Fun and Inclusivity at Friendship Games
Trustee Carmichael was happy to report there were many smiles at the Friendship Games held on May 16 at Goderich District Collegiate Institute. It was a great day with approximately 173 athletes and 162 volunteers participating in 19 activities focusing on building connections and promoting positivity, inclusivity and fun. Thank you to the staff and students for their support in organizing the Games.
Special thanks to West Wawanosh Mutual Insurance Company for once again sponsoring the event, and to the transportation department for getting the students to and from the Games.
McCall Huron County Scholarships
Trustee Hunking was pleased to report that five local students will receive scholarships valued at up to $32,000 over four years to pursue their undergraduate degrees starting this fall. Four of the five recipients are AMDSB students: Sadie Collins (Central Huron Secondary School), Stephan Ducharme (South Huron District High School), Cameron Murray (F.E. Madill Secondary School), and Mikayla Skyring (Goderich District Collegiate Institute).
The McCall Huron County Scholarship recipients are selected based on the demonstration of strong potential for leadership, positive contributions to their school or broader communities and an overall commitment to excellence. The scholarship supports them over the course of their first undergraduate degree at any Canadian public university.
Dance Showcase at Stratford Northwestern
Trustee Bisutti attended the 2019 AMDSB Dance Showcase hosted at Stratford Northwestern Secondary School on May 9. Over 350 students performed.
The showcase invites students to perform a pre-rehearsed dance in front of an audience made up of friends and family. The elementary dance troupes chose a variety of music to perform to, such as hip hop, country, classic movie themes, and many more. Some schools also incorporated costumes and props to give their performance that little extra something.
The students bring their A-game, but this is no competition. While a group is performing, a contagious eruption of cheers and applause echoes throughout the gymnasium. This is a great evening that promotes healthy activity, inclusivity, and the arts.
Joint School Council Meeting
On May 15, school councils from Brookside Public School, Goderich Public School and Goderich District Collegiate Institute came together and held a workshop. Trustee Carmichael shared that the idea was to build capacity within the three councils and share best practices around parent involvement, fundraising, etc. There were presentations from Karla Vink (finance), the Ontario School Nutrition Program, Jennifer Cox Chair of PIC, and the Foundation for Education. In attendance were the chair and vice-chair of each council and the principal/vice-principal from each school in addition to other parents. There were two outcomes from this meeting: one, a commitment to hold another joint council meeting in September and the other, to plan a joint event in the 2019/2020 school year.
Grade 6, 7, and 8 students from across Avon Maitland and Huron Perth Catholic District School Boards participated in Techno-Challenge on May 9 at the Seaforth and District Community Centre.
Trustee Jane Morris reported that this year, 19 Avon Maitland schools entered 47 teams of three for this full day of hands-on activities and design thinking challenges based on science, engineering and physics.
Students designed, built and tested prototypes that covered topics including construction and vehicle design.
On behalf of the students, we would like to thank Techno-Challenge organizers, the Foundation for Education and local sponsors for helping make this important event happen every year.
F.E. Madill Robotics Team Presents at Huron Manufacturing Association AGM
The “Iron Stallions Robotics Team” from F.E. Madill Secondary School made a special appearance at the Huron Manufacturing Association’s AGM on Thursday May 23 at the Seaforth Golf Club showcasing their newest robot, complete with a live demonstration.
The Huron Manufacturing Association has been focusing on young people and recently completed a week of school tours involving all of the secondary schools in Huron County. Treasurer Jan Hawley said the objective of the tours is to make the students aware of the opportunities available to them in the manufacturing sector.
Madill’s Robotics team has had a great year. They finished 68th in the province which qualified them to go to the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics provincial championship from April 10 – 13 at the Hersey Centre in Mississauga where they made it to the quarter-finals.
SDHS Environmental Leaders
Forty-four Grade 9 students travelled to Bayfield on May 8 to meet with members from the Blue Bayfield group, which has worked for years to help reduce the use of disposable plastics in their village. Led by teachers Amanda Keller, Laura Allan, Howard Gee and Laurie Long from the Avon Maitland District School Board, the students will now work on a plan to reduce the use of plastics in Exeter. They also hope to get area businesses on board.
