Meeting #:
Trustees' Committee Room
133 Greenbank Road
Ottawa, Ontario
  • Mostafizur Khan,
  • Carm Janneteau,
  • John Marshall,
  • Gita Nurlaila,
  • Diana Mills,
  • Malaka Hendela (OCASC Member),
  • Martyn Reid (OCASC Member),
  • and Amber Labelle (Parents for Diversity)
Non-Voting Members:
  • Brett Reynolds (Associate Director)
  • and Wendy Hough (Trustee)
Staff and Guests:
  • Michele Giroux (Executive Officer), Engy Abdel Masieh (Policy Analyst), Leigh Fenton (Board/Committee Coordinator), Ian Morris (SEAC Representative)


Chair Khan called the meeting to order at 6:16 p.m.

Moved by Martyn Reid,

THAT the agenda be approved.

M. Hendela requested that the Consultation Plan be raised under New Business.

Moved by Martyn Reid,

THAT the agenda be approved as amended.


Moved by John Marshall,

That the PIC 8 May 2019 Report be received.


Chair Khan highlighted the following events where he was able to showcase the work of the Parent Involvement Committee:

  • 26 June 2019 - Met with Associate Director Reynolds, Executive Officer Giroux, Manager Mallan on PIC multiyear Strategic Plan 2019-2023, and PIC Priorities 2019-2020;
  • 27 August 2019 - Attended Speaker Series delivered by Dr. Michael Ungar on Resilience; and
  • 6 September 2019 - Met with Director Williams-Taylor, about the PIC multiyear Strategic Plan 2019-2023, PIC priorities 2019-2020, upcoming parent conference and possible initiatives on future parent engagement.

Ms. Hendela queried whether any members of PIC attended the Ottawa Pride Parade. Executive Officer Giroux responded that the District had a large contingent in the parade and this was the second time that the District was asked to lead the festivities.

In Associate Director Reynolds' temporary absence, Executive Officer Giroux provided highlights from the Director's Report:

  • Significant investment in schools occurred over the summer with $7,000,000.00 in renovations and construction projects;
  • Enrollment is closely aligned with the projections;
  • The Research, Evaluation and Analytics Department (READ) team is preparing for the collection of identity-based data with community partner meetings and focus groups. Identity-based data collection is scheduled for 26 November to 16 December 2019;
  • Staff is developing strategies to assist families with the completion of the identity-based data collection survey and may include translation, access to technology or the support of community partners. A communication campaign launched on 17 September 2019, beginning with an info-graphic addressing the questions: "What was the purpose?" "What did we hear?", "What do we need to do?", and "What is next?";
  • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is a partner in the study of social emotional skills, where a cross-section of students aged 10 to 15 will be randomly selected to participate across all four boards;
  • The District is focusing on child protection with a mandatory half-day training session for school-based staff on The Commit to Kids program, run by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection; and
  • A Speaker Series on concussion awareness will be offered by Dr. Andree-Anne Ledoux at Longfield-Davidson Heights Secondary School, on Rowan's Law Day 25 September 2019.

During the discussion and in response to questions, the following points were noted:

  • In response to a query from Ms. Hendela, Executive Officer Giroux responded that the District has a strong commitment to improving equity of access and opportunity for all students. In 2011, the District completed a comprehensive student survey which was a “snapshot” in time. The engagement target was set at 70% and the response rate was 69%-70% from the parent community. A key strategy for grades 7-12 is allowing for the completion of the survey during the instructional day. To support the parent community a communication plan is being developed which will address barriers for participation. One solution is to host a facilitated evening at the school where those who wish to complete the survey have access to technology and the assistance of a Multicultural Liaison Officer (MLO). Translation, along with support for survey completion could be arranged. The rates of participation on a school-by-school basis will be measured to determine a metric of success. As part of the communication strategy, school councils will be made aware of the initiative.
  • Ms. Hendela inquired about enabling strategies to reach diverse communities. Executive Officer Giroux responded that the District welcomes input from parents on potential strategies to capture community voice. Currently, through working with community partners and agencies, the determination of barriers is at the forefront of the discussions.

Your Committee had before it Report 19-089, seeking to ratify the names of new appointees to the community representative positions of the Parent Involvement Committee.

Moved by Malaka Hendela,

THAT the following persons, representing their respective associations, be appointed to the PIC for the remainder of the term, expiring on 30 November 2019:

Louanne Desbiens, Alternate, Big Brothers and Big Sisters; and

Amber Labelle, Community Representative, Parents for Diversity.


In response to a suggestion to extend the elected organization’s nominations until the end of the 2020 term, Policy Analyst Masieh advised that it is the organizations which are appointed to PIC, rather than individuals.

Ms. Labelle declared that although she is the representative for Parents for Diversity (P4D), she recognized that she does not have the same lived experiences as many members of her organization. She is the representative who currently has the ability to attend PIC meetings and she will endeavour to represent the perspective of those who are part of P4D.

