional learning learning and activities that would take staff outside the learning environment; this resulted from high absences and low fill rates (supply staff).
  • Expressed appreciation to federation partners who have been supportive of moving meetings to after school hours.
  • As of today, we are seeing higher fill/supply rates, with over 60% of staff absences being filled.
  • Acknowledged that closing classes or schools is a last resort.
  • Have heard from some families about bus driver absences; we know it affects families, students and learning.
  • Announced two celebratory items:
    • $1.2 million raised by schools for the Terry Fox Foundation.
    • BRAVO! Award of Excellence presented to Kerry Donnell, Communication and Privacy Manager and supporting team, from the Canadian Association of Communicators in Education, for exemplary work on the No-Tech Newspaper Ads project.

Virtual School enrolment for 2022-2023

Based on the number of families who indicated their intent to continue their children’s virtual school enrolment, HPEDSB will offer a K-8 Virtual School for the 2022-2023 school  year. Due to the low secondary numbers, it is not feasible that HPEDSB offer a K-12 model. The diverse needs and low enrolment by grade and course mean that student pathways cannot be supported, nor appropriate staffing allocated to meet those diverse needs. For Grades 9-12 families who showed interest/intent in enrolling in the Virtual School, remote learning options are available through eLearning, TVO courses and in-person courses. Families will be encouraged to meet with their home school Guidance staff to establish timetables that meet the needs of students, recognizing the possibility for remote and hybrid learning experiences.

Find out more starting on page 9 of the April 25, 2022 agenda.

Single stream implementation update

In December 2021, the Ministry of Education gave direction that all Grade 9 Applied course types would be removed from the curriculum at the end of the 2021-22 school year. This direction continued the shift to a single stream that began with Grade 9 Mathematics in the current school year. The Ministry’s plan to end streaming in Grade 9 is designed to keep future pathway options open for all students and to create an education system that will address systemic discrimination and help break down barriers for Indigenous, Black, and other racialized students, students who live in low-income households, and those with disabilities and other special education needs, so that all students have equitable opportunities to succeed.

To support schools to successfully implement the single stream for Grade 9 students we are:

  1. enhancing structural elements that ensure a successful transition to secondary school;
  2. taking a proactive approach to teaching that is responsive to student needs; and
  3. closely monitoring achievement and course selection data to ensure that we are successful in reaching the goals of a single stream.

Find out more starting on page 10 of the April 25, 2022 agenda.

This is Me in HPE Census update

School boards across Ontario, including HPEDSB, are completing a census with their school communities to gain a clearer understanding of the needs of their student populations and school communities. Under the Anti-Racism Act, 2017 and Ontario’s Education Equity Action Plan, school boards are to collect data and report on the data they collect. The census data will help to identify and address systemic barriers to student success, close gaps in services, and guide decisions that support more equitable outcomes for all students and staff.

There were two phases to this project:

  • Phase 1, Spring 2021: Administration of the Student Census in pilot schools (Prince Edward Collegiate Institute, North Hastings High School, Harry J. Clarke Public School and Park Dale School)
  • Phase 2, Fall 2021: Administration of Staff Census with all HPEDSB staff from November 1 to 5, 2021; and administration of Student Census in all HPEDSB schools from November 15 to 19, 2021.

Next steps are to investigate options for additional data analysis to support the four priority areas from the HPEDSB Equity Action Plan and the five guiding questions from
the Board Improvement Plan; and to seek input from various stakeholder committees and groups (e.g., Equity and Inclusivity Advisory Committee, Indigenous Education Advisory Committee, Parent Involvement Committee, Special Education Advisory Committee, etc.).

Find out more starting on page 12 of the April 25, 2022 agenda.

Indigenous Education update

The Indigenous Grad Coach at North Hastings High School has resulted in improved student achievement, with a notable increase in credit accumulation among Indigenous students compared to previous years. Plans are already underway to support students who will be transitioning to high school and into Grade 7 from the feeder schools in September 2022. A pilot Intermediate Indigenous Grad Coach program is planned for Trenton High School, which has an Indigenous population of 10% of the student body.

Find out more starting on page 51 of the April 25, 2022 agenda.

Lease agreements

Cooperative and collaborative partnerships are part of the foundation of a strong, vibrant and sustainable public education system. Partnerships can strengthen the role of the schools  in communities, provide a place for programs, and facilitate the coordination of, and improve access to, services for students and the broader community. HPEDSB currently has  several child care partners, in addition to other partners, which have signed lease agreements for a committed period of time for use of surplus space in our facilities.

Find out more starting on page 53 of the April 25, 2022 agenda.

Report from student trustees

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • congratulations to Julie Webster, Eastside Secondary School, elected as a student trustee for the 2022-2023 school year; and
  • the deadline for applications for the Indigenous student trustee role has been extended to May 4, 2022.

Report from the Budget/Finance Committee meeting, April 19, 2022

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • review of meeting dates for next year;
  • review of projected enrolment for next year; and
  • revenue projections for next year (Grants for Student Needs).

Report from the Special Education Advisory Committee meetings, February 24 and March 24, 2022

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • special equipment amounts;
  • review of the Special Education Plan;
  • tri-board meeting in May;
  • PPM 81, provision of health support services in school settings; and
  • correspondence from Durham and Renfrew County school boards.

OPSBA Information Exchange

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • equity and diversity, particularly in the composition of Board leadership;
  • need to reflect the diversity of the community;
  • safe space ground rules; ask questions as they come up; assume good intent; inclusion and acceptance; and
  • Bill 67 was introduced although will likely not proceed due to the upcoming provincial election.

Questions, reports and proposals from trustees

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Trustee Alison Kelly successfully completed a parliamentarian course; and
  • three more lunch and learn sessions with the Audit Committee, all trustees are welcome.

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

Register for skilled trades Discovery Day, May 12, 2022

April 22, 2022—Schools are invited to participate in Discovery Day to learn about opportunities in skilled trades and technologies.

EVENT DETAILS 

Discovery Day for Belleville, Kingston Renfrew regions

DATE: May 12, 2022
TIME: 9:00-11:00 AM
LOCATION: Online, register at https://www.skillsontario.com/kbrh

Hear from industry and educational experts about careers, pathways and support programs.

This event is for:

  • senior elementary students
  • secondary school students
  • post-secondary students
  • apprentices
  • educators
  • Guidance counsellors
  • parents/guardians

HPEDSB contact: Sean Pudlis, OYAP Coordinator, [email protected]

Unique virtual live experience.
Connect and ask questions to experts in skilled trades/technologies & education.
Exciting and Engaging!

 

Letter from Director Katherine MacIver about potential temporary adjustments to classes or schools

April 13, 2022

Dear Families:

Potential temporary adjustments to your child’s class or school due to a rise in staff absences

Student safety is always our priority. With that in mind, the rising number of COVID-19 cases in our local communities is making it increasingly challenging to maintain a full complement of staff at some of our schools.

Our intention is to keep schools open for in-person learning, and we are taking several actions to address the shortage of supply workers, including actively recruiting new supply staff, reorganizing staff and students within schools, and using centrally assigned staff to cover school absences. For the next few weeks, all sports, extracurriculars and tournaments occurring during the day will be paused while we manage significant staffing shortages.

When staff absences cannot be filled with supply coverage, it may be necessary to request that students remain at home. This would be a temporary adjustment in their learning. On such days, students will be able to access their online classroom to keep connected to learning. Their teacher(s) will provide more information if this happens.

In these situations, your child’s school will make every effort to notify you the night before through the normal school-home communication process. They will try to give you as much notice as possible to enable you to make child care arrangements for the following school day.

Learning to live with COVID-19 will take some time to adjust and adapt. We continue to strongly encourage the use of protective measures, including wearing masks. Washing hands and practising cough and sneeze etiquette are good habits at all times. Remember to have your child do COVID-19 screening before going to school each day and to stay home if they have symptoms of illness.

