Boardroom Briefs

May 18, 2022 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.

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

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Private Session Report

Trustee French was called upon to Rise and Report from Private Session. Private session minutes were approved for April. Safe school update was provided along with a local labour update, local personnel update, and OPSBA update. No other business conducted, or motions passed.

Chair's Report

Chair Suzanne Ruttan provided the following report.

LDSB is deeply saddened by the tragic events in the US on the weekend. Two mass shootings resulted in 10 citizens killed in Buffalo and one person killed in Southern California with many others suffering gunshot injuries. These horrific hate crimes motivated by anti-Black and anti-Asian racism are upsetting and disturbing news. This kind of hate has no place in our communities, and no place in our schools. We stand with our local African, Caribbean, Black, and Asian communities, and we remain committed to combating racism and discrimination in all its forms.

As we know better, we do better, and I’m proud that we have reached another milestone in the board’s Equity Plan, with the introduction of two advisory committees. The LDSB is proud to partner with Family and Children’s Services of Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington as we recognize the unique needs of Black children, youth and families in both the educational and child welfare system and have established the establishment of the Umoja Black Advisory Committee. This committee will provide a forum to advise, support and hold both organizations accountable in the implementation of the board’ equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives to ensure better outcomes for Black children and youth. In its first community outreach, the Umoja Black Advisory Committee is hosting a potluck on May 26 to share information, network, and empower each other for a better future for children and youth. Everyone is welcome: Black children and youth, their parents, mentors, coaches, uncles, and aunties.

To help support everyone who learns, works, or volunteers in Limestone to value diversity, demonstrate respect for others, and commit to establishing a just and caring society, Limestone has recently formed the Community Equity Advisory Committee. LDSB is seeking two community members who offer diverse perspectives and/or lived experiences to join the Community Equity Advisory Committee to help in identifying and eliminating barriers to an equitable and inclusive environment for staff, students, and the broader community, and determine strategies for systemic implementation of the board’s Equity and Action Plan.

The first week of May is Mental Health Week and Education Week, with schools posting the board’s pillars of wellness, innovation and collaboration to honour these weeks. I would like to extend appreciation to Laura Conboy and the Educational Services Well-being team for the excellent social media campaign and school resources they provided during Mental Health Week. These learning opportunities, and best practices will strengthen supports for students, ourselves and each other.

And finally, on behalf of all Trustees I would like to sincerely thank the members of École Kingston East Renaming Committee, students and school staff, for organizing the “Walking the Land and school tour” for Trustees Monday afternoon. I regret I was unable to attend due to work conflicts but I wanted to acknowledge the warm welcome by the school community in preparation for the discussion this evening to select a new name for the school. So many people have given so much of their valuable energy and input into this important process. Tonight, Trustees will select one of four names recommended by the school community. A new name, I believe, is one step on the journey to truth and reconciliation.

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Student Trustee Report

Student Trustee Duncan provided the Student Trustee Report.

OPSBA Report

Trustee French provided an OPSBA report with highlights of the OPSBA Board of Directors (BOD) Meeting that was held April 29-30, 2022.

The OPSBA meeting was a hybrid approach to the meeting with some Trustees online and some in-person.

The Legislative update included a presentation by Nick Nanos who reflected on the upcoming provincial election outcomes and various government insights and predictions. Municipal Election nominations are open from May 2 - August 19, 2022, and the Provincial Advocacy Day will be held November 27 this year, following OPSBA Board meetings.

The Government Relations and Communications update reviewed OPSBA's Provincial election ‘Education Day.' Packages have been created and distributed to local boards to host All Candidates meetings, meeting with all parties for platform development, and gather candidates' responses to OPSBA education priorities questionnaire.

An Executive Council Motion was brought forward during the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion update, stating: That the OPSBA BOD orientation include professional learning on diversity, inclusion, systemic racism, & all forms of oppression, & that annual professional learning be provided to all members of the OPSBA BOD in this area. The motion passed unanimously.

The OPSBA 2022-2023 balanced budget and annual strategic priorities were also approved.

Director's Report

The following are highlights of the Director's Report:

Director Burra expressed huge appreciation to the committee and in particular the students for facilitating the tour of ÉKEES earlier this week.

Spring sports are running in schools now, including track and field, ultimate frisbee, tennis, rugby, soccer, and baseball – with many of the playoffs and finals coming up later this week or towards the end of May.

Student absences due to COVID related reasons are now around 150 per day, compared to almost 1100 at the end of March/early April or high 800s in late February. Staff pressures now due to extracurricular activities taking place which is similar to previous springs when these activities were occurring. Staff absences have stabilized.

Limited in-person professional learning has started again due to staffing considerations. There has been tremendous success in after school, hybrid learning. Recent example is the Foundational Literacy Skills Learning Series filled up within two hours of opening. This is a testament to the importance of this work and the interest of LDSB educators in meeting the literacy needs of students.

School boards received funding this spring to support learning recovery and tutoring in schools. LDSB staff providing several days of training to over 60 tutors, and community partners who are now deployed in schools serving approximately 1400 students per week. This has been a significant undertaking to serve Limestone students with additional, intensive support, but this work helps support students by addressing learning needs.

International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia was recognized May 17. We must be clear and unequivocal in protecting Human Rights for all.

The massacre that occurred in Buffalo recently is yet another reminder of the importance of our Human Rights, equity, and diversity work. This work has been highlighted recently in the public launch of the Umoja Black Advisory Committee, the creation of the Limestone Community Equity Advisory Committee and call for community members, the Get Real Parent Inclusivity workshop that occurred earlier this week, and as one final example, the formal and official participation of Limestone in the upcoming Pride parades occurring in Napanee on June 5, and Kingston on June 18.

