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February 20, 2013 - Education/Human Resources Committee Minutes
Education/Human Resources Committee
February 20, 2013

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, February 20, 2013, at 4:30 p.m.                     
Present Trustees:
H. Brown, Chair
G. Beavis
A. Goodfellow
P. Murray
S. Ruttan
Present Staff:
K. Burra, Supervisor of Safe and Caring Schools and Assistant to the Director
B. Fraser-Stiff, Superintendent of Education
A. Labrie, Superintendent of Human Resources
N. Marsh, Superintendent of Education
W. Toms, Manager of ITS and Planning Officer
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 Jackson.

Approval of Agenda                                                                              

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

Advanced Placement Courses, International Baccalaureate and French Immersion – Strategic Plan Reference:  Item 3.12.1

        Superintendent Marsh stated that this item was placed on the agenda in response to a request at the last meeting to provide more information about Advanced Placement courses, the International Baccalaureate Program and French Immersion.  She stated that she would provide information about the Advanced Placement courses and International Baccalaureate Program, and Superintendent Fraser-Stiff would highlight with her the French Immersion portion.   She advised that Advanced Placement (A.P.) courses are offered at LCVI and Frontenac Secondary School, and that the International Baccalaureate (I.B.) program is offered at KCVI.

        Superintendent Marsh reported that the Advanced Placement courses:

  • Follow an international curriculum that is merged with the Ontario Secondary School (OSS) curriculum;
  • Students may take the AP course, but may opt out of the AP exam and still receive their OSS credit;
  • Students who sit the AP exam receive one credit per course towards their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), but may also choose to have their test score forwarded to universities;
  • Students then receive a first-year credit by universities that recognize A.P. courses; and
  • Advanced Placement courses are viewed as a predominately North American enrichment opportunity for high school students.
Superintendent Marsh reported that Frontenac Secondary School offers an A.P. Calculus course, and LCVI offers A.P. Calculus, Chemistry, English Literature and Composition, French Language and Culture and Physics C: Mechanics courses.

Superintendent Marsh stated that the concept behind the International Baccalaureate Program is that students who take the program are committed to the entire program.  She explained the International Baccalaureate (I.B.) Hexagon model.  She stated that the I.B. Program is structured as to what students need to complete the program.  She reviewed the I.B. diploma requirements, as follows:

  • One course from each of six subject groups
  •         I.B. exam in all six courses
  • Complete Extended Essay, TOK (Theory of Knowledge), CAS (Creativity Action Service = 50 hours in grades 11 and 12 plus 50 hours of athletics)
Superintendent Marsh reviewed some comparisons of the Advanced Placement courses and the International Baccalaureate Programs, as follows:

A.P. Courses                                            I.B. Programs

16,000 schools worldwide                                3493 schools worldwide
491 in Canada                                           141 in Canada
175 in Ontario                                          56 in Ontario
North American origin                                   European Origin
$100/exam                                               $400/year for four years

        In response to a question, Superintendent Marsh advised that last year, 12 students received an I.B. certificate at graduation.

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff provided information about French programming for students in elementary schools, noting that the Board offers French programming for students from JK-Grade 12.  She advised that in elementary schools, the Board has three models for French programming, i.e. Core French (Grades 1-8), Extended French (Grades 7 and 8), and French Immersion (JK-Grade 8).   She indicated that the Board is implementing Core French in Grade 1, because we have a strong belief in French instruction.  She said that we know the value of learning language at a young age, stating that we are supportive of strong language skills.  

Superintendent Fraser-Stiff reported that Core French for Grades 1-3 began implementation in 2010-2011, and it is currently offered in 18 elementary schools, with plans to expand to all elementary schools.  Core French provides 200 minutes of French instruction per week.  Superintendent Fraser-Stiff advised that Core French is required for all elementary students in grades 4-8, and it provides 200 minutes of French instruction per week.

Superintendent Fraser-Stiff stated that the French language curriculum is under revision, indicating that we are looking forward to receiving information as to what the revisions are.  She said that it is our understanding the implementation of the new French curriculum is for September of this year.  She indicated that the revisions to the new curriculum are exciting, with a much greater emphasis on oral communication.   She commented that when we implemented Primary Core French, we placed heavy emphasis on the oral language component.  She said that the students are singing songs in French, are involved in conversational French, and are experiencing a greater emphasis on communication skills.  She indicated that the reading and writing components are also implemented over time.

