Virtual learning program lauded


Mine Centre School will receive the Rainy River District School Board’s Recognition of Excellence at tonight’s regular meeting for its “Connected North” program.
Having officially launched in May, “Connected North” is an innovative, interactive virtual learning program that provides technology, collaboration, and opportunity for the students.
Principal Barbe Dennis noted the students have participated in live interactive sessions with experts from around the world.
“Through the program, groups of students are able to connect with other students from across the country,” she said in a report to the board.
For instance, they collaborated with students from an Etobicoke middle school who had Ojibwe poet and activist Duke Redbird as a guest speaker in their classroom.
Dennis added “Connected North” helps to improve student engagement by enhancing the classroom experience.
“This program offers our students the opportunity to learn with the world and to share their ideas, their language, their culture, and their hopes for the future with other students from across our country,” she enthused.
Also at tonight’s meeting, trustees will:
•review a letter from board chair Dianne McCormack to Education minister Nancy Matthews regarding the equitable distribution across the province of the funding allocation for the First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Leader;
•hear a presentation regarding the 2015-16 science fair;
•look to approve the following policies: 2.90 (First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Voluntary Self-Identification), 3.80 (Payment of Employment Insurance Rebate), and 4.10 (Student Attendance);
•look to approve the following policy for stakeholder consultation: 3.04 (Succession Planning);
•look to rescind the following policies: 8.13 (Board Credit Cards), 8.30 (Petty Cash Funds), 4.18 (Safe Arrival), and 4.60 (First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Student Voluntary Self-Identification);
•look to renew the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association annual membership.
•look to grant authority to borrow up to a maximum indebtedness at any one time of $4 million, on the authorized signing officers of the board, to meet current operating costs for 2016-17 pending the receipt of grants and/or funds from local revenue; and
•look to approve the Police and School Board Response Draft Protocol for stakeholder consultation.

During the in-camera session held prior to the regular meeting, the board also will look to approve the amendments to the General Terms and Conditions of Employment for Principals/Vice-Principals and Managers, including the wage increases and the option for the Retirement Gratuity Early Payout.
The regular meeting gets underway at 7 p.m. at the Education Centre (board office) on Second Street East.