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September 15, 2010 - Education/Human Resources Committee Minutes
Education/Human Resources Committee
September 15, 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, September 15, 2010, at 4:30 p.m.                      
Present Trustees:
H. Brown, Chair
H. Chadwick
A. Goodfellow
D. Jackson
B. McLaren
P. Murray

E. Crawford
Present Staff:
M. Akey, Supervising Principal
M. Babcock, Principal at Rideau PS
B. Fraser-Stiff, Superintendent of Education
T. Giles, Supervising Principal
D. Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
A. Labrie, Superintendent of Human Resources
M. McLeod, Human Rights Education Advisor
N. Marsh, Superintendent of Education
S. McWilliams, Manager of Human Resources
W. Toms, Manager of ITS and Planning Officer    
        Chair Brown called the meeting to order, welcoming those present to the first Education/Human Resources Committee meeting of the 2010-2011 school year.

Approval of Agenda                                                                              

        MOVED BY Trustee Goodfellow, that the agenda, as distributed, be approved.–Carried

Administrative Procedure 105 (Equity & Inclusive Education) and Administrative Procedure 106 (Religious Accommodations Guideline)

        Chair Brown advised that the presentation of Administrative Procedures 105 (Equity & Inclusive Education) and 106 (Religious Accommodations Guideline) is an introductory presentation this evening.  She apologized to Committee members for the APs not being received ahead of this afternoon’s presentation.

        Supervising Principal Akey introduced Michèle Babcock, the Principal at Rideau Public School, who was present to provide an overview of Administrative Procedures 105 (Equity & Inclusive Education) and 106 (Religious Accommodations Guideline).

        Ms. Babcock advised that she would walk Committee members through the APs, providing an overview of them. She said that she would also provide the background as to how they arrived at what is included in them, as well as the key messages.  She indicated that she would be happy to entertain any questions at the end of her presentation.

AP 105 (Equity and Inclusive Education)

        Ms. Babcock thanked Committee members for the opportunity to share the APs with them.  She said that they were developed in response to the Ministry of Education’s mandate, reading the following statement from AP 105, noting that this has been the practice in the Limestone District School Board for several years; it is part of our educational culture to promote respect and diversity:

“The Limestone District School Board believes that all students can learn and is committed to enabling each and every student to learn effectively, to reduce achievement gaps and to improve learning outcomes for all, regardless of race, class, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and other historical forms of marginalization.  The Board upholds the principles of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  The board and its staff are therefore committed to the elimination of all types of discrimination as outlined in Ontario’s Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy and the Ontario Ministry of Education Policy/Program Memorandum No. 119 (2009).  The Board recognizes that equity of opportunity and equity of access to the full range of programs, the delivery of services, and resources are critical to the achievement of successful educational and social outcomes for those served by the school system as well as those who serve the system.

The Board is therefore committed to an equitable education system that upholds and reflects the principles of fair and inclusive education which should permeate all policies, programs, practices, and operations.

        Ms. Babcock noted that the first sentence was from Human Rights at Work, Third Edition, p 14, which states that “The Ontario Human Rights Codes identifies the following prohibited discrimination grounds: race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed (religion), sex (includes gender identity and pregnancy), sexual orientation, age, record of offences, marital status, family status, and/or disability (includes perceived disability).   

        Ms. Babcock reported that the Section 1.0 Guiding Principles & Philosophies operate under the umbrella of respect – “Respect for the diverse perspectives of the entire school community will be reflected in all areas of the teaching, learning and administrative culture.” She said that the procedures provide clear language around expectations, noting that the procedure has been established to align and integrate the requirements of the Ontario Human Rights Code, Policy/Program No. 119 and the Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy into all Board procedures, programs, and practices.  She reported that every effort will be made to identify and remove discriminatory biases and systemic barriers that may limit access to, and opportunity for, effective student engagement and achievement.
Administrative Procedure 105 (Equity & Inclusive Education) and Administrative Procedure 106 (Religious Accommodations Guideline) (continued)

        Ms. Babcock stated that Section 2.0 Roles & Responsibilities identifies the roles and responsibilities of the different stakeholders.  She read the following two statements of Section 2.1, noting that the rest of the information contained in this section speaks to providing opportunities and training to the different stakeholders:

“2.1  The Limestone District School Board is responsible for

        •     Ensuring that principles of equity and inclusive education permeate and are explicitly stated in all Board policies and procedures, programs, guidelines, operations, practices, and Board improvement plans.

