August 23, 2023 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.
Jerri Jerreat, a retired elementary teacher and author presented information to Trustees regarding the program "Youth Imagine the Future."
"Good evening. A new school year is just around the corner and staff are busy preparing to welcome new and returning students on Tuesday, September 5.
I hope that students, staff and trustees have had an opportunity this summer to relax and rejuvenate, spending valuable time with family and friends. I have certainly enjoyed the privilege of enjoying some quality family time this summer.
I would like to extend a warm welcome to Limestones Student Trustees for 2023-2024:
Emily Eckloff, Indigenous Student Trustee, who attends La Salle Secondary School, Andrea Wang, Urban Student Trustee, who attends Kingston Secondary School and Ava Jean O'Keefe, Rural Student Trustee who attends Sydenham High School. Thank you for taking on the vital role of representing the students of Limestone. Student voice is crucial around this horseshoe, and we look forward to your reports and updates throughout the year.
And that concludes my report."
"Limestone is excited to welcome new and returning students to a new school year."
"I hope everyone found space for some holiday time this summer to enjoy time with family and friends.
Reflecting on this summer & ongoing environmental incidents that have and are currently occurring, including devastating forest fires, I think it is fair to say that we have been very fortunate in our region compared with other parts of the country and internationally.
Over the past week, you may have noticed the LDSB, like other organizations across the city, lowered the Can. flag to half-mast last Fri. to honour the life of political strategist, author, academic, senator and longtime Kingston resident Hugh Segal, who passed on August 9. Much of his career was devoted not to partisan politics but a deep belief in building a better country for those less fortunate. He devoted much of his career championing a Guaranteed Annual Income and helping end poverty.
As Trustees will have noticed when they arrived tonight, the flag at the board office remains at half-mast this week marking the passing of the Honourable James K. Bartleman, former Lt. Governor of Ontario and career diplomat and author, who died August 14. A proud member of the Chippewas of the Rama First Nation, he made history as Ontario’s first Indigenous Lieutenant Governor serving from 2002 to 2007. He spent his life advocating for Indigenous people and working to eliminate the stigma of mental illness, promote anti-racism initiatives, and celebrate Indigenous communities.
We add our sincere condolences to the family and friends of these two distinguished Ontarians, recognizing their commitment to public service and education.
With the summer season schools were not running as they do for the other ten months of the year. However, there was lots of activity for students this July and August. Over 300 students participated in Camp Read A lot, and almost 700 secondary students participated in summer session earning credits. Almost 450 students participated in outdoor education programming offered at some schools, at Gould Lake, and/or outdoor education trips.
Trustees will receive a report in the fall providing more details regarding the range of summer programs that occurred in July and August. A considerable amount of facilities work occurs in schools during the summer and Manager Fowler will provide a summary of this work in September.
We are greatly looking forward to welcoming back staff and over 20,000 students as the school year starts. While 99% of students will be in face-to-face classrooms, Limestone continues to offer a virtual option for some students. Regardless of the format of learning, Limestone will continue to do its best to meet students where they are and support student well-being. Mental health and well-being are essential conditions for learning of all students.
While the pandemic continues to evolve, we must all continue to be prepared for change. Given labour negotiations are ongoing, we will need to adapt as needed, and we will continue to update families if, or when, circumstances change. At the moment, we know that schools will be welcoming students back on September 5, and we currently expect a full range of activities to be available for students to start the 2023-2024 school year.
We all know that extracurriculars like sports and clubs, full arts programming, and field trips are of tremendous value. As Trustees know, all of these student activities are made possible by the generous time provided by staff and some community members. I think I speak for everyone in expressing our gratitude to the staff and community members that provide these valuable experiences and services to Limestone students.
The value and importance of schools and the range of extracurricular experiences provided to students was certainly reinforced in the feedback from students and families in the first phase of consultation focused on the Limestone Strategic Plan.
This evening there are some routine, cyclical reports coming to Trustees, but I also look forward to sharing with you an overview of the first round of consultation that occurred with members of the Limestone community. Considerable and invaluable input and feedback was collected. In addition, I will be sharing an updated, interim Policy 13 focused on Delegations and Submissions.
