Education/Human Resources Committee
November 21, 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, November 21, 2012, at 4:30 p.m.
H. Brown, Chair
Krishna Burra, Supervisor of Safe and Caring Schools and Assistant to the Director
A. Labrie, Superintendent of Human Resources
S. Lehman, Supervising Principal
D. Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
Chair Brown called the meeting to order, welcoming those present to the meeting. She indicated that regrets were received from Trustee Chadwick, as well as from Superintendents Fraser-Stiff and Marsh.
Approval of Agenda
MOVED BY Trustee Jackson, that the agenda, as distributed, be approved.BCarried
Bill 13: Accepting Schools Act Update (Strategic Plan Reference: Item 2.1.4)
Mr. Burra provided an update with respect to Bill 13, Accepting Schools Act, as follows:
• Promotes a Positive School Climate and Acceptance
• Emphasizes the need for a Whole School approach
• Provides a new definition for bullying including an expanded section for cyber-bullying
• Requires Mandatory School Climate Surveys with students and … Staff and parents at least once, every two years
• Proclaims the week beginning on the third Sunday in November in each year as Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week
• Enshrines the Equity and Inclusion Policy into legislation
• Requires support for groups promoting gender equity, anti-racism, anti-ableism, and anti-homophobia
• Increased expectations for school administrators (investigation, communication and supports)
• Requires supports for students, notification of parents/staff and annual professional development for staff about Bullying Prevention/Intervention and Strategies for Promoting a Positive School Climate (already in P/PM 144/145)
• Phased-in implementation (September 2012-February 2013)
Still to Come
• Adding the goals set out in Bill 13 around positive school climate and bullying prevention to Board multi-year plan (Strategic Plan). Awaiting further Ministry direction (see below)
• Changes to the consequences for bullying (activities leading to suspension and potential expulsion): Principal shall suspend for bullying if a student has been suspended previously for bullying and the pupil’s continuing presence in the school creates an unacceptable risk to the safety of another person. The Principal shall also suspend if a student engages in an activity that causes harm and is motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other similar factor
• More policy direction is forthcoming from the Ministry regarding supports for students, awareness raising opportunities for parents, and professional development programs for teachers and other staff. Updates to P/PM 144 and 145 forthcoming
• Annual professional development programs for staff about bullying prevention and promoting positive school climates
• Further enhancement of the Board and school bullying prevention and intervention plans. Eventual posting of Board plans on their respective websites. The Ministry is currently working on a model plan as an exemplar for school boards
“Bullying means aggressive and typically repeated behavior by a pupil where, (a) the behavior is intended by the pupil to have the effect of, or the pupil ought to know that the behavior would be likely to have the effect of, (i) causing harm, fear or distress to another individual, including physical, psychological, social, or academic harm, harm to the individual’s reputation or harm to the individual’s property, or (ii) creating a negative environment at school for another individual, and (b) the behavior occurs in a context where there is a real or perceived power imbalance between the pupil and the individual based on factors such as size, strength, age, intelligence, peer group power, economic status, social status, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, family circumstances, gender, gender identity, gender expression,
race, disability or the receipt of special education.” For the purpose of the definition of “bullying” this behavior includes the use of any physical, verbal, electronic, written or other means.
An expanded explanation for cyber-bullying: Cyber-bullying or bullying by electronic means includes, “(a) creating a web page or blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person; (b) impersonating another person as the author of content or messages posted on the internet; and (c) communicating material electronically to more than one individual or posting material on a website that may be accessed by one or more individuals.”
Changes to Potential Consequences for Students who Perpetrate Bullying
• Consider tougher consequences for students who bully others. This can include suspending and considering expulsion if the student has already been suspended for bullying and the student’s presence in the school creates an unacceptable risk to the safety of others or the bullying was motivated by bias, prejudice or hate.
A Lens on Bullying
“Bullying is a Relationship Problem that Requires Relationship Solutions” D. Pepler
“Relationship dynamics in bullying are destructive:
• Child who bullies learns how to use power and aggression to control and distress another.
• Child who is victimized learns about loss of power in relationships and becomes trapped in a relationship in which he/she is being abused.”
Mr. Burra displayed a diagram showing the initiatives related to safe and caring schools, noting that there is a whole range of things on which the Board is working. He indicated that in Limestone District School Board, bullying will not be accepted on school property, at school-related activities, on school buses, or in any other circumstances (e.g. on-line) where engaging in bullying will have a negative impact on the school climate.
Mr. Burra displayed the LDSB Accepting Schools posters.
Mr. Burra reviewed the following LDSB Bullying Awareness, Prevention, Intervention Initiatives:
• Effective Interventions Training
• Restorative Practices (MEND)
• Bullying Prevention Programs (WITS for JK-3), (WITS/LEADS for Grades 4-6), (Fourth R for Grades 7 and 8 this year, Grade 9 next year)
• Mental Health Initiatives (for examples, Grade 9 PHE curriculum)
• Expansion of Roots of Empathy Sites (Elementary schools)
• Friends for Life (Grade 5 Resiliency)
• Equity and Inclusion Initiatives (Positive and Safe Spaces, Social Justice & Student-Led Initiative Conference)
• Equity and Inclusion training for teachers and administrators
• School Climate Surveys (Grades 4-12)
• Collaborative Problem Solving Training (Dr. Ross Greene)
• Character Education
• Anonymous Tip Mechanisms
• Safe Schools component in School Improvement Plans
• Updated Information Pamphlets/Brochures
Mr. Burra reviewed the current school-based plans (from Board template) for a positive school climate and to address bullying, as follows:
1. Overall goal and specific goal(s)
2. Needs Assessment
3. Training Strategies (Education) and Resources
4. Prevention and Awareness-Raising Strategies
5. Intervention and Support Strategies
6. Communication and Outreach Strategies
7. Monitoring and Review Process
Mr. Burra reviewed diagram information related preventing and responding to bullying in schools.
