Education/Human Resources Committee
May 25, 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, May 25, 2011, at 4:30 p.m.
H. Brown, Chair
A. Goodfellow, Ex-Officio
L. Behan, Principal at First Avenue PS and Marysville PS
K. Burra, Assistant to the Director and Supervisor of Safe Schools
B. Fraser-Stiff, Superintendent of Education
D. Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
A. Labrie, Superintendent of Human Resources
Preston, Manager of Community Education
W. Toms, Manager of ITS and Planning Officer
Chair Brown called the meeting to order, welcoming those present to meeting. She reported that regrets were received from Trustee Murray.
Approval of Agenda
MOVED BY Trustee Goodfellow, that the agenda, as distributed, be approved.–Carried
Overview of Continuing Education Program
Superintendent Labrie introduced Laurie Preston, Manager of Limestone Education, noting that Manager Preston oversees an assortment of programs, those that are non-credit based education programs.
Laurie Preston, Manager of Community Education, stated that she was happy to present to the Committee. She provided an overview of the Continuing Education Program. She indicated that copies of the Limestone Community Education Leaders in Training Development information package were distributed with the agenda. She also indicated that she would provide a slide show outlining the highlights of the Limestone Community Education Department.
Manager Preston stated that the essence of Limestone Community Education is best captured with the following words: diversity, innovation, and community partnerships. She commented on the diversity of the English as a Second Language students, noting that we serve students from over 40 countries. She said that the programs are innovative because we have to be innovative to keep our existing funding, and to secure new funding. She indicated that the Limestone Community Education (LCE) has many community partnerships. She commented on our community partnerships with the City of Kingston and St. Lawrence College, noting that both of these partnerships are financial partnerships through the Limestone District School Board.
Manager Preston indicated that we are funded by three Provincial Ministries: Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration which funds our ESL program, Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities which funds our academic upgrading and the Frontenac Employment Resource Centre (FERC) site, and the Ministry of Education. She said that the Ministry of Education funds the Board’s instructional language program which serves just over 300 elementary-aged students. We receive funding from the other two Ministries for our innovative initiatives, and for our specialized training. Our academic services programs are funded by a third party contract with PC-MHS.
Manager Preston stated that we provide programs and services to a broad scope of people, ranging in age from 4 years to 70 years, noting that enrolment in the programs is approximately 55% females, and 45% males.
Manager Preston stated that Limestone Community Education is growing. She advised that in 2009, staff instructed and assisted 3,600 students/clients, and in 2010 Limestone Community Education staff instructed and assisted 3,900 students/clients, noting that our customer satisfaction is 88%.
Manager Preston reported that staff are located throughout the Limestone district, and we have some co-locations with adult credit delivery programs because of our effective partnerships with these credit programs. Providence Care Mental Health Services is also another site location.
Manager Preston reviewed the organizational structure of the department of Limestone Community Education, as well as the 58-62 staff positions. She stated that more information can be found at www.LimestoneCommunityEd.ca.
In response to a question, Manager Preston stated that their annual operating budget is approximately $1.4 million and it is cost neutral.
In response to a further question regarding their spacial needs, Manager Preston stated that they occupy the second floor of the Calvin Park building. She said that this site is extremely well located for our programs and services, specifically an essential site for ESL students because many of them live in this area of Kingston. It is a perfect location for their programs.
Chair Brown thanked Manager Preston for providing the above-noted information.
Manager Preston withdrew from the meeting.
Privacy and Information Administrative Procedures
Superintendent Labrie introduced Laurie Behan, Principal at First Avenue and Marysville Public Schools, noting that she and Manager McWilliams have been working on developing administrative procedures to ensure that the Board practices are fully aligned with provincial privacy legislation.
Ms. Behan acknowledged and thanked Superintendent Labrie for his mentorship, and Managers Toms and McWilliams for their work with regard to these administrative procedures.
Ms. Behan stated that with the proliferation of electronic communication and data storage, the public has become increasingly aware of privacy legislation, and therefore, expects that personal information will be collected, used and disposed of in an appropriate manner consistent with the legislation. She indicated that specifically, legislation guarantees that personal information is gathered and stored on a need to know basis, and that the public would be informed of the reasons for the collection, as well as who would have access to this information. As well, legislation outlines recommendations for storage, retention and destruction of data, once the original purpose has been fulfilled. Ms. Behan reported that the legislation covering the confidential handling of
personal information includes:
- Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Revised 2007)
- Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Revised 2008) – MFIPPA
- Personal Health Information Protection Act (2004) – PHIPA
- Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (2004) – PIPEDA
Ms. Behan indicated that the Privacy and Information Management (PIM) Taskforce was convened in September 2006. The Taskforce produced a provincial template that could be used by individual school boards to ensure that their district policies or procedures would meet the mandate of the provincial legislation. This template was used to modify existing procedures and draft new procedures, where necessary, evolving current practice towards full compliance.