We appreciate your flexibility. Please be kind and understanding of the choices others make.

Sincerely,

Katherine MacIver
Director of Education

 

Inviting applications to become a student trustee

April 12, 2022—Students who are in Grade 10 or 11 now—and will be in Grade 11 or 12 in September—are invited to apply to become a student trustee for the 2022-2023 school year.  Read on to find out more . . .

  1. How many student trustee positions are available?
    • There are currently two student trustee positions available for 2022-2023
    • One is an open position, and one is a position for a student who identifies as Indigenous
  2. Who can apply to be a student trustee?
    • Students who are currently in grade 10 and 11 (who will be in grades 11 and 12 next year) can apply to be a student trustee
  3. What does a student trustee do?
  4. The application process
    • Applications are due Tuesday, April 19, 2022, by 9:00 AM
    • Email applications to Megan Adam, [email protected]
    • Include (copy) your school principal or vice-principal on the application email
  5. When and how will student trustees be selected?
    • Student trustees will be elected by their Student Voice peers at an online meeting on Thursday, April 21, 2022.
    • All applicants must plan on attending this meeting (the link will be sent week of meeting)

How to apply to become a student trustee

Please answer the following question using the method of your choice (written, video, voice note, slideshow)

  1. Why would you like to be a student trustee with the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board?
  2. Discuss your lived, living, leadership, volunteer, and other experiences to support your answer.
  • Include your name, preferred pronouns, school, current grade and indicate if you are applying for the open student trustee position, or the position for a student who identifies as Indigenous
  • Submit your application to Megan Adam, [email protected] by 9:00 AM on Tuesday, April 19, 2022
  • Also copy your principal or vice-principal(s) on the email

For more information, please contact Megan Adam, Staff Coordinator, [email protected]

 

Parent Involvement Committee hosting Family Symposium: Rebounding With Resilience

April 8, 2022—The HPEDSB Parent Involvement Committee is hosting an online event on May 4, a Family Symposium: Rebounding With Resilience, featuring speaker Cassie Richardson from Loyalist College who will talk with families about moving forward from the pandemic and using mental health resilience techniques to address challenges.

May 4, 2022, 6:30 – 8:00 PM

Register at https://bit.ly/HPE_Family_Symposium by April 29, 2022.

Win one of two $100 gift cards!

 

 

HPEDSB students succeed at the Quinte Regional Science and Technology Fair

April 6, 2022—The Quinte Regional Science and Technology Fair was held virtually again this year, with judging taking place the weekend of April 2 and 3, 2022. Despite the limitations posed by telephone and virtual interfaces, the judges and students universally reported that the judging was a rewarding, positive experience.  There were many prizes and special awards available due to the generosity of local individuals and businesses.  The local community continues to encourage our amazing students to display their creativity and brilliance.

Students uploaded videos explaining their work along with slide shows, pictures and graphics, all displayed in a slick interface that allows easy access to all elements of their projects, some of which can be viewed online at https://projectboard.world/ysc/region/quinte

The results of this Saturday’s judging follow:

  • Best in Grade 5: Lachlann Bremner, Susanna Moodie Public School
  • Best in Grade 6: Aashita Srikanth, HPEDSB Virtual School
  • Best in Grade 7: Surya Santhakumar, HPEDSB Virtual School
  • Best in Grades 9-12: Nina Graciano, Eastside Secondary School
  • Best in Fair Junior: Lachlann Bremner, Susanna Moodie Public School
  • Best in Fair Intermediate: Surya Santhakumar, HPEDSB Virtual School
  • Best in Fair Senior: Nina Graciano, Eastside Secondary School

For a full list of winners of special awards go to http://www.qrstf.ca/documents/winners2022.pdf

The QRSTF Awards Presentation can be viewed by searching YouTube for QRSTF award ceremony 2022.

Three students from our area will compete in this year’s Canada Wide Science Fair, to be held virtually. Students from Grades 7 to 12 are eligible for this prize. From May 16-20 there will be a series of activities culminating in a competition for almost one million dollars in prize money. The Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF) is the country’s largest annual youth science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) event, bringing together top young scientists and their projects, selected from our national network of over 100 regional STEM fairs in every province and territory.

The three students who are competing at the CWSF this year are: Surya Santhakumar Grade 7 HPEDSB Virtual School; Nina Graciano, Grade 9 Eastside Secondary School, and Harshita Srikanth, Grade 10, Eastside Secondary School.

Congratulations to our three CWSF representatives and to all students who participated in the Quinte Regional Science and Technology Fair!

Board Meeting Update: March 28, 2022

March 28, 2022—This update provides a summary of the public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held March 28, 2022, livestreamed (the recorded version will be available within 24 hours). It is an unofficial summary of the meeting; official minutes will be approved at the next regular meeting in 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 Lucille Kyle, Trustee, North Hastings, asked all to reflect on Integrity: We do what is right for ourselves and others. We demonstrate values and ethics that are good for all. We speak directly, clearly, and respectfully. Trustee Kyle connected integrity to the Board of Trustees: being aware that everyone’s demonstration of integrity is different, for example. Kyle opined that, as trustees, the integrity of each Board member matters.

Presentation

Virtual Solutions in Real Time for Students with Specialized Learning Needs

The Home Instruction Program supports students who are unable to participate in face-to-face learning. That may be due to their complex learner profiles, or COVID-19 concerns/medical fragility within their family. The challenge during the pandemic was how to connect students and families to meaningful education as a transitional step to returning to in-person school. The presenters explained that success looks different for every student. The goal is to support students to keep engaged in learning, through conversations and observations, as well as having ongoing contact with parents/guardians.

Thank you to presenters Stephanie Taylor-Harvey, System Lead; Abigail Bonter, Teacher; and Carly Hansen, Teacher.

Recommendations

2022 School board elections and trustee distribution

In preparation for the municipal election in October 2022, Board members approved following municipalities as low population municipalities for the purposes of distribution of trustees for Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board:

  1. Corporation of the County of Prince Edward
  2. Centre Hastings (consisting of Centre Hastings, Marmora and Lake, Madoc Township and Stirling-Rawdon)
  3. North Hastings (consisting of Town of Bancroft, Hastings Highlands, Carlow/Mayo, Faraday, Wollaston, Limerick and Tudor Cashel)
  4. South East Hastings (consisting of Tweed, Town of Deseronto and Tyendinaga)

As in previous years, nine trustees will be elected and one will be pointed by Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte.

Eastside Secondary School renovations tender

Board members approved a tender to David J. Cupido Construction for Phase 2 of interior renovations at Eastside Secondary School in the amount of $2,162,000.

North Hastings High School mechanical renewal and windows tender

Board members approved a tender to Beacon Construction (Ontario) Ltd. for mechanical renewal work and window replacement at North Hastings High School, in the amount of $2,266,487.

Roofing replacements at various schools

Board members approved a tender to the following companies for the work specified:

  • Amherst Roofing and Sheet Metal for roof replacement and associated work at Madoc Township Public School in the amount of $111,980;
  • Dafoe Roofing Ltd. for roof replacement and associated work at Bird’s Creek Public School in the amount of $326,394; Sophiasburgh Central School in the amount of  $372,331;  and York River Public School in the amount of $250,713;
  • Nortex Roofing Ltd. for roof replacement and associated work at Centennial Secondary School in the amount of $342,750;
  • Triumph Roofing Inc. for roof replacement and associated work at Eastside Secondary School in the amount of $67,290; and North Hastings High School in the amount of $351,405.

Information

Report from the Director of Education

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Schools, staff and students are adapting to the lifted COVID-19 restrictions and are managing well.
  • More normal school experiences are happening, including schools starting to plan field trips and excursions.
  • The technical documentation for education funding was release last Friday; it provides insight into the Grants for Student Needs which represent the funding for the education sector; the good news is that the funding provides stability for HPEDSB for the 2022-2023 school year.
  • Congratulations to Prince Edward Collegiate Institute, recognized by the Terry Fox Foundation as number 18 in the top 25 schools in Canada for fundraising. PECI raised almost $8,500 for the TFF in 2021.

