Minutes of meeting:
1. Welcome and Call to Order 7:10 pm
Present- Ray Este (Principal), Anne Marie Sinasac-Roy (chairperson) Evan Lang, Sam Itani, Tina
Hohenadel, John-Mark Morley, Joelle Shen, Janet Gooch, Cole Gooch
2. Approval of the Agenda
3. Additions to the Agenda
Nominations for Chairperson for 20-21 School Year.
Sam Itani and John Mark Morley
4. SAC Report by Cole Gooch
-Cole has a period 1 spare, so will be returning to the school on October 16, the first day of the
second Octoblock, but he’s on the meeting tonight
-had first meeting today, intro’s. started group chats, and set up next steps
-what we can and cannot do.
Mr. Arnold wasn’t sure what could go on, but wanted to get a grade 9 rep and a PALS rep. Willing
to give it 100% to fight the pandemic. Will do announcements, hard to hear. A few students are
going to make a video and send it to the grade 9 teachers to get the nominations. Then send a google
form to vote after looking at the applications.
Feels it’s going pretty well, there are some social distancing issues when outside. Everyone seems
happy to be back. He’ll have a better perspective when he’s back.
5. Principal’s Report
6. Any Other Business- , buses after school, mental health of students, Covid results for
school/questions on positive tests, procedures
7. Confirmation of upcoming meeting dates
Dates set for upcoming meetings
November 30, January 25th, March and May
8. Motion to Adjourn
The school has been suitable prepared by our caretaking staff to comply with all of the guidelines from the Haliburton Kawartha Pineridge Health Unit. The video I shared with all families and on our website before school began highlighted many of the changes that were required. The caretakers have been working hard to maintain their twice-a-day cleaning schedule. The students have been very compliant while on the school property regarding mask protocols, social distancing expectations, hand sanitizing and other expectations. There is still work to be done when off school property and during our staggered lunch breaks. Reminder announcements have been given daily to remain diligent. There will come a time when warning will move to fines from our community partners if students are still not complying with COVID expectations when off school property.
We are now working in 22 day blocks, one credit at a time, to minimize student interactions. Mid term reports will be completed after 11 days, which will be a mark update. Staff will be contacting students at-risk of not successfully completing a credit. Final reports will include comments and learning skills in a more typical fashion. A typical day now involves a three staggered lunch breaks to minimize student interactions, a 75 minute supervised study hall, cleaning breaks and scheduled mask breaks.
We had just under 200 students choose to learn at home. This resulted is us having to rebuild our timetable, as we needed to cut 40 courses from original schedule (we staff based on student enrolment in classes). To staff the LearnAtHome program, we had 6 teachers leave our school.This presented challenges with new hiring, which wasn’t completed until after the school year started. LearnAtHome has it’s own administration, guidance, and staff, so it is being run as a separate entity to support the other 5 high schools in the board. They are limited in what they can offer based on student enrollment and staff qualifications.
Our office manager Mary Robinson retired on August 31st. Our new offic manager is Kristy Chartrand, who is joining us from the Board office. We also have a new attendance secretary, Julie Mah. Our guidance secretary Mike Rose is retiring December 18th. When Mike is replaced, it will mean that we have had a 100% turnover in the office staff since I arrived last September.
School Improvement Plan- The teaching staff have been challenged with redesigning courses to fit into a 22 day block. It’s not as simple as just teaching previous lessons grouped together. They have also had to redesign how they are assessing courses as well, so this has been the focus so far this year. Mental health resources were also reviewed with all staff during one of the August PD days.
Extra-Curricular Activities- Most activities are currently postponed. There is going to be a interschool virtual chess tournament running. A modified Terry Fox Event is also being planned for October 9th, but it will not involved student cohorts intermingling. The planning is ongoing. Many typical upcoming events, such as a fall dance, Terry Fox assembly, We Day, school pictures, grad pictures , Honours Assembly, and the IB grad are unable to take place. Orange Shirt Day will still be taking place on September 30th. Parent-Teacher Night will not involve physical meetings, and we will likely get direction to host short meeting via Google Meet.
Communication- The school will be using School Messenger to communicate with parents. This system was just recently fixed, as we were not able to send messages for approximately a week after start-up. Teachers will be using Google Classroom as their learning platform. Teachers will also be using email, texts or phone calls to contact parents.
Edwin Devices- This year, all grade 9, 10 and 11 students will be provided an Edwin device, which is a Chromebook outfitted with an Edwin platform. This platform contains curriculum resources, which is continuing to evolve.
-We have made it to block 4 with no COVID cases at IEWSS or any south region TLDSB
-Reminders are given regularly on the announcements to follow the COVID protocols. Students
have been very compliant in the school and in the bus loading zone, but many students are still
taking off their masks and standing in close proximity to each other when away from the school
or under direct supervision.
-Masks are provided daily for students who have forgotten them
-Looking at the data obtained for credit accumulation, the results are quite astounding. We’ve
had a 99% pass rate in each block this semester. 60% of the credits attained in the last block
had marks between 80-100%, and 24% of the credits were in the mark range of 70-79%. Only
5% of the marks were in the 50-59% range and 1% were below 50%.
This data is certainly discussion fodder for the senior administration within the board, as the
results at all the other high schools are also seeing higher achievement in the octoblock
Although we weren’t able to have a gathering or the Honour’s Assembly, we did create a video
production that mimicked the usual process, and awards and programs were distributed to the
families of those who attained honours.
It has been very challenging for teachers to finish teaching one block, and start the next block
the following day, as normally exam days would allow time for marking and the creation of
marks, comments and learning skills for report cards, but we have still managed to meet the
reporting deadlines that are expected of us.
LEARN AT HOME
There were less students looking to move to learn at home for block 4 than there were for block
2 and 3. We did have students return to mainstream learning from the LAH program to start
Unfortunately, sports and other clubs have had to remain cancelled to avoid cohorts mixing. Jen
Lacombe organized a Halloween drive by event at the school which featured some scary
artwork created by her media students. Pete Downey organized the Terry Fox golf tournament
on a weekend where social distancing measures were put in place.
Our board is currently not allowing the photography companies into the school, so we do not
have updated pictures for our database or yearbook. One of our teachers, Paul Marshall, has
taken the initiative to have pictures taken of our graduates. While these are not professional
grade photos with professional grades lighting and editing software, it will allow us to create a
grad book for our graduates. We cannot create a yearbook in a 22 day block schedule- the
yearbook class would normally run as a combination of a semester long photography class
followed by a semester long yearbook course to allow for the editing and creation of the book.
This was not possible to do in two 22 day blocks. There would also be no other material to
include in the yearbook, as there are no clubs or extracurricular activities.
We were hoping to have the buses leave as soon as we could after dismissal to avoid students
mixing and lingering around the school, but the transportation department could only allow the
buses to leave five minutes earlier than originally scheduled. This was frustrating for us as
school administrators as it creates challenges to keep the students in their cohorts. We have
created waiting areas in the front hallway for the second wave of bus students to wait with their
With the new octoblock schedule, we have had a higher number than usual of new hires within
all of the high schools. Fortunately we have been able to staff all of our courses adequately. We
will be losing two of our more experienced staff members before Christmas. Our guidance
secretary Mike Rose will be retiring in mid-December. With him leaving, we will have replaced
every one of our office staff members since I started at IEWSS last September. We are also
losing our head caretaker Eden Paulson, who will be taking over as the facilities manager for
the TLDSB. Brad Neild will be our new head caretaker, starting after the holidays.