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May 22, 2013 - Education/Human Resources Committee Minutes
Education/Human Resources Committee
May 22, 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, May 22, 2013, at 4:30 p.m.
Present Trustees:
H. Brown, Chair
G. Beavis
A. Goodfellow
D. Jackson
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
D. Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary     
Chair Brown called the meeting to order, welcoming those present to the meeting.  She reported that regrets were received from Trustee Chadwick.

Approval of Agenda                                                                              

        Chair Brown advised that Superintendent Fraser-Stiff would provide an update on combined classes under the “Other Business” section of the agenda.

        Mr. Burra advised that he would provide information on the City of Kingston Youth Engagement Strategy that he has taken part in.  He indicated that he could provide a copy of the strategy that he and others have been working with, as well as the group the City of Kingston has hired to do some of the work.

MOVED BY Trustee Ruttan, that the agenda, as amended, be approved.–Carried

Climate Surveys 2011-2012 (Strategic Plan Reference:  Item 2.1.4g)

        Mr. Burra provided information about the 2011-2012 School Climate Data, 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.  Then they can plan, act, and observe/monitor.
  • Improving a school’s climate results in increased achievement by creating supportive conditions for learning (DeWit, McKee, Fjeld, & Karioa –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 behavior
Climate Surveys

  • 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 the homophobia, gender-based violence, and sexual harassment
  • Results must be shared with the Safe Schools Team.  Schools should also share results with school council and the school staff
  • School Climate Data must be incorporated into School Improvement Plans

  • Biographical Information
  • Safety
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Bullying/Harassment
  • Relationships
Tell Them From Me for Grades 4-12 (Fall 2011 and Spring 2012)

Three Surveys

  • Elementary:     Grades 4-6      
  • Intermediate:   Grades 7-8
  • Secondary:      Grades 9-12
Communication with parents/guardians occurs prior to administration and parents/guardians may choose to have their child not participate.

        Mr. Burra shared the Bully-Victim Results for LDSB, the Safety at School Results for LDSB, and the Student with a Positive Sense of Belonging results for LDSB for the 2011-2012 school year.

        Mr. Burra reviewed the School Safety Initiatives for 2012-2013, as follows:

  • Education/Human Resources Report from January 2013
  • Commitment to Yearly School Climate Surveys
  • Safe and Healthy School Teams and School Improvement Planning
  • Safe Schools Training for Administrators and School teams (April/May 2013)
  • Continued Emphasis on Restorative Practices (MEND)
  • Collaborative Problem Solving (Dr. Ross Greene)
  • Bullying Awareness, Prevention/Intervention Strategies with A Whole School Approach
  • Equity and Inclusion Initiatives
  • Mental Health Supports
  • Accepting Schools Act – Education/Human Resources Report from November 2012
Mr. Burra reviewed information with regard to School Climate Surveys 2013-2014, as follows:

  • Accepting Schools Act (Bill 13) requires School Climate Surveys for Parents and School Staff
  • Bill 13 also requires the incorporation of school climate data into the school improvement plan and the board improvement plan in support of student achievement
  • Schools may complete two snapshots (fall and spring)
  • Continue to encourage schools to use the surveys as the start of a conversation with students and parents
Chair Brown thanked Mr. Burra for providing the above-noted information.

Sharbot Lake High School Math Pilot Project (Strategic Plan Reference: Items 1.1.1-1.1.3)

        Superintendent Marsh provided a brief description of the Math Pilot Project at Sharbot Lake High School.  She reported that Grade 9 students are enrolled in Grade 9 Academic Math and take it over the full year.  She said that students who have gaps in Math learning have an opportunity to spend time with a Math teacher on alternate days to close the gap they have in their Math skills.

        Superintendent Marsh reported that in January, those students who have been doing every day Math have an opportunity to decide whether they want to stay in Academic Math, where they do Math every day with their Math teacher.  She said that after January, for those students who decide they do not want to stay in Academic Math, they can take Grade 9 Applied Math in February to get their Math credit.

        Superintendent Marsh stated that we have been doing a lot of research.  She indicated that only 28% of students who access Grade 9 Applied Math go on to apprenticeships. She said that when we started to look at student achievement in Grade 9 Math and track back, we found students who have similar learning profiles and who have some gaps in the Grade 6 assessment and in high school do better in Academic Math than their peers in Applied Math.  She said that we want them to choose their Math course type based on experience of the curriculum.

        Superintendent Marsh stated that the project is for September 2013.

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

School Effectiveness Network Website (Strategic Plan Reference: Item 1.1.1-1.1.3)

        Superintendent Marsh advised that during our pause in professional development over the fall, the Program Team consultants worked on how to provide individual professional learning for teachers interested.  She said that the School Effectiveness Framework is a Ministry document that frames what effective classrooms look like, and the elements of effective classrooms.  She said that the website is intended to support the work of facilitators of professional learning in our schools.  Superintendent Marsh demonstrated how the School Effectiveness Network website works.

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


        Chair Brown advised that at the April 10, 2013 Board Meeting, the following correspondence was referred to the Education/Human Resources Committee:

        From Rita Collver, Chair, and David Dean, Vice-Chair, Grand Erie District School Board, a copy of a letter addressed to The Honourable Liz Sandals, Minister of Education, dated March 19, 2013, requesting that the government rescind Regulation 274/12 Hiring Practices.  Also included was a letter addressed to the Minister of Education, dated October 2, 2012, requesting that the Minister of Education rescind Regulation 274/12.

        Following discussion, the following motion was brought forward:

        MOVED BY Trustee Jackson, that staff draft a letter with regard to the Limestone District School Board’s concerns with regard to Regulation 274/12 Hiring Practices.–Carried

Future Topics

        Trustee Jackson requested that further information concerning the Learning Strategies course be brought forward to a future meeting.

Other Business

Combined Grades

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff stated that earlier this year, members of the Education/Human Resources Committee discussed the need to have Limestone DSB information for parents who had questions about combined grades (also known as split grades).  She indicated that staff took questions and put the answers into a fact sheet for parents, noting that this information has been attached to the Board’s website, and the website is now live.

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff stated that the fact sheet and website also provide links to addition resources and research for parents.

        Superintendent Fraser-Stiff advised that this information has been sent to elementary schools, suggesting that they may wish to include this information on the school’s website.

City of Kingston Youth Engagement Strategy

        Mr. Burra said that this item is related to a project in which the City of Kingston engaged in the fall of 2011.  He advised that there were a whole range of community partners involved, including the Limestone DSB, who provided a voice for Kingston youth within the confines of the City of Kingston.   Mr. Burra advised that he was the Limestone DSB’s representative on the committee.  He said that we had approximately 100 students, at one point or another in the process, involved in the Student Voice vision of the City of Kingston survey.  He said that a document was created and the recommendations from the committee would be presented to City Council.

        Mr. Burra advised that the recommendations focused on:

1.      Youth Voice
2.      Programs and Opportunities including safety in the community, youth friendly services, Health and Wellness.

        Mr. Burra indicated that we have been supportive of the project.

        MOVED BY Trustee Jackson, that the City of Kingston Youth Engagement Strategy be tabled to a future Committee of the Whole Board or Board meeting for a decision on endorsement.–Carried.

Next Meeting Date

The next meeting of the Education/Human Resources Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, September 18, 2013, at 4:30 p.m


MOVED BY Trustee Murray, that the meeting adjourn at 5:45 p.m.–Carried