Education/Human Resources Committee
February 17, 2010
A meeting of the Education/Human Resources Committee was held in the Board Room at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, on Wednesday, February 17, 2010, at 4:30 p.m.
H. Brown, Chair
G. Beavis, Ex-Officio
B. Fraser-Stiff, Superintendent of Education
R. Holmes, Supervising Principal
A. Labrie, Superintendent of Human Resources
S. McWilliams, Manager, Human Resources
D. Midwood, Supervising Principal
N. Marsh, Superintendent of Education
B. Woodley, Supervising Principal and Executive Assistant
D. Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
Chair Brown called the meeting to order, welcoming those present to the meeting.
Approval of Agenda
The Chair advised that there is an additional item to be added to the agenda in Private Session.
MOVED BY Trustee McLaren, that the agenda, as amended, be approved.–Carried
Student Success Publications
Supervising Principal Midwood distributed copies of a Student Success Update document and the following publications: “Exploring the Possibilities!”, “Exploring the Pathways!”, and “Focus Programs 2010-11".
Mr. Midwood reported that five years ago (the 2004-2005 school year), there were no Student Success teachers, Student Success Teams, Credit Recovery, Grade 8 to Grade 9 Transitions, reliable indicator date, Dual Credits or Specialist High Skills Majors.
Mr. Midwood advised that the “Exploring the Possibilities” publication is a program pathway guide for Grade 8 students and parents to assist them in preparing for high school.
Mr. Midwood advised that the Board had built on its success of “Exploring the Possibilities!” with its new publication “Exploring the Pathways” which is a program pathway planning guide for Grade 10 students and parents to assist in preparing for success in senior grades and destinations beyond. He reported that the publication was developed by Mike Sewell, Program Leader, Skills Training & Technology, and Angela Lowry, Secondary Program Consultant, along with others. The publication contains more specific information, and explains interventions. Mr. Midwood indicated that information is provided in the publication with regard to Focus Programs, Specialist High Skills Major, Expanded Cooperative Education, Dual Credits, eLearning, and
Apprenticeship, College, University, and Workplace Destination Success.
Mr. Midwood commented on the “Focus Programs 2010-11" publication, noting that these programs have been very successful for the past 20 years, when they were first introduced. He advised that the programming slate has been reviewed and reduced, noting that there has been a change in the old categories to reflect the new pathway model. He said that the Board is now moving forward with an alphabetical directory.
Trustee Goodfellow advised that she gave the Focus Programs publication to a trustee from another board at the OPSBA Public Education Symposium, and that she was thrilled to receive it.
Chair Brown thanked Mr. Midwood for providing the above-noted information.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff stated that she was pleased to share the Elementary LEAP and Challenge Program Review report with Committee members. She said that it is in response to the Board’s Strategic Directions 2009 document, under section 5.2.1d. She indicated that the Elementary LEAP and Challenge Program Review Report and the administrative report were presented for Trustee information.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff advised that an e-mail was sent to Trustees today with corrected information with regard to a chart, noting that a hard copy of the information was made available to Trustees at this afternoon’s meeting. She further advised that a complete Elementary LEAP and Challenge Program Review Report, with the amended information, was made available at the meeting.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff stated that the review process has been a lengthy process. She said that the review process does not end as we will continue to examine our programs.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff shared the history of the programs, and the time lines for the review. She said that Director Hunter, in consultation with the Superintendent of Education with responsibility for the Elementary LEAP and Challenge Programs initiated a review of the programs in October 2008. She stated that the Challenge Program was initiated in September, 1995 at Calvin Park Public School and was extended to Odessa Public School and Loughborough Public School in 2000. The LEAP Program was initiated at Calvin Park Public School in 2000.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff reported that there was a formal review of the program in 2001, which included the surveying of a sample of teachers of Grades 6, 7 and 8, Program teachers, administrators, School Council Chairs, parents of students in the programs, students in the programs and SEAC members.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff said that in 2003 and 2004 informal meetings were held with the teachers and administrators of the Programs to discuss methods for improving the programs, application process, equity in the selection process and communication with parents. Input was also sought from the School Council Liaison Committee.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff advised that the Elementary LEAP and Challenge selection process was reviewed in 2006 and some revisions were made at that time. She said that the Elementary LEAP and Challenge selection process was again reviewed in 2009. Interim selection process revisions were implemented in 2009.