        •     Providing training for school leaders and hiring managers to facilitate equitable recruitment and hiring practices to reflect Ontario’s diverse society.”

        Ms. Babcock noted that the original P/PM 119 “Developing and Implementation of School Board Policies on Antiracism and Ethnocultural Equity” was created in 1993, then in June of 2009 a new P/PM 119 “Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy” replaced the one that was created in 1993.  Ms. Babcock indicated that in their guidelines, the Ministry guided us through the development of the strategy.  She indicated that public consultations were held to gain feedback on the language and to provide an opportunity for specific feedback on the resources being purchased from multi-faith groups.  She thanked Meri MacLeod for contacting and inviting the multi-faith groups to the consultations, noting that several representatives attended, and that feedback through e-mail was also provided.  She said that feedback was sought from Board employee groups, Trustees, Student Trustees, various associations, multi-faith groups and the School Council Liaison Committee.  She said that feedback was limited to the language and terminology.  Ms. Babcock said that we appreciated the feedback provided by people.  She thanked Sue McWilliams and Marg Akey for their assistance in writing the procedures.

        Ms. Babcock highlighted the following sections of Section 2.1:

        •     Providing religious accommodation for students and staff consistent with the Code. (See AP 106)

        •     Establishing procedures that enable students and staff to report incidents of discrimination and harassment safely and that enable the Board to respond in a timely and effective manner

        Ms. Babcock advised that Section 2.2 talks about what schools are responsible for.  She highlighted the following sections of Section 2.2:

        •     Ensuring that the school procedures and practices (ex. School code of conduct; instructional strategies and assessment) include the principles of equity and inclusive education.

        •     Implementing Board equity and inclusive education procedures and programs and school improvement plans that are consistent with the Code and reflect the needs of their diverse students and school communities.

        •     Reviewing resources and instructional strategies to align with the principles of equity and inclusive education.

        Ms. Babcock provided the following example regarding the last above-noted bullet.  She referred to Grade 4 Social Studies curriculum where students study medieval times indicating that now students are asked to consider other groups of people at that time in history rather than looking only through a Euro-centric lens.

        •     Building staff capacity through ongoing professional learning.

        Ms. Babcock stated that the key message is identified in the following bullet:

        •     Supporting initiatives which promote a welcoming and respectful school environment and providing timely and specific feedback that will further school-wide equitable practices.

        Ms. Babcock referred to the following Section 2.3, which is about respect, noting that the theme of respect continues:

“2.3  Students are responsible for

        •     Practicing the principles of equity and inclusion and adhering to the School Code of Conduct which work together to promote a welcoming and respectful school environment.”

        Ms. Babcock indicated that as outlined in Section 3.1, “This procedure applies to all Board staff, students, parent/guardians, Trustees, volunteers and the broader school community.”

        Ms. Babcock stated that Section 4.0 addresses unresolved issues.

AP 106 (Religious Accommodations Guideline)

        Ms. Babcock provided an overview of AP 106 (Religious Accommodation Guideline).  She said that once AP 106 is implemented, we want it to reflect the practice of inclusion and building capacity within our schools.  She said that we are looking to provide schools with a multi-faith resource manual that includes a short synopsis of the different faith groups.  She said that we want to talk about what it looks like in the classroom, noting that we are moving away from the multi-cultural fair to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the cultures represented in our schools.

        Ms. Babcock said that implementation of AP 106 is not about teaching children to embrace other religions. This teaching remains the responsibility of the family.  She said that the Board is creating a welcoming and caring environment for all of its students; it is teaching respect.  She said that this procedure meets the obligations under the legislation.

        Ms. Babcock referred to the following sentence in the opening statement, noting that is the key message in response to the Ontario Human Rights Code:

        “The Board recognizes and values the religious diversity within its community and is committed to providing a safe, respectful and equitable environment for all, free from all forms of discriminatory or harassing behaviours based on religion.”

