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Highlights from the February 23 Board of Trustees Meeting
Highlights from the February 23 Board of Trustees Meeting
Posted on 02/24/2022
Board Meeting

Full details on presentations, reports, and discussions can be found in the agenda or reviewed in the recorded broadcast.  Video segments are link in the subhead for each item below.  

February 24, 2022 – Trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) met on Wednesday, February 23, 2022. Some of the items discussed in the public session are as follows.  

Trustees Approve 2022-2023 School Year Calendar  

Superintendent Marsha McNair presented the 2022-2023 School Year Calendar for approval to trustees.  

McNair noted the draft calendar comes after extensive consultations with various stakeholders, which includes the Parent Involvement Committee (PIC), Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC), and employee groups. Public consultation took place last month, with 353 responses being received. Feedback from the consultations was taken into consideration on the draft calendar. The school year calendar was also created in consultation with the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario. 

Trustees unanimously approved the 2022-2023 School Year Calendar. It will now be submitted to the Ministry of Education for final approval. Details of the 2022-23 School Year Calendar can be found here. 

UCDSB Enrolment update 

Superintendent Bill Loshaw shared with Trustees an update on enrolment numbers for the 2021-2022 school year. Both elementary and secondary panels experienced an increase in enrolment compared to projections. Loshaw noted that school boards were directed by the Ministry of Education to be cautious when creating the projection numbers in the spring. 

Loshaw reported that the biggest increase was seen at the elementary level, attributing it to families delaying the start of Kindergarten for a year, selecting homeschooling during the 2020-2021 school year and families migrating to our district.  

As staff prepare for the 2022-23 school year, they will continue to use a cautious approach to developing enrolment projections due to the ongoing uncertainty of COVID-19, while maintaining an optimistic outlook for the year ahead.   

Update from Local Health Units on COVID-19 in Our Community and Masking for Kindergarten Students  

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health - Eastern Ontario Health Unit and Dr. Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health - Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit presented an update on the status of COVID-19 in our community and public health practices.  
 
Dr. Stewart shared that to date, all UCDSB schools that fall under LGLDHU have had student absenteeism rates below the 30 per cent reporting threshold.  

EOHU’s Dr. Roumeliotis stated that to date, only one school community received a letter as their absenteeism was over 30 per cent. However, the baseline absenteeism rate was unavailable.  

Earlier this school year, UCDSB’s Trustees voted in favour of mandatory masking to include Kindergarteners. While local health units are still encouraging Kindergarteners to wear masks, the doctors outlined that masking for this group of students can be eased.   

Dr. Roumeliotis informed Trustees that masking mandates in schools have helped lower infection rates and there is no objective evidence of masks restricting a student’s breathing or creating cognitive issues. 

Following the presentation, Trustees voted to amend the current Kindergarten masking policy from mandatory to optional. This change is effective immediately in UCDSB schools.  

For media inquiries, please contact:   

April Scott-Clarke  
Manager of Communications  
Upper Canada District School Board  
[email protected]  

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