Ms. Behan stated that the premise behind the legislation is one that is vital to all of us – the protection of personal privacy and confidentiality. She further stated that we deal with staff and student records and personal information on a daily basis, through form letters, email, phone calls, verbal communication, etc., and how we handle that communication and what we do with those records contribute to our reputation either as a credible professional (on a personal basis), or as a reputable institution.
Ms. Behan stated that because this affects every department of the Board, we start by raising awareness of the importance and scope of the procedures, and making a strategic assessment of what areas have to be addressed in terms of priority. She said that we will be building upon the work already begun in many departments with a view towards raising the profile of the initiative and adding greater clarity.
Ms. Behan stated that in the Fall 2011, we see the Board moving towards particular areas of compliance, and a process of beginning to formally educate and train all staff with respect to legislated requirement and corresponding Board procedures.
Superintendent Labrie stated that these procedures are a combination of new practice and what already is in place. He said that by having them formalized, it will enable us to have a framework to ensure compliance with the legislation. He said that the administrative procedures have not been numbered yet because over the course of the summer we will look to see where they best fit into our current procedures.
Ms. Behan reported that the Board contracted out its Records Retention Management document, and that consultation is being shared with our co-terminus boards. She said that we are doing that framework and making it more accessible, noting that document will be delivered in 2012.
Chair Brown thanked Principal Behan for her work, and for providing the above-noted information.
Principal Behan withdrew from the meeting.
ITS Strategic Plan Update
Manager Toms advised that as per the Board’s Strategic Plan (Item 3.2.1 (b,c,d), ITS has been consulting with staff and students to develop a five-year strategy for instructional and operational technology. He reported that consultations have been completed with both students and staff representative groups from schools, and Principal consultations are scheduled for May/June 2011.
Manager Toms stated that initially, ITS performed a research review including Strategic Plans from other districts who had already completed their strategy documents, i.e. Kawartha-Pine Ridge DSB, Thames Valley DSB, and Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic DSC. As well, a literature review was completed of various research related to instructional and operational technology use within school districts.
Manager Toms reported that through this process, ITS is finalizing a Draft Five-Year Strategic Plan for Instructional and Operational Technology, to be completed by August 2011. He further reported that a detailed operational plan is being developed simultaneously with budget estimates, as well as timelines and responsibilities. He advised that along with the Strategic Plan, a background document is being developed that will incorporate details around the rationale, research and consultation data that were used as input in developing the Strategic Plan. The finalization of this document will coincide with the completion of the Strategic Plan, currently on schedule for August 2011.
Manager Toms presented the highlights of the draft Strategic Plan, which were appended to the agenda. He said that it is being aligned with the LDSB Strategic Plan. He reviewed the key elements of Year One (2011/2012), which relates to Stabilization and Infrastructure Building.
In response to questions and comments, Manager Toms indicated that the issue of equity is important.
Recording Secretary Kirkpatrick withdrew from the meeting, as she had to attend another meeting, and Superintendent Labrie took notes from that point in the meeting.
Manager Toms presented the key elements of Year Two (2012/2013), which relates to Beginning of Service Deployment and Hardware Refresh Begins, Year Three (2013/2014), which relates to Continuation of Service Deployment, Hardware Refresh Continues and Application Review, Year Four (2014/2015), which relates to Continuation of Service Deployment, Hardware Refresh Continues, Application Review and ITS Department Review, and Year Five (2015/2016), which relates to Continuation of Service Deployment, Hardware Refresh Continues, Application Review and Build new Strategic Plan.
Trustee Jackson raised questions about Bring Your Own Device in Toronto with regard to cell phones and asked about policy regarding net access. He also commented on uniformity in equipment and inequity in schools, and asked about equipment at home. He raised a significant question about Microsoft Infrastructure Live@EDU. He commented on the long service replacement period as part of the Strategic Plan, noting that there should be a faster refresh period.
Trustee Chadwick raised a budget related question, and asked about the costs for year one.
Chair Brown thanked Manager Toms for providing the above-noted information.
Manager Toms withdrew from the meeting.
Curricular and Extra-curricular Access to Students
Mr. Burra indicated that at the February 16, 2011 Education/Human Resources Committee meeting, Trustee Chadwick requested a report regarding community groups/members accessing students at schools. He reported that historically, Limestone and its predecessor boards distributed and posted a wide variety of materials to students and their parents, noting that frequently this would be arranged with the site administrator or be orchestrated centrally. With regard to direct access to students for external parties (community groups, business organizations, and individuals), this would occur in consultation with the site administration, who maintains authority over the distribution of materials and access to students/families at their school site.
Mr. Burra reported that there have been expressions of concern from parents and others regarding access to students during and outside the instructional day by external groups, including marketing their activities without permission from parents. Parents have articulated the resulting pressure they feel to have their children involved in activities the parents would not otherwise select for their children to choose to fund.
