Education/Human Resources Committee
March 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, March 20, 2013, at 4:30 p.m.
H. Brown, Chair
R. Holmes, Supervising Principal
A. Labrie, Superintendent of Human Resources
S. Lehman, Supervising Principal
N. Marsh, Superintendent of Education
A. McDonnell, Supervising Principal
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 Ruttan.
Declaration of Conflict of Interest
No Trustee declared a conflict of interest.
Approval of Agenda
MOVED BY Trustee Goodfellow, that the agenda, as distributed, be approved.–Carried
Board Leadership Development Strategy (Strategic Plan Reference: Item 3.6)
Supervising Principal Holmes provided an overview of the Board Leadership Development Strategy. He indicated that Board leadership development began as a mentoring program for administrators six years ago. He advised that the Limestone DSB was one of six pilot boards in Ontario. He stated that following the implementation of the mentoring program, a Principal Performance Appraisal was introduced, indicating that following that, the strategy became much larger.
Mr. Holmes reported that the Ministry of Education identified certain areas for Board leadership development, and indicated that now a goal has been set with regard to Board leadership development.
Mr. Holmes provided the following information with regard to the Board Leadership Development Strategy:
Recruiting and Selecting Leaders
- Number of candidates ready to meet current and future demands;
- Diversity of candidates;
- Positions filled with qualified candidates;
- Candidates ready to assume the leadership roles demonstrate the practices and personal leadership resources set out in the Ontario Leadership Framework (OLF);
- Successful candidates have participated in and benefitted from professional learning opportunities made available to aspiring leaders;
- Recruitment processes are fair, equitable, inclusive and transparent; and
- Leadership roles are viewed as fulfilling, attractive, and effectively supported.
Mr. Holmes advised that the main areas of the School-Level Leadership are: Setting Directions, Building Relationships and Developing People, Developing the Organization to Support Desired Practices, Improving the Instructional Program, and Securing Accountability. He further advised that Personal Leadership Resources include: Cognitive Resources, Social Resources and Psychological Resources.
Placing and Transferring Leaders
- System leaders consider transfer and placement process to be fair, equitable, inclusive, transparent and effectively communicated;
- Effective school leaders remain in schools for significant periods of time (5 to 7 years);
- School improvement and whole-district improvement efforts have been enhanced by changes in district leadership;
- Schools that are most in need of improvement have benefitted from effective transfer and placement decisions; and
- Transfer and placement decisions have successfully matched leader strengths to school needs across the district.
- Leaders feel supported, confident and connected to their colleagues;
- Aspiring leaders are confident in their ability to assume leadership roles;
- Mentoring is embedded in the culture of the district;
- Mentoring process is found to be rewarding and mutually beneficial;
- Equity and inclusive education are embedded in professional learning;
- Learning, training and development opportunities are helping to support Annual Growth and Performance Plan;
- Relationship between system and school leaders is collaborative and highly interactive;
- Shared sense of responsibility for district improvement among school leaders;
- School leaders facilitate collaborative work among staff to improve the quality of instruction in their schools;
- High retention rate for newly appointed school and system leaders;
- School leaders are knowledgeable about the quality of instruction in their schools and are implementing effective strategies for instructional improvement;
- Culture of professional accountability, grounded in a commitment to school improvement;
- System and school leadership are able to describe their professional growth; and
- Achievement and well-being of all students is core to decision making.
Providing Coordinated Support for Leaders
- Central office departments collaborate to support school improvement goals and the Board Improvement Plan Student Achievement (BIPSA);
- District efforts to buffer school leaders from distractions and to keep external demands to a minimum;
- Working relationship between the district and representatives of Principals’ Associations is positive and supportive; and
- Performance appraisal process is fair, equitable and inclusive.
2012-2013 Board Leadership Development Strategy Goals
1. Our school and system leaders will improve their capacity in proactively monitoring progress in student learning as identified in School and Board Improvement Plans.
- Focus on professional learning (mentoring, District Principal Meetings, and Elementary/Secondary Principal Meetings, etc.);
- Mentoring and Professional Learning Teams; and
- Board Improvement Plan Student Achievement (BIPSA) and School Improvement Plan Student Achievement (SIPSA).
