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February 14 Board of Trustees Meeting Highlights
February 14 Board of Trustees Meeting Highlights
Posted on 02/16/2024

Full details on presentations, reports, and discussions can be found in the agenda or reviewed in the recorded broadcast.

February 16, 2024 - Trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) met on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. Key items discussed in the public session are as follows.

Proposed 2024-25 School Year Calendar

Following a presentation by Superintendent of Schools Bill Loshaw, the UCDSB Board of Trustees voted to approve the proposed 2024-2025 School Year Calendar. The process to develop the proposed calendar involved participation with various stakeholders, including the UCDSB Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC), the UCDSB Parent Involvement Committee, the UCDSB Indigenous Advisory Circle (IAC), and union partners. 

When developing the calendar, the UCDSB took into account various factors, including selecting professional development days that allow for learning in support of Board and School Improvement initiatives, and that reflect direction of the Ministry of Education and collective agreements. Impact on child care needs were also considered, and collaboration with the Catholic District Board of Eastern Ontario was undertaken to ensure alignment on transportation.

The proposed calendar will now be submitted to the Ministry of Education for final approval.

Remote Learning Update

Superintendent of Schools Susan Rutters and Principal of Digital Learning Brian Reid presented an overview of remote learning at the UCDSB and offered recommendations for the 2024-25 school year.

Created as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, remote learning for all students was a Ministry of Education requirement for all publicly funded school boards from 2020-21 to 2022-23. Rutters explained that although the remote learning requirement ended in 2022-23, the UCDSB decided to extend the program through the 2023-24 school year to provide families and students one extra year to prepare for a return to in person learning.

Reviewing enrolment trends in remote learning, Reid stated that numbers have been declining significantly since the pandemic for both elementary and secondary learning, currently making up less than 1% of total UCDSB enrollment with indicators showing a further decrease moving forward.

Given the trending data and their confidence that the UCDSB can provide personalized programing for students who may require a different approach to in-person learning, the presenters stated that the UCDSB will be discontinuing remote learning at the completion of the 2023-24 school year.

This will not impact the e-learning opportunities available to secondary students.

Capital Projects Update

Executive Superintendent of Business Services Jeremy Hobbs provided a status update on major capital projects to the Board of Trustees. Hobbs explained that the UCDSB has enjoyed a successful record of major capital construction over the past 10 years, with 14 major projects funded at a value of over $135M, 13 of which are complete or nearly complete at the time of his update.

Hobbs reviewed the process for proposing and securing funding for major capital projects and outlined recent projects, current in-progress projects, and presented a list of project proposals submitted in the Fall of 2023 valued at $272M.

Hobbs noted that delays to construction projects are increasingly caused by land acquisition and related approvals, with the UCDSB consisting of overlapping municipalities, all of which have varying requirements and approval processes.

Following the capital projects update, which included discussion around the 2017 decision for Wellington Public School and Maynard Public School to be consolidated once an addition at Wellington is complete, Trustee David McDonald (Ward 8) and Trustee Michel LaBonté (Ward 5) presented a motion for UCDSB staff to explore potential alternatives for Maynard PS. This motion passed, and a report is expected in November 2024.

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