Boardroom Newsbrief April 25, 2017

(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).

Public Motions

Approval to write a letter to Ontario Universities Application Centre re $50.00 change fee for student applicants

Trustee approved a motion to have the Board write to the Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC) to urge their reconsideration of the imposition of a new $50.00 change fee for 2017-2018 student applicants.  Trustees felt in light of the financial burdens faced by many students applying to post-secondary institutions the new fees were unwarranted.

During the discussions at Committee of the Whole meeting, Student Trustee Mihan expressed thanks to the District for their advocacy on behalf of students participating in the university application process.

Approval of Multi-Year Energy Management Plan 2016-2019

Trustees approved the Multi-Year Management Plan for the period of 2016-2019.

When the plan was presented at Committee of the Whole meeting, Trustees were provided with an overview of the project.

1. Energy management initiatives to date have generated nearly $5.0 million per year in cost avoidance

2. Staff focuses all efforts on initiatives which have both a financial and environmental benefit

3. The District is one of very few boards that employs its own trades people which assists in the timely maintenance of equipment

4. The District exceeded its projected targets relating to greenhouse gas reductions

5. New buildings and additions are designed to incorporate energy efficiency and conservation wherever possible

6. Buildings are constructed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards

7. Twenty cars within the District’s fleet have been replaced with hybrid vehicles

8. By using hybrid vehicles, fuel consumption has decreased by half

9. The District is a leader in its use of solar power energy generation

10. There are more than twenty applications submitted for further solar generation systems


11. Upgraded ventilation systems in schools have increased energy efficiency and created more comfortable learning environments for students

12. The District has reduced the amount of energy usage per student by implementing new efficient systems such as, LED lighting, motion sensors, etc.

13. The savings achieved through cost avoidance are funds that would normally be spent on facilities renewal projects and maintenance costs

14. The introduction of new lighting systems has had the greatest impact on cost avoidance

15. The District promotes its environmental initiatives through the website, annual events, and showcasing practices on screens in the Administration building atrium at 133 Greenbank Road

16. Schools identified for closure with recently completed renewal work will have an increased re-sale value and a greater opportunity of new ownership

17. The District is committed to satisfying the requirements of the province’s Green Energy Act Ontario Regulation 397/11

18. Staff are exploring the further use of clean, high-quality fuels to optimize fuel efficiency for its fleet vehicles

19. The “Adopt-a-Tree” program is used by 29 schools throughout the District in an effort to replace trees effected by the Emerald Ash Borer disease

20. The use of window air conditioners is avoided. The use of tempered air as opposed to air conditioners is a preferred cooling method used by the District

In addition, as part of the environmental stewardship program, 79 schools were actively participating in the EcoSchools program in 2016 and 58 schools achieved certification.

Students are playing a stewardship role within schools through participation in recycling programs, litter-less lunches, waste audits etc. Staff is committed to linking energy management initiatives to the curriculum and use within the instructional day.

Notice of Motion to amend a previously approved substantive motion re school board autonomy

Trustees approved a motion requesting the Ontario Public School Board Association (OPSBA) to seek consultation with the Ministry of Education prior to introducing any new government initiatives.

In addition, OPSBA was asked to include in it’s advocacy work a request for respectful and meaningful consultation between government and school boards that would preclude over-specification or excess implementation detail when policy directions are being considered

Trustees stated that having the ability and flexibility to continue to respond to local needs is vital for boards to effectively meet their legislative requirements.
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