Board Meeting Update #113, November 17, 2014

Board Meeting Update #113, November 17, 2014
Posted on 11/17/2014

This update provides a summary of the public meeting of Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held Monday, November 17, 2014 at Quinte Mohawk School. It is an unofficial summary of the meeting; official minutes will be approved at a next meeting.

The meeting opened with Quinte Mohawk School students singing a traditional Mohawk song called "The Moccasin." Following that students recited a traditional greeting, speaking in Mohawk. Chief Maracle then asked for a moment of silence as a gesture of respect for those who have died recently and who serve our country in the military. Chief Maracle commented that "the best gift a community can have is education." He expressed appreciation to Board member Mike Brant for representing Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte on Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board for the past four years and wished him continued success over the next four-year term.

The Wetland Project at Quinte Mohawk School
Teacher Laura Schwager and students made a presentation about the new wetland area on Quinte Mohawk School property. The wetland provides an outdoor natural setting where The Ontario Curriculum is taught. In this setting, students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8 learn about the environment and how it is linked to Mohawk culture. Students build their literacy knowledge through writing poetry, reflective journal entries and summarizing research. They become confident through these activities, feeling that they have a voice and that writing in their journals is a safe place to express their thoughts.

Five students shared some of their journal writings about learning in the wetland:

  • Hunter, a Grade 3 student: "Nature is the key to life."
  • Olivia, a Grade 3 student: "I like going outside to see the pond creatures."
  • Amy-Lynn, a Grade 3 student: "It is fun to go on a scavenger hunt."
  • Bailey, a Grade 5 student: "I love being in the wetland and in nature."
  • Amber, a Grade 8 student: "Being able to see, feel and hear the surroundings connects me to nature."

Presentation by student trustees about the Fall Annual Meeting
Student Trustees Cam Barry, Centre Hastings Secondary School and Alyssa Mifflin, Centennial Secondary School, made a presentation about the recent Fall Annual Meeting of the Ontario Student Trustees' Association. They provided details about the guest speakers, the plenary sessions, which included technoloty and mental health, and the break-out sessions. Each has volunteered to serve on committees: Cam on the Communications Committee and Alyssa on the Mental Health Committee.

Report from Committee of the Whole
This report included the following:

  • Bayside Sewage Treatment Facility


Appointment of external members to the Audit Committee
Ontario Regulation 361/10 requires the Audit Committee to consist of five members, including three board members and two people who are not board members. The two external members are to be determined by a selection committee made up of the Director of
Education, the Superintendent of Business Services and the Chair of the Board.

John Fitzpatrick, current external member, agreed to continue for a second 3-year term effective January 2014. The second external member position was left vacant with the passing of Cliff Cotton earlier this year. An advertisement seeking applications for the external
member vacancy was placed in local newspapers and on the HPEDSB web site.

Board members approved John Fitzpatrick for a second 3-year term and Wayne Tod for an initial 3-year term.

2013-2014 Audited Consolidated Financial Statements
The Audited Consolidated Financial Statements reflect the board's financial results for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. The Audit Committee is responsible for reviewing the financial statements and the results of the external audit, and to recommend, if appropriate, that the Board approve the audited financial statements.

Board members approved the Financial Statements for the 2013-2014 year with amendment.

Policy review, Part A
According to Procedure 110: Board Policy Development and Review, policies are reviewed every three years to ensure they are still relevant and have been implemented effectively. For the 2014-2015 school year, 27 policies require review. This fall, 14 were reviewed and the remaining 13 will be reviewed in the spring.

Board members approved revisions to the following policies:

  • Policy 2: By-laws, Forms
  • Policy 3: Board Operations
  • Policy 3B: Electronic Meetings
  • Policy 3E: Trustee Honoraria
  • Policy 3H: Filling Vacancies on the Board
  • Policy 3J: Board Review/Self-evaluation
  • Policy 3: Operations, Forms
  • Policy 5: Director of Education Job Description
  • Policy 6: Delegation of Authority
  • Policy 8: Board Member Code of Conduct
  • Policy 9: Role of the Board Member
  • Policy 10: Duties of the Chair and Vice-chair
  • Policy 11M: Ad Hoc Committees
  • Policy 16: Selection of the Director of Education

Establishment of a committee to approve meeting minutes
The new Board will be organized on December 1, 2014 and no meetings of trustees are planned prior to this organizational meeting. Minutes of the November meetings of the Audit Committee, Board, Executive Committee, Operations and Finance Committee, and the Program and Human Resources Committee must be approved prior to the end of the term of the current Board.

According to Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised, where there is a change or replacement of a portion of the membership, a committee is appointed and authorized for the purpose of approving all outstanding minutes.

Board members approved assigning the Executive Committee for this purpose.

