Board Meeting Highlights - March 24, 2020

Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic response, this meeting was hosted online using Microsoft Teams.

Good News

All International Trips Return Home Safely 

Three international trips (Costa Rica, South Africa, and United Kingdom) have safely returned home. All of these travellers have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days from the date they arrived in Canada. This is a precaution recommended by our local public health partners to help limit the spread of COVID-19.  

ETFO Reaches Tentative Agreement

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) reached a tentative agreement with the Province on central terms pending ratification. 

Appreciation for AMDSB Staff Reaching out to Parents

Trustee Moore shared her appreciation for the effort that AMDSB staff have been making to reach out to families electronically (via social media and email). She acknowledged the personal impact that this effort has had and expressed her gratitude for their effort. Some schools have begun video morning announcements (including Oh Canada!) to connect with students via social media and school websites.  

Trustees Pass Motion and Acknowledge Healthcare Workers

Trustee Schenk proposed the following motion: "that the Avon Maitland District School Board allow Trustee Moore; if circumstances arise that prohibit her participation; to miss more than three consecutive meetings in a row until the COVID-19 virus pandemic is arrested." Appreciation was also shared for all of our other front line health workers, who are working hard to keep all of us in Ontario, safe!

Stratford Transformation Update

The Trustees received two reports regarding the Stratford Transformation project. One included updates from the Stratford Transformation Committee (STC) and the other outlined the results of the public consultation on naming the two buildings. The STC hosted a meeting on March 12th, 2020. Click here for the highlights from the STC meeting. The Trustees discussed the naming report which included details of the survey results, feedback from the community, cost information, and recommendations from Queen's and Western University researchers. They passed the following motion: "Resolved that the Avon Maitland District School Board name the two campuses of the new school in Stratford: Stratford District Secondary School for the grade 9 to 12, and Stratford Intermediate School for the Grade 7 and 8. The next STC meeting will be held on Wednesday April 8, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. and will likely be hosted online. 

Chair Activity Update

Chair Geddes expressed appreciation for Director Walsh's video message to staff and reiterated the importance of keeping students informed as we navigate this ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic situation.

Senior Staff Updates

AMDSB Staff Rise to the COVID-19 Pandemic Challenge

Director Walsh gave an overview of the COVID-19 response since the provincial school closure announcement on Thursday March 12. She expressed gratitude to all staff for their willingness to take on this challenge with enthusiasm and diligence. The custodial team spent March Break deep cleaning and sanitizing our offices and schools so that they are ready for the eventual return of our students and staff. Other central teams including HR, Finance, Payroll, Information Management, and many others are adjusting to working remotely as they keep our systems running. We are now working with the staff in our schools to mobilize online systems for staff meetings and information sharing. Over the next two weeks our teams will be working hard to develop a new model of distance education, while taking into consideration students with unique learning needs, and some of the barriers that might prevent students from accessing online resources. 

Director's Work Plan Update

Superintendent Morris and System Principal Debbie Green provided an update on the "Progression of Skills" portion of the Director's Work Plan. Superintendent Morris highlighted the work in the area of pathways for students, with a specific focus on technological studies, skilled trades and apprenticeships. Principal Green gave an update on the implementation of Deep Learning for All networked learning hubs in all 7-12 and 9-12 schools. She outlined the focus on the skills of creativity, communication, critical thinking or collaboration, planning and developing authentic and rich tasks, as well as increasing engagement.

Update on IT Work 

tablet with desktop computer in the backgroundSuperintendent Morris reported that the IT team has been working hard to determine which staff members require technology (e.g laptops, tablets, etc.) to facilitate working from home. In addition they are connecting with school staff to determine which students may need technology assistance (e.g. devices, WIFI, bandwidth, etc.). They have recently created a section on the staff intranet (the Core) to provide resources and a place to share best practices. 

Approved Tenders

The following tenders were approved:

Student Trustee Update

student senate logoStudent Trustee Badley gave a report from the Student Senate. They have been working hard to engage their fellow students via social media and were grateful to the Board Communications Team for promoting their student senate Instagram and Twitter accounts. This promotion resulted in an increase in followers and they continue to work with their fellow senators to increase their social media engagement. 

Future Board Meetings

(Due to the COVID-19 pandemic response, meetings will be hosted online until further notice. A link to join the meetings will be posted on the Board website on the Monday before the meeting)
  • Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.

Future Meetings/Events with Trustee Representation

(Hosted online until further notice)
  • School Year Calendar: March 26, 2020 – 2:00 p.m. 
  • Special Education Advisory Committee: April 8, 2020 – 4:00 p.m.