Virtual School update

The 2021-2022 Virtual School was designed through a students first concept, offering remote learning instruction for K-10 students. The school serves approximately 500 students  from across the district. A combination of scheduled synchronous and asynchronous instruction is used. The school has experienced successes and challenges, while supporting students and families. Planning for the 2022-2023 Virtual School is underway. The structure will be established based on the results of registrations by grade, aligning with staffing and budget. Find out more starting on page 10 of the March 28, 2022 agenda.

English Language Learning Program update

English language learners are students whose first language is a language other than English, or is a variety of English significantly different from that used for instruction in Ontario’s schools and who may require focused educational support to assist them in attaining proficiency in English. These students may be Canadian-born or recently arrived from other countries. They come from diverse backgrounds and school experiences, and have a wide variety of strengths and needs. During the 2021-2022 school year, the ELL delivery model was enhanced to include intentional support for both teachers and students within the classroom whenever possible. Find out more starting on page 14 of the March 28, 2022 agenda.

Math Fundamentals Teaching and Learning Practices

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, K-8 student achievement data for Mathematics reflected a trend of declining student performance at provincial standard, based on EQAO Assessment of Mathematics. The declining achievement created a sense of urgency requiring an intentional interruption to this trend. Locally, this has led to a continued priority on  math, involving a thorough review of past practices, alignment to reflect the direction set by the new Mathematics curriculum and fundamentals of mathematics, and to guide changes in system level support to shift program design; instruction and assessment practices; deployment of new resources to educators and schools; and delivery of increased frequency and intentionality of support to identified intensive support schools. Find out more starting on page 16 of the March 28, 2022 agenda.

Report from student trustees

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Student Voice meeting tomorrow about the election process for student trustees.

Budget/Finance Committee update from March 21, 2022

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • reviewed the tenders mentioned earlier in this report; and
  • reviewed the business case submission for the former Quinte Secondary School.

Special Education Advisory Committee update from February 24 and March 24, 2022

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Nil report.

OPSBA Information Exchange

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • email from OPSBA asking for nominations for elected positions;
  • June 9-11, 2022 will be the Annual General Meeting in person in Ottawa; and
  • reminder about the Public Property Scholarship, the deadline to apply is May 20.

Questions, reports and proposals from trustees

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Lunch and Learn sessions for trustees to learn about the audit process are coming up; contact Jennifer Cobb to sign up.
  • Appreciation expressed to Student Trustee Moira Gaddes for being a guest speaker and role model at a recent community event about period poverty.

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

Reminder: Deadline to register for virtual school is today

March 25, 2022—Families are reminded about the virtual school registration deadline today.

Parents/guardians should contact their child’s home school before the end of the school day today if they would like their child to be enrolled in virtual school for the 2022-2023 school year.

List of schools and contact information (pdf)

We are planning for a JK-10 virtual school to operate for the 2022-2023 school year. For students in Grades 11 and 12, virtual school programming may be offered if there is sufficient enrolment. The courses would be limited, with priority on core courses, such as English and Math. A decision about virtual school for students in Grades 11 and 12 will be made in early April and we will communicate directly with families who have expressed interest.

If parents/guardians do not contact the principal by today, their child will be registered for in-person school. Please be aware that students currently enrolled in the virtual school will be automatically returned to their home schools at the end of June 2022.

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.

 

Expressing our sincere condolences

March 20, 2022–Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board is aware of the tragic vehicle crash involving a family of Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board.

We offer condolences and deepest sympathy to the family and everyone affected during this difficult time.

Support for students will be available in all HPEDSB schools.

Letter from Director Katherine MacIver about changes to COVID-19 requirements in schools

March 10, 2022—Yesterday, the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Province of Ontario lifted many of the pandemic restrictions that have been in place. As a public education system, HPEDSB is required to follow the directives of provincial and local health officials, in addition to those of the Minister of Education.

Please read the letter from Director of Education, Katherine MacIver, for more information about the changes that will come into effect in schools on March 21, 2022.

Letter from Director of Education about changes to COVID-19 protocols (pdf)

Dear Parents/Guardians and Caregivers:

Changes to COVID-19 requirements at schools effective March 21, 2022

The 2021-2022 school year has brought several adjustments and changes at schools. Together we navigated many responses to the pandemic, while ensuring students and staff were safe and learning in-person, as much as possible.

As you are likely aware, yesterday the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Province of Ontario lifted many of the pandemic restrictions that have been in place. As a public education system, HPEDSB is required to follow the directives of provincial and local health officials, in addition to those of the Minister of Education.

We are looking forward to the return of a number of opportunities for students and schools on
March 21, 2022 following March Break, while maintaining protective measures, including continued free access to rapid tests and masks, ventilation improvements and daily self-screening.

The following requirements will be lifted in all HPEDSB spaces on March 21, 2022:

  • Cohorting and distancing
  • Restrictions to shared spaces and cross-grade programs
  • Restrictions for large gatherings
  • Mandatory masks and eye protection for students and staff at schools, board offices and on student transportation
  • Collection of proof of vaccination for visitors
  • Daily confirmation of screening in order to attend school

If your child(ren) becomes a close contact with a positive case, they must follow Ministry of Health guidelines for contact management. They include wearing a mask for a period of time and avoiding tasks that need masks removed, such as playing a high-contact sport, or playing a wind instrument.

Mask wearing will be a choice for everyone, including HPEDSB staff. Please discuss with your child(ren) that this is a personal choice and help them to understand and respect the choice of others to wear or not wear a mask.

Prior to going to school each day, your child(ren) should continue to self-screen and stay home if they have symptoms of illness. Schools will continue to encourage and expect good hand hygiene and practise cough and sneeze etiquette.

If you travel over March Break, please follow federal travel requirements, which currently include masking for 14 days after return, recording contacts and daily monitoring for symptoms.

These newly-announced changes are significant in light of the precautions that have been in place over the past two years. It will take some time to adjust and adapt, as we return to more normal learning environments in our schools.

We’re here to help! Supports for students are available at schools through child and youth workers, social service workers or social workers. Please contact your child’s teacher or principal if you would like to access support.

As we navigate this transition, please respect and honour the decisions that individuals and families in our school communities will make. We appreciate your support as we continue learning together.

All the best for a safe and enjoyable March Break.

Sincerely,

Katherine MacIver
Director of Education

Letter from Director of Education, Katherine MacIver: Planning for the 2022-2023 school year

March 9, 2022—Planning has begun for the 2022-2023 school year, where the virtual school will continue to be offered, in addition to in-person learning. The number of students that will be in our schools will determine our staffing for the fall.

We ask all families interested in participating in virtual school to contact your child’s home/in-person school principal by Friday, March 25, 2022, to formally register for virtual school for the 2022-2023 school year. Students currently enrolled in the virtual school will be automatically returned to their home schools at the end of June 2022.

Please review the following letter from Director of Education, Katherine MacIver, for more information about learning options for the upcoming school year.

