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Get The Facts
Board Meeting Highlights


November 18, 2008

EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION
Friday Nights Lights - Fall Classic
Mary Anne Alton brought this event to the attention of the board as a unique event for the board to recognize not only a football game, but a true community event made possible through the dedication of West Hill staff members and the generous support of the Owen Sound Community.  Bernice Payne, Principal of West Hill informed trustees that the idea grew out of a recent Principal Symposium, where Dr. Bruce Ferguson had referenced her old high school, and reminisced about how the stands used to be filled with cheering spectators and that now there are only a handful of community spectators at High School events.  Wanting West Hill to experience this feeling of being the home team, and with help of staff and students at both West Hill and OSCVI the game came together and so did 1500 hundred people who created a magical evening.  Barb Osborne, provided background on how her grade 12 Physical Education class committed to making this idea possible and her daughter Caly Osborne a member of the class provided the student perspective.

Auditor's Report
Linda Bross, representing BDO Dunwoody presented the audited financial statements of the board for the year ending August 31, 2008.

BUSINESS COMMITTEE
Trustees received the November 4, 2008 report from the Business Committee.   Trustees received copies of a media releases summarizing the agreements reached as well as a presentation on new transportation software that had been purchased.  Members also received a report on Ministry Memo B13 pertaining to constraint on board spending and that school renewal funding has been reduced to 80% of projected funding.

EDUCATIONAL ISSUES REPORT
The Educational Issues Committee Report from the October 21, 2008 meeting was received by the Board.   The committee received a delegation with prior notice that provided members with a report related to changes made to the TRAIL program.  A detailed report and presentation was received that spoke to some of the issues raised by the delegation.  The key change to the program building teacher capacity to provide support for gifted students at the school level which reduces direct service to students from central staff.  The committee was also provided with reports on the Queen Elizabeth II Aiming for the Top Scholarship, and 2007-08 EQAO data.

POLICY COMMITTEE REPORT
The Policy Committee Report from the November 4, 2008 meeting was received by the Board.   The committee received a presentation on Anti-Idling from the Saugeen Planeteers requesting that an anti-idling clause be included in the Environmental Sustainability policy currently being drafted for system review.  The committee reviewed and recommended to the Board that they endorse Policy BP 2310-D "Software Selection and Installation" as previously approved.  Policies BP 2311-D "E-Mail - Acceptable Use" and BP 2312-D "Network Resources - Limited Personal Use" were recommended to the board for approval as amended.  The committee deferred review of Policy BP 6822-D "School Dress Code" to the next meeting of the committee.

SPECIAL EDUCATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE (SEAC) REPORT
The SEAC report from the October 27, 2008 meeting was received.  Jax, a National Service Dog was a guest at the meeting and the process on how to obtain a National Service Dog was outlined.  The draft Service Dog Protocol was presented as well as an overview of the WRApid response model.  The committee received information on Night courses for staff regarding Autism and ASD.

JOINT HEALTH & SAFETY COMMITTEE
The Joint Health & Safety Committee report from the October 9, 2008 meeting was received by the Board.  The committee received a presentation from student services on new legislation that protects students with an IPRC.  The committee was directed to review the Standard that defines the requirements for a health and safety system to assist them in the next annual review of the Health and Safety Policy.  Updates were received on Power Outages and the process will continue to be monitored.

EDUCATIONAL ISSUES
Field Trips and Exchanges
Hepworth Central - Blanc Sablon Quebec Exchange - February 19 - 26, 2009
Mary Anne Alton presented this trip to the Board requesting approval for Marc Boisvert to take students from the grade 7 and 8 Immersion class to participate in an unique exchange to enhance their French language skills.

Hepworth Central - Winnipeg Exchange - May 7 - 14, 2009
Mary Anne Alton presented this trip to the Board requesting approval for Marc Boisvert to take students from grade 7 to participate in an opportunity to experience a different culture within their country and enrich their history program.

Bruce Peninsula District - Outers Dog Sledding Trip, South River, Ontario - March 6 - 9, 2009
Megan Myles, Student Senator presented this trip requesting approval for students from grades 10 and 12 from Bruce Peninsula District School to participate in the Outers Dog Sledding Trip, South River, Ontario from March 6 - 9, 2009.

Bruce Peninsula District - Algonquin Canoe Trip - May 15 - 22, 2009
Megan Myles, Student Senator presented this trip requesting approval for students from grades 10 to 12 at Bruce Peninsula District School to participate in the Algonquin Canoe Trip from May 15 - 22, 2009.

Georgian Bay Secondary School - Pursuits Winter Camping Trip - January 19 - 22, 2009
Alexandria Nickels, Student Trustee presented this trip requesting approval for Georgian Bay Secondary School grade 12 students to participate in the Pursuits Winter Camping Trip from January 19 - 22, 2009.

