October 18, 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.
There was one presentation: Overview of EQAO Data for 2022-2023 – Associate Superintendents Hedderson & Sartor
"The Limestone District School Board (LDSB), along with our partners at the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association are working to raise civic awareness among our district and larger community by observing Local Government Week from October 16 to 20.
School Board Trustees are the oldest form of elected representation in Ontario. The Board of Trustees, through consultation with our communities, sets the vision, mission and values of the board, develops policies, and allocates resources. The multi-year strategic plan for student achievement and well-being which is under development now, lays the foundation and sets the goals that drive programs and operations in Limestone.
Tonight, we will review the progress of the current strategic plan as the first year of the term ends. May we take a moment to be thoughtful and acknowledge some of the achievements attained over the past year, including:
- As I mentioned, the undertaking of a new strategic plan, is significant. This is critically important for the future of the LDSB. The plan will help shape the future directions and culture of the district.
- The efforts of staff and Trustees in working through this year’s budget, the largest to date with total operating expenditures of $280.8 million, which includes board- directed funding to support equity and inclusion positions.
In addition to our governance work as a Board, we supported Limestone staff in moving forward with several key initiatives this past year, including:
- A continued focus on anti-racism work and equity and inclusion along with the creation and launch of a human rights video and school poster to increase knowledge and awareness of the board’s Human Rights Complaint Reporting Tool.
- Special education review
- Continued work and initiatives, particularly in the areas of equity, diversity and inclusion that was identified through The See Yourself in Limestone: Workforce Census and Belonging Survey (WCBS).
On behalf of this Board of Trustees, I wish to acknowledge the leadership of Director Burra and work of Senior Staff, and the various support staff here at the LDSB Education Centre that support our schools. Please accept our heartfelt thanks for always being student-focused, and for supporting all of us through this first-year of a new four-year term. Through all of this, Trustees remained focused on making decisions that effectively served all students."
"Good evening Trustees and members of the viewing public. I have several updates I would like to share with you this evening.
There is much to celebrate in Limestone on a regular basis. To draw attention to some recent highlights, I would like to acknowledge several educators for honours they have recently received: Brenda Scarlett at Bayridge Secondary School received an honourable mention for the Learning for a Sustainable Future: Susan Langley’s Earth Steward Teaching Award; and Wade Leonard at Granite Ridge Education Centre won the Gilles Gagnier Medal for Innovation in Geographic Education for his ongoing work with students using drones. It should be noted that Wade was on CBC radio this morning discussing his work with students using drones. In addition, the work of the Limestone Building Construction Internship Program and Habitat for Humanity focused on Tiny Homes was also featured on CBC Radio this morning. These are significant honours and a testament to the excellent work by Limestone staff that occurs on a daily basis.
I have often said that the stakes of our work in education are immense. This is usually in the context of supporting student achievement and wellbeing, but as we have seen in the last couple of weeks, the stakes can be much higher. I would like to acknowledge the outstanding work of school staff at four different schools in responding to significant crises: very serious medical emergencies at two schools, a lockdown at a third school, and Hold and Secure at an adjacent school. These types of crises require significant collaboration and timely responses. It should give us all comfort in knowing that each of these situations were effectively managed and supported by school staff with the support of central staff.
As a reminder to Trustees and the viewing public, we are in the midst of the fall 2023 United Way fundraising campaign. Given significant economic dislocation, housing costs, and food security concerns, it is critical for those that can support this campaign do so, to help support some of the most vulnerable children, youth, and families in the region. Limestone is a proud contributor to this annual campaign.
This evening Trustees will see the final annual report for the LDSB Strategic Plan, 2017-2023. We will also be bringing forward a summary of extensive summer programming offered this past summer, and an update on the Limestone Math Action Plan. Earlier this evening, Trustees had an opportunity to view the 2022-2023 EQAO results. While the last three years have been challenging with the ongoing pandemic, and we have seen very good work occurring in the system and some much-needed focus on human rights and equity, we have significant work ahead of us in supporting improved student achievement. This is not an either-or dichotomy. We need to do both. I would also like to emphasize that focusing on improved teaching and learning in classrooms is a critical part of our equity work in ensuring that each student has the skills and confidence to access their pathway of choice as they navigate through their time in Limestone. As I indicated earlier, the stakes of our work are incredibly high, and we have a legal and moral responsibility to ensure that we maintain focused attention on student achievement.
And finally, on a related note, as indicated earlier this fall, we will be launching a second round of consultation focused on the draft mission, vision, pillars, and board values in the coming weeks to help support and focus our work in developing a new strategic plan to provide our direction for the years ahead. I look forward to continuing our critical work in Limestone with the new strategic plan as we move into the future, doing the best we can to serve students and families."
"I look forward to continuing our critical work in Limestone with the new strategic plan as we move into the future, doing the best we can to serve students and families." - Director Burra
Student Trustee Report
The Student Trustee Report was presented by Student Trustee Ava Jean O’Keefe.
