February 23, 2022 Meeting of the LDSB Board of Trustees
Each meeting, a different Trustee will present the Indigenous Acknowledgement of Territory and include their own personal reflections.
Presentation: Update from ÉKEES Renaming Committee
Four names were short-listed for additional feedback from the school and the community through a follow-up survey: Butternut Creek Elementary School, Friendship Elementary School, Harmony Elementary School and Maple Elementary School. The survey was open from February 14 - 18, 2022.
Additional criteria for name selection was developed by the Renaming Committee. Deb St. Amant and Melanie Howard of the the renaming committee listed the additional criteria to be used during the process. This criteria states that the former school name will not be considered; the name cannot be the name of individual (even if deceased); the new name will not appropriate Indigenous words/languages/names; and to ensure the new name has a connection to nature/land to promote a sense of identity and belonging among all peoples.
Private Session Report
Vice Chair Gingrich was called upon to Rise and Report from Private Session. Private session Minutes were approved. Superintendent Young provided an update on legal matters. There was no other business conducted, or motions passed in Private Session.
Chair Suzanne Ruttan provided the following report.
Chair Ruttan shared that several Kindergarten and primary classes celebrated 100 days of school recently. Students and teachers found a variety of creative ways to count down to the 100th day to celebrate achievements of academic year so far.
Chair Ruttan indicated that the ministry has announced Grants for Student Needs February 17th; by far the earliest we have received this information. Over the next several weeks, staff and trustees will start the budget process for the 2022-2023 school year.
Chair Ruttan offered congratulations to Trustee French on her appointment as President and CEO of Providence Village. She commented that Trustee French's leadership experience, strategic vision and community engagement will be of great value.
Chair Ruttan concluded noting that while COVID-19 continues to influence our day-to-day operations, it is heartening that protocols and restrictions are starting to be lifted, and to see images of students engaging in activities that we have all missed during this pandemic.
Student Trustee Report
Student Trustees Roy, Johnson and Duncan provided the Student Trustee Report.
Student Trustee Roy shared an update of Interschool Council, highlighting many activities celebrating Black History Month. Each high school participated in many different projects. For example: Black history facts were shared on morning announcements; many schools reported having public displays in libraries and front entrances; and posters and infographics were posted around schools. LCVI continues to host Black Hair Workshops, which have provided much positive feedback and engagement. In addition to all these great initiatives, Student Trustee Duncan is expecting to host a board-wide Virtual Black History Month Assembly February 28, 2022.Studnet Roy acknowledged the personal efforts of Student Trustee Duncan promoting Black History Month, as well as organizing district-wide initiatives.
Student Trustee Johnson debriefed the meeting they had with Director Burra regarding concerns about accessibility and awareness of gender neutral washrooms in LDSB schools. The are glad to clarify the problem is not with the number of gender neutral bathrooms, as every school has one, but rather the awareness of their locations and accessibility
Student Trustee Duncan reported there were 8 candidates in total who ran in the Student Trustee elections: 3 Rural Student Trustee candidates and 5 Urban Student Trustee candidates. All participants are superb in their own way. She added, LDSB students are in very capable hands next year no matter who is elected
Student Trustee Roy shared updates on the exciting initiatives and projects Indigenous Students and Allies have been working on for the past few months. She shared that the Indigenous Student Trustee election had two wonderful candidates running for the position. Although the results of the election are confidential at the moment, Trustee Roy said with certainty that Indigenous students should be reassured they are in great hands next year.
Trustee Roy reported that the Water for Awareness fundraising is going well. Secondary schools have begun planning and fundraising will end the second week of March. The goal is to raise proceeds and awareness for the Water Crisis on Indigenous Reserves.
Finally, with the help from members of the board and NDSS staff and students, Trustee Roy shared that work is being done to organize small group discussions with students regarding Indigenous Education Experiences in LDSB high schools. This initiative will be piloted at NDSS in April and then continue in other high schools throughout the Limestone.
The following are highlights of the Director's Report:
Director Burra commented that while COVID continues to impact schools and the world around us, in-person learning, a range of student activities have successfully resumed. We will continue to work closely with KFL&A Public Health in providing updates to schools.
With the provincial sharing of education funding for 2022-2023, Director Burra stated that we are well-placed to continue our planning and ensuring a smoother cycle of staffing moving into the latter stages of this year and preparing for the next school year.
As February is Black History Month, Director Burra highlighted many school initiatives recognizing and celebrating the achievements and contributions of Black Canadians.
Report for Action: Determination and Distribution for the 2022 Election
Superintendent Young provided information on determination and distribution of Trustees for the upcoming municipal election.
The regulation requires Boards with more than one municipality, like LDSB, to pass a resolution that either designates one or more municipalities as low population or state that the Board has decided not to designate any municipality as a low population municipality.
Historically, LDSB designated the municipalities of Central Frontenac, North Frontenac, and Addington Highlands as low population municipalities and approved a full Trustee to represent these areas.
Based on the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) reports on population LDSB is eligible for 9 Trustees in 2022, the same numbers currently provided.
Recommendations included designating municipalities of North, Central Frontenac & Addington Highlands as well as a draft model that provides alternative distribution of Trustee representation.
Motion to accept recommendations passed.
