Board Meeting Update: April 25, 2022

Board Meeting Update: April 25, 2022
Posted on 04/25/2022

This update provides a summary of the public meeting of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board held April 25, 2022, livestreamed (the recorded version will be available within 24 hours). It is an unofficial summary of the meeting; official minutes will be approved at the next regular meeting in May.

Land Acknowledgement

Mike Brant, Trustee, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, recited the Land Acknowledgement: Let us bring our minds and hearts together as one to honour and celebrate these traditional lands as a gathering place of the Huron-Wendat, Anishinabek and Haudenosaunee people. It is with deep humility that we acknowledge and offer our gratitude for their contributions to our community, having respect for all as we come together to support our students of today.

Character Moment of Reflection

At Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, Growing with Character is our intentional focus on creating safe, caring, respectful and inclusive learning environments where students develop the foundation for good character. Through Growing with Character, we model, teach and expect demonstrations of our eight character traits which are: Caring, Cooperation, Honesty, Humour, Integrity, Respect, Responsibility and Trustworthiness.

This evening Moira Gaddes, Student Trustee, Eastside Secondary School, asked all to reflect on Respect: We value ourselves, others and our environment. We give consideration to the thoughts and actions of others. We treat others as we would want to be treated ourselves, with courtesy and dignity.


Student-created Science Fair website

Two students from Centennial Secondary School, Ethan and Austin Williams, presented a website they created to engage students in the Quinte Regional Science and Technology Fair. Their efforts were connected to the Duke of Edinburgh Program, which presents bronze, silver or gold awards to students who complete actions in four categories: adventurous journey, physical activity, skills development and volunteering. Although the COVID-19 pandemic stifled traditional volunteer opportunities for Ethan and Austin, they decided to volunteer their time to create a website. It was named Quinte Science Fair Project Guide, a website for students by students. The site featured an interactive, step-by-step process to help students create a virtual science fair project-presented from a student perspective. Ethan and Austin shared website statistics: from February 1 to April 11, 2022 there were 833 new users from six continents, 24 countries, 193 cities, resulting in 4,900 clicks in three months and about two minutes per visit. The best part was unexpected promotion by astronaut Chris Hadfield through his Twitter account. Parting words of encouragement from Ethan and Austin were: never give up, pursue your passion, teamwork makes the dream work.

Thank you to Ethan and Austin Williams; Marg Thompson, Principal; Shannon Alexander, Guidance teacher.


All Welcome Here

Judith Burfoot from Prince Edward County was welcomed to the meeting. She presented data from a recent BIPOC survey of residents. The presentation included an overview of BIPOC residents in PEC; challenges identified in the survey; demographic data (age, income, employment, education); residency; time lived in PEC. The survey also asked an open-ended question inviting respondents to share if they had experienced racism in PEC. Ms. Burfoot asked Board leadership to consider taking actions to support BIPOC, including: issuing a clear statement on anti-racism; prioritizing supporting BIPOC students; providing ongoing anti-racist education for all staff; supporting student-focused BIPYC youth groups; and developing a complaint mechanism.


Board Opening/Land Acknowledgement

Board members approved a recommendation to revise the opening of the public Board meetings to remove the Character Moment of Reflection and replace it with a Land Acknowledgement that includes a small learning component.

Principal/Vice-principal Pool

Board members approved the placement of the following people into the K-12 principal and vice-principal pools:

  • Principal pool: Kerri Denyes, Angela Harvey, Duane Wiltshire
  • Vice-principal pool: MacKenzie Best Hagerman, Anne Brown, Rob Garden, Anita Halfpenny, Natalie Vader, Chatalee Rowe


Report from the Director of Education

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Letter to families on April 13, 2022 outlining steps to maintain in-person learning; pausing the use of supply staff for professional learning learning and activities that would take staff outside the learning environment; this resulted from high absences and low fill rates (supply staff).
  • Expressed appreciation to federation partners who have been supportive of moving meetings to after school hours.
  • As of today, we are seeing higher fill/supply rates, with over 60% of staff absences being filled.
  • Acknowledged that closing classes or schools is a last resort.
  • Have heard from some families about bus driver absences; we know it affects families, students and learning.
  • Announced two celebratory items:
    • $1.2 million raised by schools for the Terry Fox Foundation.
    • BRAVO! Award of Excellence presented to Kerry Donnell, Communication and Privacy Manager and supporting team, from the Canadian Association of Communicators in Education, for exemplary work on the No-Tech Newspaper Ads project.

Virtual School enrolment for 2022-2023

Based on the number of families who indicated their intent to continue their children's virtual school enrolment, HPEDSB will offer a K-8 Virtual School for the 2022-2023 school year. Due to the low secondary numbers, it is not feasible that HPEDSB offer a K-12 model. The diverse needs and low enrolment by grade and course mean that student pathways cannot be supported, nor appropriate staffing allocated to meet those diverse needs. For Grades 9-12 families who showed interest/intent in enrolling in the Virtual School, remote learning options are available through eLearning, TVO courses and in-person courses. Families will be encouraged to meet with their home school Guidance staff to establish timetables that meet the needs of students, recognizing the possibility for remote and hybrid learning experiences.

