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Board Meeting Highlights for February 2022

For Immediate Release
February 23, 2022

GUELPH, Ontario – The February meeting of the Upper Grand District School Board was held on February 22, 2022. The following provides highlights from the meeting.

Black Heritage, Black Brilliance and Black Futures Month

Equity staff gave a presentation on Black Heritage, Black Brilliance and Black Futures Month in the UGDSB.

Responsively and with critical thought, students driving this work in the UGDSB requested that the month be named Black Heritage, Black Brilliance and Black Futures month in 2021. This intentional name represents a balanced approach to understanding that the history, reality, and future of people of the African diaspora involves immense racism and injustice including slavery as well as pre-slavery history, excellence, social justice action and positive contribution.

Contributors to this board-wide work includes Student Black Affinity Groups, such as the GCVI Black Student Union and CDDHS Black Chapter, the UGDSB Black Staff Advisory Group, Curriculum Leads and Coaches, and the Early Learning Team. Community connections and partnerships include the Guelph Black Heritage Society, Dufferin County Canadian Black Association, County of Wellington Museum, One Voice, One Team, Niagara Museum, GET Outreach Dufferin, and the University of Guelph.

Throughout the month, daily events, initiatives and resources were made available to schools through the board’s internal Equity Hub website, Equity Reps and Administrators to engage and further their learning.

Featured spotlights include Denise and Kween from the Guelph Black Heritage Society, Dufferin Area Black Brilliance, Dr. Eugenia Addy and STEM, Natasha Henry, the Ealey Family, the CDDHS Black Chapter, the GCVI Black Student Union, Dr. ABC, and more

The UGDSB is also hosting live events featuring Dr. Cheryl Thompson, Local Black History and Erasure (Wellington County Black History with Wencke Rudi and Kyle Smith (Wellington County Museum).

Numerous staff and student voice resources are available, as well as capacity building opportunities for staff.

This is important work that continues throughout the school year in the UGDSB. 

Mental Health Updates

The monthly Mental Health staff presentation included information on parent/caregiver and community events, including “Nurturing Resilience Through Community Involvement,” which was held on February 3 and moderated by Sara Sayyed, Senior Advisor of Equity, Anti-Racism and Indigenous Initiatives at the City of Guelph, and a live screening of Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age followed by a panel discussion, which will be held in the spring. The UGDSB’s Mental Health and Addictions Lead, Jenny Marino, also provided an update on upcoming mandatory training sessions to support the implementation of the board’s new Anti-Sex Trafficking Protocol.

Elementary Remote Program 2022-23

Staff gave a presentation on preliminary plans for the UGDSB’s 2022-23 Elementary Remote Program (ERP). The 2022-23 will be a refresh of the current program.

The UGDSB will continue to offer a standalone ERP in the 2022-23 school year, as families continue to have multiple reasons for choosing remote learning. The board is estimating approximately 400-500 students will enroll in the ERP next year. Similar to this year, students who choose the ERP would remain in the program for the full school year. The ERP would continue to offer synchronous live instruction using the online Google platform.

Registration for the 2022-23 ERP will take place during the second week of June, followed by parent confirmation during the third week of August. There will be an additional opportunity for families to move into the program as space permits in September, once openings are assessed and reorganization in schools has taken place.

Draft School Year Calendars 2022-2023

Trustees approved draft school year calendars for the 2022-2023 school year for elementary and secondary schools in the Upper Grand DSB. The draft calendars will now be submitted to the Ministry of Education for final approval.

The calendars were reviewed by a committee of stakeholders, including representatives from all bargaining units, principals, human resources, board staff, transportation, and parents.

Both calendars have 194 days, which include 7 professional activity days. In secondary, 10 instructional days have been scheduled for examinations. The calendars meet the minimum requirements under Ontario Regulation 304 and abide by the elementary and secondary teachers’ collective agreements.

It is proposed that students start the year on Sept. 6. This year, the draft calendars include one modification with a proposed Winter Break from December 26, 2022, to January 6, 2023. Furthermore, an additional board holiday is set for December 23, 2022, so that the last instructional day before the Winter Break is December 22, 2022. March Break will be from Monday March 13 to Friday March 17, 2023. The last day of school will fall on June 27, 2023, for secondary students and June 29 for elementary students. The Wellington Catholic District School Board will be submitting a similar calendar to the Ministry for approval.

The draft calendars will be posted on the board website under School Year Calendars.

Multi-Year Plan

Director of Education Peter Sovran provided an update on the board’s Multi-Year Plan (MYP) Process. A school board’s MYP establishes the key directions that guide the organization’s actions for the students and communities that it serves. The MYP should articulate priorities that are future oriented, inclusive, and measurable. As background, at the November Board Meeting trustees approved motions that the Director prepare a report with recommendations to initiate the process for the development of the MYP, and that the MYP report and recommendations include process management and governance, the development of board strategic directions with trustees, community engagement and consultation, and a timeline. A report was received at the January Board Meeting.

At the February Board Meeting, Director Sovran provided an update on the MYP Process. In accordance with UGDSB Purchasing Policy and Procedure select Project Management firms were contacted in late January/early February to indicate interest in involvement in the MYP Process. Firms expressing an interest in submitting a proposal were invited to meet with the Director during the week of February 14 to discuss scope and timing and to address questions. Proposals have been requested to be received during the week of February 21 with a decision following shortly thereafter. Work will commence immediately including establishing dates/locations for Trustee working sessions.

Development Application Review Annual Report

Throughout the year, each municipality within the board’s jurisdiction circulates development applications to the board’s Planning Department. These include applications for Zoning By-law Amendments, Official Plan Amendments, Draft Plans of Subdivision, Condominium Plans, and other County/City/Township initiated projects. The Planning Department reviews these applications and provides comments and/or conditions as they relate to school direction, active transportation, and property matters.

The Planning Department provided an overview of the development applications processed from January to December 2021 along with the growth trends in various jurisdictions.

In total, the board received 262 applications, of which 83 were responded to by the Planning Department. The majority of these responses were related to residential development applications. The Planning Department reviewed each submission thoroughly to assess any impact on UGDSB schools.

The report received by trustees reviewed the applications circulated from the City of Guelph, Wellington County and Dufferin County, as well as areas to watch for potential growth.

To read the full report, visit the board website.

Elementary Vice-Principal Transfers

The following Elementary Vice-Principal Transfers are effective March 21, 2022:

COVID-19 Updates

Staff provided an overview of recent changes from the Ministry regarding health and safety protocols related to COVID-19, including updates to masking protocols outdoors and the resumption of sports and extracurricular activities.

The UGDSB is expected to receive an additional 200 HEPA filtration units from the Ministry. This is in addition to the more than 2,200 units purchased by the UGDSB and placed in all classrooms. Additional units are being sent to schools this week for placement in school staff rooms. Additionally, nearly 50,000 rapid antigen tests will be distributed in schools this week.

Policy Updates

Trustees approved the following board policies:

The following protocol has been rescinded:

To view all UGDSB policies and procedures, and to provide feedback on draft policies, visit

The next regular monthly meeting will be held on Tuesday March 22, 2022. Meeting details will be posted online at

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