Board Meeting Summary, September 25, 2023

Board Meeting Summary, September 25, 2023
Posted on 09/25/2023

September 25, 2023—This is a summary of the September 25, 2023 public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board. Official minutes will be approved at the next regular meeting.

Acknowledgement of Traditional Lands

Recited by Kari Kramp, Trustee, Central Hastings: As 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 that learning, education programs and services support all staff and students.

Swearing in of new student trustees

Three student trustees were sworn in for the term of this school year. Welcome Clara Vance, North Hastings High School as Indigenous Student Trustee and Aashvi Shah, Centennial Secondary School as Student Trustee. Both began their term on August 1, 2023, along with Julia Webster, Eastside Secondary School, who is returning for a second term.

group photo

Student trustees for the 2023-2024 school year, pictured with (L to R): Katherine MacIver, Director of Education; Julia Webster, Eastside Secondary School; Clara Vance, North Hastings High School, representing the Indigenous voices; Aashvi Shah, Centennial Secondary School; and Shannon Binder, Chair of the Board.

Rise and Report from Committee of the Whole Closed Session

Human resources matters were discussed at the meeting on September 18, 2023.

Report from External Organizations

Ontario Public School Board Association (OPSBA)

  • The OPSBA was approached by the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association about a social media litigation that several individual Catholic school boards are considering joining. This mass-tort is an opportunity for boards to pursue claims against social media companies like TikTok, Facebook, etc., for strategically promoting dangerous and controversial content to school aged children, leading to addictive behaviours. The Board of Directors voted in favour of OPSBA holding a town hall for OPSBA directors, school board chairs, directors of education and the law firm handing the case, in October, to allow for a chance to ask questions and gather information about this potential opportunity.
  • Local Government Week takes place from October 16-20, 2023. OPSBA has planned an advocacy opportunity that aims to increase youth and public awareness about the important role local government plays in our community. A set of resources, with packages for visiting Grade 5 and Grade 10 classes will be available to trustees on the OPSBA website. OPSBA encourages trustees to reach out to schools to schedule visits to share the materials, which will include a slide deck that can be modified to include board specific items, and a one pager on the role and importance of local trustees and where school boards fit in within local government. Trustees are also encouraged to share these materials with local municipal counsellors and team up with them and/or our student trustees to promote Local Government Week.
  • OPSBA is seeking input from the general membership on the Updated Draft Legal Defense Fund Policy. This new policy seeks to remove a $300,000 cap that has been in place since the late 1990s when the policy was created. It is not intended to increase the amount of contributions; rather, it is an update that aims to make the policy relevant to the present. This policy has rarely been used, the last time being during the time of school board amalgamations.
  • Motions were passed relating to the following: continuing holding in-person only sessions of the Public Education Symposium and Annual General Meetings; and to continue with hybrid Board of Directors meetings.
  • The next Board of Directors meeting will be in November and paired with the OPSBA Advocacy Day at Queens Park.

Reports from Standing Committees

Governance and Policy Committee, September 18, 2023

Public notice regarding by-law revisions

Board members approved a motion giving public notice that revisions to the HPEDSB By-Laws will be presented at the Regular Public Board meeting on October 23, 2023 for review and approval. Find out more starting on page 17 of the September 25, 2023 agenda.

Student Learning, Well-being and Equity Committee, September 6, 2023

Student Achievement Plan (SAP)

With the passing of the Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act, 2023, the Ministry of Education has established a regulation on provincial priorities for education specific to student achievement that prescribes three priorities:

• Achievement of Learning Outcomes in Core Academic Skills

• Preparation of Students for Future Success

• Student Engagement and Well-being

The Student Learning, Well-being and Equity Committee reviewed these priorities on September 6, 2023 in relation to the student learning, well-being and equity priorities outlined in the HPEDSB 2020-2025 Strategic Plan. Board members acknowledged that the three provincial priorities are embedded and serve as the foundation for the current 2020-2025 HPEDSB Multi-year Strategic Plan. Find out more starting on page 19 of the September 25, 2023 agenda.

Physical Planning, Finance and Building Committee, September 11, 2023

Amended Borrowing Resolution

Ensuring effective management of all resources is a strategic priority for HPEDSB. Part of the effective management of all resources includes establishing various credit facilities with the HPEDSB financial institution to meet the operating and capital expenditures until funds are received from the Ministry. From time to time, the credit agreement requires amending to reflect changes in funding and expenditures. Board members approved authorizing the borrowing of a sum of up to $11,606,364 from the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, in order to meet short-term borrowing requirements for the demolition of an existing building and the construction of a new K-8 elementary school, Easthill Elementary School, on the Queen Elizabeth (Belleville) site under the Capital Priorities Grant, Full Day Kindergarten and Child Care programs. Find out more starting on page 20 of the September 25, 2023 agenda.

Trustee mileage allocation

Board members approved the proposed trustee mileage allocation to differentiate the distances travelled. This allocation will be reviewed annually after the Organization Meeting held in November. Find out more starting on page 24 of the September 25, 2023 agenda.

