March 28, 2012
A meeting of the Property/Operations Committee was held at Bath Public School, 247~Church Street, Bath, on Wednesday, March 28, 2012, at 5:30~p.m.
D. Jackson, Chair
D. Fowler, Manager of Facility Services
J. Stinson, Principal, Bath/Amherst Island P.S.
R. Richard, Superintendent of Business Services
W. Toms, Manager, ITS and Planning Officer
D. Kirkpatrick, Recording Secretary
Joanne Stinson, Principal at Bath and Amherst Island Public Schools, conducted a tour of Bath Public School. She thanked Committee members for holding their meeting at the school.
Chair Jackson thanked Ms. Stinson for hosting the meeting at the school and for conducting the tour of the school.
Ms. Stinson withdrew from the meeting.
Chair Jackson called the meeting to order, welcoming those present to the meeting. He reported that regrets were received from Trustee Chadwick.
Approval of Agenda
Chair Jackson advised that he had distributed an article, “On education, Liberals ignore Drummond’s recommendation” from the March 27, 2012 edition of The Ottawa Citizen, which he would bring forward under the Other Business section of the agenda.
Trustee Ruttan requested that an item regarding school playground equipment be brought forward at a future meeting. Chair Jackson indicated that this item could be brought forward this evening, under the Other Business section of the agenda.
MOVED BY Trustee Goodfellow, that the agenda, as amended, be approved.–Carried
Information with Respect to Wi Fi in Schools
Manager Toms reported that a presentation on the potential impact of Wi Fi in schools was provided at the February Education/Human Resources Committee meeting.
Manager Toms advised that since that meeting, a colleague of his from the Upper Canada DSB had received correspondence from the Medical Officer of Health, Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit indicating that Public Health Ontario has completed a research review of the potential impact of Wi-Fi in schools, and its conclusion was that:
“Wi-Fi exposures are not only well within recommended limits, but are only a small fraction (less than 1%) of what is received during typical use of cell phones. For this reason much of the research on possible effects of radio frequency (RF) energy has been focused, and will likely continue to focus, on exposures from cell phones rather than the lower exposures associated with RF uses such as Wi-Fi.”
“RF exposures to the public, including school children, from Wi-Fi are far lower than occur with cell phone use and to date there is no plausible evidence that would indicate current public exposures to Wi-Fi are causing adverse effects on health.”
Manager Toms stated that he has been in contact with Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health. He stated that he is hopeful that a similar letter may be forthcoming from Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health.
Status of New School Construction in Kingston and Greater Napanee
Manager Fowler provided an update regarding the status of the new school construction for Southview Public School in Greater Napanee, and for École Sir John A. Macdonald Public School in Kingston East, sharing a slide show of the construction to date. He reported that both projects are on target for completion at this time.
Manager Fowler reported that the tender for the construction of the new school in Sharbot Lake should go out at the end of April. He indicated that after the tender has been awarded, the successful firm will likely start bringing in crews to prepare the property, and then the groundbreaking would likely occur a couple of weeks after the property has been prepared. He said that we are working with the municipality to get the permits finalized and in place at this time.
Superintendent Richard reminded Trustees that if the tenders come in over budget, then we would have to go back to the Ministry for approval. He said that there could be delays if we have to wait for further Ministry approval or building permit(s) approval(s).
Manager Fowler reported that we are preparing a pre-qualification for general contractors tender. He said that once this has been done, a tender for the construction of the addition at Sydenham High School will go out, and that should be during the next couple of weeks.
Discussion re: Partnerships
Chair Jackson indicated that the matter of partnerships came up at an Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee. He commented on sustainable partnerships, noting that the Board does have general guidelines.
Trustee Goodfellow suggested that this discussion be held at the Trustee Retreat or a future Committee of the Whole Board meeting.
Trustee Ruttan suggested that Trustees review the current guidelines and build on them, noting that some language about partnerships should be included in the guidelines.
Superintendent Richard stated that it is very difficult to discuss a partnership, until someone comes forward with a specific idea for a partnership. He indicated that is why in the PARC recommendations we include the wording “if financially viable”. He advised that if someone has an idea about a partnership, the Board will ask what money that organization is bringing to support a partnership. He indicated that many organizations would like to have a partnership with the Board, but they do not have funds to support a financially viable and sustainable partnership.
