Board Meeting Highlights - November 28, 2023

Good News

Student Leadership Conference Provides Opportunity to "Unlearn"

Superintendent April Smith was pleased to share that nearly 100 students took part in a collaborative leadership conference organized in partnership with unlearn. Each secondary school and Stratford Intermediate School was represented. Participants had the opportunity to reflect on provocative images, share the initiatives happening in their schools and develop plans for moving forward. Going forward, school and board staff are committed to providing continuous support to these students  as they move their plans to fruition. 

AMDSB Schools Participate in Activities to Acknowledge Remembrance Day and Indigenous Veterans' Day

Communications Manager Chera Longston shared a brief video highlighting some of the activities that occurred across AMDSB during the week leading up to Remembrance Day and on Indigenous Veterans' Day. All schools participated by showcasing student art creations, hosting assemblies and inviting veterans to attend as honoured guests. 

Fall Athletics Update

Superintendent Paul Langis provided a brief update on the wrap up of fall athletics.
Basketball (Girls):
  • Mitchell DHS senior girls went to OFSAA and finished 5th, losing in the quarter finals to the #1 seeded team.
  • St Marys DCVI junior girls won both the Huron Perth title and WOSSAA.
Cross Country
  • St Marys DCVI cross country team finished 3rd in the Novice Boys at OFSAA. 
Field Hockey
  • The South Huron District HS girls field hockey team attended OFSAA and although they did not win a medal, they were pleased to received the "most sportsmanlike award".  
  • Cassidy Hampson from Mitchell DHS participated in the OFSAA golf tournament at Batteaux Creek Golf Course in Collingwood.
Volleyball (Boys):
  • St Marys DCVI senior boys won WOSSAA and attended OFSAA in Kitchener.
  • St Marys DCVI junior boys won silver at WOSSAA.  
Across all AMDSB secondary schools we had a total of 610 students involved in athletics for the fall season.  

South Huron Eco Exeter Highlighted in Documentary

Chair Robert Hunking enthusiastically announced the participation of the SHDHS Eco Exeter club in a documentary set to debut at the Toronto International Film Festival, followed by a broadcast on CBC in the upcoming year. Titled "Plastic People," the documentary showcases local environmental initiatives and they refer to Eco Exeter as "a shining example of grassroots environmental activism". Check out the MyFM News Article that highlights this accomplishment. 

Student Trustee Update

Student Trustee Alex Dolmage announced the completion of the video introduction project. Senators from each secondary school created a brief video explaining the role of the Senate and highlighted that they represent the students in their own school and those from their feeder schools. The videos have been posted on the board's YouTube channel, will be shared via social media and elementary teachers have also been asked to share with their classes. Alex also revealed an upcoming healthy habits initiative designed to underscore the significance of sleep, time management, effective study habits, and nutrition, set to be launched for students shortly. Student Trustee Nathan Bean shared plans for a spring initiative focused on e-waste. This project will involve hosting Greentech provided bins at four secondary schools district-wide, aiming to promote responsible e-waste disposal.

Senior Staff Updates

Update on the Director's Work Plan

Superintendents Kathy Boyd and Paul Langis provided an update on the Director's Work Plan. Superintendent Boyd discussed culturally responsive, identify-affirming and trauma-informed mental health supports and the re-named Supported Workplace Experience for students with complex learning needs. Superintendent Langis discussed experiential learning opportunities currently being promoted across the district including the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP), Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM), tech education classes, co-op, etc.  

Stratford and Area Boundary Review Update

Superintendent Cheri Carter provided an update the ongoing boundary review project impacting schools in the City of Stratford and its surrounding areas. She explained that the Stratford and Area Boundary Review Committee (SABRC) was formed earlier this month and they hosted their first meeting on November 21. The consulting firm who is guiding the project (Watson & Associates) gave a presentation and they along with AMDSB staff answered a number of questions. Their next meeting is planned for December 14. Full details about the project are posted on the board's website

Overview of Recent Professional Development Days

Superintendents April Smith and Kathy Boyd provided an overview of the topics that were presented during the October 20 and November 17 PD days. Superintendent Smith emphasized the significance of Culturally Responsive, Relevant, and Sustaining Pedagogy (CRRSP), spotlighting its six core principles: Understanding One's Own Identity and Positionality, Establishing High Expectations, In-Depth Understanding of Learners, Advocacy for Change, Cultivating Cultural Competence, and Prioritizing Learner-Centric Approaches. She also highlighted the positive reception of keynote speaker Nouman Ashraf. Superintendent Boyd's report focused on the training sessions held on November 17 for support staff. Educational Assistants and STRIVE Child and Youth Workers learned about a variety of topics at three sites across the board.

Mental Health and Well-being Lunch 'n Learn Series for Caregivers 

Superintendent Kathy Boyd highlighted the monthly lunch 'n learn series that is being hosted in partnership with the Huron Perth Catholic District School Board and other community partners. Two sessions have been posted so far (October 11 and November 8) and the next one is titled "Working Towards Healthy Relationships" and will be December 13 from 12-1pm. Details and a link to register are in the event flyer. All sessions are recorded and posted on the Promoting Positive Mental Health in AMDSB page.   

Future Board Meetings

Regular Board Meetings are held in person unless otherwise noted. Agendas are posted on the Board Meeting page the day before the meeting. The public portion begins at 4:45 p.m.
  • Tuesday, December 12, 2023: Regular Board Meeting at 4:45 p.m. and Committee of the Whole, Closed Session immediately afterwards. 
  • Tuesday, January 30, 2024: Regular Board Meeting at 4:45 p.m. and Committee of the Whole, Closed Session immediately afterwards.

Future Meetings/Events with Trustee Representation

  • Accessibility of Ontarians for Disabilities Act Committee – December 6, 2023 at 3:00 p.m.
  • Special Education Advisory Committee – December 6, 2023 at 4:00 p.m.
  • Stratford Area Boundary Review Committee (SABRC) – Thursday, December 14, 2023 at 6:00 p.m.