Monday, April 26, 2021
Highlights from April Board meeting
The following are the highlights of the Near North District School Board (NNDSB) meeting Tuesday, April 20, 2021.
New Parry Sound school update
Acting Superintendent Gay Smylie provided Trustees with an update on the new JK-12 school being built in Parry Sound.
The update notes the board’s project team has met with architects from the Ventin Group and established the basic criteria for the new school, including the project schedule as well as conceptual site and floor plans. Conceptual plans are being refined, and it is expected that a report with designs will be presented at the May 2021 Board meeting.
Trustees were provided with the project schedule that would see the demolition of a small portion of the school this summer, in preparation for new construction beginning March 2022. The schedule allows for an opening date of September 2023.
Surplus items available for sale online
Several departments of NNDSB have collaborated over the past few months to put a process in place for the distribution of surplus items resulting from the consolidation of North Bay secondary schools. A new Administrative Guideline for Surplus Furniture and Equipment was created, accompanied by a process to distribute relevant material to schools, then to offer the materials to outside sources if required.
To date, more than a dozen NNDSB schools have taken advantage of the new online inventory processes, and items were shipped to sites over the Spring Break, ready for use when in-person learning resumes.
Items are declared surplus if they are not required for use in schools, already exist in sufficient amount or are not suitable to support 21st century learning. As per the Administrative Guideline, after items have been distributed to schools, any remaining surplus items will be auctioned on www.govdeals.ca. Members of the public will be able to bid on items and if successful, pay online.
Most NNDSB items will appear under the Furniture/Furnishings category, although there are items to be found in other categories.
Successful bidders will be contacted by staff in the Finance Department to arrange pick up their items. The public is encouraged to view the board’s guideline and terms and conditions before placing a bid.
Summer Learning program recognized provincially
Director of Education Craig Myles shared with Trustees that NNDSB was recognized provincially by the Council of Directors of Education (CODE) for the successful work of last year’s Summer Learning Program.
The board’s outcomes were combined with those from eight other school boards for a report submitted to the Ministry of Education by CODE. The report showed how summer learning successfully supports Ontario’s vulnerable students and their families from all regions of the province.
Last summer, and for several years previous, NNDSB facilitated a technology-enabled distance learning program combined with small group learning experiences that promoted resilience, well-being and social interaction, while improving literacy and numeracy skills through fun and engaging activities.
If the Summer Learning Program is approved to run this summer, identified students will be invited to participate.
Executive team offered PD in human rights
The board’s executive team has been invited to participate in the Intensive Program in Human Rights for School Board Leaders offered through Osgood Professional Development. Similar to the sessions for trustees that were offered earlier this year, the session will provide a foundational understanding of human rights standards and equity relevant to Ontario’s publicly-funded school boards, and principles of the province’s Human Rights Codes, with a focus on addressing systemic inequality.
Each session features a keynote presentation by a human rights expert followed by facilitated small group discussions and case studies, designed to help integrate a human rights and equity-based approach to the work of school board leaders
Virtual information sessions held for stakeholders
The Multi-Year Strategic Plan Committee has organized six information sessions for stakeholders to learn more about the improvement plans that will support student achievement and well-being. The sessions are held from 6 to 7 p.m. beginning April 27 and will be held in all regions of the board. The schedule and Zoom links to all meetings can be found here.
Mental wellness webinars organized by PIC
NNDSB’s Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) has organized a three-webinar series to support students and their families in mental health and well-being. The sessions are being held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on three consecutive Wednesdays.
The series kicked off April 21 with the board’s mental health lead, Susan Lessard, on the topic of Strategies to Help Your Child with Mental Wellness. On April 28, the board’s mental health team presents a companion webinar on How to Help a Friend with mental Wellness and What to Do if You or Your Child Are Struggling. (Participating with your teen is highly recommended for this session). The final webinar on May 5 will be led by Justin Hawn, education technology program coordinator and Andy Rogers, technology-enabled learning and teaching contact. The session will show how parents and students can connect to the school through various technology spaces to enhance learning and well-being whether remote or in-person.
More information about NNDSB’s PIC and links to the webinars can be found here. The webinars are free of charge and are open to anyone in the community.
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.
Information about Near North District School Board:
Near North District School Board is an English-language public school board serving the North Bay – Parry Sound – Nipissing area. The Board consists of approximately 10,000 students in 27 elementary schools, seven secondary/senior schools and various alternative learning centres. For more information, please visit nearnorthschools.ca and follow Near North District School Board on Social media.
For more information, please contact:
Deb Bartlett (she/her)
Information Communication Officer
Near North District School Board
P. (705) 472-8170 ext. 5010