Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022
Trustees resume meetings but work didn’t take a vacation
Trustees of Near North District School Board (NNDSB) met Tuesday night for the first time since their June meeting, but the work of the board did not take a summer break.
Trustees received reports about summer learning, safety and well-being initiatives and updating school administration teams on how COVID-19 is being managed at the start of the 2022-2023 school year.
Throughout the summer, more than 60 summer staff members supported 576 students who experienced new opportunities and planned for their future by earning credits at summer school. Details about the summer learning program may be found in this media release. The number of students was greater than last year, and the largest increase was in the co-operative education program, which saw a 220 per cent increase in students. A new initiative enabled two students to develop and market a mobile app.
Despite a more “normal” feel to the start of the school year, NNDSB staff continue to navigate work in the face of COVID-19. The board follows the guidance of the Ministry of Education without additional local measures. All staff, students and visitors are asked to self-screen daily before attending a NNDSB building. Extracurricular clubs, activities and sports are permitted, as are field trips. The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit is available as a support to school teams and community members.
Through the summer, board staff prepared for in-class learners, as well as those who are returning to school virtually. As of Sept. 2, there were 63 elementary and 51 secondary students registered at the virtual school, which also started Sept. 6.
In response to a trustee request, a safe schools report was compiled and presented, outlining all of the programs, partnerships and pilots that help to keep NNDSB students and staff safe. The report highlights the three pillars of the safe schools framework (citizenship and community, conflict resolution and bullying awareness) that work in tandem to support student achievement and well-being, the focus of the board’s multi-year strategic plan.
The first class of NNDSB personal support worker (PSW) students graduated last month, with 100 per cent of the grads securing employment. The 24 students are already filling labour gaps in their communities. Some are hired by the long-term care homes in which their living classrooms were located, and others are working for community organizations. The second cohort of PSW students has just begun its courses in Parry Sound, North Bay and Mattawa, and intake is underway for the courses that begin in February.
Capital projects also continued throughout the summer. Updates were provided on modifications to Chippewa and West Ferris following consolidation of the North Bay secondary schools.
The new Parry Sound school build committee, chaired by Board Vice-Chair John Cochrane, continues its work on the K-12 school, with its planned opening September 2024. Board Chair Jay Aspin met over the summer with MPPs Graydon Smith and Vic Fedeli to discuss several topics, including the Parry Sound build and the opportunities that the new school will provide for students.
Near North District School Board
P. (705) 472-8170, extension 5010