Board Meeting Update #99

Board Meeting Update #99
Posted on 09/23/2013

This update provides a summary of the meeting of Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held Monday, September 23, 2013 at the Education Centre. It is an unofficial summary of the meeting; official minutes will be approved at the next meeting in October 2013.

Student trustees Abigail Bonter, Centre Hastings Secondary School, and Meghan Peckham, Trenton High School, were welcomed to their first Board meeting.

A celebratory video was shown at the start of the meeting, highlighting students at each school during the first weeks of September.

Report from Committee of the Whole
Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Implementing the 2012-2014 Labour Framework.
  • Implementing the 2012-2014 Labour Framework for the Association of Professional Student Services Personnel (APSSP).


Chair Inch welcomed Michael Laurie, Education Officer, Ottawa Regional Office, Ministry of Education who was in attendance to recognize Mandy Savery-Whiteway as the new director of education. He spoke about HPEDSB making positive strides in closing the achievement gap.

Managing Information for Student Achievement (MISA) Project with students in the Practical Learning Program and Life Skills Program
Superintendent Colleen DeMille introduced a team of multi-school and -department teaching and support staff who collaborated on a project during the last school year to increase the independence level of secondary school students with developmental disabilities. The project involved 24 staff and +40 students. The students were enrolled in the Practical Learning Program and the Life Skills program at eight secondary schools.

The question the team considered was: If secondary students with developmental disabilities have access to iPod Touches, will there be an increase in student independence? Teachers were trained on the use of the devices in order to work effectively with the students.

Staff involved in this presentation included: Geoff Courneya, Vision Resource Coordinator; Geoff Said, Special Education Coordinator; Jennifer Meade, Special Education Coordinator; Mary Wilson, Educational Assistant, Moira Secondary School; Kimberly Weinhold, Teacher, Moira Secondary School; Christine Trulsen, Teacher, Quinte Secondary School; Brett Nielsen, System Educational Technology Support; and Patricia Post, System Educational Technoloty Support.


Request for an extension to the Ad Hoc Governance Committee
In January 2013, the Board approved the formation of an Ad Hoc Governance Committee to review issues related to governance for a term of six months and to develop a final report for the Board by September 2013. In June, it was reported that the committee was half-way through the recommendations contained in the 2013 report from Canadian School Boards Association titled "School Boards Matter," along with reviewing other reference documents. Board members approved an extension of the timeline to November 2013 and receive an interim report tonight. That report is noted later is this update.

AiM-Achievement in Motion for Student Success System Plan
Board members approved the 2013-2014 AiM-Achievement in Motion for Student Success System Plan. The draft plan has been available to employee and community groups, federations, unions and trustees for review since June. Feedback was collected and considered when making the final revisions. The approved plan will be posted on the website for public access, in both full and condensed versions.


Calendar of events
A number of district and school events are scheduled for the remainder of September and October 2013.
Upcoming events include the following:

  • Wednesday, September 25: Groundbreaking ceremony at Harmony Public School, 2:15 p.m.

Various September dates:

  • Cross-country events for various elementary school groups.
  • Terry Fox events.
  • Wednesday, October 16: Making Sense of Math for Parents, featuring Dr. Lynda Colgan, Queen's
  • University, 6:30 p.m., Susanna Moodie Elementary School
  • Various October dates: Parent/Teacher interviews at various schools.

Report from the Ad Hoc Governance Committee
Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Two meetings have been held to date. Committee members have reviewed several documents and are in the process of considering next steps. The direct connection among the AiM-Achievement in Motion for Student Success System Plan and the numerous reference documents was noted.

Report from the Operations and Finance Committee
Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Capital projects update in the form of a visual slideshow illustrating several projects undertaken at schools over the summer.
  • Enrolment update.
  • The next capital priorities submission date is October 31, 2013. The Ministry of Education has indicated that projects involving more than one school board will be given priority consideration.
  • Trustee expense report.

Report from the Program and Human Resources Committee
Highlights from this report included the following:

  • AiM System Plan review.
  • Review of two projects through the Information Technology Advisory Committee, specifically a pilot project for a parent portal and cloud computing.

Reports from staff

Capital projects update for Harmony Public School and Harry J. Clarke Public School

Highlights from this report included a visual slideshow illustrating the following:

  • NEW HARMONY PUBLIC SCHOOL: excavation work has started; the top soil has been removed; construction fencing has been installed. The new school is scheduled to open in September 2014. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, September 25 at 2:15 p.m.
  • ADDITION TO HARRY J. CLARKE PUBLIC SCHOOL: this addition is to accommodate the Full-day Kindergarten program. During this presentation, floor plans and an artist's concept drawing were shown. Construction is expected to begin in March 2014. The addition is scheduled to open in September 2014.

Elementary and secondary enrolments
Each September administration collects elementary and secondary school student enrolment for comparison to projections. The effects on school organization and teaching staff are determined in order to address provincial class size guidelines and match funding to expenditures.

On September 9, elementary enrolment was 10,213 compared to a projection of 10,342, a decrease of 129 students. Both the JK -Grade 3 and Grade 4 -8 populations indicate declines. Enrolment declines in Grades 4 -8 are expected to continue for another two to three years.

On September 13, secondary enrolment was 5,128 compared to a projection of 5,233, a decrease of 105 students. Secondary enrolments are currently in a period of decline as lower numbers of elementary students move into secondary school. This decline is expected to continue for a few more years and then stabilize.

Administration is working through normal processes to determine adjustments to class sizes and staffing.

Reports from trustees
Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Participation in meetings of the Board Leadership Development Committee and Character Development Committee.
  • Participation in a meeting of the Bullying Awareness & Prevention Week Committee. This year the week is scheduled locally and provincially for November 17 -23, 2013.
  • Attendance at the recent Parent Involvement Committee meeting, and shared that an evening is being planned for parents (details to follow). Also mentioned that school climate surveys will be launched in the next couple of weeks.
  • Participation in a session with the Ontario Public School Boards' Association on the topics of student achievement, poverty reduction and governance. The OPSBA Eastern Region is October 26 in Brockville.
  • Commendation to the Information Technology Services Team for their work to make enhancements to school technology systems during the summer.
  • Mention of the EQAO results reported in local newspapers last week.
  • Thank you cards from students and employees who received awards or other recognition were circulated.

Upcoming meetings

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

  • Thursday, September 26: Audit Committee, 3:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 26: Special Education Advisory Committee, 5:00 p.m., Quinte Secondary School
  • Monday, October 7: Executive Committee, 11:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, October 15: Program and Human Resources Committee, 5:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, October 15: Operations and Finance Committee, 7:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 23: Parent Involvement Committee Annual General Meeting, 6:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 24: Special Education Advisory Committee, 5:00 p.m., Quinte Secondary School
  • Monday, October 28: Public Board Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

For more information, please contact Kerry Donnell, Communications Officer, extension 2354, [email protected]