Board Highlights May 25, 2011
Board of Trustee Meeting – May 25, 2011 – Highlights
As a Catholic board, the trustees open their meetings with a prayer, reflection and special intentions. Here is the reading from Wednesday evening’s prayer service, The Spirit of Wisdom:
READING: (James 3, 13, 17-18)
Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that
your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. The wisdom from
above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and
good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of
righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.
Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) Program
Denise Tinney, Lead Principal for Student Success and Tina Pedersen, Teacher with Student Success provided trustees with an overview and update on the success of the SHSM programs in our secondary schools. Tina described the accomplishments of the existing nine SHSM programs offered to Grade 11 and 12 students in our schools. She also indicated that we have applied for an additional 10 programs for the 2011-2012 school year. She described the benefits for the students which include letting students focus on a career path that matches their skills and interests while meeting the requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). All students receive the SHSM’s “Red Seal” on their diploma when they complete a specific bundle of 8 to 10 courses in the student’s selected field and they earn valuable industry certifications including first aid and CPR qualifications. She also noted that students gain important skills on the job with employers. As part of their presentation, they showed a video clip with a student testimonial regarding his participation in one of the programs.
Coalition for Children and Youth Mental Health
Board psychologist, Dr. Patrick Carney showed a video to the trustees that highlighted the challenge that educators have in serving children and youth who have mental health issues. He indicated that one in five students in schools has a mental health problem and that educators need more resources, tools and support for these children. He also indicated that there is more funding being made available and that we will continue working with our mental health partners to plan for the effective use of these funds to serve our students.
Coalition for Children and Youth Mental Health
The trustees approved two recommendations put forward in the report including supporting in principle, the Coalition for Children and Youth Mental Health’s statement of intent. The trustees also agreed to formally join the Coalition for Children and Youth Mental Health.
Release of Easement – St. Peter the Apostle Catholic School
Due to new development in the area adjacent to St. Peter’s in Parry Sound, the trustees approved the following recommendation: the release of the easement for the right of way over Pt Lot 26, Con 3 McDougall Being Pt. 1 42R19318 Parry Sound that provides access to St. Peter the Apostle and authorize staff to confirm with the Town of Parry Sound and execute the necessary documents.
Ontario School Boards’ Insurance Exchange (OSBIE)
The trustees approved the extension of the Board’s membership subscription with OSBIE for another five year period. OSBIE is a non-profit, reciprocal insurance entity founded, owned and operated by Ontario School Boards. Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board has been a member of OSBIE since inception in 1986. Currently, there are 71 member school boards who subscribe to OSBIE.
Trustees were provided a copy of the report from the operational review undertaken by the Ministry of Education with our Board earlier in the school year. The Ministry is conducting such reviews at all school boards across the province. In addition to the complete report, trustees received the recommendations in the report as well as the executive summary and some highlights. Trustees will review the report and have further discussions at an upcoming meeting.
Associate Director of Education (Business and Finance) Peter Derochie and Controller of Finance Pia Elston provided trustees with a detailed update on the budget process for the Board. Peter indicated that senior staff is working through a balancing plan and will bring further details on this to trustees at a future meeting. He highlighted some of the changes since the last update to trustees including a projected increased in enrolment of 178 students. He also indicated the key budget pressures facing the Board.
Terry Fox Foundation
Trustees received a report on the success of our schools’ participation in the annual Terry Fox Run. The Terry Fox Foundation corresponded with the Board, thanking us for our support. In total, the 45 schools that participated in the 2010 run raised over $62,200 that will help make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer.