Board Meeting Highlights - May 24, 2022

Trustee Position Changes and Trustee Q and A Session

Vice Chair Nancy Rothwell has stepped into the role of Acting Chair and Trustee Robert Hunking into the role of Acting Vice Chair. They will serve in these positions until the end of July.  
A virtual Q and A session is being hosted on Tuesday May 31 from 6:30-7:30pm. Full details posted on the AMDSB website

Good News

AMDSB Partners with Local Horse Sanctuary for Unique Indigenous Learning Experience

Trustee Geddes was proud to share that the Indigenous Education program has partnered with Aspens Ojibwe Horses for an engaging learning opportunity throughout April and May. The initiative aims to increase engagement and awareness with AMDSB students about this unique breed of horse that was a historic part of Indigenous society until they were considered pests by newcomers and brought to the brink of extinction in the early 1970s. Students from a variety of schools have had the chance to learn from knowledge keeper Christin Dennis about the Ojibwe Spirit Horse in an art and music activity one week, followed by a visit from three Ojibwe Spirit horses at the school grounds (in an enclosure) in another week. Sallianne Patch, the caretaker of the horses, has also been sharing the horses’ story.  
Christin Dennis standing in front of horse enclosure  Student smiling holding drawing of horses  Female standing petting horse with group of students in the background

GDCI Follows Through on Terry Fox Run Promise

Trustee Carmichael was pleased to report that earlier this year, it was promised that if the GDCI school community raised at least $3000 for the Terry Fox Foundation, 4 staff members (including Principal Bayer-Smith) and 1 student would run more than 18km from Auburn to Goderich. The run kicked off "Valhalla" spirit day, which celebrated the school community through a variety of fun activities. 
Group of GDCI staff members running towards the camera 

Acknowledgement of One Year Anniversary of First Grave Discovery at Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc Nation

While not "good news," Trustee Geddes wished to acknowledge this anniversary and remind us of the many other grave sites that were discovered throughout the year and the many more that are likely to come. This officially marks the end of the traditional one year mourning period. We are reminded of the importance of the work we are all responsible for in the area of Truth and Reconciliation. 

Alice Munro Festival of the Short Story (for Kids) Returns

Alice Munro Festival logoTrustee Schenk was pleased to report that students in grades K to 8 will once again have the opportunity to hear from guest authors during the Alice Munro Festival on Friday June 3. Four amazing authors will showcase their children's books and engage students in a virtual environment to celebrate literacy. 

Purchase of NBE Resources for English course focused on Indigenous Literature

Trustee Geddes was pleased at the approval to purchase the NBE/ENG3 resources and the fact that grade 11 English throughout the board will be focused on Indigenous literature. 

AMDSB Schools Celebrate Children's Mental Health Week (May 2-6)

Superintendent Marotta reported that schools across the district participated in a wide variety of activities to celebrate Children's Mental Health Week. From gardening to bracelet-making, students learned about many things that can help make us well.  
Collage of photos of students participating in Children's Mental Health Week with "Children's Mental Health Week 2022" in the middle

St Marys DCVI Celebrates Pride Month in a Unique Way

Trustee Geddes was proud to report that a grade 7 class from St Marys DCVI is participating in Pride Month by making posters explaining the significance of the various pride flags that will be hung around St. Marys in June. The posters will be displayed in store windows throughout town. St Marys Independent news article

Centre for Employment & Learning PSW Certification Program Continues 

Superintendent Carter was happy to report that 36 students are enrolled in the Centre for Employment and Learning's PSW (Personal Support Worker) program, and working on obtaining their PSW certification, due to be complete in December. So far, they have learned about PPE use, feeding, personal care and how to safely use lifts to transfer people. We are very appreciative of the support of our partners, Spruce Lodge in Stratford and Maitland Manor in Goderich. 
PSW students learning CPR   PSW students learning child CPR

Staff Presentations

Equity, Diversity, Inclusivity Update 

Equity logo which includes a variety of 'petals' to each depict an area of AMDSB's work in equitySuperintendent Creery and Human Rights and Equity Lead Administrator Jason (Burt) Burt presented an update in celebration of the one year anniversary of the establishment of the Office of Human Rights and Equity. They highlighted the work that has been accomplished over the last year, including movie nights for staff, the distribution of inclusive skin tone bandages and crayons to schools, the installation of progressive pride flags on school floors and walls, construction updates to change rooms, a partnership with Parents of Black Children and Jewish parents in Stratford, the installation of communication boards, human rights and equity consultations, the hiring of three Equity Resource Teachers and others!

Update from the Foundation for Education

Executive Director Laura Pethick presented a year-end review from the Foundation. She outlined some of the arts-based workshops that were presented in a virtual format. They attracted a wider audience and some attracted upwards of 900 students! She also reviewed the FUNDrive initiative that is wrapping up and the upcoming Golf Tournament that is being hosted July 22, 23, or 24 (golfers choice!). Details will be posted on the Foundation for Education website in the near future. 

Student Trustee Update

Student Trustee Elizabeth Benoit reported that the Student Senate has finalized its executive for the 2022/2023 school year at its meeting today. She also reported that their video to promote the Senate was completed and is now being shared with feeder schools. The Senate will present a final year-in-review at the next board meeting.  

Senior Staff Updates

North Perth Boundary Review Project Update

Superintendent Carter provided an overview of the recent report provided to Trustees, which provided an option to Trustees to modify the original recommendation provided on April 26. The modified option would defer the decision to move grade 7 and 8 students from North Perth Westfield to Listowel District Secondary School to a future review but would move forward with the boundary adjustments between the three North Perth Elementary schools (Listowel Eastdale, North Perth Westfield and Elma Township). Trustees decided to defer any decisions until the next board meeting.  

Future Board Meetings

  • Final meeting of the school year: June 28, 2022 – Committee of the Whole, Closed Session at 3:30 p.m., and Regular Board Session at 5:00 p.m.

Meetings that include Regular Sessions will be hosted in person at the Education in Seaforth (62 Chalk St. N.) with the option for connecting online. 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

  • Supervised Alternative Learning – Monday, May 30, 2022 at 8:30 a.m.
  • Equity Steering Committee – Tuesday, May 31, 2022 at 4:00 p.m.
  • Huron Perth Student Transportation Services – Wednesday, June 8, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. 
  • Special Education Advisory Committee – Wednesday, June 15 and 22, 2022 at 4:00 p.m.
  • Finance Committee – June 20, 2022 at 4:30 p.m. and June 28, 2022 at 3:00 p.m.
  • AODA – Wednesday, June 22, 2022 at 3:00 p.m.