2. Our school and system leaders will use a consistent and authentic process for creation, support and monitoring of annual growth plans.
- Annual Growth Plan (AGP) tied into BIPSA and SIPSA;
- Support from supervisor; and
- Mentoring Program.
Chair Brown thanked Mr. Holmes for providing the above-noted information.
Alternative and Continuing Education (Strategic Plan Reference: Item 1.1.1h)
Supervising Principal Lehman stated that it was his pleasure to speak to Trustees about the Board’s alternative education sites and the Board’s continuing education programs. He provided the following information:
- Limestone DSB alternative and continuing education programs meet a wide variety of ongoing educational needs of students who are under the age of 21 years, and adult students who are 21 years of age or older. Many of these students have been out of school for an extended period of time.
- Some students and adults who attend our alternative programs experience complex challenges in their lives, and the alternative setting is of key importance in supporting them in their successful completion of secondary school diploma.
Meeting the Needs of Students through Alternative and Continuing Education
- Designed to assist students who learn better in a small group environment or who have anxiety challenges;
- Many students who attend alternative sites require a fresh start;
- Provides greater flexibility for students who cannot attend daily or who like to work on one course for an extended period of time; and
- Supports our Reengagement Strategy.
Mr. Lehman advised of the alternative sites in LDSB, as follows: Amherstview Learning Centre, Bayridge Learning Centre, Gateway, Hilltop, Limestone School of Continuing Education, North Addington Alternative Learning Centre, Revive, Second Chance, Sharbot Lake Alternative Learning Centre, and Streetsmart. He indicated that the information provided includes the name of the alternative site, its address, and the high school to which the site is connected.
Mr. Lehman reviewed the 2010-2012 enrolment for the alternative sites in Limestone DSB.
Mr. Lehman provided information related to alternative site programming, as follows:
- Each site employs a continuous learning intake model.
- Students are able to work on courses throughout the entire school year and are not impacted by semester timelines.
- All sites offer Independent Learning Courses (students work at their own pace with the support of a staff member at the site).
- Each Independent Learning Centre consists of 20 lessons, a mid-term exam and a final summative or an exam.
- Independent Learning Centres support the facilitation of a variety of courses in one site.
- Few sites offer courses where learning is facilitated directly by a teacher.
- Some sites are beginning to use a blended learning approach to courses through the Ministry of Education’s D2L Learning Management System.
- Assistive Technology (Kurzweil) is being used more frequently by staff and students at alternative sites.
- Most sites have a cooperative education component connected that assists with “experiential” learning.
- In some situations, students are involved in paid cooperative education.
- Each site is “distinct” in culture.
- Limestone School of Community Education (LSCE) tends to serve more newcomers to Canada who are seeking employment skills through upgrading and English as a Second Language.
- Streetsmart supports more youth ages 16-20 years.
- Second Chance has a mixture of students under and over 21 years of age.
- Revive supports students who are aged 14-16 years, who have not been as successful in their transition to high school.
Mr. Lehman provided information about the Teacher Assisted Self-Study Program, as follows:
- The Teacher Assisted Self Student Program (TASS) is offered on Wednesday evenings at Calvin Park Public School for students who are close to graduation and cannot obtain a specific credit at their home school.
- It is also offered on Tuesday evening in Napanee at Gateway.
Mr. Lehman displayed some advertisements the Board has around our non-credit programs, providing information about the Non-Credit programs. He also provided information about the Literacy Basic Skills Program, as follows:
- Instructors support Gateway, Hilltop, Second Chance, and LC-Limestone Education Centre;
- Prepares learners to successfully transition to secondary credit programs and/or college, independence or the workplace;
- Funded by Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.
Mr. Lehman provided information about the International Language Programs, as follows:
- International Languages for elementary aged children;
- Currently offer Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Bengali, Farsi, Urdu, and Korean;
- Free to all elementary children. Some classes are run off site while the rest take place at the former Calvin Park building;
- Classes are 2.5 hours in length and take place weekday evenings and Saturday morning;
- Approximately 26 instructors and over 200 students participate in International Language classes.