Mr. Burra stated that due to increasing requests for distribution and access to students, school administrators have indicated an interest in a more structured, consistent, and centrally supervised process. He further stated that the volume of requests has resulted in an environmental concern about the amount of paper being used for distribution, noting that the volume of requests has resulted in an environmental concern about the amount of paper being used for distribution. He said that there is a concern about the additional workload for school staff who would have to organize and sort materials, and about students and parents having to manage various materials and requests. Mr. Burra stated that some schools, especially those in rural areas, have expressed the concern
that in some cases they feel compelled to help out local community groups by distributing materials home.
Mr. Burra stated that to begin to address the concerns, the Board developed AP 149 (Request for Distribution), which was presented at an Education/HR Committee meeting on January 19, 2011. AP 149 requires that external agencies or individuals submit a request for electronic distribution to an “Approved for Distribution” folder that all school and site administrators have access to. Schools can then post this information in their schools or potentially include parts of the information in a newsletter home.
Mr. Burra reported that the adoption of AP 149 has been appreciated by site administrators; however, it has caused some concern for external parties that have historically relied on the schools to help advertise for them. He said that while the balance between local and central control of this process is necessary because our school sites and communities have a wide range of circumstances, interests, and needs, this may result in the perception of inequity when a school decides to distribute materials for a group at their site or allow access to students, but another site refers the group to the Education Centre and AP 149, or denies access.
Mr. Burra advised that access to students continues to be primarily governed by site administrators. For example, groups or individuals like guest speakers that visit classrooms to provide assistance in meeting provincial curriculum expectations continue to be processed by teachers and administrators on site and individuals or groups are invited into the school. This does create an inherent advantage to some groups that have historically had access to students for this type of programming, as it is frequently based on relationships between LDSB staff and the external agency/individual.
Mr. Burra stated that the same type of access has existed for some community groups/agencies to access students for before/after school or lunch time extra-curricular activities. He advised that this process has not been regulated in any form until earlier this school year, when schools were instructed not to provide access to student to extra-curricular focused groups/individuals during curricular time. As a result of this change, if a Principal decides to advertise that a group is visiting at lunch to see if students are interested in participating in a particular extra-curricular activity, a letter must go home to inform parents in advance, and the meeting must occur outside of curricular time (Recess/Lunch).
Mr. Burra reported that numerous requests are received per year for individuals and groups to visit schools and meet with students during curricular or extra-curricular time. Many of them are motivated by altruistic reasons. Others wish to charge a fee. Up to this point, schools have determined whether to grant access. Mr. Burra stated that this process becomes complicated when a group or individual wishes to visit students to provide some kind of curricular support during class time, but also wants to engage the students in further activities in some form of extra-curricular venue that requires a fee or when they try to sell the students a product or service.
Mr. Burra reviewed the next steps, as follows:
- Maintain a balance between local and central control over distribution of materials with the understanding that environmental workload issues are a consequence of such decisions.
- Where possible, include information approved for distribution in existing publications going home (newsletters) and focus on electronic distribution.
- Continue the process of developing a central mechanism for gate-keeping curricular/extra-curricular access to students to help guide central and local decision regarding this matter. Administrative Procedure 148 is being developed.
- Monitor curricular and extra-curricular engagement with students by community groups, business organizations and individuals at the school site.
Mr. Burra provided a copy of the working draft of AP 148 (Access to Students [Curricular and Extra-Curricular]).
Trustee Chadwick stated that there is concern from community groups who feel blocked to accessing students with respect to free curriculum supports. She said that many receive money from outside funding, and how do we okay access. She commented on non-profit, charitable and for profit organizations. She said that access for Coca-Cola vs. Heart and Stroke Foundation is different. She said that she would like to see that if there is an offer the group get a response even if it is a “no”.
Trustee Jackson suggested putting a draft on the website and getting input from the public.
Trustee Ruttan stated that she would not like if there was no response to an organization that had sent a request. Perhaps a tab should be placed on the website.
Mr. Burra stated that organizations must reapply every three years, as stipulated in section 1.3.0. He said that the other difficulty is that individuals can still be invited into the school based on Principal approval. He said that there would also be an application form developed to make groups apply to be on the list that would reflect the final procedure. He stated that another challenge is that the line between profit/non-profit/charitable groups can be somewhat grey. The bottom line is there would be no opportunity to sell products or future services.
Trustee Chadwick thanked Mr. Burra for his work. She said that she is not sure if she agreed with the website idea suggested by Trustee Jackson. She referred to the example of a museum that wants to access students and ensuring they know the process and receive communication.
Chair Brown thanked Mr. Burra for providing the above-noted information.
The Chair thanked Committee members for their participation on the committee, and Senior Staff for their work.
Next Meeting Date
The next meeting of the Education/Human Resources Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, September 21, 2011, at 4:30 p.m.
MOVED BY Trustee Jackson, that the meeting adjourn at 6:00 p.m.–Carried