Boardroom Briefs

January 16, 2019 Meeting of LDSB Board of Trustees

Boardroom Briefs is intended to provide highlights of presentations, reports and decisions made at the regular meeting of the Limestone District School Board of Trustees. These briefs do not serve as the official record of the meeting. Please refer to Board minutes which are approved at the next regular meeting. Community members are also invited to follow along during live tweets of regular Board meetings using the hashtag #LDSBmtg.

Presentation: Above and Beyond with Drones

Teacher Wade Leonard and three Grade 11 students from Granite Ridge Education Centre in Sharbot Lake shared their first-hand experience in geographic information system (GIS) applications as well as an introduction into the emerging field of drone applications for environmental and agriculture conservation and development.

In collaboration with a number of community partners, students map missions and collect imagery of the area in order to examine usage, water quality and development, mapping missions for farmers to assist in crop assessment, imagery for tourism, and much more. Just this week, students travelled to Carleton University in Ottawa as part of their new partnership in aquatic research with the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies.

Students Tyee, Makayla and Ryleigh each expressed their appreciation for the hands-on learning opportunity. Makayla says this high school program - the only one of its kind in Canada - has inspired her future pathway. Ryleigh and Tyee say they have improved self-confidence and communication skills as a result.

Learn more about the program which is supported in part by funding from the Limestone Learning Foundation, watch one of their drone compilations, and follow them on Twitter.

Private Session Update

Trustee Laurie French provided a report from the January 16 private session held immediately prior to public session. The Board approved minutes from its November 14, 2018 session. This evening's session included updates on safe schools and an OPSBA private session update. No other items were discussed and no motions were approved.

OPSBA Update

Trustee Laurie French, Limestone's representative on the Ontario Public School Boards' Association, provided a brief update on its last meeting. The December meeting included visit from the Minister of Education, regional caucus breakouts to discuss various items including funding consultation (Grants for Student Needs or GSNs) submission to the Ministry of Education and updates on finance, legislative matters, Indigenous council as well as program and policy updates. She also outlined the upcoming OPSBA governance review.

Student Trustee Update

Student Trustees Sean Kim and Shylah Hart provided an update on the recent InterSchool Council meeting in December. Student Council representatives learned about Medlife, an organization that partners with low-income communities in Latin America and Africa to improve their access to medicine, education and community development initiatives. Medlife is looking for high schools to start their own chapters and get involved.

InterSchool Council continues to plan for its Coffee House and Lip Sync Battle Royale. The jazz-themed Coffee House will take place in March at Loyalist Collegiate & Vocational Institute while the final Lip Sync Battle Royale competition is tentatively scheduled for April at Kingston Collegiate & Vocational Institute.

Tri-Board Student Transportation Report

Tri-Board Student Transportation CEO Gord Taylor provided trustees with an overview of its student transportation operation which services LDSB as well as the Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic District School Board and the Hasting & Prince Edward District School Board. Mr. Taylor outlined Tri-Board's coverage area explaining that 40 per cent of its business involves Limestone bus routes. He provided rider and route statistics and also outlined its inclement weather protocol and various safety programs.

Permissions & Payments System Report

Superintendent of Education Michele Babcock provided an update on the Board's new School Day: Permissions & Payments (cashless schools) system. The secure online portal allows families to provide permission and payments for school activities such as field trips and hot lunch. Families can use etransfer or credit card. All transactions are completed via a secure portal that requires the use of a unique key code for each student that is specific to each parent/guardian. The system is in the pilot stage at 5 Napanee area schools. The remaining Napanee area schools will be added in March. The rollout will continue in phases with all schools online by 2021 although hope is to adopt earlier as possible. Trustees were also provided with a demonstration by project lead Andrea Branch.

Director's Annual Report for 2017-2018

Director of Education Debra Rantz provided an update on the Director's Annual Report 2017-2018 school year. Report includes Board’s strategic goals, progress and actions in priority areas where goals are not being met. School boards are also asked to report on progress in relation to equity and human rights. Our strategic plan outlines several goals related to ongoing efforts to promote and meet goals for equity and inclusion, as well as our strategic pillars of Wellness, Innovation and Collaboration. Since 2011, this report has been created using an electronic format. The report is now available on the Board's strategic plan microsite.

Limestone District School Board

The Board serves more than 19,000 elementary and secondary students in 60 schools and 8 education centres covering a geographic area of 7,719 square kilometres. To get in touch with your trustee, visit Meet Your Trustees.