Trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) met virtually on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 for a Special Board of Trustees meeting. The meeting was broadcasted live and recorded using Microsoft Teams. Trustees discussed several agenda items.
Update on UCDSB School Operations:
UCDSB staff presented the revised Return to School Guide that has been updated to reflect new directives received over the past two weeks from the Ministry of Education and advice from our Chief Medical Officers of Health.
Key revisions to the guide include: a staggered entry for students starting on September 11, with all students in school by September 15; information about secondary quadmesters, including a new secondary school calendar; remote learning options; Parent screening tool; and mask exemption process for students.
It is important to note that parents who wish to have their child exempt from wearing a mask must complete the COVID-19 Mask Exemption Form and submit it to the school principal before the child attends school without a mask.
Update on the UCDSB Remote Learning Model:
UCDSB staff provided an update on the current remote learning model and clarifications around synchronous learning and privacy.
The Remote Learning Guide, a companion document to the Return to School Guide is posted on the Return to School Information page. This guide provides a specific overview of the three models of remote program delivery: synchronous digital (digital learning, in real-time, from home), asynchronous digital (digital learning, not in real time, from home) and asynchronous non-digital (learning offline, at home, using print materials).
UCDSB staff have been providing additional information to provide a clear overview of the safety measures that are inherent to our Board-supported digital tools (Brightspace D2L, Microsoft Teams and Board-issued student email). Additionally, there are several Board policies that support the effective use of digital tools and/or provide mechanisms for addressing incidents of intentional misuse of digital tools and applications.
These policies are outlined in the Maintaining Care, Support and Privacy in UCDSB Remote Learning Programs document.
After some discussion around the remote learning model, trustees approved a motion that the Director of Education report to the Board on the feasibility, cost, and the implementation schedule related to the setup of a virtual school for all students in the synchronous K-6 model. This report would be presented to the Board by no later than November 25, 2020.
Update on Funding Sources to Respond to Projected COVID-19 Expenses:
UCDSB staff updated trustees of current and potential sources of revenue that could be applied to support the COVID-19 response as well as expenditures to date. As a result of uncommitted staffing supports related to contractual agreements, contingencies identified during the 2020-2021 budget process and funding support from the Ministry of Education, a total of $14.3 million was identified as revenue that could be applied to the COVID-19 response in the UCDSB.