Friday, March 25, 2022
The following are the highlights of the Near North District School Board (NNDSB) meeting of Tuesday, March 22, 2022.
Board recognizes outstanding students
The Board of Trustees will be acknowledging outstanding students and members of school communities who have gone “above and beyond” and whose achievements exemplify the board’s strategic commitments outlined in the Multi-Year Strategic Plan (MYSP).
Guests will be invited to Board meetings to share how they are illustrating the four pillars of the plan: Excellence in Innovation; Excellence in Teaching and Learning; Excellence in Relationships; and Excellence in Communication.
The first presentation occurred at Tuesday night’s Board meeting, when Madison Moore of Chippewa Secondary School and Fionna Truong of West Ferris Secondary School were recognized. They are the 2022 recipients of the Rotary Club of North Bay’s Service Above Self Award, presented to students who exemplify warmth and caring towards their peers and others. The award program is intended to promote the values of the Rotary Club’s motto Service Above Self, to ensure youth are aware of the benefits of volunteerism.
More information about the presentation can be found in this media release.
Updated guidelines follow public consultation
After approval by executive council of the multi-year French as a Second Language (FSL) plan in December, three Administrative Guidelines (AG) were approved for review.
The Extended French AG, French Immersion AG and Core French AG were posted on the board’s website from Feb. 1 to March 5, 2022. Public feedback was incorporated into the final version of each AG, which were presented for approval at the exec council meeting on March 8, 2022.
Amendments focused on inclusion of the full-day kindergarten document and, revised FSL curriculum and including best practices that allow for flexibility to support school timetables, schedules and staffing strengths.
Director of Education Craig Myles presented a lengthy report to the Board, following the March Break.
He addressed the lifting of many COVID-19 restrictions and noted how the changes have resulted in mixed feelings as we move along in pandemic recovery. Myles expressed gratitude to the staff, students, families and community partners who have provided safe learning environments for students since March 2022.
There was also a mid-year update that detailed progress in the four areas of the MYSP. For each pillar in the plan, the Director’s goals are listed with indicators of achievements to date that show forward momentum in realizing the goals of the plan. Trustees were appreciative of the update, expressing pride and satisfaction in the work being done by staff.
Board Vice-Chair John Cochrane noted that with the launch of the personal support worker program, “we are leaders”. The program in smaller communities provides a service to both students and the partner healthcare facilities. Trustee Bill Steer said it was gratifying to be able to see how far the board has come in implementing the MYSP. Director Myles agreed, calling the amount of work and growth that has taken place throughout a pandemic “amazing”.
The complete mid-year update can be found beginning on Page 36 of the agenda package.
MYSP committee launches survey
Trustee Bill Steer, who chairs the MYSP committee, updated trustees on the committee’s on-going work. Following approval by trustees in June, and implementation beginning in September, the committee’s next step is to assess the plan’s effectiveness with the development of metrics.
To measure that, the committee launched a survey and is seeking responses from a variety of stakeholder groups. The survey opened March 11 and will remain open until April 15. Once the survey closes, the committee will meet to review the data and establish metrics in order to present a report to the Board at its May meeting.
Trustee Steer called the measurement, “the last piece of the puzzle in this long process,” referring to the development and implementation of the MYSP.
Distribution and Determination Report approved
A Trustee Determination and Distribution report was presented, along with supplementary information from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC). Before every municipal election, school boards are required to review and recommend the number of trustees and the areas they represent, in order to ensure fair and equitable representation of all public school supporters.
Following discussion in Committee of the Whole, a resolution was brought forward to approve that no changes would be made to trustee determination, and that trustee distribution will remain status quo.
NNDSB’s Board of Trustees is comprised of nine trustees; eight elected trustees and one First Nations trustee who is appointed to represent all First Nations who are NNDSB education partners.
Projects receive Trustee Initiative Fund support
Trustees approved supporting two projects through the Trustee Initiative Fund.
The Journey into Learning program of NNDSB will receive $7,520 to purchase 600 copies of the book This is What I’ve Been Told to be included in the Journey into Learning (JIL) kit for kindergarten students. The book was written by a NNDSB teacher and introduces the local Anishinaabemowin language and culture. The funding request noted that the book reflects the peoples, languages and cultures of this area, not other parts of Ontario or Canada, and that its inclusion in the JIL kit indicates the commitment of NNDSB to focus on Indigenous education.
The second request, for $7,500, was approved for the Festival of the Sound’s Music Scores program. The funding will see Music Scores programming in 10 NNDSB schools in the Parry Sound area over a two-week period. This year’s program will
encourage mastery of the creative process and critical thinking through Indigenous and sound-based storytelling. Three artists, led by Samantha Whelan-Kotkas of the National Arts Centre, will help students conceive, compose and present original works.
The two-week virtual residency will culminate in a final performance on April 8 feature music created together with students and the visiting artists.
Facilities Study Committee seeks name change
The North Bay Facilities Study Committee, an ad-hoc committee tasked with reviewing the board’s use of property assets in North Bay, received Board approval to be renamed the North Bay Consolidation Committee. The name change more accurately reflects the scope of the committee’s work.
The committee also presented a draft terms of reference, which was approved by the Board.
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.
For more information, please contact:
Deb Bartlett (she/her)
Near North District School Board
P. (705) 472-8170 ext. 5010