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Board Meeting on September 12
Highlights from September 12 Board of Trustees Meeting
Posted on 09/17/2018
Bhushra Khadra Oath Ceremony

September 17, 2018 (Brockville, ON) – Trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) met on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 to discuss several agenda items:

BCI Student Sworn in as New Student Trustee: Brockville Collegiate Institute (BCI) student Bushra Khadra was officially sworn in as the 2018-2019 Student Trustee. Khadra is a member of Student Senate and serves on the BCI Link Crew. She was a co-winner of Best of Fair at the 2016 Rideau-St. Lawrence Science Fair and competed that year at the Canada-Wide Science Fair.

Third Financial Forecast for 2017-2018 Fiscal Year: Manager of Budget and Forecasting Michael Law, presented trustees with the third financial forecast update for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. Law indicated the board’s forecasted surplus of $203,280 reflects a moderate reduction in the anticipated in-year budget surplus for 2017-2018, when compared with the second financial forecast update presented to trustees in March 2018. Key contributors to the change include reduced funding because of enrolment adjustments and delayed implementation of provincial benefits trusts, partially offset by lower forecasted expenses by department and school budgets. The third financial forecast is an estimate as of June 2018, and various factors leading up to the year-end financial results may impact the final balance reported to the Board.

Board Preparations for Legalization of Non-Medical Cannabis:
Superintendent of Safe Schools Deanna Perry, Superintendent of Schools Ron Ferguson, and Principal of Safe Schools Don Lewis discussed how the school district is planning to maintain the necessary safe school climate in response to the legalization of non-medical cannabis on October 17. Given this, administration is taking a multi-stepped approach to prepare schools and communities for the coming change. The Board heard that while non-medical use of the drug will soon be legal for adults 19 and older, its use will still be prohibited within schools and on school grounds. The school board is providing extensive training for staff, and is co-sponsoring an information program for parents so to make our communities aware of how to manage the change in a safe and responsible way. The effort involves partnering with the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario and area health units to host  information sessions, and training all principals and vice-principals about risks and harm reduction. The school board is also hosting a full-day training session on October 3 for select staff, such as administrators, guidance counsellors, learning resource teachers and physical education staff. The UCDSB Police/School Board Protocol and relevant policies and procedures are also being reviewed and updated.

Director of Education’s Work Plan and Status Report:
Director of Education Stephen Sliwa presented his fourth status report on progress made through the Director of Education’s Work Plan in the key areas of collaboration, resources, educational programming and wellness. Areas of focus under these key areas are improvements to the graduation rate, staff culture, student culture, and community connections. Sliwa said there is strong evidence the majority of key performance indicators for the current plan have been achieved including: an estimated 2 per cent increase in the graduation rate (pending Ministry of Education validation); increased access to student data for schools and school administrators; increased use of the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition model within the board to support student credit achievement; an increased number of schools targeting the improvement of student well-being in their school improvement plans; an increased number of staff who have received training on key resources to help address students’ mental health; and an increased number of partnerships, sponsorships, or ventures with local community agencies and businesses.

Sliwa said the next steps under the Work Plan will be to: look at early identification and intervention to further boost the graduation rate; ensure we are taking necessary steps to improve communication within the school board; find further ways to enhance the staff experience; scale up efforts to help staff improve the mental, physical and emotional well-being of students; better understand how our students are coping; and to connect with community partners in a more active and vigorous way.

You can view the complete agenda from the September 12 meeting

For media inquiries, please contact:

Stephen Sliwa
Upper Canada District School Board
613-342-0371 ext. 1234 

Jeff McMillan 
Upper Canada District School Board





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