Mr. Lehman provided information about the English as a Second Language program, as follows:
- Focus is on grammar, reading, writing, listening, speaking, pronunciation, conversation;
- Supports individuals at the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels of ESL;
- Funded by Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.
Mr. Lehman reported that interest programs support healthy and active living, and that they are based on the community needs and interests in the Napanee area.
Mr. Lehman provided information about the Continuing Education Non-Credit programs, as follows:
- Soft Skills Language Instruction – assists newcomers to Canada with employability skills through work placement.
- Academic Upgrading – English, Mathematics and Computer Training.
Mr. Lehman provided information about the CanPlace program, as follows:
- Connecting Canadian workplaces with International Talent.
- LSCE is hosting a symposium in May 2013, in order to bring together employers and internationally trained immigrants.
- CanPlace is connected with the Board’s Workplace ESL program.
- Students who successfully complete the Workplace ESL program are placed with an employer on an unpaid work placement experience. (Also partnered with our credit program co-op teacher).
- Funded by Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.
Mr. Lehman stated that with regard to post-secondary preparation courses, Limestone Community Education and St. Lawrence College are working together to provide unique learning opportunities to the Kingston community through free on-line courses.
Mr. Lehman provided information about the Personal Support Worker (PSW) Program, as follows:
- Students can earn dual “diplomas” by completing their OSSD while working to obtain a PWS diploma or certificate.
- It is taught by a qualified teacher and registered nurse and a co-op teacher.
- There are two nurses hired on contact to oversee the facility placements.
PSW Enhancement Training
- The participants are professionals working in the PSW field who have been sent to the training by their employer for further professional learning.
- We offer six levels of training that a participant can move through.
- Experts from each topic are accessed to facilitate the training.
Supervising Principal Lehman stated that the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) program is available at all alternative sites and continuing education sites. He said that he reviewed information about PLAR at the last Education/Human Resources Committee meeting, and therefore, would not present information about it at this evening’s meeting.
Chair Brown thanked Mr. Lehman for providing the above-noted information.
Mental Health Initiatives (Strategic Plan Reference: Item 2.1.5)
Supervising Principal McDonnell distributed information outlining the mental health initiatives in which the Board is currently engaged. She indicated that she presented information about mental health initiatives at the Education/Human Resources Committee one year ago. She said that we are now in year two of Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, noting that four different Ministries are involved in the strategy: Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Ministry of Youth and Children Services, and Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
Ms. McDonnell provided information about the Mental Health Leaders initiative, noting that over the last two years when this initiative was rolled out, 15 boards hired mental health leaders in the first year of the strategy, and 15 other boards hired mental health leaders this year. She indicated that the remainder of the boards will receive funding to hire mental health leaders in 2013-2014. She indicated that Limestone DSB was not one of those first boards. She reported that the intent of the Ministry is to provide funding on an annual basis, and that it will be rolled into the GSNs.
Ms. McDonnell provided information about the Friends for Life pilot program, noting that it was introduced in four elementary schools last year, and now it has been expanded to 10 elementary schools. She said that this program is a research-based project and is in collaboration with Hotel Dieu Hospital
Ms. McDonnell indicated that the program was targeted to all students in the identified classrooms. Students learn to recognize what stress or anxiety feels like, and then use the strategies they have been taught to problem solve and develop a coping plan.
Ms. McDonnell stated that a Student Support Counsellor leads the training. She said that they run 10 sessions. She said that the classroom teacher does not run the program, but they have an important role in working with the Student Support Counsellor.
Ms. McDonnell advised that in the secondary panel, Dr. Stan Kutcher’s Grade 9 Mental Health Curriculum was introduced three years ago, with three schools participating. She said that the curriculum was then expanded to five schools, and this year every secondary school in LDSB is participating. She said that we wanted teachers who teach Grade 9 Phys. Ed. classes to have an understanding of the signs and symptoms of mental illness. Ms. McDonnell reported that training has focused on how to respond to students who come forward with concerns, and how to provide them and their family with an appropriate pathway to services. She indicated that training was provided by Dr. Stan Kutcher, Dr. Nasreen Roberts, Dr. Kevin Parker, Pathways for Children and Youth, and Limestone DSB staff.
