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May 23, 2012- Education/Human Resources Committee Minutes
Education/Human Resources Committee
May 23, 2012

        A meeting of the Education/Human Resources Committee was held in Committee Room A at the Limestone Education Centre, 220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston, on Wednesday, May~23, 2012, at 4:30 p.m.          
Present Trustees:
H. Brown, Chair
G. Beavis
D. Jackson
P. Murray
S. Ruttan
Present Staff:
K. Burra, Supervisor of Safe and Caring School, and Assistant to the Director
B. Fraser-Stiff, Superintendent of Education
N. Marsh, Superintendent of Education
D. Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary     
        Chair Brown called the meeting to order, welcoming those present to the meeting.  She reported that regrets were received from Trustees Chadwick and Goodfellow.

Approval of Agenda                                                                              

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

Update Regarding Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)

        Mr. Burra advised that an administrative report concerning an update related to Automated External Defibrillators was distributed with the agenda.

        Mr. Burra stated that a previous update related to automated external defibrillator units was provided at the Property/Operations Committee meeting in September 2009.  He indicated that he was now providing a further update because of the changes in the number of units we have in schools.

        Mr. Burra reported that all of our secondary schools have AED units, as well as some of our outlying elementary schools that have longer wait times for EMS or local Fire & Rescue unit response.  He advised that our deployment of AED units has been based on consultation with Frontenac and Lennox & Addington EMS, and on the number of students and staff who use a building in a day, and the amount of community use.

        Mr. Burra said that a grant application has been made to the Province and to the Heart and Stroke Foundation to get more funding for units.  He said that we have applied for approximately 35 additional units.  He reported that last week, we had heard from the Lennox & Addington EMS, and they are providing 6 to 8 units for school placement in the Lennox & Addington area.  He further reported that we have not heard about the status of the grant for Frontenac county.  He said that an AED will be installed at Glenburnie Public School due to a medically fragile student who has a heart condition.  He said that the Board spent money in the fall to purchase several AED units.

        In response to a question from Trustee Murray, Mr. Burra stated that AEDs are located in a public area in a school, which his usually near the main office.  He said that there is greater security at that location to ensure that the area is monitored.  He advised that schools are letting their communities know that there is AED located in their school

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

Update Regarding Equity and Inclusion: Positive and Safe Spaces

        Mr. Burra’s report was distributed with the agenda.  The report related to Equity and Inclusion: Positive and Safe Spaces.  He stated that Trustees allocated money to support schools in this area.

        Mr. Burra provided some background context to Ministry policy and policy/program memorandum.  The proposed Bill 13 or The Accepting Schools Act is essentially taking what is in current policy and embedding it into legislation.  He said that if the legislation passes then there would certainly be legislated policy in terms of equity and inclusion.

        Mr. Burra indicated that the issue of homophobic bullying has been identified as a concern in provincial and national data according to CAMH and Egale surveys.

        Mr. Burra stated that in the fall of 2011, the Board allocated additional funding to assist in the promotion of positive and safe spaces for all and the development of resources to support schools and  student-led groups like Gay-Straight Alliances.  He said that our labour partners are in strong support of this initiative.  He said that this has been a very worthwhile project.  He said that resource supports for schools and for students who feel marginalized due to their sexual orientation have been developed and are now in place.  These resources have started to trickle out since their introduction in May and will continue to be used, modified, and updated moving into the next school year.

        Questions and discussion ensued.

        In response to a question regarding the distinction between the Tell Them From Me (TTFM) Survey and the Positive and Safe Spaces Resource, Mr. Burra explained that Tell Them From Me is a survey, and the Positive and Safe Spaces initiative is primarily a support resource.  However, for 2012, questions related to equity and inclusion were incorporated into the survey.  The TTFM survey also incorporates our requirement to implement school climate surveys which the board does on an annual basis as opposed to the Ministry requirement of a survey every other year.

