Board Meeting Highlights - March 26, 2024

Good News

AMDSB Celebrates Pink Shirt Day

Communications Manager Chera Longston highlighted that schools across the district participated in Pink Shirt Day - a day to raise awareness about bullying and promote messages of kindness. 


Indigenous Student Grand Council Hosts Inaugural Meeting

Superintendent April Smith proudly announced that the Indigenous Education team, led by System Principal Jana Bayer-Smith, successfully hosted the inaugural meeting of the Indigenous Student Grand Council. Indigenous Education Lead Monique Pregent (M'Chigeeng First Nation), along with Indigenous Student Support Advisor Matt Baker (Saugeen First Nation), Indigenous Mental Health Counsellor Melissa Stevens (Batchewana First Nation), Ray John (Oneida First Nation), and Russell Peltier (Chippewa of the Thames First Nation) facilitated various activities and engaged in discussions regarding future leadership prospects for Indigenous students.

AMDSB Staff and Trustee Recognized at Perth-Huron United Way Spirit of Community Celebration

Chair Robert Hunking shared that he, along with other trustees and staff members, attended the Perth-Huron United Way Spirit of Community Celebration. AMDSB was recognized as a top 10 workplace for their staff fundraising campaign and Trustee Patricia Smith was awarded a Community Spirit Award for North Huron for her volunteer work in that area. Congratulations to all involved!

Trustees Approve 2024/2025 School Year Calendar

The comprehensive calendar for the 2024/2025 academic year has received full approval and is now available for viewing on the School Year Calendar page. This calendar provides essential details such as PA days, exam dates, and other significant information.

FunTECH March Break Kits, Local Skilled Trades Event, and Elementary Skills Ontario

Superintendent Paul Langis provided an update from the Pathways team, featuring three exciting initiatives. Firstly, he introduced the March Break FunTECH program, which distributed over 400 kits to grade 6 students district-wide. These kits offered engaging at-home activities centered around various skilled trades, including cooking (cast iron pizza), baking (lava cakes), carpentry (washer toss game), motive power (propeller car or mini motorized car), or sewing (hand-sewn cinch sack). Secondly, he spotlighted the inaugural local Skills Ontario competition held at Listowel District SS. Four schools (Listowel District SS, Stratford District SS, St Marys DCVI, and Goderich District CI) participated in qualifying rounds for welding and carpentry, as reported in the CTV London news story. Lastly, he highlighted elementary students gearing up for the elementary provincial Skills Ontario Competition scheduled for May 6.
Student holding hand-sewn drawstring bag  Collage of student and her lava cakes  Student holding carpentry project (corn hole game)


FE Madill SS Hosts Living Library

Trustee Patricia Smith reported that FEMSS hosted a living library for students where local community members and partners visited the school to share experiences and stories.During the event, students had the opportunity to ask questions and actively participate in this enriching learning experience.

Secondary Students Participate in Drama Fest!

Vice Chair Nancy Rothwell highlighted the recent Drama Fest hosted by the National Theatre School. Secondary students from schools across the district showcased their dramatic talents and some are moving onto the regional competition in Gravenhurst! 

Athletics Update

Superintendent Paul Langis highlighted some of the recent athletic accomplishments of AMDSB students. 
  • 19 swimmers competed at OFSAA.
  • Special mention to Siohban Kleuskens (GDCI) for placing 6th in the 50m free high school senior and Grace Bach (MDHS) for placing 19th in the 200m IM open division
Boys Basketball 
  • MDHS competed at OFSAA, won their first 2 games but lost in the quarter finals 60-54 to the eventual silver medalist from Kenner CVI. 
The spring season is getting started with badminton, soccer, tennis, track and field, ultimate frisbee, slo-pitch and rugby.

Chair Update

Trustee Whitaker received a verbal caution as a sanction given by trustees as the result of a Code of Conduct.

Student Trustee Update

Student Trustee Nathan Bean reported their e-waste collection initiative is scheduled for the week leading up to Earth Day in April and promotion will begin later this week. The initiative involves four drop-off bins at secondary schools across the district (South Huron DHS, Listowel District SS, Stratford District SS, and Central Huron SS), inviting participation from feeder schools, students, staff, parents/caregivers, and the broader community. This collaborative effort is made possible through a partnership with Greentec who generously donated the bins and are covering the costs of recycling the e-waste—an enormous thank you to them! Furthermore, the initiative aims to raise awareness of the role of Student Senator and encourages fellow students to consider running for next year's Senate.

Senior Staff Updates

Update on the Director's Work Plan

An update was provided on the Director's Work Plan. Superintendent Paul Langis outlined the transition inquiry project that began in the 2022/2023 school year. Student and parent/caregiver interviews and surveys are being conducted to ensure that students experience supported and positive transitions from grades 6 to 7 and 8 to 9. Superintendent April Smith discussed culturally relevant, responsive, and sustaining pedagogy and the support that is being provided to secondary educators (specifically grade 9 and department heads). 

Stratford and Area Boundary Review Update

Superintendent Cheri Carter reviewed a report that was presented to trustees about the process and the recommendations from the Stratford and Area Boundary Review Committee (SABRC). The trustees will continue to discuss the recommendations and will be organizing a special meeting in Stratford areas and a tour of Stratford schools for trustees. Full details about the project are on the board website: Stratford Boundary Review page.

Update on Addressing Cell Phone and Technology Use Among Youth

Superintendent Paul Langis shared that a district-wide event will be hosted on May 6 to show a film called "Screenagers" at each of the eight secondary schools. Parents/caregivers from all schools will be invited to attend the school closest to them. Details will be shared with the Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) at their April 3 meeting and also with school councils.  

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, April 9, 2024: Committee of the Whole, Open Session
  • Tuesday, April 23, 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 for Ontarians with Disabilities Act workgroup (AODA) – Wednesday, April 3, 2024 at 3:00 p.m. (online)
  • Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) – Wednesday, April 3, 2024 at 4:00 p.m.
  • Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) – Wednesday, April 3, 2024 at 6:30 p.m. (online)
  • Audit Committee Meeting – Wednesday, April 10, 2024 at 5:00 p.m. (online)