Boardroom Briefs

Sept. 11, 2019 Meeting of 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.

Kingston Secondary School Update

Superintendent of Business Craig Young presented an update on Kingston Secondary School.

As has been shared previously, the construction of the new school has experienced delays due to weather and labour issues. Given the size and scope of this large and complex build, setbacks sometimes occur, and have a cumulative impact on schedules.

As a result, students and staff will remain in KCVI for the remainder of the school year until the end of June 2020. Work to move learning materials, furniture and technology into the new school will occur over late spring and summer 2020. Students and staff will move into Kingston Secondary School in September 2020 for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

Superintendent Young said that the Board recognizes this is an additional delay, but the Board is focused on ensuring as smooth a transition as possible for students, families and staff.

Kingston Secondary School - Drone Update September 6, 2019

Student Trustee Report

Earlier in the meeting, Chair Suzanne Ruttan welcomed new Student Trustees Jessica Crook and Annika Putnam to the LDSB Horseshoe. Trustee Putnam is the rural representative from Granite Ridge Education Centre and Jessica Crook is the urban Trustee from Loyalist Collegiate & Vocational Institute.

Trustee Crook will attend her first-ever conference for the Ontario Student Trustee Association Working Group later this month in Toronto to discuss different innovations as part of the Student Advocacy Working group. She hopes to focus on making Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) more inclusive.

Trustee Putnam shared that the Ontario Student Trustee Association has just released its results of an e-Learning survey from the end of last school year. Over 6,000 students have completed the survey and provided their own experiences. The results are available here.

Trustee Putnam also indicated she hopes to release a survey to schools within the district's rural region about which issues are most important to them, possibly including school visits to spread more awareness about the role of student trustee.

Facility Services summer projects update

Facilities Manger David Fowler stated that over $13.2 Million in School Renewal Projects were undertaken this summer at 42 sites across the district -- that's 80 per cent of our schools.The projects varied in scope and magnitude.

Schools received new roofs, boilers, mechanical upgrades, septic tanks, flooring, windows/doors, and improvements to school yards and drainage. Four schools received new generators to assist with any disruption to their electrical supply.

Strategic Plan Update

Director of Education Debra Rantz presented the Areas of Focus for 2019-2020 school year. Each Area of Focus relates to three big goals aligned with our LDSB pillars of wellness, innovation and collaboration.

Director Rantz stated that Trustees received a mid-term report on last year’s strategic plan at the end of May. An end of year report will come to the Board in November.

Business Update

Superintendent of Business Craig Young presented a brief report on short-term borrowing resolutions for 2019-2020 year to meet cash flow requirements (bridge financing).

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 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.

In response to a query from Trustee Garrett Elliott, Superintendent Young indicated that any interest accrued on these loans is reimbursed by the Ministry.

Trustees approved the resolution as presented.

Private Session Update

Private Session occurred prior to the Public Session on Sept. 11, 2019. Trustee Laurie French shared that confidential matters regarding personnel, labour and legal matters were discussed.

A property matter was also discussed resulting in the following motion: That Trustees authorize the Superintendent of Business to negotiate and execute the sale of approximately one acre of vacant land, fronting Kildare Avenue on the site of Fairfield Elementary School, to The Corporation of the County of Lennox & Addington for $243,000 per acre plus the costs of severance. The motion was carried as presented.

Other Business

Trustee Joy Morning had a request for a staff report on 2019-2020 School Data. Trustee Morning indicated that Superintendent of Human Resources Andre Labrie had answered a number of her questions during a previous update. Trustee Morning requested a report on Choices at Seven statistics. The Chair reminded Trustee Morning that this item had already been requested in the spring and that a report is expected in October.

Trustee Garrett Elliott asked the Director to speak to the province’s offer to school boards of an audit on use of their resources. Director Rantz replied that Limestone has produced a balanced budget, and already has rigorous internal and external auditing processes in place, as well as an operational review a few years ago. She stated that staff did not feel an additional audit was required, nor a good use of taxpayer dollars, and the offer has been declined.

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.