Boardroom Briefs

June 19, 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.
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Board presents outgoing Student Trustees with honorariums

Chair Ruttan recognized outgoing Student Trustees Shylah Hart and Sean Kim as exceptional student leaders, as evidenced by their continued efforts to further develop student voice across the district and at provincial level via the Ontario Student Trustees' Association.

She said that both students had made a positive difference around the horseshoe, and that they represented their student peers with integrity and passion. She presented each with a $2,500 honorarium to recognize their term of office, and to help further their studies.

Next year, Trustee Hart is headed to the University of Ontario Institute of Technology for Forensic Science. Trustee Kim will attend the University of British Columbia as a Centennial Scholar to pursue an undergraduate degree in Applied Science with further specialization in Bio-Mechanical Engineering. This prestigious entrance award is valued to a maximum of $40,000.

Trustees approve 2019-2020 budget

Budget Chair and Vice Chair Laurie French acknowledged that Trustees approved a balanced budget for 2019-2020 school year at the June 12, 2019 Budget Meeting, which was confirmed as part of the consent agenda during the June 19, 2019 meeting.

The Chair thanked staff who managed to work within the provincial funding framework to prepare a balanced budget, working hard to preserve as much as possible in school and classroom supports.

The balanced budget includes an operating budget of $244.7 million and $27.8 million for capital expenditures. The majority of the budget – almost 79% – is directed to classroom instruction which includes staffing costs for teachers and support staff. The next most significant expense is pupil accommodation – school operations and maintenance – which accounts for 10% of the overall operating budget

The Capital Budget is approximately $27.8 million and will be used for School Condition Improvements, School Renewal and major capital projects like the construction of Kingston Secondary School.

The 2019-2020 budget is compliant with the Ministry of Education requirements.

Further provincial changes to education funding will continue to impact future budgets. Trustees understand the government’s fiscal priorities, but believe there may be ways to create efficiencies that do not have any potential negative impact on students or staff going forward.

To review the full 2019-2020 Limestone District School Board Budget, please review the budget report.

Chair & Director Updates

Chair Suzanne Ruttan thanked Trustees for their diligence in their governance role during an inaugural year of intense learning, complex discussions and decisions. She cautioned that Trustees will need to remain focused on what is best for all students across the district in the coming years of their term.

She extended her sincere appreciation to senior staff and staff at the Education Centre who directly support work of Trustees, and school administrators, teachers and support staff who contribute to success and well-being of our students and each other.

Finally, she offered best wishes and congratulations to all retirees and graduates.

Director of Education Debra Rantz thanked all staff in every role for their outstanding work to advance the learning of our students.

She indicated that she was proud of the care and professionalism that staff demonstrate in supporting our students, ensuring our schools are safe, caring and inclusive environments where every student can experience success. She also expressed her deep appreciation to all retirees for their outstanding contributions to public education, preparing today’s learners to be the leaders of tomorrow.

She, too, congratulated our secondary graduates who are moving on to their chosen destinations.

She recognized the Board of Trustees for their commitment to excellence in education.

Introduction of incoming Student Trustees for 2019-2020

Current Student Trustees Hart and Kim introduced incoming Student Trustees for 2019-2020 to the Board.

The urban Student Trustee is Jessica Crook, a Grade 10 student from Loyalist Collegiate & Vocational Institute. She has taken on leadership roles in many events that take place at her school, such as volunteering to support Relay for Life.

The rural Student Trustee is Grade 10 Granite Ridge Education Centre student Annika Putnam. Annika is heavily involved in athletics and has taken on many leadership roles in her community. She was charter president for the Sharbot Lake Leo’s Club and has also been an active member of student council.

The incoming and outgoing trustees attended the Ontario Student Trustees' Association conference that included breakout sessions on procedure and how to get up and running for the new school year.

The new Student Trustees were elected by their peers in early May. They will begin their term in September.

Kingston Secondary School Update

Superintendent of Business Craig Young presented an update on Kingston Secondary School. As of June 10, 2019, construction is now 73% complete. There continues to consistently be about 80 labourers on site each day.

As is commonplace in projects of this size and scope, the contractor has experienced some delays as a result of inclement weather, and most recently, province-wide labour disruptions involving two sub-contractors.

These unforeseen delays have resulted in adjustments to the project schedule. We anticipate the new building will be in the “substantial completion” phase in the winter of 2020 with a revised occupancy timeline to be released later this summer.

Business Updates

Superintendent of Business Craig Young presented a brief report on various building improvement projects to take place this summer. Some of the projects include roofing work, boiler replacements and control upgrades. The work totals over $6.2 million.

Superintendent Young also presented a report for decision regarding a resolution to utilize an accumulated surplus of $205,011 to address Amortization of Employee Future Benefits. This was approved as presented.

Private Session Update

Private Session occurred prior to the Public Session on June 19, 2019. Trustee Laurie French shared that confidential matters regarding labour were discussed. No motions or decisions were presented.

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.