Letter from Director of Education about planning for the 2022-2023 school year (pdf)

COVID-19 Immunization disclosure for school board employees

Updated March 7, 2022—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 February 7, 2022)

Attestation Summary Information: School board employees and trustees, excluding occasional/casual employees

1. Total number of individuals to whom this policy will apply 1,767
2. Total number of individuals who have attested to being fully vaccinated, with supporting documentation 1,653
3. Total number of individuals who have attested to being fully vaccinated, without supporting documentation
4. Total number of individuals who have attested to having received the required doses of the vaccination, except 14 days have not yet passed since their last vaccination date, OR, who are partially vaccinated and have attested to having a scheduled appointment for the second/final vaccination dose
5. Total number of individuals who have attested to having a documented medical reason for not being fully vaccinated 5
6. Total number of individuals who have attested to not being fully vaccinated (excluding those in 4 and 5 above) 109
7. Total number of individuals who have not yet submitted the attestation
8. Of those in 6 above, total number of individuals who have completed an educational session about the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination, where applicable 46
9. Of those in 6 above, total number of individuals who have not yet completed an educational session about the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination, where applicable 63
10. Total number of individuals who have been placed on leave or terminated as a results of refusing to participate in rapid antigen testing
11. Percentage of individuals who have attested to being fully immunized, with supporting documentation 94%
12. Percentage of individuals who have attested to being fully immunized, without supporting documentation
13. Percentage of individuals who have attested to being fully immunized, (with or without supporting documentation) out of those individuals who have submitted an attestation 94%
14. Total number of individuals who have attested to having received a COVID-19 booster dose 847

 

Attestation Summary Information: Occasional/temporary school board employees

1. Total number of individuals to whom this policy will apply 515
2. Total number of individuals who have attested to being fully vaccinated, with supporting documentation 350
3. Total number of individuals who have attested to being fully vaccinated, without supporting documentation
4. Total number of individuals who have attested to having received the required doses of the vaccination, except 14 days have not yet passed since their last vaccination date, OR, who are partially vaccinated and have attested to having a scheduled appointment for the second/final vaccination dose
5. Total number of individuals who have attested to having a documented medical reason for not being fully vaccinated 2
6. Total number of individuals who have attested to not being fully vaccinated (excluding those in 4 and 5 above) 163
7. Total number of individuals who have not yet submitted the attestation
8. Of those in 6 above, total number of individuals who have completed an educational session about the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination, where applicable 7
9. Of those in 6 above, total number of individuals who have not yet completed an educational session about the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination, where applicable 156
10. Total number of individuals who have been placed on leave or terminated as a results of refusing to participate in rapid antigen testing
11. Percentage of individuals who have attested to being fully immunized, with supporting documentation 68%
12. Percentage of individuals who have attested to being fully immunized, without supporting documentation
13. Percentage of individuals who have attested to being fully immunized, (with or without supporting documentation) out of those individuals who have submitted an attestation 68%
14. Total number of individuals who have attested to having received a COVID-19 booster dose 140

 

Attestation Summary Information: Other individuals frequently in schools or other settings who may have direct contact with  students or staff (e.g., visitors, volunteers, contractors, other professionals and student transportation drivers)

1. Total number of individuals to whom this policy will apply 725
2. Total number of individuals who have attested to being fully vaccinated, with supporting documentation 667
3. Total number of individuals who have attested to being fully vaccinated, without supporting documentation 4
4. Total number of individuals who have attested to having received the required doses of the vaccination, except 14 days have not yet passed since their last vaccination date, OR, who are partially vaccinated and have attested to having a scheduled appointment for the second/final vaccination dose
5. Total number of individuals who have attested to having a documented medical reason for not being fully vaccinated 1
6. Total number of individuals who have attested to not being fully vaccinated (excluding those in 4 and 5 above) 52
7. Total number of individuals who have not yet submitted the attestation (if known) 1
8. Of those in 6 above, total number of individuals who have completed an educational session about the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination, where applicable 52
9. Of those in 6 above, total number of individuals who have not yet completed an educational session about the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination, where applicable
10. Percentage of individuals who have attested to being fully immunized, with supporting documentation 92%
11. Percentage of individuals who have attested to being fully immunized, without supporting documentation 1%
12. Percentage of individuals who have attested to being fully immunized, (with or without supporting documentation) out of those individuals who have submitted an attestation 93%
13. Total number of individuals who have attested to having received a COVID-19 booster dose 323

2022-2023 School Year Calendar dates approved

March 4, 2022—Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB) has received approval from the Ministry of Education for the proposed 2022-2023 school year calendar dates. A pdf of the new school year calendar and the 5-day calendar for the 2022-2023 school year are available on the School Calendar web page.

The following dates have been approved by HPEDSB Board of Trustees and the Ministry of Education as of March 3, 2022.

  • First day of school for all students: Tuesday, September 6, 2022 (note that JK students may start school on different days that week)
  • Classes resume in the new year: Monday, January 9, 2023
  • Mid-winter Break: Monday, March 13 to Friday, March 17, 2023
  • Other school-related holidays:
    • Labour Day: Monday, September 5, 2022
    • Thanksgiving Day: Monday, October 10, 2022
    • Winter Break: Friday, December 23, 2022 to Friday, January 6, 2023
    • Family Day: Monday, February 20, 2023
    • Good Friday: Friday, April 7, 2023
    • Easter Monday: Monday, April 10, 2023
    • Victoria Day: Monday, May 22, 2023
  • Seven Professional Activity (PA) Days
    • Friday, September 2, 2022
    • Monday, September 26, 2022
    • Monday, October 24, 2022
    • Friday, November 25, 2022
    • Friday, February 3, 2023
    • Friday, June 2, 2023
    • Friday, June 30, 2023

Message to our communities about the attack on Ukraine

March 2, 2022—The unprovoked attack on Ukraine by Russia is affecting people around the world and in our schools and communities. We are especially sensitive to our military families and their needs. 

We denounce any acts of violence. 

School staff and community partners are already supporting students who are especially impacted, and will continue to do so. Often students want to do something tangible when a tragic event happens. This can include writing journal entries, using art as a medium to express feelings, music to calm, making cards, or creating a message of hope. We recognize that not all students will be aware of the situation in Ukraine so it is best to proceed with caution when talking about the Eastern Europe events as it could trigger students. Mental health supports are available in schools for students/families having difficulties with the ongoing conflict. Speak with your school principal for more information and to request support. 

Refer to this reference document, Ways to Support Students World Events (pdf), from  School Mental Health Ontario. More tragic events resources for educators and families are available from SMHO.

Katherine MacIver
Director of Education

Board Meeting Update: February 28, 2022

February 28, 2022—This update provides a summary of the public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held February 28, 2022, livestreamed (the recorded version will be available within 24 hours). It is an unofficial summary of the meeting; official minutes will be approved at the next regular meeting in March.

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 Krista McConnell, Trustee, Belleville/Thurlow, asked all to reflect on Humour: We celebrate the fun in life. We lighten the emotions of others by interacting in a joyful manner.

Presentation

Non-profit Sector Specialist High Skills Major at Prince Edward Collegiate Institute

This presentation provided an overview of a new program at Prince Edward Collegiate Institute. The Non-Profit Sector Specialist High Skills Major is known as the Change the World!  program and replaces the Venture program. Developed in response to students’ interest in learning about leadership, the program is grounded in the school’s history and identity as a community school. This SHSM supports local, national, and global non-profit organizations through volunteering and fundraising. The program will be in full operation in September 2022. Already, it is an example of how SHSM programs provide valuable opportunities for schools to respond to student voice and innovate programming. Thank you to presenters Andrew Ross, Principal; Greer Koutroulides, Instructional Lead Teacher of Guidance and SHSM Lead; and Brett Manlow, Instructional Lead Teacher of Canada and World Studies and French.

Recommendations

2022-2023 School Year Calendar

Board members approved the dates of the 2022-2023 school year calendar after receiving information about public input. Find out more starting on page 8 of the February 28, 2022 agenda.

Information

Report from the Director of Education

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • The mask requirement for JK/SK learners was lifted at HPEDSB schools, following new guidance by the province and local public health, although masks are strongly encouraged for those students at school and on the bus.
  • HEPA filters are in Kindergarten classrooms.
  • HPEDSB is awaiting additional new guidance from the Ministry of Education as provincial COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed.
  • Families using temporary remote learning (approximately 250 students) will be encouraged to have their children return to in-person learning after the March Break.
  • Grants for Student Needs (school board funding allocations) were announced by the Ministry of Education last week; staff are reviewing the specifics for HPEDSB for budget planning. Specific funding is coming for entrepreneurship, skilled trades and tutoring.
  • The business case for the former Quinte Secondary School has been submitted and we look forward to hearing from the Ministry of Education.

