Minutes EPSAC November, 30, 2021

Posted December 1, 2021

Members Present 

Blaire Comacchio, Christa Ormiston, Stephanie Moddison, Jeff Murray, Jacqueline Nyman, Marya Morrison, Tia Marttala, Paul Tribe, Ang Murray, Heidi Muller, Heather Pollock, 


  1. Principal’s Report – Tuesday, November 30, 2021 @ 7:00 PM


  • School Photo Retakes took place on November 25th.  


  • Mixed cohort (between grades, etc.) are now allowed.


  • We have had a few questions.  I have asked the Board about them and highlighted them below.

o When will inter-school sports resume?  We do not have a timeline for these events at this point.  We are allowing inter-school sports to begin in secondary and will monitor this situation which will help us make an informed decision later this year.  In the interim, outdoor intramurals are a great option.

o How about clubs?  Those are now allowed.  So far we have the Rainbow Club, a Music Club, and in the works are 2 LEGO Clubs and a Volleyball intramural experience.

o Will Lunchbox for online food delivery be allowed?  This will now be allowed.  We have reached out to get pricing and who is participating.  Our plan is to resume in January.

o May parents send in home baked goods?  We were given a message last night (November 29th) that these kinds of things remain on hold for now, as a result of a meeting between the Board and Public Health.

o Connected to the above, baking experiences by staff and students also remain on hold.


  • Thanks very much for helping the dropping off and picking up of children a safer and somewhat smoother experience.  We still have a few situations of people backing up and/or driving out against the flow, but generally a better experience.


  • Interviews appeared to go fairly well.  I know there had been some issues with uploading the report card.  That feedback has been forwarded to the IT Department.


  • Communication.  I have transitioned to using UGConnect from the old CASL email program that will be decommissioned at the end of December.  I hope all of you are getting my messages.  I will continue to post these on the Facebook page and onto our Website.  I do Tweet a few things, as well.  Should I send out another invitation to register for UGConnect?


  • Receptions.  Thanks for our doughnut and coffee reception.  We were hoping to do this on a regular basis, perhaps once a month.  Do you have any feedback for us?


  • In-Person Assemblies still remain on hold.  We did a virtual assembly for Remembrance Day, but could not broadcast it due to safety and privacy issues.  Staff have been reaching out to families to see how we can work through that.  Our hope is to be able to send you via email, the broadcast of our Holiday Assembly.  Our bandwidth would not accommodate people logging into the assembly, even if we were able to do it.  The date of the assembly is planned for Thursday, December 16th.


  • We will also be doing virtual carols on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.


  • Inclement Weather Procedure.  This has been reviewed and updated.  Please feel free to go to the following link for a complete description.  https://www.ugdsb.ca/blog/information-about-bus-cancellations-and-remote-learning-on-inclement-weather-days/


  • Five Days of Giving starts Monday, December 6th.  The organizations supported are the East Wellington Community Services in Rockwood and Hope House in Guelph.  An email was sent out Monday, November 29th as well as a flyer sent home last week.


  • Winter Festivity Week starts Monday, December 13.  The special days are in the School Calendar.  They include:  Holiday Hat and Sock Monday; Blue, White and Silver Tuesday (Hanukkah Holiday Colours); Red, White and Green Wednesday (Christmas Colours); Red, Black and Green Thursday (Kwanzaa Holiday Colours), Comfy Cosy Sweater Friday (PJs or comfortable sweater).


  • Equity Accountability Audit.  We are working on a survey to go home, as well as one for students (where they will have input).  Below are suggested questions that may be altered to suit the community needs.  Treat them as a first step.  Once complete, they could be sent out as a Google survey and/or a paper one.


