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February 12, 2014 - Regular Meeting
        
Regular Board Meeting Minutes                                                                                                           February 12, 2014
Limestone District School Board

A meeting of the Board of Trustees was held at the Limestone District School Board, 220 Portsmouth Ave., Kingston on Wednesday, February 12, 2014, at 6:00pm.

Present:        
Members:               L. French (Chair)
                H. Brown
                H. Chadwick
                E. Crawford
                D. Jackson (Vice-Chair)
                M. McCormac (Student Trustee)
                P. Murray
                S. Ruttan

Regrets:                G. Beavis, Trustee
                                A. Goodfellow
                                M. Sempowski (Student Trustee)

Officials:              P. Babin, Superintendent of Business Services
                K. Burra, Supervisor of Safe and Caring Schools, Assistant to the Director
                J. Douglas, Communications Officer
                D. Fowler, Manager of Facility Services
                B. Fraser-Stiff, Superintendent of Education
                T. Giles, Supervising Principal
                B. Hunter, Director of Education
                A. Labrie, Superintendent of Human Resources
                N. Marsh, Superintendent of Education
                A. McDonnell, Supervising Principal
                S. McWilliams, Manager, Human Resources
                W. Toms, Manager of ITS and Planning Officer

Recorder:                M. Aitken, Records Management Coordinator

Guests:                    N. Hopkins, K. Irvine, L. Lowes, A. Otonicar, Principal Ernestown SS

Chair French called the meeting to order, welcoming everyone present, as well as extending a warm welcome to new Records Management Coordinator, Muriel Aitken. She reported that she had received regrets from Trustee Beavis. Chair French also commented on the ongoing cold weather and extreme snow conditions of the past month.

Presentation

        Chair French welcomed the teachers and principal of Ernestown Secondary School and congratulated them and their school team on receiving the Dr. Bette M. Stephenson Recognition of Achievement award, on behalf of the EQAO (Education Quality and Accountability Office). Chair French stated that the EQAO provides tests to measure student achievement in reading, writing, and mathematics in relation to Ontario Curriculum expectations. This past fall, the EQAO presented 28 elementary and secondary schools with this prestigious annual award, which acknowledges school communities throughout Ontario that, have distinguished themselves through their leadership, data-driven strategies and whole-school approaches to help every child succeed.

Chair French, on behalf of trustees, congratulated Principal Anne Otonicar,

Karen Irvine, teacher and department head, Lisa Lowe, and Neil Hopkins, math teachers, and asked them to come forward to be presented the award by Director Hunter.

        Director Hunter informed the Board that the Dr. Bette M. Stephenson Recognition of Achievement was established in 2009 in honour of Dr. Stephenson’s pivotal role on the EQAO Board of Directors and her lifelong commitment and contribution to Ontario’s publicly funded education system.
        
Director Hunter stated that schools that receive this award have clearly demonstrated their ability to make effective use of EQAO data as well as other information in order to enhance and support student achievement. All are notable for their demonstration of leadership, proactive initiatives and sincere effort to help every child succeed.
        
Director Hunter noted that there are a number of strategies that Ernestown Secondary educators are using, and highlighted the following:
        
Among the math department’s many successful strategies is its participation in the Board’s electronic 1P Network, in which teachers from several schools share EQAO resources, activities and units of study that are based on the grade 9 math curriculum. The staff accesses these resources and integrates them into their lessons. This allows staff to evaluate and provide timely feedback to students.
        
All students, but particularly students with special needs, are followed closely, and staff is guided by the Ernestown Student Success Pyramid of Intervention model. Teachers begin to follow students prior to their entry into grade 9, with math teachers sharing data and strategies with their elementary counterparts, engaging in reciprocal classroom visitations and organizing a well-attended grade 9 parents’ night.
        
Director Hunter congratulated Ernestown Secondary School on receiving this award, and stated it was a pleasure, on behalf of EQAO and Limestone District School Board to present The Dr. Bette M. Stephenson Recognition of Achievement to them.
        
