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Get The Facts
Board Meeting Highlights

September 22, 2009

Student Senators/Trustees in attendance said their declaration in unison.  The three student trustees took their place at the board table.  Chair Jennifer Yenssen welcomed them and urged them to fully participate in board meetings.


Summer School Success

Jean Stephenson introduced Jonathan Pepplar, a Grade 12 student from John Diefenbaker Secondary School who provided an overview of his experience at summer school where he successfully completed a Grade 12 College English Course.  Johnathon spoke enthusiastically about summer school and what an awesome and positive experience it had been.  Students attending summer school are there for a purpose and are focused on achievement. Jonathon spoke of the dedication of the staff and that he had made important friendships with students from across the District that he has maintained.


Trudy Baran spoke on information items pertaining to SEAC, specifically that some members of SEAC had attended a symposium where Dr. Gillette presented information on Aquired Brain Injury.  In addition Lynn Ziraldo will be providing SEAC with an inservice on the mandate of the committee.  Concern was also expressed that prior to the release of the recommendations the ministry appointed advisor had not consulted with SEAC.


Lesa McDougall presented on behalf of Bluewater Citizens for Education and stated concerns about the state of education in Bluewater and that the process the Board has embarked on has not involved the kind of transparency and accountability that they want to see.

Advisor Recommendations
Geoff Williams, Ministry appointed advisor to the Board provided a summary report containing recommendations to the board.  The process followed to develop the recommendations was reviewed and he highlighted some of the recommendations.  In summary it was stated that some of the recommendations are more important then others and that it would be up to the Board to determine how they proceed in implementation.  It was also mentioned that the Board has already begun the implementation process in that a By-Law review is currently underway and the position of Communications Co-ordinator has been filled.


Trustees received the September 8, 2009 report from the Business Committee where members received reports pertaining to private contracting of bus companies, an update on the Sydenham Community School addition and the third Finance Report for 2008-09 estimating a $623,625 surplus at year end.  A further report recommending Board approval for several projects for inclusion in the 2009-10 Information Technology Capital Budget was received.


The June 16, 2009 Educational Issues Committee meeting was canceled.

The Policy Committee Report from the September 8, 2009 meeting was received by the Board.  The committee reviewed Policy BP 4902-D "Travel Expenses" recommending that the Board approve that the policy be amended to reflect the approved travel rate.  The committee also received and adopted the Policy Subcommittee report on By-Law review and the structure outlined for by-law changes.


The SEAC report from the June 22, 2009 meeting was received.  The committee was informed that the Let's Learn Kindergarten Registration is recognized as a best practice with the Ministry.  Items discussed were the Service Dog/Companion Dog protocol, the development of a TRAIL program survey, and new IEP language required by the Ministry.  Presentations on projected special education revenue and expenditures for 2009-10 and the Teacher Leadership and Learning Program called "Structured Learning" were provided to the committee.


Field Trips and Exchanges
Bruce Peninsula District School - Outers Program Trips - 2009-10
Birch Behmann, teacher BPDS Outers Program appologized on behalf of Matt Pickett, principal BPDS and himself for the late arrival of two of the Outers Program field trips.  Chair, Jennifer Yenssen thanked him for the explanation and also thanked him for his dedication in making sure that the students continue to have the opportunity to participate in the Outers Program.

Birch Behmann requested approval for students in the Outers Program to participate in a series of field trips:
- Outers Flatwater Sea Kayaking Trip from September 28 to October 2, 2009
- Outers Fall Hike Trip from October 22 to 24, 2009
- Outers Combined Winter Camp from February 23 to 27, 2010

Saugeen District Secondary School - Europe Trip - March 10-2-, 2010
Theresa Martin, student senator presented this trip to the Board requesting approval for students from grades 11 and 12 at Saugeen District to participate in the Europe Trip from March 10 - 20, 2010.

EQAO Report
Marnie Coke presented the elementary school EQAO results, reviewing the overall test results, informing trustees that results have remained near the provincial standard in most cases.  It was noted that French Immersion students achieve the provincial standard at a higher rate then their English counterparts.  It is important to note that these tests are a snapshot in time and that it is important to look at the data over time.

Alana Murray presented secondary school EQAO results, indicating that a gender gap still exists in reading and writing which mirrors the provincial data.  However, the gender gap in mathematics is minimal and is much wider at the provincial level where male students achieve at a higher level then female students.