Superintendent Fraser-Still reported that on October 21, 2008, December 8, 2008 and December 16, 2008, a steering committee consisting of the Superintendent of Education, Program Review Facilitator, Elementary Administrators, Consultants, and a Research Analyst met to establish the process for the Program Review and to review information about the Elementary LEAP and Challenge Programs. On January 14, 2009, the steering committee met to specifically examine the selection process. On January 29, 2009 and February 26, 2009, a committee consisting of the Superintendent of Education, Program Principals, Program Teachers and Consultants met to review the selection process and to make recommendations for revisions for the 2009-2010 selection process.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff advised that in March 2009, survey data was collected from students, parents, teachers, administrators, School Council Chairs and SEAC members through on-line surveys. The Program Review Facilitator gathered information regarding arts and gifted education program models from schools boards in Ontario. Superintendent Fraser-Stiff stated that on January 13, 14 and 15, 2010, a Review Team consisting of the Superintendent of Education, Program Review Facilitator and Elementary Administrators, met with the Elementary LEAP and Challenge Program Teachers and Administrators to gather information about the program delivery. On January 21 and 22, 2010, the Review Team visited the classrooms of the Elementary LEAP and Challenge Programs.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff commented that the selection process review did take longer than what was originally anticipated due to a variety of reasons, including an illness of the first Program Review Facilitator, the welcoming of three new teachers in the Challenge Programs, and the work commitments of the second Program Review Facilitator. She said that the timelines were adjusted in order to be respectful of the work of the Program Review Facilitator, and to allow for the transition of the new teachers.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff remarked that throughout the process, we revised the selection process, and those revisions were implemented for the 2009-2010 selection process. She said that the revisions addressed the concerns raised about transparency, gender imbalance and to better ensure fairness and equity in the process. She said that the changes implemented were as follows:
1. All application packages were sent to the Education Centre to be managed by an external Choices Registrar. The Registrar collated the criteria and information used when determining successful candidates. Communication to the parents regarding confirmation of information and outcome of the process was handled by the Registrar.
2. The Teacher Checklist was eliminated from the application package. The information required from the teacher was gathered from the current report card.
3. The candidates attending “Challenge for a Day” and “LEAP for a Day” sessions were assessed by a team of teachers and non-Board individuals with knowledge of the arts, enrichment and education.
4. Blind scoring of the academic assessments written by the Challenge program candidates were completed by non-program teachers at the Education Centre.
5. In an effort to balance the gender in the LEAP and Challenge programs, the goal was to have classes with 1/3 female, 1/3 male and 1/3 either gender. This was assuming the candidates met the required criteria, while respecting the student quota per Family of Schools defined by the Selection Round Procedure. It was also recognized that the LEAP program historically received fewer male applicants than female applicants.
6. The candidate package consisted of the application, parent checklist and report card. The parent completed the application and the checklist. These pieces were completed on-line for Calvin Park and in hard copy for Odessa and Loughborough Public Schools. The report cards were downloaded at the Education Centre. Non-Board candidates were required to deliver the report cards to the Education Centre.
7. Decisions were made based on assessments and workshops completed during the orientation day and from the report card.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff said that the Program Teachers and Administrators identified that the changes implemented this year, such as the Registrar and the use of personnel from outside the Program to support the assessment and the scoring saved them a tremendous amount of time and work. She stated that the Grade 6 classroom teachers were relieved that they did not have to complete a Teacher Checklist.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff reported that a significant amount of the Registrar’s time was spent communicating with parents about a variety of questions and concerns about the selection process and programs. Many parents expressed appreciation that communication was always with the same person, noting that the consistency of response was a real strength.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff said that the selection process ran smoothly last year, with the current revisions that were implemented. She advised that Tanis Fairley will continue in the role of Registrar this year.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff advised that the Elementary LEAP and Challenge Review report was prepared by Ruth Bailey, and the report involved the collection of information through a variety of sources. She said there were consultations with teachers, administrators, Program consultants, parents, School Councils, SEAC members and a Research Analyst; they provided data and input to the Program Review Facilitator.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff reviewed the following recommendations:
Teaching and Learning
1. That the Superintendent of Education with responsibility for the LEAP and Challenge Programs initiate a review of the performance for the past three years of both the LEAP and Challenge students in Grades9 and 10 Mathematics and English.
