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Get The Facts
Board Meeting Highlights

February 19, 2008

Alana Murray announced the successful application for funding of almost $30,000 from Can Advance, the Agricultural Adaption Council.  Alana introduced Jean Stephenson, Student Success Leader, Joy Johnson, former principal at Chesley District and Dave Barrett, Project Manager with Saugeen Economic Development Corporation.  This funding announcement is the result of the tireless efforts of Joy and Dave in support of the Specialist High Skills program.  With this funding a two day student agricultural conference is planned for May 2008 at the University of Guelph.  This conference will include students from other Agricultural High Skills Major programs from throughout the province and it is estimated that it will attract 120 students.  Alana Murray on behalf of the board thanked Dave Barrett for partnering with us on this project and themany other programs that support our students.  

The Business Committee Report form the February 5, 2008 meeting was received by the Board.  A presentation was provided to trustees regarding OnSIS, a data warehouse system.  A report outlining the projects recommended for inclusion under the 1.4 M facility renewal projects for 2007-2008 was also received.

The Educational Issues Report from the February 5, 2008 meeting was received by the Board.  At this meeting the committee received a report on the e-Learning Journey.  Bluewater teachers have participated in a two day professional development program.  Initial courses have been offered on a voluntary basis resulting in students being able to choose from four on-line courses.  An overview of the new Kindergarten report card as well as report cards for grades 1 to 6 and grades 7 and 8 was provided.  The committee was also provided with a letter sent to the Minister of Education in response to funding announcements for hands on student programs.  As part of a visit to Bluewater the Assistant Deputy Minister George Zegarac visited the Technology Centre at Georgian Bay Secondary School, and meet with students and staff to discuss this Bluewater program.  This scheduled event occurred on a snow day and it was amazing how the students and staff came out to the school to showcase the tech centre in operation and share their experiences at the Outdoor Educaiton Centre.  The GBSS Culinary studentsmade a great effort to get to the school to prepare and serve a gourmet lunch.

The Policy Committee Report from the January 22, 2008 meeting was received by the Board.  The committee reviewed and discussed the following policies: Recycling; Nutrition; and Use of Personal Electronic Devices.

The SEAC report from the January 21, 2008 meeting was received.  Members were given an update on the Ontario Psychological Association project.  It was reported that the Thames Valley Children's Centre will be videotaping effective teaching practices in Bluewater classrooms that effectively use Applied Behaviour Analysis and that the tapes will be shared with Bluewater for training purposes.  They were also provided with information on the "Model Project to Promote Positive Student Behaviour", focussing on transitioning greade 8 and 9 students who struggle with anxiety issues.

Andy Swan was appointed to represent the following association at SEAC:  Community Living Kincarding & District.

Student Trustees and senators were absent due to inclement weather.

Field Trips and Exchanges
There were no Field Trips and Exchanges presented at this Board meeting

Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee - Update
Ross King provided an update on the February 8, 2008 meeting of the BWDSB and BGCDSB Aboriginal Advisory Committee.  This meeting focused on a draft framework for a BWDSB and BGCDSB Aboriginal Symposium "Beat the Drum".  Dr. Pamela Rose Toulose has agreed to be the keynote speaker, April 7 and 8.  Gayle Mason Stark provided information on the issue of a continued funding cap for Aboriginal students in Ontario and invited committee members to visit the Ontario Native Education Counselling website ( for more information on the campaign.  Peter Dimoff provided information on a film "Front Runners" that the Native Cultural Resource Centre is bringing to Owen Sound.  The film is based on the story of five First Nations runners who participated in the torch run leading up to the 1967 Pan Am Games in Winnipeg.  They carried the torch for many miles but were restricted from caring it into the games.  The focus of this film is on Aboriginal residential schools and how they impacted the lives of First Nations people.  This film will be shown at the Roxy Theatre in Owen Sound at 10:00 am, 2:30 pm and 7:30 pm on Tuesday, May 13, 2008.  It was decided thatDennis Boyle, Director of Keystone would be invited to join the committee because of the support for students and youth provided by that agency.

Accommodation Review Up-Date

Lori Wilder provided an up-date on the Walkerton Accommodation Review, reporting that a bus trip to Peninsula Shores and Bruce Peninsula was taken by about thirty people.  The purpose of the trip was to view a new building and a refurbished building that housed K to 12 students.  The municipality held a public meeting where approximately 270 people attended, the purpose of the meeting was to bring forward ideas for the ARC to consider.  The third public meeting will be held on February 26th and currently there are thirteen presentations scheduled.  There will be a further ARC meeting on March 17th, which is also open to the public to review input for the March 26th public meeting.

Marnie Coke stated that at the January meeting of the ARC for the Owen Sound Accommodation Review they selected a Chair and discussed the various stages of where schools were at that time.  At the public input meeting on February 20th there were no submissions put forward.  The next meeting is scheduled for February 27th and the School Councils have been asking questions and information is being gathered.  At the March 19th ARC meeting alternatives will be considered and a response will be drafted which will be reviewed at the April 2nd public input meeting for submission to the trustees.

Budgeted Employment Tracking Report
The Board received for information the current employment tracking report that shows the number of staff and actual numbers on the payroll.

Positive Behaviour Support Approach Training Initiative
Bluewater Special Education staff as well as staff members from the Bruce Grey Catholic District School Board have been involved in "Positive Behaviour Support Approach" training.  Funding for this training is provided by the Council of Directors in Education (CODE).  Three full days of training were held in the fall, and a fourth day is scheduled for April 2008.  It was designed and presented by Bluewater District School Board Student Services staff in conjunction with staff from the Thames Valley School Support program.  It has provided staff with a framework to help them plan for students with behavioural needs.  It has also provided participants with an understanding of the evidenced based strategies of Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA), a core component of a positive, proactive approach to managing challenging behaviour.

Communications - Staff/Trustees/Student Trustees
Trustee Website
Trustees discussed the lack of personal contact information on Bluewater's website.  It was pointed out that that was a result of a previous discussion by trustees where it was decided that the website would include the e-mail address only.  This topic will be revisited at the next meeting of the Policy Committee.

Director of Education
Ross King
Jennifer Yenssen
Mary Anne Alton

Next Board Meeting – March 18, 2008

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