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Board Meetings

May 19, 2009

Education Centre – Chesley
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
1:30 p.m.

(Subject to Board Approval)

Cindy Aitken, John Chapman, Margaret Gaviller, Jan Johnstone, Ross King, Marilyn McComb, Gail Nadjiwon, Tim Reaburn, Theresa Root, Jennifer Yenssen
Board Officials:
Mary Anne Alton, Director of Education; Marnie Coke, Superintendent of Elementary Education; Brenda Booth, Superintendent of Business and Treasurer; Richard Gerson, Administrator of Employee Relations; Alana Murray, Superintendent of Secondary Education; Jean Stephenson, Superintendent of Student Success; Lori Wilder, Superintendent of Student Services
Student Senators
Erin Hardman, KDSS; Jasmine Bell, OSCVI; Shannon Code, SDSS; Anna James, GHSS; Autumn Hachey, WDSS;
ABA Representative:
Donna Farrow, Principal
Student Trustees:
Peter McCombie, CDH;
Recording Secretary:
Heather Catto, Corporate Services Supervisor
Board Officials:
Student Trustee:
Alexandria Nickels, GBSS; Riel Warrilow, WHSS;
Student Senators:   
Cam Revington, JDSS; Megan Myles, BPDS; Jaeden Long, PSDS; Sammi-Jo Thompson, SDSS; Russell Smith, PSDS;

Call to Order
Jennifer Yenssen called the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m., and welcomed everyone to today’s meeting.
Reflection/Silent Prayer
Jennifer Yenssen asked everyone to think about spring and the renewal that we celebrate every spring in our lives and involvements.
Excellence in Education
Regional Skills
Jean Stephenson provided trustees with a brief video clip of the 6th annual Regional Skills Competition. Jean introduced Barb Wright the OYAP Co-ordinator, Paul Messerschmidt, Manufacturing teacher JDSS, and two of his students, Cody Andrews and Ryan Medland as well as Darlene Boisvenue representing the Ministry of Training.  The Regional competition showcases students and their talents.  Students who participated were assessed by 23 industry judges and those who achieved the top scores proceed to the Skills Ontario competition.
Transition to the New Building
Brenda Booth introduced key staff who had been instrumental in the move to the new building.