Well done, South Huron DHS students and teachers! We’re proud of your community and environmental leadership!
Bruce Power Scholarships
Bruce Power is once again sponsoring a variety of school awards. This year the awards have expanded to include two awards for each of our Huron County Secondary Schools. One for the Future Innovators Award, and another called the Women In Trades Award. In addition, they will be providing Grade 8 Bruce Power Science & Technology Awards.
All applicants must read the eligibility requirements and complete the online form. The application period runs May 15 to June 15, and the scholarships will presented to the recipients at a breakfast event at the Bruce Power Visitors Centre on Aug. 8.
International Students Experience Success in Sports
Avon Maitland Schools Canada, the international program for Avon Maitland District School Board, provides students from around the world with the opportunity to come for an education and stay for the experience!
As of today, Avon Maitland Schools Canada has welcomed over 1,000 international students since the launch of the program in the 2010-11 school year. We welcomed an additional 142 students to attend the second semester for the 2018/19 school year, the highest number of international students we have ever had for second semester.
Superintendent Jodie Baker spoke about some of the successes the international students are experiencing in sports.
Three students from Brazil (Victor Augusta Monteiro Silva, Ryan Victor Silva de sa, Maykon DaSilva Souza) are valuable members of the F.E. Madill senior boys soccer team. They recently celebrated a win at the Huron-Perth Championship and silver at WOSSA on May 28!
Estevez Espinosa, a Spanish exchange student, said upon coming to Canada she wanted to try out a Canadian sport, which happened to be curling. She joined the Central Huron Secondary Schools girls curling team as they swept through their opponents at the Western Ontario Secondary School Athletic Association (WOSSAA) and won gold. They moved on to OFSAA and made it to the quarterfinals. Read the news article here.
Napasorn (Rose) Thinnakorn, from Thailand attending Mitchell District High School went undefeated to win the junior girls gold medal at the Huron-Perth junior girls singles badminton match last month at the Stratford Agriplex. Read the full story here.
Celeste Mitchell and Kristin Frank presented on the 12+ strategy that AMDSB is preparing to implement to support students on all pathways, specifically those who are working toward an Ontario Secondary School Certificate or an Ontario Secondary School Certificate of Accomplishment. This pilot project will begin in the 2019/2020 school year with each secondary school offering two courses (part of a 3-year implementation cycle) that will teach all students skills for life and help prepare them for the world of work and community connections. In 2019/20 year: HIP4O – Personal Life Management and GLS4O – Advanced Learning Strategies: Skills for Success after Secondary School, will be the first two of six courses offered. More information will be communicated to schools and our parents/guardians in the fall as other components of this strategy are developed and implemented. School staff will be offered training in the fall.
A Transition Fair for students ages 14-21 will be held on May 29 at Seaforth Public School from 2 – 8pm. Join a variety of service providers from Huron and Perth counties as they help students with developmental disabilities connect with resources for the transition out of high school.
Student Trustee Update
Kristen Vleeming and Natalee Moore recently returned from the OSTA-AECO (Ontario Student Trustees’ Association) conference in Toronto. They had the opportunity to meet with Minister of Education Lisa Thompson and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh. They also heard presentations from Medlife, Digital Media Zone and Relay for Life. To wrap up the weekend, they attended a gala and the event was not only fun and educational but also provided the opportunity to network and make new friends.
Stratford Project Update
Superintendent Baker indicated that newsletters will be sent out later this week. One for staff on Thursday and another for families on Friday. The newsletters will highlight the last week of school where Stratford Central students will join students at Stratford Northwestern for a series of activities to promote belonging, getting to know each other and student well-being. Another newsletter is expected before the end of June.
Chair Activity Update
Chair Schenk highlighted a number of meetings and events that she attended since the last meeting, including the District 8 – OSSTF 21st Annual Excellence in Public Education Awards on May 8 at the Seaforth and District Community Centre. These awards recognize excellence in all areas of public education in Avon Maitland and the efforts of the people who make our schools better places to learn and work (Students, Teachers, Support Staff and Community Members).
Congratulations to our 2018-2019 recipients of the OSSTF Excellence in Public Education Awards.
