Meeting Notes - May 18, 2017

Tonight we recognized 10 staff members including teachers, principals, attendance counsellors, and one of our secretaries for Outstanding Service. 

Nominees are recommended by 5 or more colleagues for going above and beyond at GECDSB every day, then selected by a panel of the various employee groups at GECDSB. I was excited that several award recipients were recognized for their work in supporting students and colleagues in math development. You can find a full list of these incredible people here. Congratulations and thank you to everyone!

We had three notices of motion that were voted on tonight. I supported a motion to publish individual trustee expenses annually. This will include our base Honouraria, the kilometrage claimed to travel to meetings or to schools, expenses to attend conferences, and other expenses such as claims for phone bills and internet. I do not claim any expenses. The board office is on my route home from work, schools in my area are within a relatively small radius, and I already owned the technology I use as a trustee. This context will not be reflected in the reporting and these circumstances will be different for every trustee. I supported the motion in the interest of transparency and accountability around stewardship of taxpayer dollars. Indeed, the motion received unanimous support.

I was also happy to support Trustee Dave Taves’ motion to hold the final accommodation meeting for the Leamington family of schools in Leamington rather than at the board office in Windsor. I think this meeting needs to be accessible to the community and we should try to do what we can do to encourage attendance.

Finally, I was disappointed that my motion to prioritize efforts to create community hubs in existing schools was defeated. Specifically, we are eligible for up to $856,000 to retrofit existing schools with empty student spaces for community partners to offer programming and services. This requires a proposal in collaboration with a community service provider which needs to be received by the Ministry of Education by the end of the 2017/18 school year. We have held information sessions, but we have not been successful. Therefore, my motion was for administration to present trustees with a list of eligible schools, possible programming, and a plan to engage community partners. I wanted us to hustle and to work together. Although the motion failed, the idea of community hubs is not dead and I will continue my own efforts because I think this can help save schools. Please contact me if you have any ideas or questions.

The next meeting is on May 24 at the board office. This will be a Special Board Meeting to receive feedback from the community about two Accommodation Reviews that we will be voting on soon. One is for schools in Leamington and the other is for schools in Forest Glade. Details are here. The meeting is open to all. Before then I will be attending the Multicultural Festival at Westview Freedom Academy with a variety of food and entertainment to celebrate this diverse school community, and Walkerville Collegiate’s Carnival with games, activities, and live performances from Walkerville students on May 18. All are welcome!


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Jessica Sartori