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Highlights from the January 26 Board of Trustees Meeting
Highlights from the January 26 Board of Trustees Meeting
Posted on 01/28/2022
image of Board room

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


January 28, 2022 – Trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) met on Wednesday, January 26, 2022. Some of the items discussed in the public session are as follows. 


Return to In-Person Learning School Operations Update 

Superintendent Marsha McNair reported to the Board that students returned to in-person learning on January 17. She confirmed that students will receive two rapid antigen test kits to use if they develop symptoms. If positive, the individual will be required to self-isolate for a period determined by their age and vaccination status.Students started to receive kits last week.  


To support ongoing monitoring and public transparency related to COVID-19 and the impact on schools, the Ministry of Education requires schools to monitor their absenteeism rates and report on student and staff absences, and school closures, each day. Schools report all absences, not just those related to COVID-19. If absenteeism rises to 30 per cent above the school’s normal absence rate, principals are required to notify their local Public Health Unit.As an additional measure, UCDSB schools are reporting on their school websites when an individual has left for the day with COVID-19-like symptoms. 


Remote Learning and Semester 2 Update  

Superintendent Susan Rutters reported that while the majority of students have returned to in-person learning, the district has seen an increase in those choosing to remain in remote learning. As of January 19, 7.5 per cent of elementary students and 8.5 per cent of secondary students had chosen remote learning. Those currently in remote learning can move to in-person learning at any point.  


Rutters confirmed that Grade 9-12 students would move to a four-course semester model starting February 2, a move that is supported by both public health units. Secondary schools will implement a district-wide timetable. This timetable has a common start time, end time and bell schedule in all UCDSB secondary schools and will support the continuing efforts to co-ordinate program delivery across the district to bring greater equity of access to program options for students.   


Student Trustee-Led Equity and Inclusion Committee Proposed 

Student Trustees Eshal Ali and Bradford Ward reported to the Board they have been working alongside Daniel McRae, Principal of Equity and Inclusion to create a Student Trustee-led equity and inclusion committee.   

School principals will be asked to nominate students to the membership. In order to have voices from across the district and all grades, each principal will be asked to nominate a student from Grades 7-9 and another from Grades 10-12. 


Staff Share Findings on Student Wellness and Sleep  UCDSB’s Dr. David Armstrong, Chief Psychologist and Mental Health Lead, and Dr. Jennifer Curry, Chief Psychologist, presented to Trustees the importance of and correlation between a student’s sleep time and academic performance. Dr. Armstrong shared research findings that school start times that were later than at least 8:30 a.m. showed, on average, improvements in academic performance, increase in sleep time and decrease in sleepiness.  


Their presentation also included how UCDSB uses research-backed materials and supports from School Mental Health Ontario to support student wellness. 


Staff Shortages Update 

Human Resources Superintendent Chad Brownlee reiterated to Trustees that the UCDSB faces the same staffing challenges as other school boards in the province. Sixty-five per cent of staff absences are currently being filled, which is a lower fill rate from pre-COVID-19 numbers. Principals are implementing strategies at each school to mitigate these shortages and have plans in place should there need to be a shift to remote learning.  


Motion Passed to Keep Oxford on Rideau Public School Open for Another Year  

The Board was presented with updated information, regarding enrolment numbers, facility, and other conditions related to Oxford on Rideau Public School, as a follow-up to a December 15, 2021 motion.    

Superintendent Deanna Perry shared the report which contained enrolment data, actual and projected, for the Kemptville area schools, as well as community population statistics.    

Following the presentation, Trustees elected to stay the implementation of the school closure until further consideration of the staff report can be done. Oxford on Rideau Public School will remain open until at least June 2023. 


For media inquiries, please contact:  

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

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