        Ms. Babcock state that Section 1.0 provides definitions for Accommodation, Creed, and Undue Hardship.  She referred to Section 1.1.2 and read the following statement, which is to make a person comfortable who is applying for accommodation: “Accommodation may modify a rule or make an exception to all or part of it for the person requesting accommodation.”

        Ms. Babcock stated that Section 1.3.3 explains the process for where a determination is made that an accommodation would create undue hardship, noting that “the person requesting accommodation will be given written notice, including the reasons for the decision and the objective evidence relied upn.  The accommodation seeker shall be informed of his or her recourse under the Board’s Equity and Inclusive Education Procedure and Anti-Discrimination Procedure, and under the Ontario Human Rights Code.”

        Ms. Babcock stated that Section 2.1. explains the purpose of the guideline, noting that the guideline “is to ensure that all Board staff, students, parents and other members of the school community are aware of their rights and responsibilities under the Code with respect to religious accommodation.

        Ms. Babcock advised that Section 2.2 addresses Accommodation Based on Request.  She read Section 2.2.1, as follows:

“2.2.1        The Board will take all reasonable steps to provide accommodation to individual members of a religious group to facilitate beliefs and practices.  All accommodation requests will be taken seriously.  No person will be penalized for making an accommodation request.”

        Ms. Babcock commented that Section 3.0 are the general procedures for religious accommodation for staff and for students.  She indicated that Section 3.3 addresses unresolved requests, and Section 4.0 identifies the areas of accommodation that may be requested.  She said that Section 5.0 General Guidelines & Procedures outlines the areas of accommodation more explicitly.  She advised that Section 6.0 Guidelines for Administrators indicates how administrators can support and respond to requests for accommodation.  Ms. Babcock commented that Section 7.0 relates to unresolved requests in relation to employees and to students.  She remarked that Section 8.0 explains Prayer, Section 9.0 explains Dietary Restrictions and Section 10.0 explains Fasting.  

        Ms. Babcock stated that Section 11.0 details Religious Dress and the key message is found in Section 11.6 which reads as follows:

“11.6         The Board seeks to foster an atmosphere of cultural understanding in order to be proactive in addressing potential harassment about religious attire.  Schools should be aware that harassment about religious attire is one of the most common types of harassment and bullying.  The Board and its schools will not tolerate any teasing directed at, or inappropriate actions taken against, an individual’s religious attire and there will be appropriate consequences for individuals who violate this rule.”

        Ms. Babcock reported that Section 11.8 talks about Modesty Requirements for Dress in Physical Education Classes and Section 12.0 talks about Participation in Daily Activities and Curriculum.  She said that the key message is found in Section 12.5 which reads as follows:

“12.5         In general, the Board recommends an informed, common-sense approach to questions of religion and curriculum.  Hopefully, these questions can be solved by an open discussion between the teacher, the student and his/her family.”

        Ms. Babcock advised that Section 13.0 speaks to Limitations to Religious Accommodation as it relates to public safety and freedom and safety of others.  She said that Section 14.0 Legislative and Policy Context responds to obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

        In response to a question from Trustee Jackson, Chair Brown said that this item could be placed on the October Education/Human Resources Committee agenda, if Committee members so wished.

        Trustee Jackson asked if it would be possible to get a list of who was invited to the public consultation meetings, and who attended.

        Ms. Babcock indicated that as many multi-faith groups as possible, as well as Board staff were asked to provide feedback on the two administrative procedures.  She said that Meri MacLeod had contacted the multi-faith groups represented in or community.  She said that she had a record of who attended.

        Trustee Jackson asked if that list could be circulated.

        Ms. MacLeod said that on the LDSB Days of Observance calendar, it lists the faith groups that were invited.  She said that some representatives from these groups came, and others sent in their responses to the documents.

        Trustee Jackson asked if the notes from those meetings could be circulated as well.  Trustee Chadwick advised that she was the Trustee representative and that the group went through the language of the procedures and made changes to the language where they believed changes should be made.

        Trustee Jackson suggested that the Committee receive the information, and if there is any other public comment, they can talk to Trustees before the next meeting.  He said that he does not see anything difficult with either of these procedures.

        Chair Brown stated that after Trustees have read the documents and they feel they should be included in next month’s agenda, to please indicate so to her.

        Trustee Goodfellow said that she does not believe these documents need to be included in next month’s agenda, unless Trustees have questions to direct to the Chair.