And finally, I would like to highlight the fact that almost 200 Limestone educators are participating in the annual Limestone Summer Institute earlier today and tomorrow. We are very pleased to be able to provide this valuable learning opportunity to staff.
This is just one example of learning that Limestone educators have been participating in this summer. As we all know, learning is a journey, not a destination, and we must always model learning to support the system and do the best we can to serve students."
Private Session Report
Vice-Chair Godkin provided the Private Session Report indicating that earlier this evening during Private Session: The minutes were approved from the Regular Board Meeting (Private Session) of June 21, 2023. Superintendent McWilliams provided a labour update and Director Burra provided a personnel update which resulted in a motion that was passed. No other business conducted, or motions passed in Private Session.
Reports for Action:
Short Term Borrowing Resolution
The purpose of this report is to recommend a short-term borrowing resolution for the 2023-24 school year to meet potential cash flow requirements.
The Education Act requires the Treasurer of the Board to furnish to the bank a copy of the resolution(s) authorizing the borrowing of funds. Periodically the Board is required to borrow funds for current operating purposes to provide interim financing until revenues are received from Municipalities and the Province.
The Board did not have any operating borrowing requirements during 2022-2023, however the Board is subject to cash flow decisions from the Province and should have a borrowing resolution in place to provide interim financing if our cash flow situation should change.
The operating resolution authorizes the signing officers of the Board to borrow operating funds when required to meet short-term cash flow needs. The dollar amount of the operating borrowing requirement has been set to a maximum of $20.0 Million and is the same amount as in 2022-2023.
The Board is also required to arrange short-term bridge financing during the construction of major capital projects, capital additions/retrofits and for School Condition Improvement projects. The Board currently has credit facilities to cover all the required borrowing for the School Condition Improvement projects.
The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is the Board’s primary banker, a relationship that dates back to 1966. The banking services agreement with RBC extends to the end of 2023.
Recommendation(s): That the Board authorize the signing officers of the Board to enter into agreements with the Royal Bank of Canada for the following:
The borrowing of funds to meet operating requirements to a maximum of $20 million for the 2023-2024 fiscal year.
Motion is carried.
Edits to Policy 13: Delegations and Submissions
The purpose of this report is to make changes to Policy 13: Delegations and Submissions on an interim basis, pending an opportunity for consultation and feedback. The edits to the policy provide greater clarity regarding process and timing and provides parameters for what information publicly comes forward as Delegations and Submissions.
Delegations & Submissions are important tools for members of the public to come forward to share information with the Board of Trustees. Changes and edits were made to Policy 13 in the fall of 2021 as part of the review of several Board policies and the adoption of Procedural Bylaws.
If the edits are adopted, the revised Policy 13 would be interim pending an opportunity for public input and feedback. This opportunity would be provided in Sept. with goal of bringing input and feedback to the Oct. 4, 2023, Education, Policy, and Operations Committee.
Recommendation(s): That Trustees approve the edits outlined in the appendix for Policy 13, with the understanding that the changes would be interim pending an opportunity for public input and feedback.
Motion is carried.
Reports for Information:
Interim Financial Operating Expenditures for Quarter 3 2022-2023
Presented by Superintendent C. Young and Manager of Financial Services P. Carson. The full report is available in the Board Meeting Agenda Package on Page 25.
The purpose of this report is to report on the Interim Financial Operating expenditures for the period September 1, 2022, to May 31, 2023 (Quarter 3).
The 2022-2023 Interim Financial Report was presented to the Board on April 26, 2023, and provided operating expenditures for the period September 1, 2022 to February 28, 2023 (Quarter 2).
As at Quarter 3, $213,772,575 of the $277,826,881 operating budget or 77% has been spent. It is important to note, that expenditures are based upon items paid within the stated period. Certain expenditures may be non-cyclical in nature, which may lead to higher or lower expenditures within a given period. An example would be Continuing Education of which 45% of the operating budget was spent at Quarter 3.
The 2022-2023 interim financial report for Quarter 3 indicates a spending level of 77%. This is comparable to the 76% spending level reported for the same period last year.