Your Committee had before it Report 19-085 introducing the discussion of the PIC 2019-2020 draft work plan. Aligning work with the committees advisory role, involving directions of the District strategic plan, being mindful of the six barriers of parent engagement, connecting the workplan to some of the committee’s expected outcomes may all be considered when building a workplan for the PIC.

During the discussion and in response to questions, the following points were noted:

  • The workplan should be based on the responsibilities outlined in Ontario Regulation 612/00 of the Education Act on School Councils and Parent Involvement Committees, specifically the ‘Purpose’ listed in section 27 and 28;
  • A summary of the annual budget as it applies to the work of PIC was requested;
  • Ms. Hendela suggested the plan drive and promote outreach;
  • Ms. Hendela requested the plan assist schools to leverage officers for their school councils; and
  • Mr. Reid proposed accessible school websites, supported with a technology plan.

Moved by Martyn Reid

THAT the 16 October 2019 meeting be dedicated to discussing the 2019-2020 workplan and to facilitate a fulsome discussion only essential business items should be included in written reports and a consent agenda used to expedite necessary business decisions.


The committee agreed that enlisting a third-party facilitator would greatly assist in the process of creating the PIC workplan.

Executive Officer Giroux noted that a reminder will be sent to PIC members encouraging full attendance and participation in the 16 October 2019 meeting.

Executive Officer Giroux reported the Parent Conference will occur on 9 November 2019 at Longfields-Davidson Heights Secondary School. The keynote speaker, Dr. Laura Markham, founder of Aha! Parenting and Clinical Psychologist at Columbia University, is scheduled to speak on "Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids". Dr. Markham has agreed to host a workshop or a detailed question and answer period. Executive Officer Giroux proposed an alternate approach which would separate the day into two parts: a morning parent conference and an afternoon school council training session. The afternoon sessions could be less like a presentation and more like facilitated discussions based on topics of interest to school councils. In order to make this idea work, facilitators, such as principals, superintendents and school council members, may be required to assist in these conversations. Fact and tip sheets could be made available for distribution, along with resource documents on school councils.

Ms. Hendela, proposed that Executive Officer Giroux provide an overview of school council training 101 to seed the topics. Ms. Hendela agreed to discuss this concept with OCASC members at their 25 September 2019 meeting.

It was noted that several sessions remain to be scheduled. A round-table consultation produced the following possible topics: parents & math, resilience training, substance abuse, diet, sleep, equity, well-being, homework, Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) educational approach, and the Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (BIPSA). Other suggestions included arranging for food trucks on site and the potential of conducting sessions in a language other than English.

Ms. Labelle, highlighted that over the last six years, the keynote speakers have been Caucasian women. She volunteered that P4D can help with connections to "experts" with a diverse background. Executive Director Giroux responded that she welcomes referrals. She reminded the committee that Cindy Blackstock, a member of the Gitxsan First Nation, is scheduled to speak on 23 April 2020, in partnership with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation.

Chair Khan requested that the committee receive a summary of all correspondence that is sent to the PIC email address.

Mr. Reid reported that the OCASC Annual General Meeting occurred on 16 May 2019. Highlights included: the lack of visibility of school councils in the District and how OCASC is making progress on determining the gaps, and field trip cancellations. He advised that Director Williams-Taylor was present at the AGM and she noted schools have different circumstances and different leaders which may contribute to a different application of policy and procedures. Other OCASC discussion items included:

  • A need to focus on building school councils and engaging the different needs of elementary, secondary and high schools;
  • The identification of a new SEAC representative to replace Donna Owen;
  • The election two new members-at-large;
  • The lack of secondary school representation;
  • A change in membership has resulted in meeting time focused on explaining the work of the District and how it relates to the work of OCASC; and
  • A Parents for Diversity representative is scheduled speak to OCASC on 26 September 2019.

Ms. Hendela highlighted that Report 19-077, Chapman Mills Public School Area Intermediate and Secondary School Attendance Boundary Redirection Consultation Plan Approval was included on the Committee of the Whole agenda package of 17 September 2019, in advance of the PIC agenda package. She expressed concern that this topic reflected a parent involvement activity, and noted there was little time to deploy parents to this meeting to participate in the discussion.

Trustee Hough agreed that it is important that parents access these discussions and noted that there was an OCASC representative present.

Associate Director Reynolds clarified that the purpose of the report was to obtain approval for a consultation process and the consultation is set to occur in November 2019.

Mr. Reid queried whether the District uses a specific translator as some of the school councils are interested in partnering in shared services. Executive Officer Giroux responded that the standing offer has expired and a Request For Proposal (RFP) for a new translation service is needed.


Chair Khan announced the new school principals appointed to PIC, Sarah Pope and Al Brule.

The meeting adjourned at 8:29 p.m.