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Highlights from the December 16 Board of Trustees’ Meeting
Highlights from the December 16 Board of Trustees’ Meeting
Posted on 12/18/2020

December 18, 2020 (Brockville, ON) – Trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) met on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020 for a regularly scheduled board meeting. Trustees conducted the meeting in person at the Brockville Board Office, with enhanced public health measures in place that provided the option for staff and trustees to use a conference call option as an alternate means for attending the proceedings.

Chair Writes Letter in Support of Bill 172

The UCDSB Special Education Advisory Committee requested that Chair McAllister write a letter of support to the Province of Ontario on behalf of the school district, in favour of passing Bill 172. The Board of Trustees carried a motion supporting that request.

If passed, Bill 172 would require all school boards to develop a board-wide strategy on supporting students with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) and require all teacher’s colleges and ECE programs to have a training section on FASD. The bill passed second reading and could become legislation in the next 12 months.

Board of Trustees Sets Plan for Updates to Strategic Plan

Trustee David McDonald led a presentation outlining the Board’s plan to work on the UCDSB’s renewal of its strategic plan, which is set in place for 2020-2024. As the chair of the Board’s Accountability Framework Committee, McDonald reviewed the Strategic Plan renewal process with trustees. The next steps include an agreement on the critical success factors, establishing goals and review and establish key result indicators. The trustees meet again in the new year with plans to finalize the renewed Strategic Plan.

UCDSB Updates Trustees on Indigenous Education Initiatives

Staff presented an annual update on the Board Action Plan for Indigenous Education (BAPIE). The BAPIE is designed to improve opportunities for Indigenous students, and to increase knowledge and awareness of all students about Indigenous histories, cultures, and perspectives. The plan closes gaps and removes barriers for our Indigenous students, and it supports Indigenous culture by building our reconciliation literacy. It also outlines initiatives that support students, educators, build engagement and awareness about Indigenous culture and using data to support student achievement.

Staff outlined that 3.1 per cent of the UCDSB student population have self-identified as Indigenous students. The Board heard how student achievement for course completion by students of Indigenous ancestry in our secondary schools have increased over the past academic year.

Staff also outlined the adaptions made to facilitate learning and engagement through virtual initiatives. For instance, they transitioned the popular student meetings (or “iLeads Days”) to a virtual day-long event that brings students and staff together online to collectively connect and learn about Indigenous culture while sharing stories, art and experiences with one another.

 Positive Outlook on Identified Financial Risks tied to COVID-19

Staff provided a recap of key financial risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and discussed the evolution of those risks, including mitigating and aggravating factors.

In October 2020, staff identified financial risks associated with the pandemic, namely risks of higher than expected expenses and lower than expected revenue.

Key significant risks, namely enrolment reduction (versus original estimates) and Special Incidence Portion (SIP) funding appear to have been mitigated by Ministry of Education funding stabilization efforts announced on Nov. 26. The remaining five risks have remained stable and staff outlined the forecasted budget seems to be manageable within existing board finances. Staff outlined that a fully integrated financial forecast will be provided to trustees in January 2021.

Director’s Award of Merit Recipients Named for the Fall 2020 Edition

UCDSB staff members were recognized for their dedication and commitment to education after being named recipients of the Fall 2020 Director’s Award of Merit.

Director Stephen Sliwa noted that 49 nominations were submitted by staff, parents and students. Many nominations recognized the service of our employees during the extraordinary circumstances of the global pandemic and this proved to be a suitable focus for selecting award recipients during this round.

The Director’s Award of Merit recipients include:

  • The UCDSB Purchasing Department;
  • Kyle Baird, Teacher: Rockland DHS; 
  • Roxanne Harrington, ECE: South Branch Elementary School;
  • Dominique Bertrand: Principal, Cambridge Public School;
  • Constance (Connie) Boros, Teacher: E-Learning, Eastern Region Education Office, and;
  • Jennifer Melissa Douwes, Teacher: PDCI

Recipients of this award will receive a framed certificate and their name and photo will be featured as part of a display at the Board Office.



For media inquiries, please contact

Stephen Sliwa
Director of Education
Upper Canada District School Board
[email protected]

John McAllister

Chair, Upper Canada District School Board

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