Students Promote Eco-Friendly Activity in their Communities
Trustee Sygrove recognized teacher Amanda Keller and her grade 9 science class at South Huron District High School for their work on their “sustainable ecosystems“ unit. With thanks to Superintendent Black who made him aware of this class, he shared a few of the initiatives this group of students is undertaking in order to promote eco-friendly activity in their South Huron communities.
The group is called “Eco-Exeter” and they are working closely with the community group “Blue Bayfield”. The class gathered at Bayfield Town Hall on Thursday June 6. This venture included approximately 90 students from South Huron and Mitchell District High School to share ideas for promoting eco-friendly initiatives.
Other activities have included:
- selling reusable produce bags and using the profits to provide free coffee to anyone who brings their own mug into Tim Horton’s in Exeter
- two radio interviews
- a presentation at a recent climate forum held in Clinton
- a presentation to South Huron County Council and an upcoming Huron County Council meeting
- two students applying for an RBC youth initiative grant through the Grand Bend Community Foundation
According to Mrs. Keller, “We are determined to make this project sustainable as they enter grade 10 in the fall”.
“Illuminate” by Upper Thames Elementary School
Superintendent Morris was proud to share “Illuminate”, written by Michele Nicholson’s grade 6 classes at Upper Thames Elementary School. In recognition of “Mental Health Month” in May, and in conjunction with the Tanner Steffler Foundation, the students had the opportunity to work with Dustin Sky Smith at Skyline Productions to write, record and make the video for The Shelter Project 2019.
What is The Shelter Project? The world spins around us pretty quick. Friends and family can be exceedingly busy with everyday life and sometimes we don’t realize how much time has passed since the last time we made a point to remind the people we care about what they are worth.
The idea is that other people will record the song and create a video. To anyone wishing to join The Shelter Project 2019, the chords, lyrics and audio tracks from “Illuminate” can be downloaded from this link
In an effort to continue awareness of mental well-being and health please visit the Tanner Steffler Foundation website.
Transition Fair A Success
Trustee Klassen reported AMDSB’s Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) in collaboration with the Learning Services team organized a Transition Fair to support students and families to learn about community supports, resources, and transition processes for students with special needs.
The fair welcomed approximately 80 people (students and families) and had 27 community displays.
The feedback was very positive indicating that they appreciated learning about the community resources in their area and meeting the staff of the organizations. Some parents/guardians reported that they made appointments for further discussion during the event.
Recommendations for future transition events included information on community clubs that welcome students with disabilities; estate planning; and information on volunteer opportunities in the community.
SEAC extends a thank you to the staff organizers and to the community organizations who gave their valuable time to support our students and families.
Local Crossing Guard Awarded One of Canada’s Favourites
Trustee Bisutti highlighted Shakespeare Public School’s crossing guard Linda Daum who was awarded one of Canada’s Favourite Crossing Guards. Linda was nominated by Cheryl Henry (an Educational Assistant at the school) and was one of three winners out of a field of nearly 40.
The annual AMDSB recognition awards were hosted on Monday, June 10 at Central Huron Community Complex – Libro Centre. Several staff were recognized for their years of service, 62 retirees were honoured, 9 graduating student senators and 1 trustee were celebrated.
In addition, the Always Learning Awards were given to seven recipients. They have been recognized for their outstanding contributions towards the achievement of one or more aspects of our Board’s Strategic Plan.
Mikayla Ansley (Student, Hullett Central PS)
Katie Fox (Past SEAC Chair, Education Centre)
Jessica Leney (Teacher, Education Centre)
Kathy MacNeil (Teacher Resource Assistant, Listowel Eastdale PS)
Jaden Mitchell (Strive EA, Avon PS)
Evelyn Vincent (Volunteer, Stephen Central PS)
Jean Weigand (Volunteer, Stephen Central PS)
The trustees wish to thank all the recipients for their dedication to improving the lives of our students.
Three AMDSB Schools Receive Healthy Schools Certification
Superintendent Morris proudly announced that three AMDSB schools achieved the OPHEA (Ontario Physical Health and Education Association) Healthy Schools Certification. North Easthope Public School achieved gold certification and Huron Centennial Public School and St. Marys DCVI (elementary) both received silver.
