McBride, Belluz re-elected again

The Rainy River District School Board held its regular monthly meeting here last night, with the re-election of Gord McBride as chair and Dan Belluz as vice-chair topping the agenda.
The board also heard from the “Envirothon” team from Fort Frances High School, which had represented the Lake of the Woods region in the provincial event and earned first-place in the Wildlife module.
“Envirothon” encourages young people to learn more about the environment by getting them out of the classroom and experiencing the outdoors.
Incorporated into the environmental science program at Fort High, “Envirothon” includes local workshops and field days facilitated by local professionals such as Dave Legg of Abitibi-Consolidated, who was on hand last night to congratulate team rep Carmen Zub for their efforts.
Also discussed last night was the withdrawal of a motion to give Fort Frances Nursery School the green light to submit a plan for an addition to the J.W. Walker School expansion.
As first reported in yesterday’s Daily Bulletin, the nursery school had submitted a letter to the public school board indicating it was exploring other options for its location for the long-term (perhaps being housed in an expanded Fort Frances Public Library).
But the nursery school still would like the board to consider housing it in the short-term.
There was no discussion by the board last night to consider the nursery school’s interim situation.
Meanwhile, the board also heard about the success of the “Reading Recover” program—an early intervention program which selects students having the most trouble with reading and writing in Grade 1 and provides one-on-one assistance.
The results are above the national average, with more than 73 percent of students in the program improving their skills to match class averages.
The goal is to combat illiteracy.
Also discussed last night was the implementation of a province-wide criminal background check for all school board staff and support staff.
The board has agreed to pay for the initial check, which must be submitted by July 31, 2003.
Staff also have the choice of doing the check on their own, but must pay for the cost out of their own pocket.
All public school board staff will receive a letter in January with detailed information on the policy and consent forms.
Finally, discussion erupted over a piece of correspondence from the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario which suggested the Web site www.ratemyteachers.ca be blocked from student access.
There were mixed opinions. Some saw no reason to allow access to a site with no real purpose while others felt that as long as vulgarities and pornography were absent, the site was a form of independent thought and should be allowed.
The board decided to have a recommendation brought to the table for its next meeting Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. in the boardroom at Robert Moore School.

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