2. That the Superintendent of Education with responsibility for the LEAP and Challenge Programs work with the Program Administrators and Teachers to implement the specific recommendations of the Program Effectiveness Review Summary Reports.
3. That the Superintendent of Education with responsibility for the LEAP and Challenge Programs work with Program Teachers and Administrators to provide professional development specific to the teaching of the content and skills targeted by the programs.
4. That the Superintendent of Education with responsibility for the LEAP and Challenge Programs, in consultation with Program Teachers and Administrators, review the Program budgets with a view to ensure that some of the funding is designated for teacher release time. It is recommended that this release time, with the approval of the school principal(s), be used to facilitate planning and sharing among the Program partners and across Program sites. It may also be used to make possible, school visits to sites that operate programs similar to the LEAP or Challenge Program.
Program Purpose and Description
5. That Senior Staff, in consultation with a representative group of administrators, teaching staff and Special Education staff consider the issue of gifted versus high achievers as the target group for the Challenge Program.
6. That the Superintendent of Education with responsibility for the LEAP and Challenge Programs initiate the development of a revised program description for each of the programs. It is recommended that the description clearly delineate the purpose of the program, the goals and expectations for the students, staff and administrators of the programs, as well as provide greater clarity concerning the characteristics of the student for whom the programs are intended. It is further recommended that the revision of the program descriptions be carried out in consultation with Program Teachers and Administrators.
7. That the LEAP Program description include specific direction concerning the role of performance in the program.
8. That the interim changes made in the selection process and the management of the application and assessment sections become a permanent part of the process and be reviewed again when the program description has been clarified.
9. That the Superintendent of Education share the recommendations of the Registrar with the Program Administrators and facilitate the implementation of the recommendations, as possible.
10. That the Superintendent of Education oversee te content of the flyers, brochures and program for the Information Nights to ensure consistency of the messaging with the program description and goals.
Future of the Programs
11. That the Senior Staff of the Limestone District School Board investigate the feasibility of expanding the LEAP and Challenge Programs to other areas of the District with attention to equity of opportunity and viability and integrity of the program in other sites.
12. That the Senior Staff of the Limestone District School Board investigate the feasibility of expanding the number of spaces available for the Challenge Program in the Calvin Park Public School Challenge catchment area ad/or expand the program to an additional site within this area.
13. That the Senior Staff of the Limestone District School Board explore the possibility, benefits and deterrents of the LEAP and Challenge teaching positions becoming term positions for the purpose of promoting professional growth and leadership opportunities across the system.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff said that some recommendations will begin now in terms of implementation, some of the recommendations are ongoing, and some will occur over a period of time.
Trustee Jackson expressed concern about receiving revised information at the meeting, and receiving the report late yesterday. He stated that he has concerns that there was limited consultation with respect to the report. He said that there was no comment on budgets, or expanding the programs. He said that some members of the public have made commentary about the Board competing with private schools for students, and therefore, students applying from private schools being given priority, and this is not addressed
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff said that the intent of the programs is to provide for enrichment opportunities for students. She said that as a public education system we are open to students who wish to apply to attend our Board. She said that the selection process for these programs are set up so that the majority of the spots available are for students currently in Limestone District School Board schools. She stated that one-half of the spots are available to Limestone District School Board students in the first round of the Selection Process. She said that during the second round, non Limestone District School Board students are given consideration in addition to Limestone students,
one school at a time. She said that the spots are given to students based on their success in the selection process, school by school by school. She said that priority is not given to non Limestone District School Board students.