        Chair Brown thanked Ms. Babcock for provided a presentation on APs 105 and 106.

K-12 EQAO Results

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff stated that she and Superintendent Marsh are pleased to bring to the Committee, the 2010 EQAO Results, as it relates to Goal 1, Improve Achievement and Success for All Students in the Board’s Strategic Plan.

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff said that the information became public at 10:00 a.m. today, and she thanked Alistair MacLeod, Professional Learning Leader Consultant, for putting together the Powerpoint presentation in such a short timeline.  She said that this information is available on the EQAO website.

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff reviewed the Grade 3 Results Over Time, noting that Grade 3 Reading achievement improved by 2 percentage points this year, from 56% to 58%.  She indicated that this is the first year of growth for Grade 3 Reading in the past four years.

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff reported that the Writing results increased 3 percentage points this year, noting that this is the third consecutive year of growth.  She further reported that the improvement is above the 2 percentage point increase in the Provincial result.  She stated that the Writing results are the best we have had in the past five years.

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff commented that our Grade 3 Mathematics achievement remained steady at 66%, noting that Provincial results increased by 1 percentage point this year.

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff remarked that we are pleased with the gains we have seen this year in the Reading and Writing assessments.  She said that we see signs of improvement and consistency of classroom practice in all areas as a result of professional learning networks and targeted support and these are starting to result in gains in the Reading and Writing assessments.  She said that we intend to focus our support this coming year to achieve gains in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics, and to close gaps between our results and those of the Province.

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff reviewed the Grade 3 Score Distribution, noting that there was some movement of students from level 2 to levels 3 and 4 in Reading and Writing.  She said that there was improvement in level 4 for all three assessments.  She indicated that we want to see a reduction in the lower levels and increasing results in our higher levels.

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff reviewed the Grade 6 Results Over Time.  She said that LDSB Grade 6 results have increased by 2 percentage points in Reading, after a 7% increase last year.  She said that the LDSB Grade 6 results were up by 4 percentage points in Writing, and the same as last year in Mathematics in 2010.  She indicated that in Reading, this was the best result in the past five years for our Board and we equaled the Provincial results.  She stated that the gap between our Board’s results and those of the province declined by 1% in Writing and by 2% in Mathematics.  She advised that this is the fourth consecutive year of growth for Grade 6 Reading and Writing.

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff said that over the past five years, the proportion of students meeting the Provincial standard has increased by 10 percentage points in Reading (compared with 8% for the Province), 14 percentage points in Writing (compared with 9% for the Province), and is level in Mathematics (same as the Province).

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff reviewed the Grade 6 Score Distribution.  She stated that between 2008 and 2010, the percentage of students achieving level 4 improved in Reading and Writing, and the percentage of students achieving levels 3 and 4 is gradually improving.  She reported that in Mathematics, there has been an increase in the percentage of students achieving level 4 over the past three years.  She said that there has been some improvement in student achievement towards level 3 or level 4 in all three assessments.

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff reviewed the Grade 3 Gender: Board vs. Province information.  She said that the gender gaps across subject areas are almost identical to the Provincial gender gaps.  She reported that for Limestone, there is virtually no gender gap in Grade 3 Mathematics.  She stated that the gender gap in Grade 3 Reading is 9 percentage points (vs. 12 percentage points in 2009), and for Grade 3 Reading is 13% (vs. 15 percentage points in 2009).  She commented that we are slowly closing the gap.

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff said that the gender gap in Grade 6 Reading decreased from 13% to 10% in the past five years, and is very similar to the provincial gender gap.  She reported that the gender gap in Grade 6 Writing decreased by 1 percentage point this year, and is very similar to the Provincial gender gap.

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff advised that the gender gap in Grade 6 Mathematics was similar to last year.

