Boardroom Briefs

May 17, 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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Limestone District School Board Student Achievers Awards

The Limestone Student Achievers Award recognizes outstanding achievements of secondary students whose exceptional accomplishments merit recognition beyond the separate categories of awards at the school level.

Recipients have demonstrated exemplary achievement in all three categories of (1) leadership; (2) positive attitude, energy, and school spirit; and (3) academic standing. Students are nominated by their schools and then selected by the awards committee of the Board.

Trustees Elliott and McGregor led the presentation and invited each Student Achiever and their school representatives to the podium for individual award presentations:

  • Bayridge Secondary School student Maeve Cotton and Principal Anne Marie McDonald
  • Ernestown Secondary School student Ada Beal and Principal Shannon Tyner
  • Granite Ridge Education Centre student/LDSB Student Trustee Elayna Jackson and Principal Janet Sanderson
  • Kingston Secondary School student Sadie De Arruda and Principal Darlene Scarlett
  • La Salle Intermediate & Secondary School student Kate Cameron and Principal Brent Pickering
  • LCVI student Bryn Bain and Principal Margaret Connelly
  • Napanee DSS student Sam Hall and Principal Erin Pincivero
  • North Addington Education Centre student Alyssa Borger and Principal John Mooney
  • Sydenham High School student Franklin Goodfellow and Principal Roxanne Saunders
  • Limestone Virtual School student Tatiana Cimbura, Principal Bryan Lambert and teacher Adam Andrecyk
  • Frontenac Secondary student Angus Skinner and Vice-Principal Sheri Jones
  • Frontenac Secondary School student Hailey Hart and teacher Sara Hamilton

Congratulations to the 2023 Limestone Student Achievers!

The 2023 Limestone Student Achievers Awards

Thank you to the LCVI Cooks' Internship program students for providing delicious hors d’oeuvres for the Limestone Student Achievers and their families.

Chair's Report

"We are more than half way through May now and very close to the end of the school year. The trees are budding, flowers are blooming and many of us are itching to be outside with the beautiful sunshine on our faces, green grass at our feet and blue skies above. There is a beautiful world surrounding us.

Lately, we are getting a lot of messaging about being kind to each other. Kind is perhaps the most important thing we can be. Kindness helps us stay humble, helps us maintain community, and can be a hidden gift for those receiving and those giving it. It is the ability to remain kind, no matter the circumstances, that keeps us human.

It is not only kindness to each other that is important. We must also be kind to this Earth. While there may still be some debate about climate change, I don’t think there is any debate that clean air, water and soil are integral to our lives as humans on this earth. Not only our survival, but our ability to thrive can depend on our ability to connect to nature. Sustainability has become something of a buzz word over the years but the importance of its meaning should not be lost. We must maintain our environment because when it comes to our planet, there is no plan B; there is no sequel. This globe is all we have.

Hearing about the kindness and empathy demonstrated by tonight’s Limestone Student Achievers, I have hope for the well-being of our planet and our communities. Their academic success is admirable, and their ability to look beyond themselves to the welfare of their communities is even more so. As was clearly demonstrated tonight, our future is in good hands."

"Hearing about the kindness and empathy demonstrated by tonight’s Limestone Student Achievers, I have hope for the well-being of our planet and our communities." - Chair Robin Hutcheon

Director's Report

"It is hard to believe that it is already the middle of May and only six weeks remain in the 2022-2023 school year. As everyone knows, this is a very busy season in schools across the board.

The annual science fair and heritage fair occurred in recent weeks, and I had the pleasure of attending the Science Rendezvous this past weekend, and seeing many Limestone students, families, and staff. It is wonderful that this exciting and worthwhile community activity is back in full stride. A full range of secondary athletics’ seasons is underway: elementary junior basketball finished a couple of weeks ago, and now all elementary schools are in the thick of a very hectic track and field season.

It is wonderful that the full range of student activities and experiences have been back in place this year, and most of last year, when we think back to the pandemic lockdowns of spring 2020 and spring 2021. I think it is fair to say that all students, staff, and families have a greater appreciation for the benefits of face-to-face learning, and the full range of student activities that are so important to the well-being of children and youth.

