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From the Boardroom – January 28, 2020

Meeting of the Board of Trustees

At the January 28, 2020 Meeting of the Board of Trustees...


Photo cutline: Stéphane Rouleau, Co-Chair of the Regional Council Parent Involvement Committee (RCPIC) presents the Ontario Association of Parents in the Catholic Education (OAPCE) Certificate of Appreciation to Chair of the Board, Rick Petrella.

Committee and Staff Reports

Excursion – New York

Trustees approved the request from St. John’s College for an Art and Music trip to New York, NY from Thursday, May 14 to Monday, May 18, 2020.

New YorkCity is one of the major cultural centres of the world. This tour provides Art and Music students an opportunity to make connections with the course curriculum they are studying and experience the rich and diverse culture of New York City.

Visits include:

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Radio City Music Hall, Times Square, Grand Central Station
  • The Museum of Moving Images which will provide students with an interactive tour that will guide them through the developments of technology since the 1800s
  • A variety of key architectural sites including Rockefeller Centre, Ground Zero Empire State Building which allows students to experience firsthand the impact of space in the context of early-mid 20th Century and modern-day architecture

A Broadway show is included as another example of the important role that art and music has on our lives and how it helps to define, capture and preserve culture.

Visiting such a culturally rich destination such as New York City also opens students’ minds to the career opportunities that are available within the Arts. Music, Fashion Design, Media Communications and Architecture sectors. Students will be attending a Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and a visit to the Neo Gothic Cathedral of St. John the Divine is also planned.

Strategic Plan Process Report

Trustees approved the Strategic Plan Process Report. In summary:

In order to communicate and collect information from as many varied stakeholders as possible to inform our new strategic plan, ThoughtExchange was engaged to ask questions and analyze responses electronically. Once this information was collated and analyzed it was presented to a large committee of stakeholders which had representation form all aspects of the BHNCDSB community, including trustees, senior administration, parents, students, bargaining unit leaders, representatives from all employee groups, clergy, elected officials and community members on November the 14, 2019.

The major themes from that meeting, and from the stakeholder feedback, which helped inform the planning which occurred that day, and subsequent to that meeting was:

  • Catholicity and faith formation should not be a separate commitment but rather threaded through all of our work and actions as a district
  • The plan should be accessible and inclusive to all internal and external stakeholders and therefore should be concise and written in parent friendly language
  • Wellness was a major concern for all stakeholders in the community

The committee synthesized the information down to three overall commitments and began work on the goals. At the end of the meeting senior team continued to synthesize and revise the plan while reaching back to the committee for continued input. Updates were brought to the Board of Trustees throughout that process and the final draft was prepared and graphically represented.

Policies and Procedures

Workplace Harassment Policy 300.01 and Employee Expenses Policy 700.04

The Board of Trustees have approved the following policies and administrative procedures, which take effect immediately: 

Both policies and administrative procedures were circulated for stakeholder feedback from September 27 to November 29, 2019. Feedback was received and incorporated as appropriate. 

The following highlights the changes to the policies and administrative procedures: 

Employee Expenses 700.04

  • Clear reporting and approval requirements. 
  • Clarification on appropriate travel (i.e. mileage) and accommodation expenses. 
  • A maximum daily meal reimbursement, including dollar limits on the type of meal (i.e., breakfast, lunch, and dinner). 
  • Further direction on perquisites, community events, consultants, and other expenses

Workplace Harassment 300.01

  • The purpose of the policy and procedure 
  • The responsibilities of the various stakeholders 
  • The definitions and types of workplace harassment 
  • The reporting procedure

These policies have undergone substantial changes and it is recommended that every employee reviews the revised policy in its entirety.

Student Trustee Report

Trustees received the Student Trustee Report that included:

All schools had 12 days of Christmas in December, which included dress down days, like having an ugly Christmas sweater day and games, like building gingerbread houses. Each school also had their spirit of Christmas day on December 20th. This day was filled with pep rallies, Christmas signing and turkey lunches.

Holy Trinity, Assumption and St. John’s had their grade eight nights. All high schools had student council and other volunteers give the grade eights tours and answered any general questions they had about high school. Holy Trinity went one step further with their grade eight night and gave out samples of cafeteria food and had passports made for each coming grade eight with classes and class descriptions placed inside. And each school participated in exam preparations for the grade nines.

St. John’s additionally had a Christmas coffee house (gingerbread house) during December where students could show their musical talents and have hot chocolate. St. John’s angel campaign was a huge success, raising about $20,000 to purchase toys and food items for the less fortunate in our community. To help students with exams, St. John’s also held an Instagram livestream for council members to answer the student’s questions regarding the exams. St. John’s also held a “techsploration” day.

Assumption had an impressive turnout at their spirit of Christmas day. They held selling days for carnations to be delivered on valentines’ day too. They are currently in the process of ordering the carnations and preparing what classes each carnation will be sent to. Assumption College School also held a “techsploration” day.

Throughout the month of December, Holy Trinity held events to raise money to The Giving Tree charity which included having a movie buyout for $2 where students were exempt form period four to watch a Christmas movie, they sold hot chocolate and candy and had dress down days for those who donated. In total they raised about $5,000 for The Giving Tree! They will also be holding a “techsploration” day during exams for elementary students to experience Holy Trinity’s tech classes.    

Director’s Annual Report 2018-19

Director Mike McDonald presented the Director’s Annual Report to the Board of Trustees.

View the 2018-19 Director’s Annual Report
View the 2018-19 Director’s Annual Report accessible format

Please join us for the next meeting of the Board of Trustees - Committee of the Whole, Tuesday, February 18, 2020, 7:00 p.m. at the Catholic Education Centre, Brantford.