Friday, Oct. 6, 2023
Dear Parents and Guardians,
The monthly Letter to Families, distributed on the first Friday of the month, is intended to keep you apprised of news that affects all students and families of Near North District School Board (NNDSB).
A Board motion on Dec. 13, 2022 to rename and rebrand Chippewa was followed by the establishment of the Chippewa Renaming Committee to make a recommendation of a new name to the Board of Trustees. Knowing that changing the name was going to elicit strong emotions from the community, both for and against the change, the board felt it was necessary to undertake this work, given our mandate to create safe spaces that are inclusive and accepting to all pupils.
Similarly, all schools have a “legal duty to provide students with an education environment free from harassment and other forms of discrimination” because of grounds protected by the Code. Under these mandates, the name must be changed to protect all students.
The Chippewa Renaming Committee has grappled with various issues related to this renaming process and, as a result, has had to extend its original timelines for when a new proposed name would be brought forward to the Board of Trustees.
The committee has tackled a number of issues to date: understanding the connection and obligation to the Human Rights Code (HRC), ensuring the administrative guideline applicable to this process is up to date and supports the HRC, and ensuring that the committee’s terms of reference align with the appropriate administrative guideline.
Additionally, there has been a need for further consultation to increase understanding related to the context and complexities of this work. Committee meetings will resume once the administrative guideline update is approved and received by the Board of Trustees.
It’s only the first week of October, but it’s never too early to remind NNDSB families about what happens during inclement weather.
Transportation services for NNDSB students is provided by Nipissing Parry Sound Student Transportation Services (NPSSTS). This is a third-party provider – NNDSB does not provide the transportation services to our schools.
If NPSSTS believes weather makes it is unsafe to transport students, bus cancellations will be announced. Sometimes the cancellations are for all areas and sometimes they are for “corridors”, or some areas of the board. NPSSTS’s home page has a search option to find out what corridor your student is in; you must know your student’s bus route number to use this search option.
Alerts for delays and cancellations can be found on NPSSTS’s website. Delays and cancellations will also be posted on NNDSB’s Facebook page as early as possible (usually by 6 or 6:15 a.m.), and local radio stations broadcast this information.
Families are encouraged to create an account with NPSSTS so they can access information via the parent portal.
When buses are cancelled, schools usually remain open for students who are able to walk to school, or who have alternate transportation. Transportation is cancelled for the whole day, so students who are dropped off in the morning must also be picked up at school at the regular dismissal time.
In some circumstances, NNDSB may decide to close a school. This decision could be due to the severity of the weather, loss of power or water. If schools are closed for the day, parents will be notified through their school, board, and local media communications. Our primary concern is always the safety of our students.
If buses to your school are either cancelled for the day and/or schools closed, instruction and related student activities will be provided for your child to complete at home. These activities may include online or offline activities that every child can access. We understand that because each school and community is unique, plans will vary across the board in response to local contexts. However, we plan to ensure that the learning continues for students, despite the weather outdoors.
NNDSB is a member of the Education Collaborative Network of Ontario (ECNO) which finds and executes effective IT solutions for Ontario school boards. ECNO helps NNDSB promote cyber awareness through its K-12 awareness campaign during the month of October.
NNDSB students, families and staff are invited to learn more about cyber security with posters, games and videos. There is a different focus each week of October.
For more information about cyber awareness month, as well as resources, visit the ECNO website. There is also information posted in Edsby.
YES Canada is seeking families within the NNDSB area to host international students. Host families provide a home away from home in a safe environment. They are expected to provide three meals a day and the opportunity for the student to become a family member.
Host families can learn about another country and culture while building relationships that span oceans and the world.
Families receive a monthly stipend to offset the cost of hosting. There are also local coordinators and the YES Canada team to provide guidance and on-going support to host families prior to and during the student’s stay.
Hosting opportunities are available now, as well as in November, February and April for two, three-, five-, 10- and 12-month terms. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416-623-6220 ext. 410.
Near North District School Board