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Highlights from the Board Room – July 8

Special Meeting of the Board | Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Special Meeting of the Board

Trustees met on Wednesday July 8 as a special meeting of Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) to review several items that were delayed due to school closures throughout the spring. 

Ratification of local collective agreements

Labour negotiations update

Trustees approved ratification of the the following local collective agreements:

  • Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Collective Agreement for Custodial/Maintenance and Office, Clerical, Technical and Educational Assistants.
  • Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) Collective Agreement for permanent teachers.

Administrative reports

Technology Services audit update

Superintendent of Learning Paul Goldring shared information about an audit of the Technology Services Department that took place in the fall of 2019. Following the audit, which was funded by the Ministry of Education and performed by Deloitte, recommendations provided have resulted in a number of changes for the department. These changes include the hiring of a new Chief Technology Services Manager, Steven Roffe, to lead the department; a review and revisions to the organizational structure of the Technology Services Department; the establishment of a Technology Services Steering Committee; an establishment of a Software and Application Review Committee; a review of in-house development of applications versus commercial external purchases; an inventory of devices, including the implementation of a replacement cycle; as well as the implementation of a number of new applications.

Return to school update 

Superintendent of Learning Katherine MacIver shared a tentative model for TLDSB for the return to school in September 2020. The Ministry of Education provided guidelines for school boards with the expectation that plans are prepared by August 4, considering three scenarios including a normal school day routine with enhanced public health protocols, a modified school day routine with small cohorts and alternative day or week delivery, and an at-home learning with remote delivery.

TLDSB parents, students, and staff were asked to respond to the question, “ What are your thoughts and concerns as we consider planning for school in September?” through an engagement tool called Thought Exchange.  The school board heard from more than 3,670 participants, offering 5,570 thoughts, with 75,624 ratings of thoughts. Key themes from the Thought Exchange included the following:

  • A need for enhanced cleaning and safety protocols.
  • Students need to return to school to support mental health and well-being.
  • A student and parent preference for in-person learning in a safe environment.
  • The importance of cohorting and scheduling purposefully.
  • Workload on students in a distanced or modified environment.

Senior and school administrators have been working on a return to school plan for the past two months with the following tentative plans in place based on the Ministry of Education requirements:

  • Normal school day routine with enhanced public health protocols – a traditionally scheduled school day including nutrition breaks, preparation periods, and regular school schedule, enhanced protocols including cleaning of high touch surfaces, regular hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and use of personal protective equipment (PPE), where necessary.
  • Modified school day routine – an alternate day model where students attending school in person will be assigned to a cohort of no more than 15 students to attend on two regular weekdays and alternating Friday endeavouring to group family units on the same days across secondary and elementary schools and reflect transportation capacities. Educators and support staff will be assigned to class cohorts with as little overlap between cohorts as possible. A modified school day will allow for teacher preparation at the end of the day and will limit cohort contact. Students choosing not to attend school in person will remain at home for distance learning.
  • At-home learning with remote delivery – distance learning with synchronous learning, which will include but is not limited to, live opportunities to interact and discuss materials, recorded lessons with live follow up (which also may be recorded), live small group support for materials distributed, telephone conversations with one or multiple students including parents when developmentally appropriate.

With plans in place for all three scenarios, school boards will be expected to be able to move between these forms of delivery depending on the health circumstances throughout the school year. A block schedule by semester where secondary students focus on one credit at a time is being planned for secondary schools to limit contact between students, cohorts, and staff. Each credit block will be a minimum of 23 days where teaching staff will maintain an online classroom so that  curriculum can be delivered equitably to all students. 

The next steps for the school board include the development of staff and parent handbooks, review of the return to school plan with the Ministry of Education, and identifying family preference for remote or in-person school attendance for their children.

Revised school calendar

Superintendent of Learning Katherine MacIver presented a revised calendar to trustees based on a new directive from the Ministry of Education, which includes the expectation that school begins for staff on September 1 instead of September 2. Moving one of the TLDSB proposed professional activity days, trustees have approved the change to a start day for staff of September 1. School will still begin for students on September 8.

Purchase of leased Chromebooks

Trustees approved the $2,172,000 purchase of existing TLDSB issued Chromebook devices from Nelson Publishing. Superintendent of Learning Paul Goldring and Superintendent of Business Services Tim Ellis shared with trustees that the purchase of approximately 5,400 Chromebooks, rather than the leasing arrangement that has been in place with Nelson for the past two years, is a preferable and more cost effective path forward. This is especially significant as the one-to-one technology platform for students continues to expand. For a number of reasons, including the current pandemic situation and the concern around collecting, purchasing, and re-issuing devices annually, the owned Chromebooks can remain with a student from Grade 7 to 12. These Chromebooks are already in place in the system, and an additional 1,400 Chromebooks have been ordered from Dell for deployment in the fall, meaning that all Grade 7-12 students will now have a personal computer to support their learning.

2020-2021 budget update

Superintendent of Business Services Ellis provided an update on the 2020-2021 budget. The Financial Services Department continues to work on a balanced budget to be able to present to the board within the coming weeks. Currently, the estimated revenue amount from the Grants for Student Needs (GSN) is $204,000,000. A budget is being prepared to balance this amount, plus the approved use of $995,000 of accumulated surplus. The draft budget will include numbers from the newly ratified collective agreements, revised staffing levels, professional development, and special education costs, among others. Trustees will receive a draft budget package to review in preparation for a full public presentation in early August. The Ministry requires board approval of a draft budget by August 19.

2020 Board and Committee of the Whole meeting schedule

Meeting Date Time Location
Regular Board Meeting August 25, 2020 6:30 p.m. Lindsay Education Centre, Lindsay
Committee of the Whole  September 8, 2020 6:30 p.m. Haliburton County Education Centre, Minden
Regular Board Meeting September 22, 2020 6:30 p.m. Lindsay Education Centre, Lindsay
Committee of the Whole  October 13, 2020 6:30 p.m. Muskoka Education Centre, Bracebridge
Regular Board Meeting October 27, 2020 6:30 p.m. Lindsay Education Centre, Lindsay
Committee of the Whole  November 10, 2020 6:30 p.m. Haliburton County Education Centre, Minden
Regular Board Meeting November 24, 2020 6:30 p.m. Lindsay Education Centre, Lindsay
Organizational Meeting December 8, 2020 6:30 p.m. Lindsay Education Centre, Lindsay
Video access to the Committee of the Whole and Regular Meetings of the Board is available to the public at all TLDSB education centres. Please provide 24 hours notice to attend by emailing info@tldsb.ca or calling 1-888-526-5552. All Regular Meetings of the Board are webcast and may be accessed through the TLDSB website www.tldsb.ca.

 

 

2020-07-09T09:25:51-04:00July 9th, 2020||
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