Your browser does not support JavaScript!
January 19, 2011 - Education/Human Resources Committee Minutes
Education/Human Resources Committee
January 19, 2011

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, January 19, 2011, at 4:30 p.m.                        
Present Trustees:
H. Brown, Chair
A. Goodfellow
D. Jackson
P. Murray
S. Ruttan
Present Staff:
K. Burra, Assistant to the Director, Safe Schools
B. Fraser-Stiff, Superintendent of Education
T. Giles, Supervising Principal
D. Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
R. Holmes, Supervising Principal
A. Labrie, Superintendent of Human Resources
S. Lehman, Supervising Principal
N. Marsh, Superintendent of Education
S. McWilliams, Manager, Human Resources
M. Sewell, Program Leader, Skills Training & Technology                         
        Chair Brown called the meeting to order, welcoming those present to meeting, especially newly appointed Supervising Principal Shawn Lehman.

        Chair Brown reported that regrets were received from Trustee Beavis, and Trustee Chadwick would join us during the meeting, if her previous commitment concluded.

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

Expanded Opportunities in Limestone

        Chair Brown welcomed Supervising Principal Lehman to his first Education/Human Resources Committee meeting, and Mike Sewell, Program Leaders, Skills Training and Technology.

        Supervising Principal Lehman stated that he has been meeting with retired Supervising Principal Midwood and others around the Student Success role, noting that it is a great learning opportunity for him.  He thanked the people who are associated with Student Success for their work and help as he undertakes his new role as Supervising Principal of Student Pathways for Success.

        Messrs. Lehman and Sewell presented information about the expanded opportunities in the Limestone District School Board, as follows:

Student Success

Reaching Every Student

The Limestone District School board is committed to helping all student develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to ensure a seamless transition to a meaningful post-secondary destination of their choice.

Essential Questions

Why do young people leave secondary School before graduation?

Which factors can we influence to ensure that student stay in school or return to complete their diploma?

The Challenge of Time

We know, students who do not earn 16 credits by the end of grade 10 are more likely “in a risk” situation that could compromise their graduation.

Recognizing Value

Successful completion of secondary education in Limestone is an important and valuable step towards post-secondary opportunities.  Students are encouraged to create or choose a program pathway that prepared them for direct entry to:

•     Apprenticeship
•     College
•     University
•     the Workplace;
•     Other (military, community)

Program Goals in LDSB

•     Improve student achievement in mathematical literacy and language literacy
•     Reduce the achievement gap for students in applied level courses in grades 9 and 10
•     Increase student engagement in their own learning
•     Increase student transition and pathway opportunities

Framework for Success

•     Board Program Teams
•     Board Expanded Opportunities Committee
•     Board Technology Steering Committee
•     Lead Success Team
•     School Success Team
•     OYAP Advisory
•     School and Board Improvement Plans

Expanded Opportunity defined:

•     Activities or events, not necessarily credit related designed to enhance or support one or all of the four pathways destinations.  Expanded Opportunities can place students as participants in unique career related environments or allow teachers access to new and innovative information or practices that might not otherwise be available in their location.

Expanded Opportunities

•     Focus Programs
•     OYAP, Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program
•     Specialist High Skills Major
•     Dual Credit
•     Cooperative Education
•     Elementary Transitions
•     Limestone Training Centre
•     Harvesting House
•     Sustainable Living Project

Focus Programs

Focus Programs, the cornerstone of our Expanded Opportunities – These programs are designed to help high school students make well-informed career decisions and to assist with a smooth transition to post-secondary education or the world of work.

•     Eight exciting new submissions in 2011

Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM)

The SHSM enables students to customize their high school experience to suit their interests and talents while preparing them for a successful post-secondary transition into apprenticeship training, college, university, or direct entry into employment.

SHSM:   380 participants as of December 2010

New sectors 2011:       Energy, Forestry, Health/Wellness
New in 2012:            Transportation

Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP)

Apprenticeship training allows a student to learn sector specific skills while working on the job with a qualified trades person.  Some training takes place in a classroom, but a majority of the training occurs in the actual workplace.  OYAP combines Secondary Cooperative Education curriculum with Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Training Standards.

