Rural Education Task Force

On March 22, 2022, the TVDSB Board of Trustees passed the following motion:

"That the work of the RETF [Rural Education Task Force] committee be sent to the three First Nations communities with education service agreements, the Special Education Advisory Committee, the Equity and Inclusion Committee as well as administration for feedback. That feedback be provided to the entire board through the advisory committees."

The RETF Draft Report consultation process is currently in progress.

The Thames Valley Board of Trustees passed a motion on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 to establish a Rural Education Task Force, with a final report due to the Board no later than November 2020.

Recognizing that schools in rural areas faced a variety of challenges, including student enrolment, school population growth and decline, and other factors.
• Listen to the ideas and concerns of rural communities
• Generate fresh perspectives related to rural schools and communities
• Develop innovative solutions for consideration for a TVDSB Rural Education Strategy
• Report findings and make recommendations to the Board regarding rural schools

 The task force will consult with students, parents, community, municipal leaders in TVDSB rural communities (as identified through RNEF), to identify the unique challenges and opportunities experienced by students, parents and municipalities; develop recommendations for consideration related to a TVDSB Rural Education Strategy.
Scope (not limited to):

• Review the challenges and opportunities for rural schools, including funding
• Review current practices and evidence related to rural schools and communities (Re-Think Secondary)
• Examine the role e-learning plays in rural education, and other additional learning opportunities that enhance student learning
• Visit rural schools (elementary and secondary) to learn more about innovative practices as solutions
• Explore school configurations for example: Jk-12 or 7-12 models
• Develop recommendations to inform effectiveness and efficiencies within a rural education strategy
• Develop a final report of the task force to be presented to Trustees on or before November 2020

Task Force Members 

Task Force Chair
Chair Arlene Morell, TVDSB

Task Force Vice-Chairs
Meagan Ruddock, TVDSB
Marcus Ryan, Oxford County

Sean Hunt

Bruce Smith

Please note: In August 2021, Oxford County Trustee Barb Yeoman resigned from the Task Force. Trustee Yeoman made the following statement at Board’s November 23, 2021 meeting: “I appreciate the work done by the Rural Education Task Force. I resigned from the Task Force because I believed the mandate of the Task Force had been reached and any further activities would not be an effective or efficient use of Board resources.”

Peter Cuddy

Erica Butler

Chiara Kennedy

Employee Groups 
TBD, CUPE 7575
Suzanne McCullough, OSSTF (West Elgin Secondary)
Jennifer Brackenbury, OPC-Elementary
Larisa Grant, OPC-Secondary

Thames Valley Parent Involvement Committee
Dave Cripps

Thames Valley Council of Homes and School Associations
Jennifer Nuyens

Municipal Representatives 
Adrian Cornelissen, Middlesex County
Sally Martyn, Elgin County

Director of Education 
Mark Fisher 

Superintendents of Student Achievement 
Rose Anne Kuiper
Karen Edgar (alternate)

Richard Hoffman

Research and Assessment 
Philippe Venesoen

Administrative Support to Steering Committee
Bonnie Williams – minutes, booking meeting rooms, correspondence with members
Sherry Hines – support


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