Superintendent Fraser-Stiff stated that we see French instruction becoming more highly valued across the province.  She indicated that the Ministry released the framework for French-as-a-Second Language.  She said that they know the importance of acquisition of a second language.  She said that she and others will be travelling to the Regional Office in Ottawa in April to do some work with this framework.  She said that we value the importance of French language instruction in our schools.

In response to a question, Superintendent Fraser-Stiff stated that we are looking forward to seeing the new French curriculum.  She said that Primary Core French is not offered in all boards, but some have chosen to offer Core French prior to Grade 4.

Superintendent Marsh stated that the Ministry has articulated to us to a plan around the French language framework.  She said that we have an opportunity to highlight Primary French programming

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff advised that Extended French is offered at Harrowsmith Public School, Module de l’Acadie and Module Vanier, and the program is open to students in grades 7 and 8.

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff advised that Immersion French is offered at James R. Henderson Public School (JK-6), École Sir John A. Macdonald Pulbic School (JK-6), Polson Park Public School (JK-6), Rideau Public School (JK-6), The Prince Charles School (JK-8), Amherstview Public School (JK-6), Module de l’Acadie (Grades 7 and 8), and Module Vanier (Grades 7 and 8).  She indicated that students in JK-2 receive 100% French instruction, students in Grades 3 and 4 receive 80% French instruction, and students in Grades 5-8 receive 70% French instruction.

        Superintendent Marsh reviewed the Secondary French Programs, advising that Extended French is offered at Frontenac Secondary School, KCVI, Napanee District Secondary School and Sydenham High School, and is open to late French Immersion students, and that the program requires students to take seven of their credits in French.

        Superintendent Marsh advised that Immersion French is offered at Frontenac Secondary School, KCVI and Napanee District Secondary School, and it is open to early Immersion students, requiring students to take 10 of their credits in French.

        Superintendent Marsh advised of course offerings at Napanee District Secondary School for those students in Extended French and French Immersion programs as follows:

  • French – Extended and Immersion (Grades 9-12)
  • Histoire du Canada (Grade 10)
  • Éducation Physique (Grades 9-10)
  • Exploration des choix de carriers (Grade 10)
  • Citoyenneté (Grade 10)
  • Senior Social Science
Superintendent Marsh advised of course offering at Frontenac Secondary School for those students in Extended French and French Immersion programs, as follows:

  • French – Extended and Immersion (Grades 9-12)
  • Géographie (Grade 9)
  • Exploration des choix de carriers (Grade 10)
  • Citoyenneté (Grade 10)
  • Histoire du Canada (Grade 10)
  • Mathématiques (Grades 9-11)
  • Éducation Physique (Grades 9-12)
Superintendent Marsh advised of course offering at KCVI for those students in Extended French and French Immersion programs, as follows:

  • French – Extended and Immersion (Grades 9-12)
  • Éducation Physique (Grades 9-12)
  • Mathématiques (Grades 9 and 10)
  • Géographie (Grade 9)
  • Exploration des choix de carriers (Grade 10)
  • Citoyenneté (Grade 10)
  • Histoire du Canada (Grade 10)
  • Voyage et tourisme (Grade 11)
  • Entraide (Grade 11)
Superintendent Marsh reviewed the course offerings at Sydenham High School for Extended French and French Immersion programs, as follows:

  • French – Extended and Immersion (Grades 9-12)
  • Géographie (Grade 9)
  • Histoire du Canada (Grade 10)
  • Introduction à l’anthropologie, la psychologie, et de sociologie
Superintendent Marsh stated that the numbers are low in this program, and therefore, the French language course is stacked with core French, the grade 9 and 10 courses run in alternate years, and the grade 11 course is only offered every second year.  She indicated that this program may have to be altered given the low numbers.

Chair Brown thanked Superintendents Fraser-Stiff and Marsh for providing the above-noted information.

Program Pilots Update – Strategic Plan Reference: Item 3.2.1)

        Superintendent Labrie and Manager Toms provided information about the program pilots.

        Manager Toms provided a Program Pilots Update, reporting on the project at the former Westdale Park Public School, now Southview Public School.  He advised that ITS provided 24 Dell netbooks on a Dell cart and 10 Acer netbooks on a JKL-provided cart.  He further advised that the other components of the project included:  three Smart Boards, three Elmo Projectors and two Mobi.  He stated that this project is cross-curricular and supports many of the junior/intermediate classrooms, along with the overall school improvement plan.  He said that the new school (Southview Public School) received three additional Netbook carts, LCD projectors, and a computer for every classroom.

