February Board Updates

We had a lot of important items on last week's agenda. Here are the key decisions that were made by the board at our meeting last week. You can view the full summary of decisions and minutes of past meetings here.

Integrity Commissioner’s Code of Conduct Complaint Investigation

The Board decided:

(a) That the Integrity Commissioner’s Code of Conduct Complaint Investigation Report No. 0317, be received;

(b) That Trustee Sheila Cary-Meagher be censured for her statements made at a parent meeting on October 19, 2017 in respect of the “Communications team failed miserably”;

(c) That Trustee Cary-Meagher tender a written apology to each of the complainants in the report, expressing her understanding of the impact of her October 19, 2017 statements on the Complainants’ professional reputations and her regret for any misunderstanding her comments may have caused by inferring the Complainants or the Communications department acted inappropriately and did not fulfill their duties as communications professionals.

 


Integrity Commissioner’s Code of Conduct Complaint Investigation

The Board decided:

(a) That the Integrity Commissioner’s Code of Conduct Complaint Investigation Report No. 0417, be received;

(b) That Trustee Sheila Cary-Meagher be barred from sitting on any expulsion hearing panels and suspension appeals until after she completes the Board’s Human Rights and Prevention of Harassment in the Workplace eModule;

(c) That Trustee Cary-Meagher tender a written apology to the Complainant within 30 days;

(d) That, on completion of the eModule referenced in part (b) above, Trustee Cary-Meagher meet with the Human Rights Manager to review the equity principles of the eModule.

 


Letter of Request From Trustee Sheila Cary-Meagher for a Leave of Absence

The Board decided:

Whereas, Trustee Sheila Cary-Meagher has submitted a letter to the Chair of the Board requesting a leave of absence, following the findings of the Integrity Commissioner regarding Code of Conduct Complaint Investigation No. 0417; and

Whereas, Trustee Cary-Meagher has decided to take a leave of absence to complete necessary training and reflection regarding the matter; and

Whereas, section 228(1) (b) of the Education Act states: Seat vacated by conviction, absence etc. 228. (1) A member of a board vacates his or her seat if he or she, (b) absents himself or herself without being authorized by resolution entered in the minutes, from three consecutive regular meetings of the board; and

Whereas, Trustee Cary-Meagher is also a member of the Governance and Policy Committee;

Therefore, be it resolved that the absence of Trustee Sheila Cary-Meagher from Board meetings and meetings of the Governance and Policy Committee, for at least three consecutive regular meetings of the Board and Governance and Policy Committee, effective February 7, 2018, be authorized.

 


Bylaw Amendment: Reconsideration of a Previous Board Decision

The Board decided that clause 39.1 of the Board’s Bylaws dated December 1, 2016 be amended as follows: 39.1 A decision of the Board shall not be reconsidered for a period of twelve months following the decision, or for the remainder of the term of office of the Board, whichever period is shorter. be replaced with: 39.1 A decision of the Board made at a previous meeting shall not be reconsidered for at least 12 months after the decision was made, or for the remainder of the term of office, whichever is the shorter time unless a two-thirds majority of the members decides otherwise.

 


Ward Boundary Review, Consultant’s Report

The Board decided:

(a) That the Consultant’s Final Report: TDSB Ward Boundary Review, as presented in the report, be received;

(b) That Option 5: Learning Centre Boundaries, as presented in the consultant’s report, be approved and presented to the Ministry of Education for final approval in accordance with the Education Act and its Regulations.

 


Staff and Student Educational Travel to the United States: Update

The Board decided:

Whereas, the Board passed a motion on March 22, 2017 to ensure that students participating in school trips to the United States would not be put in the situation of potentially being turned away at the border due to the U.S. travel ban; and

Whereas, some clarification has been requested regarding student competitions and staff professional development opportunities being held in the United States,

Therefore, be it resolved:

(a) That school trips related to student competitions and professional development opportunities for Board staff and trustees in the United States not be subject to the travel restrictions outlined in the Board’s motion of March 22, 2017;

(b) That if during an approved trip to the United States, any individual student or staff member is refused entry to the United States, for no fault of their own, the trip for all students and staff will be aborted and all involved will remain in Canada and return home.

 


Black Student Achievement Community Advisory Committee: Review of the Draft Equity Policy

The Board decided that the following recommendation from the Black Student Achievement Community Advisory Committee be referred to staff for a report back to the Program and School Services Committee: That the Board consider allowing Community Advisory Committees to review the draft equity policy before the Governance and Policy Committee meeting in 2018. Senior staff to discuss this consideration. The timeline is approximately March/April 2018.

 


Black Student Achievement Community Advisory Committee: Development of an Anti-Black Racism Strategy

The Board decided that the following recommendation from the Black Student Achievement Community Advisory Committee be referred to staff for a report back to the Program and School Services Committee: That the Board create a distinct Anti-Black Racism Strategy, that clearly extrapolates and implements the goals, aims and resourcing in terms of funding applicable for the Enhancing Equity Task Force recommendations, denoting outcomes for Black student achievement from 2018-2020..

 


Parent Involvement Advisory Committee: Communication Regarding the Evaluation of the Children and Youth Mental Health and Well-being Strategy

The Board decided that the following be referred to staff for a report back to the Program and School Services Committee:

Whereas, parents are key partners in the school improvement process, as well as in the development of the Board's Mental Health and Well-being strategy;

Therefore, be it resolved:

(a) That the Director present a report on ways to more meaningfully involve parents in the development of school improvement goals, including those connected to mental health and well-being;

(b) That the Parent Involvement Advisory Committee and the Mental Health and Well-being Parent Partnership Committee be included in the development of a mental health and well-being strategy for the Toronto District School Board.