Approval of Agenda
Motion 09.04.035 Moved by Marilyn McComb , Seconded by  Ross King
That the agenda for the meeting of April 21, 2009 be approved.
Approval of Minutes
The Chair asked if there were any errors or omissions to the March 24, 2009 minutes.  One typo in section B-2-d was noted.
Motion 09.04.036  Moved by Ross King, Seconded by Marg Gaviller
That the minutes of the Board Meeting of March 24, 2009 be approved as amended.
Business Arising From the Minutes
Jennifer Yenssen stated for public and trustee information that in response to the three delegations without prior notice who were in attendance at the previous board meeting, letters signed by her as Chair of the board had been forwarded to each of the delegations.
Disclosure of Pecuniary Interest
Delegations Where Prior Notice Has Not Been Given
There were two requests to be delegations without prior notice, Dan Wong and Karen Cameron.
Dan Wong presented on the Bluewater District School Board “Challenges” where he voiced his concerns pertaining to the current situation the Board is facing.  In framing the current situation he stated that he did not doubt that some of the complaints voiced may be valid but there are many good staff, teachers and administration within Bluewater and that it is a good school board.  He appealed to both the School Board and school community to resolve these issues in a professional manner.  He also provided trustees with recommendations to assist in resolving the current situation which included exhibiting transparency and good governance through the use of impartial third party members of the community.
Karen Cameron provided trustees with a brief statement from the Bluewater Citizens for Education informing the board that they are a group of concerned citizens who wish to be advocates.  She stated that incidents are not isolated and that the review process should not only be about public concerns but include public input on those concerns.
Delegations With Prior Notice
SEAC Delegation
A SEAC representative, Dave Mason spoke on a recommendation that was being brought forward in the SEAC report to the Board requesting that the Board adopt “Word Perfect” as it would provide potential cost savings for the Board that could allow for those savings to be redirected to support Student Services.  “Word Perfect” is available through OSAPAC at no cost and other boards are said to  have made this change.
Association for Bright Children of Ontario – Dave Mason
Dave Mason, representing the Bruce-Grey Chapter for the Association for Bright Children of Ontario defined the focus of Ontario Regulation 612/00, stating that it is their understanding that Boards and Principals are required to request input from School Councils prior to making decisions on certain matters and that it is also their understanding that Boards and Principals are required to let those groups know how their recommendations have been taken into account.  The Association does not believe that consultation took place in 2007 and 2008 when cutbacks occurred in the TRAIL Program.  Lillian Waterworth, SCC member for Huron Heights School in Kincardine described how the cutbacks have affected TRAIL students, particularly those in grades 7 and 8 and as the cutbacks occurred without consultation they would like the previous services restored.
Board Affairs – Joe Grieco
Joe Grieco, as a concerned parent provided a brief video clip “How Maple Leaf Foods is handling the Listeria Outbreak” where the CEO Michael McCain apologized for the mistakes made by Maple Leaf Foods.  This candor was considered by the news media to help regain the confidence of the consumers.  Mr. Grieco hoped that the information provided the Board with an example of how they could proceed in an open and transparent manner.  Mr. Grieco stated that the parents are the shareholders and the Board and Director as their only employee are responsible to them.  It is his belief that it is not just a communication issue as stated by Minister Kathleen Wynne that it goes much further.  The McCain video could be used as an example of what could be done and he is willing as are others to help the Board.
Reports from Committee of the Whole in Closed Session
Jan Johnstone brought forward one resolution from the April 21, 2009 Committee of the Whole meeting.
Motion 09.04.037  Moved by  Marg Gaviller, Seconded by Ross King
That Bluewater District School Board accept the offer from Barry’s Construction and Insulation Ltd. For the bid amount of $631,750. + GST. for the former Strathcona Senior Public School located at 1185 4th Avenue East, Owen Sound (SFIS# 2249).
Committee Reports

Business Committee Report
The Business Committee Report from the April 7, 2009 meeting was received by the Board where members had received a report on the final projects for inclusion under Phase 4 of the Good Places to Learn grant.  A presentation on the Grants for Students Needs (GSN) was received and members approved holding a public budget meeting on May 5, 2009.  The committee reviewed a letter sent by Carol Mitchell, MPP to Premier Dalton McGuinty supporting the Walkerton ARC’s recommendation for a JK – 12 school.  A letter of support has been sent by staff on behalf of the Board supporting both the Walkerton ARC recommendation and the Owen Sound ARC recommendation for replacement of Alexandra School.
Educational Issues Committee
The Educational Issues Committee Report from the March 24, 2009 meeting that was received by the Board.  Members celebrated the Character Development focus by highlighting the “Me to We” movement.  Members viewed a power point presentation from Kincardine District Secondary School about the “Free the Children” group who have raised funds to build a school in Sierra Leone.  Trustee Jan Johnstone, provided a moving power point presentation about her daughter Emma Jordan Johnstone (1989-2002) that portrayed Emma’s love of school and her dream of building a school in a third world country.  With the help of Jordana Weiss’ donations, Emma’s school became a reality and Jordana as part of the Free the Children International Volunteer Trip to Guamote, Ecuador, traveled to where the school was built.  Todd Wainwright spoke about the Character Education focus in Bluewater.  A power point presentation was received on Interdisciplinary Planning, Me to We and UNESCO. BPDS has incorporated the 4 UNESCO pillars, World Concerns, Human Rights, Intercultural Learning and Environmental Concerns into the classroom.  Paul Bolton organized an in-service “Directors of Change” for educators and he also spoke about his classes fundraising activities for Free the Children.

