Meeting Notes - June 2

Meeting Notes – June 2, 2015

This is definitely celebration season!

We began by celebrating our Scholarship and Bursary recipients. These financial awards are presented to graduating students who have been involved in their schools and communities, achieved good grades, and demonstrated excellent character and integrity. Congratulations to all!

We then received the PARC Committee’s presentation of their proposed “scenarios”:


  • maintain Western Secondary School as a Special Education school and expand programming

  • implement community hubs in Amherstburg, Harrow and Kingsville

  • maintain Harrow District High School at present location until a JK-12 build is complete

  • build a new JK-12 school in Kingsville

  • maintain General Amherst High School


  • move Western Secondary School and transition those students to General Amherst High School as a separate program in a newly built school in Amherstburg on a board and town approved site (possible school within a school)

  • implement community hubs in Amherstburg, Harrow and Kingsville

  • establish a JK-12 school in Harrow

  • build a new JK-12 school in Kingsville

The committee agreed that both may be more longer-term solutions because they require Ministry funding for new builds. It is clear from these scenarios that this committee of community members places high value on community schools. Administration will bring forward their recommendations this fall.

At the Education Committee, we discussed the framework for the Math Task Force that was brought forward by Administration. I think the project is off to a good start!

Committee Composition will include both internal and external GECDSB staff as well as external partners/experts. The committee will be made up of, but not limited to, the following:


Superintendent of Education – Program and Curriculum (1)

University Professors – Math Focus (3)

Parent Representatives (2)

Community Member – Math Focus (1)

Secondary Principal (1)

Elementary Principal (1)

Elementary Math Teachers (2)

Secondary Math Teachers (2)

Secondary Central Office Curriculum Staff – Math Focus (2)

Elementary Central Office Curriculum Staff – Math Focus (3)

Student Work Study Staff (2)

ESL Central Office Curriculum Staff (1)

Special Education Central Office Staff (1)

Assessment Central Office Curriculum Staff (1)

Ministry of Education Staff – Student Achievement Division (2)

MISA Lead (1)

Student Focus Group – GECDSB Students and Reciprocal Learning Chinese Students

Not all of these members will need to be present at every meeting. For example, Ministry staff and University Professors can participate on a consultative basis as well as by Skype.

 Subcommittees will include but not be limited to:

  • Professional Learning Subcommittee

  • Research and Data Analysis Subcommittee

  • Curriculum Review Subcommittee

  • Professional Resources Subcommittee

  • Learning Environment Subcommittee

 These subcommittees include and also go beyond curriculum, and teaching and learning philosophy to examine structures, for example, number of minutes of math teaching per day and well as time of day math is taught.

Projected costs including release time for staff are around $10,000.

The trustees also debated and unanimously supported my motion to have two trustees participating on the committee: myself and Trustee McKinley. We also unanimously supported a motion brought by Trustees Buckler and Halberstadt that two parents, one from the elementary level and one from the secondary level, participate as well. We discussed focus groups as a form of outreach to additional parents. The Math Task Force will launch in September 2015, meet once per month, with an interim report in November and the final report in February 2016. Subcommittees will also meet once per month. The committee will continue to meet monthly through June 2016. Meanwhile, all of the math initiatives that are currently underway will continue moving forward. There is no need to delay.

Our last scheduled meeting for this school year is on June 16.  Before then, I will be attending “Stars of GECDSB” at St. Clair Centre for the Arts, a celebration of the musical, vocal, and dance and movement talents in schools across the board.


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Jessica Sartori