Boardroom Newsbrief - September, 2021

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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On Thursday, September 30th, we will mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day.

This is a day of mourning and remembrance for Indigenous people. This date also offers an opportunity to reflect and to honour survivors, their families, and communities. It’s a chance to ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.

OCDSB students and staff will be marking this in a variety of ways, including:

  • Holding a common opening and closing with a special message from Monique Manatch, Traditional Knowledge Keeper, Algonquins of Barriere Lake
  • Sharing age-appropriate learning resources to discuss these topics with students. In addition, separate guidance and learning resources have also been shared with staff, including administrative and support staff

The OCDSB website also provides information for actions the public can take to mark this day, together with resources and community supports for Indigenous families.


The Ministry of Education is consulting on strengthening accountability for school board trustees and is inviting the public to provide input on trustee codes of conduct and the measures and sanctions available to boards when a code of conduct is breached. The survey is available on the Ministry of Education website.


The Ontario Public School Boards Association is conducting a public survey to gather community input on Transitioning from the COVID-19 School Experience.  

A discussion paper with video overview, and a link to the survey can be found on their website at opsba.org.  

Your response to the survey will ensure an Ottawa perspective helps shape public education advocacy to the provincial government.

Briefing from the Director

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Every year for the month of October, Islamic Heritage Month is recognized in Canada. At the OCDSB, we will be reflecting, celebrating and learning about Islamic history and culture in a variety of ways. 

As we learn, we must also reflect on our shared responsibility to identify, challenge and eradicate Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred. 

We recognize our obligation to ensure learning and working spaces are free from discrimination and hate and safe and welcoming for Muslim students, staff and communities. We will not tolerate Islamophobia in the OCDSB.

If you see or experience Islamphobia or any other kind of hate or discrimination we encourage you to report it to a trusted staff member, your principal or vice principal or to the Office of the Human Rights and Equity Advisor.


The last Wednesday of every September is designated as Rowan’s Law Day to honour Rowan Stringer’s memory and raise awareness about concussion safety. 

We have shared with families and staff resources to learn more about how to respond to concussions.


October is certainly a busy month, and I did want to briefly highlight some of the other items we will be recognizing:

  • Hispanic Heritage Month
  • National Principals’ Month 
  • Learning Disabilities Awareness Month
  • Autism Awareness Month. Women history month 
  • World Teachers Day, October 5th

This is the time of year when planning and human resources reconcile actual enrolment in schools to the projected enrolments that were used to create school organizations and staffing plans in the spring

While every effort is made to minimize the disruption to students, staff and classes, some level of reorganization in the system is the norm and can be expected

At the elementary level, the actual enrolments in schools as of the week of September 13 were used to inform the fall staffing adjustments and classroom reorganizations, based on Ministry class size requirements and funding.

This year, lower than projected enrolment in some grades and schools meant the district was overstaffed relative to enrolment, and some schools will experience class reorganizations.  

At secondary, September 30 enrolment is used for purposes of reconciling projected and actual enrolment and staffing, with some adjustments being deferred to the second semester.

These reorganizations will be completed in early October. SOIs and HR will continue to work with schools with respect to any significant changes in enrolment that occur through the school year.


Finally, I would like to close my remarks to say thank you to all of the students and staff members participating in the annual Terry Fox run this year.

We are so proud of their efforts in support of cancer research.

COVID-19 Update

OCDSB staff presented an update to trustees on COVID-19.

In-camera Motions

Trustees approved a motion that staff be authorized to proceed with respect to a property matter.

Public Motions

Trustees approved the following:

  • Confirmation of Board Minutes: 
    • Board, 22 June 2021
    • Special Board, 24 August 2021
    • Special Board, 31 August 2021
    • Extraordinary Board Meeting, 1 September 2021
  • Receipt of Committee of the Whole Reports
    • Special Committee of the Whole, 24 August 2021
    • Special Committee of the Whole, 31 August 2021
    • 14 September 2021
      • Westwind-Fernbank-Approval of Interim Accommodation Measures 
      • Approval to Proceed with a Selection Process for a Supervisory Officer and Confirmation of Selection Committee 
      • Access to School Board Property 
      • Advocating for the Addition of the COVID-19 Vaccination to Compulsory Vaccine List


Meeting ended at 10:20 pm
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