November 4, 2014 Committee of the Whole

Parent Involvement Committee and Parent Engagement
Trustees and Senior Administration welcomed Michael Murray (pictured right doing a radio interview) to the Committee of the Whole Meeting on Tuesday November 4, 2014.  Michael is the Co-Chair of the Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) for the Algoma District School Board (ADSB).  DSC_0062WEB.jpg
Michael provided an overview of PIC.  The Parent Involvement Committee is a School Council for the school board made up of School Council Members from both Elementary and Secondary levels.  While School Councils focus on the local school and community, the PIC focuses on activities that affect more than one school.  The PIC acts as a direct link for parents to the Director of Education and the Board of Trustees.  The goal of the PIC is to advise the school board on topics that are of particular interest to parents.  The PIC also assesses how well the school board responds to parent concerns.
Meetings are held throughout the school year at the ADSB Education Centre (unless otherwise stated).  Dates of upcoming PIC meetings include:
 - January 12, 2015
 - February 2, 2015
 - April (date to be confirmed), 2015
 - May 4, 2015
Each year PIC hosts a Spring Workshop to engage parents and to provide timely information on a wide range of topics which in the past have included:
 - What parents need to know about children’s mental health (Spring 2014)
 - Communicating effectively with your teen  (Spring 2013)
 - Supporting your teen in making positive choices (Spring 2013)
Our students cook alongside renowned Chef Michael Smith
Students from the Foods Program at Superior Heights Collegiate and Vocational School along with their culinary arts teacher, Jason
DSC_0074WEB.jpgZachary, attended the Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday November 4th to share their experience of rubbing shoulders with and cooking for internationally respected Chef Michael Smith. 
The Algoma District School Board – as an educational sponsor of the Algoma Fall Festival’s Festival of Learning – this year welcomed Chef Michael Smith not just to the community but to an exclusive engagement for ADSB students on Saturday October 25th. 
Nearly twenty students in the SHCVS Foods Program attended a career seminar with Chef Smith who shared his thoughts and expertise on what it takes to be successful within the hospitality and culinary industry.  This was an ideal opportunity for students to learn about exciting career opportunities first-hand from an internationally respected culinary expert.  
Later that morning, Chef Smith took part in a Student Culinary Cook Off Challenge.  Designed as a spin-off of the popular Chopped television show, eight teams of students were given 45 minutes to prepare a salad and homemade dressing using all locally grown produce, including a secret ingredient (maple syrup)  which was revealed only moments before the clock started.  Chef Michael Smith was joined by two local chefs – Elaine Mailhot-Montgrain of the LCBO and Fiore Palarchio of Paesano's Market – who judged the students and offered constructive feedback on their dishes. 
 This special event with Chef Smith provided the perfect vehicle for Superior Heights to launch their Specialist High Skill Major (SHSM) in Culinary Hospitality now available to students at SHCVS. Specialist High Skills Majors let students focus on a career path that matches their skills and interests while meeting the requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).
Algoma District School Board Launches new website
The Algoma District School Board website address remains the same ( but the look is fresh and new.  Communications Officer Fran Walsh, IT Lead Susan Towell and IT System Supervisor Steven Veldt shared some of the new features of the website with Trustees and Senior Administration on Tuesday evening.
Revamping the website began over a year ago and the focus was to create a site that would be user friendly, allowing users to easily find information and resources.  Information has been edited so that only the most up-to-date, accurate and necessary material is now on the website. 
The Algoma District School Board has reconfigured information to fall under new categories including:
 - Parents
 - Students
 - Community 
while maintaining tabs for often-sought after areas such as
 - Policies
 - Employment Opportunities
 - Our Schools
Some of the new features which will undoubtedly appeal to community members, parents and staff members include:
Bringing Learning to Life – a section that will highlight one of our schools every three to four weeks;
Athletics Tab – to provide sports’ schedules throughout the academic school year;
Emergency Alert – a section that will appear prominently on the homepage as needed (i.e. for bus cancellations; weather issues, etc.).
The new website will be launched by the end of this week.
William Merrifield Accommodation Review Update
Superintendent Joe Maurice provided an update on the Accommodation Review currently under way for William Merrifield Public School.  The second public information meeting was held on Wednesday, October 29th.  
At this meeting the school’s Valuation Template was reviewed by Superintendent Maurice, ADSB’s Supervisor of Facility Renewal Dave Ervin and Wm Merrifield’ Principal Carol Lucio. The minutes of the meeting, as well as a power point presentation that was shared, are all on the ADSB website at

The third Public Information Meeting is scheduled for November 27th, 2014 beginning at 7pm at Wm Merrifield.