Report for Action: KFL&A Children, Youth and Family Services Collaborative Advocacy Letter
Superintendent Gilliam indicated that LDSB has been asked to be a signatory to request that Ontario participate in the national childcare program.
In Spring 2021, the Federal Government initiated funding for a national childcare program. As of December 2021, the Federal Government had entered into agreements with nine provinces and one territory. Ontario has not entered into an agreement with the Federal Government.
The motion to accept the recommendation that would add LDSB as signatory to the advocacy letter was passed following discussion by Trustees.
Report for Information: Rasing Awareness of Sex Trafficking
Recently, the MOE released the Policy Framework for Ontario school boards to develop their own Anti-Sex Trafficking Protocols. This protocol will support a coordinated action by all community partners to prevent, identify and recognize sex trafficking and develop responses. LDSB will employ culturally safe strategies to raise awareness about sex trafficking with students, school board employees, parents, caregivers, and the broader school community.
LDSB will provide ongoing training for employees, including teachers, administrators, and other school staff on anti sex trafficking strategies and will develop a performance measurement framework. Plans are underway to develop an Anti-Sex Trafficking course on Minds Online and continue PD with secondary and elementary educators.
Report for Information: Gender Neutral Washrooms in Secondary Schools
Superintendent McDonnell provided Trustees with update on gender neutral washrooms in secondary schools.
In 2015, schools were surveyed to determine whether gender neutral washrooms were available to the student population. Schools identified whether they had single stall
or single stall/accessibility washroom spaces. Based on this data, signage was provided to all schools indicating a single stall washroom or single stall/accessible washroom. Simultaneously, guidelines were developed with the intention to preserve and protect the rights, privacy, confidentiality, safety, health and dignity of transgender and gender non-conforming students and staff at all times-in all LDSB schools.
In November 2021, a delegation was presented by the LDSB Parent Involvement Committee 2SLGBTQIA+ Focus Group to Trustees on areas of focus for improvement. In January and February 2022, Student Trustee Duncan and LDSB staff collected additional information. School administrators and Facility Services review areas of concerns annually where improvements can be made to remove any barriers to accessible washrooms. The Board's 10-year capital plan does include renovations to include gender-neutral/accessible to students.
Superintendent McDonnell clarified that information about gender-neutral washrooms, number of single stalls, etc. will be provided to Parent Involvement Committee 2SLGBTQIA+ Focus Group who presented concerns on this issue.
Next steps will include ensuring all gender neutral, single stall and gender-neutral single stall/accessible washrooms are signed appropriately and located in an accessible area of the school so that students know they exist and where to find them. Work directly with the LDSB Parent Involvement Committee 2SLGBTQIA+ Focus Group in service of building and maintaining safe, inclusive, and supportive schools with a particular focus on increasing family access to resources. Create an LDSB 2SLGBTQ+ Staff Collective to support district-wide and student led initiatives/opportunities for 2SLGBTQ+ youth. Review planning process for gender neutral washrooms and other spaces such as change rooms and longer-term facility planning.
Administrative Repot: 2022-2023 Budget Development Schedule
Superintendent Young outlined the budget development schedule for the 2022-2023 school year. The government recently announced the Grants for Student Needs and details are expected to arrive to school boards by the end of March. Stakeholders will have opportunity to provide input on budget priorities via a budget survey.
Administrative Report: 2021-2022 Revised Estimates and Interim Financial Report for Q1
The report provides an update on enrolment and staffing changes since the budget was approved by the Board on June 16, 2021. Also included, are updated operating and capital sections of the budget, reflecting revenue and expenditure information at revised estimates.
Administrative Report: COVID-19 Update
- The removal of mandatory masking for Kindergarten students by Public Health , which was implemented in December 2021. We will now revert back to what was in place for Kinders based on Aug. 2020 motion from Trustees, that masking would be strongly encouraged.
- It was noted that based on provincial guidance, masking for Grades 1-12 is still required without an exemption. The use of school gyms, weight rooms, change rooms, indoor and outdoor use of PHE equipment is now permitted.
- KFL&A Public Health has indicated that secondary schools may utilize larger spaces within the school during lunch or break times for students. Grade 7-12 sites are encouraged to cohort while eating; however, this is not mandatory. Students will be permitted to use larger spaces within the school, like cafeterias, so long as physical distancing is maintained, and room capacity limits are respected. Given some of these larger spaces are being utilized for classroom spaces in some schools, there will be some variation in how these spaces are used during break or lunch times.
A fulsome article on the MOE updated COVD-19 guidance for school operations may be found on the board's website.
Notice of Motions Presented
Trustee Godkin brought forward two Notices of Motion:
That LDSB write letters to all municipal governments in our jurisdiction as well as to the provincial and federal ministries and departments responsible for housing and homelessness to request immediate action to tackle the unprecedented increases in the costs of real estate as it relates to housing, and the costs of rental units, which is and will increase child and student poverty and increase student homelessness. The added stress on families has a direct effect on our students and ultimately an impact on their education.
That the Board through its representatives on at OPSBA reach out to its member boards to seek support in having all levels of government address the housing crisis and its effects on children and our students
Trustee Hutcheon brought forward a Notice of Motion:
That the LDSB pursue the appointment of an Indigenous Trustee based on the option through Limestone’s Education Agreement with the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte.
Notice of Motions presented this evening will be brought forward to future Agenda Setting Meeting.