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Get The Facts
Board Meeting Highlights

December 16, 2008

First Nations Traditional Presentation
The Board was provided with a special presentation by the drummers and singers from Saugeen First Nations.  Theresa Root, trustee with the Bluewater District School Board provided a description of the creation that led into the drumming and singing of the "Creation Song" a song that brings healing and gives thanks.  Through songs healing and compassion is found and Theresa thanked the Board for inviting them to be at the meeting to share their culture.  This lead into the "Migwitch Song", the thank you song.  Drummers and Singers present at the meeting were:  Kaylin Kewageshig; Tiffany Kewageshig; Brenda Kewageshig, Theresa Root, Renita John; Marilyn Johnson-Root; Joyc Besito; Dave Root; Stephanie Root and baby Kalin.

An Inclusive Environment G.C. Huston "A School Where all Students Belong"
Jean Stephenson, Superintendent of Student Success introduced Jeff Moser, Principal of G.C. Huston to speak to the board about the many steps the school team has taken to create a supportive, inclusive culture in G.C. Huston.  Jeff attributed the success at G.C. Huston to the dedication of staff, students, community and the valued partnership with Saugeen First Nations.  A slide presentation of various events and school resources was provided that highlighted several of the activities at the school.  The Roots of Empathy Program in particular was highlighted as a program where baby Samantha is brought into the school and students learn how to care in a sensitive way.  Jeff told the board that it is his pleasure to be a principal at G.C. Huston.

Rick Galbraith was elected to the position of Chair of Bluewater District School Board and Jan Johnstone was elected to the position of Vice-Chair.

Trustees received the December 2, 2008 report from the Business Committee where members received a verbal report on the annual calculation of Trustee Honoraria.

The Educational Issues Committee Report from the November 18, 2008 meeting was received by the Board.   Student Success was celebrated at this meeting and trustees were updated on specialist high skills major programs, the role of student success teachers, effective transitions from elementary to secondary school, expanded co-op programs and the flex school operating out of Georgian College.

The Policy Committee Report from the December 2, 2008 meeting was received by the Board.   The committee agreed to refer a new Policy BP 2314-D "Use of Electronic Devices" to the Board for approval.  A new draft Policy on research requests was reviewed and the committee endorsed several policies as previously approved.

The SEAC report from the November 24, 2008 meeting was received.  The committee was informed that a partnership with Keystone is being explored to support students who have a parent in the military and that an existing partnership with the CAS has expanded to include Meaford Community School.  It was also reported that Sandy Ribey, a SEAC member, received the provincial "Fellowship Award" for her work in training the Red Cross on brain injury.

Field Trips and Exchanges
Hillcrest Elementary School - Claresholm, Alberta Exchange - February 7 - 14, 2009
The request for grade 8 students to participate in an exchange with students from Claresholm, Alberta was approved.

Aboriginal Projects 2008-2009
Trustees were provided with an overview of the seven Aboriginal education  projects that have been approved for funding.  All projects applied for were approve.  The projects are:  "Aboriginal Entrepreneurship" at Saugeen District; "Aboriginal Tutoring Program" at Peninsula Shores; "Aboriginal Student Success" at G.C. Huston; "Phoenix Project" at Peninsula Shores"; Roots of Empathy" at G.C. Huston; "Aboriginal Awareness for All" at Peninsula Shores; and "Honouring the Culture of Drumming & Singing" at G.C. Huston.

Let's Learn 2007
Trustees were provided with the "Let's Learn 2007 Kindergarten Registration Annual Report" a report prepared by the "Let's Grow Committee" co chaired by Janice Greenwood, Principal of Student Services, and made up of community partners.  The Let's Learn report is a compilation of different subcommittee reports, such as the Preschool to School Transition Subcommittee, Speech Subcommittee and the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) Subcommittee.  The program helps connect families and their children with early support measures to enhance their entrance into the school system.

Alexandria Nickels, student trustee provided the student senate report.  During their meeting prior to the Board meeting the student senate discussed the upcoming Student Trustees' Association conference.  They also discussed the cost of Drivers Education programs that are provided at secondary schools and they will be investigating the cost.  As the student senate is able to receive all necessary information through technology they requested that the amount of paper provided to them be reduced.

Banking Resolution
In accordance with Board By-Laws, the Board approved the banking resolutions as required.

Director's Report "Addendum"
The Director's Annual Report was provided to trustees in October and there was a subsequent memorandum received by in November requiring that specific additional areas be reported on.  The addendum was provided to meet with these requirements.

Letter from Grey Bruce Health Services
Mary Anne Alton shared a letter from Grey Bruce Health Services commending the Bluewater Board, staff and students on their support for health and health care in the regions

Director of Education
Rick Galbraith
Jan Johnstone
Mary Anne Alton

Next Board Meeting – January 20, 2009

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