Adoption of Agenda

        Chair French called for a motion that the agenda be approved, as distributed.

MOVED BY Trustee Crawford, seconded by Trustee Brown. Carried.

Declaration of Conflict of Interest

        No declarations were made.   

Chair’s Comments

        Chair French addressed the issues addressed in the community and in a letter to the Editor of the Whig Standard, and the ensuing challenges, after the August 2013 retreat.

“I would like to address some reactions to a recent community letter to the editor I wrote as Chair of the Limestone District School Board.

The letter, which was intended as an opportunity to share some of the current and upcoming challenges facing the Limestone District School Board and public education in
general as we all were interested in doing following our retreat day in August has been, in my view, taken out of context. I have been criticized publicly for my statements contained
within the letter as not being accurate, and not being representative of all Board Trustees and this needs correction.

First, statements regarding the Board’s unanimous vote regarding the Central Kingston Program & Accommodation Review:

Let me be very clear: The vote to consolidate KCVI and QECVI into one new composite secondary school on a site to be determined was in fact unanimous and has been reported as such since June when the decision was made. The initial vote at the School Enrolment & School Capacity Committee of the Board on June 17th was 5-4 to consolidate KCVI & QECVI and build a new school; however, when those recommendations were brought to the full Board for final debate and decision, the vote was 9 to zero--- unanimous.

As every trustee is fully aware, our approval process is not a simple adoption of minutes, it is a second opportunity for debate, and an opportunity for the corporate board to confirm, modify or reject altogether any or all of a committee’s recommendations. On June 19th, not one Trustee moved to have even one of the motions pulled out for further discussion, as is permitted in our process and as has occurred previously around other recommendations over the years. On that day, at the meeting of the full Board, the committee recommendations became decisions of the Board, passed 9 to zero ---unanimously. No trustee even requested a recorded vote.  

As all trustees are aware, once a decision has been made by the Board, it is binding and becomes the position of the Board – the entire Board – and it is from that point on the obligation of all Trustees to support that decision. Any statement that an individual trustee did not approve or support the decisions is inaccurate.

Second, the role of the Board chair in speaking publicly on the Board’s behalf on such matters: As outlined in Board Policy 7, the Board Chair is recognized as the chief spokesperson for the Board, except for those matters where the Board has previously delegated this role to another individual or group. It is my job to speak on behalf of the board to publicly support the decisions of the board. It has been stated that the Chair has a duty to remain impartial and should have nothing to say on the merits of pending questions. This is correct   where there is a question pending, but as I have just highlighted, the decision to consolidate KCVI & QECVI and build a new school was made June 19th. There is no question pending. The comments and positions made in the letter are not new, and in fact, describe what was agreed upon by this Board of Trustees after intense, lengthy and passionate deliberation.

Next, my outreach to potential political candidates in the upcoming provincial election: As we Trustees know all too well, there are several significant issues facing public education today and these issues are not always easily explained or understood. My goal in inviting provincial candidates to contact me for a meeting is to provide facts and context related to past decisions of the Board, and to inform potential candidates on current

issues and challenges in public education. This invitation to potential candidates is wholly appropriate. There has been a great response from several provincial candidates across
different parties, and I am reassured by the apparent increased understanding of our
decisions and priorities in these candidates, as a result of this outreach.

Those interested in obtaining information about the process of becoming a Trustee,
or those seeking more information related to Municipal elections later this year, are invited to contact staff at the Limestone District School Board, or the Ontario Public School Boards Association directly, as has always been our process. Information about this is already available on the Board website.

Finally, there have been numerous erroneous, malicious and personally targeted statements that only serve to distract from the real issues at hand. The fact that any one of us may be discounted from decisions because we live in a certain area of the Board is a squelching of the voices of our Board’s electorate and students and is most undemocratic.  It would also be contrary to the legal requirement of the Education Act for every Board member to represent the entire school board.

