- Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB) - http://www.hpedsb.on.ca -

Board Meeting Update #176, April 27, 2020

April 27, 2020—This update provides a summary of the public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held Monday, April 27, 2020 online through a livestream event [1]. It is an unofficial summary of the meeting; official minutes will be approved at the next meeting in May 2020. A recorded version will be available at the aforementioned link.

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

Character Moment of Reflection

Each Board meeting opens with a Character Moment of Reflection. At Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, Growing with Character [2] is our intentional focus on creating safe, caring, respectful and inclusive learning environments where students develop the foundation for good character. Growing with Character is the foundation of the school board strategic plan. Through Growing with Character, we model, teach and expect demonstrations of our eight character traits which are: Caring, Cooperation, Honesty, Humour, Integrity, Respect, Responsibility and Trustworthiness.

This evening Madison Davis, Student Trustee, Centennial Secondary School asked all to reflect on Responsibility: We have a sense of duty to fulfill commitments. We take ownership for our own thoughts and actions. We are reliable and accountable in our words and actions.


New Policy 19: Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement

Board members adopted new Policy 19: Board Improvement Planning for Student Achievement.

Each year HPEDSB creates a board improvement plan that aligns with the strategic plan and guides the development of school improvement plans. With the renewed vision of “all students first” and a focus on increasing student achievement outcomes, a policy placing student achievement as a core priority of the work of the Board is essential.

This policy establishes the following expectations for all schools and throughout HPEDSB:

The policy will be reviewed by May 2021.


HPEDSB Pandemic Operational Report

Sean Monteith, Director of Education provided a verbal update on actions taken to address COVID-19.

Highlights from Director Monteith’s report included the following:

Update from The Hastings and Prince Edward Learning Foundation, COVID-19 response

The HPE Learning Foundation  fundraises for programs and services to help students overcome barriers and succeed in school in a non-stigmatizing way.

As of April 20, 2020, the Learning Foundation has provided support to 1,788 students through grocery gift cards valued at $104,500. An additional $32,557 has been provided to food banks for families with children by way of food product and coupons in the following amounts: $28,887 for food; $3,120 for fruit and vegetable coupons; and $550 for egg coupons.

In addition, the Food for Learning Steering Committee has approved $50,000 monthly expenditures until schools reopen. The Food for Home Program will support students during July and August with $58,000 in grocery gift cards. HPELF support to students up to the end of August will be at least $306,720.

Events that would have happened this year are postponed to 2021: Take a Bit out of Hunger, Mainly Music, Food for Learning Student Benefit Auction, and the annual Student Emergency Fund Golf Tournament.

Supporting children’s mental health in HPEDSB, COVID-19 response

Mental health service delivery changed suddenly with the onset of COVID-19. Social workers, and child and youth workers were responsive and quickly organized support systems for students, families and staff. Social workers are reaching out by telephone to students on their caseload and accepting new referrals. Child and youth workers are connecting with vulnerable families. Referrals and direct communication with collateral agencies to assist with pathways to care is ongoing.

This update provided a thorough explanation of the services being provided to students and families during school closures, including the following:

This report further provided an update on the 2019-2020 Mental Health and Addictions Strategy and Action Plan.

Planning for the New HPEDSB Strategic Plan 

The Director of Education provided an update on planning for the new HPEDSB strategic plan. The director has been working with two aspiring leaders, Ruth Ellen Cummings, Vice-Principal at Centre Hastings Secondary School and Rob McFadden, System Lead in Student Services to review the feedback from the Thoughtexchange process. They have boiled it down to five main themes from thousands of ideas. Trustees expressed interest in meeting with the Sean, Ruth Ellen and Rob to begin synthesizing the data into strategic priorities and goals.

Planning for student trustees for the 2020-2021 school year

The Director of Education referred to Policy 3C: Student Representation on the Board and the process for selecting student trustees for the new school year (August 1, 2020 to July 31, 2021). The normal process, which requires new student trustees to be selected by April 30, 2020, will not work during COVID-19. The director asked trustees and the student trustees for their ideas on how to move forward.

Report from trustees

Highlights from this report included the following:

Questions from trustees

  1. What is the status of secondary school exams? Formal exams will not take place as per an amendment to the Education Act regulation. This applies even if schools are open after May 31, 2020.
  2. Can the Board of Trustees participate in a self-assessment as per Module 21 of the OPSBA learning sessions? Trustees are asked to report back to Alison Kelly about participating in a book club style of learnng.

The next public Board meeting is Monday, May 25, 2020, online through a livestream event [1] at 7:00 p.m.

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