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Get The Facts
Board Meeting Highlights

April 15, 2008

Mary Anne Alton, Director of Education administered the Declaration and Oath of Allegiance to Rick Galbraith who was the successful candidate to replace Jean Sullivan as the trustee representative for the Municipality of Meaford and the Town of Blue Mountains. Rick was one of six communtiy members who expressed an interest in the open trustee position

Alana Murray introduced the report in the Board package that outlined the Character Development Conference "Impact 08", explaining that it was a conference that took place at the Outdoor Education Centre on March 26th 2008 with one hundred and twenty students in attendance.  The goal of this conference was to raise student awareness of how they can create positive school cultures based on character.

Alana introduced Anne MacLaughlin, principal, Grey Highlands who stated that they were thrilled to be at today's Board meeting and introduced Randal DeKraker, vice-principal, and Sue Ferris, a teacher at Grey Highlands,who was instrumental in organizing the conference, as well as students Cam Dunlop, Melanie Tweddle and Sarah Mason who played a leadership role in organizing the event.  Anne thanked senior administration and the Community Relations Council for their support of the Conference.  

Sue Ferris told the trustees that it was a wonderful event and that it had been her pleasure to have been a part of it.  The highlights for her was the time she got to spend with students who modeled team work and to witness their respectful  positive interactions with one another.  The students in attendance spoke and highlighted their experiences in helping to organize the conference and their positive experiences in leading seminars for other students.

Trustees received the April 1, 2008 report from the Business Committee.  At that meeting trustees received a report advising that the Board received $174,562 in additional transportation funding for 2007-08 to address increased fuel costs.  A slide presentation was provided on the Ministry of Education 2008-09 Grants for Student Needs.

The Educational Issues Report from the April 1, 2008 meeting was received by the Board.  Information was provided on the three leadership sessions by Jeff Moser a member of the Emerging Leadership Committee.  These were sessions provided to support teachers who may wish to seek an administrative position in the future. The committee was provided with information on an evening information session for parents where Dr. Helen Bochar spoke on the provision of instruction in the core subjects by homeroom teachers and the rationale for moving in that direction.

The program for the Aboriginal Symposium, "Beat of the Drum" was also discussed and it was announced that the keynote speaker Dr. Pamela Rose Toulouse was to address the teachers during a morning session on Aboriginal Students and Self Esteem and that her presentation would also be shared with community members at Amabel-Sauble School and with school administrators at the Stone Tree.

The Policy Committee Report from the March 18, 2008 meeting was received by the Board.  The committee reviewed four policies, three that were being reviewed through the cyclical process, which were technology based and a newly drafted policy on the Use of Electronic Devices.

The SEAC report from the March 31, 2008 meeting was received.  The committee was advised that the Section 23 classroom was moving from Walkerton to the former James A. Magee School.  They were also informed that the Ministry of Education in recognizing our positive partnership with Keystone invited Bluewater to attend a Provincial meeting about adolescent anxiety.

Joint Health & Safety Committee
The Joint Health & Safety Committee report from the February 28, 2008 meeting was received.  The committee dealt with a variety of items including the Health and Safety Policy, an update on the trial Traction Foot Grip, a Plant Department report, a Safety Office report, Fire Plans, Lockdown Plans and Minutes; Power Outage information, Hearing Conservation and Worker Concerns.

Luke Albert, student senator from Walkerton introduced Autumn Hachey as the new student senator for next year. Luke informed the trustees that he, Autumn and another student have designed a t-shirt that is part of their Save Darfur Campaign.

Stephanie Code, student trustee from Saugeen District stated that the Senior Band from SDSS attended Music Fest in Collingwood and obtained silver and that the Band will be going to the Nationals in Ottawa.  It was also reported that the Grade 12 Drama program presented a play on Suicide with the premise that a student finds a suicide note and what they do with the note and how the student subsequently feels.  Ray Auger was present to provide counseling for students and cards were handed out with Kids Help Line numbers and appropriate website information.

Dylan Smith, student senator from Georgian Bay introduced Allie Nicholas as the new student senator for Georgian Bay for next year and reported that the Senior and Intermediate Bands attended the Kiwanis Music Festival and achieved Gold Standard for the fifth year in a row.

Lauren Best, student trustee from OSCVI reported that they were hosting a spaghetti dinner as a benefit to raise funds for the Salvation Army Family Services.  Lauren outlined a play that was originally produced in Bluewater in the 2006 on date rape and that the play is now a professional Form Theater Play that is interactive with the audience.  This play is currently being shown to 2300 secondary students and grades 7 and 8 students.  Teachers and counsellors have attended  an in-service and will be available at each site.  Mary Anne Alton commended Lauren who spoke at the in-service and the impact her voice and message had on the adults in attendance.