I will say once again, as documented in minutes, that I am not in a conflict of interest in this process, nor have my fellow board members brought any such complaint against me in this regard. We can discuss further in private session, but I felt it was important to ensure these corrections are in the public record. To my fellow trustees, thank you for your support. Thank you also for your wisdom and courage throughout this period.  Our work is not easy, but it is very important …for the success of our students now and in the future.”

Director’s Update

Director Hunter presented two videos, showcasing “the great work Limestone staff is doing to ensure our students are fully aware of the program pathways and choices available to them”.

Director Hunter stated the Expanded Opportunities Team, under the leadership of Supervising Principal Shawn Lehman, and with great work from Mike Sewell and
Dan Hendry has released these videos profiling some special programs available to our students in Limestone, including Co-operative Education, Dual Credits, Focus Programs, Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Programs, and Specialist High Skills Major programs.

The idea for the video was generated during the first Tool Trends and Opportunities Conference for LDSB staff which took place last fall. These videos are used by the team and school staff in our secondary schools to provide context and information for students interested in pursuing one of these specialized programs, all of which are focused on student success. The videos are also being showcased at the Focus Carousel information session being held at each of the secondary schools, and at the annual Evening in Focus event February 19th, 2014 at the Invista Centre.

All the videos are available via our LDSB website and also housed on our You Tube Channel.

Chair French thanked Director Hunter for her words and noted that this is a great opportunity for students.
                
Matters Requiring Action At the Meeting
Expressions of Condolences

Trustee Jackson extended condolences to Greg Seiveright, Principal, Polson Park Public School and his family, on the loss of his grandmother.

Trustee Chadwick extended condolences to Melissa Sinclair, Teacher, Lord Strathcona Public School, on the loss of her grandmother, Inez Sinclair.

Trustee Jackson extended condolences to Carrie Amodeo (Hale) and the Amodeo Family on the loss of her father, James Hale, father-in-law to Gabe Amodeo.

Trustee Ruttan extended condolences to Jill Senior, Elementary School Office Coordinator, Storrington Public School, on the passing of her mother-in-law, Marion.

Chair French extended condolences to Jocelyn Martin, retired Senior Clerk, The Prince Charles School, and current casual secretary with Limestone, on the loss of her husband, Hartsel Martin.

Trustee Brown extended condolences to Julie Dittburner, Teacher, Bath Public School on the loss of her mother-in law, Joan Amodeo.

Trustee Ruttan extended condolences to Elizabeth Whitehead, Teacher, Harrowsmith Public School, on the passing of her father-in-law, Fred Whitehead.

Chair French, Trustees, and the staff at the Limestone Education Centre wish to express their condolences to Shawn Lehman, Supervising Principal of Student Success, on the passing of his sister.

Trustee Crawford extended condolences to Michelle Thomas, Educational Assistant,  
La Salle Secondary School on the passing of her mother.

Trustee Chadwick extended condolences to Cheryl Waller, and her two sons, Christopher and Michael Tkautz, on the loss of Manfred Tkautz, Teacher at QECVI, as well as to the staff at QECVI.

Trustee Chadwick extended condolences to Mark Magee, Teacher, Frontenac Secondary School, and his wife Jackie Chase Magee, on the loss of Mark’s mother, Marie Magee .

Trustee Goodfellow extended condolences to staff and students of Land O'Lakes Public School, on the loss Velma Porter, former EA.

Expressions of Congratulations

Trustee Ruttan congratulated Tara Parsons, ECE Perth Road Public School on the birth of her son Emmett Arthur Shire.

Chair French, Trustees, and Board Staff congratulated Dana Sharpe, Assistant Maintenance Supervisor, on the birth of her daughter.
        
Board Minutes
 
MOTION: That the Board Meeting Minutes of January 8, and January 15, 2014, as distributed, be approved.

MOVED BY Trustee Brown, seconded by Trustee Crawford. Carried.

Business Arising Out of the Minutes

There was no business arising from the minutes.

