Meeting Notes - October 20, 2015

We began our board meeting tonight with a tribute to Mr. Dan Martin, a former Mechanical Maintenance Supervisor who began working with our board in 1991.

In the words of Director Erin Kelly, those who knew him will remember him as having a confident smile, a cheerful disposition, and a great sense of humourHe will be missed.

Our Student of the Month was then recognized by Student Trustee Jain. Ruby McKinnon is a multi-talented student at Walkerville Collegiate Centre for the Arts. In addition to maintaining high grades, she attends WCCA for visual art, media, and piano. She is known as a shining example for all students. We were sad to learn that Ruby is currently undergoing cancer treatment but she perseveres as a singer-songwriter for her band “Flowerface”. You're an inspiration, Ruby!

Some questions arose tonight about bullying in schools in light of commentary from community members during the PARC. Administration is working on a plan and will present in the near future. Bullying needs to be taken very seriously as it affects students at their core and can be detrimental to self esteemgeneral mental health, peer relationships, and, finally, school performance.

We also discussed a meeting with the new Acting Ombudsman attended by Director Kelly recently. Ombudsman Barbara Finlay indicated they are learning about the education sector as this is a new addition to the Ombudsman role. Director Kelly indicated the Ombudsman wants to hear about the best ways to have communication and feedback with boards across the province and we can work together. GECDSB now has an updated Public Concerns Regulation which speaks to the various channels the community can use to provide feedback or concerns to the board. As well, here is a link to the Ombudsman website

In addition, we are also looking at ways to have more parent involvement with the Board. The Greater Essex County Parent Involvement Committee (GECPIC) will be working on this. Please feel free to provide me feedback any time. For those unfamiliar, here is some information about GECPIC. Note that you do not have to be a member of GECPIC to attend. All parents are welcome.

Finally, Trustee Taves brought a Notice of Motion to have Administration develop a plan to address declining enrollment. I think this is an important question and part of his motion will be about being able to track families that leave our board and why. I look forward to hearing more at the next board meeting.

The next meeting is on November 3 at which the Education and Operations and Finance Committees will convene.Please don’t forget to check out my Math Task Force blog. And don’t miss Western Secondary School’s Pumpkin Fest this Saturday and Sunday from 10am-4pm!

Jessica

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Jessica Sartori