Board Meeting Update, February 27, 2023

Board Meeting Update, February 27, 2023
Posted on 02/27/2023

This is a summary of the February 27, 2023 public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board. It was livestreamed (the recorded version will be available within 24 hours) and is an unofficial summary of the meeting; official minutes will be approved at the next regular meeting. 

Acknowledgement of Traditional Lands

Recited by Ron Speck, Trustee, North HastingsAs 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.

Presentation: Equity Action Plan at Prince of Wales Public School

This engaging presentation shared the equity journey at Prince of Wales Public School over the past two years, working through "Building student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy and mutual respect." - Call to Action 63iii. At POW, the focus is on building a bridge for children between learning and classroom experiences. Some of the ways this is accomplished is by staff listening for understanding, building relationships, learning together as professionals and re-thinking the approach to learning. Building relationships has been extended to parents/guardians, inviting them to be part of the equity learning journey. Together, staff, students and families are open to hearing different perspectives, and learning together.

Thank you to presenters Kelly MacKay, Principal, and Andrea Kerr, Vice-principal. 

Rise and report from Committee of the Whole Closed Session

It was noted that the committee heard about a human resources issue at the closed meeting on January 24, 2023.

Report from Trustees Appointed to External Organizations

Ontario Public School Board Association (OPSBA)

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Public Education Symposium, January 26-28, 2023): Five trustees attended and participated in a variety of learning sessions including: Communications 101 for new trustees; Indigenous Teachings and Learning from the Earth; Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and Governance. There were also several keynote sessions, including those by Minister of Education Stephen Lecce, Chief Delorme from Cowessess First Nation, and Nicholas A. Christakis, Sterling Professor of Social & Natural Science & Author of Apollo’s Arrow, Yale University, and an Expert Panel on Hot Topics in Education.

  • Eastern Region Council Meeting was held with elections for member reps for the Education Program and Policy Development work groups. There was also initial discussion of OPSBA strategic priorities, as the strategic planning process is currently underway.

  • The OPSBA Board of Directors met February 24-25, 2023 and of note include the following: presentation by Karen Murray on the TDSB Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement, which is dedicated to improving the experiences and outcomes for Black students and aims to be responsive to the voices of Black communities who continue to advocate for systemic change within educational institutions and for dismantling anti-Black racism at the TDSB. Also a presentation by Ken Jeffers on School Board Equity and Human Rights-related Issues, Misinformation and Controversy touching on topics including the weaponization of wokeness, culture wars, cancel culture, critical race theory, and misinformation and disinformation.

  •  The role of the Ontario Education Services Corporation (OESC), which is the leading education advisory group focused on governance leadership, data mobilization, energy leadership, student success and strategic leadership.

  •  The Ontario Coalition for Children and Youth Mental Health Position Paper “Lets Put our Heads Together” that provides recommendations under three  headings: System Coordination, Equity, and Mental Health Promotion, Early Identification and Prevention of Mental Health Concerns.

  • Presentation on the recent OPSBA statement The right schools in the right locations: OPSBA asks government to lift moratorium on school reviews. OPSBA is calling on the Minister of Education to release revised Pupil Accommodation Review Guidelines as soon as possible, and at minimum by the end of the current school year. This timeline will help ensure that boards are best able to align the new process with their annual planning cycles.

  •  Upcoming OPSBA events include the following: Eastern Region Council Meeting, Shingwàkons Public School, Stittsville, March 25, 2023; Education Labour Relations and Human Resources Symposium, Sheraton Centre, Toronto April 27-28; and the OPSBA Annual General Meeting, Blue Mountain, Collingwood, June 8-10, 2023.

Standing Committee Reports

Governance and Policy Committee, February 21, 2023

Board members approved two new policies:

  • Policy 21: Integrity and Accountability
  • Policy 22: Exclusion of a Student from School or a Class

Find out more starting on page 7 of the February 27, 2023 agenda.

Student Learning, Well-Being and Equity Committee, February 6, 2023

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • equity actions underway;
  • alternative programs at HPEDSB (posted on the website);
  • and strategic plan actions to delve into further.

Physical Planning, Finance and Building Committee, February 13, 2023

Highlights from this report include the following:

  • transportation review;
  • overview of education funding, budget risks for the upcoming school year; budget guidelines, priorities and processes;
  • building renewal project plan;
  • Long-term Capital and Accommodation Plan review;;
  • disposal of the surplus Queen Elizabeth School (Picton) property; and
  • construction update about Easthill Elementary School.

Board members approved the Long-term Capital and Accommodation Plan. Find out more starting on page 13 of the February 27, 2023 agenda.

An update was provided on the estimated construction schedule of the new Easthill Elementary School, including options for contingency planning. Find out more starting on page 118 of the February 27, 2023 agenda.

Statutory Committee reports

Parent Involvement Committee, February 22, 2023

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • several parent/guardian participants at this meeting, along with several trustees;
  • 22 Parents Reaching Out grants approved; and
  • planning for a parent event later this spring is underway.