OPHEA’s Healthy Schools Certification recognizes and celebrates school communities for promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of students, school staff, and the broader community. Participating schools across Ontario completed the 6-Step Healthy Schools Process, which aligns with the Ministry of Education’s Foundations for a Healthy School resource and the Well-Being Strategy for Education.
Teachers from five schools (North Perth Westfield, North Easthope, FE Madill, St Marys DCVI and Stratford Central Secondary) brought students and showcased their robotics projects during a live demonstration.
Student Led Project – #amdsbshareyourvoice
Student senators and trustees presented details of a project (#amdsbshareyourvoice) that is working towards improving the lives of their fellow students. A focus of their work is improving student mental health and well-being. Initiatives that have been implemented in secondary schools across the Board include: therapy dogs, yoga classes, phone-free zones, mental health kits, Thankful Thursdays, mental health weeks and awareness boards. They suggested possible strategies to improve student learning experience including: board-wide mental health day each week, more opportunities for one-on-one time with teachers, peer-learning mental health strategies; SafeTALK, distributing stress kits, grading based more on process, less on product, and implementing half-days.
Student Trustee Update
Kristin Vleeming and Natalee Moore attended their final meeting for this school year. They appreciated the opportunity to connect and say goodbye. Natalee is graduating this year so the Board thanked her for her service and wished her all the best in her future endeavours.
Senior Staff Updates
Superintendent Black reported that AMDSB schools are encouraged to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day, also called Solidarity Day in some areas, on June 21. This day of national recognition is set aside for everyone to share and celebrate the culture of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit cultures and is celebrated in many ways by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people across Canada. In our region, celebrations will be held in a variety of locations, and we encourage you to check with your local community planners to determine events in your region.
Stratford Public School Renovation Project
Superintendent Baker gave an update on the Stratford public school renovation project. June newsletters will be sent from the Steering Committee in the next week or two and include: one for staff, one for families of affected students and one for residents living around Northwestern and St Michael’s Catholic (addressing parking and traffic concerns). A letter will also be sent from the Director’s Office outlining the next steps in the decision-making process. Construction is set to begin with asbestos abatement and demolition on Monday June 24.
Highlights from Pathways: Jill Of All Trades and First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Field Trip
On May 30, 27 students from eight of Avon Maitland District School Board’s secondary schools participated in the annual Jill of All Trades day hosted by Conestoga College. This event is sponsored by the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) and its goal is to expose young females to the skilled trades in a day filled with inspirational speakers as well as hands on learning taught by college instructors. Jodi Froud (AMDSB lead for Specialist High Skills Major program) said: “It exposes the girls to a post-secondary institution and the talented staff who teach there. They are able to feel unintimidated as they are surrounded by other girls who are looking to try something that may lead into OYAP through a Co-op or a general interest in pursuing the skilled trades upon graduation” said Froud.
Superintendent Baker also reported that thirty one students participated in a field trip across Bruce County to see how skilled trades are used in the nuclear industry. Students went to Abraflex, an Indigenous owned company in Paisley who make the rubber safety suits for Bruce Power. They also toured the Bruce Power plant. One of the biggest learning outcomes from this trip was three students who initially held negative views about nuclear power switched their mindset to think it could be a place they may want to work.
Finally, out of the eight school boards in our area that participate in the Dual Credit School College Work Initiative (partnership with local colleges), AMDSB is among the leaders with the highest number of credits earned per student. The support shown by staff to enable our students to be successful in these pathways programs is invaluable.
Future Board Meetings
(at Education Centre unless otherwise noted)
- June 25, 2019 – 3:00 p.m. but open to the public at 3:30 p.m. (this earlier start time is to accommodate Trustee attendance at Grade 8 graduation ceremonies)
Future Meetings/Events with Trustee Representation
(at Education Centre unless otherwise noted)
- SAL: June 17, 2019 – 8:30 a.m.
- Finance Committee: June 24, 2019 – 9:00 a.m.