Highlights from the Board Room – September 28

Board Meeting   |  Tuesday, September 28, 2021


Director’s Recognition Award

Sarah Blewett

The Director’s Recognition Award highlights extraordinary contributions by staff members, students, school volunteers, or community members, and is presented by the Director of Education at each Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) Regular Meeting of the Board. Director of Education Wes Hahn introduced this month’s recipients of the Director’s Recognition Award.

Alexandra Public School Office Administrator Christina Knight was nominated for the support she provides to the school. Christina not only runs the school office efficiently and expertly, but she organizes the nutrition program, maintains the school technology inventory, and is a supportive and positive contact between families and the school. 

Attendance and Disability Management Officer Sarah Blewett was nominated for the work she has taken on during the COVID-19 pandemic, on top of her normal full-time duties. Sarah has played a strong role in the implementation of the COVID-19 vaccination attestation process, which started in September. 

Summer Learning

Several learning opportunities took place over the summer across TLDSB at the following five locations: King Albert Public School, Archie Stouffer Elementary School, Gravenhurst Public School (GPS), Bracebridge Public School, and Riverside Public School. 

Over a three week period, these schools offered two virtual math camps for Grades 6 and 7, serving 54 students, as well as eight in-person math/literacy camps for Grade 1 to 3 students, serving 142 students.

Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes Secondary School Grade 11 Student Simon Fraser, and GPS Teacher Thomas Williams presented the findings from a learning survey conducted this summer, gaining insights from students and parents/guardians of the program.

Director’s update

Director of Education Wes Hahn shared with trustees that enrolment is up by approximately 500 students this year and that school startup has been a joyous time for students and families returning to school. 

At this time, there has not been a large spike in COVID-19 cases in TLDSB communities and to date, there have been very few active student cases – all of which have originated through community transmission. Board case management protocols have been swiftly executed by local public health units and schools.

Public health continues to strongly encourage students aged 12 to 17 to become vaccinated. Currently, there are still 30-35 percent of this age group unvaccinated. Public health is encouraging these remaining students to become vaccinated. Vaccination clinics, hosted by local public health units, have been held in six of the seven secondary schools for students during the day, and open to the public in the evenings.

Extracurricular activities are taking place in some schools and the priority is to continue to offer extracurricular opportunities for students, ensuring that they can participate in a safe way. There will be a new extracurricular participation form for students, as well as one for volunteer drivers that will require drivers to show proof of vaccination. This is one more step the Board is taking to ensure the safety of our school communities.

TLDSB has many great partnerships with our Indigenous communities; schools across the Board have been participating in Truth and Reconciliation Week. This Thursday, September 30, staff and students will show collective commitment to reconciliation by wearing an orange shirt.

In the development of the Multi-Year Strategic Plan, the Board has initiated the engagement of our community through the use of ThoughtExchange. All stakeholders have the opportunity to participate by sharing their thoughts on student achievement, which closes on September 30. Results from the ThoughtExchange will impact the direction and inform the content of strategic planning.

Summer construction

Superintendent of Business Services Tim Ellis provided trustees with an overview of the projects that took place over the summer at TLDSB schools and work sites. A great number of projects were completed by Facility Services this summer, including:

  • Heating and ventilation 
  • Office renovations
  • Safety upgrades
  • Washroom renovations
  • LED lighting in gymnasiums and retrofit in classrooms
  • Keyless entry added to additional doors
  • Fencing installation and replacement
  • Telephone system upgrades
  • New flooring
  • Exterior and interior painting 
  • Hydration stations
  • Lighting in parking lots
  • Kitchen fire suppression
  • Water system upgrades
  • 768 portable HEPA air cleaners were distributed to all kindergarten classrooms and other rooms.

Several of the construction projects made in classrooms align with the G7 Climate Change Action Plan, specifically in regard to temperature controls and LED lights installations.

Administrative reports

Equity and Inclusive Education

Superintendent of Learning Jennifer Johnston spoke of the work the Equity Task Force Committee is doing to create and release a staff census on October 22 to gain insight and better understanding of Board staff, as we foster a work environment reflecting the community we serve.

Indigenous Education

Across TLDSB and led by the Indiegenous Education and Advisory Committee, there have been sessions and resources made available for staff and students to learn more about Indigenious residential school victims and their families. Johnston reinstated the importance of standing up to our collective commitment to reconciliation, not only during Truth and Reconciliation Week, but every day.

2021 Board and Committee of the Whole meeting schedule

Meeting Date Time Location
Committee of the Whole October 12, 2021 6:30 p.m. MEC
Regular Board Meeting October 26, 2021 6:30 p.m. MEC or Virtual
Committee of the Whole November 9, 2021 6:30 p.m. TBD
Regular Board Meeting November 23, 2021 6:30 p.m. TBD
Organizational Meeting December 7, 2021 6:30 p.m. TBD
All Committee of the Whole and Regular Meetings of the Board are webcast and may be accessed through the TLDSB website www.tldsb.ca.

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