Board Meeting Highlights - June 11, 2024

Good News

Support Staff and Custodians Participate in Professional Learning

Superintendent Kathy Boyd highlighted that approximately 300 educational assistants and child and youth workers gathered at Mitchell District High School for the PD Day. Learning Services partnered with the OSSTF-ESSP union and our Board's Indigenous Education team to provide professional development on conflict resolution and mental health strategies. Participants also learned from Indigenous and Métis presenters from across the province.
   group of eas and cyws at PD day   Indigenous learning circle    Indigenous presenters at the EA and CYW PD day
Superintendent Cheri Carter also discussed the training that 103 custodians and maintenance staff participated in, which focused on risk mitigation and supporting mental health. Presenters included UNIFOR Executive, Director Graham Shantz, Human Resources and IT staff, Stratford Fire Services, and keynote speaker Kendra Fisher, who spoke about her experience with mental illness and the importance of asking for help.
Group of UNIFOR staff at PD day    Presenter Kendra talking to UNIFOR staff   Fire inspector Andrew Rogerson presenting to UNIFO staff

AMDSB Raises the Pride Flag

Superintendent April Smith highlighted that schools and buildings across the district are flying to Pride flag in support of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and the promotion of celebrating all students and staff for what makes us unique. Director Graham Shantz raised the flag at the Education Centre in Seaforth with support from a group of staff and Seaforth PS students. 

 Director Graham Shantz raising the pride flag  Group of Little Falls PS students standing with painted rainbow stripes   Indigenous Education Lead Monique Pregent smudging the pride flag    Pride flag flying at LDSS with "Happy Pride"    

Indigenous History Month

Superintendent April Smith also shared that Indigenous History Month is being celebrated across the district. She highlighted the recently formed Indigenous Student Grand Council, which will act as an advisory group to the Indigenous Education team. Staff have been provided with various resources and ideas to integrate Indigenous history into classrooms throughout June and the entire school year.
Student from Indigenous Grand Council     Group photo of the Indigenous Student Grand Council       Back of the new indigenous student grand council sweatshirts featuring the indigenous education logo

Pathways Highlights

Superintendent Paul Langis provided a number of highlights from the pathways team. 
  1. Skilled Trades Handbook: Working collaboratively with the Four County Labour Market Planning Board and Technical Training Group, a new resource for students, parents, educators, and community members is being released. Skilled Trades Handbook. 

  2. Jill of All Trades: student at Jill of all trades event28 Students from all 8 secondary schools participated in the Jill of All  Trades at Conestoga College’s new skilled trades campus. Students heard from Fresco CEO and HGTV star Mandy Rennehan as well as participated in three workshops throughout the day.

  3. Stratford and Bayfield Home and Leisure Homes: An interactive booth was hosted at Young girl showing her movie clapper she made at the Pathways booththe Stratford and Bayfield Home and Leisure Shows. Students from SDSS supported the booths by working with kids as they rotated through the stations to make a movie clapper board and luggage tag. On display was also technology from the Pathways Innovation Centre - a 3D Printer, CNC Router, and Virtual Welder.
  4. Pathways Innovation Centre (PIC): Electrical, multi-trade, and robotics workshops for students in grades 6, 7, and 8 continue to be hosted at the PIC. Students have also gathered at the PIC for workshops and industry certifications such as Working At Heights and Indigenous drum making. Video showcasing the robotics workshops.  
  5. Skills Ontario: 37 students from 8 schools (Upper Thames ES, Sprucedale PS, Elma Townshipgroup of students at Skills Ontario PS, Stratford Intermediate School, South Huron District HS, Goderich District  Collegiate Institute, Stratford District SS, Listowel District SS) competed at Skills Ontario on May 6 and 7. Schools competed in a variety of competitions ranging from LEGO Mechanical Engineering, Technology, Character Animation, VEX Robotics, Green Energy, Workplace Safety, Hairstyling, and Team of 2 Carpentry. AMDSB Media Release

Chair Hunking and Director Shantz Attend ETFO Event

Director Graham Shantz shared that he, along with Chair Robert Hunking, attended an evening of celebration with the Avon Maitland Elementary Teachers' Foundation of Ontario's celebration. Chair Hunking provided remarks and both enjoyed socializing with ETFO staff members. 
ETFO Display at the event   Group of ETFO staff

Athletics Update

Superintendent Paul Langis shared an update on recent athletic activities across the district. He specifically highlighted the elementary activities, noting that the four regions across the district have all hosted cross-country running, soccer, basketball, and triple ball (volleyball) events. Additionally, track and field events have been held at school-based, regional, and district-wide levels.

Student Trustee Update

Student Trustee Nathan Bean reported that at their last meeting, they approved their constitution and welcomed a guest from the board's IT team who discussed student concerns with access to educational websites. They are also electing their executive positions for the 2024/2025 school year and celebrating many accomplishments from this school year. 

Senior Staff Updates

Update on the Director's Work Plan

An update was provided on the Director's Work Plan. Superintendent April Smith welcomed members of the Program department. System Principal Bevan Moir provided an introduction to the AMDSB approach to early literacy (reading and writing) and Teaching and Learning Coordinator, Jodi Regier, provided details about the equitable approach, the staff training, and the in-classroom support. 

Stratford and Area Boundary Review Update

Superintendent Cheri Carter shared a report outlining the final recommendation for trustees to consider. They passed a motion to move forward with changes and full details are posted on the board website (Stratford Boundary Review page). A summary will also be communicated with families in the coming days. 

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, June 25, 2024 at 3:00 p.m. Regular Board Meeting, Committee of the
    Whole, Closed Session immediately following.

Future Meetings/Events with Trustee Representation 

  • AMDSB Recognition Reception – Wednesday, June 12, 2024 at 5:30 p.m. at Maple Lane Haven
  • Special Education Advisory Committee – Wednesday, June 19, 2024 at 4:00 p.m.
  • Finance Committee – Tuesday, June 25, 2024 at 10:00 a.m.(online)