Ms. McDonnell stated that staff in each secondary school has also been trained in “Go To Educator” Training. She indicated that training was provided to staff members who students naturally “go to” when they have concerns. She commented that training was provided by Dr. Kevin Parker, Queen’s University and Limestone DSB Educational Services staff. She remarked that training consisted of appropriate responses to student mental health concerns and appropriate referral pathways.
Ms. McDonnell reported that upcoming Suicide Prevention and Intervention training will be provided. She said that the Ministry is providing funding to school boards. She said that the Limestone DSB is partnering with the Hastings-Prince Edward DSB, and the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic DSB.
Ms. McDonnell provided information about Pathways Mental Health Workers in Schools, noting that the Limestone DSB and the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic DSB have received funding from the Ministry to hire 2.7 Mental Health Workers to service all LDSB and ALCDSB secondary schools. She said that in the Limestone DSB, we have a partnership with Pathways for Children and Youth to have a Pathways Mental Health Worker in each of our schools, from .5 to a maximum of one day a week. She indicated that there is a clear process at the school level to make a referral for a Pathways Mental Health Worker.
Ms. McDonnell provided information about Mental Health and Addictions Nurses, noting that we have a partnership with the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC). She said that CCAC received funding through the Ministry of Health to hire a 1.0 Mental Health and Addictions Nurse to support the development of school board mental health strategies.
Ms. McDonnell reported that the KFL&A Service Collaborative will focus on mental health service delivery for transitional age youth, indicating that this is a new initiative. She advised that service collaboratives involve a group of community partners coming together to discuss what they see as a precise need in the community, and to identify a way that need will be addressed.
Ms. McDonnell stated that School Mental Health ASSIST is provided to all school boards, noting that this initiative is in its infancy. She said that a website has been developed that allows school boards to access webinars for mental health. A resource guide is being developed that documents particular mental health concerns, strategies, and pathways. She said that document should be released in the spring of 2013, and with that will come training from the Ministry around implementation.
Ms. McDonnell provided information about the Student Support Leadership Initiative, noting that it has been in place for six years. She said that it was developed for school boards to work on specific needs in the community, noting that our community includes Hastings-Prince Edward DSB and Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington. She stated that there is a KFL&A Cares Website (www.kflacares.com). She said that the website is nearing completion in May 2013. She stated that school teams across the two district school boards will come
together and have an opportunity to be introduced to the website. The website documents particular mental health concerns, symptoms and strategies. She said that the focus of training is on providing information on primary community agency support with the intent that there is no wrong pathway.
Ms. McDonnell provided information about the Working Together for Kid’s Mental Health initiative. She indicated that the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth and Children Services has provided special funding for this initiative. She indicated that this initiative consists of a pilot project including Full-Day Learning, and involves the implementation of a standardized tool for needs assessment. Ms. McDonnell advised that four of our elementary school have agreed to pilot this tool.
Chair Brown thanked Ms. McDonnell for providing the above-noted information.
Future Agenda Items
Chair Brown indicated that a presentation on Alternative sites and Continuing Education programs is normally scheduled for the April Education/Human Resources Committee meeting. However, we have had the presentation tonight, and therefore, perhaps the items scheduled for the May 22, 2013 meeting (Healthy Schools Update, and Climate Surveys 2011-2012) could be presented at the April 17, 2013 meeting.
Trustee Murray asked that information be provided with regard to examining revenue in secondary school cafeterias, as a result of the introduction of the healthy eat menu, and how the introduction of the healthy eat menu has evolved.
Mr. Lehman advised that the Ministry has asked school board teams (staff, students and parents) to attend a workshop in Ottawa with respect to healthy schools and the nutrition initiative. He indicated that the Ministry is seeking feedback around P/PM 150.
Trustee Goodfellow brought forward information concerning snacks and lunches being sent from parents for their children.
Trustee Jackson indicated that the Food Sharing Project could attend a future Education/Human Resources Committee meeting to provide information about the Food Sharing Project and to see how it might dovetail in talking to parents about the snacks and lunches they send with their children.
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, April 17, 2013, at 4:30 p.m
MOVED BY Trustee Jackson, that the meeting adjourn at 6:30 p.m.–Carried