Education/Human Resources Committee
April 21, 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, April 21, 2010, at 4:30 p.m.
H. Brown, Chair
M. Akey, Supervising Principal
D. Midwood, Sueprvising Principal
B. Woodley, Supervising Principal and Executive Assistant
D. Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
Chair Brown called the meeting to order, welcoming those present to the meeting. She reported that regrets were received from Trustee Chadwick.
Approval of Agenda
Trustee Jackson indicated that he had two things which he would bring forward under the Other Business section of the agenda.
MOVED BY Trustee Goodfellow, that the agenda, as distributed, be approved.–Carried
Judy Tetlow, Intervention Specialist, was present.
Ms. Tetlow stated that since the last time she presented at the Education/Human Resources Committee there have been changes. She distributed two new pamphlets, “MENDing Circles” and “The Mend Approach”, and those present watched an excerpt from the movie “Head Games, MENDing the Conflict”. She advised that the movie is used when they do level 2 training. She also advised that they have done a lot of work with graphics and the logo, which is new, as well as with posters.
Ms. Tetlow reviewed the following information:
Restorative Practices in Schools
- Old Paradigm Retributive Justice
- Fact finding
which equals isolation, alienation and detachment
- New Paradigm Restorative Justice
- Empathy Building
- elationship Building
which equals Community Building
Overall Goals for Student Success
- Provide Restorative options
- Support and educate youth and staff
- Improve student connections/attachments
- Develop student empathy and awareness
- Decrease need for disciplinary processes
- Improve relationships
- Develop ‘caring culture’
Ms. Tetlow stated that community, culture and care is the umbrella for: character education, healthy active living, student voice, student achievement, staff voice, safe school, human rights and progressive discipline.
Ms. Tetlow reviewed the following information:
MEND Program Highlights
- Currently available to all schools
- MEND trained staff in place in all schools
- Over 30 schools committed to MEND practices
- Over 900 staff trained at Level 1
- Almost 200 staff trained at Level 2
- Approximately 200 students involved in facilitated circles
- Over 3,000 students introduced to MEND foundation concepts
- Over 400 students trained at Level 1
- Over 100 community partners trained at Level 1
- Increased understanding re: restorative approach
- Increased use of alternative consequences (mind set)
- Student “buy in” (leadership level)
- Significant staff interest in program development
- Improved empathy and awareness for students
- Connections with existing programs
- Community interest and involvement
- Recognition of “Branding”
- School Accreditations (four schools have been awarded MEND Accreditation which requires school-wide MEND Approach implementation on all levels)
Action Plan Goals: MEND Training
- 2-3 Level 1 Training sessions per month
- Further develop training sessions
- Larger groups
- Training sessions for Yard Supervisors and Bus Drivers
- Provide “refresher’ follow-up sessions
- Develop “train the trainer” model for classroom workshop delivery
- Provide training sessions at PD conference
Action Plan Goals: MENDing Circles
- Increase staff involvement as facilitators
- Provide “Level 3" training (coached simulations)
- Develop a consistent referral process
- Connect MEND with implementation of Safe Schools and Progressive Discipline
Action Plan Goals: MEND Program Development
- Maximize information sharing opportunities
- Foster “champions” (MEND Committee)
- Develop school support strategies
- Develop Restorative Practice resources for classroom teachers
- Create suggested responses for encouraging empathy and awareness in reluctant participants
- Develop school accreditations
- Partner with Queen’s University for efficacy survey
- MEND conference
MEND is now developing from being something we do to support students to becoming a way of being in our schools.
Ms. Tetlow read some of the notes sent from the children.
Trustee Jackson stated that it appears that this initiative has improved and expanded since it was first introduced 3 ½ years ago, saying that he was encouraged to hear the responses received from students and staff.
Trustee Goodfellow stated that she is amazed to see how this initiative has grown over the past 3 ½ year, thanking Ms. Tetlow and Mr. Quigley for their work.
Chair Brown thanked Ms. Tetlow for her excellent presentation, noting that she had participated in one of the training sessions. She extended condolences to Ms. Tetlow on the loss of her grandmother, who had passed away earlier today.
Ms. Tetlow withdrew from the meeting.
Early Learning Program Update
Supervising Principal Akey provided a brief update about the Early Learning Program, noting that an administrative report was included in the April 14, 2010 Board agenda package.
Ms. Akey reported that on March 4, 2010, school boards were asked by the Ministry of Education to begin planning for Year 2 Early Learning Program implementation, noting that they were required to submit to the Ministry the Year 2 School Selection by April 16, 2010. She indicated that the Board sent in its template on April 16th, and that we should hear by May 21st if our site selections were approved.
Ms. Akey advised that we have continued our collaboration with our co-terminus district school boards (Hastings-Prince Edward DSB and the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic DSB). She advised that the supervisory officers of finance and human resources have met to do collective work regarding the hiring and staffing processes.
