Board Meeting Highlights – Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Avon Maitland's SOAR Program

SoarKidsCindy Carlson, Teacher of the Gifted in the Board's S.O.A.R program along with students Gregor Reynolds, Adele Gryba, Loren Wolfe, Thyra Morton and Maggie Sheardown wowed the Trustees with a multi-media presentation about SOAR, the Board's Gifted Program in Stratford.
It is one of two programs in the district with the other hosted at Seaforth Public School.

Grade 5 Student Gregor Reynolds produced a video about his perceptions of the SOAR Program and being a SOAR Student.

GSN Preliminary Analysis

The Grants for Student Needs (GSNs) were announced on Wednesday March 27, 2013. It is expected that the EFIS file, required for the detailed calculations will be released in approximately two weeks. It is clear that the provincial challenges around eliminating the provincial deficit by 2017 remain. The ‘belt tightening’ continues for the education sector, with the 2013/2014 funding being slightly less than the 2012/2013 year.

The Minister in making comments during the GSN release signalled the continuation of the Ministry driving efficiencies in boards though grant funding changes. Consistent with the Bill 115 agreement parameters, salary benchmarks in the GSN reflect the required unpaid days. Benefits benchmarks have been reduced by 2% for the second year to reflect the phasing out of the Retirement Gratuity expense for boards.

One factor that is appreciated is that Special Education has not been part of any announced reductions, which implies only the usual grant decline with declining enrolment is anticipated. Projected revenues from the Ministry of Education for Avon Maitland are listed at $168,950,413, as compared to 2012-2013 when revenues were $172,609,922.

Consistent with the Bill 115 agreement parameters, salary benchmarks in the GSN reflect the required unpaid days. Benefits benchmarks have been reduced by 2% for the second year to reflect the phasing out of the Retirement Gratuity expense for boards.

There were a number of grant enhancements, intended to address cost pressures beyond boards’ control. One enhancement, to keep up with facility costs is a 2% benchmark update to school operations for utilities costs and insurance. There is also a 2% increase in the transportation benchmark with the 1% efficiency penalty suspended for 2013/2014. The Fuel Escalator and De-escalator corridor calculation in the Transportation grant continues as in the past. Based on the impact statement, the board may anticipate overall decreased operating revenues from the GSNs of approximately $3.66 million inclusive of PDT enhancements effective in the 2013/2014 year.

13-04-09 GSNs Preliminary Analysis

April Strategic Plan Reflection

We value our staff when we are creating positive and inclusive learning environments, and improving student outcomes – Trustee Mike Bannerman

Approval of Tender: Renovations Elma Public School

This project is to renovate and add space to accommodate the Full-Day Early Learning Kindergarten program to be implemented at Elma PS in September 2013. The project includes renovations to three existing classrooms along with the removal of the current student washrooms and bookroom to create three appropriate sized kindergarten spaces with washrooms and cubbie space, as well as a small storage area. This tender also includes a small addition containing student washrooms to replace those consumed by the creation of the FDK rooms. As well there is the creation of a new enclosed kindergarten play area. In order to have the kindergarten spaces ready for the first day of school in September 2013, construction is expected to begin approximately the middle of May. Our usual safety practices and protocols will be enforced to ensure school staff and students remain safe. The Board approved the tender from SDI Builders for renovations at Elma Public School in the amount of $811,340.00.

Ignite Parents Lineup for April 10 Listowel Golf Club

  1. Take Your Passion and Make it Happen: Mark Roth
  2. Willing to be a Welder: Students Riley McLeod, John Farrell and Joel McLeod
  3. Eventually You Find a Hair Stylist You Like: Cathie Riddell with student Emily Cook
  4. If I’m “smart” enough, why wouldn’t I go to University? Scott Bannerman
  5. The Universal Truth: Students Aidan Fullerton and Rachel Brommer
  6. My Pathway to Success: Student Senator Greg MacDonaldIntermission 15 minutes
  7. Designing Tomorrow Today: Ken Bailey
  8. Every Path has Puddles: Susan Young/Jo-Dee DesJardine with student Marco deBruyn
  9. Experience Sets the Table: Nick Keller with student Curtis Schurink
  10. The Work Experience Project: Frank Stretton with Deb Hotchkiss, Kim Garness & Sara Cunningham
  11. Dualing Credits: Marcel VanLeeuwen with student Matt Van Veen
  12. Follow the Yellow Brick Road: Harriet Mathews, Minister's Student Advisory Committee

Here's the program

  • 6:30pm - Doors open. Enjoy refreshments, a cash bar, live music and browse the various community displays - maybe pick up a pamphlet or two!
  • 7:00pm - Presentations begin!
  • 7:45pm - Intermission. Enjoy more refreshments and check out the displays.
  • 8:00pm - Final presentations of the evening and your chance to win some fabulous door prizes!
  • 8:45pm - End of presentations and evening wrap up but feel free to mingle, chat and say hello!

Future Board Meetings

(at Education Centre unless otherwise noted)
Tuesday, April 23, 2013 – 6:30 p.m. Student Advisory Committee, 7:00 p.m. Committee of the Whole, Closed Session, 8:00 p.m. Regular Board Session

Future Meetings/Events with Trustee Representation

(at Education Centre unless otherwise noted)
Ignite Parents: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 – 6:30 p.m. at the Listowel Golf Club
North-West Huron Transition Meeting – Tuesday, April 16, 2013 – 6:30 p.m. in the gym at Goderich DCI
SEAC – Learning For All Parent Workshop: Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Stratford Northwestern Secondary School in the large gym