Reports – Committees of the Board
        
(i) Education/Human Resources Committee

Trustee Brown presented the report and shared highlights of the Education/Human Resources Committee of January 15, 2014.

MOTION: That the report of the Education/Human Resources Committee of January 15, 2014, as distributed, be approved.

MOVED BY Trustee Brown, seconded by Trustee Crawford.  Carried.

(ii) Special Education Advisory Committee

Trustee Murray presented the report and shared highlights of the Special Education Advisory Committee of January 15, 2014. Trustee Murray also advised that the  committee will continue working on goal-setting at its next meeting scheduled for February 19, 2014.

MOTION: That the report of the Special Education Advisory Committee of January 15, 2014, as distributed, be approved.

 MOVED BY Trustee Murray, seconded by Trustee Chadwick.  Carried

(iii) Property/Operations Committee

Trustee Jackson presented the report of the Property/Operations Committee of February 4, 2014, held at LCVI and catered by the students in the cooking program. Trustee Jackson thanked the students for their excellence service and very tasty meal, and informed the Board that they would be competing in the Junior Iron chef the next day and wished them well.

MOTION: That the report of the Property/Operations Committee of February 4, 2014, as distributed, be approved.

MOVED BY Trustee Jackson, seconded by Trustee Crawford.  Carried.

Reports – Other

(i) Ontario Public School Boards Association Report
        Trustee French commented that our district was well represented by Trustees and

Student Trustees at the recent Public Sector Education Symposium (PES) held in Toronto from January 30 – February 1, 2014
                
(ii) Student Trustee Report

        Student Trustee Marnie McCormac presented a report from the PES and OSTA-AECO conferences and distributed the OSTA-AECO newsletter. Ms. McCormac stated that various fundraising strategies are underway, including a plan for a Feed the Children campaign, a cake walk, and a raffle. Ms. McCormac informed the Board that they are currently working on an internet video nomination strategy whereby students nominate other schools to do various fundraising challenges.
        
        Chair French thanked Ms. McCormac for her hard work and noted that many wonderful comments have been received regarding their contribution at the PES Conference, as well as thanking the student trustees for representing LDSB so well.

Staff Reports Requiring Decision
        
(i) Accounts

        With Trustee Beavis sending his regrets, the Accounts-Finance report for December 2013 is being deferred to the next scheduled board meeting of March 5, 2014.

        Trustee Ruttan presented the Accounts - Finance Report for January 2014 and highlighted that total disbursements of $11,572,613.68 and $11,647.07US were processed in various SDS batches.  

MOTION: Subject to Trustees scrutiny and satisfactory information concerning questions not later than the next following regular meeting of the District Board, Finance Accounts for the month of January 2014 totaling s $11,572,613.68 and $11,674.07 US as certified by the Superintendent of Business Services in accordance with Policy 3, subsection 3.1, be approved.

         MOVED BY Trustee Ruttan, seconded by Trustee Jackson. Carried.

        Trustee Ruttan thanked Financial Services Staff for the time to answer her questions.

(ii)  School Year Calendar

Mr. Burra, Supervisor of Safe and Caring Schools, stated that after consulting with our schools; community partners; ALCDSB and other Eastern Ontario school boards, Tri-Board Transportation it is suggested that the March break remain in the second week of March, and that the 2014-2015 school calendar would be submitted to the Ministry in its unmodified version by the May 1st deadline.

(iii) Approval of the Architectural Services for Kingston North Elementary School

Mr. Fowler, Manager of Facility Services reviewed the report and highlighted that proposals were received from fifteen architectural firms by October 15, 2013. That four

short listed proponents made formal presentations to an evaluation committee which included 2 Trustees, 2 Superintendents, 3 board staff, 1 Principal and I Parent Council representative from each of the legacy schools (Frontenac PS and First  Ave PS).

The proponent earning the highest total score is Colbourne & Kembel Architects Inc. and the evaluation committee supports a recommendation for architectural services for the

design and build of the Board’s elementary school in Kingston North. Mr. Fowler then responded to questions from Trustees.

