Board Meeting Highlights - April 26, 2022

Good News

Two AMDSB Students Recognized as Loran Scholars

Trustee Carmichael and Communications Manager Longston were pleased to share that Ava Fitzgerald from Goderich District Collegiate Institute and Ryan Regier from South Huron District High School were recently recognized as highly esteemed Loran Scholars. Only 35 students from across Canada receive this prestigious award and according to the Loran Scholars Foundation, "...selected scholars have demonstrated resourcefulness and determination, finding ways to make the most of these extraordinary circumstances and meaningfully serve their communities across Canada. They have found ways to step up and address the challenges within and beyond their hometowns, to speak up to address injustices, and raise up others along the way." More details on the Loran Scholars Foundation website. Congratulations Ava and Ryan!!
Photo of Ava FitzgeraldPhoto of Ryan Regier

Board Recognizes Administrative Professionals on April 27

Grey pot with a green leafy plant hanging over the edge with a white card and "Thank you". A blue banner at the bottom including AMDSB logoVice Chair Rothwell brought recognition from the Board for the amazing work of Administrative Professional Barb Crawford, who provides support for the Trustees. She also acknowledged all of the Administrative Professionals throughout the district who provide crucial support for our systems, staff and students. We could not do what we do without you!!!  

AMDSB Schools Show their Eco-Sense during Earth Week

Communications Manager Longston reported that AMDSB schools celebrated Earth Week beginning April 18 and ending with Earth Day on April 22. A variety of initiatives and activities were organized for students all across the district. Check out a few highlights below!  
Graphic with collage of images showing students planting trees, picking up garbage, making Earth Day themed art, learning outside. AMDSB logo. Text: Earth Day. Image of hand holding the world in its palm.

St Marys DCVI Makes Top 25 List for Terry Fox Foundation Fundraiser

Trustee Geddes shared that St Marys DCVI hosted a fundraiser for the Terry Fox Foundation in the fall and were recently recognized as one of the top 25 in Ontario. Students and staff raised an amazing $7,130.01! Go Salukis! 

SDSS Hosts Student Swap and the Return of Club and Activities

Trustee Bisutti shared that Stratford District SS students held their first "Student Swap" on Earth Day to highlight eco-friendly fashion. Students donated gently used clothes, books and small household items and with a donation could visit the swap during school hours and "shop" for items (which were free of charge). After school hours, anyone could attend. In addition, one third of the donated items came from the community. The initiative aimed to increase awareness about the importance of reducing waste (by donating used items rather than throwing them out), reusing by not purchasing new items that require natural resources (e.g. water) to be manufactured, and reducing the stigma associated with using second hand items. The event was profiled on CTV News Kitchener
Trustee Bisutti also reported that SDSS is holding their Spring Plant and Garden Sale on May 7 from 9 AM to 12 PM at the Greenhouse (near the water tower near the school). Finally, elementary schools are busy planning fun activities, sports and clubs for the students. She expressed a big thank you to all those helping out and staying positive!

Gurdeep Pandher Educates, Entertains and Engages during Sikh Heritage Month Presentation

Superintendent Creery shared that as part of Sikh Heritage Month, Human Rights and Equity Resource Teacher Paul Finkelstein organized a live event to support the AMDSB community to learn about the Sikh religion and experience part of this culture. Author, teacher, and Punjabi Bhangra dancer Gurdeep Pandher was invited to present to all schools from his Yukon cabin on April 25 (screenshot below). The event was attended by over 120 classrooms from across the district! 
Screenshot of live video presentation showing Gurdeep Pandher and a Q&A panel on the right-hand side

Staff Presentations

Director's Work Plan Update (I Am Prepared/Well)

Superintendent Marotta shared progress from the Mental Health and Well-being team. She highlighted the extensive professional development opportunities that have been made available to staff and the number of staff who have volunteered to participate in the learning to build mentally healthy classrooms and schools, including the RELIT conference (Dr. Jody Carrington) in late August, a suicide prevention training for all staff, and a series of webinars that align with the resources and support from School Mental Health Ontario (SMHO). Superintendent Marotta also reviewed work in the area of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and was proud to report that the Frameworks of Care and SEL mini-series that has been created by the AMDSB Mental Health counselors were recommended for sharing to other school boards in Southwest SMHO Regional meetings. She also described the internal Mental Health and Well-being website that houses resources for educators to use in their classrooms and some of the future plans for rolling out resources for parents/caregivers. 

Student Trustee Update

Student Trustee Elizabeth Benoit reported that the Student Senate is wrapping up their work for the year, including the murals highlighting messages of equity and diversity. She reported that Alex Dolmage has been elected as Student Trustee for the 2022-2024 term. He will replace Ms. Benoit beginning in September. Finally, the Senate will determine their executive for the upcoming school year at their next meeting. 

Senior Staff Updates

Focusing on Getting Student Back on Track with Tutors

Superintendent Creery reported that AMDSB (along with all other boards in the province) has received funding from the Ministry of Education to provide tutoring support for students who may be struggling due to the pivoting between online and in person learning throughout the pandemic. Retired Superintendent Kim Black and retired Principal Cheryl Peach have been hired to lead this work. She reported challenges in finding staff to support the program but is hopeful that the program can roll out this spring and continue into next year. She expects to provide a further update at the May board meeting. 

North Perth Boundary Review Project Update

Superintendent Carter introduced Jack Ammendolia from Watson & Associates Economists and staff member Hugh Cox. She presented the highlights from the report provided to Trustees in the agenda package. After a question and answer period and discussion, the Trustees decided to defer the decision and in the meantime promote the detailed report to the North Perth community (via media release, direct email to the North Perth Boundary Review Committee members, and newsletter inserts for the schools). In addition, questions and answers that are received via the project email address ([email protected]) will be posted on the North Perth Boundary Review page

Long-term Enrolment Projections

Superintendent Carter reported that 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.  

Future Board Meetings

  • May 10, 2022 – Committee of the Whole, Open Session at 4:30 p.m. (online meeting)
  • May 24, 2022 – Committee of the Whole, Closed Session at 4:30 p.m., and Regular Board Session at 6:00 p.m.

Meetings that include Regular Sessions will be hosted in person (with the option for connecting online) at the Education in Seaforth (62 Chalk St. N.). Members of the public are welcome to attend the Regular Board sessions (in person or online). Meeting details (including online meeting links and agenda packages) are posted on the Board Meeting page.

Future Meetings/Events with Trustee Representation

  • Student Information System Implementation Committee – Monday, May 2, 2022 at 9:00 a.m.
  • Special Education Advisory Committee – Wednesday, May 4, 2022 at 4:00 p.m.
  • Foundation for Education Perth Huron – Thursday, May 5, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.
  • Huron Perth Student Transportation – Tuesday, May 10, 2022 at 3:00 p.m.
  • Parent Involvement Committee – Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Pathways Advisory Committee – Thursday, May 19, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.