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Oct. 28 Board of Trustees Meeting Highlights
Highlights from the October 28 Board of Trustees Meeting
Posted on 10/30/2020

Full details on presentations, reports and discussions can be found in the agenda or reviewed in the recorded broadcast.

 

October 28, 2020 (Brockville, ON) – Trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) met on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 for a regularly scheduled board meeting. Trustees conducted the meeting in person at the Brockville Board Office, with the option for staff and trustees to call in, as per regular practice.

Local Health Units Update Trustees on Health Practices in Schools
Dr. Paula Stewart of the Lanark Leeds and Grenville Public Health Unit and Dr. Paul Roumeliotis of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit outlined the current COVID-19 cases within the communities as well as associated precautions they’re taking to control the spread, specifically within schools. Both Medical Officers of Health applauded UCDSB staff for their responses to any health unit investigation conducted within UCDSB schools. These investigations have determined that all cases are coming from the community and were then contained within the school. Both Medical Officers of Health agreed that based on the precautions and quick-responses, schools have been successful in maintaining a safe learning environment.

Student Senate Polls Students on 2020 Learning Experience
UCDSB Student Trustees Tain Hughes and Jordan Evans provided an update to the Board about the Oct.16 Student Senate meeting they co-chaired. The virtual meeting, which included 31 student representatives from across the school board, was an opportunity for students to connect and share ideas about school life. Discussion topics were around the current student experience and identifying the impact of COVID-19 on students, both positive and negative. Students shared that both teachers and students are better at adapting to new ways of teaching and learning and teacher knowledge of technology has improved. However, they noted that longer classes, which are part of the quadmester model, sometimes present challenges for students to stay focused. Student Senate will meet again in December with plans to discuss the quadmester format, as well as mental health resources.

UCDSB Strategizes a Response to School Staffing Shortages
In September, the school district experienced significant challenges securing casual staff to address employee absences at school. The Human Resources Department has since launched a multi-step strategy to address the shortage, including working with the elementary teachers’ union to waive previous requirements needed to stay on the occasional teacher list and increase the number of occasional teachers permitted on the list, reaching out to retired employees, incorporating a pay rate increase for emergency casual staff and pursuing virtual career fairs. School board staff report they have documented lower absences and higher fill-rates in the first two weeks of October.

UCDSB Schools See Decreased Suspension Rate in 2019-2020
Staff provided an annual Safe Schools Report for 2019-2020 that highlighted discipline rates and measures, staff training and other initiatives to build skills and promote positive characteristics that contribute to a positive school climate. UCDSB staff outlined that in-school suspensions decreased last year by 36 per cent compared to the previous school year, noting that projections indicated that had the COVID-19 school closure not occurred, rates would have been down by only 2 per cent.

Staff Provide Updates on the UCDSB Remote Learning Model
Currently, seven per cent of students are doing synchronous learning, which is when student follows along with the classroom lesson from their home computer, in real time. Digital asynchronous learners, who obtain their lessons online but complete their work outside of the regular school schedule, make up five per cent of the student enrollment. Asynchronous non-digital learners make up nine per cent of students. These students receive a package of bi-weekly printed materials that align with the classroom curriculum. The asynchronous models do not involve live instruction from classroom teachers as these models are forms of self study. Seventy-nine per cent of students are enrolled in the in-person classroom learning model.

The UCDSB has also received several requests to consult with different school districts about its remote learning model.

                                                                     

For media inquiries, please contact:

Stephen Sliwa 
Director of Education 
Upper Canada District School Board
communications@ucdsb.on.ca

John McAllister
Chair
Upper Canada District School Board
613-213-4094


 

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