Mr. Burra distributed a newsletter from the Ministry of Education, “Creating Safe and Accepting Schools: Information for Parents about the Accepting Schools Act (Bill 13).” He also distributed two Limestone District School Board pamphlets, “Bullying Awareness” and “Staying Safe on Social Networks: Identifying and avoiding the dangers of online activity”.
Chair Brown thanked Mr. Burra for providing the above-noted information.
Health and Safety in Our Schools (Strategic Plan Reference: Item 3.11)
Supervising Principal Lehman provided information about health and safety in Limestone District School Board schools. He commented on the unfortunate incident that happened in the spring of 2011 at an Ottawa high school, where a student was killed in a manufacturing lab. He indicated that as a result of that incident the Ministry of Labour has inspected schools in Ontario. He reported that during the 2011-2012 school year, the Ministry of Labour inspected each of the Limestone District School Board’s secondary schools. He advised that there were some issues around asbestos, as opposed to other concerns in our science, technology and art areas.
Mr. Lehman indicated that legislation was enacted, and that we are governed by the Occupational Health and Safety Act. He said that workers have a duty to take reasonable care to ensure the health and safety of themselves and others, to comply with policies for handling and disposal of materials, and to cooperate with their employers in matters relating to health and safety.
Mr. Lehman advised that a major focus of the Occupational Health and Safety Act is to protect workers. He further advised that teachers are workers, Principals are supervisors, and the Board is an employer. Workers who disregard prescribed safety precautions or their employer’s instructions leave themselves open to negligence. Therefore, staff and schools as a whole are expected to exercise due diligence.
Mr. Lehman stated that the Education Act is the second other major part of legislation that aligns with health and safety in our schools. He said that a school board and its employees or volunteers are expected to provide the same standard of care for students as would be provided by a reasonably careful or prudent parent in the circumstances. Therefore, the Board is to exercise an appropriate standard of care, act as a “careful and prudent parent”, and address foreseeable risk of injury.
Mr. Lehman reported that in order to reduce the risk of liability, schools boards should establish clear and accessible procedures in the following critical areas:
• Inspections of equipment being used;
• Field trips;
• Nature and condition of equipment being used;
• Purchasing and Equipment Installation;
• Student transportation; and
• Specialized training and experiential activity.
Mr. Lehman reviewed the four pillars of diligence, as follows:
• Ministry regulations and Municipal enforcement
• Collaborative operational protocols created by Limestone DSB to detail the policy
• Permissions acceptable to the Limestone DSB, OSBIE or subject associations -- STAO, OCTE, waivers, risk assessment, project lists
• Attendance, test scores, certificates, student use, passports, signage – evidence that training took place, proof the learning was provided, and dated
Mr. Lehman reviewed the program supports, as follows:
• Board Secondary Program Team
• Board Expanded Opportunities Committee
• Occupational Health and Safety Manager
• Board Technology Steering Committee
• Curriculum Consultants
• Board Specialist High Skills Major Team
• School Specialist High Skills Major Team
• School Success Team
• OYAP Advisory
Trustee Goodfellow withdrew from the meeting.
Mr. Lehman reviewed the LDSB Health and Safety Procedures showing the Employee Group, Health and Safety Strategy, Frequency/Action, as detailed in the presentation.
Mr. Lehman displayed the Deer skinning and hide de-hairing information for technological education.
Mr. Lehman also reviewed future Health and Safety Procedures showing the Employee Group, Health and Safety Strategy, Frequency/Action.
Mr. Lehman reviewed the health and safety items to consider in our schools, as follows:
• Apparel required by sector;
• Appointment of a competent worker;
• Chemical acquisition, Board-wide systems;
• Chemical storage and handling;
• Computer hardware acquisition, non-board funds;
• Designated substances;
• Equipment (capital) purchase and installation;
• Facility infrastructure inspection protocols;
• Food supply chain safety;
• Hazardous waste generation and waste disposal;
• Housekeeping and ergonomics;
• Hot Works;
• Project approval;
• Risk assessment of classroom activity; and
• Transportation to and from off-site locations.
Chair Brown thanked Mr. Lehman for providing the above-noted information.
Future Agenda Items
Superintendent Labrie reviewed the future agenda items for the 2012/2013 Education and Human Resources Committee meetings, as follows:
January 16, 2013: Safe Schools Update
School Year Calendar
February 20, 2013: Program Pilots Update (ITS)
School Year Calendar
March 20, 2013: Leadership Development Strategy
Mental Health Initiatives
April 17, 2013: Alternative and Continuing Education
May 22, 2013: Healthy Schools Update
Climate Surveys 2011-2012
Superintendent Labrie indicated that the following unscheduled topic, that was raised at the Trustee Retreat, was suggested as a possible agenda items:
• Parent Engagement B QECVI Family of Schools Pilot Project
Chair Brown stated that if any Trustee has further agenda items, he/she should let herself or Superintendent Labrie know, so that they can be added to a future Education/Human Resources Committee agenda.
Chair Brown thanked her fellow Trustees for their participation and support this past year. She also thanked staff for their work, saying that we are fortunate to have such a great team.
Trustee Murray, on behalf of the Education/Human Resources Committee members, thanked Trustee Brown for chairing the meetings this past year, and for providing great leadership for Committee members.
Next Meeting Date
The next meeting of the Education/Human Resources Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, January 16, 2013, at 4:30 p.m
MOVED BY Trustee Jackson, that the meeting adjourn at 5:50 p.m.BCarried