Boardroom Newsbrief - November 26, 2019

The Newsbrief is meant to provide the highlights of the decisions made at the Board meeting for the benefit of our community. The notes do not serve as the official record of the meeting. Please refer to Board or Committee minutes.

For full PDF agenda package prepared ahead of this meeting, visit:

Presentation to Trustee Mark FisherPresentation to Trustee Mark Fisher

A presentation was made to celebrate Trustee Mark Fisher’s 10 years of service to the Board. He was appointed to the Board in June 2009, taking over from the late Alex Getty, to represent Zone 3. He was subsequently elected in 2010 to represent Zone 7 and now, following a redistribution of zones, Trustee Fisher represents Zone 11, River/Gloucester-Southgate.

Mark has chaired or served on many of the Board’s committees, including the Audit Committee and the Advisory Committee on Extended Day and Child Care Programs, which he was instrumental in creating.

Said Trustee Lynn Scott, “Trustee Fisher is a strong advocate for multi-year capital and operational planning, risk management, and consistently promotes fiscal transparency and responsibility.”

Presentation to Trustee Lynn ScottPresentation to Trustee Lynn Scott

A special presentation was made to Trustee Lynn Scott to celebrate her 25 years of service to the Board.

Trustee Scott was first elected to the Carleton Board of Education in 1994. In 1997, she became the first Chair of the newly amalgamated Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, and has served as Vice-Chair in 2005-2006, 2006-2007 and 2017-2018, and again as Chair in 2007-2008, 2008-2009 and 2018-present. In her time as a trustee, she has served on or led all of the board’s major committees, and has played a significant role in initiatives to improve program delivery for all students.

Said Trustee Erica Braunovan, “Lynn has a passion for good governance and strategic planning, is a committed lifelong learner, is always up to date on the latest research, and believes strongly in evidence-based decision making. Her commitment to both students and staff and their success and well-being is evident in everything she does.”

Presentation on Evidence of Practice – Culture of InnovationPresentation on Evidence of Practice – Culture of Innovation

Students in the West Carleton Secondary School courses, TEJ3M (Grade 11) ‘Introduction to Computer Engineering’ and TEJ4M (Grade 12) ‘Computer Engineering’, in addition to learning how to code, also learn how to create printed circuit boards which allows them to build hardware while earning a credit. The courses are part of the ‘Information and Technology’ Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) at West Carleton Secondary School.  

Many schools offer computer programming, but actually building circuit boards is not common. This initiative was successful in improving outcomes for students by enabling them to learn about both software and hardware simultaneously. Students report very high levels of engagement, and some students have gone on to study in related fields in their post-secondary studies.

Trustees were presented with the work of this class as an example of how the OCDSB is moving towards building at culture of innovation.

Briefing from the Chair of the Board

PRO Grant Changes

This year, the Ministry of Education made some changes to the Parents Reaching Out (PRO) Grants. The school council PRO grant application program has been discontinued and, instead, the OCDSB received approximately $40,000 in PRO grant funding for 2019-2020. All funds must be spent by June 30, 2020.

The District, in collaboration with its Parent Involvement Committee, is seeking parental input about how to allocate those funds. A survey has been sent to school councils and available on our website. We invite parents to submit their thoughts by Monday, December 2, 2019.

Immunization Records

All students attending school in Ontario are required to be vaccinated against nine diseases or have a valid exemption.

Parents and Guardians are responsible for ensuring their child’s vaccine records are kept up to date. Ottawa Public Health requires proof that children have received proper immunization. They have begun sending letters home to notify parents to update vaccine records as of December 20th. Ottawa Public Health has the authority to suspend students for whom OPH does not have a record of immunization.

Briefing from the Director

Labour Update

Today, employees with the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) began strike action in the form of a “work to rule” or “partial withdrawal of service”.

Both ETFO and OSSTF have indicated that this phase of strike action is in relation to administrative duties. All classroom activities, extracurricular programs and extended day programs will continue as usual.

We will continue to inform parents as updates become available and further information can be found on our website.

Launch of 2019 Student Survey

Starting today until December 13th, parents and students will be sent the 2019 Student Survey.

Surveys will be emailed to parents to complete for children from K-6. Students from grades 7-12 will complete their own survey. The voluntary and confidential survey will explore issues of identity – race, ethnicity, creed, language, sexual orientation and gender identity, along with wellbeing, engagement and whether students feel safe at school.

This information will help us better understand the needs of students. Parents and students are encouraged to fill out the survey.

In Camera Motion

Board Motion (In Camera) approved on a human resources matter.

Public Motions

Trustees approved the following:

  • Confirmation of Board Minutes, 22 October 2019
  • Receipt of Committee of the Whole Report, 05 November 2019
  • Consultation Plan for P.032.SCO Safe Schools and P.125.SCO School District Code of Conduct
  • Timeline and Consultation Plan for John Young Elementary School
  • Amendment to P.096.SES Special Education Programs and Services
  • Receipt of Committee of the Whole Report, 19 November 2019
  • Staffing Increase to support students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Developmental Disabilities (DD)
  • Revisions to P.025.GOV Board Member Conflict of Interest
  • Commencement of Activities with a View to Phase Out the High Performance Athletes Program at John McCrae Secondary School
  • Draft 2018-2019 Consolidated Financial Statements
  • Appointment of Association Representatives to Special Education Advisory Committee
  • Katherine Kacew, be appointed as the primary member representing Autism Ontario to the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) for the term ending 14 November 2022
  • Maggie Mamen, be appointed as the primary member, and Michael Bates be appointed as the alternate member representing Learning Disabilities Association of Ottawa-Carleton to the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) for the term ending 14 November 2022.

Trustees moved to refer Policy P.141.GOV Integrity Commissioner back to staff to revisit language.

Meeting ended at 9:00 pm



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