Board Meeting Highlights - April 28, 2020

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

Good News

All AMDSB Union Groups Reach Tentative Agreements

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO), all divisions of Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) and UNIFOR have reached tentative agreements with the Province on central terms, pending ratification. Local negotiations have now begun with these groups. 

2020-2021 School Year Calendar Approved

draft school year calendar for the 2020-2021 school year outlining pa days, holidays and exam daysOn behalf of the School Year Calendar Committee, Superintendent Creery presented a report containing the proposed 2020-2021 school year calendar for the Board's approval. The elementary and secondary calendars were developed by a committee representing trustees, administration, employee groups, and the AMDSB Principals' Association.
The proposed calendar was posted on the Board website for two weeks of consultation before the report was prepared to take it to the trustees. The calendar as presented was approved and will soon be posted on the Board website.



Innovative Ways that AMDSB Staff are Reaching Students

Trustee Hunking reported a variety of ways that staff are keeping in contact with their students. He reported that there are many creative things happening across the District including unique morning announcements, funny videos and many others. Trustee Rothwell reported participating in an online school council meeting with 18 attendees.

Stratford Transformation Update

The Trustees received a report regarding the Stratford Transformation project. The STC cancelled their April meeting and are hosting their next meeting on May 7 at 6:30pm. Details can be found on this page. Superintendent Carter provided a summary of the work of the working committees. Notably, the construction at the former Stratford Central site has been halted due to provincial order. Staff, the Architect and the Contractor are developing a plan to open portions of the building for occupancy in September, which is subject to the lifting of the provincial order on construction and on approval from the City of Stratford. There are also plans being finalized for construction on the secondary site (former Northwestern building) that will accommodate the variety of programs that will be offered at Stratford District Secondary School beginning in September. 

Chair Activity Update

Chair Geddes reviewed the recent provincial announcement to extend the school closure order to the end of May. She also commented on the AMDSB staff engagement strategy that Director Walsh outlined in the updates portion of the meeting. 

Senior Staff Updates

Update on AMDSB Work in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

A video was shared with the Trustees that highlights the work that Board staff have been doing since the school closure announcement on March 12. AMDSB teams have been working diligently to initiate the "learn from home" system. 

Director's Work Plan Update

Superintendents Bruce and Creery provided an update on the "Equity and Inclusive Education" portion of the Director's Work Plan. Superintendent Bruce highlighted the work of the Tu Puente ("the bridge") program that allows Avon Maitland students to continue their studies while they return to Durango, Mexico during the school year. He also provided an update on AMDSB belief statements for inclusion. Superintendent Creery highlighted the work on strategies and supports for students who have self-identified as Indigenous and other work across the district that focuses on Indigenous education.

AMDSB Staff Engagement Strategy

Director Walsh described the staff engagement strategy that was launched on April 20. Staff are invited to share their engagement ideas, each week one of those ideas is highlighted, and all staff are invited to participate. 

A Focus on Mental Health

A poster outlining the music and art challenge during mental health weekSuperintendent Baker reported that Children's Mental Health Week is celebrated across Huron and Perth counties May 4-8. In celebration, AMDSB partner Huron Perth Centre is hosting a virtual music and art event and everyone is encouraged to wear green ribbons. In addition, the AMDSB Mental Health and Well-being team are putting together packages that focus on Social Emotional Learning for at-risk students and a variety of social media posts will be rolled out. 








Update on Dual Credit

Dual Credit programs from Lambton, Conestoga and Fanshawe Colleges have initiated online learning. Students will now be able to interact with their college instructors to continue their certifications.


Update on IT Work 

Male looking at a tablet, shows only his hands and legsSuperintendent Morris reported that the IT and Learning Services teams have been working hard to deploy devices to students. Huron Perth Student Transportation Services has also supported this initiative through the delivery of equipment to families who are unable to pick them up from the designated pick up locations. Internet-enabled devices will be deployed to families on April 29.


Approved Tenders

The following tenders were approved:

Student Trustee Update

student senate logoStudent Trustee Vleeming reported that the student senate are working on increasing their social media presence by establishing giveaways. The prizes will vary depending on which school the winners attend, and they hope to do this by reaching out to local businesses for a partnership. Student Trustee Badley reported that they are also looking to start a new project called Hope Spreaders in partnership with students from the Bluewater District School Board. It is an initiative that began with students from the Peel District School Board and reaches out to students who are not engaged. 
An election was held and Makenzie Hallam (current grade 11) from Listowel District Secondary School, will complete Emma Badley's two year term, and Elizabeth Benoit (current grade 10) from South Huron District High School will be beginning her two year term.

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 day of the meeting)
  • Tuesday, May 12, 2020
  • Tuesday, May 26, 2020
  • Tuesday, June 9, 2020
  • Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Future Meetings/Events with Trustee Representation

(Hosted online using Microsoft Teams until further notice)
  • Joint Health and Safety Committee – Thursday, April 30, 2020 – 2:00 p.m.
  • Huron Perth Student Transportation Services – Tuesday, May 5, 2020 – 3:30 p.m.
  • Parent Involvement Committee – Wednesday, May 6, 2020 – 3:30 p.m.