"The second Inner Student Council (ISC) Meeting was held at the Limestone Board Office on October 17, 2023, led by Trustees Wang and Eckloff.
For the first agenda item, Trustee Eckloff asked reps to review Sept. student involvement in their respective schools, highlighting school events that engaged students. On the whole, representatives spoke positively about successful events and felt they had accomplished engagement.
Trustee Eckloff asked reps to review Orange Shirt Day activities at their respective schools, incl. Ernestown Secondary School: Indigenous council representative presented educational video about Orange Shirt Day and held fundraiser for the Orange Shirt Society. Napanee District Secondary School held a smudging ceremony.
Trustees Eckloff, Wang and O’Keefe understand from their own experiences in their own schools that promoting school spirit and events to engage students can be challenging.
Trustee Wang led representatives through a brainstorming session to gather ideas on prompting spirit. Representatives discussed how some spirit events are not accessible or of interest to all students.
Successful events had certain themes in common such as events/spirit days set up as a competition. An example of a competition is students get points for their grade when they participate.
Representatives also talked about the importance of communicating events on social media platforms including Instagram and TikTok. Insuring events are announced on morning announcements also helps with engagement.
Additionally, Trustee Wang and I, Trustee O’Keefe, will be attending the fall OSTEACO from tomorrow until Sunday, October 22."
Reports for Information
Math Action Plan Update
The first Report for Information is a Math Action Plan Update by Associate Superintendent Hedderson (Pg 22-24 in agenda).
The purpose of the report is to update Trustees on the progress of the development of Limestone’s Math Achievement Action Plan aligned to Ontario’s new Math Achievement Action Plan for the 2023 – 2024 school year.
Background: In June 2023, the MOE provided details regarding the Math Achievement Action Plan, which included ensuring a dedicated Board Math Lead who will inform, monitor, and report progress towards math achievement and improvement targets, as well as lead board-wide actions to meet these targets. A Math Achievement Action Plan will be developed, based on requirements provided by the Ministry, for endorsement by the Director of Education and the Board of Trustees.
The plan will outline the board’s concrete, visible, and measurable strategies as well as key performance indicators at the board, school, and classroom levels under the following areas of focus:
- Fidelity of the Math Curriculum
- Ongoing learning of Math Content Knowledge for Teaching
- Knowing the Math Learner and ensuring mathematical tasks, interventions, and supports are relevant and responsive
- Measurable Results: Improvements in Math Achievement
Components of the Math Achievement Action Plan will include:
- A plan for developing and monitoring school improvement goals and actions for all LDSB schools, aligned with the Math Achievement Action Plan.
- A plan for supporting LDSB Priority Schools as identified by the Ministry of Education.
- Intentional actions leading to improvement in student achievement in math, including classroom support through School Math Facilitators.
- Math curriculum implementation and the use of instructional and assessment practices with a proven track record of enhancing student academic achievement.
- A communication plan for the Board and school to share the Math Achievement Action Plan and results in math with parents.
- Professional learning opportunities for teachers, principals and school math facilitators that support student academic achievement.
- Ongoing communication and participation with the Provincial Math Action Team.
Current Status: Since the last update in September:
- 4 elementary School Math Facilitators have been hired and start in their roles officially on October 12, 2023, joining our elementary math consultant as part of the LDSB Math Action Team.
- 1 additional temporary elementary School Math Facilitator is being hired to join the LDSB Math Action Team as the result of the promotion of a School Math Facilitator to Acting Vice-Principal.
- 1 secondary School Math Facilitator is being hired to replace Jackie Decker, Program Team Teacher and 7-12 Math Consultant who has been seconded to the Ministry of Education as a Student Achievement Officer as part of the Provincial Math Team until June 2026.
- A meeting was held in late September with the Provincial Math Lead to discuss ideas for the LDSB Math Achievement Action Plan.
- 2 meetings have been held with all Board Math Leads across the province to discuss the role of Board Math Leads and data reporting requirements.
- 2 webinars have been held provincially to help build math content knowledge for Math Action Teams and Ontario educators in Grades 3, 6, and 9.
The development of the LDSB Math Achievement Action Plan (MAAP) blueprint is underway. The MAAP intends to serve as a guide for system actions intended to build students’ math confidence and achievement and to provide system coherence.
As discussed provincially with Board Math Leads, the MAAP is a dynamic working plan to be endorsed by the Director of Education and Trustees before sharing with the Provincial Math Action Team by November 15, 2023.
- Over the next couple of weeks, elementary School Math Facilitators will begin to visit the 22 elem. priority schools to support educators and students in classrooms with Grades 3 and 6 students while offering a series of professional learning sessions in math at the October 27, 2023 district P.A. Day.
- Our former Secondary School Math Facilitator has already visited Grade 9 Math classrooms in the 4 secondary priority schools to support educators and students. This work will continue once the new Secondary School Math Facilitator has been hired.
- Communication of the LDSB Math Achievement Action Plan will be shared with all LDSB schools, School Councils, and families with ongoing monitoring and reporting throughout the school year.