OYAP:   49 registered apprentices

Dual Credits

In these programs, students simultaneously earn both high school credits and college credits.  Students gain exposure to college programs that will allow them to make more informed decisions regarding their post-secondary destination.

Dual Credits, 13 programs, 140 students

Cooperative Education

Planned learning experiences that take place in the community, including job shadowing, job twinning, work experience, virtual work experience and cooperative work placements.

Co-op placements:       480 in a trades related sector

Elementary Transitions

Experiential Technological Education combined with Science in Elementary allows students diverse opportunities to learn in a variety of ways – individually, cooperatively, and with teacher direction, through hands-on experience, and practical application of skill.

Grade 9 Technology:     752 credits
Success Rate:   98%

The Harvesting House/Sustainable Living Project

1,000 plus visitors to date

        Mr. Sewell advised that the Harvesting House is becoming more than just a harvest house; the Board has partnered with the City of Kingston and the Sustainable Living Centre.

Limestone Training Centre

The Training Centre in LDSB will offer students a central location for completing sector specific training in areas such as: Fall Protection, WHMIS, Elevated Platform, Lift Truck and more.  The fixed location is designed to mirror many of the industrial commercial environments students will encounter in post-secondary.
Sector Specific Certifications:         1450

        Mr. Sewell stated that students learn best by doing.  He said that some of the events they are involved in include: Art Works, Skills Competitions, Dream Job, Best Food Forward Conference, Kingston Home Builders’ Association Home Show, Future Build ca, and Visual Paradise.

        Mr. Sewell demonstrated an energy simulator and stated that it is  part of a hand-on experience that engages students.

        Trustee Goodfellow commented on how much the programs have evolved since she first became a trustee, noting that the programs provide wonderful opportunities for our students.

        Chair Brown thanked Messrs. Lehman and Sewell for providing the above-noted information, stating that we do appreciate all of the programs that are being offered in the Limestone District School Board.

        Mr. Sewell withdrew from the meeting.

Assessment and Evaluation Update

        Superintendent Marsh stated that she will provide an update on assessment and evaluation based on the Ministry’s release of the Growing Success: Implications at Secondary document.  She provided the following information:

Setting the context

•     Mandates boards to create board-wide policies that will be implemented consistently in all schools
•     Increases responsibility for principals to ensure consistent implementation of board policies in every classroom
•     Recognizes the role that teacher professional judgement plays in assessment and evaluation
•     Appreciates that expert and research-based practices are not always reflected in all stakeholders’ opinions

Staying the course

•     Emphasis on the role of the achievement charts in planning for assessment and instruction
•     Assessment as learning
•     Assessment for learning
•     Learning skills and work habits
•     Students with special needs
•     Credit Recovery

Learning Skills & Work Habits

•     Teachers are expected to instruct, assess, and evaluate the following six learning skills and work habits:
        •     Responsibility
        •     Organization
        •     Independent work
        •     Collaboration
        •     Initiative
        •     Self-regulation
                                                                        (Growing Success, p. 10)


•     Summative assessment tasks are to be completed, whenever possible, under the supervision of teacher.
•     Summative assessment tasks must not include ongoing homework that students do in order to consolidate their knowledge and skills or to prepare for the next class.
                                                                        (Growing Success, p. 39)

Academic Honesty

•     School boards will develop policies that address, at a minimum, the following:
        •     prevention of academic dishonesty;
        •     detection and consequences for students.
•     Policies will reflect a continuum of behavioural and academic responses and consequences, based on at least the following four factors: the grade level of the student, the maturity of the student, the number and frequency of incidents, and the individual circumstances of the student.
                                                                        (Growing Success, pp.42-43)

Late & Missed Assignments

•     Board policies for late and missed assignments will:
        •     describe how schools will inform students and their parents about the importance of submitting assignments for evaluation when they are due and about the consequences for students who submit assignments late or fail to submit assignments;
        •     recognize that policies and procedures should be designed to motivate and facilitate completion of work and demonstration of learning and, where appropriate and possible, allow for additional and/or alternative opportunities to do so;
        •     provide clear procedures for determining a percentage mark for the report card for a student who has failed to submit one or more assignments for evaluation on time or at all.
                                                                        (Growing Success, p. 44)

Reporting Student Achievement

•     The letter “I” may be used grades 9 and 10 to indicate that insufficient evidence is available to determine a grade.

