During the regular meeting on February 8, trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) received several updates from across the school board. The board has received a new logo, the Director’s Work plan had several updates, the board received a financial forecast, and the Red Apple Award was given to three teachers across the region.
Executive Superintendent of Business Jeremy Hobbs, Manager of Communications and Relationship Management April Scott-Clarke, and Manager of Information Technology Services Jim Guerin presented the new logo for the UCDSB. It’s been a work-in-progress since last February, and now it’s been approved and put into effect. Scott-Clarke mentioned that physical materials with the old logo will continue to be used until supplies run out.
Superintendent of Student Wellness and Special Education Jennifer Perry updated trustees on the Power Up 2 program, which is a part of the Director’s Work Plan. The programs are led by a Special Education teacher and are designed to adapt to individual strengths and needs to help support students to achieve success. As of February 1, Perry reported that 18.6 Special Education teacher positions have been added to 19 schools across the district, bringing the total number of Power Up 2 programs to 30.
Executive Superintendent Eric Hardie then presented to trustees new and enhanced learning opportunities that are being introduced across the board, in line with the Director’s Work Plan goal of improving student success to attain and maintain a 90 per cent graduation rate. Hardie reported that the board is moving away from physical materials and focusing more on eLearning courses and customized learning, which will provide flexibility and accommodations for adults with learning needs and provide daytime and early evening support online.
Executive Superintendent of Business Services Jeremy Hobbs presented the second financial forecast for the 2022-2023 school year. The forecast is based on current funding and enrolment information, and projects revenues of $410,100,000 and expenses of $409,600,000, while the projected in-year surplus is $500,000. These updated figures also include additional in-year revenues of $1 million from other non-Grants for Student Needs provincial grants released since the first financial forecast. Hobbs noted that the conclusion of COVID-19 funding in 2022-2023, potential changes to other funding sources, and the current economic climate with inflationary pressures, rising interest rates, labour costs, and supply chain shortages may tax the budget moving into 2023-2024. The third and final financial forecast will be presented to trustees later in the spring.
Director of Education Ron Ferguson presented the winter term’s Red Apple Award Recipients. The award goes to individuals whose day-to-day impact and dedication to the students makes them stand out and inspire others. This term, the awards went to Carla Bangma from Front of Yonge Elementary School, Rose MacCulloch from Williamstown Public School, and Giselle Paquette from the Vankleek Hill Collegiate Institute.
“Paquette teaches French, music, theatre, literature, and food to secondary students, and she’s helped students present and provide live entertainment for the annual retirement celebrations,” the UCDSB said in a release. “Everyone who knows Giselle speaks highly of her and her passion for French, arts, and culture, and for her unwavering support of student learning.”