Board Meeting Highlights - October 24, 2023

Good News

AMDSB Schools Participate in National Truth and Reconciliation Activities

Superintendent April Smith shared that all schools across the district participated in a number of activities to commemorate National Truth and Reconciliation Week leading up to September 30 (also know as Orange Shirt Day). This year, every school in the AMDSB proudly flew an Every Child Matters Flag and engaged in immersive learning experiences focusing on Indigenous peoples, their rich cultures, profound experiences, and remarkable strengths. Monique Pregent, Indigenous Education Lead, played a significant role in orchestrating a ceremony at the Education Centre, and she was graciously invited to conduct smudge ceremonies at 21 elementary schools. Indigenous Graduation Coach Matt Baker visited secondary Indigenous students at all eight secondary schools, sharing ceremonies and valuable teachings. AMDSB is committed to the Calls to Action and working towards Truth and Reconciliation. "It is not a one day event, it is an every day event, not a day but a way." Indigenous Education Lead Monique Pregent. 

Goderich PS Principal Acknowledged by Peers and Ontario Principals' Council

Superintendent Kathy Boyd was delighted to announce that the Ontario Principals' Council has officially recognized GPS Principal Robyn Carnochan as a "Difference Maker." Principal Carnochan's remarkable leadership and dedicated efforts to enhance literacy outcomes have garnered recognition not only within her school but also across the entire school board and the province. Colleagues attest to her being a genuine critical friend who consistently poses thought-provoking questions and inspires them to engage in continuous learning alongside their staff. Congratulations, Robyn, on this well-deserved honor!
head shot of Robyn Carnochan with Difference Maker

Fall Athletics

Superintendent Paul Langis provided a brief update on the ongoing school athletics. While most sports have yet to reach the OFSAA level, there are some standout achievements to celebrate. In girls' golf, Sydney Taylor from Stratford District SS and EnaRae Stuckless from South Huron District HS both delivered outstanding performances, finishing in the top 6 at WOSSAA and securing qualification for OFSAA, which will take place in Collingwood at Batteaux Creek Golf Course. Additionally, Mitchell District HS emerged victorious in the Huron Perth Baseball Championship, with several Huron Perth athletes gearing up for the WOSSAA Cross Country competition on October 25. South Huron District HS triumphed in the Huron Perth field hockey championship. Furthermore, the basketball and volleyball Huron Perth competitions are poised to enter the play-offs next week, promising more exciting action to come.

Electrical Boot Camp Workshop Hosted at the Pathways Innovation Centre 

Superintendent Paul Langis announced that a workshop, facilitated by professionals from Conestoga College, saw the active participation of 48 grade 11 and 12 students. Hosted at the Pathways Innovation Centre (housed within Stratford Intermediate School), students gained hands-on experience in the electrical trades and learned the soft skills that will ultimately help them obtain and keep a job in any skilled trade. Full coverage of the event was provided by the Stratford Beacon Herald.
Group of 4 female students   Student working on electrical project  Male student working on the electrical wiring project  Tools that students received  

Student Trustee Update

Student Trustee Nathan Bean shared that he along with fellow student trustee Alex Dolmage attended the Ontario Student Trustee Association (OSTA) fall conference. During the event, they established valuable connections within the organization and participated in professional development sessions. These sessions included a presentation outlining OSTA's goals for the year, a keynote address from the Minister of Education, a Q&A session with Ontario Public School Boards' Association President Cathy Abraham, and various workshops focusing on practical learning. These experiences are equipping the Student Trustees with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively advocate for all students within Avon Maitland. The Senate is actively engaged in outreach efforts within the board, which involve creating informative videos and planning for the promotion of an e-waste initiative in the upcoming second semester.

Senior Staff Updates

Update on the Director's Work Plan

Superintendent April Smith provided a brief review of the presentation that the Board of Trustees received in their agenda package. She provided an overview of the program team's work on Culturally Relevant, Responsive and Sustaining Pedagogy (CRRSP) and the math strategy that is being rolled out across the district. 

Communications Annual Report

Communications Manager Chera Longston shared the 2022/2023 Communications Annual Report. The Report provides an overview of the activities of the Communications department and highlights the media and social media attention that the board received throughout the last school year.  

Overview of Mental Health Supports Provided

Superintendent Kathy Boyd presented an overview of the report submitted to the Ministry of Education. In the 2022/2023 school year, the Mental Health and Well-being counsellors observed a notable increase in referrals compared to the previous year, 2021/2022. She also noted a decrease in referrals to external community partners, mainly attributed to staffing shortages and their constraints in accepting such referrals. The primary reasons for referrals remained consistent and included concerns related to attendance, anxiety, and depression.

Board Reviews EQAO Results

Superintendent Jane Morris conducted a review of the board's report on AMDSB EQAO results for the 2022/2023 school year. Among the eight measures examined, five displayed increased achievement compared to the 2021/22 results. Specifically, AMDSB students exhibited improved performance in primary math, junior writing and math, Grade 9 math, and Grade 10 OSSLT. Superintendent April Smith explained that EQAO results are just one of many assessment tools that schools and boards use to measure and support student achievement. The results are used in conjunction with other indicators such as classroom assessments and report card data to inform plans to support all students to achieve. The program team remains committed to delivering ongoing professional development and classroom support, with a particular focus on implementing evidence-based reading instruction in primary classrooms and enhancing math instruction in schools identified by the Ministry.

Future Board Meetings

Regular Board Meetings are held online unless otherwise noted and the links to join the meetings will be posted on the Board Meeting page the day before the meeting. The public portion begins at 4:45 p.m.
  • Tuesday, November 14, 2023: Committee of the Whole, Open Session
  • Tuesday, November 28, 2023: Regular Board Meeting at 4:45 p.m. and Committee of the Whole, Closed Session immediately afterwards. 

Future Meetings/Events with Trustee Representation

  • Special Education Advisory Committee – November 1, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. 
  • Accessibility of Ontarians for Disabilities Act Committee – December 6, 2023 at 3:00 p.m.