The Board is on target to end the 2022-2023 fiscal year within the budgeted deficit of ($2,530,208).
The report was received for information.
See Yourself in Limestone: The Road Ahead – 2023-2028 Strategic Planning Process
The purpose of the report is to provide Trustees with an overview of the results of the Phase 1 public consultation for the 2023- 2028 Limestone District School Board (LDSB) strategic planning process.
On May 8, 2023, at the LDSB Education, Policy and Operations Committee meeting, it was shared that the LDSB had begun development of a new strategic plan to help guide the district forward over the next five years.
Strategic plans are a tool to identify key areas & priorities where the Board should focus its work. The rollout of the new strategic plan is critically important for the future of Limestone. The plan should help shape the future directions and culture of the district.
The Board’s previous strategic plan for 2017-2022 identified three primary strategic priorities–Wellness, Innovation and Collaboration–and nine objectives for each. In some areas, we have made progress; in other cases, circumstances have changed (and not just due to COVID-19). Some may be continuing top priorities, and some may no longer need special attention, resources or effort.
A strategic plan should focus on the most important priorities and not try to encompass all work that may need to be completed. In addition, an effective plan needs to reflect local circumstances and allow for multiple voices to provide input. This is why in the strategic planning process it is critical to consult with all members of the system– students, families, staff, community partners and the general public–to provide feedback on areas of strength and improvement throughout the system.
In addition to feedback from members of the Limestone community, it is important to include research and a review of effective practices in education, Board and ministry data, and expectations of the Ministry of Education. At the LDSB, students are at the centre of the strategic planning focus with attention on the following components:
- The need to continue K-12 High Yield Research-Based Practices: focus for instruction and assessment, clarity around learning goals and assessment, descriptive feedback, creating conditions for learning, focusing on effective instructional practices, and providing formative assessment opportunities.
- Early success in literacy and numeracy.
- Greater engagement and utilization of student voice and choice to maximize the opportunities for students to find success in K-12, and for their future.
- Looking for innovation at the classroom and school levels.
- Achieving a minimum of a 90% five-year graduation rate in the next few years.
It should also be noted that with the passage of Bill 98: The Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act, the province has indicated three core priorities for all school boards to incorporate into their multi-year strategic plans and to focus efforts on improving student learning.
These three core priorities are (a) Achievement of Learning Outcomes in Core Academic Skills; (b) Preparation of Students for Future Success; and (c) Student Engagement & Well-Being. These provincial priorities will have to be reflected in the Limestone DSB Strategic Plan.
In May and June 2023, the LDSB hosted Phase 1 of the consultation both in-person (using Qualtrics software to collect data) and online (using ThoughtExchange software to collect data and offer participants to rate others’ comments). We asked each member group one unique question specific to their experience. For example, parents and caregivers were asked: If there was one key thing you wanted to share with school staff to let them know what helps your student(s) learn, what would it be?
We promoted this consultation through the LDSB website; social media messaging and images; introductory videos; a message from the Director with a direct invitation to all families, students (Grades 4-12), and staff; and in-person presentations and data collection.
The in-person consultations were led by senior administration or school-based administration.
In total, there were 13,113 participants, 11,366 comments, and approx. 160,900 comment ratings collected. Central themes from the first phase of the consultation: pedagogy, resources and culture.
This report was received for information.
Notice of Motion
A Notice of Motion from the Regular Board Meeting on June 21, 2023was brought forward by Trustee J. Neill.
Given the critical partnership between KFL&A Public Health and local school boards before the most recent pandemic and throughout the pandemic, a letter should be written to the Minister of Health, Minister of Education, the Premier, local MPPs, and the Education and Health critics for the official opposition; advocating for a school board seat on the local public health board. This letter should also be shared with the other coterminous school boards.
After discussion there was a decision to defer the motion and request additional feedback from the Ontario Public School Boards' Association to see if other school boards in Ontario for trustee representation on public health boards.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:26 p.m.
FUTURE BOARD MEETING SCHEDULE
Limestone District School Board
Location: 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, ON, Canada