        Manager Toms indicated that they found:

  • project growth is dependent on teacher involvement;
  • key staff must be identified to grow projects;
  • continuous improvement in teacher technology use as more staff become comfortable;
  • the pilot project has helped to support technology implementation in the new school; and
  • a need to support teachers to utilize technology in the classroom (more technical support in the short term).
Manager Toms commented on the pilot projects at Napanee District Secondary School.  He said that there have been various implementations of Smart Boards, and Mobile Netbook carts for regular program and alternative supports.   He indicated that there has also been some implementation of clickers.

Manager Toms reported that:

  • mobility has proven challenging when pervasive wireless coverage is not available, and
  • mobility is important in leveraging technology as appropriate for curriculum delivery.
Manager Toms provided an overview of the pilot project at Perth Road Public School.  He advised that the lab was dismantled and more computers were placed in the classroom.  He said that teachers were provided with laptops, and that pervasive wireless mobile cart/netbook for technology has been installed.  He said that teachers were provided with additional training on the use of laptops and Smart Boards.

Manager Toms indicated that we have found:

  • slow improvement in use of technology by staff as comfort level is improved; and
  • teacher laptops are not sustainable under current funding.
Manager Toms commented that Secondary Applied Math programs in each secondary school were provided with a Smart Board, Netbooks (24) and cart, and Smart Math Tools software.  He said that we have found an increased level of engagement for students, and that we continue to monitor effectiveness beyond engagement level.

Superintendent Labrie said that we have learned a great deal as we have worked with these schools.  He indicated that some of the projects have been going on somewhere between one and three years.  He said that we try to grapple with common learning across the system, noting that technology needs to be driven at the school level.  He commented that this is about a school figuring out where they are with respect to technology and what they are doing with it, based on their own buildings and where they are on the technology continuum.  He said that the ICT tool is a valuable tool that gives immediate feedback on how the pilot programs are going.  He said that the tool is to provide for discussion to give us key questions to guide conversations to the lead school as to what to do next.  He said that ITS’ role is to support schools in that and to help to support them along that continuum.  Superintendent Labrie stated that we will support the tool, schools and people in those schools that have been engaged.  He indicated that ultimately we will want to roll that tool out to all Principals.  He remarked that we will continue the support of learning for technology in all schools.

Superintendent Labrie commented on the ITS project evaluations, as follows:

  • Evaluates five key areas:
  •         ICT is used to enhance student learning
  •         ICT is an integral aspect of teaching
  •         ICT professional support is ongoing
  •         ICT planning, budgeting and evaluation are key organizational activities
  • ICT use is supported by collaborative efforts.
Superintendent Labrie stated that in each of the areas, we have a continuum that assesses:

  •         Exploring Uses of ICT
  •         Expanding Uses of ICT
  •         Extending Uses of ICT
Superintendent Labrie reported on ITS Project Evaluations, as follows:

  • Rubric has been shared with pilot schools;
  • They will be working with staff to complete in the short term;
  • ITS/Program Team will monitor feedback and modify tool as necessary; and
  • Tool will be shared with all schools/Principals to utilize when implementing ITS projects.
        Superintendent Labrie commented on ITS Key Learnings, as follows:

  • Mobility of the technology is key;
  • A robust infrastructure must be in place to support the technology; and
  • One size does not fit all – key to effective projects is local input in the planning process.
Superintendent Labrie commented on the current project status, as follows:

  • Pervasive Wireless
  • Completing final two secondary schools now (QECVI and KCVI);
  • Have also completed three elementary schools, in addition to the two new schools;
  • Will progress through remaining elementary schools, as budget allows; and
  • Have deployed 600 wireless access points (wap), and expect to deploy at least 200 more to complete the project.
        Manager Toms commented on the deployment of Microsoft Active Directory Services, as follows, noting that the directory service will allow us to know who everyone is:

  •         Have deployed in 27 sites;
  •         Continuing with elementary sites first;
  •         Working in project teams to support each school;
  •         Expect to have all schools complete by the start of the 2013-2014 school year; and
  •         Project will support infrastructure for remaining projects in the ITS Plan.
        Chair Brown thanked Superintendent Labrie and Manager Toms for providing the above-noted information.

