Meetings Notes - May 21, 2019

I am very excited that we approved our live-streaming equipment at the board meeting tonight!

We had several options from administration ranging from about $8,000 to $35,000. After much discussion, trustees ultimately supported the $35,000 option. This multi-camera option was recommended by staff with expertise in this area who had done significant research including calling other school boards to understand what they use and the benefits and drawbacks. One of the points made was that we want to live up to our brand in providing this service, therefore, quality is important. Also, with this system, the cameras will be portable and administration has already started talking about other uses including graduations and other events, as well as programming. Thus, the equipment will not only be used to live-stream our meetings. The point was also made that while it may be a little more than we need right now, strategic technological purchases should be “future-proof” investments, meaning, we should not have to buy new equipment for several years because it breaks or goes quickly out-of-date. Future-proofing generally means that more investment up front saves you money in the long run. Streaming will happen on our board’s YouTube channel. My understanding is that closed captioning and archiving will also be possible through this method. Everything should be in place for the fall.

The board also passed a motion that administration explore measures to eliminate or reduce the use of plastic straws and other single-use plastics in the GECDSB and report back to trustees with recommendations. Grade 7 students from Anderdon Public School, Addisyn Walker and Darragh Aston, with the support of teacher Jodi Nolin, made a knowledgeable and passionate presentation about the impact of single-use plastics on our local and global communities. Trustees unanimously supported the motion and I am looking forward to receiving administration’s report in the fall. I believe it is our civic duty to do what we can and I am proud that our board wants to be a leader in this area.

Finally, we received a report on our School Climate Survey results. These are done every other year with students in grades 4-12, as well as staff and parents. They are an important part of planning and this year we saw reasons to celebrate including that 81% of students have not experienced bullying and 90% feel welcome in their school. There were also reasons to develop plans for improvement including that only 52.6% indicated that they are able to calm themselves when feeling stressed and only 27% are getting the required hours of sleep. Not every area is within our direct control, but good communication, education, and relationships maximize potential in each area.

The next meeting is on June 4. I am looking forward to attending Walkerville’s Pride flag raising on June 3 and seeing Pride flags at all of our elementary and secondary for the first time.

Jessica

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Jessica Sartori