School Council Meeting - September 27, 2021
Jonathan Shoss, Tracey Ehl Harrison, Lisa Michaels, Kim Elford, Jacqui Dampier, Cindy Chu, Joanne Chubb, Karen Puhlmann, Karen Schwab, Kristina Kriston, Art Hilson, Christine McAllan
JS -Welcome to all of you, short tutorial, on Google Meet followed by introductions, Art Hilson teacher representative, Christine McAllan manages the student leadership portfolio with student council, Tracey Ehl Harrison is our trustee extraordinaire, welcome to everyone and thank you for attending
JS - The first order of business is to establish an executive for the school council. Last year we had co-chairs, secretary role is minor, role of treasurer but there was no fundraising so, if any plan to do fundraising we need to get on this, the accounts are managed by Kim the business manager, Kim can keep the chairs infomed on council finances.
JS - Will anyone step forward to chair or possibly co-chair?
KK - how much of a time commitment is this?
JS - It is not a significant time commitment. We would meet before scheduled meetings to build an agenda and the time of the actual meetings. Last year we focused on guest speakers, if no speakers then it will require less time. There will be some correspondence from the board, and your name goes on the report cards that go home. At the most basic level not a big commitment.
KK - I will do a co-chair
JS - Are there any further volunteers for school council positions?
KK - If no one wants to co-chair then I will volunteer for the chair role and give it a try
JS - Thank you Kristina Kriston
JS - Is there a volunteer for the secretary position?
JC - I will do that
JS - Thank you Joanne Chubb
JS - Anyone interested in being treasurer? The treasurer role is a minor role, if we don’t have a treasurer I will work with Kristina on this function, ok we will let that one go
JS - Congratulations to the new board of school council, thank you for volunteering and your service to our school
JS - I will go through my bit and it will not be a long meeting tonight, Kristina you will help plan next meeting
JS - We will now hear from our student leaders, Christine can you introduce the student council representatives?
CM - Karen is here she was the grade 9 rep last year now she is the Junior Prime Minister of Student Council
KS - This year we have decided the main focus will be student involvement and community building. We are planning big events to get school spirit up. This starts with spirit days and then build up to bigger events.
CM - One of the big events we are planning is to bring teh elementary students on campus for some type of spring event
KS - Club fair is also happening soon. This involves setting up the gym with booths for all the teams and clubs where a representative will be there to speak to interested students about their respective club and teams and encourage students to join.
JS - Thank you Karen, we are looking forward to the fair and the other initiatives of the student council. Any questions?
KP - Great job, my daughter feels part of the community at Blakelock
JS - It was really important to have the nines feel welcome and connected, tiger crew did a fantastic job, made some strong revisions, Karen thank you
JS - My report will start with covid first, we have protocols in place, more doors open, hand sanitizer at all entrances, morning cohort and afternoon cohort, at lunch it is less organized and public health recognizes that. The cafeteria is at 50% capacity. While the weather is good the tables are not full. As the weather cools it may fill and we will likely have kids eating in halls. The screening had to be done up until this week, if students are symptomatic they go to an isolation room and then go home. We have extensive cleaning protocols. The staff and students are now used to wearing PPE, it is just a habit of routine. A small number of senior students are not properly wearing masks but this is fixed with reminders. It has been really good, business as usual, in person appointments can be done through (me) and visitors can then come in. Our school was a polling station and it went off without a hitch. We have a covid case management protocol in place when and if it happens. The protocol is governed by public health. We don’t ask about vaccines. We are back on a semester schedule. If we switch to a fully inperson model that we can flip back, I think it is better for kids, there is no online portion, the physical toll on teachers the ones who are teaching, 2.5 morning and 2,5 evening, then next week it switches, now they are on their feet both block, next week they get 2.5 hours off each day. That is the schedule setup. Any questions?
JS - 5th week reports coming, 5th week are 5 weeks in and works better when in a normal semester, teachers prepare the report on each students in grade 9, other grades if you are at risk so if you have a mark under 60%, you should expect to get 4 reports if you are in grade 9, email from teacher with a summery, gives a heads up to parents. The midterm is the big one that comes out in November
JS - Important dates are communicated in the weekly report
28th October - grade 9 program night, this will be a virtual event, general intro by me and the department heads and VP, 4 blocks of 15 minutes will go to breakout rooms.
