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Highlights from the April 12 Board of Trustees Meeting
Highlights from the April 12 Board of Trustees Meeting
Posted on 04/14/2023

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

April 14, 2023 – Trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) met on Wednesday, April 12, 2023. Some of the items discussed in the public session are as follows. 


UCDSB Chief Psychologist Dr. Jennifer Curry along with Clinical Psychologist Dr. David Armstrong presented a brief overview of scientific and professional guidance on enhancing student wellness and attendance by increasing sleep for secondary students. The doctors indicated that changing the school start times would be beneficial for teenagers and younger students.  

The current school start time for secondary school students is 8:00 a.m. For elementary students it’s 9:20 - 9:30 a.m.  

Dr. Armstrong reported that absenteeism estimates in Ontario during the pandemic 2020-2021 school year are a six-fold increase. Teenagers who are used to late bedtimes wake up later and miss 50-75 per cent of the school day, suggesting a later school day may enhance at least partial attendance and encourage further engagement. Dr. Armstrong noted that studies show that secondary school students with a 9:30 a.m. start time slept longer than those with an 8 a.m. start time by about 30 minutes and were less likely to be tired at school in the morning.

The presentation and update are a follow-up from the January 26, 2022 Board meeting. Trustees discussed amending school start times and the impact it could have on students. Trustees passed a motion that the UCDSB supports earlier start times for elementary students and later start times for secondary students, and to initiate discussions and consultations with Student Transportation of Eastern Ontario, Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario and other stakeholders. There is no timeline for implementation.  


Superintendent of Schools Deanna Perry presented to Trustees an overview of the role and responsibility of school councils as defined by the Education Act and UCDSB Policy and Procedure.  

Regulation 612 of the Education Act establishes the purpose of school councils through the active participation of parents, to improve student achievement and to enhance the accountability of the education system to parents and guardians. It is an advisory body focused on matters relevant to the entire school.  

Perry explained that school councils are made up of parents and guardians, school administration, teachers and other school staff members, a community member, and if a secondary school, a student. Parents must hold a majority of council. 


For media inquiries, please contact:   

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

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