Special Education Advisory Committee, January 26 and February 23, 2023

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • presentations from the Behaviour Services team and the Psychological Services team;
  • review of the tiered approach to supporting students; 
  • formation of sub-committees to further the work of SEAC. 

Advisory Committee Reports

Equity and Inclusivity Advisory Committee, February 15, 2023

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • actions underway to fulfill the Equity Action Plan. 

Student Voice Committee

This information report provided an update on the Student Voice Survey conducted with secondary school students in December 2022. Find out more starting on page 120 of the February 27, 2023 agenda.

Administrative Committee Reports

Mental Health Leadership Committee

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • tiered supports for students; and
  • suggestion for resilience professional development for staff.

Chair’s Report

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • attendance at a recent school council meeting at Tweed Elementary School;
  • attendance at a meeting for the Adventure Class at Queen Victoria School.

Director’s Report

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • We are awaiting a funding announcement from the Ministry of Education about remote learning. Once that happens, we will be able to plan for the new school year. It may include collaborating with other school boards in order to student and family needs, and reduce the number of online split grades. We will ask for feedback from current families in the coming weeks. Other families interested in this option can contact our Curriculum Services team.

  • Recognition of Matt Ronan, Coordinator, Innovation and Inclusion Services, on being highlighted in an article in the Globe and Mail about supporting students in Dual Credits. HPEDSB is fortunate to work with Loyalist College to provide these opportunities.

  • For budget, we are awaiting announcements about the provincial budget and education funding. Last year we purposefully planned to use surplus funds for transportation and an enterprise resource planning system, as recommended by Operational Review and various internal audits. An ERP is a type of software system that helps organizations automate and manage core business processes for optimal performance. For transportation, we are hoping for adjustment to transportation funding. We are also hoping for continued and increased funding for mental health supports and Special Education.

  • We recently hosted Inspiring Leaders sessions for internal and external individuals interested in school leadership opportunities. 

  • Soon to begin are resilience and well-being workshops for leaders in the organization, with 43 already signed up to participate.

  • Visit to Foxboro Public School for the launch of the new student-led Eco Club, which is in collaboration with the City of Belleville Green Task Force.

Staff Reports

Mid-year Strategic Plan update

The 2020-2025 Strategic Plan is monitored closely to ensure that the goals established by the Board of Trustees are advanced in meaningful and effective ways. Progress has been made in a number of areas at this mid-point of the plan. Although staff shortages and labour action have had some impact, departments and schools have been able to further the work without the restrictions of the pandemic. Highlights include the following:

  • leadership development and capacity building
  • early literacy development
  • staff recruitment
  • individual education plan review
  • skilled trades development

Find out more starting on page 122 of the February 27, 2023 agenda.

Suspension and expulsion data report

Procedure 378: Progressive Discipline and Promoting Positive Student Behaviour, is in place to promote a safe learning and working environment in all schools and to assist students recognize the behaviours required for optimal learning, achievement, good citizenship and well-being. Progressive discipline uses a continuum of preventative measures, corrective and supportive interventions and responses to address inappropriate behaviour, and to build upon strategies that promote positive behaviours.

We are continuing to work as a system to shift the culture of discipline from a punitive to a supportive learning stance, focused on ensuring students are supported to access the services they require to be successful while maintaining a safe learning and working environment for all. The focus of the Safe Schools Team has shifted to working more integratively with schools to support students who require access to alternative education learning opportunities and/or non-academic supports.

Find out more starting on page 126 of the February 27, 2023 agenda.

Equity and Inclusive Education update

The 2021-2024 Equity Action Plan was developed with input from various stakeholders. The Equity and Inclusivity Advisory Committee has met twice this school year to receive presentations and discuss the implementation of the Equity Action Plan. Twelve pilot schools are on a continuum of learning and creating school-based equity teams. This includes learning through a Street Data book club, reviewing and revising the Resource Guide to Support Gender Identity and Gender Expression, and creating a HPEDSB Equity Walk process that will be used by all schools next school year.

Find out more starting on page 128 of the February 27, 2023 agenda.

Proposed dates for the 2023-2024 school year calendar

Board members approve dates for the 2023-2024 school year calendar after receiving information about public input. Final approval is required from the Ministry of Education. 

Find out more starting on page 130 of the February 27, 2023 agenda.

HPE Learning Foundation transition

The HPE Learning Foundation (HPELF) role is to “support the development and promotion of enhanced education and training opportunities for students, teachers and staff of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board.” The HPELF holds a contract funded through the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services to be the southeast region lead agency for student nutrition programs. In addition to this funding from MCCSS, HPEDSB commits funds, services and office space to the HPELF each year as the charitable organization for HPEDSB. The HPELF underwent a number of board member changes over the last few months.

The HPE Learning Foundation is in the process of transitioning to being the employer of HPELF staff, among other alignments.

Find out more starting on page 133 of the February 27, 2023 agenda.

Calendar of Events

  • Governance and Policy Committee, March 20, 2023
  • Special Education Advisory Committee, March 23, 2023
  • Board Meeting, March 27, 2023
  • Massassaga-Rednersville Public School: Family Movie Night, February 28, 2023

A full list of committee and meeting dates/times is online.

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