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UGDSB Board Meeting Highlights for September 2022

For Immediate Release
September 28, 2022

GUELPH, Ontario – The September meeting of the Upper Grand District School Board was held on September 27, 2022. The following provides highlights from the meeting.

National Truth and Reconciliation Week

Director of Education Peter Sovran provided an update to trustees on National Truth and Reconciliation Week, which is from September 26-30, 2022. Preparations for National Truth and Reconciliation Week began in June. Some of the initiatives planned include: Buttons, designed by local Anishinaabe artist Naomi Smith alongside Indigenous youth, were available for schools to order, with proceeds going to residential school survivor memorial project, Geronimo’s Dream; The newly designed NCTR Survivors flag is flying at the UGDSB board office; The Indigenous Education Department prepared a slide deck for educators of vetted digital and in-school resources. The slide deck includes a brief historical context, recommended videos and books by division, and resources and opportunities for educators to learn more themselves. Teachers have been encouraged to register for the streamed sessions being offered by The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. Some schools are hosting their own information sessions to honour the day. The board also partnered with the Guelph Civic Museum and Naomi Smith for a special workshop for intermediate Indigenous youth, No Word for Art – Orange Shirt Day edition. To learn more about the learning happening around National Truth and Reconciliation Week in the UGDSB, visit the board website.

Facility Services Sustainability Plan

Facility Services staff gave a presentation and update on the board’s Sustainability Plan. The Climate Action Plan consists of three pillars: conservation, renewable and alternative sources of energy, and environmental adaptation.

The presentation outlined the UGDSB’s past conservation goals and projects, detailed conservation projects from the 2021-2022 school year, and discussed future sustainability plans.

Past conservation goals included energy conservation goals and milestones and sources of renewable energy being utilized in the board. Examples of 2021-22 conservation projects included boiler plant replacements, LED lighting upgrades, and control system improvements.

Moving forward the Facility Services Sustainability Plan will take into account both conservation goals (e.g. how much energy are we saving?) and sustainability goals (e.g. have our carbon emissions decreased?). Staff outlined future plans for conservation methods, renewable and alternative sources of energy, and environmental adaptation.

COVID-19 Update

Staff provided an update on COVID-19 protocols and School Operations in schools. The school year began with schools organizing student-centred ways to welcome students back to school. Examples of these initiatives included Grade 9 LINK Crews in high schools, school ambassadors, school tours, combined classes outdoors that allowed students to engage with each other, welcoming messages and more.

The staff report summarized health and safety protocols in schools. The UGDSB continues to work closely with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health and take Public Health’s and the Ministry of Educations guidance and direction. on health and safety measures. These include encouraging daily screening for symptoms of illness, staying home when ill, and wearing a mask following isolation or exposure.  The UGDSB continues its work in optimizing ventilation and continues to monitor staff and student absences and trends throughout our communities and the province.

Staff also provided an update on mental health and well-being supports and resources in place to start the school year, including the First 10 Days mental wellness program, the return of the year-long Wellness Works initiative, resources for staff supporting students and for staff to support their own well-being.

Multi-Year Plan Update

Director of Education Peter Sovran provided a brief verbal update on the progress of operationalizing the UGDSB Multi-Year Plan (MYP). Staff continues their work to develop an overarching Board Action Plan, which will include expectations of measurable results that align with the priorities identified in the MYP. Staff will bring forward a draft interim report in October, which will include information on the overall visual representation of the MYP.

Trustee Vacancy

At the September 13, 2022 special board meeting, the Board of Trustees received and accepted the resignation of Trustee Foley, (Guelph, Wards 2, 3 and 4) effective, September 9, 2022. It was also noted that school liaison matters should be directed, in the interim, to Trustee Busuttil, Chair of the Board and also Trustee for Guelph, Wards 2, 3 and 4.

As a result of the resignation, a vacancy exists in the 2018-2022 UGDSB Trustee Electoral District of Guelph – Wards 2, 3 and 4. Given that the next School Board Trustee Election is October 24, 2022, and the current trustees term ends on November 14, 2022, the Board of Trustees approved a motion that no action be taken to fill the trustee vacancy prior to the October 24, 2022, municipal election.

The next regular monthly meeting will be held on Tuesday October 18, 2022. Meeting details will be posted online at

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