submitted by UCDSB
Trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) met on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. Some of the items discussed in the public session are as follows.
2023-2024 Budget Approved
Executive Superintendent of Business Services Jeremy Hobbs presented to Trustees the proposed budget for the 2023-2024 school year. This comes after regular budget-related reports over the last several months.
Hobbs noted that the total proposed budget sits at $424.2 million. This proposed budget is compliant with the Ministry of Education requirements. $424 million of the budget will go toward expenses and the UCDSB anticipates a surplus of $200,000 to remain compliant.
Highlights of the proposed budget include:
– $53.7 million for Special Education, a 7.4 per cent increase and includes a full-year implementation of the Power Up 2 (P2) program expansion. The Special Education budget represents 12.8 per cent of the board’s expense budget;
– $4.1 million for Indigenous Education supports, which includes $1.3 million in one-time mitigation funding to offset the Ministry of Education’s funding model change;
– $1.6 million in continued investment in student technology and IT infrastructure;
– $1.5 million in math recovery support for students from the Ministry of Education;
– $1.2 million investment in literacy support from the Ministry of Education for reading activities, screening tools, and software licenses; and
– $1.2 million for mental health and well-being support. The proposed budget adequately addresses foreseeable financial risks for 2023-2024 in estimating Special Incidence Portion, transportation, and the application of Indigenous education and math funding.
Also noted in the proposed budget is $58 million for planned investments in school and child care capital construction, additions, improvements, and retrofits. Additionally, $2.1 million has been allocated for Experiential/ Real-World Learning, Specialist High Skills Major, and Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program opportunities for students, which is directly tied to the priorities outlined in the Director’s Work Plan.
Trustees voted in favour of the budget. It will now go to the Ministry of Education for final approval.
Director’s Work Plan Update
Executive Superintendent of Student Success and Innovation, Eric Hardie, provided an update on the Director’s Work Plan Student Success goal of a 90 per cent graduation rate and the Authentic Student Learning Experience (ASLE) Tool.
Hardie explained that when the district has lost students, the district can’t re-engage them by offering them more of the same. The district has to meet them in the middle ground, between their skills, talents and the curriculum. ASLE is a responsive, individualized strategy, capturing new learning and is an umbrella tool that takes pieces from a variety of Ministry of Education documents and centres them in a process to engage or re-engage students. The ministry provides a general direction on what to do, but it’s the district’s job to figure out the how.
ASLE is a responsive, individualized strategy, capturing new learning that turns students who would not otherwise graduate into graduates, prevents at-risk students from dropping out, validates a student’s learning outside of school, makes them feel heard, and provides them with a structure to achieve their pathway.
Trustee Vacancy Update
Chair of the Upper Canada District School Board John McAllister provided an update on the Ward 7 Trustee vacancy and the next steps. Earlier this month, Larry Berry announced that he would be stepping down from his trustee position due to personal reasons.
McAllister advised that the vacancy will be shared with each school council and parent involvement committee, posted on the UCDSB website and social media accounts and shared with local media and municipalities. The timeline for applications is May 25 to June 6.