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Board Meetings
Report


May 15, 2007

EDUCATIONAL ISSUES COMMITTEE

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE BOARD

TUESDAY, MAY 1, 2007



Trustees:
Cindy Aitken (Committee Chair), John Chapman, Marg Gaviller, Jan Johnstone, Ross King, Marilyn McComb, Carol Poucher-Urbshott, Jean Sullivan and Jennifer Yenssen
 
Staff:
Steven Reid (Co-ordinator), Mary Anne Alton, Marnie Coke, Lori Wilder, Richard Gerson, Alana Murray, and Joan Farrow (Executive Assistant)
 
Regrets:
Dean Currie, Natalka Pucan, Chris Walker (Student Senator) and Nathan Lanz (Student Senator)


INFORMATION:
The Educational Issues Committee received the following reports:
•     Learning Disabilities Presentation•     Early Dismissal 2007 - 2008•     OSCVI Algonquin Park Canoe Trip – Field Trip Request
•     Bluewater Character Education Development

Learning Disabilities Presentation
Holly Dyker, a grade twelve student at Chesley District High School, who has been identified with a Learning Disability, is currently doing a co-op placement at Kinghurst Community School in Chesley.  Her Co-op placement is aimed at helping to teach elementary students strategies to cope with learning disabilities.  Holly’s presentation to the Educational Issues Committee outlined information on learning disabilities, strategies she has developed to cope with her disability and information she shares with staff and students at Kinghurst regarding how the challenge of a learning disability can be overcome.

Early Dismissal 2007 - 2008
Marnie Coke provided information on a potential schedule of four Early Dismissal Days during the 2007 – 2008 school year.  Discussions with administrators and the System Administrative Team continue to demonstrate support for these days.  Bluewater is one of a few Ontario school boards that continue to provide these opportunities for teachers to build their capacity through an in-school structure to support student learning.  The Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board will support the Bluewater decision with regard to including these days in the school year calendar.  Communication between schools and their communities regarding planning for the Early Dismissal Days will continue to be a priority.  A suggestion was made that the Board contact agencies such as public libraries and recreation departments with regard to the EDD schedule as they frequently arrange special programming for students on these days.  

The Educational Issues Committee, as a Committee of the whole Board,  recommended that the four Early Dismissal Days be included in the 2007-2008 school year calendar.

OSCVI Algonquin Park Canoe Trip – Field Trip Request
Alana Murray provided information on the school’s annual canoe trip that takes place as part of the Grade 11 and 12 Environmental Studies Program.  She noted that the trip dates on the report should be amended to read June 5 – 15, 2007 and requested that a page in the package containing participant phone numbers be removed.

The long planning process for this trip necessitated the field trip request being presented to Educational Issues rather than an earlier Board meeting.  The Educational Issues Committee, as a Committee of the whole Board, approved the field trip request.

Bluewater Character Education
Todd Wainwright summarized the work of the Character Education Implementation Committee in developing a board-wide focus on Character Education.  All Bluewater employees, administrators, teachers, educational assistants, Union leaders, School Community Councils and trustees provided input into the selection of the top ten character attributes that would be the central to this focus.  The committee is now working with the System Program Team to organize professional development activities around Character Education. Todd is also working with other boards of education who are involved at various stages in the development of Character Education.

Reconsideration of the One School Board Resolution – April 3, 2007
Jan Johnstone requested the addition of this item to the agenda in order to consider rewording of the original resolution, at the request of OPSBA, to include mention of both Canada’s official languages.  With the required two thirds vote, the Committee reconsidered the wording of the resolution and approved the following:  

“Be it resolved, that OPSBA review its petition to the Government of Ontario that there be one publicly funded system of education in the province that is inclusive of both Canada’s official languages and that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Minister of Education and the Premier of the Province of Ontario.


RECOMMENDATIONS:
THAT Bluewater District School Board receives the Educational Issues Committee report dated May 1, 2007.





Submitted to:
Bluewater District School Board
May 15, 2007
For more information please contact
Chair Cindy Aitken or
Steven Reid, Superintendent of Instruction

                                                        


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