Find out more starting on page 9 of the April 25, 2022 agenda.

Single stream implementation update

In December 2021, the Ministry of Education gave direction that all Grade 9 Applied course types would be removed from the curriculum at the end of the 2021-22 school year. This direction continued the shift to a single stream that began with Grade 9 Mathematics in the current school year. The Ministry's plan to end streaming in Grade 9 is designed to keep future pathway options open for all students and to create an education system that will address systemic discrimination and help break down barriers for Indigenous, Black, and other racialized students, students who live in low-income households, and those with disabilities and other special education needs, so that all students have equitable opportunities to succeed.

To support schools to successfully implement the single stream for Grade 9 students we are:

  1. enhancing structural elements that ensure a successful transition to secondary school;
  2. taking a proactive approach to teaching that is responsive to student needs; and
  3. closely monitoring achievement and course selection data to ensure that we are successful in reaching the goals of a single stream.

Find out more starting on page 10 of the April 25, 2022 agenda.

This is Me in HPE Census update

School boards across Ontario, including HPEDSB, are completing a census with their school communities to gain a clearer understanding of the needs of their student populations and school communities. Under the Anti-Racism Act, 2017 and Ontario's Education Equity Action Plan, school boards are to collect data and report on the data they collect. The census data will help to identify and address systemic barriers to student success, close gaps in services, and guide decisions that support more equitable outcomes for all students and staff.

There were two phases to this project:

  • Phase 1, Spring 2021: Administration of the Student Census in pilot schools (Prince Edward Collegiate Institute, North Hastings High School, Harry J. Clarke Public School and Park Dale School)
  • Phase 2, Fall 2021: Administration of Staff Census with all HPEDSB staff from November 1 to 5, 2021; and administration of Student Census in all HPEDSB schools from November 15 to 19, 2021.

Next steps are to investigate options for additional data analysis to support the four priority areas from the HPEDSB Equity Action Plan and the five guiding questions from
the Board Improvement Plan; and to seek input from various stakeholder committees and groups (e.g., Equity and Inclusivity Advisory Committee, Indigenous Education Advisory Committee, Parent Involvement Committee, Special Education Advisory Committee, etc.).

Find out more starting on page 12 of the April 25, 2022 agenda.

Indigenous Education update

The Indigenous Grad Coach at North Hastings High School has resulted in improved student achievement, with a notable increase in credit accumulation among Indigenous students compared to previous years. Plans are already underway to support students who will be transitioning to high school and into Grade 7 from the feeder schools in September 2022. A pilot Intermediate Indigenous Grad Coach program is planned for Trenton High School, which has an Indigenous population of 10% of the student body.

Find out more starting on page 51 of the April 25, 2022 agenda.

Lease agreements

Cooperative and collaborative partnerships are part of the foundation of a strong, vibrant and sustainable public education system. Partnerships can strengthen the role of the schools in communities, provide a place for programs, and facilitate the coordination of, and improve access to, services for students and the broader community. HPEDSB currently has several child care partners, in addition to other partners, which have signed lease agreements for a committed period of time for use of surplus space in our facilities.

Find out more starting on page 53 of the April 25, 2022 agenda.

Report from student trustees

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • congratulations to Julie Webster, Eastside Secondary School, elected as a student trustee for the 2022-2023 school year; and
  • the deadline for applications for the Indigenous student trustee role has been extended to May 4, 2022.

Report from the Budget/Finance Committee meeting, April 19, 2022

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • review of meeting dates for next year;
  • review of projected enrolment for next year; and
  • revenue projections for next year (Grants for Student Needs).

Report from the Special Education Advisory Committee meetings, February 24 and March 24, 2022

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • special equipment amounts;
  • review of the Special Education Plan;
  • tri-board meeting in May;
  • PPM 81, provision of health support services in school settings; and
  • correspondence from Durham and Renfrew County school boards.

OPSBA Information Exchange

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • equity and diversity, particularly in the composition of Board leadership;
  • need to reflect the diversity of the community;
  • safe space ground rules; ask questions as they come up; assume good intent; inclusion and acceptance; and
  • Bill 67 was introduced although will likely not proceed due to the upcoming provincial election.

Questions, reports and proposals from trustees

Highlights from this report included the following:

  • Trustee Alison Kelly successfully completed a parliamentarian course; and
  • three more lunch and learn sessions with the Audit Committee, all trustees are welcome.

For more information, please contact Kerry Donnell, Communications and Privacy Manager, 613-966-1170, extension 62354, or 613-847-0696, or [email protected]