Ms. Akey reported that we have continued collaboration with the Consolidated Municipal Service Managers, and local Best Start Networks. She indicated that she sits on the Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Child and Youth Services Steering Committee and that committee continues to meet. She said that the subgroup of that committee is the Early Learning Program Special Needs Working Group, which supports our children with special needs.
Ms. Akey advised that the draft Full-Day Early Learning Kindergarten Program document is available on the web at http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/kindergarten.html. She advised that with that comes Board team training, noting that an Adobe Connect Training Session will be
held at the LDSB on April 27, 2010, and a Board team will go to Ottawa May 19 and 20th for training. The team will consist of: one Board representative with responsibility for Full-Day Early Learning, one elementary administrator, two kindergarten teachers, two early childhood educators if currently employed (not in the LDSB’s case) and one grade 1 teacher. She said that the College of Early Childhood Educators will provide local early childhood educator representation.
Ms. Akey advised that with regard to the Early Learning Program Leads for the Ottawa Region, a committee meets regularly to share information, to form a regional network, work to resolve common issues and concerns and to describe successful practice. The committee focuses on what boards need to do to prepare for a successful startup in September (program, finance, human resources, extended day, etc.). The committee met on April 7 and will meet again on May 6, 2010 at the Limestone Education Centre.
Ms. Akey reported that an Early Learning Kindergarten Program information session for interested teachers will be held on April 27, 2010 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Chair Brown thanked Ms. Akey for providing the above-noted information regarding the Early Learning Program.
Letter Referred from April 14, 2010 Board Meeting
Trustee Brown advised that at the April 14, 2010 Board Meeting, the following communication was referred to the Education/Human Resources Committee meeting of April 21, 2010:
From Elizabeth Crowe, Chair of the York Catholic District School Board, a copy of a letter dated March 23, 2010, addressed to The Honourable Leona Dombrowsky, Minister of Education, regarding a November 26, 2009 letter to Parent Involvement Committees requesting input on school policies related to fundraising, corporate partnerships and fees for learning materials and activities. In the letter, Ms. Crowe indicates that their board has always been supportive of the Ministry giving policy direction on issues related to Social Policy (such as Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility); however, they are concerned that there has been a recent movement by the Ministry towards the micro-management of school boards, without due regard for local decision-making based on local consultation. Ms. Crowe further indicates that
school boards set policy, and the Ministry is incrementally eroding these responsibilities when it seeks direct input from local Parent Involvement Committees on matters of local board policy, rather than consulting with individual school boards.
Trustee Brown asked Trustee Jackson to begin the discussion, as he was the Trustee who had suggested that this communication be referred to the Education/Human Resources Committee meeting.
Trustee Jackson stated that the concerns raised in the letter are not something he has experienced in the Limestone District School Board. He said that Debbie Villeneuve, a Co-Chair of the School Council Liaison Committee and LCVI School Council Chair, is very supportive of LDSB and how it involves parents. Trustee Jackson stated that he has no complaints or concerns regarding this matter in terms of the Ministry of Education sidestepping the process.
Trustee McLaren stated that she agrees with Trustee Jackson’s comments in that the Co-Chairs of the School Council Liaison Committee feel there is a very good process in the LDSB. Parents are invited to express their opinions and feelings on issues, and they are heard. They believe that the Board does what it can to accommodate things and that is through our Board-wide parent group and school based school councils for parents. Trustee McLaren stated that there are opportunities for parents to be included and involved, and the Board is constantly looking for parents to be included, and for ways we can help to reduce barriers. Trustee McLaren said that the experiences in the LDSB are different from others experience across the province. Trustee McLaren commented on
her time as a Chair of a School Council and Co-Chair of the School Council Liaison Committee where she attended meetings with representatives from other boards in attendance, and at that time the other boards did nothing regarding parent involvement committees. She said that she told them about the LDSB School Council Liaison Committee, noting that they were quite surprised. Trustee McLaren also commented on a session she had attended with Debbie Villeneuve, wherein a lot of negative comments were made. She advised that Debbie spoke about how the LDSB involves parents. Trustee McLaren said that the LDSB has always been a leader in this area.
Trustee Goodfellow commented on situation wherein when she was a School Council Chair how she could telephone the Director’s Office, and get through to speak with the Director directly. She said that when she related this message to other School Council chairs from across the province, they were amazed that she could do this. She commented on how parents have been part of the Board’s hiring committees, saying that we should be very proud of how the LDSB involves parents.
Chair Brown stated that at almost every conference Trustees attend, they share these types of stories, and the people are always amazed.
Trustee Jackson referred to two articles that appeared in recent editions of The Globe and Mail, one concerning occasional teachers and the other concerning sex education, asking that they be tabled to a future meeting. He said that he did not have any questions or concerns, and asked if these might be issues for the LDSB.
Next Meeting Date
The next meeting of the Education/Human Resources Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, May 19, 2010, at 4:30 p.m.
MOVED BY Trustee McLaren, that the meeting adjourn at 5:30 p.m.–Carried