A Well-deserved Retirement
The Board acknowledged the well-deserved retirement of Superintendent Janet Baird-Jackson. Janet was recognized for her many contributions to several portfolios throughout her 28 year tenure at Avon Maitland. The Board wishes her all the best in the next chapter of her life. Congratulations Janet!
AMDSB Teacher Receives “Champion of Inclusion” Award
Superintendent Kim Black was happy to report that AMDSB teacher Fiona Valiquette was awarded the “Champion of Inclusion” award. The award goes to an educator who “demonstrates leadership in the vision of achieving quality inclusive education through developing and/or implementing effective inclusive practices.” According to her nomination: “Fiona compassionately meets students where they are at and uses student voice to put plans in place that help students with autism navigate successfully through days that can be both challenging and rewarding. She recognizes student strengths and builds on them, and has been seen wiping away a proud tear when students celebrate both big and small wins.”
Well done Fiona!
Payroll Department Receives Provincial Recognition
Superintendent Paul Langis reported that recently, the AMDSB payroll department led by Mark Norman, successfully implemented a new payroll system. They were recognized across Ontario as the first board to successfully convert all payrolls over and provided invaluable feedback to the provider that has greatly assisted other boards as they were making the switch. Kudos to Mark and his team!
Larry Bannerman Foundation Scholarship Announcement
Financial Services Staff are pleased to share that AMDSB recently received a $25,000 donation for Student Scholarships from the Larry Bannerman Foundation. This donation will be distributed in the 2019-2020 school year through each of our Secondary Schools and the Centre for Employment and Learning (Adult Learning Program). It will be awarded to students who have worked hard to obtain their diploma and may need additional assistance to take their next step.
When asked for some background regarding this scholarship, a family member (speaking on behalf of Mr Bannerman) explained, “We really wanted to do what we could to try to alleviate some of the economic disparities that we find in schools. AMDSB has been great at providing inclusive opportunities for all students so I think Larry recognized that it was a good option since the staff of each school see these needs on a daily basis and thought it would be a good way of finding the specific students that he is hoping to help.”
We thank the Larry Bannerman Foundation for their donation.
Capture Canada Summer Camp
The Avon Maitland District School Board Capture Canada summer camp was hosted this summer. We welcomed 42 students and 4 adult chaperones from Kunshan Tonghai Experimental Middle School near Shanghai, China. Students learned English and experienced all that Stratford and surrounding area has to offer, including Wildwood, Goderich, Niagara Falls and Toronto.
Over 20 Avon Maitland students volunteered to assist at the camp. Superintendent Jodie Baker was thrilled to have so many of her students volunteering. “Principal Chen was hoping that his students would be able to get to know Ontario students, and it is wonderful that we had so many willing to volunteer to be part of the camp. We had them partner with the students from China for some activities where they had to compare life in China to life in Ontario, in addition to participating in the excursions.”
This year, the students stayed at the As You Like It motel in Stratford. This was a change from the usual homestay program hosted by Avon Maitland, although that program continues to run. Avon Maitland is always looking for homestay families for their International student (school year) program. Families who are interested should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Stratford Secondary and Elementary Schools Update
Stratford Secondary and Elementary Schools students were invited to visit the school for activities and a welcome BBQ on Wednesday August 28th. Trustee Bisutti had the pleasure of attending and witnessing the buzz and excitement as the school year was set to commence..
Superintendent Jane Morris also gave a summary of the first week of school reporting that students and staff provided positive feedback about their start to the year. She added that they are working with the Huron Perth Student Transportation Services and the City of Stratford to address a few busing and traffic issues but that considering the volume of students in that area, things are going smoothly.
Trustee Bisutti also reported that construction is well under-way at Stratford Central and shared photos of the progress made in the demolition of the 1958 wing.
Senior Staff Updates
Superintendent Jodie Baker reported that The Minister of Education recently announced changes to PPM 128 in the news release, Ontario Takes Action to Focus on Learning. The PPM allows for restrictions on cell phones and other personal mobile devices in classrooms. The changes are effective November 4, 2019. The language reminds everyone of the need to provide an environment conducive to learning and teaching, by ensuring that cell phones and other personal mobile devices are only used during instructional time for educational purposes, as directed by an educator, for health and medical purposes, and/or to support special education needs.
Chair Activity Update
Chair Schenk reported that all of the trustees wrapped up the last school year by attending many of the graduation ceremonies from across the Board. In August she assisted in hiring the new Transportation Services Manager Janice White, joined all of the AMDSB leaders at District Leader’s Day with special guest Michael Fullan and met with MPP Randy Pettapiece.
The following Tenders have been awarded:
Future Board Meetings
(at the Education Centre in Seaforth unless otherwise noted)
- Tuesday, September 24, 2019 – 7:30 p.m.
- Tuesday, October 8, 2019 – 7:30 p.m.
- Tuesday, October 22, 2019 – 7:30 p.m.
Future Meetings/Events with Trustee Representation
(at Education Centre unless otherwise noted)
- Special Education Advisory Commitee – Wednesday, September 11, 2019 – 4:00 p.m.
- Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act – Wednesday, September 18, 2019 – 4:00 p.m.
- Student Senators and Trustees – Tuesday, September 24, 2019 – 7:00 p.m.
- Audit Committee – Tuesday, September 24, 2019 – 5:00 p.m.
- Joint Health & Safety Committee – Thursday, September 26, 2019 – 1:30 p.m.
- Supervised Alternative Learning – Friday, September 27, 2019 – 8:30 a.m.
- Parent Involvement Committee – Wednesday, October 2, 2019 – 5:30 p.m.