Policy Committee Report
The Policy Committee Report from the April 7 2009 meeting was received by the Board.  The committee reviewed through the cyclical review process policy BP 6302-D “Aboriginal Self Identification”; policy BP 2313-D “Web Publishing” and policy BP 2120-D “Records Management” and referred all three to Councils and Committees for review prior to them being returned to the Policy Committee.
Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC)
The SEAC report from the March 30, 2009 meeting was received.  The committee received updates on the Web-based teaching tool resource, the Meaford Military Project, and news that the Ministry has provided additional funding to hire supports for Applied Behaviour Analysis specialists for each Board. Members were provided with a summary on the special education budget for the past four years.  SEAC members approved the following recommendation for Board approval
Motion 09.04.038 Moved by Marg Gaviller, Seconded by Marilyn McComb
That Bluewater District School Board adopt “Word Perfect” as a word processor for the entire school board with the exemption of business, payroll and purchasing departments.  The intent of this action is to achieve significant cost savings that are currently required to license “Word” software for all current Board computers.  If there are 2000 computers within the school board and each license costs approximately $50, there would be a potential savings of $100,000.  These savings should be returned in the form of hiring staff to provide direct service to students within Student Services.  Areas for consideration for the direct service would be: a Learning Disabilities Teacher; a Speech and Language Pathologist; a TRAIL Teacher.  It is possible that this initiative will have to be staged over 3 years to allow the IT department to initiate this software change.  “Word Perfect” is available through a Canadian Company and is available through OSAPAC at zero cost.  Other School Board have made this software change to free up funding that will further student learning.
Motion Tabled
Motion 09.04.039 Moved by Tim Reaburn, Seconded by Ross King
That Bluewater District School Board table the motion definitely to the next board meeting at which time we will have received a report from staff.
Special Education Advisory Committee Appointment
In accordance with Regulation 464/97 SEAC recommended to the Board approve the following appointment.
Motion 09.04.040 Moved by Marilyn McComb, Seconded by Jan Johnstone
That Bluewater District School Board appoint the following as an alternate member of the Special Education Advisory Committee for the term of this Board:
        Linda Marak     Community Living, Kincardine
Educational Issues
Field Trips
Alana Murray informed the Board that there were three trips being presented to the Board for approval.  These trips are the third and final of three historical trips that Bluewater students have been involved in.  The first two were Vimy and Oratona.  This current trip pertains to the 65 Years of Freedom: The Liberation of Holland.  Student Trustees/Senators representing Chesley District and OSCVI spoke to the trustees about how educational these trips are to the students.
B-3-a i)
Motion 09.04.041 Moved by Ross King, Seconded by Marg Gaviller
That Bluewater District School Board approve the Chesley District High School 65 Years of Freedom: The Liberation of Holland Trip from April 29, 2010 to May 9, 2010.
B-3-a ii)
Motion 09.04.042 Moved by John Chapman, Seconded by Marilyn McComb
That Bluewater District School Board approve the OSCVI 65 Years of Freedom: The Liberation of Holland Trip from May 1, 2010 to May 10, 2010.
B-3-a iii)
Motion 09.04.043 Moved by Marg Gaviller, Seconded by Ross King
That Bluewater District School Board approve the West Hill Secondary School 65 Years of Freedom: The Liberation of Holland Trip from May 2, 2010 to May 13, 2010.
Concours 2009
Mary Anne Alton presented trustees with a report that included the results of the Concours French Public Speaking Contest. Introduced to the Board were CPF member Michelle Eccles and Bluewater staff member Sue Lawrence who were recognized at Concours.  Michelle Eccles was this year’s recipient of the Provincial CPF Mlacak award that is presented each year to a volunteer.  Sue Lawrence was this year’s Provincial McGillvary award for her outstanding research and her work in support of FSL students
Specialist High Skills Major – Articulation AgreementJean Stephenson provided a definition of an “Articulation Agreement”. The agreement is between the Specialist High Skill Major program in Agriculture at Chesley District and the University of Guelph and it means that students who graduate from the program at Chesley District will be exempt form introductory agricultural courses at the University and its affiliates.  This agreement is the first of its kind in the Province of Ontario and will extend to students across Ontario enrolled in similar high school programs.
