Board of Trustees Update - February 28, 2023

Every month at our Board of Trustees meeting, OCDSB trustees discuss key items and hold final votes on decisions that impact the school district. The matters for action presented at Board of Trustee meetings are typically brought forward after being debated and voted in favour at a prior Committee of the Whole meeting.

Our boardroom update provides an overview of some of the key highlights from last month’s meeting. Looking for more details? Further information can be found in the agenda package for each meeting, which you can access through our calendar:

Meeting date: February 28, 2023
Full meeting video link

Quick Highlights

The following motions were approved:

  • 2023-2024 school year calendar
  • Facilities renewal program and school condition improvement project budget

The Board of Trustees also approved an in-camera motion authorizing staff to proceed with respect to the appointment of an Executive Search Consultant.

Key approved items

2023-2024 school year calendar

Ele Calendar The Board approved the recommended calendar for the 2023-2024 school year to be submitted to the Ministry of Education for final approval. Once this approval is received it will be the official calendar for elementary and secondary schools for the 2023-2024 school year. Approval is usually received by May of each year. Once approved we will share more information through our regular weekly updates and our website. The proposed first day of school is Tuesday, September 5, 2023. Learn more.

Facilities renewal program and school condition improvement project budget

The Board approved a budget of approximately $112 million for the purpose of building upgrades and improvements for the 2022-2023 budget year. Investments into building renewal and upgrades of schools will help improve the quality of teaching spaces and help to promote the success of students and staff. This includes upgrades to heating, electrical and plumbing systems, new solar panels, accessibility improvements, and more. Details of projects across the OCDSB can be found here.

Director of Education - Executive Search Firm

In December 2022, the Board announced plans for a comprehensive search for a new Director of Education. During the board meeting of February 28th, Trustees approved an in-camera motion authorizing staff to proceed with respect to the appointment of an Executive Search Firm. Michele Giroux is currently serving in the role of Director until a permanent candidate is selected by the Board of Trustees later in 2023. That process will include opportunities for the community to provide input about the director role and profile. 

Watch the Full meeting here.
Full Agenda

Verbal Reports from the Chair and Director of Education

Chair’s Report 

Pink Shirt Day

ImageLast week, students and staff across the district marked Pink Shirt Day. It was an important moment to celebrate kindness and reflect on how we can come together to stop bullying in our community. 

Bullying and Harassment is an issue that too many students continue to face from their peers. In the parent message on Friday, the OCDSB shared some examples of how schools marked this day. Resources were also provided to help deal with bullying. We ask parents and guardians to help us by reminding their children that there are actions they can take if they witness bullying. This includes:

  • Report any concerning incidents to the principal, vice-principal, a teacher, a trusted adult, OCDSB Cares, or anyone who can help.
  • Speak out: If it’s safe to do so, bystanders can speak out against bullying, violence, harassment, hate or discrimination.
  • Be kind: Comfort the person who was hurt and make it known that what happened was not fair or deserved. Be a friend. Ask what you can do to help.
  • Stop the spread of online content, videos or images that cause further harm. 

As a community, we can and must stand together against bullying, hate and discrimination. 

Black History Month

ImageOver the past month in our schools we have seen students and staff mark Black History Month through performances, art, special events, school displays, classroom lessons, and more. This has been great to see and we look forward to the learning continuing through the year. On Saturday, March 25 at Brookfield High School, the OCDSB will partner with Parents for Diversity for a parent advocacy conference on supporting Black students. Registration details can be found on our website

In the wake of growing anti-trans public sentiment, including the murder of prominent trans youth Brianna Ghey in the UK, and the passing of anti-trans legislation in US states such as Tennessee, the Board and the District reaffirm our commitment to protecting the rights of gender diverse, trans, and all LGBTQ students at the district. Learn more about how the OCDSB provides support and resources for students, families and staff of all gender identities and expressions on our website

Director’s Report

The Director began by noting that it has been more than one year since the war in Ukraine began. She acknowledged the efforts of our staff in supporting new students who have joined us in the past year. Since the start of this conflict, the OCDSB has welcomed approximately 450 Ukrainian students to our schools. Fortunately, we have considerable experience in supporting students and their families who arrive in Canada. 

Our appreciation is extended to the members of our registration team, Family Reception Centre, school staff, students and parents for helping these new families settle into our school community.

School Climate Survey

School Climate Survey for Parents and CaregiversIn March, principals will be sharing with parents and guardians a school climate survey. The voluntary and anonymous survey provides feedback to each school about the extent to which parents feel their school supports learning and positive behaviour, and promotes a safe and inclusive environment. 

The information gathered will guide and inform the actions schools take to address issues such as bullying, safety, engagement and well-being. 

The survey is available in 12 languages. It will run until March 24th. Learn more on our website.

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