October 14, 2021

SWC Parent Council (Virtual) Meeting Minutes

October 14, 2021


Wanda Mills-Boone, Louise Cesario


 Attendees: Allison Peacocke, Karen Roberts, Jayson Shurgold, Margaret Sambol, Jill Ade-Sibbit, Danielle Rodier, Naomi Elias, Crystal Try, Duygu Morewood, Tracy Cole, Joanne McAuley, Jason Hinek, Michelle Jardine, Amanda Lancaster, Elise Merrill, Olga Blais, Rachel Talbot, Johanne Kayitaba-Rukozo, Emily Z, Hargur Bhatthi, Hilary Seddon


Meeting called to order 6:34

Principal’s Report (Wanda):

Thank you for joining us, especially given it is virtual meet the teacher night. Looking forward to elections and seeing who is filling roles.

October is busy, including Islamic Heritage, Day of the Girl.  Teachers are beginning assessments. They are assessing students to meet them where they are at. This is a frequent question from parents: where are our children at? Assessment and evaluation practices are sensitive.  Progress reports are coming out November 4. There will be a rider statement noting that learning was done in a modified learning environment. If your child has an IEP, those will come home October 21. 

We are working on building a sense of community and belonging. Classrooms are reflecting individual and team goals.  Classes have gelled very quickly this year!

COVID guidelines are still being followed, but have become routine for students so learning is forefront now. It is very important to continue daily screening.

Library books will be returning to circulation with bins going to each classroom. 

The play structure is open again, within one of the recess zones. The kinder play structure has not yet opened because it’s too challenging to keep kids in one zone within that yard.

October weather has really cooperated and gym has been happening outside. The new gym curtain should be in by end of October to allow two classes in the gym at one time.

Two letters from Ottawa Public Health (OPH) have been sent out re COVID at SWC. We are continuing to work with OPH to ensure the language of the letters is easily understood. Generally OPH communicates with high risk contacts first and then Wanda sends the general letter.  So if you haven’t heard by that point, you are likely not a high risk contact.

Thank you for continuing to do screening and coming quickly to pick up sick kids!

Q: School photos or fundraising allowed?  Have not yet been given the go ahead from the board. Really hopeful about school photos given importance for school database. Fundraising requiring any in person contact also NOT allowed. 

Q: Costumes for Halloween?  Yes… but not accessories or little pieces.  Want to minimize any inclination for kids to be touching pieces.

Q: Do we need to complete the google forms for COVID screening and/or send in daily assessment?  No, but you still need to do the screener every day!

Q: Why is the Ottawa screener different from the Ontario one?  Depends on where in the province you are located. We need to follow the OPH screener.


Teachers report (Louise)

Bus safety videos are happening with the whole school.  In previous years kids would get to go on a bus and listen to the rules etc. Because of COVID OSTA has created a video for the kids to watch instead. Bus rules and safety also happening over morning announcements.



Treasurer’s Report (Allison)

Not much to report given it is the first month of the year.  We do have some revenue - $300 in direct donations. Toppers  cheque for $700 came in and FlipGIve cheque received and ready to deposit.  Nothing committed for this year, but there are a few carryovers from last year that need to be cleared out. Once everything is removed we will have $6,600, including parent involvement grant, to spend.


Review of Council constitution

Reminder that any parent/guardian, community representative is welcome to council meetings. Voting members can be either of these, but must attend regularly.  Upward limit of voting members is 25 (minimum number is 9).  Council can remove voting members who do not attend meetings regularly.  Voting members are elected first and then we can vote on executive functions (i.e. chair, co chair, secretary, treasurer) and other positions like social media chair and fundraising chair.



Voting members:

Crystal Try

Margaret Sambol

Naomi Elias

Allison Peacocke

Jay Shurgold

Danielle Rodier

Jill Sibbitt

Olga Blais

Rachel Talbot

Michelle Jardine

Karen Roberts


Motion to elect this slate of candidates Moved by Danielle. Seconded by Naomi. PASSED



Executive Members:

Chair - VACANT

Vice Chair – Margaret Sambol

Treasurer – Allison Peacocke

Secretary – Karen Roberts

Website Coordinator – Amanda L (not a voting member)

Fundraising Chair – Crystal Try


Motion to elect this slate of candidates Moved by Margaret. Seconded by Naomi. PASSED


Margaret will canvas parent body for volunteers for vacant positions, including chair.


Other Business


The OCDSB Appropriate Use of Technology Policy is being re-drafted. Council has been asked to provide feedback on it.  OCDSB is soliciting feedback from all stakeholders, including parent councils.  Deadline Is November 30th. Let Margaret know if you have feedback on it. 


Q to Wanda: Section 5.7 acknowledges equitable access to technology… but it’s not clear how equitable access to digital technology is today?  SWC gave out a fair number of Chromebooks last spring to help with remote learning, which was eye opening in terms of the number of kids without access.  Most classes have a “tech tub” with Chromebooks, but not enough for every student.  About 80 Chromebooks loaned out during last learning period. About 80% have been returned.  Most classes have at least 6 Chrombooks in their ‘tech tub’.  Some older ones have been replaced.


Council needs to consolidate feedback into one form. Google Doc will be created to receive feedback and will revisit it at November meeting. 


Minutes from September 2021 

Motion to approve minutes from September 2021 meeting. Moved by Allison, seconded by Danielle. PASSED.


Fundraising activities 2021/22 (Naomi)

FlipGive: Extended time limit of initial code instead of needing to get a new code.  Cheque from last year received for just over $1000.

Toppers PizzaNo update. Less certain what sort of deal they might offer us.

Labels from Mabel’s Labels, Oliver’s Labels and Loveable Labels: No update.

Direct donations: Some money received already. Reminder could be sent out

Indigo: Fundraiser from previous years likely to be up and running again. Should be within allowable parameters of fundraising.



Thank you from staff for the funds council provided last year for French reading resources. Grade 1 bins are a hit and grade 2 bins are being replenished. 


Council fundraises all year and then spends in the subsequent year.  Council cannot be in debt, so needs to have a bit of money to help run fundraisers and ensures we have money for spending at the start of the school year when teachers need it.


Funding request: Forest of Reading program, a book club of sorts.  Books selected are diverse, and often from Canadian authors. Program offers a guided reading program, administered by Jenn O’Reilly.  Books need to be purchased for use during a year, then are donated to the library. Request is for $500, and includes about 30 books.  Will be discussed at November meeting alongside other proposals. 

Fall Yard Clean-up: Wanda is doing some back and forth to determine source of woodchips.  Wood chips must be tumbled before they can be used in a playground.  Last purchase made was for playground quality.  Some concerns about having parents on school property. Plan would need to be that parents/families were working in specific zones and bring all their own equipment.  More info to come….  Might need to push to a spring cleanup… and hope that COVID is a bit calmer. 


Other Business:


Principal profile: Council should submit our ideal principal so that the board has a copy for if/when they need to hire.  Margaret will circulate for comments.


Next meeting November 11.


Meeting Adjourned: 8:02

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