Board Meeting Summary, March 25, 2024

Board Meeting Summary, March 25, 2024
Posted on 03/25/2024

This is a summary of the public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, held March 25, 2024. Official minutes will be approved at the next regular meeting.


Acknowledgement of Traditional Lands

Aashvi Shah, Student Trustee, Centennial Secondary School, offered the Land Acknowledgement.

Presentation: Becoming confident readers at Prince Charles School (Belleville)

Being able to read is a learned skill that takes practise. For children it can see overwhelming. Fortunately, the educators at Prince Charles School are ready for the challenge! Even though there was a substantial learning curve for everyone when the school received new reading resources, the school staff were supported with professional learning about how to use them. This cohesive approach supported educators with shifting to the new Language curriculum. It is clear that the changes are being sustained, resulting in improved reading for all students at the school. 

group photo of presenters from Prince Charles School (Belleville)

Thank you to the PC(B) presenters (front): Serenity Melenson, Grade 1; Kendrick Codner, Grade 3; (back): Tanya Whittaker, Principal; Kyllie Daniels, Teacher; and Tara Kerr, Teacher.

Rise and report from Committee of the Whole

Board members approved two local collective agreements, as follows:

  • between the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario - Hastings-Prince Edward Local, for the period September 1, 2022 to August 31, 2026; and
  • between the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation - Professional Student Services Personnel Local, for the period of September 1, 2022 to August 31, 2026.

Report from external organizations

Ontario Public School Board Association (OPSBA)

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Presentation by "Black Boys Like Me" author and teacher Matthew R. Morris.
  • Presentation about the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System pension plan.
  • Discussion about how to include student voice for school boards that are not members of OSTA-AECO, which is the student trustee association.
  • Discussion about Bill 98, including the proposed requirement for school board meetings to be attended in person. 
  • Labour Relations and Human Resource Symposium will be April 27-28, 2024 in Toronto.
  • OPSBA is in the early stages of planning for the second Take Your MPP to School Week, scheduled for May 21-24, 2024.

Food for Learning Committee: March 21, 2024

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Recent statistics: the number of meals served is 7.6 million; $14,150 for food programs fundraised by families; and over 13,000 volunteer hours for Food for Learning programs.
  • Community members are request for fundraising sub-committees; contact Vicky Struthers if interested.
  • March is Nutrition Month.
  • Save the date for the 80s Neon Party, tickets are $25 at The Grand in Belleville.

Standing Committee reports

Governance and Policy Committee: March 18, 2024

Ad Hoc Director's Performance Appraisal Committee
  • Board members approved a recommendation to establish an Ad Hoc Director’s Performance Appraisal Committee and collaborate with a third party to accomplish this task. 
  • The following trustees expressed interest in being part of this Ad Hoc Committee: Shannon Binder, Kandis Hambly, Stacey Lewis, Rachael Prinzen and Amanda Robertson; and further, Board members approved the Governance Directive for the Director's Performance Appraisal Ad Hoc Committee Terms of Reference.

Find out more starting on page 17 of the March 25, 2024 agenda.

Statutory Committee reports

Supervised Alternative Learning Committee: February 28 and March 20, 2024

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • 22 students were approved in February and 21 were approved in March to participate in Supervised Alternative Learning.

Advisory Committee reports

Accessibility Advisory Committee: March 21, 2024

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Presentation about the ways in which HPEDSB serves students who are blind or have low vision.
  • A review of the Multi-year Annual Accessibility Plan. 

Student Voice Plan 2024

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • The student trustees' report on vaping is completed and will be going to a work group. 
  • April 26, 2024 is the date of the upcoming student conference where student trustee elections will take place, along with a keynote speaker and school break-out sessions; 5-8 students from each school. Promotions will include a video highlighting the role of student trustees along with personal anecdotes.
  • The next Student Voice meeting is Thursday, April 4 online.

Chair's report/trustee sharing

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Last week York River PS hosted a registration fair with local non-profit recreation groups; families were able to access financial support from some groups.
  • York River students visited a local fish hatchery to learn about sustainable fish management and the local waterways. The hatchery donated a fish tank to the JK class.
  • A Dual Credit course for Carpentry and Construction started last week at North Hastings HS. 
  • North Hastings HS is taking students to Loyalist College on April 25 for A Taste of Trades Day.
  • A trustee attended a recent screening of the film Uncharitable, hosted by The Learning Foundation.

