Board Meeting Highlights - March 23, 2021
Student Senate Release Video Campaign for Feeder Schools
Trustee Sygrove highlighted the Student Senate video campaign that helps communicate to feeder school students that they have a voice too! All eight secondary schools produced a video introducing the Senators to their respective feeder school students. Click here for a link to all of the videos. South Huron District High School's was shown to the board and can be viewed below.
GDCI Students Launch New Student Newspaper
Trustee Carmichael was pleased to share that GDCI students have launched the "Viking Journal". Click here to read this student-led publication!
New Indigenous Language Course
Superintendent Creery was pleased to announce that a new Indigenous Language (Ojibway) course is being offered to 21 people across the Board in a virtual setting. Trustee Schenk is also participating.
Mental Health and Well-being Team Release You Matter Report
Superintendent Marotta was pleased to share that a report from research partners at Western and Queen's Universities that highlights the You Matter work has been released. The report provides an overview of the initiative, highlights the key learnings from the virtual You Matter 2 event, describes the ongoing support available to students in AMDSB, and outlines the initiative’s future plans. The full media release is posted here and the report and an accompanying scavenger hunt for students can be found on the Mental Health and Well-being page. A story highlighting this report can be found on the Stratford Beacon Herald website.
Program Team Releases New Guidelines for the Return to Music Class (for Secondary Students)
Superintendent Creery reported that supports are being provided to secondary school music programs (with advice from Huron Perth Public Health) to facilitate the return to wind and brass instrumental music. These programs will be permitted to resume with new health and safety protocols.
Board Advocates for Families Seeking Reimbursement from Cancelled International Trips
The Board of Trustees will be taking action to advocate for families who have not yet received refunds from international trips to France and Italy that were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. A number of AMDSB families continue to await reimbursement available through cancellation insurance. In order to support these impacted families, the Trustees passed a motion to advocate on their behalf. In addition, a letter will be sent to the impacted AMDSB families informing them of the specific actions.
Student Trustee Update
Student Trustee Makenzie Hallam reported that they have received a great deal of positive feedback about their PPE recycling project. They continue to await approval for the federal grant that they submitted to expand the initiative. She also reported that other school-based projects including the Stratford District SS mentoring program and the long-term care home pen pal project continue as planned.
Long-term Enrolment Projections
Superintendent Carter introduced Jack Ammendolia from Watson & Associates Economists and staff member Hugh Cox. Mr. Ammendolia recorded the video below which was shared with trustees in the agenda package along with the accompanying information report. Mr. Ammendolia and Mr. Cox were available to answer questions and all information can be found on the Board website on the Pupil Accommodation & Enrolment Projections page.
Director's Work Plan Update
Superintendents Bruce, Marotta and Langis presented an update on the work of the Director's Work Plan. Superintendent Bruce outlined details of some of the updates underway for streamlining the processes for the Learning Services Department. These changes will simplify things for school teams and bring consistency across the teams within the Learning Services Department.
Superintendent Marotta announced that a Recruiter for the International Education has been hired. Minh Le will be responsible for working with International Education agents from around the world to highlight AMDSB as a desirable location for International students.
Superintendent Langis reviewed the AMDSB plans for equitable hiring practices that align with the new provincial PPM 165.
Senior Staff Updates
Superintendents Creery and Bruce gave an update from the Equity Steering Committee (ESC). The ESC meets monthly and is in the process of developing an Equity Action Plan. Two members of the ESC (Vice Principal Jason Burt - South Huron DHS, and Principal Kim Crawford - Listowel District SS) presented some of the work that has happened to date. The ESC work is being guided by Marva Wisdom who is an expert in diversity, inclusivity and anti-racism. The ESC is learning from stories of AMDSB community members (students, staff and community members), are acknowledging that there is racism and oppression in our system, and are making the commitment to change. They are reading a wide variety of resources and have developed the following belief statements:
- We believe all stakeholders are responsible for dismantling systemic racism.
- We believe in making space for voices typically marginalized or not heard.
- We believe in calling each other in and out, as needed.
- We believe allyship is a lifelong commitment and not a title we can give ourselves.
Future Board Meetings
- Tuesday, April 27, 2021 (Committee of the Whole, Closed Session at 4:30 p.m., and Regular Session at 6:00 p.m.)
Meetings will be hosted online using Microsoft Teams until further notice. Links to join the meetings will be posted on the Board Meeting page.
Future Meetings/Events with Trustee Representation
- Joint Health & Safety – March 25, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.
- Supervised Alternate Learning – March 29, 2021 at 8:30 a.m.
- School Year Calendar – April 1, 2021
- Audit Committee – April 6, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.
- Accessibility for Ontario Disabilities Act Committee – April 7, 2021 at 3:00 p.m.
- Special Education Advisory Committee – April 7, 2021 at 4:00 p.m.
- Parent Involvement Committee – April 7, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.
- Huron Perth Student Transportation Services – April 20, 2021 at 3:30 p.m.
Meetings will be hosted online until further notice.