UGDSB draft policies out for public feedback

GUELPH – The Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) has released four policies for public feedback.

The policies deal with communications, safe operations of schools and board sites, continuity of learning, and school-generated funds.

The board approved the policy drafts for public consultation during a meeting on Nov. 28. Policy development officer Christine de Boer presented the drafts to the board’s policy and priorities committee on Nov. 7.


The communications policy is a new policy developed this year. It merges and replaces two current policies: “website and social media management,” and “distribution of materials in schools from external organizations.”

It also incorporates the board’s brand identity and crisis communications protocol.

While presenting the new policy, De Boer highlighted the board’s commitment to effective and consistent communications, particularly:

– during crisis or emergency situations at schools and board offices;

– through digital platforms within its schools and their communities;

– when allowing the distribution of materials and/or information in schools from external organizations; and

– across departments and schools and within the community by using a common visual identity for the UGDSB.

The policy statement notes the board is also committed to accessible, positive, timely and accurate communication with school communities and the public, “both on a regular basis and in response to emergent situations.

“The UGDSB provides information to maintain connections with … students, parents/guardians/caregivers, staff, trustees, school communities, the media and the public, advance student success and well-being, and build awareness and public confidence in board priorities and initiatives,” the statement continues.

Safe operations

“Safe operation of schools and board sites” is a new policy the UGDSB developed this year.

De Boer emphasized the board’s commitment to maintaining the safe operation of schools and premises, and to communicating with staff, students, families and the community when school and office closures are necessary.

“There are many types of events … that may close schools and other board sites to in-person learning, working and community use,” the policy states.

The new policy addresses access to schools and outlines the responsibilities and expectations of UGDSB staff, students, and parents/guardians.

It also provides direction for when weather impacts travel conditions, and defines students, and parents/guardians.

It also provides direction for when weather impacts travel conditions, and defines school premises, authorized visitors and trespassing.

Continuity of learning

The “continuity of learning” policy is a new policy developed this year.

It addresses when changes to teaching and learning may be required and outlines the expectations and responsibilities of staff, students, and parents/guardians to ensure a smooth transition.

Instead of listing circumstances when schools may be closed to in-person learning, the new policy references the “safe operation of schools and board sites” for this guidance.

The policy confirms the board’s commitment to the continuity of learning for all students when schools and/or classes are closed to in-person learning, and includes providing necessary equipment (such as Chromebooks) for students who require one.

“In the event of a class or school closure, students and parent/guardians must be provided with opportunities to maintain learning pathways which may include a combination of synchronous and/or asynchronous activities based on the Ontario curriculum,” the policy states.

“As the UGDSB operates with a fundamental principle that every student should have equitable access and opportunity to succeed personally and academically, the needs of all students and staff must be considered when creating a plan for continuity of learning,” the policy continues.

“This plan will help to ensure everyone in the school community is prepared when a switch to alternate forms of teaching and learning is initiated.”

The policy defines terms including synchronous, asynchronous and remote learning. 

School-generated funds

The UGDSB last reviewed the “school-generated funds” policy in 2013.

Recent revisions include moving the policy from the governance category to the finance category.

The current practices for managing school-related funds is not significantly changed by recent revisions.

Releasing the policy for public consultation is intended to “draw awareness to the principles and parameters of fundraising activities, how school-generated funds are managed at the school level (and) how these funds may be used,” states a committee report about the policy updates.

The policy drafts will be available for public consultation until Jan. 12. To review the policies and submit feedback visit or call 519-822-4420 ext. 544 to request printed copies.