Trustee Ruttan commented on the recent OPSBA Eastern Region meeting that she attended where a discussion about partnerships with larger corporations, such as an IT partnership with Microsoft, was discussed.
Trustee French commented on the correspondence Director Hunter has sent inviting organizations to partner with the Board.
Information Technology Services
Manager Toms provided an ITS update, as follows:
Request for Proposal (RFP) for Technology
We have completed the evaluation of the OECM RFP and have decided that we will issue our own RFP. This will happen over the next six months, due to the number of purchasing processes currently underway.
We have had good response to other requests for purchasing. A Server Request For Tender was awarded to Dell last week, and costs were very aggressive. It is hoped that the remaining quotes for services (management software infrastructure and wireless authentication) will also be aggressively priced.
Ontario Secondary School Literacy (OSSLT) Coverage
ITS staff have been working closely with Educational Services staff to ensure those who need Assistive Technology when writing the OSSLT (tomorrow) will be fully supported. Mark Ryan from Educational Services has been working with Kurzweil and the schools to ensure we are ready. A plan is in place for trouble call escalation should anything happen.
Chair Jackson thanked Manager Toms for providing the above-noted information.
Tri-Board Student Transportation Services
Superintendent Richard reported that things are going very well at Tri-Board Student Transportation Services
Chair Jackson thanked Superintendent Richard for providing the above-noted information.
Manager Fowler reported that the Board is moving forward with the full day kindergarten classroom additions at Centennial Public School (three classrooms), Bayridge Public School (one classroom), Harrowsmith Public School (one classroom) and Cataraqui Woods Elementary School (one classroom), indicating that they should be ready for the end of August 2012. He indicated that the architects for the projects are working closely with the municipalities on the plans. He said that the Board wants to have construction completed for the September school opening.
Manager Fowler indicated that we are in the process of doing a pre-qualification of general contractors for these projects as well.
Manager Fowler commented on Earth Hour, and reported that thus far 26 schools are on board to turn off their lights to conserve energy. He said that Facility Services has committed to each school involved, to provide the projected amount of energy they will conserve in doing so. He indicated that they have partnered with The Kingston Whig-Standard to make them aware of the schools that will be participating.
Chair Jackson thanked Manager Fowler for providing the above-noted information.
Article from The Ottawa Citizen
Trustee Jackson distributed an article, “On education Liberals ignore Drummond’s recommendations” from the March 27, 2012 edition of The Ottawa Citizen, which refers to the Ontario government’s latest budget, for Trustee information.
School Playground Equipment
Trustee Ruttan suggested that all information regarding school playground equipment resources be kept in one document, with the document being linked on the Board’s website so that School Councils have access to the information.
Manager Fowler reported that information about school playground equipment is being put together in one package and that it will be provided to School Councils each year. He said that this information will also be posted on the Board’s website.
Track Facility at the Invista Centre
Chair Jackson advised that the opening of the Track Facility at the Invista Centre is being held on April 3, 2012, at 4:30 p.m., at the Invista Centre on Gardiners Road.
MOVED BY Trustee French, that the Property/Operations Committee recess to Private Session.–Carried
MOVED BY Trustee Brown, that the Property/Operations Committee recess to Public Session.–Carried
Next Meeting Date
The next meeting of the Property/Operations Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, April 25, 2012, at 5:30 p.m. The location is to be determined.
MOVED BY Trustee Crawford, that the meeting adjourn at 8:25 p.m.–Carried
Superintendent Richard provided an update to Trustees regarding a legal matter.
Disposal of Sandhurst Public School
Committee members reviewed an administrative report regarding the disposal of Sandhurst Public School.
MOVED BY Trustee Goodfellow, the Property/Operations Committee recommends to the Board:
1. That the Limestone District School Board hereby confirms that the Sandhurst Public School site is not required for the purposes of the Board; and
2. That the Board approve the sale of the Sandhurst Public School site in accordance with Ministry of Education regulations including, but not limited to, Ontario Regulation 444/98 – Disposition of Surplus Real Property.
Superintendent Richard provided an update regarding a property matter.
MOVED BY Trustee Brown, that the Property/Operations Committee recess to Public Session.–Carried