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Board Meetings
Board Meeting Highlights

November 16, 2010

Wi-Fi Information Report

The Director gave a report on the use of wireless internet routing in Bluewater schools and addressed concerns regarding health and safety issues.  The report stated that tests that Bluewater District School Board did to measure radiofrequency levels in its schools showed that they were a fraction of one percent of the more stringent (general public) limit. The World Health Organization, Health Canada and Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer have all stated that there is no health risk from low level radiofrequency exposure.

The Health and Safety Officer outlined the science behind radiofrequency levels and the Manager of ICT also outlined the wireless technology that is in Bluewater schools.

The report stated that wireless internet provides ubiquitous access for all computers within our schools. Hard wiring would be cost restrictive and limit access to the internet at various locations throughout the school.

Consultation Plan for System Analysis

The Director sought approval for a consultation plan for a school system analysis that will help evaluate the entire school system, assess where the strengths and opportunities are in order to create a strategy for future direction.

The Board approved the plan and public meetings will be held as follows:

South East
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Spruce Ridge Community School
North East
Monday, December 6, 2010
Hillcrest Elementary School
South West
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Chesley District High School
North West
Monday, January 24, 2011
Saugeen District Secondary School

The Director will also visit all school sites by March 15, 2011 as well as meeting with senior staff, trustees, students and community organizations. It is anticipated that this report will be presented at the regular Meeting of the Board on March 22, 2011.

Full Day Kindergarten Update

The update outlined the implementation process which included the FDK (Full Day Kindergarten) team attending a regional session in Barrie in May as well as all Bluewater FDK teams meeting for a full day session in June.

The FDK teams will also be receiving some professional learning in the area of oral language and two speech pathologists will be offering a learning session in February 2011. As well, three half-day sessions have been scheduled throughout the year for FDK educators to support their work and to share and network with each other.

Some observations on full day kindergarten from:
  • Like doing math everyday
  • Like seeing their friends everyday
  • Like going to school everyday rather than every other day
  • Seeing evidence of earlier skill development (writing name)
  • More opportunity for practice of skills and concepts
  • Students like the structured learning /play centres

Accommodation Review Process Update

Since the board passed the motion on October 19, 2010 to initiate the process, it was decided that Alana Murray, the Superintendent of Secondary Schools and the South East area will coordinate the Hanover/Chesley area review and Jean Stephenson, Superintendent of Student Success and the South West area will coordinate the Kincardine/Port Elgin area review.

As well, many things are in the works. The Plant department is preparing detailed School Accommodation reports for all schools involved; requests have been sent for recommendations for the business and municipal reps on the Accommodation Review Committee’s (ARC); there have been conference call with all principals, union stewards/branch presidents and union presidents and principals are currently seeking representation from School Community Councils.

Some of the next steps are:
  • To finalize the ARC membership, have pre-consultation meeting with the ARCs to review the School Accommodation reports.
  • To determine and communicate dates for the public consultation meetings and select facilitators for these meetings
  • Organize staff input sessions.

Organizational Health

Further to the organizational health survey undertaken by Metrics at Work during the 2008-2009 school year, the resulting data was rolled out to employee groups, departments, schools and work sites throughout the 2009-2010 school year. Twenty-nine areas were measured and consideration was given to the primary strengths and how to potentially improve those areas.

In June 2010, the trustees requested that the early dismissal day on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 be used by schools and departments to evaluate the status of their organizational health.

Administrator feedback from staff at those meetings found that what they had previously identified as an organizational strength continues to be a strength. As well, staff cohesion continues to be very positive. Many noted that school communication and system communications have improved.

Parent Involvement Committee

Jim Thorpe, Chair of the Parental Involvement Committee (PIC), tabled their 2009-2010 Report and gave some highlights on the report. The PIC consists of parents representing the four geographical regions of the school district as well as a three trustees and the Director of Education and the Director’s Office Supervisor.

The PIC was involved in a myriad of activities during the year. They hosted a number of meetings, conferences and community presentations. They provided input on a variety of issues including Ministry of Education initiatives, a number of surveys, website improvements, etc.

Field Trips

The following trips were approved:
  • Georgian Bay Secondary School – Le Massif et le Carnaval de Quebec - Feb 8 to 13, 2011
  • Georgian Bay Secondary School – New York Music Trip – May 4 to 8, 2011
  • Georgian Bay Secondary School – Humanities / Geography Trip to the England and Scotland – May 14 to 23, 2011
  • Owen Sound Collegiate and Vocational Institute (OSCVI) – Vimy at 95 Trip, France – April 4 to 14, 2011
  • Kincardine District Secondary School – Music Enrichment Trip, New York City – May 19 to 23, 2011
  • Kincardine District Secondary School – Robotics Regional Tournament Trip, Cleveland, Ohio – April 6 to 9, 2011
  • West Hill Secondary School – Le Massif et le Carnaval de Quebec - Feb 8 to 13, 2011
  • West Hill Secondary School – Festivals of Music Trip, Chicago, Illinois – April 14 to 17, 2011

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