Board highlights from October 2014
October 29, 2014
GUELPH, Ontario – The regular monthly meeting of the Upper Grand District School Board was held on Tuesday, October 28, 2014. The following are highlights of the meeting.
Facility Partnership and Co-Building Opportunities
As required by Board Policy #319 Facility Partnerships, trustees review the utilization of school space annually in the elementary and secondary Identified Schools Reports. Schools that demonstrate over a two-year period that they have more than 200 unused student spaces, or less that 60% occupancy, are eligible for sharing with community partners.
Only Grand Valley and District Elementary School met the criteria. However, new residential development in the Town of Grand Valley is progressing, and as such it is not considered prudent to pursue any partnerships at this time.
Norwell District Secondary School in Palmerston is the only secondary school with a significant number of unused spaces – more than 200. However, the school has not been under 60% occupancy, and so it is not being considered for Partnership Space.
Regarding co-build opportunities, a new elementary school is planned for East Guelph. However, the 4 acre site is slightly smaller in size than that of most new schools, and the timing for design and construction precludes any co-build opportunities. The board’s partnership list will be notified that no space is available for this year, and the information will also be posted on the board’s website.
From December 1, 2014 to November 31, 2015, trustee honoraria will be set at the following:
- Chair – $17,865 (down $54 from the previous year)
- Vice Chair – $14,591 (down 448 from previous year)
- Other Trustees: $11,317 (down $42 from previous year)
The honoraria are set by base amounts plus an enrolment amount based on the Average Daily Enrolment (ADE) from the budget for the previous year.
Strategic Directions 2015-2018
The Board approved the vision, mission statements, guiding principles and goals of the board for 2015-2018 as developed by the Strategic Planning Committee. The strategies to meet the goals will be developed during this school year.
- Vision – inspire, learn, lead
- Mission Statements – As leaders in the education community we will develop student learning skills, foster achievement and well-being and create a positive and inclusive environment
- Guiding Principles – As leaders in our education community we will do our work by inspiring all voices, learning through collaboration and leading with confidence
- Goals – equity of access and opportunity, high levels of student achievement, energized staff, and increased public confidence
Reduced Walking Distance
The board directed the Policy Management Committee (PMC) to adjust walking distances for students effective September 2015. The distance to be walked by JK to grade 6 students will be reduced to 1.6 km. Grades 7 and 8 and 9 to 12 students will continue to walk the same distances as currently noted in the Board’s Transportation Policy # 304. The Policy Management Committee will report back to the Board on November 25.
The Chair will write to MP David Tilson (Dufferin – Caledon) thanking him for his letter about the federal Small Business Tax Credit which will help small businesses hire more workers and grow the economy. In the letter, the board will remind MP Tilson of the need to remove the HST from school boards in Canada as a way to help education.
The board requested that staff write to the Minister of Education regarding the City of Guelph’s proposal to tax school boards for storm water management as an alternate way of funding these systems. Staff learned of this proposal from meetings held by the City. District school boards are not taxed by municipalities for any other service. Waterloo Region District School Board wrote to the Minister previously on this issue, and in support of its position staff will append the WRDSB letter to the correspondence with the Minister.
The board instructed its local trustee representatives (Guelph, Dufferin Area, Centre Wellington) to contact to their Chambers of Commerce to ask the Chambers to provide a rationale for Board membership in these bodies.
The next meeting of the Upper Grand District School Board will be held on Tuesday, November 25 in the Guelph Board Office beginning at 7:00 p.m. This will be the final meeting of the 2010-2014 Board.
The Inaugural Meeting for the newly-elected Trustees will be held on December 2, 2014.
For more information:
Maggie McFadzen, Communications Officer
Mark Weidmark, Administrative Officer – Communications