Highlights of the May 2014 Board Meeting
For Immediate Release
May 28, 2014
GUELPH, Ontario – The May monthly meeting of the Upper Grand District School Board was held on Tuesday, May 27, 2014. The following are highlights of the meeting.
Principal and Vice-principal Transfers and Appointments
A complete list of the Principal and Vice-principal transfers and appointments effective September 2014 (PDF) is provided.
Award Presentation – Canadian Parents for French (Ontario)
Betty Gormley, Executive Director of Canadian Parents for French (Ontario) (CPF) presented a plaque celebrating the board’s 40 years of offering French Immersion (FI) instruction in its schools. She noted the growth of the program both within the board and across the province and Canada. Andree Hoogendoorn Simmons, a former Upper Grand FI teacher and an FI parent from the early years, highlighted the efforts of Upper Grand to make the FI program accessible to as many students as possible. She also thanked Trustee Susan Moziar, former FI parent and longtime French as a Second Language (FSL) supporter. FI teacher and former FI student Andrea Higgins was also on hand to speak about her experiences as both student and teacher.
The plaque was presented to Mark Bailey, Chair of the board, Trustees Moziar and Director of Education, Martha Rogers. View media release from Canadian Parents for French (PDF).
Delegation of Rockwood FI Parents
Jan Macleod, a parent representing families with 22 children who have been granted out of area status to stay in the FI program at King George PS spoke to trustees. The parents are seeking a permanent busing solution. Out of area students, by board policy, are not provided with transportation. The delegation provided statistics on the number of children and families involved, the possible destinations of children if they are not bused to King George and their desire for an economically feasible solution. According to the parents, there are bus runs that could be options for their children. They asked for reconsideration of the motion from November 2013 that granted them out of area status but no bussing. The parents also requested an opportunity to talk to and work with staff and the transportation consortium to find a “no additional cost” solution for the board.
Trustee Cooper indicated that she was prepared to place the notice of reconsideration of the motion at the June 2014 meeting. There was debate on the parents’ request for the opportunity to speak with staff before the motion was reconsidered. Some trustees noted that this was premature and would make it difficult for staff who would find it awkward to act against a current board approved board motion. It was eventually determined that staff would provide information to help inform trustees’ decision making on the motion of reconsideration at the June Board meeting. The notice of reconsideration was placed. The motion, as amended at the November 2013 meeting to be reconsidered in June 2014 reads:
“That those East Wellington FI students who attended Grades JK to 4 at Edward Johnson PS in 2011/12 and were permitted to attend King George PS on an out of area basis until June 2014, be allowed to continue attendance at King George PS until Grade 8 and then attend John F Ross CVI for grades 9 to 12 with no transportation provided.”
Wellington North Elementary Accommodation Review
Staff Report #2 of the Accommodation Review of Kenilworth, Arthur and Victoria Cross (Mount Forest) public schools was received. The report, presented for information at the recent public meeting (May 15), outlines two staff options: close Kenilworth and redistribute the students between Arthur and Victoria Cross, or the status quo. The Accommodation Review Committee has been established, is meeting, and has been presented with the information report. A final decision is expected in February 2015.
Elementary and Secondary Identified Schools Reports
The board received the elementary and secondary identified schools reports. These reports identify the schools that are under or over capacity based on projected enrolment for the 2014-15 school year and the Ministry’s rated on the ground (OTG capacity). The benchmarks used by the board give the following results: in overcrowded schools Full Time Equivalent (FTE) student s exceed the OTG capacity by 110% utilization; in underutilized schools the FTE enrolment falls below the OTG capacity by 80% utilization.
For the 2014-15 school year, 9% of elementary schools are overcrowded, 23% are underutilized, and 67% are neither under or over utilized.
In secondary schools, 9% are underutilized, 27% are overcrowded, with the balance of 64% are neither under or over utilized.
10kW MicroFIT Solar PV for Elementary Schools
The Capital and Renewal Department’s update on the solar panel project at 42 elementary schools was received. The board is estimating that the expected revenue from the installations will be $300,000 to $375,000 annually. While there have been challenges related to the installations, meaning that full production was not achieved until January of 2014, the total generation to March 31, 2014 is about 200 Megawatt hours and generated approximately $270,000 of revenue. The board was able to obtain a 20-year contract rate of 80.2 cents per kWh before the rate dropped to less than half that rate of return. Installations also cost less than expected due to dropping prices for solar panels and related materials. Real time monitoring is available so students can measure their energy use, and will be made available publicly soon.
Education Development Charges
The board’s current Education Development Charge (EDC) by-laws expire on August 23, 2014. EDCs are levied on residential development only in the board’s jurisdiction for two areas: Dufferin County and Wellington County. EDCs are used for the purchase of school sites, site development costs, study costs and related charges. They cannot be used to build schools (construction).
In 2009, the EDC charge was $842 for Wellington and $391 in Dufferin for each residential unit. The proposed changes show a new rate of $1,567 for Wellington and $832 for Dufferin. The rise in the rates is largely due to the change in the cost of land available to build schools and the number of schools needed, forecasted out for 15 years. EDCs are leveled for five years then reassessed.
The background study required was developed for both the Upper Grand and Wellington Catholic school boards. It’s available for review on the board’s website. On May 28, the boards held two joint public meetings where the background study was presented. There will be a third joint public meeting to adopt the EDCs on June 18 at 7:00 p.m. at the Wellington County Council Chambers on Wyndham Street, Guelph.
The board approved the following revisions to policies: #300 Emergency Procedures, #303 Naming of Schools and Board Facilities, #400 Pre-employment Screening, #310 Display of Flags, #514 Appropriate Dress, and #510 Safe Arrival. One Protocol was received: P2 Home Use of Technology. The policies and the protocol will be posted on the board’s website and distributed to the system.
Interim Financial Reporting
The Interim Financial Report as at March 31, 2014 compares the spending on the budget to date and any changes in the percentage spent over the previous year (March 31, 2013). As a guide the expenditures should be approximately 58% at the end of March. This year spending was 60%, and last year 57.8%. Classroom and non-classroom expenditures are reasonable.
The next monthly meeting of the Upper Grand District School Board will be held on Tuesday, June 24, 2014, at the Guelph Board Office, 500 Victoria Road North, beginning at 7:00 p.m. The Board will meet as a Board as Budget Committee prior to the meeting (6:00 – 6:30 p.m.) to make a recommendation to the board about the approval of the 2014-15 budget. The budget will be approved during the regular meeting. A schedule of upcoming budget meetings will be provided.
For more information:
Maggie McFadzen, Communications Officer
Mark Weidmark, Administrative Officer – Communications
Categories: Media Releases