As Trustees know, it is also a busy season for us as we prepare budgets for the 2023-2024 school year, and there are several upcoming budget meetings as part of our annual budget process.

Tonight’s award celebration of the Limestone Student Achievers is yet another reminder of the important work we do to support the education of local children and youth, and placing focus on the students we serve. The 12 students we honoured this evening are exceptional young people that we can expect to see phenomenal things from in the next chapters of their lives.

While it is wonderful that we annually honour the Limestone Student Achievers in May, we also will be honouring almost 2,000 Grade 12 graduates at the end of June. Before those end-of-year graduations, we will have an opportunity at the June 7 Education, Policy, and Operations Committee meeting to celebrate and honour the 11 Skills Ontario Competition winners.

While writing my monthly Director’s Reports for this meeting, like all others, I am reminded of the many, many fantastic things happening in schools to help support Limestone students. This does not mean things are always perfect, but taking a step back and seeing what is occurring in schools every day for the benefit of students is an important perspective to maintain when we see challenges.

"This does not mean things are always perfect, but taking a step back and seeing what is occurring in schools every day for the benefit of students is an important perspective to maintain when we see challenges." - Director Krishna Burra

As Trustees are aware, we have launched our strategic planning consultations. This is an exciting time in Limestone for us to listen as we collect input from a wide range of stakeholders inside Limestone like students, families and staff, as well as from outside like our many community partners. While these engagements have started and will continue through the duration of May/June, it is clear people have things to say: strengths, challenges, opportunities, and in some cases very personal suggestions for what we need to do to help support student learning and well-being. I greatly look forward to unpacking the information as it continues to stream in and facilitating a number of engagement opportunities.

In closing, I would like to highlight two upcoming initiatives involving Limestone. The first is Splash School: a community partnership with City of Kingston, YMCA and St. Lawrence Pools to address the lack of options for swimming lessons in the city. This eight-week pilot project involves two elementary schools and provides free swimming lessons for interested students during the school day, focusing on core swimming skills.

Secondly, LDSB will again be participating in the Greater Napanee Pride Parade June 3, and the Kingston Pride Parade on June 17. We are encouraging our families and students to walk with us again. This year, the Limestone contingent will be carrying a Pride Quilt along both routes. In cooperation with the Kingston School of Art, LDSB school-based, equity-related clubs, and staff here at the Education Centre have been creating Pride-inspired quilt squares. Once the squares are completed, they will be put together to create an art piece that unites us all, illustrating both the beauty of individuality, as well as the inclusivity message that everyone should see themselves in Limestone. On that journey to have everyone see themselves in Limestone, we still have much work ahead of us, but events like this are important steps on that path."

Student Trustee Reports

Rural Student Trustee Jackson says last week was the second last Inter-School Council (ISC) meeting, with in-person representation from each school and the opportunity to introduce incoming Student Trustees.

“We have finalized election questions for next year's student trustee elections, with the addition of a personal question and answer section as well as one scenario question. We are hoping that the addition of these questions will give the ISC a better understanding of the candidates, as we found the previous election questions were very generic and many candidates unintentionally provide the same answers.

Our schools are heavy into athletics right now, with soccer, rugby, ultimate frisbee, and track and field being headliners. I think everyone can agree how exciting it is to have every startup and running in full swing.

A common theme in most of our meetings is lack of student involvement. We are constantly looking at ways to keep students involved as most schools expressed struggle in this area. Although most schools struggle with this, there is always a great discussion with everyone offering ideas and brainstorming new ways to help combat this problem.

We have explored many different options and one we have discussed is social media, and how our student councils can use it to their advantage. We have tossed around the idea that lack of student involvement has come from many students being unaware of different events happening. With social media accounts for athletics and school activities, some schools have found more connection and reach to fellow students, which is very exciting.