Report from Statutory Committees

Audit Committee, September 20, 2023

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Re-election of Amanda Robertson, Trustee, Belleville/Thurlow, as committee chair
  • Review of the 2023-2024 Annual Report on Internal Audit Activities
  • Review of the Annual Report to the Board of Trustees
  • Review of the Annual Report to Ministry of Education
  • Verbal report about the External Audit Update
  • Approval of a recommendation to present Regional Internal Audit Plan to the Board on October 23, 2023

Chair’s Report

Highlights of this report included the following:

  • Participation in the  Learning Foundation Open House
  • Participation in the Community Planning and Partnerships meeting at Kente Public School on September 21

Director’s Report

Highlights of this report included the following:

Welcome to Narin Kishinchandani, Superintendent of Business Services, who joined HPEDSB on September 1, 2023.

Recently there have been some unfortunate news from across the country and province about gender politics. At HPEDSB, we invite families to contact their child's school to learning about the curriculum and our approach. This is to dispel myths that are circulating regarding indoctrination. HPEDSB schools teach respect for all students and teach the curriculum. In situations where students do not feel safe, schools provide support and follow legislative responsibilities.

On September 20, 2023 HPEDSB made a public statement, HPEDSB commitment to safe and inclusive spaces for all. With this clarity, staff are able to focus on the following big work:

  • Student achievement

  • Literacy, especially Primary and the new language curriculum

  • Math, Grades 3, 6 and 9

  • De-streaming in Grade 9, and pathways for students to be successful and graduate

  • Boundary reviews

  • Transportation adjustments, as we continue to have concerns about the service and breadth that we offer; HPEDSB needs to address new routes and efficiencies

  • Funding analysis, specifically Special Education and transportation to ensure students get what they need

    All of this is in service of ensuring HPEDSB has the proper space and supports for students to learn.

    Katherine MacIver, Director of Education, spent the first day of school at Marmora Public School and attended a student assembly at Eastside Secondary School.

    The director has done interviews on Mix 97 and 95.5 Hits FM/

    HPEDSB staff participated in the Military Family Resource Centre Lawn Party on September 16 and engaged with lots of families.

    HPEDSB welcomed 55 international students from 11 countries to the new school year. Thank you to the dedicated homestay families who open their homes for accommodations and family/cultural experiences. HPEDSB is looking to grow the International Student Program after reductions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Anyone interested in homestay interests is invited to get in touch.

  • Thank you to custodians, maintenance, Facility Services, and Information and Technology Services staff for their dedicated work during the summer and on some of the major projects: Eastside Secondary and Trenton High. We know that great spaces and places make for great learning for students and great work environments for our staff.

Staff Reports

Enrolment update

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Student enrolment is now at 15,343
  • Elementary enrolment is 10,779 students, which is 98 fewer than projected; in Kindergarten, enrolment is 148 students higher than projected
  • Secondary enrolment is 4,564, which is 28 higher than projected

Summer Learning and Mental Health Supports

Annually, HPEDSB offers elementary and secondary summer learning programs focused on supporting student academic growth and the provision of services to offer continuity to access of mental health supports. These opportunities for academic and mental health support were made possible through targeted funding provided by the Ministry of Education. Find out more starting on page 26 of the September 25, 2023 agenda.

2023 Ontario Scholars

At the end of June each school year, names of students who achieved Ontario Scholar status at graduation are submitted to the Director’s Office. An Ontario Scholar has achieved an average of 80% or higher in six Grade 12 credits. For HPEDSB, 336 HPEDSB students were recognized as Ontario Scholars in June 2023. Find out more starting on page 30 of the September 25, 2023 agenda.

Multi Year Strategic Plan 2022-2023 Year End

Staff presented a progress update on the goals of the strategic plan. Find out more starting on page 31 of the September 25, 2023 agenda.

Boundary Review Ad Hoc Committee

Board members approved two trustees to serve on the Boundary Review Ad Hoc Committee: Erica Charlton, Trustee Belleville/Thurlow for the Harmony-Foxboro area; and Kandis Hambly for the Bayside-Trenton area. Find out more starting on page 32 of the September 25, 2023 agenda.

Calendar of events

Upcoming committee meetings

  • September 27: Supervised Alternative Learning
  • September 28: Special Education Advisory Committee
  • October 2: Student Learning, Well-Being and Equity Committee
  • October 4: Supervised Alternative Learning
  • October 10: Physical Planning, Finance and Building Committee
  • October 16: Governance and Policy Committee
  • October 18: Parent Involvement Committee
  • October 19: Supervised Alternative Learning

School events

  • September 30: 100th Anniversary of Frankford Public School
  • October 4: Madoc Township Public School, District Cross Country
  • October 5: Bird’s Creek Public School, Celebrate our Teachers Assembly
  • October 5: North Hastings High School, Petroglyphs Provincial Park trip (Wolfpack trip)
  • October 5: York River Public School, Otterpalooza School Fundraiser
  • October 6: Bird’s Creek Public School, Character Assembly: Integrity
  • October 6: North Hastings High School, Terry Fox Run during the day
  • October 10: Bird's Creek Public School, School-wide Wellness Activity for Mental Health Day
  • October 11: Madoc Township Public School, School Council meeting
  • October 11 and 12: Madoc Township Public School, District Intermediate Boys and Girls Soccer
  • October 14: CML Snider School, Hosting a booth at Pumpkin Fest
  • October 19: North Hastings High School, Meet the Teacher Night, 4:30 – 6:30 PM
  • October 20: CML Snider School, Fun Friday Family Film Night
  • October 25: Bird's Creek Public School, Bus Safety Training

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