Board Meeting Highlights – Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Preliminary Accommodation Report

Declining enrolments remain the biggest financial challenge for the Board. Regardless of changes to the funding formula, our revenue remains directly tied to the number of students within the Board. As enrolment declines, so does revenue. As a result, the Board must continue to seek efficiencies in its operations in order to enable it to target money to achieving its goals.

The administration contracted with the external firm, Watson & Associates, to provide 15 year enrolment projections. This report was presented to the Board at its March 26, 2013 meeting. Conclusions which may be drawn from the data are:

  • The enrolments in our elementary schools appear to be stabilizing.
  • School closures and consolidations undertaken over the past 13 years have resulted in the majority of our remaining elementary schools operating near capacity for the next 10 to 15 years, although some remain below the average implied in the Foundation grant calculation.
  • Secondary school enrolments will decline significantly over the next five years.
  • The placement of grade 7 and 8 students in seven of our secondary schools has sustained the efficient usage of those buildings for the midterm.
  • Declines in secondary enrolments will continue to impact the Board’s operating revenues in a negative fashion.

After reviewing the data for all schools in the Board, there are a number of areas that present on-going concerns. This analysis is included in the full report which is linked below. Staff is not recommending formal reviews in any of these areas for this year; and some of the areas not identified this year may be subject to formal review in future years.
13-05-28_PreliminaryAccommodation Review

International Education Update

BringingtheWorldHistorically, Avon Maitland has had a relatively small number of fee-paying students who choose one of our schools because of relationships in the area. Many schools boards in Ontario and other parts of Canada have been actively recruiting foreign students for many years. Last year over 35,000 international students attended K-12 schools in Canada. It is the goal of the Canadian Government to double that number over the next ten years.

Avon Maitland staff made a decision two years ago to begin marketing itself to foreign families and students. Communications Department Manager Steve Howe has taken the lead on the promotion and execution of the program.

The benefits to our schools and communities are numerous:

  • Exposing our students to higher levels of cultural diversity.
  • Providing opportunities for members of our communities to become involved through our home stay program.
  • Incremental increase in enrolment which leads to broader program offerings in our secondary schools.
  • Increased revenue for our board and schools.
  • Providing positive economic impact on local communities

In the 2011-2012 the Board began to see an increase in foreign students during the second half of the school year. Students came to Avon Maitland from Mexico, Brazil, Germany, South Korea and other countries. In the current 2012-2013 school year Board staff have continued to increase connections with international agents and connected with independent international organizations that place students in foreign schools. The Board has increased the number of countries sending us students adding China, Hong King and Columbia.
The number of international students coming to Avon Maitland Schools has risen to 70 which includes mini-stay, short term, one semester and two semester students.

The Board is conservatively projecting an increase in international students for 2013/2014 and the number of FTE students registered has already surpassed the current year. Staff have been hosting delegations from other countries for tours of our schools most recently on May 15, 24,and 27, with a major tour coming June 21. These delegations include educators from Japan and Germany and travel agents from Japan. This is a continuation of efforts to promote Avon Maitland schools following previous tours for groups from Spain, Japan, Korea and Brazil.

While still in the early stages of growing and building the international program, Board staff have established a goal of hosting an average of 100 FTE international students per year by 2015/2016.

The Board is currently recruiting potential host families across the district to offer their homes to international students for the coming school year. Interested families are ask to call Ext 132 at the Education Centre or email More information about the Board's International Program can be found at

Approval of Tender for FE Madill School

This project includes renovations based on needs identified in the school during the last facilities review. Work identified is in the small windowless gym and includes upgrades to lighting, replacement of an air handling unit, replacement of the old hardwood floor with a PVC flooring system, sound attenuation and room finishes. The Board accepted the tender from Feltz Design Build for
renovations at FE Madill School in the tender amount of $479,240.00.

Approval of Tender for South Huron DHS

This project includes renovations based on needs identified in the school during the last facilities review. Work includes replacement of windows in the first floor drama room, 3 classrooms and office facing the courtyard as well as windows in the music room and transportation area. Second floor window replacement includes all classrooms and offices in the east wing as well as window replacement in the center stairwell and east stairwell. It also includes replacement of doors and hardware on the first floor as well as the east wing of the second floor, replacement of locker doors, painting corridor walls, frames, locker cavities and trim in the east wing second floor. The center and east stairwells will undergo painting, including painting of stair risers, stringers, and balustrades plus the installation of ceramic tiles in these stairwells. The west stairwell will see concrete treads replaced with new rubber treads and the concrete landing replaced with sheet flooring. The Board accepted the tender from SDI Builders for renovations at South Huron District High School in the tender amount of $381,940.00.

Future Board Meetings

(at Education Centre unless otherwise noted)
Tuesday, June 11, 2013 – 5:00 p.m. Finance Committee, 6:30 p.m. Student Advisory Committee, 7:00 p.m. Committee of the Whole, Closed Session, 8:00 p.m. Regular Board Session
Tuesday, June 25, 2013 – 5:00 p.m. Committee of the Whole, Open Session, 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)
Student Council Symposium: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 – 9:00 a.m.
SEAC: Wednesday, June 5, 2013 – 4:00 p.m.
Finance Committee: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 – 3:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
AMDSB’s Retirement Reception: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 – 5:30 p.m. at Mitchell Golf Club, Mitchell, ON
Excellence in Public Education Banquet: Thursday, June 13, 2013 – 6:00 p.m. at Seaforth Community Centre