Mr. Burra consulted with the ISC to provide information regarding the next five-year Strategic Plan and how the roll-out process would look. We also outlined the previous Strategic Plan the Board has been operating under. Students also had the opportunity to answer a question relative to their position as members of a board committee. They will have the opportunity to answer another question in the coming weeks, which will be geared towards students.

Our last meeting is being held on June 6, and we have encouraged this year's representatives to bring along next year's ISC reps to give them a glimpse into what the ISC does!

This coming weekend, outgoing Student Trustees Jackson and Kolosov, as well as incoming Student Trustee O’Keefe will be attending the OSTA-AECO AGM in Toronto."

Indigenous Student Trustee Kolosov says this week was the provincial OSTA-AECO affiliated meeting for Indigenous Student Trustees across the province.

"As some of you may know, later this month we will have our first Indigenous Cultural Day. The Indigenous education team is working very hard to make this event a success and are in the final stages of confirming the details.

This week we have our last OSTA-AECO meeting for the current Student Trustees. This will also be the first meeting for the incoming Trustees. Elayna and I are very excited to introduce them to the rest of the Student Trustee group from across the province and to officially start passing the torch to the next generation of student leaders who will be representing their school boards at the student level next year."

Reports for Information


This was a verbal report provided by Director Burra where he shared that June 29 is the day for graduations for all LDSB secondary schools. Times for these graduations (as well as dates and times for elementary graduations) are still being finalized and will be shared with Trustees in the next few days.


Presented by Superintendent Young and Sustainable Initiatives Coordinator Dan Hendry

The full report is available in the Board Meeting Agenda Package on Pages 28-30

The purpose of this report is to provide an information report for the Limestone District School Board Trustees about the Kingston Transit High School Bus Pass program and the need for further transportation efficiencies to address transportation revenue shortfalls.

In Kingston, the LDSB and City of Kingston/Kingston Transit developed a simple but powerful, model to transform public transportation that started with training youth. Through an innovative and unique partnership with the City of Kingston, Kingston Transit permitted Grade 9 students to receive a “free” Kingston Transit pass to ride city buses to access recreational programs, volunteer opportunities, jobs or school programs.

The Board currently pays the city $40,000 to subsidize the cost of the passes.

In the first year of the Kingston Transit High School Pilot, Grade 9 students took about 28,000 rides.

Each year after the pilot, an additional grade level was added and granted a free year-long bus pass. By the end of 2016, there were 600,000 rides by secondary students.

In addition to the increase in student trips, public transit ridership in Kingston has increased by more than 87 percent since 2012, which is the highest ridership growth in the country.

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Another part of this youth-focused story is what the high school bus pass program has done to Kingston Transit’s fare structure. Realizing minimal revenue from ages 14 and under, in January 2017 Kingston Transit eliminated fares for ages 0-14 to encourage young families to use transit. This allowed for the creation of our youth-focused program, the teacher field trip pass. This program is available for all students from kindergarten to Grade 12 and provides free access to Kingston Transit for school field trips.

The purpose of the program is to reduce the cost of field trips, encourage experiential learning, and to increase future transit ridership.

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At the LDSB Meeting on October 9, 2020, Trustees requested that staff report back to the Board on the possibility of replacing school buses with Kingston Transit within City of Kingston limits. Staff met with Kingston Transit and Tri-Board Student Transportation Services on December 11, 2019, and January 29, 2020 to discuss the possibility of reducing school buses.

Certainly, this is a complex undertaking but open communication and ongoing collaboration between the three organizations could lead to possible opportunities.

Because of the large shift of student movement in the 2020-2021 school year from Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute (KCVI) to the Kingston Secondary School; Tri-Board, Kingston Transit and Board staff concluded at that time, it would be best to focus on ensuring a smooth transition in the short term and look at possible transportation efficiencies in the future.

In addition, due to the overall impact of the pandemic during the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 school years, timing for reviewing efficiencies was less than ideal

Current Status: On April 17, 2023 through memo 2023:B06 Student Transportation Grant-Grants for Student Needs 2023-24, the Ministry of Education announced details of a new funding framework for Transportation.

This funding formula addresses funding for Transportation Services, School Bus Rider Safety Training Allocation, and Transportation to Provincial or Demonstration Schools.

