Monday, Oct. 17, 2022
Board Highlights – Oct. 11, 2022 meeting
The following are the highlights of the Near North District School Board (NNDSB) meeting of Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022.
Anna Pearson acknowledged for teaching excellence
Anna Pearson, a Grade 6 French Immersion teacher at Sunset Park Public School, was acknowledged at the Board meeting for being a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence.
Pearson uses a variety of teaching methods to encourage and empower students learning in French, by linking their experiences as French speakers through music, film, field trips and guest speakers. She is also committed to teaching her students about social justice, linking her teaching to current events and difficult subjects. Pearson’s work and its recognition exemplify NNDSB’s commitment to excellence in teaching and learning.
NNDSB issued a media release about the achievement.
Board receives mental health report
The Board received a report outlining NNDSB’s three-year mental health and wellness strategy. The report follows stakeholder consultation and aligns with the board’s multi-year strategic plan (MYSP).
The following six value statements are key to NNDSB’s mental health and addictions strategy: collaboration with families; evidence-based outcome-informed approaches; community partnerships; equity in our diverse educational community and being accountable for the success and well-being of all; student voice to inform and guide our work; our staff, who play a vital role in promoting and supporting mental health.
The plan will be in effect until it is renewed and revised in the fall of 2025.
Here is a link to the report, which was part of the agenda package.
Trustees receive board improvement plan report
The Board improvement plan for student achievement and well-being was presented to trustees. The plan explains how the four priorities of the MYSP (excellence in communication, excellence in relationships, excellence in teaching and learning and excellence in innovation) act as a guide in achieving the Ministry of Education’s core purpose of student achievement in literacy and mathematics and ensuring equity and well-being.
The board improvement plan details how a six-week cycle of plan, act, observe and reflect will be implemented to ensure alignment and consistency across all departments and schools.
The full report can be found here.
Director Myles provides report to Board
Director of Education Craig Myles’ report to the Board featured several pieces of good news.
This month’s report featured data to support the board’s commitment to excellence in communications. Analytics shows that the board’s social media platforms are steadily gaining new followers, and approximately 10 administrative guidelines have been revised and/or consolidated in the past year.
The app development cooperative education program that took place in the summer has resulted in paid employment for an NNDSB student. One of the summer students who developed a mobile app was offered a part-time position as a junior programmer. The student’s parent says the employer was impressed with the student’s knowledge and abilities with Swift and other coding languages.
The board’s environmental committee says the EcoSchool’s platform will be rolled out to schools this month. Staff and students will have the opportunity to learn how practices can reduce their environmental footprints and how their initiatives can work towards achieving the EcoSchool certification of environmental excellence.
NNDSB is proud of its partnership with the North Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre to see the grand opening of the Nizhwaas Asiniik Skoonweh Kahn (Seven Stones Learning Centre). The centre supports Indigenous adult learners in earning their Ontario Secondary School Diplomas with a cultural and decolonized approach.
NNDSB’s first Hockey Skills program has begun in partnership with Hockey Skills Canada and the Town of Parry Sound. The program will run at Parry Sound High School in semester one and Humphrey Public School in partnership with Seguin Township in semester two.
Notices of Motion filed for follow-up reports
Vice-Chair John Cochrane, First Nations Trustee Nichole King and Trustee Caren Gagne each filed a notice of motion at the committee-of-the-whole meeting, which was moved and passed at the Board meeting.
Vice-Chair Cochrane requested a thorough report regarding information received by the board from the Town of Parry Sound regarding the area’s population and the impact of population on the JK-12 build. Vice-Chair Cochrane also wanted misinformation about municipal funding clarified in the report.
Trustee King’s notice of motion was for an updated report about the actions taken and next steps in the healing process following damage to the Shapatuan at Parry Sound High School. Trustee King sought follow-up on the board’s commitment to strengthen relationships and support the healing process for students.
Trustee Gagne requested the board write a letter to the Ministry of Education advocating for a stronger commitment to student transportation supports. School transportation challenges are being felt across the province, and Trustee Gagne said the cancellations are particularly disruptive in her area.
Multi-Year Strat Plan Committee report
As the board enters its second year of the 2021-2026 MYSP, the committee has set its sights on evaluating the plan. The MYSP committee will bring a report to the Board quarterly and will provide a data report at the January and June 2023 meetings that showcase the progress/growth. Further data will be highlighted in the Director’s monthly update to trustees.
Board receives update on Dreamcoat agreement conclusion
NNDSB trustees received a report regarding administration’s decision to accept the conclusion of the agreement with Dreamcoat Fantasy Theatre (DFT). Following the expiration of the agreement in 2018, DTF has been asked to remove its items from storage at West Ferris Secondary School, as the space is required for NNDSB programming and instructional needs.
During the committee-of-the-whole meeting, members of the community expressed interest in providing input regarding future opportunities for DFT to access space with NNDSB. The Board of Trustees voted in favour of hosting a community meeting to welcome broader public input.
Chair lauded trustees for service to education
Board Chair Jay Aspin acknowledged that the Oct. 11 meeting was the last scheduled of the term for this Board. In his remarks, he outlined the many significant accomplishments implemented during the term.
He said he was proud and privileged to be part of the team that accomplished so much since its first meeting in 2018 during a very disruptive pandemic. He stated our board has been elevated to a Board that is well respected in the province.
He acknowledged Trustees Donna Breault, Rob Learn and Al Bottomley, who are not seeking re-election. Chair Aspin thanked them for their time and efforts in public service and students’ education.
School board trustees will be elected in the Oct. 24 municipal election.
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