 


Parent Involvement Advisory Committee: Opportunity to Review Policy P006, Advertising

The Board decided: Whereas, changes to the policy P006, Advertising would directly impact PIAC’s events and activities and school council events, activities and fundraising; Therefore, be it resolved that the Parent Involvement Advisory Committee be granted enhanced access to the review and revision of policy P006, Advertising.

 


Results of Environmental Scan Regarding Models of Before- and After-School Programs

The Board decided:

(a) That a phased-in implementation of a mixed model of before- and after-school care programs comprised of the following components be implemented:

(i) authorized recreation,

(ii) existing third-party operators of licensed child care,

(iii) board-operated Extended Day Programs;

(b) That the Director be authorized to negotiate a purchase of service agreement with Toronto Children’s Services so that families participating in extended day programs may apply their child care fee subsidy to the programs referenced at Part (a);

(c) That the extended day programs be implemented in accordance with the Education Act, Regulation 221/11 and other requirements outlined by the Ministry of Education, subject to entering into an acceptable purchase of service agreement for extended day programs;

(d) That the Director present an annual report on extended day program implementation.

 


Post-secondary and Employment Goals for Students With Disabilities

The Board decided:

Whereas, the Enhancing Equity Task Force Report notes that “individuals living with disabilities are more likely to face poverty, un- or under-employment, poor health and exclusion from their communities” (p. 57); and

Whereas, students leave the system and enter a workforce where 79 percent of people without disabilities have paid employment, but only 51 percent of people with disabilities have paid employment and only 26 percent of people with intellectual disabilities have paid employment; and

Whereas, the Toronto District School Board has a role to play in addressing these inequities of outcomes through its special education services, including its co-op, pre-employment training and student employment programs; and

Whereas, the attached report "Employment for All: An Equity Goal for the TDSB", from the Etobicoke Centre for Special Education Forum, describes opportunities for the TDSB to improve its pre-employment training and thus to increase employment outcomes for students with disabilities;

Therefore, be it resolved:

(a) That the Director include in the Integrated Equity Framework, the goal of improving postsecondary preparation for students with disabilities through enhanced pre-employment training and greater connections to funding and post-secondary programs;

(b) That the Director report back to the Program and School Services Committee in May 2018, and develop an action plan for September 2018 that includes ambitious employment and other postsecondary goals for students with disabilities. The action plan could include:

(i) collecting data on post-secondary pathways for each student with disabilities;

(ii) staff training on the employment potential of people with disabilities;

(iii) setting a goal of hiring 18% of students with disabilities for TDSB student employment programs to reflect the proportion of students with an IEP;

(iv) working more closely with employers to expand and improve co-op and other pre-employment training programs for TDSB students with disabilities.

 


Supporting Student Active Transportation During Winter

The Board decided:

Whereas, the Toronto District School Board has had a Charter for Active, Safe and Sustainable Transportation since 2013; and

Whereas, research shows that walking and cycling to school is the healthiest way for children to get to school, allowing them to arrive at school having had some of the 60 minutes of exercise that children and youth need daily, supporting increased health, mental health, self-reliance and focus, and putting in place lifelong habits that thwart obesity and chronic diseases in later life; and

Whereas, being active outside in Canadian winters, while challenging at times, is important for child and youth health. As a life skill, students need to know how to dress for severely cold weather, and how to keep themselves protected from frostbite, hypothermia and other cold weather hazards; and

Whereas, the first Wednesday in February is widely celebrated in Canada as Winter Walk Day, with many resources being available to help schools to plan and promote winter walking to school on this day (as for example, Safe Routes to School Canada’s webpage http://www.saferoutestoschool.ca/winterwalk-day/ ),

Therefore, be it resolved:

(a) That the first Wednesday in February be declared as Winter Walk to School Day and recognized as an official day of significance in the Toronto District School Board;

(b) That the Director develop a communications campaign to encourage all schools to participate in Winter Walk to School Day;

(c) That the Director develop a plan to encourage and support active transportation to and from school during the winter months, the plan to include:

(i) ensuring that all school sidewalks, pathways and cycle racks are cleared of snow and ice as early as possible,

(ii) making sure that students are aware of how to dress for outdoor activity in the cold,

(iii) working with parents to promote the health benefits of walking and cycling to school in all weather conditions, as long as students are dressed appropriately,

(iv) debunking the misconception that children and youth should be driven to school as a first choice during cold weather for safety reasons

 


Student Transportation Update

The Board decided:

Whereas, the Ministry of Education is soliciting feedback on student transportation services to better serve students, families and communities; and

Whereas, the Ministry has indicated that through the consultation process, feedback would guide future policy development and has released a discussion paper, A New Vision for Student Transportation, to guide the consultation; and

Whereas, the consultation process does not identify consultation with local PIACs and SEACs or concerns from parents, especially parents of students with special needs;

Therefore, be it resolved:

(a) That the Chair write to the Minister of Education and the Executive Co-leads of the consultation process regarding A New Vision for Student Transportation to request that the review be sent immediately to all Parent Involvement Advisory Committees, Special Education Advisory Committees and all public school boards in Ontario to solicit their comments;

(b) That the correspondence at (a) be shared with the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association.

 


Helping all Students Succeed: Director’s Response to the Enhancing Equity Task Force Report

The Board decided:

(a) That the report, Helping all Students Succeed: Director’s Response to the Enhancing Equity Task Force, be approved;

(b) That the high-level directions, as presented in the report, inform the Board’s multi-year strategic plan and integrated equity framework.