Meeting Notes - April 21, 2015

The board meeting was very special tonight.

We recognized ten staff who have shown a track record of exceptional service and dedication. A reception was held at the board office before the meeting started, and during the meeting the recipients were presented with tokens of appreciation. Scott Scantlebury, our Public Relations Officer, did a great job emceeing the ceremony as well as writing clever speeches about the reasons each person was receiving an award. Indeed, he highlighted “Every Little Thing” they do each day. Congratulations and thank you to all – “Don’t Ever Change”.

Next, our Student of the Month for April was Hunter Roth. As a grade 9 student, Hunter has accomplished much in his short career in high school. He is involved with Student Council and volunteers inside and outside school, acquiring over 200 volunteer hours this school year alone. He organized Herman’s first ever Ping Pong Tournament which was a wild success and he works with the Spitfires. He is also a part-time DJ and maintains very good grades. He is known as the student people go to for help as well as “engaged, well-rounded, trusted, and responsible”.  Way to go, Hunter!

We then got down to business and approved the School Year Calendar as well as updates to policies which have been reviewed as part of our cyclical policy reviews.

Superintendent of Business, Cathy Lynd, presented additional information about the factors going into the 2015-16 school year budget, specifically the Grants for Student Needs and the General Legislative Grants. We are currently projecting a $2.4 million deficit for 2014-15. Declining enrollment will increase the deficit over time. We learned that with changes to the Ministry Funding Model, we are going from 54 schools designated as geographically outlying (rural), and which we received extra funding for, to two (Centennial Central and Pelee Island). On the positive side, we learned that we will receive a larger Capital Grant for School Condition Improvement than previous years. The deadline for submission of the 2015-16 budget is June 30, 2015.

Our next meeting is on May 5 for the Standing Committees of Education and Operations and Finance. My motion to convene to convene a Math Task Force will be debated that night. For more information visit my previous blog. I did not realize it at the time, but the motion will be debated during the Ministry of Education’s Education Week, May 4th to 8th. It is very fitting that the theme for Education Week 2015 is: “Achieving Excellence: Moving Forward in Math”. That week is also Staff Appreciation Week at the board and I expect there will be more great announcements to come.


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Jessica Sartori