SCDSB Update 2 – September 23, 2020

SCDSB Update 2 – September 23, 2020
Posted on 09/24/2020

This update provides highlights of the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) Board Meeting held Wednesday, September 23, 2020. Agendas and/or reports considered at this meeting are available at

Report from the Student Trustees
Student Trustee Fisher Monahan reported on the success of the first Student Senate meeting, which took place virtually on Sept. 23. Student Trustee Monahan shared that 21 students from nine secondary schools were in attendance at the meeting. Principal Irfan Toor spoke about equity, diversity and inclusion which led to round table discussions, questions and idea sharing. Student Trustee Zainab Jafri proposed an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion subcommittee aimed at promoting equitable practices within schools. 

D-2-a Notice of Motion from the August 26, 2020 Board Meeting
The following motion was withdrawn:

  1. That the Simcoe County District School Board, in support of our pillar of mental health and well-being, make some funds available directly to schools to support outdoor learning for the 2020-2021 school year.

Other Reports Received as Information 
D-6-a Program – September 9, 2020
D-6-b Human Resources – September 9, 2020
D-6-c SEAC – March 9, 2020 

Staff Reports
D-7-a Return to School Update
Steve Blake, Director of Education, provided a return to school update and shared that both the in-person and [email protected] programs are up and running, and system-wide implementation target dates were met. Director Blake acknowledged the complex task of timetabling over 50,000 students, including 10,000 students in the [email protected] program. Director Blake indicated that the parent/guardian platform on the SCDSB public website, requested by the Board of Trustees, has been very useful with over 650 personalized responses generated to date. Director Blake indicated that [email protected] is in its third day, and reorganization of classes is occurring, as part of the regular process, to balance class sizes and ensure compliance with collective agreements. 

Chris Samis, Superintendent of Program and Special Education, shared that the Program Department has developed a number of instructional resources for both elementary and secondary educators teaching in-person and [email protected] programs. Superintendent Samis noted that daily, weekly and long-range resources and lesson plans, focused on the implementation of the new math curriculum, the first 20 days of math and outdoor learning, are available to SCDSB staff to ensure and model the provision of effective instruction. Superintendent Samis shared that the SCDSB has developed remote special education classes, including developmental skills, life skills and elementary and secondary learning centres.

Douglas Paul, Superintendent of Education, provided an update on transportation. Superintendent Paul noted that delays impacting a small percentage of routes occurred during the first six days of school and that those delays were resolved by Sept. 16. Superintendent Paul commended the efforts of the Chief Executive Officer/General Manager and staff of the Simcoe County Student Transportation Consortium for their ability to effectively and efficiently mitigate transportation delays.

Superintendent Paul provided an update on the elementary [email protected] program and noted that the program launched on Monday, Sept. 21. Superintendent Paul shared that there are 7,000 students and 275 elementary [email protected] classes, including French Immersion classes. Superintendent Paul noted that all students remain attached to their home school and are accountable to their home school principal. Superintendent Paul indicated that an additional 12 teachers have been hired for the elementary [email protected] program. 

Hanne Nielsen, Superintendent of Education, provided an update on the secondary [email protected] program and noted that the program launched on Monday, Sept. 21. Superintendent Neilson shared that 2,700 secondary school students are participating in the [email protected] program, which represents 17 percent of SCDSB secondary students. Superintendent Nielsen indicated that 130 teachers have been assigned to secondary [email protected] instruction which includes the hiring of eight new teachers. Superintendent Nielsen noted that TVO has been an essential partner in meeting academic needs of senior students. 

Brian Jeffs, Superintendent of Business and Facility Services, provided an update on funding received since late August for COVID-19 related costs. Superintendent Jeffs shared that the board has received a total of $10.2 million, which includes funding for additional custodial staff, health and safety training, mental health supports, additional teaching staff, remote learning funds and transportation funds to support enhanced cleaning, personal protective equipment (PPE) and maintenance for existing bus routes. Superintendent Jeffs noted that the SCDSB has spent an additional $4.3 million to purchase technology, including Chromebooks and Internet access devices, and PPE, including masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, acrylic shields, and disinfectant wipes.

Visit for information about future Board and Committee meetings, or to view video archives of Board meetings.

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