Student Senate/Trustee Report
Peter McCombie, Student Trustee reported that Cam Revington, student senator from JDSS who is currently in France on a student exchange has maintained contact with his student council and they are requesting Bluewater District School Board become involved in a fundraising initiative to build a school at Attwwapiskat.  Trustees provided an overview of their involvement in advocating for a school to be built in Attawapiskat.  Funding of First Nations Schools is provided federally and Attawapiskat has not received funding as yet.  However, the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nations in Cape Croker did receive funding this year for a school
Staff Reports
Public Speaking in Bluewater
Marnie Coke provided trustees with an overview of how schools in Bluewater participate in public speaking contests.  Participation in public speaking has changed; some schools choose to participate in formal public speaking contests and others have designated these contests as voluntary.  Public Speaking is a valued way for students to demonstrate oral communication but as Pat Cavan, principal at BPDS stated, staff have decided to not participate in the traditional competitions and chose to have students participate in literacy circles, debates, interviews as well as a wide variety of other oral activities.  To make oral communication more relevant they provide students with the opportunity to be MC’s at student assemblies and they provide PA announcements daily.  Trustee John Chapman questioned if this change had been reviewed with the SCC, as regulation 612 states and additionally the Board was unaware of this change in process until they were advised at the last meeting by Arthur Hailey of the Legion.  He stated that stakeholders and partners deserve better, and that today’s report showed an absence of communication and consultation.  Pat Cavan stated that she would bring the change in process and the background information to the SCC meeting scheduled for that evening.  Chair Jennifer Yenssen felt the information shared by staff would be helpful to all parents to better understand how changes in the Ontario Curriculum provide for a wide range of opportunities for oral communication.
Trustees were provided with a letter from the Big Brothers of Owen Sound thanking the Board team that was the highest pledged team participating in the event.
A second letter was received from the Terry Fox Foundation congratulating “Beaver Valley Community School” for ranking 29th in all of Ontario with a total of $19,864.24 raised in 2008.
A third letter was received from the Ministry of Training congratulating Barb Wright on the success of the Skills Challenge and thanking her for her dedication to this event.
Communications – Staff/Trustees/Student Trustees
Board Review Process
Chair Jennifer Yenssen provided all present with an outline of the four part approach that will be used in the review process that the Board will be implementing.  The process will begin with a public outreach process, designed to gather public feedback that will be converted into noticeable and measurable improvements related to the following:  parental involvement; responsiveness to complaints; effectiveness of dispute resolution practices, general state of “customer satisfaction” with Board operations and the delivery of educational programs and services; and internal and external communication.  A preliminary report along with recommendations for improvement will be completed in June, 2009 and the final Review Report will be sent to the Minister of Education for consideration and response.
Motion 09.04.044 Moved by Marg Gaviller, Seconded by John Chapman
That Bluewater District School Board commit to a review of its processes as outlined above.  A preliminary report with recommendations for action will be presented to the Board for consideration and approval by the end of June 2009.  The final review report will be sent to the Minister of Education as formally requested for consideration and response.
Establishment of Committees
Ross King was appointed as alternate to the Principal/Vice-Principal Staffing Committee.  Richard Gerson reported that the Labour Relations committee should be removed as it is no longer a requirement of the OSSTF Agreement.  Clarification was requested on the purpose of the Saugeen Education Committee and the Nawash Education Committee and it was requested that current Tuition Agreements be provided to Trustees.
Conferences/Conventions/Out-of-County Meetings
Bluewater DSB Calendar of Events
Motion 09.04:045 Moved by Jan Johnstone, Seconded by Ross King
That Bluewater District School Board adjourn at 4:20 p.m.


                    Director of Education                                                                   Chair

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