The new formula also includes a Transition Amount, which for Limestone is $584,702 that will be phased out by 2026-27. This funding formula also absorbed approximately $0.45 per liter of Fuel Escalator revenue into the GSN resulting in a budgeted revenue shortfall in the transportation Fuel Escalator line for LDSB of $1,075,000.

While the year over year increase in transportation revenue for LDSB is approximately 2.41% (including the Transition Amount and Fuel Escalator revenue), the operator contract increases are tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) less fuel and are budgeted to be approximately 3.5% for 2023-2024.

This is an additional budget shortfall that will put pressure on Limestone DSB’s overall budget. Limestone DSB Transportation Policy #21 addressing “walk to stop” and “walk to school” distances currently meet the provincial best practices on distances.

Next Steps: LDSB and Kingston Transit will continue to build upon the success of the school bus transit pass program to increase ridership across all grades within LDSB.

LDSB and Tri-Board will continue to focus on finding efficiencies within the existing operating structures and existing transportation routes, while developing potential solutions for cost savings to address budget shortfalls.

LDSB and Tri-Board will continue the work with Kingston Transit to find locations, and propose opportunities, to utilize existing city bus routes within the City of Kingston in place of yellow school buses.

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Presented by Associate Superintendent Gollogly

The full report is available in the Board Meeting Agenda Package on Pages 31-32

The purpose of the report is to provide Trustees with information regarding the movement of intermediate (Grade 7/8) students from Odessa Public School (OPS) to Ernestown Secondary School (ESS) starting in the 2023-2024 school year.

Due to an increase in projected enrolment at Odessa PS for September 2023, we will require additional classroom space to accommodate the growth in the student population.

Senior staff has reviewed options to accommodate this enrolment growth including consideration of several portable classrooms, or the relocation of Grade 7/8 students to ESS.

The preferred option to accommodate the growth that we are experiencing is to relocate the OPS Grade 7/8 students to ESS. Housing Grade 7/8 students from OPS at ESS is a model previously utilized about ten years ago when Limestone experienced enrolment pressures at OPS.

Grade 7/8 students would have their own wing (classrooms) at ESS; and a timetable aligned with OPS, including lunch hour. Students would remain part of the OPS student body. OPS administration would continue to oversee the OPS satellite in ESS.

ESS and OPS already operate on the same bus schedule, and so the students at the Odessa satellite in ESS will continue to follow the regular OPS timetable and there will be no impact on busing.

Current Status & Next Steps: It is important to us that families, students, staff and community members have an opportunity to provide feedback on this contingency plan to accommodate enrollment growth at OPS.

LDSB has provided a survey and frequently asked questions information with the above stakeholders. Associate Superintendent Gollogly attended an OPS parent council meeting and had the opportunity to collect feedback from the community, and to address any questions or concerns on how to make this a successful transition.

Both schools have also developed staff working groups to plan and work through the logistics of the transition.

Election of one Trustee Representative and alternate to hold a seat on the Indigenous Education Committee

Decision made to defer appointment of one Trustee Representative and alternate to hold a seat on the Indigenous Education Committee to June 2023.


Trustees discussed correspondence focused on Autism Acceptance Month.

Private Session Report

Due to the Limestone Student Achievers Awards Presentation being a timed element, Private Session took place after the Trustees completed the meeting agenda. Rise and Report Private Session took place before Board Meeting adjournment.

Vice-Chair Godkin was called upon to Rise and Report from Private Session.

The minutes were approved from the Regular Board Meeting (Private Session) of April 26, 2023. The minutes were approved from the Audit Committee Meeting (Private Session) of May 1, 2023. Associate Superintendent Gollogly provided a safe schools update, Superintendent Young provided a property update, Superintendent McWilliams provided a labour update, Director Burra and Superintendent McWilliams provided a personnel update, Trustee McGregor provided an OPSBA update, and there was an additional personnel item that Vice-Chair Godkin brought forward.

There was no other business conducted, or motions passed in Private Session.

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.