Trustee Chadwick referred to Trustee Jackson’s comments regarding public consultation, and stated that there was input from the public, i.e. information was gathered from parents and communities, including response regarding the application process. She said that she has also heard some of the concerns that Trustee Jackson heard from parents. Trustee Chadwick said that we are a public education system, and that the Board is open to all students to apply to our schools. We want to encourage everyone to attend our schools. She said that the report is being received as information.
Trustee McLaren commented on her home-school situation experience. She said she thought she was doing the best for her children at the time. She said that our philosophies are formed by perceptions, and sometimes people change their views. She said that when she was introduced to programs in the Limestone District School Board, her perception changed. She said that we are a public education system, and if parents decide that their child(ren) would do best in the public school system, and want to enrol them, then we have to take them. We should not portray the attitude that their child(ren) are not welcome. Trustee McLaren said that she knows that there are other parents who felt the selection process was not flawed, which was a different perception than
the parents who came as a delegation to a previous Education/Human Resources, wherein they expressed concern about the selection process.
Trustee Goodfellow commented that we get funding from the Province based on enrolment. She said that the majority of LDSB students are given priority for the LEAP and Challenge Programs. She remarked that if students from private schools or other school boards come to the LDSB, then we also get funding for them.
Trustee Jackson stated that it is within the prerogative of the Director of Education to implement what she wants. He expressed concern about receiving the report the day before the meeting, and he commented that parents have had no opportunity to read the report.
Trustee McLaren disagreed with Trustee Jackson’s concern about the timeframe. She commented that she has every confidence in the teachers, parents and staff who prepared the report. She referred to the parental delegation that came to a previous Education/Human Resources Committee meeting, and said that there were other parents not present at that meeting who held opposing views to the parent delegation, and those parents were happy with the way things were.
Trustee Chadwick thanked staff for the report, noting that the report is not a fait accompli. She said that some of the recommendations are ongoing. She said that the recommendation regarding the selection process changes is finished, but only until such time as the final descriptions of the programs are finalized. She said that it is right that we review all of our programs regularly. She said that the report is at this moment in time and the recommendation is at this moment in time only.
Superintendent Labrie stated that the task of the review was not to do a public consultation, but rather to do a comprehensive program review. He said that the public was surveyed for response as part of the review. He said that the report was the result of the review which responded to the input provided by the delegation that came to a previous Education/Human Resources Committee meeting. He said that the review was to conduct an analysis of the programs to see what the Board might do in the future. He explained that many boards in the province offer these types of programs only for gifted students who have been identified as gifted, not high achievers. He said that our Board has offered these programs to high achievers in order to sustain the programs.
He explained the staffing process.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff stated that input was sought from parents through the surveys. Surveys were sent to parents of students in the program, as well as parents of students who were not accepted into the program. Survey data was also collected from students in the programs, teachers, administrators, School Council Chairs and SEAC members.
Superintendent Fraser-Stiff reported that the time lines for the report were longer than what staff had hoped. Initially, the report was to be presented at the January meeting of the Education/Human Resources Committee. She said that last week was a difficult one in the Limestone District School Board with the announcement of three untimely deaths, and that the Program Review Facilitator is juggling two jobs. Out of respect for the Program Review Facilitator’s time, the report was not brought to the January meeting. Superintendent Fraser-Stiff said that she appreciated the work the Program Review Facilitator did to get the report to her. She said that in order to give Trustees more time to read and review the report, we would have had to postpone it to
the March meeting of the Education/Human Resources Committee. She said that Senior Staff believed that the report should be shared with Trustees in a timely fashion, as possible and that further discussion of the report at subsequent Education/Human Resources meetings could centrally occur.
MOVED BY Trustee Jackson, that the Elementary LEAP and Challenge Program Review report be tabled to the March 24, 2010 Education/Human Resources Committee meeting so that consideration of the report is delayed to allow time for public input.
Friendly amendments were made to the motion of Trustee Jackson to which he agreed. Therefore, the motion reads as follows:
MOVED BY Trustee Jackson, that consideration of the Elementary LEAP and Challenge Program Review report be deferred to the March meeting of the Education/Human Resources Committee.
