Board Meeting Highlights - November 24, 2020

Good News

Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week

AMDSB recognized and promoted Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week November 15-21. The Board Communications team released two mental health newsletters (one for families and one for staff) and released a series of social media posts. Schools provided information to families in their newsletters and sent information via social media. See examples from:
social media image for bullying awareness and prevention week           social media image for bullying awareness and prevention

New! Pathways Advisory Committee to Give Guidance to Help Support Student Career and Life Planning

Collection of photos from pathways programs at AMDSB
The Board of Trustees approved the creation of a new ad-hoc committee, the Pathways Advisory Committee that is welcoming community partners to support planning that will enable AMDSB to best support students in their initial postsecondary destination and ultimately to meet local industry needs. The role of the committee is to develop and enhance the labour market in Huron and Perth counties and existing Pathways programs in AMDSB (including Specialist High Skills Major programs, the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, cooperative and technological education courses, Dual Credits through community college partnerships). They will also work to collaboratively identify gaps between the Huron and Perth labour market needs and current Pathways plans in AMDSB, and finally provide recommendations and feedback regarding AMDSB Pathways promotion and to support planning that will enable AMDSB to best support students in their initial postsecondary destination and ultimately to meet local industry needs. Interested community partners are asked to complete this form to express interest in joining the committee. The first meeting is scheduled for December 10 at 7pm. 

Maitland River ES Hosts Virtual Christmas Market

Trustee Schenk reported that Maitland River school council hosted an event called "12 Days of Christmas". Vendors were asked to pay a small fee to participate and a portion of their sales were donated back to the school. 


Highlights from Indigenous Education and Equity Work

Superintendent Creery highlighted recent work happening in schools related to reconciliation and indigenous education, as well as the promotion of equity in our schools. She showcased a video from students at FE Madill Secondary School (see below) and an event at South Huron District High School hosted by Principal Bayer-Smith that focused on celebrating Transgender Week of Awareness. 

Schools Show Support to Local Retirement and Long-Term Care Homes

Trustee Rothwell reported that schools in Stratford (Hamlet Public School) and North Perth have been showing their support for older adults in their communities. 
Hamlet PS students standing apart holding signs to support retirement home residents across the street


Stratford District Continue Build their Green Initiatives and Stratford Council Opens up Public Spaces for Secondary Student Studies

Trustee Bisutti reported that Stratford District SS are taking
two sdss students standing beside the 'cow composter'
their food waste and paper to 'feed' to a 'cow composter' to break down into soil for the school's gardens. Two students, Melanie Broughton and Sammie Orr from the Eco club and teachers Christine Ritsma, Cathie Riddell and Tony Rose were featured in the Beacon Herald talking about Green initiatives at the high school.
She also brought forward that Stratford Councillors agreed with staff to promote three locations (Stratford Public Library - SPL, Rotary Complex and the Burnside Agriplex) as indoor locations where secondary students can reserve space to study online. SPL has the added bonus of being able to offer the use of Chromebooks and scanning and photocopying services. Details in this article from the Stratford Beacon Herald

Exeter Elementary School Receives New Child Care Spaces

The County of Huron, AMDSB and London Bridge Child Care Services announced the opening of a ‘Family Age Grouping’ Child Care program at Exeter Elementary School. Full details in the November 24 media release. 

English as a Second Language (ESL) Update

Our new ESL team has been hard at work this fall. ESL Coordinator Leann Laframboise along with the ESL teachers Amy Simons and Debbie Pfohl have visited all AMDSB schools to update records on English Language Learners in the region. They completed 107 ESL assessments and shared the updated information with classroom teachers and school contacts. They have also facilitated the work of our new settlement workers, interpreters and translators.
In the next few weeks, they will be creating online professional development for teachers to support their programming for English Language Learners in their classrooms.          

Board Approves the Consolidated Financial Statements for the 2019-2020 Fiscal Year

The Board approved the recommendation from the Audit Committee to accept the draft Consolidated Financial Statements for the period September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2020, as presented by the Financial Services Management Team and the External Auditors at the November 11, 2020 Audit Committee meeting. The Consolidated Financial Statements represent the financial position of the Board at August 31, 2020. The Consolidated Financial Statements and Audit Findings Report for 2019-2020 will be posted on the Board website in the coming days.

Student Trustee Update

Student trustees (Makenzie Hallam and Elizabeth Benoit) provided an update. Student Senators are working on a pen pal program between the schools and local retirement and nursing homes. They are also working on a video project that introduces the senate (what they are and what they do). 

Senior Staff Updates

Stratford Intermediate School Construction Update

Superintendent Carter reported that the second and third floor addition will be complete and ready for cleaning this week, the administrative offices, lobby and elevator will be complete in the coming weeks, and in the first floor addition, which will not be for regular school use, work continues. Asphalt, sidewalks, line painting, and landscaping are all complete for 2020. 

Detroit Test of Learning Abilities (DTLA) Roll Out

This summer, Learning Services purchased the updated version of the DTLA. This assessment tool is used in all schools to test student cognitive abilities. Our psychology department has created a series of five training modules to use with Special Education Resource Teachers throughout the board to ensure that they are familiar with the changes in the DTLA-5 and how to accurately administer the assessments. A huge thank you to Paul Evans and William Williams for creating the modules and to Missy Pfaff for her leadership of this update.

Technology Update

Superintendent Morris highlighted a new Technology and Software Help section of the board website. Students and families can now access online support and can easily access forms and help for online learning. She also reported that the survey assessing student technology needs is now closed. This information will help IT and school staff to deploy devices should we be directed by the Ministry of Education to move to a different learning model (i.e. Model B - hybrid or Model C - fully online).  

Secondary Schools to Host Virtual Open Houses Throughout December

All 8 secondary schools will be hosting virtual open houses for current grade 6 and 8 prospective students throughout December. Details will be shared soon!

Future Board Meetings

  • Tuesday, December 8, 2020 (Inaugural/Regular Board Meeting)
Meetings are hosted at the Education Centre unless otherwise noted

Future Meetings/Events with Trustee Representation

  • Supervised Alternative Learning – November 30, 2020 at 8:30 a.m.
Meetings hosted at the Education Centre unless otherwise noted