Kincardine District Secondary School - Outdoor Education Program - Algonquin Canoe Trip - June 15 - 19, 2009
Erin Hardman, Student Senator presented this trip requesting approval for students in grades 11 and 12 to participate in the Outdoor Education and Environmental Education Program -Algonquin Canoe Trip from June 15 - 19, 2009.

OSCVI - Killarney Senior Science and Art Camping Trip - May 2 - 7, 2009
Alana Murray, Superintendent of Secondary Education presented this trip requesting approval for students in grades 11 and 12 to participate in the Killarney Senior Science and Art Camping Trip from May 2 - 7, 2009.

Peninsula Shores District School - New York Trip - May 7-11
Jaeden Long, Student Senator presented this trip requesting approval for students from grade 9 - 12 at Peninsula Shores District School to participate in the New York Trip from May 7 - 11, 2009.

Grey Highlands Secondary School - Environmental Studies 09 Winter Camping - February 23-25, 2009
Anna James, Student Senator presented this trip requesting approval for grade 12 students to participate in the Environmental Studies Program 09 Winter Camping Trip from February 23 - 25, 2009.

STUDENT TRUSTEE/SENATORS’ REPORT                     
Megan Myles, Student Senator provided the report for the Student Senate.  Discussion at the Student Senate meeting focused on a new Ministry initiative for students "Speak Up",and funding that is available for student projects.  Student health and safety related to hearing loss was discussed and several suggestions were made to increase student awareness such as incorporating information on hearing loss into the curriculum. The students also received information on the Ministry of Education's funding formula for student trustees.

STAFF REPORTS
Parent Conference
John Chapman, trustee provided an overview of the Parent Conference he attended.  The conference was organized by the Parent Involvement Committee and took place on Saturday, November 1st.  The theme of this year's conference was "In Your Children's Shoes".  Annie Kidder provided the keynote address and presented the "People for Education" perspective.  The youth panel provided the perspective of the following four student: Riley Taylor, French Immersion; Megan Myles, student senators/trustee role; Amelia Sweiger, UNESCO designation at her school; and Paige Allerton, environmental issues. Marg Gaviller, trustee also found the youth panel to be the highlights of the conference.  Megan Myles, student senator and participant on the student panel stated that the conference provided her with a greater appreciation of what a unique experience attending a UNESCO school was as well as the experience of being a student senator on the Board.

Financial Report
The final Financial Report for the year ending August 31, 2008 was presented, recording that Bluewater District School Board had a surplus of $1,444,892.

Bluewater Summer Activities Report
It was reported that a very successful Summer Institute was held this past August.  The Literacy & Numeracy Secretariat sponsored sessions for teachers and there were several courses offered including a new one "Gadgets & Gizmos" in the Classroom.  This year's participants for the first time were able to register for courses online using the Training Manager software.  The Summer School session was also very successful and 50 of the 170 students enrolled in the new credit program were in the newly expanded Co-op program.  Through the Community Use of Schools program schools in Bluewater were busy throughout the summer season.  the Institute for Outdoor Education and Environmental Studies also had a busy and exciting schedule during the summer.  The summer activities culminated with the annual August leadership Symposium where for the first time managers and supervisors were also invited to participate in the internationally acclaimed workshop "Crucial Conversations".

COMMUNICATIONS
Letters from Penny Huettlin, President, OSSTF OPT
The two letters of appreciation written by Penny Huettlin, President, OSSTF OPT were read by the Chair.  The first was directed to Mary Anne Alton, Director of Education and it expressed appreciation for the leadership of Bluewater District School Board during the collective agreement negotiations.  The second letter was to the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Education extending their appreciation for the recognition of the work that members  perform in support of students and public education.  It also recognized that their research document "The Pillars of Support" was evident in the budget allocations and recognized the time that the Minister had spent with them discussing this document.

Media Release -  Student Success
A media release was distributed pertaining to a Student Success presentation to the Educational Issues Committee prior to the Board Meeting. The presentation highlighted the growth of the Student Success in the last 6 years.  The Ministry doucment Six ways to Student Success framed the presentation and trustees heard about the top 6 ways in Bluewater to promote success and improve student outcomes to increase graduation rates.   Trustees were provided with updates on the following "6 ways in Bluewater":  Student Success Teachers and Teams; Transitions; Specialist High Skills Majors; Expanded Co-operative Education; Dual Credits; and Lighthouse Programs.  The intent of the presentations provided to the trustees was to give trustees a sense of the complex and dynamic work being done to change the culture in our schools that supports the 4 key Pillars of Student Success:  Literacy, Mathematics, Pathways and Community Culture and Caring which remain the focus areas.





Chair
Vice-Chair
Director of Education
Ross King
Jennifer Yenssen
Mary Anne Alton


Next Board Meeting – December 16, 2008


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