November 28, 2023 – Trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) met on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023. Key items discussed in the public session are as follows.
Chair and Vice-Chair Elected
The UCDSB Board of Trustees elected Jamie Schoular, Ward 3 Trustee, as Board Chair and Lynda Johnston, Ward 1 Trustee, as Vice-Chair for 2023-24 during the annual organizational meeting on November 22. Refer to full media release for details.
Director’s Annual Report
UCDSB Director of Education Ron Ferguson presented an overview of the 2022-23 Director’s Annual Report to the Board of Trustees. Prepared each year and shared with the Ministry of Education, the annual report outlines the strategic plans for the 2022-23 school year, including the Board Work Plan and the Director’s Work Plan, and the progress that was made towards the goals set out by the UCDSB.
The report is grounded in four areas of focus, and Ferguson detailed specific examples from UCDSB schools that support each of these areas:
· Graduation Rate and Student Success: The UCDSB has the goal of improving student success to attain and maintain a 90 per cent graduation rate through initiatives such as the Habitat for Humanity Build Days where students get hands-on experience in construction.
· Student Culture: Enhancing student mental and physical health and sense of belonging, as a means to enhance student success. Examples include the Power Up Program, The Queen Elizabeth School raising awareness and funds for clean drinking water and celebrating Ramadan with newcomer students.
· Real-World Learning: An approach to help engage students, staff and community partners through real-world situations and experiences. Examples of RWL in schools included the National Hill 70 Project, a project that saw students working to recover identities of Canadian WWI soldiers, and Gananoque ISS students helping community partners launch a theatrical production.
· Staff Culture: Ensuring that staff feel supported by the district in their work and have the resources they need to be successful resulted in the UCDSB being recognized by Forbes as one of Canada’s Best Employers for 2023.
Bringing the presentation to a close, Ferguson emphasized that going forward the Board will continue to work towards the aspirational but attainable goals in the 2023-2024 Director’s Work Plan.
Read the full Director’s Annual Report here.
UCDSB Names New Brockville Public School The name for the new Brockville public school was approved by UCDSB Trustees during the November 22 Board of Trustees Meeting. The school. Which is being built at 556 King St. West, will be named Swift Waters Elementary School and will bring together students from Commonwealth Public School and Toniata Public School once those two locations close at the end of the 2023-24 academic year. Refer to full media release for details.
UCDSB Holocaust Education Week
In line with the Ministry of Education’s focus, the UCDSB is enhancing and emphasizing Holocaust Education in our schools. During an update to the Board of Trustees, Superintendent of School Marsha McNair and Principal of Equity and Inclusion Dan McRae outlined the various ways the board is bolstering its efforts to help address rising antisemitism in schools and communities. These plans include a strategic partnership with the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) for Holocaust Education and will result in the first ever UCDSB Holocaust Education Week in November 2023.
McRae reported that under this partnership, the UCDSB will welcome the Tour for Humanity, FSWC’s award-winning mobile human rights education centre to 10 secondary schools this school year. The board was also honoured to welcome Andy Rèti, a child survivor of the Holocaust to North Grenville District High School in October.