Field Trips and Exchanges
OSCVI San Francisco Trip - Business Education - Education - April 9 to 13, 2009
Lauren Best, student trustee presented this trip to the Board requesting approval for students from grade 10 to 12 to participate in a Business Education trip to San Francisco from April 9 to 13, 2009.

Kincardine District Secondary School Eurotrip - London, Brussels and Paris - October 9 to 17, 2008
Alana Murray, Superintendent of Secondary presented this trip to the Board requesting approval for students from grades 10 - 12 to participate in a Eurotrip to London, Brussels and Paris form October 9 to 17, 2008.

Attawapiskat School
Trustees agreed to support a motion brought forward by Jan Johnstone, requesting Board support of OPSBA to lobby the Federal government to build a new school in the Attawapiskat community.  In support of the children of Attawapiskat, schools in Bluewater have started a letter writing campaign requesting that a school be built for the children of Attawapiskat.

Beat of the Drum
A video presentation celebrating the Aboriginal Symposium "Beat of the Drum" held on April 7th and 8th was provided.  The two days were very successful, starting with messages from both Chief Ralph Akiwenzie and Chief Randall Kahgee.  The Keynote speaker was Dr. Pamela Rose Toulouse who provided awareness of what we need to do to accommodate unique learning needs of First Nations students.  The singing and drumming was a powerful way to complete the day.

Concours was held at Kinghurst Community School on March 26th.  It is an annual event where Bluewater District School Board and Canadian Parents for French work together to provide a venue for the Core French and French Immersion students to showcase their French public speaking skills.  Students who placed first in their divisions will go on to the provincial competition to be held at York University on May 10th.

2008-2009 School Year Calendars
Trustees approved a traditional School Year Calendar that included the traditional start date of the Tuesday following Labour Day, a two week break at Christmas and one week March break as defined by Regulation 304.

Native Representation on the Board
Trustees were apprised of the historical perspective of Native representation on the Board and that in accordance with Regulation 462/97 a board with less then 25% native students is allowed only one Native Trustee to represent the interests of all First Nations students.  Currently in the province there is no Board the exceeds this provision.  The report outlined three alternative formats utilized by other boards to determine First Nation representation.  Consensus was reached that the report and a covering letter be provided to the Chippewas of Saugeen First Nations Band Council and the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation Band Council and the Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee requesting that they review the formats and provide feedback to the Board by the end of June.

Budgeted Employment Tracking Report
The Board received for information purposes the current employment tracking report.

Full Time Early Learning Background for Input to OPSBA
OPSBA requested Boards to provide a response to a set of questions to assist them in providing input to the Ministry of Education initiative on full-time Early Learning on the area of capital, staffing, community partnerships, and program.  Some issues that Bluewater has identified are that all additional costs for additional classroom space needs to be covered in the provincial funding formula, that we have ongoing successful community partnerships related to Early Learning and it is important to continue to engage in planning discussions with these groups, that if additional staffing is made available it would be important that they be EA qualified or ECE qualified and that all costs be provided for in the provincial funding formula.  It was also identified from a Bluewater perspective that there needs to be a full review of the Kindergarten program.  Bluewater District School Boards assessment framework currently exceeds the expectations for the end of SK in the Ministry kindergarten program.

Board Day Schedule and Board Committee Day Schedule
Trustees were provided with a staff report outlining the changes to the Board Day Schedule and Board Committee Day Schedule that will be initiated in September 2008 and reviewed in March 2009.

Owen Sound Accommodation Review - 60 Day Notice to Final Decision
Trustees received the Consolidated Report of the Accommodation Review Committee (ARC) and Senior Administration Team for Owen Sound East.  Marnie Coke, Superintendent presented the report along with Gerda Hatfield, Strathcona Senior Public School, School Community Council representative, Andrea Stenberg, Business Community representative for Owen Sound, Michael Booth, Manager of Plant and Brenda Booth, Superintendent of Business.

The ARC Committee modeled the inquiry process and conducted their review with respect and open communication with a focus on presenting solutions that were in the best interests of students in Owen Sound East.  Their process strived to provide the best case scenario for the transition of students, safety issues of students and the need to be a long lasting solution that was responsive to the fiscal realities of the Board.  The Committee developed seven options with the seventh one being the preferred one.  It was a three school option with Alexandra as a new build of a JK-8 school, Bayview JK-8 and Sydenham JK-8 with French Immersion JK-6 and the closure of Stranthcona.  

The presentation of this report signifies the beginning of the 60 day period before trustees can vote on the ARC recommendations, while still allowing for further public input.  The earliest date that a vote can be taken is June 17th 2008.

Communications - Staff/Trustees/Student Trustees
Trustees were provided with an advertisement celebrating Volunteer Week, April 27-May 3, 2008 that will appear in local newspapers.

Director of Education
Ross King
Jennifer Yenssen
Mary Anne Alton

Next Board Meeting – May 20, 2008

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