Boardroom Newsbrief – June 25, 2018

Boardroom Newsbrief – June 25, 2018 

(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).

Student Trustee Report

Student Trustees Alex MacDonald and Rita Ramotar presented their final Student Trustee ReportTrustee MacDonald will be heading to Queen’s University in the fall. Alex has been accepted to the prestigious Smith School of Business/Bachelor of Commerce. Trustee MacDonald said, “The highlight of my term has been being able to work with Student Senate and share our mutual passion for student voice with students across the district. Our symposium was a great way to see how passionate students can impassion other students in a fun and engaging way, while helping to explore the Exit Outcomes in a holistic manner.” 

Trustee Ramotar will be staying closer to home – she plans to attend the University of Ottawa. She will be a student in the esteemed Honours Health Science program. Rita said, “The highlight of my term in office was to learn essential life skills, directly from the board staff and trustees, who are very knowledgeable and experienced in their positions. As well, I appreciate having the privilege to engage directly with the students of Ontario through OSTA-AECO, the senate, the PBC cabinet, and the President's Council to support various causes”.

Both Student Trustees wished their successors the opportunity to make a positive contribution to the Ontario education system.

Public Motions

Approval of International Baccalaureate Program Implementation Plan at Merivale High School

Staff recommended Merivale High School adopt a non-semestered program delivery model starting in September 2019 and that non-semestering be implemented over 3 years. During the debate at the June 5th Committee of the Whole meeting, trustees raised a number of questions that staff sought answers to. Updated information can be found in Memo 18-097 International Baccalaureate Program.  In addition Trustees were advised there are four primary reasons why a whole school non-semestered model is recommended for Merivale High School.

  1. IB preference for concurrency learning;
  2. Program quality and equity of access to OCDSB I Programs;
  3. Sense of school community and quality of course offerings; and
  4. Cost of split program.
Trustees moved back into Committee of the Whole to debate the motion. Following the debate Trustees returned to Board and approved the following motion in relation to the International Baccalaureate Program Implementation Plan at Merivale High School.

A. Merivale High School will adopt a non-semestered program delivery model starting in September 2019 with the incoming grade 9 cohort coincident with the start of the IB Program;
B. A phased in approach of non-semestering continues with grade 10 becoming non-semestered in 2020-2021 and grades 11 and 12 becoming non-semestered in 2021-2022;
C. The attendance boundary for the IB Program as reflected in Appendix A  Report 18-064 be approved; and, 
D. Students living in the new Merivale High School IB program boundary area who are eligible to enroll in the program and have older siblings attending the Colonel By Secondary School program be provided an option to also attend Colonel By Secondary School.

*NOTE* The boundary for Merivale High School was moved to Sherbourne Road.

Approval of Proposed Strategic Planning Framework for 2019-2023

Trustees approved the Strategic Planning Framework for 2019-2023. The Education Act requires school boards adopt multi-year plans that are three to five years in length. The OCDSB uses a four-year planning cycle. The current plan is scheduled to expire in August, 2019.

The District has an established strategic planning process which was used to develop the past three strategic plans. The six-step process begins in the spring of one school year, with consultation in the fall and the approval of a new plan the following spring. This timeline allows for a full cycle of research, consultation, analysis and plan development. The timeline also ensures the District’s students benefit from the experience of the outgoing Board of Trustees, and provides for the input and ownership of the newly elected Board of Trustees.

The current Strategic Plans’ work will continue over the next year. Including a review of the key priorities to access which are complete; which require additional work and; what other priorities might need to be considered for the next four year cycle.

Approval of Short-Term Borrowing Resolution

Trustees approved a short-term borrowing resolution. It is a common business practice for organizations to establish short-term borrowing arrangements. There are no credit implications as the school board has funds available in its reserves. 

Approval of Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funding 2018-2019 Project Plan

Staff was directed to proceed with individual project tenders within the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funding (GGRF) project plans. Previously approved budgets within the School Condition Improvement funding program may be transferred to the GGRF program as required.

Eligible components include lighting, HVAC and controls, building envelope and a few various technologies. This is a time-limited initiative and funds cannot be carried forward to future periods. The GGRF budget is not to exceed $5,093,000.

Approval of Revisions to Policy P.108.SCO Care of Students with Severe or Life-Threatening Medical Conditions

Trustees approved minor revisions to Policy P.108.SCO Care of Students with Severe or Life-Threatening Medical Conditions as required for compliance with the Ministry of Education Policy/Program Memorandum PPM 161.

The PPM 161 details a number of requirements and expectations from school boards pertaining to training, daily management of medical conditions, awareness, a Plan of Care, and avoidance of triggers. School boards are required to update their existing policies by the September 2018.

Approval of Policy P.140.GOV, Indigenous Education Advisory Council (IEAC)

Trustees approved Policy P.140.GOV, Indigenous Education Advisory Council. In the first year of operation and in consultation with the Elders, Senators, and Traditional Knowledge Keepers, the District will invite individuals and/or organizations with whom it maintains established partnerships to sit on the IEAC.

Minutes from the Indigenous Education Advisory Council will be distributed to the Board and posted to the District website. The policy will be reviewed two (2) years from its passing and revision(s), if any passed, will be reviewed before two (2) years and nine (9) months from the policy’s passing.

Report 18-073, Special Education Plan 2018

Trustees approved the Special Education Plan. School boards are required to prepare a special education plan annually. This year, a more comprehensive review of the document was undertaken with a focus on improving clarity and ease of use of the plan and aligning it with legislative requirements. The revisions to the special education plan for 2018 were drafted in consultation with members of SEAC.

Report 18-076, Special Projects Procurement

Trustees directed Facilities staff to use pre-qualified general contractors on a time and material basis to procure the construction renovation projects as noted in the June-Report 18-076 Appendix A in order to ensure schools are ready for a September 2018 opening.

Staff will report back to the Audit Committee in the fall of 2018 regarding the use of this provision.  This was the last Board Meeting of school year 2017-2018.

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