Director's report 

  • Welcome to Bryce Wilson, new superintendent of Business Services. Bryce’s unique blend of experiences in finance administration and infrastructure project management are assets to HPEDSB. In his short time with Bryce has already proven himself as an insightful, supportive leader. Bryce we’re happy to have you with HPEDSB!
  •  Update for trustees regarding the solar eclipse. This is a remarkable event scheduled to take place between 2:00 and 4:00 PM April 8, 2024. Through emergency planning with municipalities and local services, it is anticipated that there will be a significant influx of visitors due to parts of our region being in the direct path of a full solar eclipse. Planning for potential traffic congestion and emergency service access are all part of local preparations. The local municipalities have asked organizations to reduce traffic, where possible. For HPEDSB, that means staff will have a choice to participate in the April 8 PA Day at their worksite or online. All learning sessions will be accessible to all. We know through our experience during and following the pandemic, and through student e-learning, that learning is valid through these methods. In addition, we have shifted the Physical Property, Finance and Budget Committee meeting on April 8 to 9:00 AM to ensure that trustees are free and available to participate in this phenomenal event, if desired.
  •  Our intermediate students have been invited to participate in the Grade 7 and 8 STEM Challenge in partnership with Loyalist College. Students will be able to see post-secondary programs in our own backyard. The date is still to be determined.
  • Visited the breakfast program at Marmora Public School today with MPP Kramp. 
  • I will be visiting John Harpell’s classroom at Centennial Secondary School this week. John is a Transportation Technology teacher and has been working on a vehicle simulator project for two years with many classes and pathways of students. Through this project, students in workplace, applied and academic courses built a vehicle gaming simulator. This project is being featured an article published by Automation Direct, which sponsored the project. This is not the first time John has been published. In 2014, he built a CO2 race track with his Technology classes and Automation Direct sponsored the electronics.
  •  I’m looking forward to visiting Eastside Secondary School tomorrow for a trustee tour. This will be an excellent opportunity for trustees to hear from students and staff, and view programming, some of which is unique to Eastside and most exemplary of programming and opportunities for students throughout HPEDSB.

Staff reports

Early reading screening update

2023-2024 funding from the Ministry of Education allocates specific funds to purchase licenses and resources associated with the adoption of a new early reading screening tool. Vendors and approved screening tools were announced in October 2023 through the Ontario Education Collaborative Marketplace (OECM).

Based on information gathered during meetings with selected vendors and exploration of the screening tools, the selection for HPEDSB was narrowed to two choices:

  • Acadience Reading K-6 (Acadience Learning Inc.); and
  • easyCBM (Nelson Education Ltd.).

Stakeholders including school administrators, classroom teaching staff, learning support teachers, centrally-assigned staff, and an ETFO released officer, met in early February and late March to review the two tools, and provide feedback. 

Find out more starting on page 20 of the March 25, 2024 agenda.

Math Achievement Action Plan progress

This report provided an update about the progress of actions to support targeted strategies at the central, school and classroom levels in compliance with the Ministry of Education-mandated Math Achievement Action Plan (MAAP).

On March 28, 2024, HPEDSB will submit to the MoE progress measures for each targeted strategy in the MAAP. Data for these measures has been collected through various sources, such as surveys, feedback forms, student assessments, observations and digital tool implementation.

Find out more starting on page 21 of the March 25, 2024 agenda.

Public reporting of the Student Achievement Plan

The Ministry of Education provided school boards with the Student Achievement Plan Public Reporting Template in January 2024. It is a comprehensive and consistent way for school boards to communicate data, action plans and progress on indicators to the communities. It is fillable and/or pre-populated and easily understandable, ensuring transparency and clarity in reporting practices.

The information will available on the website and shared with the Ministry of Education by April 2, 2024.

Find out more starting on page 23 of the March 25, 2024 agenda.

Calendar of events

Several school events, committee and Board meetings are scheduled for the remainder of March and into April. 

Find out more starting on page 25 of the March 25, 2024 agenda.

Upcoming Public Board Meetings, 6:00 PM start
  • April 22, 2024
  • May 27, 2024
  • June 17, 2024

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