Focus on Governance:
Trustee Quarterly Check In:
The Ontario Public School Board Association (OPSBA) held their annual Public Education Symposium (PES) in January. This meeting was an important kick off for many of our newest trustees and offered a chance to jump in and take full advantage of the opportunity for deep learning and important networking across the province.
Over the past three months the Board of Trustees have taken part in a number of workshops and public meetings carefully designed to quickly, efficiently and with great attention to detail and topic bring them to a place of strong comprehension of the work of the Near North District School Board. They include; an overview of transportation, the work of Human Resources and labour relations, the school board’s capital plan with a focus on both the Parry Sound build, the Fricker build and the 3:2 North Bay consolidation, the senior staffing funding envelope, agenda items, meeting management, board logistics and protocols, an overview of the budget process, understanding SHSM (Specialist High School Majors) courses in Near North, and the Equity and Inclusion Strategy offered at tonight’s meeting. As well the board kicked off their coming together with a visit from lawyer Sheila McKinnon to review roles, responsibilities and best practices.
The Board of Trustees also addressed the Fricker build and where the Grade 8 students should attend next year. It was decided that Widdifield would remain the recipients of this group of students. The Fricker build is continuing along it projected path with an approved space template.
A hearty congratulations to our Plant department, custodians and staff for realizing a significant and substantial benchmark!
The 2019 Sustainable Schools report uses energy data and building information for Ontario’s 4,968 schools and education centers as publicly reported by the 72 schools boards. The energy savings potential is determined for each building the difference between its actual and target energy use, and the energy efficiency of the school board. School boards across the province are ranked. Our ranking for 2017 was 19 and this year we’ve achieved the ranking of 11 out of 72 schools! I couldn’t be more proud and thankful for these efforts. Details about this important work can be found in the public board package.
Parry Sound Dinner Extravaganza!
Congratulations are in order to Mr. Cousins and the students of the Specialist High Skills Major course. The 5th Annual Local Hospitality and Tourism Appreciation Dinner was held March 19th. Students amazed members of the hospitality industry, who enjoyed an evening of networking and a delicious meal.
OFSSA Leadership in Sport Award
We couldn’t be prouder of our own Bob Boal from Chippewa Intermediate and Secondary School who, on March 19, at the opening ceremonies for the 2019 OFSAA Curling Championships, received the highly distinguished honour of being recognized with an OFSSA Leadership in Sport Award. The award is presented annually at each OFSAA Championship to a teacher/coach who has made a significant contribution to Leadership in Educational Athletics programs. From all of us in Near North DSB – Congratulations Bob on this most deserving award.
Minister of Education Announcements
As our public knows there have been many recent announcements made by the Minister of Education. We will continue to work alongside our Board of Trustees to ensure they are knowledgeable of all of the announcements and what they may mean for the Near North District School Board through their implementation.
In addition, we are aware that the recent announcements may prompt some political action by our students. The official Near North District School Board’s position with this and any other potential walk-out is that we support our students’ democratic right to express themselves in a safe and respectful manner. With respect to any walk-out, our focus is ensuring that any students who chose to participate can do so in a safe manner with minimal disruption to those who do not wish to participate.
School administrators and staff have been provided with guidelines and best practices for such situations and are committed to ensuring student safety.
Director of Education