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Board of Trustees Meeting for May 27, 2020
Highlights from May 27 Board of Trustees Meeting
Posted on 05/28/2020
Board of Trustees


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

May 28, 2020 (Brockville, ON) – Trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) met on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 for their regular Board of Trustees meeting. Trustees and senior staff joined the meeting by teleconference to ensure social distancing, however full audio was broadcasted live. Trustees discussed several issues, including the following items.

Projected Expenses for 2020-2021 Budget

Staff updated trustees on projected expenses for the 2020-2021 budget. The UCDSB is projecting operational expenses of $375 million, compared to $362.2 million this fiscal year, with an anticipated operating surplus of $718,000. The bulk of this increase arises from new collective agreements negotiated centrally by the province and which are anticipated to be fully funded. Staff cautioned that numbers cited in the presentation to the Board are preliminary as the school board is awaiting information on the 2020-2021 Grants For Student Needs. Due to the changing situation caused by COVID-19, staff also proposed a two-phased budget process for this year. Step 1 would be for the Board to consider developing a budget this spring, based on currently known funding and expenses. However, some uncommitted funds will be held back for a Step 2 “microbudgeting process” this fall, that would address emerging needs.

Update on UCDSB Response to COVID-19
Staff reported on continuing efforts to manage the impact of COVID-19 on our system. The report included results of a parent survey on distance learning and communication during the crisis, as well as details about initial planning for the re-opening of our school system this fall. The survey revealed that the majority of parents are pleased or satisfied with the communication they are getting from the school board and their schools during the crisis. As well, the Board heard that Microsoft Teams and learning apps supplied by the board are helpful and add a desired continuity to the learning experience. Also, staff is pressing forward with a comprehensive review of school operational routines and practices to prepare for the eventual reopening of UCDSB schools in 2020-2021. These plans are being developed in consultation with public health officials and would need to be aligned with provincial direction from the Ministry of Education.

Staff & Student Trustee Report on Learning Resources Needs
Student Trustee Colten Kelford and Director of Education Stephen Sliwa reported on results of a consultation with Student Senate to determine what UCDSB students think about accessing learning resources provided by the school board. The consultation suggested the top two priorities for students were access to staff, and access to the board’s network resources and Wi-Fi. Student Senators rated access to Wi-Fi, teachers and counsellors, and spaces for learning, in a range of satisfactory to unsatisfactory, depending on their school. Specific areas identified for improvement were the state of maintenance and repair of technology in schools, greater access to Learning Commons areas, and a renewal of textbooks. The preliminary results will be reviewed by the UCDSB Operations Council and Executive Council. The process, recommended by the UCDSB Culture Survey Results Report, will also involve consultation with the UCDSB Parent Involvement Committee.

For media enquiries, please contact:

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

John McAllister
Upper Canada District School Board

Stephen Sliwa
Director of of   

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