Friday, Feb. 17, 2023
The following are the highlights of the Near North District School Board (NNDSB) meeting of Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023.
Literacy supports outlined for trustees
Trustees were presented with a report that outlined NNDSB’s response to the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (OHRC) Right to Read Report. Every month at the Board meeting, progress within an area of the multi-year strategic plan (MYSP) is highlighted; last night Excellence in Teaching and Learning was highlighted, with an emphasis on literacy.
Trustees heard that before the OHRC’s report release, a central team of program and special education staff worked to identify key priorities, actions and performance measures that have informed the plan to support improved literacy outcomes for all students. Key objectives include engaging staff in professional learning, initiating strategic investments in literacy resources, providing evidence-based assessment tools and implementing timely and effective literacy intervention programs.
Read more in this media release.
Director’s report highlights program successes
Director of Education Craig Myles’ report highlighted key pathway initiatives being implemented at the Laurentian Learning Centre. The personal support worker (PSW) program is now in its second session, with 34 graduates expected from the Parry Sound, North Bay and Mattawa classes. There will be a third session in Parry Sound. To date, 100 per cent of grads have been offered employment.
Information sessions are now being held for the new custodial services training program, scheduled to begin in March. This program, like the PSW program, aims to fill community needs for trained custodial workers. The program is for adults 18 years or older, who either have or are working toward their secondary school diploma.
These programs illustrate NNDSB’s commitment to Excellence in Teaching and Learning and Excellence in Innovation by helping people gain skills and knowledge that will also fill labour gaps in our communities.
TOROS administrative guideline received
After months of work from the ad-hoc Theatre Outreach on Stage (TOROS) committee, trustees received a report that included the administrative guideline for the program.
TOROS was on hold for two years during the COVID-19 pandemic and is being restarted this spring and summer.
The report outlines that the guideline may require updating once the program is started.
Administrative guidelines can be found on the board’s website.
Gender identity, expression admin guideline received
Trustees received the board’s gender identity and gender expression administrative guideline at its meeting. The document will help ensure that all members of the educational community are provided with a safe and respectful place at school.
The guideline recognizes there are gender-diverse people who may request accommodation on the part of a school and/or board, including how students are addressed in records, washroom access, dress code, sports and extracurricular activities, change rooms and student support and advocacy.
The Ontario Human Rights Code outlines equal rights and opportunities and freedom from discrimination for all persons in the delivery of educational services. The administrative guideline will help NNDSB staff implement appropriate accommodation solutions.
Trustees approve 2023-2024 school year calendar
Trustees approved the 2023-2024 school year calendar following public consultation about the date of a board holiday. The public was able to provide feedback on whether a board holiday took place on the Friday before the start of March Break, or at the end of the school year.
More families indicated they wanted the day to take place on Friday, March 8.
The 2023-2024 school year calendar was planned in collaboration among the district’s four co-terminus school boards.
Although the Board has approved the calendar, it still needs to be approved by the Ministry of Education. Once it is approved, it will be posted on the NNDSB website.
Festival of the Sound to receive Trustee Initiative funds
Festival of the Sound successfully applied for $20,000 from the NNDSB Trustee Initiative Fund, which supports organizations and projects that include students from across the board.
Festival of the Sound is a world-renowned chamber and classical music festival in Parry Sound. It takes place over three weeks with dozens of concerts. Last fall, elementary students in Parry Sound collaborated with artists in an experience that inspired creativity through music. This year, the Festival of the Sound would like to grow its partnership with the board by offering performances of Sounding Thunder: The Song of Francis Pegahmagabow to intermediate and senior division students in all regions of NNDSB.
The funding application notes that more than 1,000 students from across the district will be attending the production, which enriches students’ understanding of Indigenous history, culture, perspectives and worldviews.
Note: the full agenda package is posted on the website prior to meetings, and official minutes are posted after they are approved at the next Board meeting.
The Board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for March 28, 2023.
For more information, please contact:
Deb Bartlett (she/her)
Near North District School Board
(705) 472-8170 ext. 5010