2013-2014 School Year Calendar – Strategic Plan Reference: Item 3.7.1(e)

        Mr. Burra reviewed an administrative report that provides an update on the 2013-2014 School Year Calendar.  He advised that he had met with Limestone stakeholders on February 14, 2013, for them to provide input into the 2013-2014 School Year Calendar.  He reported that the stakeholders represented Trustees (Trustee Ruttan), parents (School Council Liaison Committee (PIC) co-chairs), unions, federations, non-union groups, Human Resources, and administrators.  Mr. Burra advised that there was very little open for discussion with the calendar for this year, indicating that for the 2013-2014 school year, the Ministry has stipulated that October 11, 2013, December 20, 2013, and March 7, 2014 are unpaid, non-school PA days; two other PA days must be allocated for elementary reporting; and therefore, there is only one PA day that is discretionary, in terms of placement in the calendar.  

        Mr. Burra stated that ETFO prefers to have the two elementary reporting PA days in mid to late January, and towards the end of May.  He indicated that in February 2013, LDSB School Councils and parents, as well as community partners (day cares, municipalities, Public Health, Business Associations, etc.) were invited to provide survey input to himself.  He indicated that this year, we received almost 300 survey responses.  Three of the responses came from community partners.  He said that the vast majority of survey respondents liked the calendar for 2012-2013 and did not have concerns.  However, a small number of respondents expressed concern about the placement of the May PA day, which has been placed on the Friday of the same week as the Victoria Day holiday.  Mr. Burra said that this PA day needs to be scheduled at the end of May to meet contractual arrangement for elementary reporting.  The placement of a PA day on May 23 is well placed for elementary teachers, in terms of reporting and not taking away one day from the Grade 3 and Grade 6 EQAO testing “window” that begins the following week.

        Mr. Burra indicated that the placement of the one discretionary PA day for 2013-2014 is still undecided.  He further indicated that it may be placed in the fall or on the last day of school, June 27.  He said that this decision is still in process between each of the boards and their internal stakeholders.  He advised that both LDSB teacher unions have requested that this PA day be placed on June 27, to allow teachers to complete year-end responsibilities and graduations.  Mr. Burra reported that the dilemma with this placement is that it eliminates the only opportunity for an elementary PA day focused on professional learning during the 2013-2014 school year.  He advised that the placement of the January PA day on January 30 or January 31 will be dependent on the placement of one discretionary PA day.  Mr. Burra stated that Semester 1 runs from September 3, 2013 to January 30, 2014 inclusive.  Semester 2 runs from January 31, 2014 to June 27, 2014 inclusive.  Each semester consists of 97 schools days – three PA days and 94 instructional days.

        Mr. Burra stated that usually school starts in Ontario the day after Labour Day.  For 2013-2014, Labour Day falls on September 2nd, providing 194 school days from September 3, 2013 to June 27, 2014 inclusive.  If days are scheduled before September 1 or after June 30, or the December and/or March Breaks deviate from the Ministry template, approval from the Board for a modified calendar must be submitted to the Ministry of Education prior to March 1.

        Mr. Burra advised that he is recommending that the Trustees of the Limestone District School Board receive the 2013-2014 School Year-Calendar update as presented with the Ministry template for 2013-2014.  He indicated that with ongoing consultation, a revised version may replace the current proposed calendar prior to the March 6, 2013 Board meeting, and as a result, it is anticipated that a final report and proposed calendar will be brought to Trustees at the March Board meeting.  However, it may need to be for the April Board meeting.  Mr. Burra said that the other boards within Tri-Board plan to take the 2013-2014 School Year Calendar to their Trustees at their March Board meeting; however, their Board meeting is being held later in March.

Private Session

        MOVED BY Trustee Beavis, that the Education/Human Resources Committee recess to Private Session.–Carried

Public Session

        MOVED BY Trustee Beavis, that the Education/Human Resources Committee recess to Public Session.–Carried

Future Agenda Items

Chair Brown reviewed the future agenda items for the 2012-2013 Education and Human Resources Committee meetings, as follows:

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

Chair Brown indicated that the following unscheduled topics, raised at the Trustee Retreat, were suggested as a possible agenda items:

  • Parent Engagement  QECVI Family of Schools Pilot Project
  • The 4th R
Trustee Murray indicated that she would like further information provided about the roll out of the pervasive wireless at a future Education/Human Resources Committee meeting.
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.

Next Meeting Date

The next meeting of the Education/Human Resources Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, March 20, 2013, at 4:30 p.m


MOVED BY Trustee Goodfellow, that the meeting adjourn at 6:15 p.m.–Carried


2013-2014 School Year Calendar

        Mr. Burra provided further information with regard to the 2013-2014 School Year Calendar as it relates to the current labour situation.

Public Session

        MOVED BY Trustee Beavis, that the Education/Human Resources Committee recess to Public Session.–Carried