Boardroom Briefs

March 29, 2023 Meeting of the 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.

You can view the entire Twitter thread here.

You can view the full Board Agenda Package here.

Each meeting, a different Trustee will present the Indigenous Acknowledgement of Territory and include their own personal reflections.

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Tri-Board Transportation Support - Erin Provost, President, CUPE 1480

Tri-Board Stalled Negotiations - Velma Storms & Colleen Lavergne

These two delegations spoke to labour issues involving transportation planners and Tri-Board school bus consortium.


Expanded Opportunities Building Construction Internship Program (BCIP) - Geoff Petznick, SHSM & Skilled Trades Consultant, Dan Fisher, SCIP, Teacher and students Andrew Rochette and Zak Ferreira

Andrew and Zak shared their experiences as students participating in BCIP, including working on the 100th House, a project in partnership Brookland Fine Homes and Habitat for Humanity.

Eight tiny homes make the 100th house project -- not just one home but a caring community. This project will provide safe, healthy and affordable housing for the community's most vulnerable.

Andrew and Zak presented a certificate of recognition to Brookland Fine Homes founder John Armitage for his participation and support of BCIP since the program's first build in 1992.

Photo of John Armitage with LDSB Students and Teachers
Pictured from left: Dan Fisher, SCIP teacher, Andrew Rochette, BCIP student, John Armitage, founder, Brookland Fine Homes, Zak Ferreira, BCIP student, and Don Voteary, retired BCIP teacher

Photo by Melissa Baker-Cox

Private Session Report

Trustee Elliott was called upon to Rise and Report from Private Session. Updates regarding safe schools, labour and personnel were discussed. No other business conducted, or motions passed.

Chair's Report

Vice-Chair Godkin was called upon to chair the Board Meeting at Chair Hutcheon's request. There was no Chair's Report at this meeting.

Director's Report

Here are some highlight's from Director Burra's report:

Director Burra spoke to preparations for the 2023-24 school year, including awaiting specific budget allocations.

There have been several engagement opportunities in the past few weeks: Ongoing special education review, school year calendar survey and budget survey. Engagement for the strategic plan will begin this spring.

Director Burra recognized the BCIP and its positive impact on students and community. He emphasized that the student equity census that would be shared is still in process of being shared with critical stakeholders. Due to this, it is important to not draw too many conclusions until the full report is made public in the coming weeks.

He said data is important in understanding student experience and will provide guidance and start further conversations about data to fully understand it and create meaningful change.

"The data calls for action and change, and there is no denying that work lies ahead to ensure Students See Themselves in Limestone." - Director Burra

Director Burra highlighted recent and upcoming initiatives in Limestone schools. Before the March Break, six schools participated in a No. 9 sustainability project. This week, Indigenous students were part of a rocket launch activity with Queen's engineering.

Some upcoming events include the LDSB Entrepreneurship Showcase at Queen's on April 12 where secondary students will present their ideas to local entrepreneurs. On April 25, the Limestone Learning Foundation is sponsoring Robin Hanley-Dafoe for a virtual speaking event with secondary students.

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Student Trustee Reports

Highlights from Student Trustee Mohammed Elshrief's Report:

Student Trustee Elshrief talked about Interschool Council held March 21 that was chaired by Student Trustees Elayna Jackson and Julia Kolosov.

He said school reps shared notable completed and upcoming events including LCVI successfully hosting a Black History Month and Black Hair Excellence event, and KSS planning a Model UN event, etc.

Student Trustee Elshrief says Student Trustee Elayna Jackson led the Board Meeting recap and highlighted discussions on the school year calendar survey, board discussions, and how snow days are determined in the Tri-Board.

Highlights from Student Trustee Julia Kolosov's Report:

Student Trustee Kolosov shared about a mental health initiative she and Indigenous Trustee Maracle have been discussing. Together, they have started working on developing a mental health initiative for Indigenous students in Limestone.

They are working to assemble list of contacts and resources of Indigenous supports and opportunities to get involved in local Indigenous community. They have preliminary plans for website, posters, communications strategy, and Student Trustee Kolosov asked the Board of Trustees to provide suggestions and input for design and roll-out.

Report for Action


The full report is available in the Board Meeting Agenda Package on Pages 17-19.

The purpose of this report was to review the 2023-2024 School Year Calendar and provide Trustees with the results of the public consultation regarding the two options presented in the stakeholder survey.

Provincial Regulation 304 School Year Calendar, Professional Activity Days requires that a regular school year start on or after Sept. 1 and end on or before June 30. Every school year shall include a min. of 194 school days. In LDSB, the 194 school days are made up of seven PA Days and 187 instructional days. Examination days for secondary schools fall under instructional days.

The three school boards in the Tri-Board Consortium (LDSB, HPEDSB, and ALCDSB) have traditionally agreed upon a common calendar to share transportation costs.

After School Year Calendar Committee meetings, the following two options were available to all LDSB stakeholders from Feb. 10-12, 2023.

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Results: When the survey closed on Feb. 21, 2023, 5,300 responses had been received. 64% of the respondents were parents/guardians/caregivers, 20% were staff, and 9% were students. Results were also received from Trustees, community agencies and daycare partners.

