Information from your Ward 1 school board trustee Donald Cram

Upper Canada District School Board logo - Donald CramDear Constituents and Staff:

Since my last newsletter in February, many issues have been discussed at the School Board level. To keep you up to date, the following is a brief summary of our deliberations. If you have any questions or comments please contact me.

PARENT INVOLVEMENT COMMITTEE

A presentation was made to the Board of Trustees on the purpose of the Parent Involvement Committee. Their role is to:

  •  develop strategies and initiatives that the Board and the Board’s Director could use to communicate effectively with parents and to engage parents in support of their children’s learning at home and at school, and to advise on the use of these strategies: to communicate information from the Ministry to School Councils to parents
  • determine in consultation with the Director of Education, how Ministry funding, if any, for parent engagement initiatives is to be allocated
  • work with School Councils
  • share effective practices to help engage parents in their children’s learning, identify and reduce barriers to parent engagement, and to help ensure that schools are welcoming to parents

COMMUNITY USE OF SCHOOLS

Superintendent David Coombs made a presentation on the community use of schools. The UCDSB receives approximately $800,000.00 in revenue to support the community use of schools. The Board spends in excess of this amount in operating costs for this program. Despite these extra expenses, the UCDSB believes that the use of its school facilities and grounds by community groups will promote the school as being a vital part of the community. It also believes that appropriate fees must apply to maintain buildings and grounds to a level that meets community standards.

IPSOS REID SURVEY

The Accountability Framework Committee is in receipt of the Ipso Reid survey in a Power Point format. At this time, we are awaiting a full report to understand the statistics that have been reported. More to come.

NAISMITH MEMORIAL PUBLIC SCHOOL PRESENTATION

Naismith School, under the direction of Principal Gail Brant-Terry, gave an excellent presentation to the Board on Feb. 25, outlining the critical success factors of the school. She gave a detailed description of CREW (Communication, Resources, Educational Programs, Wellness) concerning the activities and student achievement at Naismith. This presentation can be seen by visiting the UCDSB

website, follow the Board Meeting Agenda link to the public session of Feb. 25 and the slide show is at the bottom of the Naismith School link.

French as a Second Language

We had a great presentation from the administrative staff on strategies to support French programming. These strategies are meant to try and encourage immersion students to continue their French language instruction at the secondary level in order to obtain a bilingual certificate. A motion introduced and passed at Board in this regard. “that the Committee of the Whole recommend that the UCDSB direct the administration to report back to the Board of Trustees in February of each year for 2016, 2017, 2018 regarding the progress of the French Immersion strategies and include any key result indicators necessary to achieve positive results.”

SELECTION AND RECRUITMENT FOR A DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION

Notice was given to the Trustees that the process for the selection and recruitment for the position of Director of Education for the UCDSB has now formally begun. Further updates will occur as we move along in the process.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Policies on Safe Workplace, Workplace Harassment, Violence in the Workplace, and Occupational Health and Safety were approved. The UCDSB experienced a reduction of 39% in lost time accidents and a reduction of 29% in no lost time accidents.

CAPTURE RATE

“Capture Rate” is one of UCDSB’s Key Result Indicators. Also commonly referred to as “Participation Rate”, this KRI represents the number of UCDSB students as a percentage of comparable age population residing within that defined attendance boundary. As such, this KRI is intended to demonstrate the extent to which our schools, and the Board as a whole, are receiving available populations of students. In purely commercial terms, participation rate would be comparable to the concept of “market share”. The Board of Trustees requested the Director to share the present capture rate with principals of schools and request that principals, beginning September 2015, develop strategies to support our 1% system goal to increase the capture rate and to build strategies into their success plan, September 2016.

SUICIDE PREVENTION, INTERVENTION, AND RISK REVIEW

This protocol for students across our geographical district area has been created in collaboration with and developed by UCDSB, Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario, and a cross section of partners including Children’s Mental Health of Leeds and Grenville, Open Doors (Lanark), Valerie (Prescott and Russell), Cornwall Hospital (SD&G), children’s aide societies, community police services, CHEO, Hotel Dieu, and hospitals throughout the region. Honoring this collaborative process and working with over 25 agencies and organizations across our communities has resulted in a comprehensive plan and risk review tool for Suicide Prevention, Training, Intervention, and Postvention.

Donald.cram@ucdsb.on.ca

www.donaldcram.ca