Board Meeting Highlights - January 30, 2023

Good News

Pathways Opportunities Across the District (Junk Drawer Races, Read Deal on Skilled Trades, and more!)

Superintendent Paul Langis shared that the Pathways Team has been busy over the last several weeks. From an event focused on the promotion of trades among women and girls called the Real Deal on Skilled Trades, to huge success at the elementary regional level Junk Drawer Races. Goderich District CI hosted a construction workshop, and the team showcased the Pathways Innovation Centre to the Perth Huron Builders' Association. He also shared that schools across the district are busy acknowledging local businesses that provide coop opportunities to secondary students, and 14 students have signed as apprentices during their first term coop placements. Finally, eight AMDSB students from four different secondary schools participated in the Apple Canada "Develop the Future Presentation Showcase" at the Hasenfratz Centre for Excellence in Guelph on January 18. These students showcased the skills they acquired through lessons and workshops on Swift programming, effective communication, and impactful pitching. Looking ahead to February, Langis announced an upcoming event titled "Trades and Tapas" designed for grade 9 and 10 students, along with a significant adult of their choice. This event aims to showcase the culinary and carpentry trades.
Female student standing with a man near the Pathways Innovation Centre display    Poster for GDCI winter construction event     A female student and an adult female standing near a construction project  
Develop the Future event   AMDSB student presenting at Develop the Future   

Vision Impairment Workshop for Staff

Superintendent Kathy Boyd was pleased to share that on December 18, Educational Consultants from the W. Ross Macdonald School's Vision Resource Services and Outreach Programs delivered a workshop for classroom and resource teachers who teach students with visual impairments. The workshop included information about the causes and types of vision impairments, offering educators a hands-on simulation to better understand the experiences of those who are partially sighted in the classroom. These invaluable learning experiences are instrumental in fostering a more inclusive educational environment.
woman wearing vision impairment goggles trying to read her cell phone    group of staff learning at the Vision Impairment workshop

Board Approves Revised Budget for 2023/2024

The Board of Trustees received and approved the 2023/2024 Revised Budget. The operating budget presented includes Operating Revenues and Transfers of Reserves of $238,251,324 and Operating Expenses of the same. The capital budget approved includes Capital Spending of $35,639,001. While the operating budget is compliant with the Ministry of Education's budget compliance rule, the total operating deficit for the 2023/2024 year is expected to be $1,927,824. Please see the full report of the Finance Committee posted in the Agenda Package (page 8). 

Student Trustee Update

Student Trustee Alex Dolmage reported that the senators are wrapping up a social media campaign about managing stress during exams and tips for good study habits. Looking forward, they are actively preparing for the recruitment of senators for the upcoming academic year. They are interested in implementing a consistent approach to this recruitment so that students have an equitable opportunity to participate in the senate. Additionally, they are planning an e-waste collection initiative scheduled for the week leading up to Earth Day in April. The initiative involves promoting four drop-off bins at secondary schools across the district, inviting participation from students, staff, parents/caregivers, and the broader community.

Senior Staff Updates

Update on the Director's Work Plan

An update was provided on the Director's Work Plan. Superintendent Kathy Boyd shared the work happening to create consistent Social Emotional Learning practices across the district. She highlighted the continual promotion of mental health and well-being through the acknowledgment of awareness days and the resources provided to schools (including lessons for classrooms, sample announcements, messaging for families, and social media posts). Superintendent Paul Langis discussed school plans that address a safe schools priority based on understanding the needs of that particular school. Finally, Superintendent Jane Morris and Laura Marotta outlined their objective to enhance secondary students' access to diverse learning modes (e.g., face-to-face, online, and alternative education). The aim is to leverage students' interests and cultivate skills that empower them to make well-informed decisions about their future steps.

Stratford and Area Boundary Review Project Update

Superintendent Cheri Carter reported the success of the open house held at Stratford District SS on January 29. Watson and Associates, along with AMDSB staff, addressed questions regarding the three proposed scenarios. Trustee Michael Bannerman remarked that the event was very well received and he was impressed by the community engagement that has occurred. 
A full consultation report has been publicly released and a survey is seeking feedback on the proposed scenarios. The report and survey link are published on the Stratford and Area Boundary Review Project page and members of the public are asked to review the report and respond to the survey by February 15, 2024. 

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, February 13, 2024: Committee of the Whole, Open Session at 4:45 p.m.
  • Tuesday, February 27, 2024: Regular Board Meeting at 4:45 p.m. and Committee of the Whole, Closed Session immediately afterwards. 

Future Meetings/Events with Trustee Representation

  • Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) – Wednesday, January 31, 2024 at 6:30 p.m. (online)
  • School Calendar – Tuesday, February 6, 2024 at 3:00 p.m.
  • Transportation Steering Committee (HPSTS) – Tuesday, February 6, 2024 at 3:30 p.m. (online)
  • Special Education Advisory Committee – Wednesday, February 7, 2024 at 4:00 p.m.
  • Supervised Alternative Learning (SAL) – Monday, February 26, 2024 at 3:00 p.m.
  • Stratford Area Boundary Review Committee (SABRC) – Thursday, March 7, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. (online)
  • Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act workgroup (AODA) – Wednesday, April 3, 2024 at 3:00 p.m. (online)