Calendar Option 1 was selected by 64% respondents. Option 2 received 36% support. These results were similar to the results of the surveys conducted by both HPEDSB and ALCDSB.

For the alternative calendar option that included a fall break and was not in consideration for 2023-2024, 53% of respondents supported the model and 47% were not supportive. For the alternative calendar, the results were as follows: Parents/Guardians 48% supportive, Staff 63% supportive, and for Students 59% were supportive.

The results of the survey were reviewed by LDSB’s School Year Calendar Committee and the other co-terminus school boards.

It was recommended that the Board approve Calendar Option 1 for the 2023-2024 School Year Calendar. The recommendation was moved.

Reports for Information


The full report is available in the Board Meeting Agenda Package on pages 20-23.

The purpose of this report was to provide Trustees with an update on the See Yourself in Limestone Student Census 2020 project and to share information about next steps and upcoming reports.

The Student Census administration took place in the late fall of 2020 and offers an opportunity to create a shared understanding of the diverse backgrounds, experiences, strengths, and needs within LDSB school communities. The census questions ask about several aspects of student identity including race and cultural background; sexual orientation and gender; disabilities and conditions; socioeconomic status; and experiences at school.

The survey was completely voluntary, online, and was confidential. There were three versions of the survey: Grades 7 to 12, Grades 4 to 6, and Grades K to 3. Resources were provided in advance to support administration of the survey in schools. Several public consultation sessions occurred in the winter of 2019-2020, prior to the onset of the pandemic, to share questions and seek feedback. The highest response rates were among students in Grades 4 to 9.

Student Census 2020 Prelim. Report: September 2021 was shared with Trustees in September 2021. This report was also shared with administrators and made available on the LDSB website in September 2021.

A Technical Advisory Group (TAG) comprised of LDSB community stakeholders and members of the Student Census Team was established in January 2022 to support the analysis of the data. Since this time, the Research Team and TAG have been establishing priorities for analysis, identifying key variables, and working to build meaningful, empowering representation of the students and communities whose data is included. The TAG identified student sense of belonging as a priority for analysis, as belonging is a fundamental element of student engagement, agency and self-determination. TAG also identified race as the key driver for analysis in the first report in an effort to create greater understanding, improve student experience and create meaningful, positive change.

The See Yourself in Limestone: Student Sense of Belonging report is due to be released in Spring 2023. This report will be the first in a series of reports on student belonging and focuses on experiences at school based on race and race related data. This report will offer info on belonging indicators: experience of positive school climate; social justice education; positive representation and reflection of identity; opportunities to express and learn about cultural background, etc. This Student Sense of Belonging Report will share data that provides guidance for Limestone moving into the future.

The Anti-Racism Data Standards (ARDS) require school boards to publish disparity indices for race and racial background, religion, ethnicity and Indigenous Identity on the following indicators: student achievement, discipline student well-being and sense of belonging. The info gathered through the Student Census will help us identify and address systemic barriers; expand on our strengths; cultivate classrooms and schools that eliminate discriminatory biases create more equitable outcomes and inclusive learning environments; and support student achievement and well-being.

It was recommended that the report be received for information purposes.


The full report is available in the Board Agenda Package on pages 24-27.

The purpose of this report was to provide Trustees with an update on secondary eLearning in the LDSB.

eLearning offers secondary students an opportunity to take courses that are delivered entirely online and do not require students to be physically present in the classroom. The origins of K-12 eLearning in Ontario stem from print-based correspondence courses, complete secondary curriculum available by the 1950s. The Ontario eLearning Consortium (OeLC) was established in 2005-06 school year. The OeLC is comprised of a collective of Ontario School Boards, each of which has entered into mutual agreement to open their eLearning courses to all students throughout member boards without a course fee. Currently, the OeLC supports 55 member boards representing students who reside in both urban and rural areas throughout Ontario. Limestone is an OeLC member and supports Grade 9-12 students in day school, students in Grades 11 and 12 at Secondary Virtual School, as well as Grades 9-12 students in Summer Session.

All students who entered Grade 9 in the 2020-21 school year or later must earn a min. of two online learning credits as part of the requirements for OSSD. Adult learners entering the Ontario secondary school system in 2023-24, or later, will also be required to meet this requirement. There are eLearning credits offered to students at every secondary school to help meet the new grad requirement, provide more choice, etc. Co-op ed. credits also allow students to earn an online learning credit by completing the coursework that accompanies the work placement through the Ministry’s Virtual Learning Environment, commonly referred to as Minds Online in LDSB, facilitated by co-op teacher.

The data below shows the numbers of students taking eLearning credits during the regular academic year and in Summer School over the last five years:

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Number of students taking eLearning credits and number of credits earned at summer school by year:
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Most Limestone students are on track to complete the two mandatory online eLearning credits required for the OSSD. The following table represents the current number of students who have opted out by cohort:
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Staff will continue to seek opportunities to enhance the eLearning experience and provide opportunities.

It was recommended that the report be received for information purposes.

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.