Trustee Jackson requested a recorded vote on the above-noted motion, which was as follows:
YEAS: Trustee Beavis, Trustee Chadwick, Trustee Jackson, Trustee Murray (4)
NAYS: Trustee Brown, Trustee Goodfellow, Trustee McLaren (3)
The motion was called and Carried 4:3.
Chair Brown thanked Superintendent Fraser-Stiff for presenting the Elementary LEAP and Challenge Program Review report.
Kindergarten A/B Schedule and Five-Day Cycle
Superintendent Labrie stated that the presentation of information regarding the Kindergarten A/B Schedule and Five-Day Cycle is the beginning of the consultation process. He said that others will be approached for input regarding this matter.
Supervising Principal Holmes stated that we are looking at for the 2010-2011 school year, the elementary calendar with regard to a five-day cycle schedule and changes to the Kindergarten A/B schedule. He advised that input was received from the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board as to what they did for the 2009-2010 school year.
Mr. Holmes stated that we are looking at a five-day cycle for grades 1 to 8 and for those students in the full-day learning program. He commented on the PDT agreed to last year, and planning time within the five-day period and in order to do what we need to have to do. He reported that the Board has an agreement with it unions this year to come up with a plan. He said that most boards in the province has gone with a five-day cycle.
Mr. Holmes advised that the Board is also looking at the A/B Kindergarten schedule. He said that Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board had some issues with its Kindergarten A/B schedule at the beginning of the year, but these issues were quickly resolved and it has worked very well for them.
Mr. Holmes commented that have been in consultation with Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board and the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board because all three boards would like to have the same Kindergarten A/B Schedule. He advised that we have also consulted with the unions, and they are agreeable with the A/B Schedule. He said that there would be a cost to the Board if we did adopt such a schedule because we would have extra planning time teachers.
In response to a question from Trustee Chadwick, Mr. Holmes stated that we have to make a change to satisfy PDT and planning time. The A/B Kindergarten days are only for those Kindergarten students attending school for one-half day, alternate-day Kindergarten programs. He said that there has to be some adjustment on behalf of teachers and parents related to daycare, but with lead time these issues were resolved in the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board.
Chair Brown thanked Messrs. Labrie and Holmes for providing the above-noted information.
Report on Long-Term Suspension and Expulsion Roundtable
Supervising Principal and Executive Assistant Woodley provided a report on the Long-Term Suspension and Expulsion Roundtable that was held December 10, 2009. She said that six boards attended the event: Hastings and Prince Edward DSB, Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic DSB, Catholic District Board of Eastern Ontario, Renfrew DSB, Upper Canada DSB and the Limestone District School Board.
Ms. Woodley reported that other boards similar to us geographically, or that receive similar funding from the province were invited. She said that the roundtable was held to see what other boards were doing. She said that Hastings and Prince Edward DSB has a program that is comprised of a counsellor and an itinerant teacher so that they can travel to the location to meet with the students. The program is on a part-time basis at a public venue.
Ms. Woodley advised that the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board uses the same process as the Limestone District School Board, i.e. Youth Diversion, and a full-time teacher is provided.
Ms. Woodley indicated that the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario has an itinerant teacher, and that transportation for students is provided.
Ms. Woodley commented that Renfrew District School Board has an itinerant program – a teacher is provided on an occasional basis and there is some counselling. She said that at the time of the roundtable, the Renfrew DSB did not have any expelled students.
Ms. Woodley reported that the Upper Canada DSB has adult sites around their district and they will transport students from one part of their board to a site. She said that the Upper Canada DSB indicated that in their presentation that for example, they had a student expelled from a school in Smith Falls who was transported to Cornwall for his/her program.
Ms. Woodley stated that at the end of the presentations those present discussed gaps. She said that the challenge for all school boards is around transportation costs. She said that the funding from the province did not give boards permission to use it for transportation. She said that sometimes in Limestone transportation is provided if a new bus route does not need to be created. She commented that boards are concerned about the funding because it was folded into the GSN grants after the first year. She remarked about the declining enrolment factor occurring. She stated that part of the funding goes to pay for salaries, noting that salaries have increased over the past four years in agreements.