Strategic plan updates

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Priority area: Strengthen Community through Equity and Social Justice
    • The new Equity Action Plan has clear, measurable actions.
    • Schools have been provided with resources for awareness of Black History Month; ongoing social media promotion for public awareness.
    • A report about the This is Me in HPE student and staff censuses from last fall is expected in the next couple of weeks.
    • We are providing and promoting access to mental health resources on a daily basis.
    • Recruitment strategies reflect diversity and inclusivity, while relying on data to be proactive in planning.
  • Priority area: Promote Safety and Well-Being
    •  The Human Resources team is seeking stakeholder input on how it can refine processes to better support current and prospective employees.
  • Priority area: Improve Student Success and Achievement
    • 110 students in the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program
    • At secondary, credit accumulation for the first semester continues to trend higher than in previous years.
    • At elementary, student literacy and numeracy skills are improving through the use of assistive technology.
    • The focus on Indigenous Education continues, through land acknowledgements, student support through graduation coaches and more.

Promotions for Kindergarten registration 

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • HPEDSB promotes Kindergarten registration annually beginning in February.
  • Promotions involve radio ads voiced by teachers, designated early childhood educators, students and parents; online advertisements; social media and website, with links to resources, school-specific videos and virtual orientation meetings.
  • All new Kindergarten students will receive the picture book All Are Welcome.

Find out more starting on page 11 of the February 28, 2022 agenda.

Anti-Sex Trafficking Protocol

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • A team was established in fall 2021 to create the HPEDSB Anti-Sex Trafficking Protocol.
  • The draft protocol was shared with several committees, including the Special Education Advisory Committee, Indigenous Advisory Committee, Safe Schools Advisory Committee, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee and Parental Involvement Committee. The draft protocol was revised based on feedback from these and other community stakeholders.
  • Staff training is scheduled for the PA Day in April.
  • Student awareness will continue to be addressed through the curriculum.

Find out more, including a look at the protocol, starting on page 13 of the February 28, 2022 agenda.

Report from student trustees

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Student Voice meeting on February 10, with 17 students participating online; break-out sessions where students discussed the question: What are the most important things students are concerned about? Some of the recurring themes were: lack of desks and Science equipment in some classrooms; need for peer support groups for specific types of communities; lack of staff diversity; the concept of consent and how it applies to many topics; cyber-security; human trafficking; washroom safety; school climate; drug use and vaping; and inequities among students.
  • Next steps involve asking school administrators to encourage at least three students from each secondary school to participate in these meetings.

Budget/Finance Committee meeting, February 22, 2022

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Review of the budget guidelines and priorities; budget risks; and budget process and documents that align with strategic priorities.

Parent Involvement Committee meeting, February 22, 2022

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Cyber safety and security presentation.
  • Parents Reaching Out Grants are being provided to individual school councils.
  • School year calendar review.
  • Anti-Human Trafficking presentation.

Special Education Advisory Committee meeting, January 27, 2022 

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Educational assistant staffing process and safe workplace guidelines.
  • Psychological services process.
  • Review and feedback on the Special Education Plan.
  • Anti-Human Trafficking presentation.

OPSBA Information Exchange

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Participation in the online Public Education Symposium on January 28, 2022; Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, was the opening speaker.

Correspondence

Condolence letter to the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board (verbal report).

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

Participate in our ThoughtExchange, input on a new recognition program

February 25, 2022—At Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, we’re looking to celebrate the great things happening in our schools and communities. We want to hear from you about how we can celebrate people who contribute to student achievement and well-being, and make us all proud to be part of HPEDSB.

This is your chance to have your voice heard. We invite you to share your thoughts through ThoughtExchange. Once you have done that, you can read the thoughts others have shared, then rate them. Your contributions are anonymous.

The ThoughtExchange is open until March 7, 2022. That means you can check back at any time to add more thoughts, see the thoughts others have shared and then rate their importance to you.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

Updates COVID-19 guidance at schools, message to families

February 24, 2022—Updated COVID-19 guidance for schools has been reviewed by HPE Public Health. These changes result in the following changes at schools.

Student masks

All students, with the exception of Kindergarten students, 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 for Kindergarten students are strongly encouraged, but not required in school or on the bus.

Music

Music programs are permitted in areas with adequate ventilation. Singing and the use of wind instruments are permitted.

Field trips

All staff must follow and comply with Procedure 230: Out of School Learning, ensuring all proper processes, timelines, consent, forms, and supervision ratios are followed prior to considering a field trip. Vulnerable sector checks must be current as per the procedure.

Day field trips are permitted where COVID-19 safety protocols that are in place at the school, such as masking, social distancing, hand hygiene, etc., can also be met and maintained at the trip destination. Trip organizers must understand any additional protocols required by the venue and ensure that all participants can adhere to these. Overnight trips continue to be on pause.

Cohorts may interact outdoors, with physical distancing encouraged, and indoors, with masking and physical distancing.

Buses must be used where transportation is required for class trips, and up to 2 cohorts may be on the bus, with masking protocols followed and as much distance maintained as possible (e.g., one student per seat where possible).

Day-of-trip communication plans and cancellation arrangements with the venue, transportation company, and families should be in place in the event of unforeseen staffing/supervision shortages.

Parent volunteers are approved, at the discretion of the principal, and may be limited to the number of adults required to meet supervision ratios. This should be clearly communicated with families. All volunteers are required to complete screening and adhere to masking protocols.

Visitors

Visitors are permitted at the discretion of the principal/designate. All visitors must pre-schedule an appointment with the principal/designate. If a visitor has any COVID-19 signs or symptoms, they may not enter the school.

Any visitors to a school are required to self-screen and to wear a medical mask (for example, surgical/procedural) while on school premises. A medical mask will be provided by the school, if needed.

Extra-curricular activities

Clubs, activities, sport teams, bands and extra-curriculars are permitted. Cohorts may interact outdoors, with physical distancing encouraged, and indoors with masking and physical distancing.

High- and low-contact sports are permitted indoors and outdoors. The following guidance is subject to change based on provincial directives.

For all sports, teams must ensure that all participants (athletes, coaches, volunteers) have successfully completed the COVID-19 self assessment and be symptom-free prior to attending the practice and/or games.

      • 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.
      • Masking is required for all coaches, volunteers, and referees.
      • Pre-game and post-game handshakes are not permitted.
      • No spectators/ parents allowed at indoor school venues.
      • Spectators are permitted outdoors and in public arenas, following the protocols of these venues.

 Indoor curriculum-based programs (e.g., Health and Physical Education, and music) will continue, with the following requirements in place for students and staff:

      • Wearing a mask while singing and maintaining as much distancing as possible. Elementary students will also be required to stay within their cohort.
      • Wearing a mask while participating in indoor sports where they can be worn safely. Masks may be removed during active participation but must be worn when not actively engaged.

 Note: All guidance provided below is subject to change depending on evolving public health circumstances.

 All student athletes must:

      • Complete and pass COVID-19 Self Screening daily and before participating.
      • Report if they did not pass the screener and will not be participating.
      • Have their own, clearly labelled, water bottle for personal use only.
      • Follow the direction provided by coaching staff regarding physical distancing, respiratory etiquette, hand hygiene, safe use of a non-medical/cloth mask, staying home when feeling ill, and monitoring symptoms.

 All coaches must:

      • Remain informed with updates and communication as changes occur.
      • Complete and pass the COVID-19 Self Screening before participating.
      • Ensure that each participant/student has successfully completed the COVID-19 Screening, and is symptom free, prior to participating.
      • Ensure equipment has been properly sanitized before each use.
      • Wear a mask.
      • Follow the specific OPASSE Safety Standard activity pages for the sport.
      • Volunteer coaches are considered visitors and must follow all HPEDSB visitor requirements regarding COVID safety. They must also have a current vulnerable sector check, as per Procedure 498: Volunteers in Schools.
      • Follow the HPEDSB Return to Learning Plan direction regarding physical distancing, respiratory etiquette, hand hygiene, safe use of a non-medical/cloth mask, staying home when feeling ill and monitoring symptoms.

