Board Message - April 24, 2020

Limestone Learning Foundation
Board Message - April 24, 2020
Posted on 04/24/2020
Image of Message from Board graphic

As you know, like all school boards across Ontario, operations at the Limestone District School Board have been significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are encouraged that the communities in our large district are following public health recommendations and helping to slow the spread of this terrible virus.

We extend our thanks to our students and families for their patience and understanding as the board developed its contingency plans to support emergency remote learning while ensuring student health, safety, and well-being. We would also like to offer our most sincere gratitude to our board and school staff who have gone above and beyond to offer learning opportunities in this new environment. Their focus on wellness during these stressful and uncertain times is paramount and we applaud them for their ongoing efforts to support every student and staff member while balancing their own personal responsibilities.

For now, we await direction from the Premier and the Ministry of Education on school and board operations going forward. In the meantime, the work of the Board of Trustees continues albeit in a more streamlined way. We suspended our March Board and Education, Policy & Operations Committee Meetings and moved items to future agendas to allow central staff to focus on the immediate needs of students and a move toward remote learning.

During the extended closure, the Board of Trustees has continued its work requiring decision virtually via telephone, email, and video conference.

We are pleased that the Council of Trustees’ Associations and the provincial government have now reached tentative agreements with all employee groups following a tentative agreement with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation last week. We now have agreements with all our teacher and education worker unions providing much need stability to the education sector. We thank everyone for their patience and understanding throughout this process.

The Board trialed its first virtual meeting earlier this week with our first scheduled Budget Meeting for the 2020-2021 school year, and the regularly scheduled Special Education Advisory Committee. Thanks to the hard work of Information Technology and Senior Staff, members of the public were able to observe the meeting discussion and materials through an online platform. This was a definite learning curve for most of our Trustees and likely some members of the public. We will continue to use this same platform for remaining Board and Committee meetings and ask for your continued patience as we refine processes going forward.

Trustees received feedback from the public on their areas of priority for the upcoming school year (which will be shared soon) to assist with budget planning. Budget meetings will continue for the next few months as originally scheduled. Recruitment for the selection of new Director of Education to succeed retiring Director Debra Rantz is ongoing. Finally, the Board also approved a new logo concept for the Limestone District School Board in early March – a final piece to our strategic planning work. We will see staff begin to roll out this new brand over the coming months.

We encourage you to stay connected by visiting the Board website and social media feeds which are updated regularly. Again, thank you for your support and understanding during these difficult times. Please take every precaution to keep yourselves, your families, and our communities safe and well.

Limestone District School Board of Trustees

March 23, 2020 Message from the Chair

    

The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.