November 10, 2023 – Trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) met on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023. Key items discussed in the public session are as follows.
Eric Hardie, UCDSB Executive Superintendent of Student Achievement & Innovation and Amanda Nieman, UCDSB Principal of Teaching and Learning presented an update to the Board of Trustees on EQAO testing over time, as well as steps being taken within the UCDSB to improve student outcomes.
Outlined in the presentation were details of the Ministry of Education’s Math Plan. In line with this initiative, it was reported that the UCDSB has recently added two additional Vice-Principals to Teaching & Learning (one elementary and one secondary) with a focus on Math and EQAO.
They highlighted ways that some of our schools and other boards have improved student outcomes, including early preparation and using EQAO practice questions in daily lessons. Displaying EQAO sample questions, presenters discussed explicit teaching strategies that have been introduced to help students navigate these problems effectively.
The department continues to implement the previously reported EQAO Improvement Plan, including the following:
- Addition of 25 Special Education teachers to support small group instruction plus two math leads to work with Principals, Teachers, and EQAO.
- Integrate EQAO question examples into the Professional Learning Plan (PLP) including the use of the Knowledgehook platform (for school and at-home practice).
- Encourage students to write responses down before responding to questions when practicing and ensure deliberate practice in all classrooms.
- Support teachers and students in years leading up to testing in grades 1-3, 4-6, and 7-10, and to not overly rely on teachers who have students in a testing year.
- Maximize the use of EQAO-approved support resources in the classroom.
- Continue to work with EQAO to maximize data analysis and share findings with all schools.
2022-2023 Draft Audited Consolidated Financial Statements
Ministry regulation requires the UCDSB’s Audit Committee to perform a detailed review of the Board’s Draft Audited Consolidated Financial Statements, the Independent Auditors’ Report, and the Audit Findings Report. This detailed review occurred at the Audit Committee meeting on Monday, Nov. 6, 2023, with the external audit partner from BDO Canada in attendance.
During the Nov. 8 Board of Trustees Meeting, Executive Superintendent of Business Services Jeremy Hobbs presented highlights of the Audited Consolidated Financial Statements for the 2022-23 school year (ending August 31, 2023) and compared this to the Board’s original approved budget.
Hobbs reported that higher enrolment, benchmark changes, and additional Priorities and Partnership Funds (PPFs) contributed to compliance revenue being up $12.7M from the original budget to $411.7M versus $399M in the original budget. Expenses for compliance were also up from $398.8M to $407.7M, a difference of $8.9M.
This larger increase in revenue versus expenses resulted in an in-year operating surplus for compliance purposes of $4.0M or approximately 1 per cent of in-year compliance revenue, up from a surplus of $0.2M projected in the original 2022-23 budget.
The magnitude of the in-year surplus as a per cent of total revenue continues to decline year-over-year reflecting efforts to respond with greater agility to changing financial circumstances through the year.
Hobbs reported that this in-year surplus results in a total accumulated surplus available for compliance of $27.5M as of August 31, 2023, positioning the Board well to respond to upcoming funding model changes in Indigenous education, student transportation, and SIP funding, as well as other future changes as they arise.