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Highlights from the May 22 Board of Trustees Meeting
Highlights from the May 22 Board of Trustees Meeting
Posted on 05/28/2024
Board Meeting

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


May 28, 2024 Trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) met on Wednesday, May 22, 2024. Key items discussed in the public session are as follows. 

Director’s Red Apple Awards

Director of Education Ron Ferguson announced the 2023-2024 Red Apple Award recipients. These awards are given to individuals that stand out for their deeply-rooted dedication to our school board’s top priority – its students. 

The 2023-2024 award winners are as follows: 

·        Rory Renwick, Grade 6 student at Russell Public School 

Leanne Huffman, Special Education Teacher at South Crosby Public School

Silvia Speck, Principal of Avonmore Public School

Blake Seward and Mason Black, Teachers at Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute

Sylvia McAllister, Financial Assistant/Office Administrator for Gananoque schools

Jennifer Perry, Superintendent of Special Education and Student Wellness

These individuals will be formally recognized at the Board Celebration Evening on June 10. 

Board Action Plan for Indigenous Education (BAPIE) Update 

Executive Superintendent of Student Achievement and Innovation Eric Hardie, along with Principal of Indigenous Education Kelty Grant presented trustees with an update on the Board Action Plan for Indigenous Education (BAPIE). The plan is designed to improve opportunities for Indigenous students, and increase knowledge and awareness about Indigenous histories, cultures, and perspectives.  

Grant reported that the UCDSB continues to offer many unique and culturally relevant programing for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students to benefit from, including: 

  •  The Indigenizing mathematics project, which provides hands-on, Indigenous related math instruction in Grades 9 and 10; 

  • Funding for schools to invite Indigenous Cultural Advisors to their school;
  • The Land Acknowledgement project, where Language Arts classes are researching and writing their own school Land Acknowledgement;
  • iLead gatherings, where secondary Indigenous students and allies meet multiple times a year to increase Indigenous cultural awareness and understanding; and
  • Reach ahead and language course offerings, such as Mohawk language courses and a lacrosse for-credit course in Cornwall, cultural camps, and more.

Director's Work Plan Update on the Student Ambassador Program  

Executive Director of the Upper Canada Leger Centre for Education and Training Matthew Raby and Principal of Equity and Inclusion Dan McRae updated trustees on the progress of the UCDSB Student Ambassador Program. This program launched approximately 12 weeks ago and provides supports for student ambassadors to feel both valued and encouraged as schools continue to welcome international students. 

McRae explained that it is a three-tier program – bronze, silver and gold – which acts as entry points for schools to launch the Ambassador Program. Raby reported that the momentum in the UCDSB has been strong, with 13 out of 21 secondary schools participating – three at the bronze level, six who upgraded to silver and four gold level schools. 

Update on Feasibility of UCDSB Operated Before & After Programming 

In January 2024, trustees passed a motion to look at the possibility of expanding after school programming in our elementary schools at the lowest cost possible to families. Executive Superintendent Hobbs provided an update on the status of before and after programs in the UCDSB, a preliminary financial analysis and pricing, risks and further considerations. 

Hobbs explained that with the lack of funding to support this sort of program, the UCDSB would have to operate it on either a cost recovery basis or divert funding from day school operations to support it fully or partially. The UCDSB will continue to assess demand at sites that don’t have before and after programs, seeking private partners to provide services at reasonable prices as a first step. 

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