Ms. Woodley reported that boards are concerned also about transportation for those students who are expelled who live in rural areas.
Ms. Woodley stated that we continue to improve our transitions back to regular schools for students, noting that we have been successful in the Limestone District School Board. She said that there is some transition time provided with educational assistants, noting that schools have been using those persons to provide one-on-one support for the student who had been expelled in order to help him/her sort out behaviour, and to support his/her academic program.
Ms. Woodley commented that our expulsion programs provide a certain kind of learning for a few students, and that the students may feel more comfortable at the alternate site. She said some students prefer not to return to school. We, however, believe it is in the student’s best interest long term to transition back to school successfully.
Ms. Woodley reported that the roundtable was successful, and that they voted to continue meeting annually, with part of the discussion for the day being a roundtable. She said that they would also like to have counsellors discuss what they are doing, teachers to discuss what they are doing, and board office staff to discuss what they are doing.
Ms. Woodley stated that she believes that the Limestone District School Board has a reasonable program for the funding provided by the province.
In response to comments, Ms. Woodley stated that we have not lobbied the government for funding for transportation recently. However, in the beginning boards did a lot of lobbying that funding be provided for transportation.
In response to a question, Ms. Woodley stated that counselling for LDSB students who live in rural areas is provided through two positions at Educational Services who are part of the Behavioural Action Team (BATeam). She said that counsellors from the BATeam will meet with students. She stated that sometimes we will hire staff who have counselling skills. She said that we provide additional support for students through community agencies, such as Pathways for Students and Youth, KAIROS, etc.
Trustee Jackson requested that a discussion be held with regard to what we should do to advocate for students, at a future meeting.
Trustee Murray expressed concern about programming for students who are expelled at the end of a school year not being provided during the summer.
Ms. Woodley stated that there is no provision for programming during the summer for students who are expelled. She said that it is not appropriate for students to attend summer school who are expelled from all schools within the LDSB. She said that those students who are expelled only from their own school can attend summer school. However, some students have court imposed conditions and are not to be together. The summer school administration is made aware of requirements for support and intervention.
Chair Brown thanked Ms. Woodley for providing the above-noted information.
Trustee Jackson referred to the OPSBA Update with regard to early learning and requested that implications of that be discussed at the March Education/Human Resources Committee meeting.
MOVED BY Trustee McLaren, that the Education/Human Resources Committee recess to Private Session.–Carried
MOVED BY Trustee Goodfellow, that the Education/Human Resources Committee recess to Public Session.–Carried
Next Meeting Date
The next meeting of the Education/Human Resources Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, March 24, 2010, at 4:30 p.m.
MOVED BY Trustee Jackson, that the meeting adjourn at 6:05 p.m.–Carried
Principal Appointments – Secondary Principal Pool
The following appointments will be made to the Secondary Principal Pool effective immediately:
Angela Salmond, Acting Principal, North Addington Education Centre
Jessica Silver, Vice-Principal, Ernestown Secondary School
Vice-Principal Appointments – Secondary Vice-Principal Pool
The following appointments will be made to the Secondary Vice-Principal Pool effective immediately:
Anne Marie McDonald, Assistant Vice-Principal, Bayridge Secondary School
Jen Grasse, Assistant Vice-Principal, LCVI
David Steele, External
Assistant Vice-Principal Appointment – Secondary Assistant Vice-Principal Pool
The following appointment will be made to the Secondary Assistant Vice-Principal Pool effective immediately:
Sheri Jones, Acting Assistant Vice-Principal, KCVI
SECONDARY PRINCIPAL AND ASSISTANT VICE-PRINCIPAL PLACEMENTS
The following Secondary Principal placement will be made effective immediately:
North Addington Education Centre
North Addington Education Centre
The following Secondary Assistant Vice-Principal placement will be made effective immediately:
Acting Assistant Vice-Principal, KCVI
Assistant Vice-Principal, KCVI
MOVED BY Trustee Goodfellow, that the Education/Human Resources Committee recess to Public Session.–Carried