        Superintendent Marsh added that TTFM has been very valuable in providing students with a voice and enhancing student engagement.  The results are then used by the school site as part of the school improvement planning process.  Mr. Burra further explained that the school climate component of the survey helps inform school improvement planning regarding student safety and bullying prevention/intervention.

        In response to a question regarding the tracking of incidents, Mr. Burra stated that the Ministry is looking at this issue because currently only disciplinary incidents outlined in the Education Act are tracked.   Ms. Marsh stated that school administration team and teachers are interested in school information so they can be proactive and respond.

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

Outdoor Education

        Superintendent Marsh introduced Rob McDougall, Supervisor of Outdoor Education Programs.  She said that Outdoor Education is an elementary and secondary program, and in addition to school year field trips, it runs during the summer, noting that students come from many areas across the province.  She said that it is an exemplary program.

        Rob McDougall provided a brief overview of the program, noting that the Outdoor Education Program is run at Gould Lake.  He said that the program is split into a school year program and a summer program, indicating that it is a valuable program for Limestone DSB students.        

        Mr. McDougall provided the following information:

School Year Program

  •         325 classes visit per year
  •         Curriculum-based programs with focus on hands-on/active outdoor experiences
  •         Experiences that require an outdoor classroom and that are unique to Gould Lake and its environment
  •         Expectation for a visit: to increase student love, caring, interest and excitement for the environment and for learning
  •         Staff who are knowledgeable, flexible, can teach and demonstrate good judgment
Summer Programs

  •         Summer school in the wilderness focusing on health and physical education curriculum with an outdoor activity focus
  •         Focus on skills development, healthy living, leadership, team work
  •         Programs ranging from 8 to 33 days
  •         Destinations: Frontenac Park, Algonquin Park, Temagami Wilderness, Adirondacks, Killarney Park, Georgian Bay, Palmer Rapids, Missinaibi River, Anticosti Island
  •         2012 Enrolment: 420 students
  •         Financial Assistance – Friends of Outreach (FOO) and Pal – FOO helps to subsidize these programs for students who cannot afford them; Pal provides scholarships to elementary schools to send 20 younger students to a program
        Mr. McDougall advised as to how funds for Friends of Outreach are raised.  He said that during the summer, they do lunch sales.  He said that they have done portage-a-thons, and they are doing “Storm the Hill”, which is a canoe marathon from Gould Lake beach to Parliament Hill.

        Trustee Jackson stated that we need to begin to think of other ways to finance the program to support children of lesser means.  He suggested that the Board look at partnerships.

        Trustee Brown thanked Mr. McDougall for his presentation and for enlightening Committee members on the activities that take place at Gould Lake.

        Trustee Ruttan withdrew from the meeting.

School Climate Data (Grade 4-8) and Tell Them rom Me School Safety Data (Grade 9-12) Update

        Mr. Burra provided a School Climate Data update, as follows:

Climate Surveys: The Rationale

  •         Before schools can take action to build and/or strengthen a caring and safe school culture, they need to get an accurate picture of their existing school culture
  •         Improving a school’s climate results in increased achievement (DeWit, McKenn, Fjeld, & Karioja –2003)
  •         It is essential to gather data from students, since research about bullying suggests that adults in a school do not witness the majority of this student behaviour
  •         Schools must conduct anonymous school climate surveys of their students every two years (Grades 4-12)
  •         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 the School Improvement Planning Process at the school level

  •         Biographical Information
  •         Safety
  •         Teaching and Learning
  •         Bullying/Harassment
  •         Relationships
  •         Climate Survey for Grades 4-8 on Survey Monkey (Spring 2011)
  •         Tell Them From Me for Grades 9-12 (Fall 2010 and Spring 2011)
        Mr. Burra reviewed the cumulative results for the 2011 School Climate Survey for Grades 4-6, noting that the questions related to bullying, feeling safe on the way to school and on the way home, feeling safe at school, feeling safe on the playground, feeling adults care about the students, and feeling that there is an adult the student feels comfortable talking to.  He also reviewed the cumulative results for the 2011 School Climate Survey for Grades 7-8 related to the same areas as listed above.  Mr. Burra then reviewed the aggregate 2011 TTFM  results for the

