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Get The Facts
Board Meeting Highlights

February 17, 2009

Intensive Arts Education Workshop
Marnie Coke introduced Joan Chandler from Sheatre, Cory Follett, teacher , Denise Horvath, Principal at Alexandra as well as Scott Jeffries a student at Alexandra to the trustees.  Marnie explained that Cory Follett's Grade 8 class and Mr. Godward's grade 4 class at Dufferin Elementary participated in an intensive arts education workshop offered by David Sereda and Joan Chandler.  It was an experience that allowed students to participate in the process of developing a production for the stage "Snow Wonder" that was developed from the sharing of winter stories from the 1950's in Owen Sound.  From these stories vignettes and skits were created by the students which resulted in the production that was staged at the Roxy Theatre.  Cory Follett stated that the experience of listening to family stories from the past has created a sense of community in the class. Scott Jeffries shared his thoughts on his participation, stating that it had been an amazing experience.  

Trustees received the February 3, 2009 report from the Business Committee where members received a report on the funding announced for Good Places to Learn Phase 4 and a prioritized summary of projects for inclusion in the Facility Renewal funding for 2008-09.  Members also received an updated 2009 version of the Budget primer.

The Educational Issues Committee Report from the January 20, 2009 meeting was received by the Board.   Members received an overview of the Performing Arts Showcase that provides the opportunity for each elementary student in Bluiewater to experience live theatre.  The performances and accompanying resources available to classroom teachers provides direct links to Character Development.  An overview of the Board's Common Assessment was provided and trustees participated in sample mathematics assessments from grades 2, 4 and 8.  Marnie Coke stated that the work that Jacqui Traverse-Thomas is doing in this area is outstanding and that we have been recognized Provincially for doing work that is not being duplicated anywhere else in the Province.

The Policy Committee Report from the February 3, 2009 meeting was received by the Board.   The committee reviewed a new policy "Student Awards and Recognition", agreeing to refer it to the system for review.  The committee reviewed several policies through the cyclical review process agreeing to refer them to various councils for review as well as to the system.  Two policies were endorsed as previously approved by the Board.

The SEAC report from the January 26, 2009 meeting was received.  The committee heard several updates including that the PD Day committee has organized 103 workshops for April 23rd and that all workshops fall under the "Learning for All" principle.  A power point presentation on "Positive Behaviour Approach Training" was received and members were informed that this training has been provided to learning resource teachers, teachers of developmental learners, behaviour resource teachers, section 23 teachers and SALEP teachers last year over a four day period.  New staff will be trained this spring and previously trained staff will be provided with a refresher based on their needs.  Information on Bill 29, a private members bill was provided to members.  This Bill has received first reading and is an Act to amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act to protect workers from harassment and violence in the workplace.  The amendment would not consider mitigating circumstances for students and it was determined that we would endorse a report being sent from OASBO and OPSBA in opposition to the amendment.

Field Trips and Exchanges
Bruce Peninsula District School - Europe 2010 Trip - April 1-11, 2010
Megan Myles, Student Senator presented this trip to the Board requesting approval for students in grade 10 to 12 from Bruce Peninsula District School to participate in an the Europe 2010 Trip.
Bruce Peninsula District School - Killarney Acid lake Study Trip - May 8-12, 2009
Megan Myles, Student Senator presented this trip to the Board requesting approval for students in grade 11 and 12 from Bruce Peninsula District School to participate in the Killarney Acid Lake Study Trip, from May 8 to 12, 2009.
Grey Highlands Secondary School Environmental Studies Program Trips - 2009
Alana Murray, Superintendent of Secondary Education presented this trip requesting approval for students enrolled in the Environmental Studies Program to participate in a series of three field trips scheduled for students participating in that program
Keppel-Sarawak Public School - Newfoundland cultural Exchange - 2009
Mary Anne Alton, Director of Education presented this trip requesting approval for students in grade six to participate in a field trip to Clarenville, Newfoundland as a cultural exchange.

Student Senate/Trustee Report
Student Senators/Trustees commented on their discussions held prior to the Board meeting on the School Dress Code policy and that in reviewing other policies they liked the Bluewater approach as it encourages a positive environment and that it is up to individual schools to determine if a uniform should be part of their schools code.  They also discussed the rising cost of driver education and that these costs may be a barrier for some students.

Elementary School Library Staff Investment and Resource Investment
This report provided two Ministry of Education Announcements pertaining to school libraries.  The first one provided investment dollars in the amount of $118, 265.00 for the 2008-09 school year for investment in school library staff.  The funding is to continue over the next four years, and Bluewater chose to allocate the funds to schools for the second half of the school year allowing us to double the support for the system during this time frame.  The second investment from the Ministry is in the amount of $144,512.00 for elementary school library investment in resources.  Funds were allocated to schools based on a $1500.00 base allotment plus an additional amount of $7.00 per student.  Schools will make purchases through a central process and the new books should be in schools no later than March 31st, 2009.

Permanent Financing for Good Places to Learn and Prohibitive to Repair Initiatives
Trustees were informed that stage 2 and 3 of the Governments "Good Places to Learn" and "Prohibitive to Repair" program are substantially complete and as a result boards are in the position to permanently finance the capital project costs through the Ministry of Education cooperative financing with the Ontario Financing Authority (OFA).  This in long term financing through debentures and the money will come to the Board from the Ministry of Education every year to finance the loan.

Heart Health Month
Mary Anne Alton provided a handout to trustees pertaining to heart health.  February is "Heart Health" month and the handout provides ten ways that experts say that we all can do to maintain heart health.

Naming the New Building
Trustees were presented with a report from the Director of Education that reported that in compliance with Board Policy BP 3301-D "Naming of Schools and Board Facilities. The "Transition Committee" was given the task of providing a recommendation on a name for the new administration building.  A report was provided recommending that the facility be called "Bluewater District School Board - Education Centre" and that all signage reflect this name.

Conferences/Conventions/Out-of-County Meetings
Trustees reported on their attendance at the Public Education Symposium that took place January 29-31, 2009.

Director of Education
Rick Galbraith
Jan Johnstone
Mary Anne Alton

Next Board Meeting – March 24, 2009

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