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Board Meeting Sept. 25
Highlights from September 25 Board of Trustees Meeting
Posted on 10/03/2019
Board of Trustees

October 3, 2019 (Brockville, ON) – Trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) met on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019 for their regular Board meeting. They discussed several agenda items. 

Planet Youth Lanark County Seeks Partnership in Community Program  

Dr. Paula Stewart, Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District medical officer of health, and David Somppi, chair of the Planet Youth Lanark County Steering Committee, requested the Board join in a community effort to implement the Icelandic Model for Prevention of Problematic Substance Use in Lanark County and Smiths Falls. The initiative will involve educators, volunteers, police, health care providers and representatives of community health agencies. 

The program has yielded significant reductions in substance abuse among Icelandic youth over the last two decades. Implementing it in Lanark County and Smiths Falls involves creating a community steering committee and surveying Grade 10 students about substance abuse to generate data. That data would be used to create locally-driven action plans to reduce substance abuse among youth. Planet Youth Lanark County will cover any costs for surveys, data analysis, distributing community reports, and helping communities develop action plans. 

The matter has been sent to administration for follow-up and review. Staff will present a report at the next Board of Trustees meeting on Oct. 9. 

Safe Schools Report for 2018-19

Superintendent Deanna Perry presented the 2018-19 Safe Schools Report, which outlined the key elements which, together, informs the Board’s Safe Schools strategy actions ranging from key policy elements and staff training, school-based programs to ensure positive behavior programs in the classroom and the use of disciplinary actions such as suspensions of students from schools. 

Last school year the UCDSB continued to conduct extensive training in as well as run other initiatives to ensure safe schools. Efforts included training related to cannabis legalization, Naloxone, student discipline procedures, and school-based behaviour management programs. 

Perry’s report outlined suspensions and expulsions issued to address more concerning student behavior. Perry stressed that 93.1 per cent of students are contributing positively to their school environment. Reasons for suspensions ranged from "acts injurious to the moral tone of the school" to bullying. 

For the 2019-2020 school year ongoing safe schools training will take place in addition to ongoing use of data to inform school improvement planning activities, and implementation of the revised Health and Physical Education curriculum, including social-emotional learning. 

Trustees asked for a follow-up report to look deeper into the statistics, Director Stephen Sliwa said staff could have information early in the new year. 

Long-Term Financial Stability Plan
Senior Business Consultant Roger Richard presented a Long-Term Financial Stability Plan for board approval. The five-year plan will re-establish an accumulated budget surplus equal to 3 per cent of the board's annual revenue. The surplus will help the board cope with unexpected expenses. Trustees requested the plan after the previous surplus was depleted by unforeseen costs, such as the payment of an imposed arbitration ruling related to transportation. The plan will see the board gradually build up the accumulated surplus from $1.9 million in 2019-20 to $10 million in 2025-26. Trustees approved the plan, subject to annual updates following the Board’s year-end financial statements and first financial forecast of the fiscal year.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Stephen Sliwa
Director of Education
Upper Canada District School Board
613-342-0371 ext. 1188

John McAllister
Upper Canada District School Board

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