- A new digital math tool is being procured for all students in Grades 3, 6, 7, 8 and 9 to support student learning at home and in classrooms. When this process has been completed, information will be communicated to schools, students, and families.
- Continue to gather, analyze, and use a variety of data as guidance to ensure the plan is responsive to the needs of students, educators, administrators and families in service of better math outcomes for students.
Summer Programming Report
The second Report for Information is the Summer Programming Report by the LDSB Program Leadership Team (Pg 25-34 in agenda).
The purpose of this report is to provide Trustees with an overview of the 2023 summer programming offered by the Limestone District School Board (LDSB) to elementary and secondary students.
Background: The LDSB has traditionally offered optional programming for elementary and secondary students during the summer months. These programs have evolved to meet the needs of the students within the system, but the general structure has remained.
The Program Team is highlighting Summer Credit Programs, and Summer Non-Credit Programs including Summer Learning Supports for Students with Special Education Needs and Mental Health Needs. The Program Team is also highlighting Summer Literacy Program (Read-A-Lot) and Outdoor Education. For details, visit pages 25 and 26 in agenda.
Current Status (Summer 2023): The Program Team is highlighting Summer Literacy Program (Read-A-Lot), Summer Credit Programs, Focus on Youth and Summer Learning Supports for Students with Spec Ed. and Mental Health needs.
Including Back to School Transitions, Literacy Camp Support, Summer School, ACW for Summer School and Read-A-Lot Summer Literacy Program, Social Work Support, Rainbow Camp, Psychiatry Pilot, CRI Trauma Informed Course, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, SafeTALK Training, Intensive Skills Y-Training, Behaviour Management Systems Training, MH Lit- Mental Health in Action and resource development.
Plus: Gould Lake Outdoor Ed, Nature Camp, Outdoor Escape, Quest, Girls Adventure Program, Outreach, Outdoor Pursuits, Outdoor Skills, Wilderness Instructor Course and Kayak Instructor Course. For more, see pages 30-33 in agenda.
Next Steps: Read-A-Lot: Pre- and post-assessment data were collected for the Read-A-Lot program. Progress Reports were also completed for each student, and sent to their home school, for review by the school team. A copy of the Progress Report was also sent home to parents.
The Outdoor Education Team will plan to offer Nature Camps in summer of 2024. Summer Session options for students reaching ahead in credits will continue to be offered through LDSB, and will include e-learning courses, co-operative education, and experiential learning opportunities where available.
The Outdoor Education Team will plan to offer both summer credit and non-credit courses at Gould Lake Outdoor Education Centre in summer of 2024.
Strategic Plan – End-of-Year Report 2022-2023
The purpose of this report is to provide Trustees an end-of-year status report on the 2022-2023 Strategic Plan.
Background: Under the Education Act, the Director must review the Multi-Year Strategic Plan (MYSP) annually with the Board of Trustees. This occurs in the fall to capture the previous year. To assist Trustees with their ongoing monitoring, a spring update is provided using a "traffic light" system to evaluate the progress of specific actions, which were designed to operationalize the achievement of our strategic goals. A semi-annual assessment allows staff to make adjustments to ensure that the MYSP goals remain on track. The mid-year update on the MYSP was provided at the April 2023 Board Meeting.
Current Status: At the Board Meeting of October 18, 2023, Senior Staff presented an end-of-school-year Strategic Action Plan Overview – 2022-2023, focusing on some highlights not previously captured in reports shared with the board over the course of the 2022-2023 year.
Trustees will note that progress was made in many areas, but progress was uneven, particularly in areas where we were unable to engage in professional learning based on the stage of the pandemic and/or staffing shortages among occasional/casual staff.
Senior staff will also review the Strategic Action Plan Evaluation Framework: 2017-2023 employing the same traffic light system. Each outcome will be assessed as to its status, six years into a five-year plan.
The Evaluation Framework has been included to assist the Board in tracking progress of goals. Multiple data sets and evidence are used to evaluate the progress toward the desired outcomes. Last year’s overview of meetings is attached mapping the strategic plan to specific meetings/committees for 2022-2023.
Given we are in the midst of consulting and creating a new strategic plan for Limestone for 2023- 2027, an overview of areas of focus for 2023-2024 will not be shared. It is also important to note that components of Bill 98: The Better Schools and Outcomes Act, 2023, will have to be embedded as a focus in the next strategic plan.
We will continue to provide Trustees with updates to important areas of work through reports shared as part of Board and Education and Policy Operations Committee (EPOC) and Board Meeting agendas throughout the 2023-2024 school year. Trustees will also finalize new areas of focus for 2023-2024 and the framework for the next strategic plan in the winter of 2023-2024.
Given we are in the midst of developing the new plan, there will not be a mid-year update in the spring of 2024, but as required by legislation, a year-end report will be shared in the fall of 2024.
The Year-End Updates are on pages 37-81 of the agenda.
Next Board Meeting
Limestone District School Board
Location: 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, ON, Canada