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June 5 Board Meeting
Highlights from June 5 Board of Trustees Meeting
Posted on 06/06/2019
Board of Trustees

June 6, 2019 (Brockville, ON) – Trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) met on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 to discuss two agenda items: 

UCDSB Ipsos Culture Survey: Trustee David McDonald presented details of the Board’s most recent culture survey, in his capacity as the Chair of the Accountability Framework Committee for the Board. The survey of staff and students is taken every four years to understand the current learning environment for students, job satisfaction levels among staff and, in a more general sense, the culture of our schools. The process involves both a staff and a secondary student survey, taken in September 2018. The online surveys received 1,746 responses from staff, and 5,866 responses from secondary students. 

“The trustees really value this tool as one pillar to modify the next Trustee Work Plan and Director’s Work Plan, as well as the board’s CREW Strategic Plan,” said Chair John McAllister.  

Some Key Findings: 

  • Communication from the Board level to staff is improving, with 68% saying that they are very/somewhat well informed of what is happening within the UCDSB. However, an area of focus will be working to improve community relations between the Board and schools.
  • Fewer students say there are better places to go to school, however only 64% are satisfied with their education.
  • More students (68%) say their school has the equipment and material necessary for their success and achievement.
  • Improvements to support staff well-being have realized positive results, but more can be done to support the mental and emotional needs of staff and work/life balance.
  • More secondary students (69%) believe that staff at their school engage students in the learning process. 

In response to these findings, Trustees passed a motion in response to survey results requiring the Director of Education to:   

  • Determine a range of strategies to engage parents and communities;
  • Continue a review of secondary program delivery models and how a common timetable will assist in more choice for our students;
  • Better inform the school district about ways the board is distributing resources as part of its strategic planning process;
  • Continue to collaborate with groups such as the Student Senate to better understand the student experience as it relates to availability of material and equipment for their success;
  • Ensure graduation rate remains a priority and that students develop the confidence to get their diploma and are aware of supports the district offers to help them obtain it;
  • Promote wellness resources available to all staff through the Employee Assistance Program; and
  • Report back on the outcome of the four-school pilot project testing a common assignment schedule. 

2019-2020 Budget Discussions: Trustees were presented with a budget scenario from the senior staff, that could address the board’s $11.7 million deficit and allow them to bring in a balanced budget for 2019-20. 

In reviewing this scenario, trustees agreed to follow basic principles as they work to finalize the budget, including: maintain a balanced budget without additional cuts to begin rebuilding its reserves for the next fiscal year, that Trustees are committed to using innovative practices to address areas where the board has overspent. 

Senior Business Consultant Roger Richard presented the scenario, which would include $10.9 million in reductions from program support, school operations, school office administration and central office administration. Another $816,000 in possible reductions are being considered in Special Education. Staff provided trustees with an assessment as to how these proposed cost reductions could impact programs and services at the school and district levels, by grouping reductions into low impact, medium impact, and high impact levels. 

Staff will now use the budget scenario and the trustee principles to create a draft budget for June 12, with the goal of bringing in a final budget for the Board’s review by June 19. 

For more information, please call:

Stephen Sliwa
Director of Education
Upper Canada District School Board
613-342-0371 ext. 1188

John McAllister
Upper Canada District School Board
(613) 213-4094                                         



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