Recognizing that the needs and circumstances of individual boards vary widely, the policy outlined in this document provides flexibility for boards to develop some locally focused guidelines and implementation strategies within the parameters for consistence set by the ministry.
                                                                        (Growing Success, p. 2)


•     Assessment and Evaluation Facilitators
•     School Staffs
•     Report Card Comment Committee
•     OSSTF
•     Student Focus Group
•     Parent Focus Group

Providing Support

•     Evaluation and Reporting Support Document
•     Assessment and Evaluations Facilitators
•     Professional learning series:
        •     Procedures into Practice
        •     Collaborative Design Down
        •     Providing Descriptive Feedback
        •     Action Research regarding the instruction of Learning Skills and Work Habits

Continued Consultation

•     Feedback from students
•     Work teams with teachers and administrators to grow thinking and learning
•     Consultation with the federation
•     Focus group of parents and guardians

        Superintendent Marsh distributed information regarding Using and Creating Comments for Secondary Report Cards for the Limestone District School Board, as well as the LDSB documents “Secondary Evaluation and Reporting Procedures” and “Secondary Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting Support Documents for Teachers” (Third Edition), that were produced by the LDSB Program Team.  She reported that these documents are on the Board’s website, as well as the Ministry’s.  She also reported that Ken O’Connor, an author, used some of Limestone’s examples in his latest book, which indicates the fine work of our staff.

        Chair Brown thanked Superintendent Marsh for her comprehensive presentation.

2011-2012 School Year Calendar

        Mr. Burra reported that we are in the midst of the consultation process to establish a 2011-2012 School Year Calendar, noting that two meetings have been held with our internal stakeholders (CUPE, Non-Union group, Federations and their branches, and School Council Liaison Committee Co-Chairs).  He reported that we are sharing the calendar with the Hastings-Prince Edward District School Board and the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board.  Mr. Burra advised that we have been in consultation with the Ministry of Education in Ottawa to make sure what we propose will be deemed acceptable.

        Mr. Burra commented that surveys have been sent home with students asking for feedback for the calendar this year, and what people have in mind for the calendar for next year.  Mr. Burra stated that the calendar is draft at this time.

        Mr. Burra reported that there have been some contentious points this year.  One contentious point is the placement of winter break.  He said that the Ministry has indicated December 19, 2011, as the start of the winter break, with students returning January 2, 2012.  He said that at this point we are proposing to move away from the Ministry template because this year we received negative feedback from staff and the parent community about students returning to school on what was a statutory holiday for other people.  He commented that we have parents who work in the Upper Canada District School Board whose children attend schools in our Board.  He said that the Upper Canada District School Board’s winter break ran from December 24, 2010, with students returning to school on January 10, 2011.  He indicated that the two different winter breaks affected some families.  Mr. Burra indicated that problem has been addressed as we have included the Upper Canada District School Board as part of the discussion for this year.  He said that hopefully this will alleviate concerns.

        Mr. Burra advised that the Elementary Teachers’ Federation expressed concern about the February 3rd PA Day.  In their opinion that date falls too late for them because of report cards.  Teachers in the elementary panel have to give their report cards to their Principals the week following February 3rd.

        Mr. Burra stated that we have to divide the school year in half and February 3rd is the half-way point between semesters one and two.  He said that the elementary teachers would appreciate having the PA Day around January 20th, which at the secondary level is problematic because of examinations and we are just back from two weeks of vacation time.  He said that there is also EQAO testing at the Grade 9 Math level at that time.

