Teacher to receive Governor General’s Medal
Stratford Northwestern culinary arts teacher Paul Finkelstein will receive the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal in March. The honour will recognize, nationally, the efforts he’s made to improve the relationship kids have with food through hisa student-run restaurant – the Screaming Avocado.
The heart of the idea was to give kids food skills to take home and share with their families or perhaps roommates when they go to post-secondary schools. There have been past students who have furthered their studies and become chefs. “That’s a thrill”, says Finkelstein. “But sometimes it’s reaching students who don’t excel in academics that really makes it all worthwhile.”
Listowel Parent Group
Kathy Lucas (parent) and Bruce Fitzgerald (retired teacher) represented the Listowel Parent Group – a collection of parents of children with developmental disabilities who attend Listowel District Secondary School.
Their request is that the Board undertakes a thorough and unbiased evaluation to determine if inclusion is meeting the needs of students.
Inclusion is defined as a person or thing that is included within a larger group or structure.
In the case of Avon Maitland schools, it is the educational practice of teaching all students together, whenever possible.
To make this work, parents are fully involved in helping shape their child’s school day timetable. Specialized student programs (Individual Education Plans) have been put in place along with coaches who offer teachers professional learning support towards educating students who have an intellectual disability in inclusive environments.
Last year, the Inclusion Student Team from St. Marys DCVI was invited to give a presentation about how inclusion has been embraced by their peers.
It is essential that parents/guardians assume the role of facilitator for their children who have an intellectual disability and it is the job of the Board to always work to improve the lives and learning of kids. The Board emphasized this crucial partnership and made a motion to discuss next steps after a presentation by Dr. Sheila Bennett (Co-chair of the Special Education Transformation Document as well as co-author of Special Education in Ontario Schools).
This public meeting is on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 – 6:00 p.m. Committee of the Whole, Open Session.
French as a Second Language
The vision for French as a second language (FSL) programming in Ontario is that “students in English-language school boards have the confidence and ability to use French effectively in their daily lives”.
AMDSB FSL 3 Year Plan LS-1 The Goals for FSL in Ontario:
- Increase student confidence, proficiency, and achievement in FSL.
- Increase the percentage of students studying FSL until graduation.
- Increase student, educator, parent, and community engagement in FSL.
- In July 2017, AMDSB will offer a Grade 11 and 12 FSL course (FSF3O/4O and FSF3U/4U) with students travelling to Quebec City, Montreal and Halifax. Priority will be given to AMDSB students from across the District, but will be open to other DSB students, at an increased cost. The course will be delivered by AMDSB staff, developed in partnership with “Brightspark”. Costs for AMDSB student participation in this opportunity will be offset by the OLE Ministry and DSB funding. Please see the Quebec City, Montreal and Halifax trip promotional brochure.
- In February, 2017, 50 Grade 8 and 9 students from across AMDSB will participate in a second language enriched excursion to St. Donat, Quebec. This excursion was expanded from twenty-five students in 2016 to fifty for 2017, and students are attending from every secondary school. Student surveys in 2016 indicated a positive impact of this excursion on their confidence and proficiency. Costs for participation in this excursion have been offset by an additional OLE Ministry grant and DSB funding.
- In Spring, 2017, twelve students will participate in an exchange with students from Gaspe Quebec, as part of the YMCA Youth Exchange Program. Costs for participation in this will be offset by YMCA and DSB funding.
Board Approves the 2016-2017 Revised Budget
The Board approved the 2016-2017 Revised Estimates Budget as recommended by the Finance Committee. The revised budget reflects the expected operating revenues and transfers of reserves totaling $201,692,635 and estimated expenses of the same value. As well, the Board approved the capital budget of $20,843,108 for the 2016-2017 year.
The updated student enrolment projections for the 2016-2017 year, which represents the actual enrolment at the October 31, 2016 count date and a refined projection for March 31, 2017, has increased from the original budget approved last June of 298.34 Average Daily Enrolment (ADE) students. This increase is at both the elementary panel (199.45 ADE) and the secondary panel (98.89 ADE).
The total expected revenue for 2016-2017, including operating grants and capital allocations, has increased by almost $14.5 Million dollars from the original budget approved by the Board in June 2016. The largest increase in allocations is due to the Ministry of Education’s investment in School Condition Improvement and School Renewal funding, announced in the Summer of 2016, which accounts for $10.5 Million dollars of this increase.
Please see the full Revised Budget Report of the Finance Committee.
Future Board Meetings
(at Education Centre unless otherwise noted)
- Tuesday, January 24, 2017 – 5:00 p.m. Finance Committee, 8:00 p.m. Regular Board Session
- Tuesday, February 14, 2017 – 6:00 p.m. Committee of the Whole, Open Session, 8:00 p.m. Regular Board Session
Future Meetings/Events with Trustee Representation
(at Education Centre unless otherwise noted)
- SAL: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 – 9:00 a.m.
- SEAC: Wednesday, February 1, 2017 – 4:00 p.m.