Boardroom Newsbrief – September 25, 2018

Boardroom Newsbrief – September 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).

Approval of Minor Policy Revisions

Trustees approved minor changes to Policy P.086.CUR Religious Accommodation as detailed in Appendix A to Report 18-089.

Approval of Purchase of New Portable Classrooms

Trustees voted to purchase 20 new modular portable classrooms.The new portables will provide the District with sufficient flexibility to accommodate students throughout the system. 

The total cost of the project is $2,720,000. The portables will be funded from Capital Reserves and subject to Ministry approval.  

Portables are kept in service for 15 to 20 years. Trustees questioned both the life cycle and costs associated with portable classrooms. Staff advised the Canadian climate; specifically, heavy snow loads significantly increases the cost of maintaining these learning spaces and decreases the shelf life of the portables. The majority of the OCDSB’s portable classrooms are approximately 30 ft. x 25 ft. in size. The portables are Ontario sourced and made from prefabricated material. Many are made by local trades’people. The Board is expected to have Ministry approval by January 2019.

Approval of Education Development Charges Policy Statement Decision – Use of Operating Reserves and Alternate Accommodation Arrangements

Trustees voted to confirm there are no operating funds available to reduce growth-related net education land costs within the proposed new Education Development Charges By-law (2019-2024). In addition, the Board confirmed there are no existing alternate accommodation arrangements that could serve to reduce the quantum of the proposed new Education Development Charges By-law (2019-2024).  As a result, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board will consider possible arrangements with municipalities, school boards or other members of the public or private sector.  These arrangements could be long-term or cooperative nature. The aim is to provide accommodation for elementary or secondary school pupils. The current by-law is scheduled to expire on March 31, 2019. Under the current funding formula the Education Development Charges By-law is the main source of funding for the acquisition of new school sites.

Letter of Concern Regarding Parent Reporting Portal

Trustees directed the Chair of the Board to write a letter to Premier Doug Ford, urging the government to withdraw the parent reporting portal. This portal is commonly known as the “Snitch Line”.

Trustees encouraged parents to use existing mechanisms to report and resolve complaints regarding teacher conduct. Including; the OCDSB Complaints Resolution Policy, the Ontario College of Teachers, and the Ontario Ombudsman’s Office.Trustees discussed how the parent reporting portal could undermine local School Boards authority to receive and resolve complaints regarding its employees.

Approval of the Board Work Plan and Areas of Focus for 2018-2019

Trustees approved the Board's Work Plan and Areas of Focus for the 2018-2019. As part of its responsibility for ensuring effectiveness, the Board plans and schedules its work to effectively govern the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. The Board has had an annual work plan since 2013-2014.

The Board’s Work Plan and Areas of Focus enables the Board to focus and act on its priorities by 1) identifying the work to be accomplished and, 2) clearly articulating the Board’s expectations of its own District’s strategic objectives and, 3) establishing the benchmarks by which the Board evaluates its performance.

The Board will monitor progress on its work plan during regular updates at Board. At the end of the year the Board will assess their accomplishments with respect to what it set out to do.

 Approval of Appointment of Non-Voting Trustee Delegate to the Indigenous Education Advisory Council

Trustee Olsen Harper was appointed as a non-voting member to the Indigenous Education Advisory Council for the period of September 25, 2018 to December 1, 2018.

Approval of Appointment of Association Representatives to the Special Education Advisory Committee

The following regular and alternate members of various associations to the Special Education Advisory Committee who support the Districts commitment to implementing sound governance structures, as well as encouraging broad community engagement in District initiatives for the term ending November 30, 2018.

Association – VOICE – Regular Member- Jim Robert Harris

Alternate Member - Terry Warner

Association - Autism Ontario – Regular Member- Katheryn Ralph

Alternate Member-Samantha Banning

Learning Disabilities Association of Ottawa-Carleton (LDAO-C) Regular Member-Linda Barbetta- Alternate Member- Michael Bates

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