For future reference, these updates are included in the Return to Learning Plan. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s teacher or principal.

Thank you for your support as we continue working with local health partners to keep schools safe.

CSS Vice-principal Tara Reid featured in the Principal Profile

February 18, 2022—Centennial Secondary School Vice-principal Tara Reid is being featured in the Ontario Principals’ Council Principal Profile campaign. The campaign objective is to highlight the importance of the school administrator role in education. The idea is to provide the community with a better understanding about administrator roles in schools, the contributions they make to student achievement (directly and through working with staff) and the importance of an effective administration team for the success of a school.

Congratulations to Vice-principal Reid for sharing the important work our school administrators do every day to support student learning and success at HPE Schools!

Introducing SchoolMessenger SMS text messaging

February 14, 2022—We are excited to announce a new feature in our SchoolMessenger communications, SMS text notifications!

Our schools already use the SchoolMessenger service to deliver voice and email messages, now families can also choose the convenience of receiving messages by text.

On Wednesday, February 16, families will receive a text requesting they opt into the text service by responding “yes” or “Y”. Families can opt out at any time by texting “no” or “N” to the same number. Please read the attached flyer for more information.

HPE SchoolMessenger SMS Opt In Flyer

Please note that this is a one-way texting communication service, families will not be able to respond to the text messages received.

Letter to families from Dr. Ethan Toumishey regarding COVID-19 vaccinations for 5-11 year olds

February 9, 2022—Please read a letter from Dr. Ethan Toumishey, Medical Officer of Health at Hastings Prince Edward Public Health about voluntary COVID-19 vaccinations for 5 to 11 year old students. Included is also a consent form for interested families to complete if they wish for their child to access COVID-19 vaccination at school.

Letter to families from Dr. Ethan Toumishey (pdf)

Youth Vaccination Consent form (pdf)

Darren McFarlane named as new Superintendent of Education

Darren McFarlane
Congratulations to Darren McFarlane, appointed as Superintendent of Education effective February 1, 2022.

January 25, 2022—Congratulations to Darren McFarlane, appointed as a new Superintendent of Education at Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, effective February 1, 2022. He is replacing Laina Andrews who is retiring.

“I am pleased to welcome Darren to his new role. His work and dedication to equity and achievement will be an asset to the senior team, and to his new role. I am confident Darren’s leadership and experience will serve HPEDSB well in the years to come,” said Katherine MacIver, Director of Education.

When it comes to students, McFarlane believes that all students deserve the best care, service and learning possible. He embraces an integrated model of leadership— instructional coupled with transformational—to engage staff, influence mindsets and empower people to reach their goals.

The ability to build relationships is another of McFarlane’s strengths, which will be key as he leads the human resources portfolio. While on the school board Leadership Development Steering Committee, he learned alongside colleagues, reinforcing his approach to creating relational trust. He has coached staff to take on new challenges and develop their skills, many of whom had been reluctant to take a risk related to exploring leadership beforehand.

HPEDSB serves a diverse range of students and families who come to us for welcoming, safe and inclusive education experiences at our K-12 schools. I am looking forward to serving in this senior leadership role and further engaging with our highly skilled, dedicated and caring teaching and support staff. By working together, we will optimize our services to enable improved outcomes for all students,” said McFarlane.

McFarlane has been an education leader since 2003, serving as a principal and vice-principal at secondary schools in Prince Edward County, Trenton and Central Hastings. Most recently he was a system lead at the Education Centre responsible for safe schools, supporting the Special Education and Equity portfolios. 

McFarlane obtained his Supervisory Officer qualifications in 2019. He holds a Masters of International Education Leadership from Charles Sturt University (Australia), Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University and Bachelor of Arts Honours from Trent University.

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: January 24, 2022

January 24, 2022—This update provides a summary of the public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held January 24, 2022, livestreamed (the recorded version will be available within 24 hours). It is an unofficial summary of the meeting; official minutes will be approved at the next regular meeting in February.

Land acknowledgement

Mike Brant, Trustee, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, recited the land acknowledgement: Let us bring our minds and hearts together as one to honour and celebrate these traditional lands as a gathering place of the Huron-Wendat, Anishinabek and Haudenosaunee people. It is with deep humility that we acknowledge and offer our gratitude for their contributions to our community, having respect for all as we come together and walk side by side into the future to support our students of today.

Character Moment of Reflection

At Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, Growing with Character is our intentional focus on creating safe, caring, respectful and inclusive learning environments where students develop the foundation for good character. Through Growing with Character, we model, teach and expect demonstrations of our eight character traits which are: Caring, Cooperation, Honesty, Humour, Integrity, Respect, Responsibility and Trustworthiness.

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

Presentation

Foundational Literacy Practices at Harry J. Clarke Public School

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

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

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

Recommendations

Rise and report from the Closed Committee of the Whole

Highlights from this report included the following:

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

Rise and report from the Public Committee of the Whole

Highlights from this report included the following:

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

Information

Report from the Director of Education

Highlights from this report included the following:

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

Foundational Literacy Teacher and Learning Practice

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

French as a Second Language Program and Promotion

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

● Core French
● Extended French
● French Immersion

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

Long-Term Capital and Accommodation Plan 

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

Grant adjustment update

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

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

Report from student trustees

Highlights from this report included the following:

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

Audit Committee meeting, November 10, 2021

Highlights from this report included the following:

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

Indigenous Education Advisory Committee, November 25, 2021

Highlights from this report included the following:

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

Budget/Finance Committee, January 17, 2022

Highlights from this report included the following:

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

OPSBA Information Exchange

Highlights from this report included the following:

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

Questions, reports and proposals from trustees

Highlights from this report included the following:

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

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

Letter from Minister of Education families of Ontario students

January 19, 2021—Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, and Dr. Keiran Moore, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, shared a letter yesterday, January 18, with families of Ontario students in elementary and secondary schools about the return to in-person learning and the steps being taken to keep Ontario schools safe learning environments in the face of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Letter from the Minister of Education (pdf)

HPE Public Health offering walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinics at area secondary schools

January 17, 2022—HPE Public Health is offering walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinics for students 5 years of age and older and their family members, as well as education staff.

The clinics will run from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM at Eastside Secondary School on January 19, and Centennial Secondary School on January 20.

Read the letter from Public Health with more information about the clinics.

Vaccination clinic letter from HPE Public Health (pdf)

Statement of support from local medical officers of health regarding the return to school

January 14, 2022—Please read the following joint statement of support from the medical officers of health at Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, and Kingston Frontenac Lennox & Addington Public Health.

The Medical Officers of Health from Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) and Kingston, Frontenac, and Lennox & Addington Public Health (KFL&APH) have released a joint statement regarding the upcoming return to in-person learning for students and educators across the region.

To all students, school families, education and school transportation staff,

As we enter yet another year of the pandemic, we remain committed to working with local school communities to help students stay in class and to do so as safely as possible. We support the return to in-person learning on January 17. Keeping students in class is beneficial for mental, social, and physical health.

Throughout the pandemic, public health measures have been effective at limiting the spread of COVID-19 in schools. While the risk of COVID-19 cannot be eliminated when community transmission is high, risk of transmission in schools is significantly reduced by the many layers of protection that have been put in place, including:

  • Screening for symptoms before attending school and staying home with symptoms of illness
  • Thorough cleaning and sanitization
  • Cohorting as much as possible, physical distancing, and masking, including access to three-ply masks for students, as needed
  • Frequent hand hygiene
  • Active screening and isolation of individuals with symptoms, their household members, and high-risk contacts
  • Enhanced ventilation and HEPA filters as outlined by the Ministry of Education
  • High levels of vaccination in students aged 12 to 18 years, and  rising levels of vaccination in students aged 5 to 11 years
  • Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) for students and staff in schools and child care
  • Take home PCR tests for students who develop symptoms at school, when available
  • Reporting of higher than normal absenteeism rates to public health which will trigger a review of infection prevention and control measures in the school

The COVID-19 monitoring and response strategy has changed. We have had to make changes to how we respond to the virus. The Omicron variant is highly transmissible, and spreads at a rapid rate and therefore widespread testing has limited value in slowing the virus. As a result, all individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 can be presumed to be infected with the virus and must isolate as directed. Without confirmatory testing, these individuals will not be permitted to attend school until their isolation period is complete.

