Monday, Oct. 16, 2023
Board Highlights – October 2023 Meeting
The following are the highlights of the Near North District School Board (NNDSB) meeting of Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023.
CSS notice of motion needs further work
Trustee Julie Bertram provided a notice of motion regarding the Chippewa renaming committee that was moved and seconded at the committee of the whole meeting. Because it was seconded, discussion took place. Board Chair Erika Lougheed noted that two sets of directives could not be in place concurrently, as the proposed motion appeared to conflict with a motion passed by the Board in December 2022. The Chair advised that proposed action that alters the work of the committee must address the Board’s previous decision. The floor was opened for discussion, where consensus was reached to disregard the proposed notice of motion.
Student Trustees kick off year with PD
Trustees approved the attendance of Indigenous Student Trustee Albany Benson and Student Trustee Dora Chen at the Ontario Student Trustee Association (OSTA) general meeting next week in Toronto.
Sessions include the history of OSTA, breakout sessions, workshops and keynote and plenary speakers.
Board recognizes work of NBPS liaison officer
A report in the agenda package acknowledged the work of community and school liaison officers, and recognized North Bay Police Service (NBPS) Const. Roger Drolet for his service as the liaison officer for North Bay schools for two years.
Liaison officers work with school community stakeholders to provide education, violence prevention and emergency preparedness. NNDSB’s Safe Schools Team notes that Const. Drolet is an asset at school and board level. He has provided hundreds of students with education through school and class presentations on bullying, cyber-bullying, online safety, the distribution of intimate images, consent, the importance of reporting and more.
He also worked with other community agencies to provide educational presentations that countered discrimination under protected grounds. Const. Drolet also worked with school principals to review emergency preparedness plans and provide feedback on practices to ensure all students and staff were safe.
NNDSB is grateful for the contributions of Const. Drolet and wishes him well in his position of sergeant with NBPS.
Const. Al Bedard is the new liaison officer.
More than 1,100 students attended summer school
Trustees received a comprehensive report that outlined the success of NNDSB’s summer learning program.
In July and August 2023, NNDSB facilitated onsite and e-learning opportunities for students in the board and around the province.
More than 700 students took advantage of online learning and there were more than 400 students registered for K-12 in-person programming. The largest increase in students was secondary e-learning students who came from outside NNDSB.
There were 135 students who participated in summer cooperative education programs and more than 100 who participated in the Canadian Ecology Centre’s summer program. New programs this summer were well-attended, included a hospitality course that focused on baking, phys ed with a focus on volleyball, phys ed with a focus on basketball and the relaunch of Theatre Out Reach on Stage (TOROS).
Through the provincial e-learning system more than 600 students registered for NNDSB courses. This is a 300 per cent increase over last year’s registrations.
Elementary learners were welcomed to a fun environment that allowed space for social-emotional learning and growth. The program included instruction in phonemic awareness, decoding and reading fluency. In math, students received instruction in number sense concept. Virtual workshops with Science North were scheduled for each site, and students were guided through three stages of planning and coding their own video game.
The full secondary and summer learning program report can be found here.
Director’s update includes information about OWLS
Director of Education Craig Myles’ report – which always includes progress data on at least one pillar of the multi-year strategic plan – shared information on the Outdoor Ways of Learning and Sharing (OWLS) program.
The OWLS program, which is for elementary classrooms, is meant to help and support curricular expectations based on student and teacher needs, explore new and different ways to teach and engage students in the outdoor and experiential learning environment, discover and deepen connections and relationships between the academic and social-emotional learning, and observe and acknowledge learning of students as they participate in inquiry/exploration-based activities in the outdoor learning environment.
Heather Dabrowski, a co-founder of the program and teacher with NNDSB shared the OWLS approach with educators and health experts across the province at the Ontario Healthy Schools Conference in May. She will further promote the program at the Physical Health and Education Conference next month.
MYSP committee will hold community meeting
Trustee Bill Steer, who chairs the multi-year strategic planning committee, reported that a community meeting will be held Thursday, Oct. 26 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting is
a requirement of an amendment to the Education Act, resulting from the Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act. The meeting will be held virtually, and anyone interested can watch for details on NNDSB’s website and social media accounts.
The Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act requires that board engage with parents in the first two months and last two months of the school year regarding their multi-year plans.
Audit committee seeks public member
Trustee Shane Hall, who chairs the audit committee, noted the committee is still seeking a volunteer community member.
Candidates do not need to be accountants, but should have some relevant financial or business experience.
Anyone interested can learn more and apply here.
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.