Highlights from the Sept. 8 UCDSB Board of Trustees’ Meeting: In person learning, vaccination policy discussed
Submitted by the Upper Canada District School Board.
Trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) met on Wednesday, September 8, 2021, for a regularly scheduled board meeting.
More than 98 per cent of UCDSB students choose in-person learning
Staff presented the current enrollment numbers for remote learning amongst the UCDSB students at the elementary and secondary levels. After reviewing hard data, staff confirmed that 107 of the 18,163 elementary school students are enrolled in either synchronous or asynchronous digital learning. That number makes up .6 per cent of all elementary school students. At the secondary level, 32 of the 8,849 students are enrolled in remote learning, making up .35 per cent of total secondary school student enrollment. These numbers indicate that less than 1 per cent of the mainstream student population is enrolled in mainstream remote learning.
The Secondary Remote Self-Study Program offered at the TR Leger School for Adult, Alternative and Continuing Education has 112 students enrolled and they will participate in this fully independent/asynchronous learning model.
Overall, less than 2 per cent of UCDSB students are enrolled in remote learning, which translates to more than 98 per cent of students opting for in-person learning. For comparative purposes, participation in remote learning in 2020-21 was approximately 21 per cent in the first half of the school year.
UCDSB Implements Staff Vaccine Attestation Protocol
Adhering to the Ministry of Education’s requirements, the UCDSB has implemented a COVID-19 immunization disclosure protocol. As of Sept. 8, 93 per cent of UCDSB staff have attested to being fully immunized against COVID-19.
The attestation protocol applies to all UCDSB employees, including occasional staff, school board trustees, bus/van drivers and visitors who attend schools frequently and have direct contact with staff or students.
Staff outlined how the Ministry’s protocol also requires unvaccinated staff and visitors to regularly complete rapid antigen testing for COVID-19 and demonstrate a negative result at least two times a week. As well, unvaccinated staff and visitors who do not have a documented medical exemption from being vaccinated must complete a COVID-19 education program, as per the direction of, and provided by, the Ministry of Education.
Staff will continue to collect data and publish the UCDSB staff vaccination rates monthly beginning Sept. 15.
UCDSB Student Trustees Sworn in as Board Members
The student trustees nominated by the Student Senate publicly signed their declaration and oath of allegiance to the UCDSB Board of Trustees for the 2021-2022 school year. Eshal Ali from Seaway District High School and Bradford Ward from Brockville Collegiate Institute will share responsibilities in all areas in their new positions as Board members.
The student trustees also provided a report to the Board. Last month, they were invited by the Ontario Principal’s Council (OPC) as the only two student trustees and Ontario Student Trustee Association representatives to participate in a de-streaming panel organized by the OPC. They voiced their support for the newly implemented de-streamed system and outlined a better need for communicating the de-streaming benefits to students and their families.
Trustees Seeking Alternative Student Transportation Inclement Weather Approach
Trustees passed a motion that will make a request to the school board’s transportation provider, Student Transportation of Eastern Ontario (STEO), to prepare a report outlining possible approaches to student transportation during inclement weather.
Currently, student transportation cancellations are done on a board-wide basis. With its large geographic landscape, there have been instances when inclement weather has affected part of the school district’s regions while other regions have not experienced these same weather conditions.
Trustee Cram brought the motion forward, outlining that when not all regions of the district have been affected by inclement weather, it should be the school board’s responsibility to have as many students as possible in the school buildings. The motion carried.