(Pictured above: North Grenville District High School student Grace Maher is sworn is as the new student trustee Wednesday night. Maher, left, is pictured with Director Stephen Sliwa during the swearing-in ceremony.)
Highlights from September 14
Board of Trustees Meeting
Click Here to View the September 14 Board Meeting Agenda
(Brockville) – Trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) held their first regular meeting of the 2016-2017 school year September 14 to discuss a number of topics including:
New Student Trustee Sworn In: North Grenville District High School student Grace Maher was officially sworn in as student trustee for the 2016-2017 school year.
Board Supports Tax Refund Effort: Trustees reviewed a letter from Chair Jeff McMillan in support of Bill C-241, a private member’s bill that seeks to have the GST paid by school authorities fully refunded by the federal government. This proposed bill would amend the Excise Tax Act to increase the GST rebate rate for school authorities from 68 per cent to 100 per cent. Supporters of the bill argue that charging GST on purchases by school boards adds a layer of taxation that costs school boards millions annually, and takes needed funds away from the classroom. The letter has been sent to all area members of parliament seeking their support for the bill.
Secondary School Programming Report: Superintendent of Schools Valerie Allen and Student Success Principal Frank Hummell presented a report on current programming offered in UCDSB secondary schools and ways the board is providing a number of course options to our high school students. The report, prompted by a recommendation from the Board’s recent IPSOS-Reid Culture Survey, noted several trends including: an increased enrolment in day-school eLearning, as well as the board’s after-school continuing education, summer school co-operative education, and Specialist High Skills Major programs.
The report recommended several ways to improve course offerings including: launching a process to create a districtwide secondary timetable; listening to student feedback on course selection through the Tell Them From Me process; changing instruction in high schools to increase student engagement; more professional development for teachers of online courses; and a new Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) component for Specialist High Skills Major programs.
Board Receives Additional Capital Funding: The province has given the board approximately $24.15 million in additional capital funding to improve the condition of its buildings. The money, part of more than $1 billion in provincial capital funding for Ontario school boards announced in July, can be spent over the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years. Superintendent of Human Resources and System Operations Jeremy Hobbs said the majority of funding will be spent on building structures such as foundations and roofs, and improvements to mechanical, electrical, sanitary and other systems that have a high requirement for replacement based on their condition. The board’s Design and Construction Team is already preparing projects for the summer of 2017.
Supervised Alternative Learning Program: Superintendent of Schools Tim Mills reported on the success of the Supervised Alternative Learning (SAL) Program, which was expanded last year to all schools in the board. In 2014-2015, only students registered with the TR Leger School of Adult, Alternative and Continuing Education could participate. The program provides students aged 14-17, struggling with attendance and academics, with an alternative educational experience. SAL allows students to stay involved with extracurricular activities at their school, while working on an individualized plan to help them earn credits toward a high school diploma or other educational or life goals. Thirty-four students were registered in the program in the 2015-2016 school year from TR Leger and six area high schools. The students earned credits through a variety of supports including day school credits, independent learning credits, alternative education and cooperative education.
Posted September 15, 2016