Public Health has already established protocols in place under The Health Protection and Promotion Act, 1990 to respond to infectious disease outbreaks in school settings. When the absentee rate in a school or child care setting increases  sharply by approximately 30 per cent, a notification will be provided to school families with information on any additional public health measures that should be followed. Routine notification of families and exclusion of cohorts will not be taking place. Exposures that occur only in the school setting, with public health measures in place, will not typically be considered high-risk, and therefore, no action is required by others in a cohort – other than regular symptom monitoring.

We must all work together to keep the risk as low as possible. Everyone in the community, including staff, students, and families, must monitor diligently  for illness and follow directions for isolation when applicable. To help limit the spread of illness in the community, we encourage everyone to get vaccinated.

Together with our school community partners, we look forward to welcoming students back to in-person learning. The return to class will provide immeasurable benefits to the mental and physical well-being of all students and  their families. We know that there may be questions and concerns in response to changes. and you can be reassured that we will continue to work with school partners to support a safe and healthy return to school throughout these changes.

Sincerely,

Dr. Ethan Toumishey
Acting Medical Officer of Health
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Dr. Piotr Oglaza
Medical Officer of Health
KFL&A Public Health

Letter from the Director of Education about in-person learning, Jan. 17, 2022

January 13 2022

pdf version

Dear Families:

Return to in-person learning on Monday, January 17, 2022

The Ministry of Education has now confirmed media reports that students will return to in-person learning on Monday, January 17, 2022. HPEDSB staff are actively working to prepare for this return, including establishing processes to confirm daily COVID-19 screening, and other health and safety measures. Thank you for your continued patience as we work through these important details.

We understand how important it is for students to be learning in-person, alongside their peers, to support their well-being, mental health and development. We remain committed to the health and safety of our school communities while providing students with a learning experience that allows them to reach their full potential.

Please be aware that students and staff must do COVID-19 screening each day, regardless of access to testing and must isolate if symptomatic, regardless of vaccination status and/or test access.

We know you have a number of questions about the return to school. This letter outlines key information you need to know now. Please refer to our Return to Learning Plan for more information.

Asynchronous learning on Friday, January 14: In order to prepare for the return to in-person learning with the newly released guidance, remote learning on Friday, January 14, 2022 will be asynchronous. Students will be able to access learning materials from their online classroom that day. Staff will be available to answer questions and support students for the first hour of the school day. Students who are already attending in-person learning as part of Regional/Special Education programs, will continue to attend in-person on Friday. Students who attend the Virtual School will participate in synchronous learning, as usual.

We appreciate your flexibility and patience during the switch between remote and in-person learning. Our schools and staff are looking forward to welcoming students back and reconnecting in-person. We ask for your continued support and flexibility as we navigate the impacts of the current wave of the pandemic.

What to expect if schools experience staff shortages: The Omicron variant is affecting many services and families in our community. We are concerned that schools may experience staff shortages, similar to other organizations in our communities and throughout the province. If schools do not have enough staff to safely operate due to illness or staff isolation requirements, it may be necessary for classrooms or schools to return to remote learning for a short period of time. In those circumstances, we will communicate with you as soon as possible. We recognize the switch to remote learning will cause challenges. Please refer to the School Closures section of the Return to Learning Plan for more information.

In-person learning responsibilities: Returning to in-person learning brings new requirements for students, families and staff. As you prepare for your child to return to in-person learning, please do the following each morning before sending your child to school:

  • Screen for COVID-19 symptoms every day. If your child does not pass screening or feels ill, they must not go to school. Classroom teachers will be confirming that students have screened each morning.
  • Ensure your child is dressed appropriately for the weather as outdoor learning and breaks are encouraged for all grades.
  • Review the isolation requirements in case your child or someone in your household has COVID-19 symptoms, or tests positive, and self-isolation is required. Refer to the attached PDF You have symptoms and are concerned you may have COVID-19. Now what? for more information.

Rapid antigen tests for students and staff: When students return to school next week, all in-person elementary students, and staff who come into contact with students, will be provided two rapid antigen tests. The two rapid antigen tests are to be used when individuals are symptomatic. We anticipate rapid antigen test kits for secondary school students will be available later in the week. Rapid antigen tests are also being made available for all school bus drivers, with an initial supply of two tests per individual. Please refer to page 2 of the COVID-19: Interim Guidance for Schools and Child Care: Omicron Surge Guidance.

Case, contact and outbreak management for schools: A significant change for families is the Ministry of Health guidance on case, contact and outbreak management for schools and child care settings. According to this guidance, public health will no longer inform students and families when a positive COVID-19 case has been identified in a class or bus cohort and will not notify close contacts. Schools will report absence data through the provincial reporting tool.  Please refer to page 7 of the COVID-19: Interim Guidance for Schools and Child Care: Omicron Surge and the HPEDSB Return to Learning Plan. Please be aware that school administrators will not share student or staff personal health information with other families or staff unless directed by the Medical Officer of Health.

Student learning: Educators will update online classrooms to ensure that students who are unable to attend in-person instruction have access to learning materials. Please be sure to maintain contact with your child’s classroom teacher if your child is absent from school. Other options for student learning can be found in the Return to Learning Plan.

I acknowledge that these are challenging times. Please be assured that HPEDSB staff are working hard to plan for and support the many and varied student circumstances. Staff will continue to provide assistance to keep students engaged in learning. I encourage you to contact your child’s educator or principal with any questions or concerns.

As always, continue to follow public health directives for handwashing, mask wearing and physical distancing. Be kind, understanding and patient as we all navigate the return to in-person learning.

Be well and take care,

Katherine MacIver
Director of Education

Input needed for the 2022-2023 School Year Calendar

January 13, 2022—Each spring, school boards are required to establish a school year calendar for the upcoming school year, in accordance with Regulation 304: School Year Calendar and Regulation 364/15. These regulations set the beginning and end dates for the school year, stipulate school holidays, and prescribe the minimum number of instructional days (194), and the maximum number of professional activity days (7) and board designated holidays (Winter Break and Mid-winter Break).

In consultation with our two neighbouring school boards, Algonquin Lakeshore Catholic District School Board and Limestone District School Board, the following three options are being shared for input from employees, students, parents/guardians and community partners.

We need your input! Please complete the brief survey before 4:00 PM on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 to share your preference and help shape the next school year calendar.

Option 1

  • First day of school: Tuesday, September 6, 2022 (the day after Labour Day)
  • Last instructional day of school: Thursday, June 29, 2023
  • PA Day: Friday, June 30, 2023
  • Secondary Semester 2: begins Monday, February 6, 2023 (after PA Day on Friday February 3, 2023)
  • Winter Break: begins Monday, December 19, 2022 (last day of school Friday, December 16, 2022)
  • Return to school: Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Option 2

  • First day of school: Tuesday, September 6, 2022 (the day after Labour Day)
  • PA Day: Friday, September 2, 2022
  • Last instructional day of school: Thursday, June 29, 2023
  • PA Day: Friday, June 30, 2023
  • Secondary Semester 2: begins Monday, February 6, 2023 (after PA Day on Friday, February 3, 2023)
  • Winter Break: begins Friday, December 23, 2022 (last day of school Thursday, December 22, 2022)
  • Return to school: Monday, January 9, 2023

Option 3

  • First day of school: Tuesday, September 6, 2022 (the day after Labour Day)
  • PA Day: Friday, September 2, 2022
  • Last instructional day of school: Thursday, June 29, 2023
  • PA Day: Friday, June 30, 2023
  • Secondary Semester 2: begins Monday, February 6, 2023 (after PA Day on Friday, February 3, 2023)
  • Christmas Break: begins on Monday, December 26, 2022 (last day of school Friday, December 23, 2022
  • Return to school: Monday, January 9, 2023
  • Holiday: Friday, March 10, 2023 (ahead of March Break)

Please complete the brief survey before 4:00 PM on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 to share your preference and help shape the next school year calendar.