        Mr. Burra said that one solution would be to split up the elementary and secondary PA Days.  He said that to do this would be problematic because we would have to pay additional costs for transportation.  He said that there are also some elementary and secondary students from the same families.  He commented that we are hesitant to move that date.

        Mr. Burra advised that the February 3rd PA Day is a critical date at the secondary level, noting that there would be staffing changes at schools, and we would need a period of transition.

        Mr. Burra remarked that May 25th is a PA Day, and the reason for this date is that EQAO testing for Grade 3 and 6 students starts May 26th.  He said that it is important for us to have a PA Day there for elementary reporting purposes.  He said that ETFO is pleased with that date, but disappointed with the February 3rd PA Day.

        Mr. Burra indicated that to date we have received about 2000 responses from the parent community survey, and 60% of the parents prefer the winter break proposed on the draft calendar, beginning December 26th, with students returning January 9, 2012, compared to 37% of parents who preferred a December 19th start, with students returning January 2, 2012.

        Mr. Burra reiterated that the calendar is a draft at this time, and parent survey input continues to come in.

        Trustee Murray stated that the February PA Day is always an issue for elementary schools.

        Mr. Burra stated that there are two different system needs with that date.  The elementary teachers would like the February PA Day two weeks earlier.  He said that it comes down to a series of compromises.  He said to split the February PA Day would create a different set of problems.  He commented that the February PA Day does comply with the elementary teachers’ contract requirements, but it does not provide the window of time they would like.

        Mr. Burra stated that there was some concern about the Thursday PA Day this year, which may catch parents off guard in a few weeks as they are used to PA Days being held on Fridays or Mondays traditionally.

        In response to a question from Trustee Jackson, Mr. Burra stated that we have had a preliminary meeting with the boards with whom we are working, and they are in the process of getting feedback as well. They need to hear more in terms of their stakeholders.

        In response to a question from Trustee Goodfellow, Mr. Burra stated that if a board is submitting a calendar in alignment with the Ministry template, then the proposed calendar has to be submitted to them by May 1st, but if the submission is for an adjusted calendar, then the deadline for submission to the Ministry is March 1st.  He said that we are deviating from the Ministry’s template with regard to the winter break; therefore, we would need to have our proposed calendar to them by March 1st.  The calendar would have to go to the Board for approval at its February Board meeting.

        Chair Brown thanked Mr. Burra for providing the above-noted information.

Safe Schools Report

        Mr. Burra indicated that what he is presenting this evening is a continuation of the Safe Schools Report that he presented at the November meeting of the Education/Human Resources Committee.

        Mr. Burra briefly reviewed what he presented at the November Education/Human Resources Committee, then continued his presentation as follows:

Climate Surveys

•     Schools must conduct anonymous school climate surveys of their students every two years (Grades 4-12)
•     Schools should also survey school staff and parents to assess their perception of safety in the school in order to inform prevention and intervention planning
•     Surveys must include questions on bullying/harassment related to homophobia, gender-based violence, and sexual harassment
•     Results must be shared with the Safe Schools Team
•     School Climate must be incorporated into School Improvement Plans

Climate Surveys – Components

•     Safety
•     Teaching and Learning
•     Relationships
•     School Environment
•     Equity and Inclusion
        Climate Survey for Grades 4-8 on Survey Monkey (Winter 2011)
•     Tell them From Me for Grades 9-12 (Fall 2010 and Spring 2011)

        Mr. Burra reviewed the results of the LDSB Secondary School Safety Stats 2009-2010, based on Tell Them from Me Data.

P/PM 144, Fall 2009: Bullying Prevention & Intervention

School-Level Plans
•     School boards must require that all their schools revise their existing school-wide bullying prevention and intervention plans as part of their School Improvement Plan.  Components of these plans must include the following:
        •     the definition of “bullying”
        •     prevention and awareness-raising strategies
        •     intervention and support strategies, including plans to protect victims
        •     reporting requirements
        •     training strategies for members of the school community
        •     communication and outreach strategies
        •     monitoring and review processes
        •     The school plans must be consistent with the policies in this memorandum and with the policies and procedures of the Board
        •     LDSB Administrative Procedure 356

        Mr. Burra distributed copies of the Safe Schools and School Improvement Plan Template, and he reviewed it.  