        Mr. Burra reviewed the aggregate Grade 4-8 School Climate Survey from 2010-2011 as follows:

  • For grades 4-6, 25% of boys and 28% of girls had experienced bullying in the past month.  Over 90% of these students feel safe in the school at all times, almost 85% feel safe on the playground all of the time.
  • For grades 7-8, 21% of boys and 26% of girls had experienced bullying in the past month.  Almost 85% of these students feel safe in the school at all times, while over 75% feel safe on the playground all of the time.  
        Mr. Burra then reviewed the Grade 9-12 School Safety/Climate Data 2010-2011 and the Board picture for 2010 and 2011, as follows: (Canadian Norms come from TTFM)

Students who are victims of bullying (2011)

        Students are subjected to physical, social or verbal bullying, or are bullied over the Internet.

  •         20% of students in this district were victims of moderate to severe bullying in the previous month; the Canadian norm for these grades is 20%
  •         16% of the girls and 23% of the boys in this district were victims of moderate to severe bullying in the previous month; the Canadian norm for girls is 17% and for boys is 23%
Students who are victims of bullying (2011)

Students are subjected to physical, social or verbal bullying, or are bullied over the Internet.

  •         20% of students in this district were victims of moderate to severe bullying in the previous month; the Canadian norm for these grades is 20%
  •         19% of the girls and 21% of the boys in this district were victims of moderate to severe bullying in the previous month; the Canadian norm for girls is 17% and for boys is 23%
Safety at School (2011)

Students perceptions of safety at school.

  •         In this district, students rated Safety at School 8.1 our of 10; the Canadian norm for these grades is 7.7
  •         In this district, Safe at School was rated 8.4 out of 10 by girls and 7.8 out of 10 by boys; the Canadian norm for girls is 8 and for boys is 7.4
Mr. Burra reviewed the 2011-2012 School Safety Initiatives, as follows:

  •         Education/Human Resources Report from January 2012 provides much more
  •         Commitment to Yearly School Climate Surveys
  •         Safe and Healthy School Teams and School Improvement Planning
  •         Safe Schools Training for Administrators
  •         Continued emphasis on Restorative Practices (MEND)
  •         Collaborative Problem Solving (Dr. Ross Greene)
  •         Bullying Awareness, Prevention/Intervention Strategies with a whole school approach
  •         Bullying Prevention/Intervention Coordinator (0.5) hired in September 2011
  •         Equity and Inclusion Initiatives
  •         Mental Health Supports (information presented at May 2012 Education/Human Resources Committee meeting)
  •         Pending Legislation (The Accepting Schools Act)
        Chair Brown thanked Mr. Burra for providing the above-noted information.

Full-Day Kindergarten and Extended Day Update

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff provided a brief update related to Full-Day Kindergarten (FDK) and the Extended Day program.  She reported that with regard to the timelines for Full-Day Kindergarten implementation and the Extended Day program implementation, the schools are listed in the information that she distributed.

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff stated that in September 2012, the Board will be entering year 3 of Full-Day Kindergarten, and we will be welcoming children at eight additional schools – Bath Public School, Bayridge Public School, Cataraqui Woods Elementary School, Centennial Public School, Harrowsmith Public School, Hinchinbrooke Public School, École Sir John A. Macdonald Public School, and Southview Public School.  She said that we expect that staffing will be in place for Full-Day Kindergarten in mid June and at the end of June we will have FDK teams come into the Education Centre for professional development.  We will bring new teams in and connect them with experienced teams to spend a day together in FDK classrooms.

