For Immediate Release
June 27, 2012
Highlights of the June 2012 board meeting
GUELPH, Ontario – The Upper Grand District School Board held its final meeting for the 2011-12 school year on Tuesday, June 26. The following are highlights of the meeting.
Presentation to Outgoing Student Trustee
The board presented outgoing student trustee Jordan MacDougall Norwell DSS) with parting gifts and thanked her for all her work over the past two years as one of the board’s two student trustees. They also learned that she has been awarded a $1000 scholarship from the CAW to continue her studies at Laurier University. Emileigh Sampson (GCVI) will continue in her role as a student trustee for the next year and will be joined at the board table by incoming student trustee, Kaitlin Brown (Wellington Heights SS).
2012-13 School Year Budget Approved
The 2012-13 school year budget was approved. The total operating budget is $326,631,216 with a capital budget of $47,756,646. The budget is balanced and complaint with Ministry of Education requirements and the provincial government’s fiscal parameters. For more information, please see the additional news release. The budget is posted on the board’s website.
New Shelburne School Boundary Finalized
The boundary for the new elementary school to be built on Fiddle Park Lane in Shelburne, with an anticipated opening date of September 2014, was approved. Full details are included in an additional news release. The Boundary Report is posted on the Board’s website.
French Immersion Program Rockwood
The Board approved the potential start-up of a French Immersion program in Rockwood beginning in September 2014. Anticipated to be a JK/K or a JK/K/grade 1 program, parents will be asked to confirm their intention to register students in early October of 2013. The feasibility study report anticipates that a grade will be added each year to build towards a JK to grade 6 program. The Board has plans to build a second elementary school in Rockwood, but at this time there is no decision on where the school will be located or if it will host the French Immersion program. This is expected to be confirmed by December 2013. In 2018, the program will be reviewed to see if it is feasible to offer a JK to grade 8 program. The Rockwood French Immersion Feasibility study is posted on the board’s website.
Full Day Kindergarten Capital Plan
Staff revised the Full Day Kindergarten (FDK) capital plan which supersedes the original plan approved in principle in September 2011. By leveraging funds remaining from the Ministry of Education’s former new pupil places grants, the disposition of property reserves, prohibitive to repair funding received for King George and Tytler public schools, and grants for the implementation of FDK, the new plan proposes a slight increase in the number of projects that can be undertaken. The new plan, approved in principle by trustees, is posted on the board’s website.
King George Boundary Review
Trustees approved the commencement of a boundary review for the new King George Public School. The school will become a JK to grade 8 French Immersion school beginning in September 2014 after two years as a holding school. It will accommodate students from Laurine Avenue in the first year (2012-13) while their school is rebuilt, and students destined for the new East Guelph school to be built on Lee Street in the following year (2013-14). The staff boundary review committee will develop Report #2 which will provide shortlisted alternate boundary scenarios, analysis of those scenarios and a list of recommended options. Report # 2 will be presented to trustees in October with a final decision expected by December of 2012. The King George Boundary Review Report is posted on the board’s website.
Plastic Water Bottles
At the May Operations Committee meeting, the board’s two student trustees, Jordan McDougal and Emilegh Sampson called for a ban on plastic water bottles in school cafeterias and vending machines. This resulted from the student senate’s Environmental Conference held in May. Delegating the board in support of the students and making the board “plastic water bottle free” was Patrick Ciesar of Wellington Water Watchers. Following the Business Operations meeting, the student trustees met with Trustee Mark Bailey and senior administration and developed a new strategy. It empowers the Student Senate to increase the awareness of the environmental impact of plastic water bottles and to have the individual student councils develop local recommendations that meet the needs of the school community. Student Trustee MacDougall distributed copies of the Student Senate Action Plan starting in September 2012. The plan includes meeting with principals, student council staff advisors and student councils from each high school and a comprehensive survey of staff (both elementary and secondary) to determine interest, opinions and potential actions. The aim is for further education for staff, students and the public about the negative effects of plastic water bottles. Trustees approved the strategy. The student trustees were thanked for their courage in bringing forward the issue and for demonstrating their leadership and active citizenship that has created a model that could be used by other schools and boards. Student Trustee MacDougall thanked the Board and Staff for hearing the student voice and helping them continue the momentum.
Campaign to End World Hunger
Gavin Armstrong, a University of Guelph student who organized last year’s successful Food Packing Event on campus, petitioned the board to spread the word about this year’s event, scheduled for Saturday, September 8, 2012. With the help of volunteers, the goal this year is to pack one million meals for countries where hunger is an issue. The project will also provide secondary school students with an opportunity to earn community volunteer hours towards their second school diploma. The board asked staff to communicate the information to schools and post details on its website to encourage the participation of both students and community members.
Director’s Annual Report
Director of Education Martha Rogers presented the board’s Annual Report produced as required by the Education Act. The report profiles a number of programs and services designed to improve student success and system achievements from the previous school year. The annual report will be submitted to the Ministry of Education and circulated widely through the system and district and is posted on the board’s website.
Transportation Concerns Edward Johnson Public School
Two parents delegated the board to ask for transportation for children to a licensed child care facility located just outside the Edward Johnson Public School Boundary. There is a lack of licensed childcare in the school’s catchment area and parents want to send their children to after school care but are ineligible for bus transportation. Trustees asked staff to review the procedures and see if there is a solution to the problem for the coming school year. In September of 2013 Edward Johnson will implement full day kindergarten and there is the possibility, depending on parental interest, of offering a before and after school child care program, but nothing exists for September of 2012.
Policy # 408 Workplace Harassment and Policy # 210 Environmental Education and Management were approved by the board. Workplace Harassment provides details on the reporting and investigation of harassment complaints in the board and is a revision of an original policy based on changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Environmental Education and Management sets the framework for managing environmental literacy and action in schools and board facilities. The policies are posted on the board’s website.
The next meeting of the full board will be held on Tuesday August 28, 2012 following the summer break. The meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Board Room at the Guelph office, 500 Victoria Road North.
For more information:
Maggie McFadzen, Communications Officer
519-822-4420 ext. 725
Mark Weidmark, Administrative Officer - Communications
519-822-4420 ext. 544