PIC Meeting Minutes – Feb 2021

Those present: Kumudinie Kariyapperuma (Co-chair), Gillian Prieur (Co-chair), Brent McDonald (Superintendent), Debbie Bush (Secretary), Martha MacNeil (Trustee), Jason Boyce (Principal representative for  elementary), Jennifer Edwards (Trustee), Tara Dean-Whitt (Treasurer), Heather Pierce  (Principal representative for secondary), Tracey McFarlane, Anita MacFarlane (Food and Friends Program), Martha Rogers (Director of Education), Rachel Albanese, Mahrukh Syed, Mike Foley (Trustee), Jolly Bedi (Trustee), Maureen Oesch (Equity rep)

Treaty acknowledgement 

Approval of agenda: Motion by Tracey McFarlane to accept the agenda. Seconded by Anita MacFarlane

Approval of minutes: Motion by Heather Pierce to accept the minutes. Seconded by Tara Dean-Whitt

Board and Ministry Report

Brent McDonald shared information.

  • Please contact Brent ([email protected])  if you are interested in receiving information from PIC and being on the distribution list.
  • Appreciate the feedback re changes in schools. No more changes in secondary they are committing to their next two classes
  • In Elementary: continue to use waitlist review and doing switches at the end of the month
  • Brick to online seems to be a smooth transition vs the online to bricks related to space
  • April 1st will be the deadline for switches with flexibility related to individual circumstances
  • Mahrukh asked about whether it was known if online would be an option in September 2021: UGDSB is looking at models that may keep online learning however depends on the Ministry of Education recommendations and funding
  • Report shared about updated numbers with a decrease in COVID-19 cases keeping in mind many students on online learning
  • All staff verifying self-screen with all students
  • Rapid Asymptomatic Testing – Plan currently being developed by WDGPH
  • Additional Masks for students – not here yet to be used as backups
  • March break postponed to April 12-16
  • Public Health Updates: New Isolation Requirements can be found on the WDGPH websites
  • EQAO: Grade 3 & 6 is cancelled this year.
  • Grade 9 EQAO pilot test at one Secondary school online in March
  • Grade 10 OSSLT spring window to offer options for students to test the new online OSSLT – this will count if students pass
  • There are links on UGDSB website for more information

Martha Rogers shared information.

  • Call today with the Ministry – trafficking awareness day – policy being developed at the Ministry level
  • COVID-19 rapid testing: 5% weekly basis at our schools, the vendor capacity and UGDSB learning more
  • New policy for hiring was released, now based more on qualification and merit vs seniority – March/April new UGDSB board policy
  • The Ministry of Education wants to learn more from school and parents – so it is unclear what the next school will look like related to Online learning opportunities.
  • Ministry Education was not aware of the beeping bracelets and said they will not be investing in such related to distancing for students

Trustee Report

  • Weekly meeting with the Minister of Education, Board Chairs, Trustee since COVID-19 and has been helpful
  • Maureen asked if the consulting firm hired to support finding the next Director of Education are still taking feedback, Brent has the email where questions or comments can be shared

Treasurer’s Report

  • 20 660.81 Opening Balance of September 2020
  • Dr Hanley-Dafoe 3 750.00 x2
  • The books and resources for parents have not come out of the budget yet, nor have the honorariums for the speakers of the first break out sessions.

Chairs’ Report – PRO Grant Priorities and Planning for 2020/2021

  • Review of the Event 1 – Navigating Pathways and Understanding New Curriculum Expectations – Jan 28 @ 6:30
  • 300+ registrants; 160+ attendees
  • Keynote and four breakout sessions: JK/SK; Gr 8-9 Transitions; Transitions to University (PIC volunteer Monica); and Transitions to College Apprentices
  • Feedback from 25 attendees: 85% indicated that they learned new, beneficial information to their child’s learning and/or well-being; more than 85% agreed that the event helped have an increased awareness of the mathematics curriculum.
  • Feedback on technical aspects of the event will be used to improve our next two events
  • Event 2 – Parenting for Student Success During a Pandemic – Mar 4 @ 6:30 am
  •  260 registrations
  • Participants will be able to ask questions using the chat feature during the keynote presentation. The questions will be discussed/answered during the keynote or at the end of the presentation as the presenter chooses
  • Two breakout sessions will be livestreamed at the same time allowing us to manage a large audience while enabling live Q&A
  • A brief description to the breakout session contents will be circulated shortly
  • Need volunteers for the breakout sessions – introduce and thank you
  • Event 3 – Navigating Special Education in the UGDSB – Apr 8 -details to follow – an agenda that looks roughly like below:
    • Introduction (15 min) – Special Education staff will do a brief intro to the evening sessions and run through options for breakouts
    • Break (10 min) – to allow for everyone to find their breakout and be let into the meeting.   We anticipate roughly 5 options for sessions
    • Breakout Sessions (1 hour) – these will look similar in format and have roughly 45 min of a presentation followed by 15 min of Q and A
    • Could pick two of the sessions: Supporting Newcomer Families & students; Supporting successful Student transitions for students with special education needs; Individual Education plans-supports for students with special education needs; Pyramid of intervention-systems and teams in place to support students who struggles; Community connections and partners-supports for students and families
  • Co-chair/s will attend the Conversation with PIC Chairs and School Board Leads, organized by the Ministry of Education on Feb 24 – stay tuned for the update at the next PIC meeting
  • Suggestion from Maureen to involve parents who have a lot of experience with the various topics
    • Question about Equity Lead involvement
  • Advertisements for the two presentation – Equity Superintendent has engaged community contacts to support material translation and advertising

New and Other Business

  • Help Kids Live Free from Hunger Campaign (to support food & friends program) kick off March 5th. Our goal is to provide 30 000 meals to local children and youth in 30days
  • Kumudinie shared: If anyone is interested, the Strong Kids Strong Minds Psychology Canada organization greatly appreciates receiving feedback from parents and families.Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SASMNA. Please also feel free to share the survey link with parent/caregiver who is interested in providing feedback. Strong Kids Strong Minds Psychology Canada Program: Make the Connection®: puts researched information into down to earth messages and activities which can be used with parents to help
  • Equity PIC rep: Maureen – a lot of great suggestions focused on community and community agencies. Working on action items – walking the walk.
  • School Council at King George: “Elevation, disruption, implementation” welcoming spirit at the school. 3 sessions that are 3 hours to take time to reflect. Looking at walking the walk with Kevin Sutton, Guelph Neighborhood Support Coalition will be heading the event. Hoping it is the start of something bigger to expand in other schools and areas.

Meeting adjourned at 8:24 PM.

The next meeting will be on Monday, March 29, 2021 at 7:00 PM – location online


Nhi Ton-Nu