Textbook/novel approval
The Ministry of Education website for Curriculum Centre Learning Resources lists textbooks/novels approved for use in schools by the Minster of Education under the Education Act. HPEDSB Procedure 210: Textbook/Learning Material Selection, Purchase and Approval, sets out expectations for principals and teachers to follow when such materials are not found on the list provided by the Minister, subject to Board approval.

Board members approved the book I.D.: Stuff that Happens to Define Us, for use in secondary schools.

Trustee representation on committees
A priority of Board members is to form committees at the earliest opportunity in order to maintain continuity of direction. This evening Board members were provided with a list of their committee preferences to review in advance of the initial meeting scheduled for December 1, 2014, when trustee membership on Board committees will be confirmed.


Calendar of events
A number of district and school events are scheduled for the remainder of November and December 2014.
Upcoming events include the following:

  • November 16 to 22: Bullying Awareness & Prevention Week and launch of the Say One Nice Thing campaign.
  • November 17, 18 and 19: Travis Price, Co-founder of Pink Shirt Day, to speak with students at six secondary schools.
  • Friday, November 21: Official Opening Ceremony for Harmony Public School, 2:15 - 3:15 p.m.
  • Monday, November 24: Official Opening Ceremony for the Primary addition at Harry J. Clarke Public School, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Report from the Chair
Highlights from this report included the following:

  • recognition of outgoing trustees Sam Clements and Thelma Goodfellow. Sam is retiring after serving as a Board member for 37 years. Thelma is leaving after serving as a Board member for 29 years. Best wishes to both!

Report from Executive Committee
Highlights from this report included the following:

  • recommendation to establish a committee to approve outstanding meeting minutes;
    policy review; and
  • trustee representation on committees.

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

  • textbook approval;
  • policy review;
  • update on the learning fairs held at Centre Hastings Secondary School and Prince Edward Collegiate Institute in October;
  • the upcoming survey for parents/guardians about extending French programming; and
  • the Say One Nice Thing campaign and Bullying Awareness & Prevention Week.

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

  • presentation by Gord Taylor, CEO of Tri-Board Student Transportation Services, about a new video being produced, featuring students, to describe the process for cancelling buses; the competitive procurement process; student bus patrollers; and the 8-light system on the back of school buses;
  • policy review;
  • Board insurance premium increase of 3.5%; and
  • a letter to Tyendinaga Township requesting consideration of the needs of Tyendinaga Public School when determining re-zoning of a local quarry.

Bullying Prevention & Awareness Week and the Say One Nice Thing campaign
The Ministry of Education has designated the third week of every November as Bullying Awareness & Prevention Week to help promote safer schools and positive learning environments. During Bullying Awareness & Prevention Week, November 16-22, 2014, Ontario
students, school staff, families and community partners are encouraged to learn more about bullying and its effect on student learning and well-being.

At Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, the AiM-Achievement in Motion for Student Success System Plan, includes Promoting Well-Being for Students & Employees as a priority for the 2014-2015 school year. Actions within the AiM System Plan include providing regular professional learning sessions for school and department leaders about leading mentally-healthy schools and workplaces. In addition, the priority for Communicating with Families & Communities includes actions to enhance public confidence in our schools and the school board through students and employees being ambassadors, and by engaging with families and communities. Data from school climate surveys completed by students, parents/guardians and school staff in the fall of 2013 provided perceptions about students feeling welcome and included at school. Overwhelmingly, students indicated that welcoming behaviours, such as smiling, saying 'hi' and asking how things are going outside of school all help them to feel welcome.

As in previous years, schools will be hosting a variety of bullying awareness events and activities throughout the week. New for this year is the introduction of the Say One Nice Thing campaign which provides a means for positive comments or stories about HPEDSB to be shared at schools, the Education Centre and through families and communities.

Schools and Education Centre departments will be provided with the following items in advance of Bullying Awareness & Prevention Week:

  • Say One Nice Thing posters, 11" x 17" in size, to display for awareness purposes;
  • Say One Nice Thing post cards to use, as appropriate at each site; and
  • Say One Nice Thing/Be Kind to Me peel-away stickers, enough for each student, to recognize
  • Bullying Prevention & Awareness Week.
  • Municipalities throughout the school board jurisdiction have taken action to officially proclaim or support Bullying Awareness & Prevention Week within their region of Hastings County or Prince Edward County

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

  • Monday, November 24, 2014: Meeting for Executive Committee to review outstanding meeting minutes, 11:00 a.m.
  • Thursday, November 27: Special Education Advisory Committee, Quinte Secondary School, 5:00 p.m.
  • Monday, December 1: Annual Public Board Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
  • Monday, January 5: Executive Committee, 11:00 a.m.
  • Monday, January 12: Program and Human Resources Committee, 5:30 p.m.
  • Monday, January 12: Operations and Finance Committee, 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, January 22: Special Education Advisory Committee, Quinte Secondary School, 5:00 p.m.
  • Monday, January 26: Public Board Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, January 28: Parent Involvement Committee, 6:00 p.m.

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