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff reported that in years one and two we were unable to create a viable Extended Day Program for FDK programs.  She advised that in year 3, we have established agreements with third party providers to provide an Extended Day program.  She said that the schools and the third party providers are listed in the information that she had distributed.  She said that we approached the third party providers that already provide Before and After School programs in FDK schools to see if they would like to provide an Extended Day Program, noting that the providers are excited to work with the Board in providing these programs.

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff indicated that the second focus is to get the Extended Day program in FDK schools without Before and After School care.  She said that we have advertised in the newspaper and on the Board’s website to invite expressions of interest from third party providers.  She said that we had two expressions of interest in six schools.  The schools are: Centreville, First Avenue, Harrowsmith, J.G. Simcoe, NAEC and Rideau Heights Public Schools.

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff stated that the criteria for the Extended Day program, as listed in the Education Act, includes that the program must be:

  •         Delivered on at least every instructional day;
  •         Delivered on school premises;
  •         Led by a Registered Early Childhood Educator;
  •         Licensed under the Day Nurseries Act.
        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff said that an Extended Day  third party operator must be a not-for-profit corporation.  She said that the operator must be eligible to receive fee subsidy payments for children enrolled in the program. The content of the third party program must be the same content that a board is required to include in a board-operated Extended Day program, and the operator must ensure that when its employees or contractors become aware that a pupil of the board may have engaged in an activity for which suspension or expulsion must be considered, that these staff or contractors report the matter to the school’s principal.

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff said that under the Education Act, we are required to provide information on the Board website about where the Extended Day programs are, and about the fees.

        In response to a question from Trustee Jackson, Superintendent Fraser-Stiff stated that the fees charged by third party providers are determined by the third party provider.  She said that it is a requirement that third party providers are not-for-profit organizations so that somewhat the fee structure.

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

Aboriginal Education

        Superintendent Marsh commented that as part of the Board’s initiative for next year to promote not only pride in one’s culture and the self-identification process, we have created a series of posters that we hope will go together in schools so students see them as a set of four that identify different ages of students, students in different studies supporting our partnership with implementation of the First Nations and Inuit framework and support for Aboriginal children being positive and reflecting who they are.  She said that we have been asking the Ministry of Education, since the framework was introduced, to provide posters as we felt it would be easier in helping families feel more comfortable with it.

        Superintendent Marsh advised that we had received no response from the Ministry, and therefore, we created our own initiative.  She said that the posters could be placed in doctor offices and in libraries throughout the Limestone District School Board area.

        Superintendent Marsh remarked that we are excited about this initiative, and that she wanted to share a draft of them, before they are distributed to schools.

        In response to a question from Trustee Beavis, Superintendent Marsh stated that we did a comparison of students identifying through the Tell Them From Me Survey and through the self-identification process, and we see students identifying through the Tell Them From Me Survey.  She said that we have more activities so that they feel more comfortable going through the self-identification process.  She said that we have seen a gradual improvement in self-identification.

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

Future Agenda Items
        Chair Brown indicated that a new list of agenda items will be created in the Fall.

        Trustee Jackson indicated that he would like to consider the sustainability of things, such as Gould Lake.

        Trustee Murray indicated that she would like to look at the food provider contracts.  

        Superintendent Marsh said that both of the above-noted items would be more appropriate at other committees and she would let Superintendent Richard know for follow-up.

        Superintendent Marsh indicated that she and Superintendent Fraser-Stiff usually provide a presentation about the EQAO Results at the September Education/Human Resources Committee meeting.

        Trustee Brown indicated that if there are further suggestions, to please let herself or Superintendent Labrie know so that those items can be included in a future agenda package.

Other Business

        Chair Brown thanked Committee members and staff for their involvement in this committee.

Next Meeting Date

        The next meeting of the Education/Human Resources Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, September 19, 2012, at 4:30 p.m
MOVED BY Trustee Jackson, that the meeting adjourn at 6:10~p.m.–Carried