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff stated that we are thrilled with the assessment results of Grade 3 and 6 students with special education needs, noting that they had done wonderfully on the EQAO assessments.  She reviewed the Achievement of Grade 3 Students with Special Education Needs information.  She indicated that LDSB students with special education needs continue to perform well in relation to the provincial average. She said that of note, the percentage of Grade 3 students with special education needs reaching the provincial standard increased from 37% to 46% in Writing.  She reported that the percentage of Grade 3 students with special education needs who met the standard in Writing improved this year, and are 1% above the Provincial average.  She reviewed the participation rates for 2010, as follows:

Reading:                79% (from 69% in 2009)
Writing:                86% (from 78% in 2009)
Mathematics:    85% (from 78% in 2009)
        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff said that similarly, the Grade 6 LDSB students with special education needs continue to perform well in relation to the Provincial average.  She advised that the percentage of Grade 6 students with special education needs who met the standard in Reading improved by 2% this year (4% above the Province), by 5% in Writing (6% above the Province), and by 4% in Mathematics (2 % above the Province).  She said that the proportion of students writing all Grade 6 assessments increased this year and the participation rate of LDSB students with special education needs is now approximately the same as the Province.  She reviewed the participation rates for 2010, as follows:

Reading:                87% (from 79% in 2009)
Writing:                88% (from 80% in 2009)
Mathematics:    86% (from 80% in 2009)

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff advised that in 2009-2010, there were 24% of LDSB students identified with Special Education Needs, which is 6% higher than the provincial average.

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff said that we are thrilled that we have improved our results in Reading and Writing in both Grades 3 and 6.  She stated that we recognize that we remain stable in Mathematics, noting that this will be a focus for us this year.  She said that we continue to improve the work we are doing in literacy with all of our students.

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff acknowledged several areas, and indicated that the Grade 6 Reading results equaled the Provincial average this year.  She further indicated that there were increases in the participation rate of students across the Board.  She remarked that we reduced the gender gaps with larger decreases in gender gap over time than Provincial averages.  She said that the achievements of all our students are to be celebrated, particularly those with special needs.

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff reviewed the next steps, as follows:

•     Elementary administrators and staff will analyze school data, determine goals and identify instructional strategies to inform the School Improvement Plan and professional learning needs
•     Elementary administrators and staff will continue to use the School Effectiveness Framework to support improved student achievement in literacy and numeracy
•     Elementary administrators will lead job-embedded professional learning opportunities for teachers in literacy and numeracy
•     Elementary consultants, literacy coach, Grade 3-6 numeracy facilitator and the Student Work Study teacher will support professional learning in literacy and numeracy through the following projects:
        •     OFIP (Ontario Focused Intervention Project)
        •     Schools in the Middle
        •     Student Work Study Initiative
        •     Collaborative Inquiry in Learning – Mathematics
        •     Leading Student Achievement
        •     Small and Northern Boards
•     Elementary Program Team will continue to provide support student learning through the following programs:
        •     Right to Read Tutoring
        •     Tutors in the Classroom
        •     Read-a-Lot Summer Program

        In response to comments by Trustee McLaren regarding closing the gender gap and how boys learn differently than girls, Superintendent Fraser-Stiff said that we have strategies around resources and how we can engage boys more effectively in learning.  She said that although there still is a gender gap, the girls are improving but so are the boys.  It is good news that overall, our students are improving.  She indicated that we will continue to look at strategies to close the gender gap.

        Trustee Jackson stated that he is very curious as to what other factors are affecting results.  He indicated that he would like to see what staff perceive the challenges to be and what we need to do to change them.  He said that he is intrigued as we get into strategic discussion to see what we are doing and what we need to do to change in the future.

        Trustee Murray commented on the importance of the summer literacy camp for students.

        Chair Brown thanked Superintendent Fraser-Stiff for providing the above-noted information.

        Superintendent Marsh stated that she will report on three indicators, the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), EQAO Grade 9 Mathematics and Report Card information.  She referred to the OSSLT and noted the demographic information with regard to last year’s cohort, as follows:
K-12 EQAO Results (continued)

Female:         50%
Male:           50%
ELL:                    2%
Special Needs:  28%

        Superintendent Marsh stated that the results for all first-time eligible students indicate that 79% of LDSB students were successful, as compared to 78% in the province.  She said that our deferral rate was 4%.  She said that we encourage student to write the test in Grade 10 because if they fail it, they are eligible to take the OSSLC in Grade 11.  She said that if students write the test in Grade 11 and fail it, they have limited choices in Grade 12 as far as pathway programming because students need to then enroll in the OSSLC.  She said that we are pleased that our results were above the province, but we want all students to be successful the first time they write the OSSLT.