MOTION: That the contract for architectural services for the new elementary school in Kingston North be awarded to Colbourne & Kembel, Architects Inc.

MOVED BY Trustee Chadwick and seconded by Trustee Ruttan. Carried.

Chair French thanked Mr. Fowler for the report and extended her thanks to the evaluation committee for their important work and contribution.

Notice Of Motion

There were no notices of motions.

Internal Reports and Other Communications
Copies of the following Internal Reports and Other Communications are on file in the Communications Department.

(a)   Director Hunter informed the Board that the decision has been made to discontinue support of the program “An Educated Minute produced by Kathy Leverette and aired daily (Monday through Friday) on CKWS FM 104.3 between 11:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. She stated that LDSB has enjoyed a long-standing relationship and noted Ms. Leverette’s extensive contribution to the Limestone community.

External Reports and Other Communications
Copies of the following External Reports and Other communications are on file in the Communications Department and posted in Trustee External Communications Folder in the Trustees’ Area in First Class.

(a)     From Michael Barrett, President, Ontario Public School Boards’ Association, a copy of a letter to David Thompson, Chair, Near North DSB, dated January 9, 2014, providing feedback regarding OPSBA core services to its members.

(b)   Letter from Liz Sandals, Minister, Ministry of Education responding to a letter sent from the Limestone District School Board, regarding trustee representation in electoral zones.

Other Business

(i)  Proposed Wind turbines on Amherst Island

        Trustee Brown raised this issue to the Board, noting the she has received several calls from the community recently expressing concern over this proposed location of tower S06 and its proximity to the Amherst Island PS. Trustee Brown also mentioned that the project is currently being reviewed by the Ministry of Environment and the timeline for the public to express concern is by February 28, 2014.

MOTION: That the Superintendent of Business be directed to resend letters regarding concerns from residents and staff related to the proposed Wind Farm on Amherst Island to
the Senior Project Evaluator at the Ministry of Environment.

        MOVED BY Trustee Brown, Seconded by Trustee Jackson. Carried.

(ii)  Proposed Cell Tower  

        Trustee Jackson expressed concern of the proposed cell tower being planned at the corner of Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard and Johnson Avenue, near Centennial Public School. Trustee Jackson mentioned he will be bringing the issue forward at the next Property Operations Committee meeting scheduled for February 26, 2014.    
        
(iii)   Death of Kingston Teacher

        Chair French extended her condolences on behalf of the Board on the sudden passing, after a brief illness, of Mr. Manfred Tkautz, teacher at QECVI. Mr. Tkautz was a teacher at the school for nineteen years. Chair French thanked staff for their support of both fellow staff and students at this sad time.

(iv)   Olympian in Our Midst

        Trustee Ruttan brought forward the information item acknowledging Prince Charles’ Public School’s former pupil (and graduate) and current Olympic Team Canada hockey player, Mike Smith. Trustee Ruttan informed the Board that she attended a pep rally that the school held for him to support his efforts in the Sochi Games, and stated that he and his parents were present and took the time to Skype the rally from Russia. He thanked the students for the gift of a flag they signed for him, and stated that he took it with him to Russia.

        Trustee Ruttan affirmed that this underscores the importance of our schools to students, even in adulthood.

        Chair French thanked Trustee Ruttan for bringing this forward.

Future Meetings


March 18, 2014
Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee  
6:00 p.m.
March 19, 2014
Education/Human Resources Committee
4:30 p.m.
March 19, 2014
Special Education Advisory Committee
7:00 p.m.
March 26, 2014
Property/Operations Committee
5:30 p.m.
April 9, 2014
Board Meeting
6:00 p.m.
April 16, 2014
Education/Human Resources Committee
4:30 p.m.
April 16, 2014
Special Education Advisory Committee
7:00 p.m.
April 23, 2014
Property/Operations Committee
5:30 p.m.
May 7, 2014
Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee
6:00 p.m.
May 21, 2014
Board Meeting
6:00 p.m.
May 27, 2014
Property/Operations Committee
5:30 p.m.
May 28, 2014
Education/Human Resources Committee
4:30 p.m.
May 28, 2014
Special Education Advisory Committee
7:00 p.m.
June 11, 2014
Special Education Advisory Committee
6:00 p.m.
June 18, 2014
Board Meeting
6:00 p.m.
March 25, 2014
Policy Meeting
6:00 p.m.