Questions? Please contact [email protected]

Letter to Premier Ford about class sizes, improved internet access

January 10, 2022—Please read the letter the Board of Trustees sent to Premier Ford about class sizes and improved internet access.

PDF version

January 10, 2022

Dear Premier Ford:

As Chair of Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board and on behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am writing to request renewed attention to rural infrastructure to support student learning during remote periods and decreased class size in our schools during in-person learning.

At a Special Public Board Meeting held on January 3, 2022, the following motion was brought forward:

Trustee Chatten moved a motion that our Board write a letter to the Government to request smaller class sizes to accommodate the landscape of the Omicron Virus circulating throughout the province. The motion was seconded by Trustee Kelly who suggested an amendment to the motion to include renewed attention to rural infrastructure to include improved broadband internet access throughout the province. The amended motion was accepted by Trustee Chatten, all Trustees were in favour of this motion.

Our board and management are committed to the safety, well-being and learning of our students during this fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. While January 2022 has brought uncertainty in our communities, we strongly believe that there should be no uncertainty when it comes to ensuring safe places to learn and access to meaningful learning for all students.

In our present remote learning environment, we must advocate for renewed attention and action for internet connectivity across our geographic region so that all of our students and families have the access to internet connectivity necessary to successfully learn online. Despite identifying the gaps in service in spring 2020, we find the current situation of our students and families has not improved. Many of our families do not have dependable and consistent access to high speed internet. We urge you to consider our families who are marginalized due to this lack of connection during remote learning and work with your peers to rectify this need and ensure better access to services.

As we consider a return to in-person learning, we know there are clear recommendations to curb the virus in congregate settings, including school classrooms. This includes increased ventilation, access to vaccinations, wearing quality masks, cohorting, and physical distancing. We are concerned with the number of students and staff in each of our classrooms, especially in our elementary classrooms. Our students are cohorted in our classroom spaces in groups of 24 or more. This number is especially concerning during lunch time when masks are removed to eat and drink. High risk exposure is now defined as “Any face-to-face or physical contact while one or both people were not wearing a mask and within two metres for any length of time” (https://hpepublichealth.ca/notification-of-high-risk-exposure-to-covid-19/) which would include our classrooms during lunch periods. While Omicron circulates in our communities and brings high contagion, we ask you to take actions to reduce class size to mitigate exposure and increase opportunity for true physical distancing. In light of the immediate availability of staff and space, this may include alternate or half-day attendance or other creative measures to increase distance and safety for our students and staff.

We urge you and the government to consider the safety and access needs of the students of Ontario as you make decisions for learning. We need rural internet access for remote learning and safe distancing inside our classrooms when students return in-person.

Respectfully yours,
Shannon Binder
Chair of the Board

cc: Trustees of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board
Katherine MacIver, Director of Education
Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, @ [email protected]
Nancy Naylor, Deputy Minister of Education, @ [email protected]
Todd Smith, MPP, Bay of Quinte, @ [email protected]
Daryl Kramp, MPP, Hastings-Lennox & Addington, @ [email protected]
T.J. Goetz, OPSBA, @ [email protected]

Update to the return to learning, January 6, 2022

January 4, 2022—Please read the letter to families about the return to learning this week.

Dear Families:

Keeping connected to learning while in-person school is delayed until at least January 17, 2022

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to review the details from the announcement by the Government of Ontario about returning to school this week.

The return to in-person learning is delayed until at least January 17, 2022. According to the announcement, this and other COVID-19 time-limited measures are in place to help reduce virus transmission, and prevent hospitals and the healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed.

Effective Thursday, January 6, 2022, remote learning will be in place.

Students currently enrolled at in-person school: Our school teams are planning for the switch to remote learning and will be ready to welcome students who normally attend in-person school. Your child’s teacher will contact you over the next two days with specific instructions about how to access Google Classroom for synchronous learning. Students who are unable to participate in synchronous learning will be able to access Google Classroom tasks through asynchronous learning. Your child’s teacher can explain more about this process.

Asynchronous versus synchronous online learning: Asynchronous learning enables students to view instructional materials at any time and does not include live instruction. Synchronous learning means students log in and participate in class at specific times.

Students currently enrolled at the Virtual School: Classes will continue as normal beginning Wednesday, January 5.

Devices for students: While many families already have devices for students, including some HPEDSB devices that were shared last year, families whose children need a device for learning are encouraged to contact their school. Please note that devices (Chromebooks or wifi hotspots) are limited in supply and will be provided based on availability.

Special Education: Schools with self-contained Special Education classes are in the process of contacting families to determine in-person learning requests. Specific timelines and next steps will be confirmed to these families later this week.

Emergency child care: Emergency child care is being arranged by municipalities. If you require this, please contact the social services departments at Hastings County (link to come) or Prince Edward County.

Mental health resources: We recognize the challenges that have come with the continued uncertainty of the pandemic, and will continue to prioritize students’ mental health and well-being. School-based mental health supports for students will continue to be available during remote learning. Please contact your child’s teacher or principal if your child needs someone to talk with.

In addition, the following organizations have useful resources and services:

Please know that our priority continues to be connecting with students, providing engaging and meaningful academic learning experiences, as well as supporting their mental health and well-being.

Thank you for your continued patience and support as we make this transition. We hope to see students in person again soon. Take care, be well and follow public health measures to wear masks, physical distance and wash hands frequently.

Board Meeting Update: January 3, 2022

January 3, 2022—This update is a summary of the special public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held January 3, 2022, livestreamed (the recorded version will be available within 24 hours). It is an unofficial summary of the meeting; official minutes will be approved at the next regular meeting later this month.

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

Update to the return to learning, January 2022

Highlights of this report from Director of Education Katherine MacIver included the following:

  • On January 3, 2022, the Premier of Ontario announced a move to remote learning starting January 5 until at least January 17, subject to public health trends and operational considerations.
  • HPEDSB remains committed to safe and rigorous learning and the ongoing health, safety and well-being of students and staff.
  • Device distribution and contact with families will occur over the next few days with classrooms engaging in synchronous (real-time, two-way) remote learning by Thursday, January 6, 2022.
  • Special education self-contained classrooms, including resource/regional programs, will offer in-person learning once outreach and confirmation with families is complete.
  • Childcare programs will have access to schools to operate emergency childcare programs with access to extended hours and space, where necessary.
  • When in HPEDSB buildings, staff will have the option of wearing a non-fit-tested N95 mask, or continue to use the provided medical masks.
  • 3-layer cloth masks have been ordered for students and will be provided free of charge.
  • Facilitation of education staff access to booster vaccinations is ongoing. An application was submitted to offer an employer booster clinic however it has yet to be approved.
  • Public Health remains available to our school administrators for consultation, however will no longer provide contact tracing and notification of positive COVID-19 cases.
  • Administrators will fulfill legislative reporting responsibilities as required or as directed by the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health (e.g., reporting any communicable disease to the local Medical Officer of Health).
  • An additional 30 HEPA units (in addition to the 381 already in schools) will be received by HPEDSB to be distributed according to facility priorities through our schools.
  • More rapid antigen tests are being procured by the government and will be shipped to schools in late January/early February.
  • A limited number of PCR tests are available at schools for symptomatic students or staff to take-home and use.

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

Last updated: August 9, 2022 at 10:39 am
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