14 October - parent teacher interviews, parents will sign up online and get 15 minute blocks, we did not have them last year
18th November - Grade 8 information night, reach back to grade 7 and 6, choose your own adventure type format
Photo days are starting tomorrow, traditional photo day, and on Wednesday
30th September - National Truth and Reconciliation Day, tremendous interest in this, I have taught for Queens for 28 years, now virtually all my students do something on Indigenous education, our national anthem has been our indeginious anthem, really cool and we have lots of activities planned
This Friday is also the Terry Fox Run, we have a full day of activities planned for this
JS - startup and dates
JS - Clubs and sports, most clubs are up and running. We visited every grade 9 homeroom, that was me and both VP’s. We asked students to become involved, fondest memories will come from clubs and teams. We are encouraging the grade 9s to get involved, we even encouraged students to start new clubs. Next week we visit the grade 10’s. I am not a big fan of huge assemblies, I believe it is better to visit individual classes even though it is a big investment in time. Most of our clubs are back and running. During the club fair all the students will cycle through the gym and can learn about all the clubs and teams available. A good number of teams are already up and running, field hockey, girls basketball, volleyball, fluid situation, there is a question about teams competing, the situation continues to evolve
JS - Physical plant - outfront the planters are gone, the front has been repaved and it is a well thought out design, very striking difference, the renovations, the 5 washrooms have been redone, they have done a great job, more painting also being done, chipping away at things, wraps around parts of the building, we have a lightbox in main office, beauty of that is that the fabric can be taken out and new designs can be put in there. We have no message board out front so this is how we can communicate messages. We are the only school that has one of these things. The main gym doors opposite the cafeteria are being done soon, and then the small gym will be done. All new furniture in the upper cafeteria. The old benches are all gone and we have foldable tables in the lower cafeteria. Makes a big difference to the moral. Significant renovations on the way. Removing a bunch of lockers and putting seating, also tables with high bistro style chairs, they are always being used, there are a couple of comfy chairs by the windows and we are trying to give it a college look. There were no common spaces for students and now we have lots of tables and chairs for students to gather throughout the school.. Much more to come. TAB reimagined. Any questions?
JS - Ok, now on to Tracey
TEH - Thank you so much everyone. That you Kristina and Joanne. Thank you to the previous chairs Kim and Lisa. Reimagined, it is a nice segway into a declaration. Reimagined forward and how collectively we can create a supported environment to address the systemic issues. At the end of the day trustees are policy makers. We are working with the Ontario Public School Board Association and approved something that will be circulated in the new year. You cannot trivialize a positive environment for everyone including; students, staff, volunteers, parents. I also wanted to connect back to the September 30th National Day of Truth and Reconciliation and if we wanted to do a land acknowledgment before the school council meetings. The board does have a land acknowledgment.
TEH - The long term accommodation plan is out for comments and recommendations. The starting point for our area is page 135. TAB is at a 75% current utilization rate, which is the lowest for our board and is projected to decrease. The question is how to right size and promote students to come to TAB. We have no new schools planned for this area until 2028. Any questions or comments I would be happy to receive at any time?
TEH - Covid was a big part of the report. In wards 1 and 2 there are not many active cases at this time. Only 1 case active at Morden, no schools or classes closed. It is going well so far. Vaccine disclosure and the board had to request staff disclosure, we have to report on this publicly. So far 94% of staff are fully vaccinated and the numbers are changing day by day, they are moving up. The Director asked about adding the vaccines for COVID as a designated disease for vaccines, Minister Elliot mentioned that vaccines for 5 to 12 years old could come soon. This is all evolving, you will know as soon as I know, If I know first I will share.
TEH - Links for the Long Term Accommodation Plan indicating that we are in a mature and stable neighbourhood, where generally enrollment is predicted to decline over the next decade. More information about the COVID-19 Vaccination Disclosure information available on the Board website.
TEH - Lastly, I wanted to share that I helped decorate 800 smile cookies at Tim Hortons for the smile cookie fundraiser to help fund food for kids. That is my report, any questions?
JS - Thank you
JS - Next major projects will be the CPP project outside, the bike racks have been moved, outdoor gardening options, as long as shared respectfully, next major project will be imminent.
JS - Any questions before we close off,
KE - Lisa if you don’t mind staying at the end, we can transfer information over to the new people
JS - I will say goodbye to everyone, try to ask more to join, great to have more folks come out, nice to up our numbers, thanks for coming
September 15, 2021
TAB School Council Nominations
On behalf of the school administrative team, I invite parents and guardians interested in serving on our School Council in a formal position to nominate themselves using the nomination form below.
We are permitted to have a maximum of twelve (12) formal, elected parent/guardian members on School Council. If we have more than twelve (12) interested parents/guardians, an election will be necessary.
Please consider how important your involvement is by completing this online NOMINATION FORM
Nominations are due by Monday September 20, 2021
Just want to participate on a less formal basis? I warmly encourage all parents and guardians to "attend" these meetings in order to get to know the school administrators and learn about the developments in the school. This year, you won't even need to leave the comfort of your home: School Council meetings will be virtual and accessed via Google Meet.
Parents and guardians who have chosen to have their children participate in the Virtual Secondary School (VSS) are welcome to participate and be members of the T.A. Blakelock School Council.
Perhaps more than any other year, your active participation is vital. Please consider participating and joining us at our School Council meetings - dates and time will be communicated shortly!
A Message from Your Blakelock School Council
The T.A. Blakelock School Council met online for the first time this year on November 2, 2020, for an extensive discussion about the special challenges of this school year with new principal Jonathan Shoss. This year the council has two new co-chairs who are eager to act as a resource and a conduit for all T.A. Blakelock parents.
We would like to invite parents to send us any questions and concerns and we will work on finding answers. Send your comments to TABSchoolCouncil@gmail.com and don’t forget to include your child’s grade. Please note that all communication to the school council will be confidential. We hope to improve communication to Blakelock parents in these uncertain times and are working on holding some virtual parent education sessions for common concerns in cooperation with T.A. Blakelock staff.
Kim Elford-Ephrem and Lisa Michaels
School Council Co-chairs
Location - Virtually through Google Meet
Staff Rep - Arthur Hilson
Student Council Representatives: TBD
School Council Co-Chairs: Kim Elford-Ephrem