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Boardroom Newsbrief - April 28, 2020

The Newsbrief is meant to provide the highlights of the decisions made at the Board meeting for the benefit of our community. The notes do not serve as the official record of the meeting. Please refer to Board or Committee minutes.



For full agenda package prepared ahead of this meeting, visit this link.

Briefing from the Chair of the Board

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COVID-19 Update

On Sunday, the Minister of Education announced that schools will remain closed until at least May 31st. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to our staff, students and families for their commitment to working through these difficult circumstances and making student learning and well-being a priority.

Tonight, trustees will receive an update from the Director and will have an opportunity to discuss current practices and next steps.

Labour Relations Update

Last week, a tentative central agreement was reached with both teachers and education workers represented by the Ontario Secondary Schools Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF). These agreements are scheduled for final ratification in May.

Today, it was also announced that the central agreements with the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) have been formally ratified.

This is positive news for our school community. We appreciate and acknowledge the contributions of all sides to come to an agreement, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. With central agreements negotiated, we can move forward more actively with local bargaining.

Code of Conduct Complaint

At our last Board meeting, we heard concerns from the community regarding an alleged incident between Trustee Donna Blackburn and a young person who was playing basketball in a community park.

I wanted to ensure the community is aware that a complaint has been received under the Board Member Code of Conduct.  The Code sets the standard of behavioral expectations for trustees of the OCDSB. It includes a process for complaints; investigations; the decision-making process to determine if there was a breach of the Code; and a list of possible sanctions.

The complaint is being investigated by an independent third party who will provide a report to the Board. I would remind everyone that the process is confidential while underway, but once the Board receives a report, it will be considered and a decision will be rendered at a public meeting of the Board of Trustees.

Briefing from the Director

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Ramadan

We wish all OCDSB families who are observing, a blessed Ramadan.

This year, families celebrating Ramadan have to deal with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. At a time where families typically come together to celebrate, people need to practice physical distancing.

While students are encouraged to continue their school activities during this time, teachers will be flexible and accommodate the needs of those participating in Ramadan.

We also wish to use this special time as an opportunity for all students to learn about this occasion and expand their understanding of Islamic culture.

Director’s Citation Awards

The 2019-2020 school year has been unprecedented, with tremendous contributions from all OCDSB staff to focus on student learning and overcoming obstacles.

Last week, we announced the winners of the Director’s Citation Awards. These recognize outstanding and significant staff contributions to the District and its students.

Congratulations to all recipients. The full list can be found on our website.

Education Week

May 4-8 is Education Week in Ontario. This is an annual celebration of teaching excellence and student achievement.

While school is different these days, there remains much to celebrate, particularly the dedication of our staff and their commitment to student success.

Thank you.

CMHA Mental Health Week

We know that COVID-19 is having an impact on mental health and well-being. Now more than ever we need to be kind and gentle to ourselves and recognize that everyone is doing the best they can to get through this.

May 4-10 is also the Canadian Mental Health Association's Mental Health Week. This year the theme is "Don't just get loud, get real," which means to speak up about how you really feel.

Too often we say we're fine, even when the truth is that we may be exhausted, excited, afraid or worried. Connecting and sharing doesn't just feel good -- it's good for our mental health. In times of crisis like this, even though we’re apart, remember we need each other more than ever.

In-camera motion

Trustees approved an in-camera motion in respect to a financial matter

Public Motions

Trustees approved the following:

  • Confirmation of Board Minutes, 31 March 2020
  • Report 20-039, New Stittsville Secondary School Attendance Boundary Consultation Plan
  • Report 20-040, Purchase of New Portable Classrooms, as amended 

Matters for Discussion

Thoughtexchange of students, parents and community members

Trustees discussed the results of a recent Thoughtexchange of students, parents and community members to collect feedback on the Learn at Home program. Learn more here.

COVID-19 Update

Education Director Camille Williams-Taylor provided an update to Trustees on the OCDSB response to COVID-19.

Meeting ended at 10:30 pm

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