        Superintendent Marsh reviewed our Participation Over Time for the period 2006-2010.  She remarked that we are working on decreasing our deferral rate.  She said that the Province has slightly fewer students participating.

        Superintendent Marsh advised that 57% of LDSB students with special education needs were successful, compared to 45% in the Province.

        Superintendent Marsh reported that we only have 2% of ELL, and that 65% of them were successful, as compared to 43% in the Province.  She indicated that given the small size of the cohort that the dynamic in Limestone is different than in boards such as Ottawa or the Greater Toronto Area Boards.

        Superintendent Marsh highlighted the EQAO Grade 9 Mathematics assessment results, noting that there are two different Math tests administered in Grade 9; one for Applied and one for Academic.  She advised that at the Applied level, last year 41% of those writing the test were female, 59% were male and 44% were students with special education needs.  She further advised that there were no English language learners who wrote the test.

        Superintendent Marsh advised that at the Academic level, last year 54% of those writing the test were female, 46% were male, 1% were English language learners and 11% were students with special education needs.

        Superintendent Marsh reported that the results of the Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics show increases of four percentage points to 42% this year in Applied Mathematics and three percentage points to 78% in Academic Mathematics.  

        Superintendent Marsh stated that we want to ensure that students with special education needs receive accommodation.  She said that when looking at the results, they do not indicate that accommodations were being received; however, some students did not want to accept accommodation.  She indicated that as a result, we are working with school staffs to support changing the culture so that all students want to receive their accommodations.

        Superintendent Marsh reported that the Applied and Academic Results Over Time show steady improvement.  She said that in order to be successful in EQAO, students must achieve Level 3 or 4.  She said that the Board had growth, with more students achieving Level 4.

        Superintendent Marsh stated that the gap between the results of the Applied and Academic assessment is smaller in LDSB than for the Province as a whole.  She said that while LDSB students enrolled in Applied Mathematics are performing better than the provincial average, closing the achievement gap between Applied and Academic Mathematics will remain a focus for the Board.

        Superintendent Marsh indicated that we will focus on sustaining the gains we have made and will work collaboratively with our teachers and administrators to further increase achievement, particularly in Applied Mathematics.

        Superintendent Marsh stated that we did see growth in the number of students with special education needs who were successful, indicting that we were 1% higher this year that the previous year.  She said that our challenge is to ensure students with special education needs receive the accommodations they need.

        Superintendent Marsh commented that when we work with schools, we do not respond on a year-to-year basis; we do a three year rolling average of results.  She said that it is best to see what is occurring over time.

        Superintendent Marsh stated that the Grade 9 Applied English has shown a steady improvement as far as learning in the classroom, noting that 63% achieved the provincial standard in Grade 9 English.

        Superintendent Marsh reviewed the Achievement and trends over time in the Provincial Standard Rates – English, and Provincial Standard Rates – Mathematics.

        Superintendent Marsh stated that we have some growth in Mathematics, noting that we have seen this too in other subject areas.  She indicated that we see improvement in Grade 9 Applied Mathematics, and for Grade 10 the numbers are still low; therefore we have some work to do.

        Superintendent Marsh reviewed the Areas to Acknowledge, as follows:

•     Improved achievement on the OSSLT and in Grade 9 Mathematics, particularly for students writing the applied assessment
•     Lower deferral rates and absenteeism rates on the OSSLT and higher participation rates in Grade 9 Mathematics
•     Higher proportion of students taking applied programming reaching the provincial standard son report cards
•     The achievement of our students are to be celebrated, especially our student with special education needs

        Superintendent Marsh stated that the LDSB, along with the Eastern Ontario Staff Development Network (EOSDN)  is offering a four-day Coaching Institute with Dr. Jim Knight, October 14-15, 2010 and April 18-19, 2011.  This four-day interactive learning institute wil highlight for administrators, instructional coaches, and district staff who facilitate professional learning what it looks like to collaborate, plan and implement strategies.  She said that we need to learn more around instructional coaching.  She indicated that implementing rich instructional practice is key to improving student achievement.  She said that the institute will show how to support change in classrooms through meaningful dialogue, reflection, and planning.