Chair Schenk and Director Walsh hosted a Municipal meeting with local elected officials from all over Huron and Perth counties. An update on Board initiatives and strategic priorities moving into the 2019/2020 school year was shared. Superintendent Baird-Jackson also hosted a meeting with community partners to discuss working together to better utilize school facilities and to discuss other possible partnership opportunities.
Senior Staff Updates
Indigenous Education Advisory Committee
Superintendent Black gave an update on the great work that the IEAC committee has been doing. Since it began in 2018, the committee has assisted with student learning by piloting the NBE3U course in place of a compulsory English credit, offering the Native Studies course in all secondary schools, teaching Indigenous hoop dancing and other community dances, teaching Indigenous crafts such as loom beading and finger weaving, teaching drumming skills, making moccasins, providing presentations on issues such as Indigenous hair styles, residential schools, and reconciliation, participating in the KAIROS blanket exercise, and organizing off-site visits to the Woodland Cultural Centre.
Pathways to Success
Superintendent Baker shared the increased Ministry focus on Pathways for Student Success. As a result, a slight increase has been seen in funding for Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program and our Specialist High Skills Major programs. Dual credits, experiential learning and secondary school co-op are all part of the Ministry’s connection and focus on meeting employer needs and promoting skilled trades, along with alternate pathways. Promotion of Pathways to students and families continued this year, with TakeTech, FunTech, Pathways Nights in Huron and Perth Counties, and many presentations to students, starting in elementary school. The Pathways Team has been asked to present at multiple conferences, and at a Ministry Experiential Learning teleconference. Partnerships with community, and the promotion of all pathways in our schools, but particularly in the area of skilled trades and technology will be continued. The goal of maximizing outcomes for students while creating enriching, engaging experiences have been achieved throughout the course of this school year.
An example of experiences for our students include:
LDSS Business Specialist High Skills Major Students Experience a COOL day at Iceculture Inc.
Students from the Business Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program at Listowel District Secondary School toured the Iceculture Inc. facility in Hensall, Ontario on Friday, May 10. This day was the Sector-Partnered Contextualized Experience (SPCE) component of the SHSM, where students spend a day with a sector-partner learning about the business and the math or coding that is needed in order to be successful in that industry. After students toured the building and learned about the career opportunities available at Iceculture Inc., they were engaged in an experiential learning project that had them thinking, measuring containers and trying to figure out how understanding mathematical components is required in order for the ice sculpture industry to succeed.
Superintendent Morris reported that approval from the Ministry for six summer learning classes has been received. Two will be offered at each of the following schools (one for literacy and one for numeracy) – Exeter Elementary School, Maitland River Elementary School and Avon Public School. The class run from July 2nd to 19th. Schools will be contacting parents with students in grades 1 and 2 who meet the criteria for the program, and staff are working through the registration process.
The following Tenders have been awarded:
- Approval of Tender: Boiler Replacement at Stephen Central Public School
- Approval of Tender: Elevator Replacement at South Huron District High School
- Approval of Tender: Civil Upgrades at St. Marys DCVI
Future Board Meetings
(at Education Centre unless otherwise noted)
- June 11, 2019 – 7:00 p.m.
- June 25, 2019 – 3:00 p.m. (to accommodate Trustee attendance at Grade 8 graduation ceremonies)
Future Meetings/Events with Trustee Representation
(at Education Centre unless otherwise noted)
- Joint Health & Safety: Thursday, May 30, 2019 – 1:30 p.m.
- HPSTS: Tuesday, June 4, 2019 – 4:00 p.m. conference call
- Audit Committee: June 4, 2019 – 5:00 p.m.
- Parent Involvement Committee (PIC): Wednesday, June 5, 2019 – 5:30 p.m.
- AMDSB Recognition Reception: Monday, June 10, 2019 – 5:30 p.m. at Central Huron Community Complex – Libro Centre
- Finance Committee: June 11, 2019 – 4:30 p.m.
- Student Advisory Committee: June 11, 2019 – 7:00 p.m.
- SAL: June 17, 2019 – 8:30 a.m.
- Finance Committee: June 24, 2019 – 9:00 a.m.