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Get The Facts
Board Meeting Highlights

June 17, 2008

The Schoolhouse Project
Mary Anne Alton introduced the schoolhouse project that included partnerships with the Retired Teachers' of Ontario (RTO) Grey Unit. Retired Women Teachers' of Ontario (RTWO) Owen Sound and Area Branch and Grey Roots Museum and Archives who worked together to provide a setting whereby students could study and gain an appreciation of the school experience of their ancestors.  To provide the setting Bud Halpin a teacher of Construction Technology at Saugeen District Secondary and his students played a major role in the construction of a replica of a one-room schoolhouse at the Grey Roots Museum & Archives.  Welcomed at today's meeting were Bud Halpin - teacher, Brian Manser - Manager of Grey Roots Museum and Archives, Bevin Lougheed - RTO, Don Sankey - RTO, Jim Rackley - Principal, SDSS, and Myrt Heinrich, RTO/RTWO who were all present to provide an overview of the project.

Bluewater Schools Provincial and National Award Winners - 2007-2008 School Year
Mary Anne Alton,recognized schools, students and staff who have achieved Provincial or National awards, during the 2007-2008 school year.   It was noted that Bluewater participated in at least 21 categories Provincially and Nationally.

Trustees received the June 3, 2008 report from the Business Committee.   Trustee received a report and presentation regarding the Board's 2008 Capital Plan as well as a third draft of the 2008-09 budget.

The Educational Issues Report from the June 3, 2008 meeting was received by the Board.   School Staff from Osprey Central School presented an overview of the Change Management Collaborative (CMC) which was designed to promote a school-wide approach to literacy and numeracy instruction.  The Committee also held a follow up discussion in response to the delegations from Port Elgin-Saugeen and Kincardine who presented at the May Board meeting.

The Policy Committee Report from the May 20, 2008 meeting was received by the Board.  The committee reviewed and recommended the Board approve the following policies as amended:  BP 1403-D "Sympathy Tributes and Memorial Recognitions; BP 6951-D "Assessment and Evaluation"; BP 2880-D "Animal Care".  The committee recommended that Policy BP 5902 "Community Education and Community Use of Schools" be endorsed as previously approved.

The SEAC report from the May 12, 2008 meeting was received. The committee received updates on training provided on PPM 140 (Applied Behaviour Analysis and Autism Spectrum Disorder).  A Bluewater team would be sent to a meeting on June 6th to assist in the development of a Kindergarten to grade 12 resource guide.  It was also reported that the Specialist Equipment Amount grant application in the amount of 1.1 million dollars has been submitted.

The committee dealt with several items including, the Health & Safety Policy, Traction Foot Grip Trials. power outage information, the plant department report, the safety officer report, school safety committee minutes and monthly inspections, hearing conservation, health and safety system procedural audits and worker concerns.

UNESCO designation
Tim Reaburn, trustee informed those present that on June 2nd that St. Edmunds School in Tobermory and Bruce Peninsula District School in Lion's Head became the first schools in Ontario to receive the UNESCO designation.  Their journey towards this designation began several years ago.  Each school now has a mural illustrating what being a UNESCO school means.  The four pillars: World Concerns; Human Rights; Intercultrual Learning; and Environmental Concerns provide the basis for relevant learning opportunities and cross curricular instruction.  In attendance at today's meeting from these schools were teachers, Louise Johnson and Elizabeth Burrow.  Also present was Jane Thomson, SCC member and students Luke Burrow, Ben Gross and Hannah Wilken.  

Field Trips and Exchanges
Bruce Peninsula District School - Outers Trips
Alana Murray presented two Outers trips to the Board requesting approval for students from grades 10 and 12 to participate in the Outers Fall Hike in Bruce Peninsula National Park from October 23-25, 2008 as well as for students in grade 12 to participate in the Outers Flatwater Sea Kayaking Trip, Nobel, Ontario from October 6 to 10, 2008.

West Hill Secondary School - North American Envirothon - July 25 - August 3, 2008
Alana Murray presented this trip to the Board requesting approval for five grade 12 students to participate in the North American Envirothon in Flagstaff, Arizona from July 25 to August 3, 2008.

Georgian Bay Secondary School - Pursuits Trips
Alana Murray presented the four Pursuits trips to the Board requesting approval for students from grade twelve to participate in the Bruce Peninsula National Park Cyprus lake Trip, September 8 to 11, 2008; the Killarney Canoe Trip, October 2 to 9, 2008; the Bruce Trail Hiking Trip, October 27, 29, 2008; and the 24 Hour Experience Trip, November 20 and 21, 2008.

There were no student senators present at todays meeting, due to final exam schedules.  However, Marg Gaviller, trustee acknowledged the accomplishment of student trustee Lauren Best, who was featured in the Saturday Sun Times for being chosen Poet of the Month.

OPA Student Assessment Project
Lori Wilder introduced Dr. Brenda MClister, Psychologist who provided an overview of the student assessment project where funding from the Ontario Psychological Association was received two years ago enabling the hiring of an additional staff person to increase the capacity to provide assessments, and to reduce wait times for these assessments.  The data collected shows that the wait times have been reduced and the percentage of younger children being assessed has increased.  The second objective of the project was to increase teacher capacity to help students in the regular classroom by using the assessment data and the number of teachers attending assessment meetings has increased from 45% to 85%.  We are no longer behind in completing assessments and when the funding is depleted Bluewater should be able to maintain the level required.

ADHD Project
Lori Wilder introduced Carolynn Dyer, who provided a powerpoint presentation based on our partnership with Hospital for Sick Children, funded by the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO).  The study focused on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with an objective of providing elementary teachers with intensive, facilitated, technology-enhanced professional development and to determine the effectiveness of this on knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about ADHD.  

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

Budget 2008-09
Brenda Booth provided the trustees with a budget backgrounder.  The trustees were provided with an overview of budget reductions that were being recommended to reach the target of a balanced budget.  The budget minimizes the impact on students and school budgets have been maintained, except for any enrolment adjustments.  It was noted that operating expenditure remains the same as 2007/08, despite cost increases and that staff development continues to be eroded.

Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test Results - March 20, 2008
Alana Murray presented the highlights of the EQAO test results of the Grade 10 Literacy Test for Bluewater District School Board.,  A pass rate of greater than 75% has been maintained for the past five years and our results mirror the provincial results.

Owen Sound Area of Schools Recommendation
Marnie Coke presented an overview of the recommendations received from the Owen Sound East ARC Committee at the April 15, 2008 Board Meeting.  It was the recommendation of the committee that the board approve the closure of Strathcona Sr. Public School and that Bayview, Sydenham and Alexandra become JK to 8 schools.

Communications - Staff/Trustees/Student Trustees
Jan Johnstone provided trustees with an update from OPSBA noting that Bluewater's motion pertaining to the Attawapiskat school was going to be presented at the National conference in Regina.  She also reported on motions that went forward at the Annual General Meeting.

Director of Education
Ross King
Jennifer Yenssen
Mary Anne Alton

Next Board Meeting – September 16, 2008

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