October School Council Minutes

Posted October 29, 2020

L’Ecole King George (KG) Public School Council – Supporting Education through Community, Communication and Innovation

Meeting Minutes – 14 October 2020

In Attendance​: Jane Bibby (Principal), David Taylor (Vice-Principal) Leslie Fisher (Co-Chair), Scott McRoberts (Co-Chair), Karen Arnold (Co-Treasurer), Jennifer Donahue (Co-Treasurer), Erica Scime (Secretary), Julie Brownell (KG Teacher Representative), Julia Cathro-Oliver, Graham Epstein Michael Brodie, Penny Beanish, Miranda Bouwhuis, Jennifer Duggan, Sarah Ciotti

1. Introductions

2. Approval of the October Meeting Minutes and October Agenda.

3. Principal’s Update:  Jane Bibby

Mental Health Initiatives

  • Incredibly challenging year for kids, families and staff. To help cope and provide support to our

school communities, the ​UGDSB launched the Umbrella Project​ founded by Dr. Jen Forristal.

  •  It will have monthly themes, activities and curriculum links to support students and staff to focus

    on wellness. There will also be monthly columns in school newsletters to support parents and

    guardians to build these skills alongside their child/ren.

  • October will be the introduction to it for students, staff and families and then each month there

    will be a specific theme talked about with the students in their classrooms. This is the goal and

    intent of the school for the Umbrella Project.

    Staff Equity Committee-David Taylor, Vice-Principal

  • Thur., Oct. 15, hosting a Spirit Day at school to recognize the LGBT community. Students are

    encouraged to wear all different colours.

  • There’s a series of posters called ​Unlearn.com​ that are being hung around the school and used to

    encourage thoughtful conversations with students about a wide variety of issues, i.e. gender, colour, poverty, etc. This is from their website: “unlearn. challenges everyone to develop an equity lends by thinking critically about their unconscious biases and examining how they can be reinforced by the media, their experiences and their relationships…Our programs challenge the societal norms that marginalize others.”

  • The intent of the posters is for students to see something and contemplate what they are seeing.
  • They are looking at ways to align with the parent Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
  • Resources available on the King George School website about how we go about implementing

    some of things. For example, there’s the ​École King George Bullying Prevention Plan & Safe, Equitable and Inclusive School Strategy​. The school’s goal is to change it every year and work with the students to get them to identify “safe people” in the school and their lives.

  • The school also focuses on character building. For example, they will be sharing a video that’s being edited by Grade 7 & 8’s that was done with Grade 1 classes. It focused on “What can I do?” and encouraged Grade 1 students to tell people what things they can do instead of focusing on things the can’t. Jane has seen the videos and is just so impressed with the kids’ resiliency. They will be posting the videos to everyone to see via Google Classrooms at some point soon.

Timeline for switching learning modes (in-person/remote)

  • ] A survey was sent out and it’s to be completed just by people who want to switch their kids from

    whatever current mode they are doing, i.e. if remote and want to come back into the classroom

    or vice versa.

  • People have three options: a) synchronous remote learning, b) paper package of work sent home

    and access to a teacher as required, or c) if you want your kids to join in person.

  • Students can learn in French if doing any remote options and return to King George when

    possible.

  • If many students switch to either mode, then it could cause a shuffle of in-person or remote

    learning staff. It’s always a possibility.

    4. Treasurer’s Update – Jenn Donahue Karen Arnold(See Attached Reports)

  • Only one transaction in September. We knew expenses for the flowers were coming in for the Greening and Grounds Committee.
  • More money than thought was spent on items for the classroom play bags, but Jane and David felt it was needed since the kids did not have much. They bought things requested by the kids, i.e. footballs, bean bag toss, soccer balls, bowling pins, etc.
  • Jen will transfer money in October to account for the play bag expenses above.
  • Remaining allocations for teachers’ start-up funds. Teachers know that they need to send their

    receipt to Jane for approval and some have done so but she will remind them.

  • Teachers can order from Staples, things like pencils, erasers, etc. but the start-up funds are

    meant for things that they can’t get there and that would help them in their classrooms, for example, puzzles for kids or anything extra like that.

    5. Diversity and Inclusion

    • No members of the EDI committee were able to attend this evening, so Leslie Co-Chair provided this re-cap on their behalf.
    • At their last EDIC meeting, the following people attended: Katie Ewald, Aura Carcueva, Maureen Oesch, John Porter, Jane Bibby, Sara Sarkar
    • The vision of the committee is to support a community where People feel safe in their differences; People feel responsible for creating this safe environment; People are able to talk through difficult things.
    • Our mission statement is to build diversity and inclusiveness literacy to create an environment of respect; specifically building diversity and inclusiveness (racial, cultural, LGBTQ, ability literacy); Respecting and valuing differences; Giving parents, kids, teachers tools to navigate and value differences.
  • We changed the name to ​Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee​ (EDI) for now, with the possibility for change if we discover a better name sometime in the future!
  • A big question we asked is:​ How to keep Remote School families engaged and connected to KG?

Jane will send an email to Remote school VPs to remind Remote School Parents that they should connect to UGConnect to get info on home school

Maureen: talk to Umbrella Mental health contact about a workshop for KG parents – intersection of diversity and mental health and she will also check to see if PIC funding is available to bring in a speaker again this year like Kevin Sutton

  • We did some brainstorming for committee Activities for 2020-2021 school year:
  • Shared Spirit Days​ (virtual school spirit days): Jane will edit a video slide-show –similar to the virtual open house- with video clips of kids, families etc. on a theme.

In October, Jane will put out an invitation to students/parents for photographs for the first Shared Spirit Days with a Halloween/dress up theme

  • Virtual Celebrate Diversity​ Everyone agrees it’s a good idea to continue with our flagship event; priority is to feature KG families/talent, can also bring in outside performers.
  • Sara and Aura will start planning for February 2021
  • Bring in speakers​ as follow-up to session with Kevin Sutton; open to all of King George
  • Jen and Maureen will work together to reach out to Kevin and Kween Gerber (Executive Director at the Guelph Black Heritage Society)
  • Please be in touch if you would like to be involved in some of these initiatives or come to a meeting! ​[email protected]
  • Next EDI committee meeting: Tuesday November 3r​ d​, 7pm via zoom.

    6. Playbag update

  •  As mentioned during the Treasurer Report, Jane and David have bought items to update the play bags.
  •  Nichole will still speak to the teachers to see if anything else is required at this time.
  • Kids did give Jane and David their input about wanting “real basketballs, footballs and bean bags

    for their zones”, so they made purchases based on feedback from students.

7. Change to School Council meeting dates for 2020-2021–Alternating Tuesday/Thursday Meetings held 2​nd week of the month, alternating between now between Tuesdays & Thursdays

For remainder of 2020: Tues., Nov. 10
Thurs., Dec. 10

8. Parking lot discussion and items

  • Comments raised for consideration: stating that we really need to figure out a way to make sure our kids are empowered to use their own voices so they can voice their own concerns. We must empower our kids to make their own decisions.
  • Can kids currently doing in-person school go for home lunch if they need a break from wearing a mask? Yes. But they can only go to their home and not to other people’s homes and/or bring friends from another class, to ensure their school day bubbles are protected as much as possible.

    9. Date Reminders

  • Friday, October 30: PD day – no school
  • Next EDI committee meeting: Tuesday, November 3 @ 7pm via zoom (contact Katie Ewald for details ([email protected]​)
    Next KG School Council Meeting scheduled for Tues., Nov. 10 at 6:30pm to 8:00pm. Google meet details will be posted on the school website closer to the date and start of the meeting.

 

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