Other Special Meetings/Events

TBA             Official Opening/Ribbon Cutting Ceremony                        TBA
                        (Granite Ridge Education Centre)

TBA     Official Opening/Ribbon Cutting Ceremony                        3:00 p.m.
                (Addition to Sydenham High School)      

April 24, 2014  School Council Forum                            7:00 p.m.

May 1, 2014     Kingston Regional Heritage Fair
                        (Faculty of Education, Queen’s University)

May 22, 2014    School Council Liaison (PIC) Committee                          7:00 p.m.

Ontario Public School Boards’ Association Board of Directors and Regional Meeting Dates, and Conferences

March 20-22, 2014       OPSBA Labour Relations Symposium        Toronto, ON
April 12, 2014          Eastern Region Meeting  Ottawa, ON
May 2-3, 2014           OPSBA Board of Directors’ Meeting     Toronto, ON
July 3-5, 2014          OPSBA 2014 AGM & Program with CSBA 2014 Congress, Niagara Falls, ON

Other Events of Interest

April 29, 2014  LLF Grants Presentation                                  4:30 p.m.
June 6, 2014    LLF Golf Tournament                             11:00 a.m.
September 27, 2014      LLF Country Classic                             5:00 p.m.
                                
Recess To Private Session

        Chair French invited the Board to recess to Private Session and called for a motion.

MOVED BY Trustee Jackson, seconded by Trustee Brown that the Board recess at 7:18 p.m. for ten minutes and to reconvene in Private Session. Carried.

Private Session

Committee of the Whole Board
Chair French called for a motion that the Board to resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole Board.

MOVED BY Trustee Brown, seconded by Trustee Crawford at 7:28 p.m. Carried.

Attendance:     L. French (Chair)
H. Brown
H. Chadwick
E. Crawford
A. Goodfellow   
D. Jackson (Vice-Chair)
P. Murray
S. Ruttan
                
Technology  

Chair French reminded trustees that if they wished to purchase their existing board provided technology they may do so in November 2014 at fair market value in accordance with Board Policy 9, item 29.5.3.

Review of Potential Sites for New Elementary School in Kingston North

        Manager Toms reviewed updated information regarding city zoning and approval requirements of potential sites for the new school construction. Manager Toms responded to questions from Trustees and was thanked for his report.

         Trustees continue to deliberate on potential sites for the new school construction and requested that Colbourne & Kembel, Architects Inc. the firm awarded the contract for architectural services for the new elementary school be invited to present on potential sites in Private Session at the next Property/Operations Committee meeting, scheduled for February 26, 2014.

Personnel Update

Superintendent Labrie provided reports on Elementary, Secondary and Support staff changes.  The reports were received for information.

Safe Schools Update

Mr. Burra provided a safe schools update.

Property Update

Superintendent Babin advised that the lease with the City of Kingston for the Frontenac PS Park will be expiring in 2019 and recommended that staff write a letter to the City seeking an extension under similar terms and conditions. Trustees approved the recommendation.
 
Committee to Rise and Report

       Chair French invited the Committee of the Whole Board to rise and report to the Board and that the resolutions of the Committee of the Whole Board, noted above, be resolutions of the Board and made public.

MOVED By Trustee Jackson, seconded by Trustee Brown.  Carried.

Adjournment

Chair French called for a motion to adjourn the meeting.


MOVED BY Trustee Crawford, seconded by Trustee Murray, that the meeting adjourn at 9:30 p.m.  Carried.