        Superintendent Marsh indicated that there only about 30 spots left, and that if any Trustee wishes to attend the Coaching Institute, to please let her know.

        Chair Brown thanked Superintendent Marsh for providing the above-noted information.

ITS Plan re: Strategic Plan

        Superintendent Labrie indicated that Manager Toms, he, and a few others have worked on the ITS Strategic Plan, noting that they have committed to a five-year Strategic Plan to be completed by the end of this school year.

        Manager Toms provided a status update on the ITS Strategic Plan document, as follows:

Pilot Project Update

•     Napanee District SS, Westdale Park PS
        •     Ongoing since latter half of last year.  Continuing to monitor progress
        •     Evaluating effectiveness o the technology, along with stability
•     Sydenham High School
        •     Supporting a project that focuses on language literacy and math literacy for applied students
•     Perth Road PS
        •     Similar to Westdale Park PS, but investigating more access to technology in the classroom – disbanding the computer lab
•     Applied Math
        •     Additional technology to half of schools (for control group) in applied math and using netbooks and smart boards

        Manager Toms reviewed in the CoSN’s Framework of Essential Skills of the K-12 CTO.  He also reviewed other school board plans, noting that reports were received from Kawartha Pine Ridge DSB, Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Newscastle Catholic DSB, Thames Valley DSB and Waterloo Catholic DSB.  

        Manager Toms reviewed the following information:

Consultation Process
•     Will be scheduling focus group meeting with various stakeholders over the next six months:
        •     ITS Department staff
        •     Teachers (elementary and secondary)
        •     Program Team
        •     Principals (elementary and secondary)
        •     Student groups (elementary and secondary)
        •     Department Managers
        •     Senior Staff
•     Return to future Education/HR Committee meeting in spring to update Trustees

Planning Framework
•     Plan to utilize a framework for our plan development

Current Education Trends
•     Growing Success
•     Reach Every Student
•     Managing Information for Student Achievement (MISA)
•     The “Classroom of the 21st Century”
•     Industry Technology Standards through the Consortium for School Networking (COSN) and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)
•     OPSBA’s “What If” paper

Current Issues in Limestone
•     Board Office/Administrative Technology support
•     Curriculum Software (i.e. Ontario Software Acquisitions Program Advisory Committee (OSAPAC)
•     Student Admin. Systems
•     School Technical Support model
•     SEA equipment support
•     ITS Organization structure

Current Funding Priorities
•     Wide Area Network
•     Computer/Technology allocations to schools
•     Computer/Technology allocation model
•     Wireless Network access
•     Data Centre Upgrades

Infrastructure Investments
•     Active Directory
•     Network/Remote Management
•     Application Virtualization
•     School Server Refresh
•     Deployment of Microsoft’s Live@EDU
•     Access to LDSB network with student/staff personal systems
•     Teacher technology
•     Teacher reporting software

Operational Reviews
•     Over the duration of the plan, review all existing applications:
        •     Human Resources/Payroll/Finance
        •     Facilities Services
        •     E-mail/Content Management/Web Services
        •     Help Desk service/model
        •     Data Warehouse
•     Business Process review
•     ITS Organizational review

        Manager Toms advised that ITS will also review how the ITS Strategic Direction links to the Board’s Strategic Plan.

Other Business

        Trustee Chadwick indicated that at the Trustee Retreat there was discussion about having a standing item (i.e. Environmental Sustainability Committee) on the Standing Committee agendas.  She said that the Education/Human Resources Committee agenda is full, and she does not believe we would have time to add this standing item to any of the Standing Committee agendas.

        Trustee Murray advised that during the Phone In on CBC, the matter of the use of cell phones in the classroom will be discussed.  She requested that this be a topic at a future Education/Human Resources Committee meeting.

        Trustee Murray stated that she has received telephone calls regarding activity fees (especially for field trips), and that she would like this item included in the October Education/Human Resources Committee agenda.

        Trustee Brown stated that if any Trustee has suggestions for agenda items for future meetings, to please contact her.

Next Meeting Date

        The next meeting of the Education/Human Resources Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, October 20, 2010, at 4:30 p.m.
        MOVED BY Trustee Jackson, that the meeting adjourn at 6:20 p.m.–Carried