Upper Canada District School Board Report

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STEO Presents Inclement Weather Policy Report:

Janet Murray, General Manager and CAO of Student Transportation of Eastern Ontario (STEO), provided trustees with a report on the possibilities, challenges and considerations involved in moving to a zone approach to transportation cancellations and away from the district-wide approach that is currently being followed. This presentation is a follow-up to a motion from trustees in September. 

Janet outlined the current process, the possible opportunities, challenges and risks with moving to a zone-based model, taking into account safety risk analysis, driver coverage, road maintenance, communication to stakeholders and more. The STEO Board of Directors has agreed to undertake a zonal cancellation model review to be provided to the STEO Board of Directors by Jan. 31, 2022. If implemented, the new model wouldn’t be set in motion until the 2022-23 school year at the earliest.  

Update on Student Enrolment:

After experiencing higher than predicted enrolment numbers for the 2021-2022 school year, UCDSB staff were asked at a previous Board of Trustees meeting to determine the root causes for the enrolment increases as well as the geographic regions experiencing growth. 

Staff outlined that for elementary school students – not including kindergarten students beginning their educational journey – the largest reason for the enrolment jump is new students switching from another English public school board to the UCDSB. This accounted for 40% of new elementary registrants. The likely cause is more families migrating to the area from another school board region. Meanwhile, 26% of new registrants came from the coterminous Catholic school board. Migration to the area was also the largest reason of increased enrolment for new secondary students as well, including international students.  

Staff noted that the regions experiencing the most growth include Russell and Rockland as well as the Vankleek Hill, Carleton Place and Rideau Families of Schools. The UCDSB experienced a net positive increase of enrolment of 2% for the 2021-2022 school year. 

UCDSB Sets Sight on Graduation Success Strategies:

UCDSB staff reviewed the projected graduation rate for the 2022 school year and estimated it will be between 84-87%. With a vision for a 90% graduation rate, the UCDSB has reviewed district-wide data and trends that best help determine possible gaps tied to course completion, pathways, students and teachers, with the goal to turn this information into actionable items. 

As a result, the UCDSB has re-created its student success vision which encompasses using data and student voice for continued improvement, relying less on credit recovery and focusing on preventative strategies for preventing failures, expanding and standardizing school toolboxes for student success, innovatively revamping courses that are failed regularly, and continuing to develop pathways for students so they have a sense of direction upon graduation.  

UCDSB Passes Motion for Kindergarten Students to Wear Masks:

UCDSB trustees unanimously passed a motion that will require all Kindergarten students to wear masks while at school.  

During the meeting, Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Chief Medical Officer of Health with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, indicated that there are no negative health risks for youngest students in this age group to wear masks and that it will provide them with more protection. The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Paula Stewart, has also agreed with this stance. This decision will go into effect at all UCDSB elementary schools on Monday, November 1, 2021.  

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