Enrollment Update
Enrollment numbers for elementary have been collected and showed that enrollment is higher than earlier projections and that this increase in enrollment will result in an increase in staffing.

Secondary enrollment numbers are not reported to the Ministry until October 31st but numbers are on track of projections made last spring.  It is expected that there will be 340 FTE less or a 5% decline this year.

Student Senate/Trustee Report
As this was the first meeting of the year for the Student Senators there was no report.  At their meeting they reviewed policies and protocols and selected representatives to the three committees of the board.  Dorothy Johns - Educational Issues; Cam Revington - Policy; Chad Richards - Business; and Hilary Holmes - SEAC


Energy Efficient Schools Funding

In compliance with the Ministry of Education Energy Efficient Schools funding initiative and in compliance with reporting requirements, energy audits and modelling have been completed on a majority of Bluewater facilities.  Additionally work consisting of motion detectors for lighting control was tendered for construction in several areas.  A further report will be returned in late fall to detail the findings and identify the work planned for the balance of the program component.

Green Schools Pilot Initiative

As the first stage of an expression of interest in the application for the Green Schools Pilot Initiative, a joint initiative between the Ministries of Education and Research and Innovation to have school boards test green products and technologies has been initiated.  Partnering with other boards is the preferred method and Bluewater has partnered with the York Catholic District School Board and in that project Georgian Bay Secondary is our selected site to test Solar photovoltaic.  The rationale for the choice was that last year's student senator for Georgian Bay made a request to incorporate this type of energy into their school.  In the second project proposal Bluewater has partnered with Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board and the site selection is Bruce Peninsula District, chosen through expressed interest from last years Student Senator.

Ministry Operational Review

Trustees were informed that Bluewater District School Board has been selected for a 2008-09 Operational Review which is designed to provide opportunities for the ministry and school boards to work together to build management capacity.  Fourteen boards were reviewed last year and sixteen will be reviewed this year.

New Accountability Measures for Capital Projects

The Ministry has introduced new accountability measures for all new capital projects related to the construction of new schools, additions or school retrofits.  The new process has three separate phases, each with the required test and approval criteria.  This directive came into affect November 1, 2009 and will impact on the three current capital projects.

Efficiency and Effectiveness Review (Transportation)
The Ministry implemented reforms for student transportation in 2006-07 to build capacity to deliver safe, effective student transportation services with the objective of achieving equity in funding.  The reforms included the formation of consortiums subject to the effectiveness and efficiency reviews.  The Grey-Bruce Consortium exists in the form of a partnership agreement between three boards, Bluewater District School Board, Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board, and Conseil Scolaire de District des Ecoles Catholique du Sud-Ouest.  The reviews are designed around four organization functions and the Student Transportation Consortium of Grey-Bruce received an overall score of Moderate-Low and a score of Moderate on Routing and Technology.

A notice of motion was brought forward at the June 16, 2009 meeting of the Board by trustee, Ross King, who moved that this notice be tabled indefinitely.

Trustee, Tim Reaburn brought forward three Notices of Motion from the Policy Subcommittee Review of Board By-Laws:
1.  That Bluewater District School Board approve rescinding Section Six: Delegations from the current Board By-Laws, replacing it with the new Section Six: Delegations appended to this Notice of Motion.
2.  That Bluewater District School Board approve rescinding Section 7.5 Code of Conduct from the Board By-laws at the time that a Board policy pertaining tot he Code of Conduct is developed.
3.  That Bluewater District School Board approve revisions to section 7.4 Amendments in that further changes to the Board By-Laws would require a 2/3rd majority vote of the Board.

Trustee, John Chapman brought forward a Notice of Motion:
That Bluewater District School Board strike an Ad Hoc Committee to prioritize the recommendations of the Advisor to the Board and develop an action plan and timeline for their implementation.  Further that this Ad Hoc Committee be chaired by the Chair of the Policy Committee.



Trustees were provided with two letters from Carol Mitchell, MPP, with the first being correspondence from her to the Ministry of Health Promotion expressing the Board's concern about the cancellation of the Youth Action Alliance Program and the second addressed to the Board stating that the province had announced bridge funding for the Youth Action Alliance program at the two health units within the Huron-Bruce riding.

Director of Education

Jennifer Yenssen
Jan Johnstone
Mary Anne Alton



Next Board Meeting – October 20, 2009

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