Report for Action: Renaming of École Kingston East Elementary School

Superintendent McDonnell provided an update on the Renaming of École Kingston East Elementary School (ÉKEES).

Trustees will be voting to select one of four names recommended by the ÉKEES Renaming Committee. The four names for consideration are –Butternut Creek, Forestview, Maple and Mapleview. These final names were selected from a variety of suggestions provided through considerable consultation and work within the community.

Trustees were invited by the Renaming Committee for a short tour of the school and a walk on the land to provide Trustees with an opportunity to see where students and staff learn, and experience the connection to the land.

Superintendent McDonnell reiterated the recommendations put forth by the Renaming Committee including, Trustees are to review the four names and rationale, and that they are guided by the additional criteria developed by the Renaming Committee as well as the Board’s Administrative Procedure 552. It is recommended that the Board of Trustees ensure that whatever name they choose, that it be bilingual and That the Board of Trustees send a letter of appreciation to the members of the Renaming Committee thanking them for their leadership through this process.

The name must have at least five votes to be selected. Trustees were given an opportunity to share their perspectives and rationale on their preferred names for the school. Voting was by secret ballot.

École Maple Elementary School was chosen as the new school name. The Majors athletic crest and school colours of red and black will remain. Given there are just a few weeks left in this school year and the need to implement a few logistical changes, the school will remain École Kingston East Elementary School for the remainder of the school year. École Maple Elementary School will officially be in place for the start of the 2022-2023 school year.

The renaming process began in June 2021, when Trustees unanimously voted to change its name and acknowledged the ongoing pain and harm related to the use of the name within LDSB school communities but particularly with Indigenous members.

Report for Information: Interim Financial Operating Expenditures

Superintendent Young provided information on expenditures for the period September 1, 2021 to February 28, 2022 (Quarter 2).

Trustees reviewed the various expenditure categories with comparisons of revised estimates. As at Quarter 2, $133,332,076 of the $273,423,893 operating budget or 49% has been spent. The expenditures are based upon items paid within the stated period. Certain expenditures may be noncyclical in nature, which may lead to higher or lower expenditures within a given period.

The 2021-2022 interim financial report for Quarter 2 indicates a spending level of 49%. This is

comparable to the 48% spending level reported for the same period last year.

The Board is on target to end the 2021-2022 fiscal year within the budgeted deficit of ($1,835,765).

Report for Information: Strategic Plan Monitoring Mid-Year Update

Under the Education Act, the Director must review the Multi-Year Strategic Plan annually with the Board of Trustees, timed to align with the Director’s Annual Report at the end of the calendar year.

To assist Trustees with their ongoing monitoring, a mid-year update is provided using a ‘traffic light’ system to evaluate the progress of specific actions which were designed to operationalize the achievement of LDSB strategic goals.

Senior Staff presented a monitoring update, focusing on the items that have been assessed as high priorities to focus on for the coming months and moving into the next school year. A semi-annual assessment allows staff to make adjustments to ensure that the MYSP goals remain on track to the maximum extent possible.

Highlights were provided in each of the Board's three pillars of Wellness, Innovation and Collaboration (pages 43 -88 in the Board Agenda Package).

Report for Information: Indigenous Trustee Consultation

The issue of representation and having an Indigenous voice at the Board level has been a topic of considerable discussion by Trustees in recent years and previously led to the addition of an Indigenous Student Trustee in 2020-2021.

At the February 23, 2022, Regular Board Meeting, the following Notice of Motion was brought

forward: “That the Limestone District School Board pursue the appointment of an Indigenous Trustee based on the option through Limestone’s Education Agreement with the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte.”

At the March 30, 2022, Regular Board Meeting, following discussion on the above-noted notice of motion, the following motion was passed: “This motion be deferred until the Board Meeting of May 18, 2022, to allow consultation with the Indigenous Education Advisory Council (IEAC) and the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte is completed.”

Superintendent Gilliam provided an update to Trustees on the consultation with IEAC and MBQ.

Overall, IEAC supports the addition of an Indigenous Trustee via the current Education agreement. IEAC members outlined a number of additional considerations. The general consensus was that adding an Indigenous Trustee through the only currently available regulatory process was a step in the right direction, but that ultimately, adding an Indigenous Trustee that represents the Limestone catchment area should be the goal.

MBQ were agreeable to continue the conversation of having an Indigenous Trustee appointed through the MBQ, at the completion of further consultation with IEAC. Josh was very clear that this appointment would be to support all Indigenous voices in the community and would not be a singular, MBQ voice.

Motion: That staff develop a process and recommended timeline for an Indigenous Trustee to be appointed by the Mohawk of the Bay of Quinte through Regulation 462/97, including a contingency process should the number of students decrease below the regulatory requirement, and identifying policy implications for a 10th Trustee. Carried.

Trustees unanimously voted to approach the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte for them to appoint an Indigenous Trustee to the Limestone Board of Trustees.

New Business: OPSBA Resolution Submission

At the April Board Meeting Trustees passed a motion "That the Board, through its representatives on OPSBA reach out to its members boards to seek support in having all levels of government address the housing crisis and its effect on children and our students."

Trustee French presented an edited version of the submission. She indicated the rationale remains the same as presented in Trustee Godkin's original motion, but the resolution has been edited to better align with OPSBA mandates. The resolution submission title was also changed through a friendly amendment to "Advocating on behalf of children, youth, and students for immediate action to address their social determinants of health."

Motion: Be it resolved that OPSBA’s Whole Child and Student Well-being Priority recognize the impact of social determinants of health, including stable and affordable housing, food security and poverty, be included in OPSBA advocacy initiatives. Carried.

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.