Upper Canada District Board of Trustees Meeting

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Chair of the Board, John McAllister

Trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) met on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 for their regular Board of Trustees meeting. Trustees and senior staff joined the meeting by teleconference to ensure physical distancing, however full audio was broadcasted live. Trustees discussed several items:

Chair’s Comments on Current Events in the USA that Highlights Racism and Injustices:

Chair of the Board, John McAllister, delivered opening remarks to speak to those in the Upper Canada District School Board and in the larger community about concerns of racism and injustice over this past weekend, in the United States. Chair McAllister shared how classroom learning prepares our students to thoughtfully and respectfully respond to the offensive presence of racism in our world. See the full statement here.

Update on Student Transportation of Eastern Ontario Operations:

Trustee John Danaher updated the board on operations of Student Transportation of Eastern Ontario (STEO), the consortium that manages busing for the board. STEO has renewed its contract with bus drivers for next school year. The contract awards drivers the two per cent pay increase recommended by an arbitrator. STEO staff have been working remotely since the pandemic began, and have been working to inform communities about bell times changes and how they will affect transportation services in September.

Report on District-Wide-Timetable and Synchronous eLearning:

Effective September 2020, all 21 UCDSB secondary schools will have adopted a District-Wide Timetable model with a common five-period day, and 19 of those schools will also have aligned bell times. This structure will allow students access to a greater variety of courses and online resources. Staff reported on the positive reaction of students to the Synchronous eLearning pilot project, currently operating at Seaway District High School, North Dundas District High School, Gananoque Secondary School and Almonte District High School. The model allows students at different schools to participate in online courses during the same period of the day, while benefitting from real-time interaction with teachers through the digital course delivery platform known as Desire2Learn / D2L.

Update on UCDSB Response to COVID-19:

Schools have been planning new ways to safely celebrate the accomplishments of secondary school graduates and elementary students advancing to high school during this period of the pandemic. Schools will be communicating these plans to their families over the next week. Staff are also working with public health officials to develop a plan to allow parents and students access to schools to retrieve personal belongings from school lockers and classrooms. Protocols for accessing school buildings will be tested by using smaller schools first to fine-tune the process, before expanding a plan for limited entry to larger schools. As well, the Board heard that about 200 custodial and maintenance staff have started back to daily shifts to conduct cleaning and maintenance work within our schools and in-school childcare centres.

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