        Mr. Burra said that we do not have school specific goals at this time because we do not have the data at this time.  He said that this focuses on safety concerns and safety at school as it related to bullying.

School Improvement Plans

•     Strategies must be built into school improvement plans to improve the school climate regarding issues identified through the climate surveys
•     Anti-Bullying must be incorporated as part o the plan
•     “Safe Schools and School Improvement Plans”

        Chair Brown thanked Mr. Burra for providing the above-noted information.

AP 149 (Request for Distribution)

        Krishna Burra reported that AP 149 (Request for Distribution) is a new administrative procedure that relates to the distribution of materials in schools.  He said that this administrative procedure is posted on the Board’s website.  

        Mr. Burra said that for the last 18 to 24 months, we have followed the procedure outlined in this administrative procedure.  He said that we continue to “tweak” the document as necessary.

        Mr. Burra reported that schools expressed a desire that there be a central gatekeeper for information, noting that at certain points in a year, we get hundreds of requests for distribution.  
        Mr. Burra advised that in a move toward reducing both the fiscal and environmental impact of distributing paper information to students and staff, the LDSB will share information in electronic format only.  The LDSB does not distribute third-party flyers to staff or via students home to parents/guardians.  As a result, the Board (a) no longer tasks staff or students with the distribution of brochures or flyers; and (b) no longer will ship information to schools using our internal Board courier.  Beyond school and school board information, the only exception to this is critical, community information from municipal, provincial (Public Health), or federal governments.

        Mr. Burra referred to Section 2.7.0 and said that political sectarian, religious groups, or individuals shall not be permitted to advertise, post or distribute material to students.  He advised that non-profit, non-political, charitable, and non-sectarian groups whose work is beneficial to the community as a whole, may submit information for consideration to be electronically posted using the criteria outlined, but not limited to, in section 2.0.0 of the administrative procedure.

        Chair Brown thanked Mr. Burra for providing the above-noted information.

Updated Procedures

        Superintendent Labrie reported that the following Administrative Procedures have been updated:  AP 100 (Strategic Education Plan), AP 101 (Annual Report), AP 102 (Monitoring and Responding to Proposed Legislation), AP 103 (Administrative Procedures Manual), AP 140 (Emergency Medical Response and First Aid Kits), AP 400 ( Recruitment and Selection), AP 401 (Personnel Files & the Collection of Personal Information), AP 418 (Attendance and Sick Leave Benefits), AP 421 (Professional Development), AP 430 (Acceptance of Supplemental Employment by Regular Staff Members), AP 432 (Staff Members Elected or Appointed to Public Offices), AP 442 (Staff Use of Tobacco, Alcohol and Other Drugs), AP 455 (Performance Appraisal), AP 460 (Twenty-Five Year Service and Retiring Staff Members), AP 470 (Mobility Procedures for Academic Staff), AP 480 (Pre-Employment Health Assessment), AP 482 (Job Descriptions for Staff Members) and AP 486 (Leave of Absence – Support Staff).  He advised that the changes were not substantive and are predominantly housekeeping in nature.

        Superintendent Labrie reported that AP 445 (Assaults and/or Threats by Staff Members) and AP 475 (Role of School Principal) have been deleted from the Policy and Procedures binder due to redundancy.
        Superintendent Labrie stated that if anyone has any specific questions to please e-mail Manager McWilliams or himself, or if there are any additional questions, they can be addressed at the February meeting of the Education/Human Resources Committee.

Other Business

        Trustee Murray requested that when the 2011-2012 School Year Calendar administrative report is presented to the Board, that the data that was evaluated be included in the report.

        Trustee Jackson requested that the process concerning School Improvement Plans be presented at a future Education/Human Resources Committee meeting.

Next Meeting Date

        The next meeting of the Education/Human Resources Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, February 16, 2011, at 4:30 p.m.
        MOVED BY Trustee Goodfellow, that the meeting adjourn at 6:05 p.m.–Carried