  • Family Survey Questions
  1. What makes you feel welcome in our school community? 
  2. What could the school do to help you feel more welcome?
  3. Is the communication from the school in a format that works for you?
  4. In what ways do school/classroom activities reflect a variety of identities and backgrounds?
  5. How could your family identity be better reflected in school/classroom activities? (e.g., days of celebration, assemblies, resources, guest speakers, community connections)
  6. What could we do to make participation in the School (Parent) Council easier for you? How might the School (Parent) Council draw in more diverse parent/guardian voices?
  7. Moving forward with clubs, trips and sports teams, what could we do to make them more affordable, inclusive and relevant to diverse groups of people?
  8. What do educators do to get to know the important information about your family and your children and is there trust to share this? 
  9. When you give input or feedback to the school, do you feel your voice is heard, respected and reflected in action?  How could we improve?
  10. What community connections would you like to see the school make (e.g., community groups, arts organizations)? Do you have any lived experiences you would be interested in sharing with our school community?
  11. What else is important for us to know about how you and your children feel at school? (For example, are names pronounced correctly, preferred pronouns used, your identities represented and honoured)


Ideas, suggestions, feedback…..


Concerns over if the survey is anonymous.

Where is the data going, and how will it be used? It is a board initiative but it will be used at the school level. 

Choice in how they respond to the survey electronic vs. paper copy. 

Oldest and only so we don’t get the survey 2,3,4 times. 

Click on a link for the survey in an email so it is convenient.

Option for google form with check boxes and area for families to add written responses.  

Approach staff as well for feedback from interviews and family communication. 


Dear Families,


It is the UGDSB’s mission to create and encourage school climates that promote a healthy and inclusive relationship between staff and students, make students and staff feel safe and encourage positive leaders in our school community and outside of it.  It’s also the goal of our school and community of schools, to learn more about our students and families so that we may plan and implement school-wide practices that are accessible, equitable and inclusive of our members.  


We are seeking your input to help us with achieving our goal and so we kindly ask that you share your feedback by taking a few minutes to complete this survey,  


  1. Financial Report – Heather P: We had a successful wreath making night. 


We have approximately $4500 in the account. 


We still have to move $1000 in the playground fund. 

We still have to decide on the ask for headphones for the 5/6 class. 

We still have the technology fund asking for donations we may wait until next year. 

We still have to support agendas ( through Board funds for EPSAC), year end awards and engravings, teacher receipts for in class expenses, 


Possibility of fundscrip-gift card fundraiser

Possibility of bottle drive run by Christa and Paul Orimiston. 

Consideration for chicken fundraiser depending on COVID restrictions at the time. 


  1. Wreath Fundraiser recap We had a successful wreath making night. 35 participants. Approximately  $1500 raised. We will have specific numbers when the November financials are done. 


  1. Technology Fund Ask – Christa will follow up with this, she is working on wording the donation/ask this will possibly be done through UGLF for this year as a tax receipt options for those who chose to donate and we will promote the request in the new year. 


  1. Teacher needs – 


Jacqueline nothing at this time, possibly able to use the scholastic book fair orders to purchase primary levelled readers. Suggestions to have community members who have outgrown spirit wear and it hasn’t been donated to another students could they consider donating back to the school for students who weren’t able to purchase could wear them for spirit day. Any pots and pans. Possibly ask teachers to make a list of items they could use as donations from families as they may be cleaning out their homes. 


  1. Scientist in the school – 


Can council provide the funds in 2021/22? Request from Simone. Looking at doing scientists in the classroom for this year. $230/per class. 7 classes. Approximately $1610.00 all in favour of supporting this for students if the school is open to having visitors for scientists in the school if not we are in support of virtual events. 


  1. Spirit Wear Update – 


Heidi Approximately $2060 in sales for spirit wear. Orders should be in before the holiday break 


  1. Child Care LIsting – Request – 


Simone is looking to put together a list of child care options in the area. She often gets requests from families for this information. Suggestion to start a thread on facebook with options/suggestions where parents can post, so it isn’t recommendations from the school. As often the options are frequently changing due to availability. 


  1. New items: 


At this point the school isn’t available for community events. 

Possibly having lunch box orders starting in the new year

Podcast station set up with new IMAC computer in the library. 

2 new tvs were set up in kindergarten. 

Conversation about wow butter being/not being allowed. Paul will look into the regulations and see what changes have been made. 


Next meeting will be January 18, 2022.

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