SCDSB Update 1 – August 26, 2020

SCDSB Update 1 – August 26, 2020
Posted on 08/27/2020

In response to COVID-19, the Simcoe County District School Board Education Centre is currently closed to the public. The August 26 Board Meeting was held virtually via Zoom meeting. The recorded version of the meeting is available at

This update provides highlights of the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) Board Meeting held Wednesday, August 26, 2020. Agendas and/or reports considered at this meeting are available at


  1.  Jen Hare, TBU President, Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) Simcoe District 17, and Robin Malandrino, Teacher, Innisdale Secondary School re: Reserve Funding for Pandemic Relief.

Chairperson Lloyd accepted the delegation for information.

Report from the Closed Session of the Board in Committee of the Whole
The Board ratified the following recommendations taken in the Closed Session meeting of the Committee of the Whole on Wednesday, August 26, 2020:

  1. That the Board approve the Chairperson and Vice-chairperson’s report, as set out in Report No. CL-B-2-a, dated July 7, 2020. The Board has completed the Director of Education’s Performance Review. Goals and expectations of the role were met, resulting in a highly positive review.
  2. That the Board approve the valuation of the Bradford Public School property, located at 177 Church Street, Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury, as set out in Report No. CL-B-2-a, Disposition of Surplus Property – Bradford Public School, dated August 26, 2020.
  3. That the Board ratify the collective agreement reached with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) Education Workers for the term of September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2022, as set out in Report No. CL-B-2-b, Board Ratification of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) Education Workers and Its Local Agreement, dated August 26, 2020.
  4. That the Board approve the Rama First Nation Education Services Agreement, as set out in APPENDIX A of report No. CL-B-2-c Chippewas of Rama First Nation, dated August 26, 2020.

D-2-a Notice of Motion from the June 17, 2020 Board Meeting
The Board approved the following motion:

  1. That the Board approve that a letter be written by the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) Chairperson to the Minister of Education requesting that the Ministry acknowledge the existence of systemic racism in society and the importance of addressing racism, hate and oppression of all kinds; review all curriculum through a systemic racism lens and make the necessary revisions; and, provide dedicated funding to school boards to further their equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

D-4-a Audit Committee
The Board approved the following motion:

  1. That the Board approve the Proposed Regional Internal Audit Plan 2020-2021, as set out in APPENDIX A, of Report No. AUD-D-1, Internal Audit Update, dated June 16, 2020.

Staff Reports

D-7-a Operational Plan 
Steve Blake, Director of Education presented the Operational Plan. Director Blake shared that the progress towards the goals in the Operational Plan is reported twice per year. The Operational Plan outlines the goals, actions, timelines and measures of success and offers accountability as to how the board’s priorities are being addressed by staff. The Operational Plan presentation is available on the SCDSB website here:

D-7-b Student and Parent/Guardian Thoughtexchange® – Distance Learning
Hanne Nielson, Superintendent of Education, provided an overview of the results of the Student and Parent/Guardian Thoughtexchange®. Superintendent Nielsen shared that over 1,600 students and 7,800 parents/guardians participated in the survey, and that results have been used to assist with planning for the reopening of SCDSB schools.

D-7-c Capital Priorities Update
Brian Jeffs, Superintendent of Business and Facility Services, provided an update on capital priorities including information regarding elementary school projects in Oro-Medonte, Wasaga Beach, Bradford north, Bradford south and Shanty Bay. 

D-7-d School Reopening Update
Director Blake thanked Dr. Charles Gardner, Medical Officer of Health, and Cathy Thomson, Program Manager, School Health, from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) for attending the Board Meeting and responding to questions from trustees. Director Blake acknowledged that the SCDSB is appreciative of the leadership of the SMDHU on matters related to COVID-19 and public health, and recognized the strong relationship between the SMDHU and SCDSB. Director Blake noted that the SCDSB will continue to follow the advice of the SMDHU in preparation for the reopening of schools in September.

Dawn Stephens, Superintendent of Education, provided an update on the SCDSB school reopening plan. Superintendent Stephens addressed aspects of the elementary school plan, including cohorting, the use of outdoor spaces and classrooms and the staggered start. Superintendent Stephens addressed aspects of the secondary plan including the quadmester schedule, school day schedule and the staggered start. Superintendent Stephens noted that secondary students will attend their first period class one week and their second period class the next week within the quadmester schedule in order to limit the number of students in a cohort. Superintendent Stephens explained that distance learning options for secondary school students will include remote learning as defined by the Ministry of Education, eLearning and the Ministry of Education’s TVO digital learning platform. Superintendent Stephens shared the results of the return to school survey and noted that approximately 86 percent of parent/guardians responded to the survey, and approximately 15 percent of students have selected remote learning. Superintendent Stephens noted that students and parents/guardians will receive further correspondence from their school regarding the return to school plan.

D-7-e Nottawa Elementary School Fire Update
Superintendent Giffen provided an update on the Nottwawa Elementary School fire that occurred on Aug. 13. Superintendent Giffen noted that Nottawa Elementary School students who are returning to in-school learning in September will be temporarily accommodated at the recently closed Byng Public School in Stayner. Superintendent Giffen shared that restoration work is underway and estimated to be complete by early October. 

Questions and Proposals from Trustees
Chair Lloyd shared that she received a letter from Ophea that acknowledging the significant contribution of Associate Director Dance as a member of the Ophea Board of Directors. Ophea recognizes and celebrates school communities for promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of students, school staff, and the broader community.

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Sarah Kekewich, Manager of Communications
705-734-6363 x11328 or [email protected]