Kensington / Kinkora Family of Schools District Advisory Council

Members for 2020-2021: Julie MacLeod (Kensington Intermediate Senior High), Cavelle DeWitt (Queen Elizabeth Elementary), Krista Murphy (Amherst Cove Consolidated and PEIHSF Regional Director - Kinkora), Paul Quinlan (Amherst Cove Consolidated Teacher), Janet Payne (Kinkora Regional High), Jessica Larsen (Kinkora Regional High Student Rep), Jeanette MacQueen (Somerset Consolidated), Darby McCormick (PEIHSF Regional Director – Kensington) Mya Welton (Kensington Intermediate Senior High Student Rep), Megan MacDonald (Kensington Intermediate Senior High Student Rep)

February 18, 2021 WebEx Meeting

The notes will be posted for this meeting once they are ratified at the next DAC meeting

November 24, 2020 WebEx Meeting

Guests: Sterling Carruthers, School Health Specialist, Katelyn MacLean, School Food Project Manager, Steven Wilson, Project Coordinator

Discussion and Outcomes

Healthy School Food Program Presentation

  • The team gave a history of the Healthy School Food Program, including the pilot program from Feb-June 2020 and COVID-19 Food security program that took place while schools were closed.
  • They outlined the goals of the program: 
    • Making healthy and affordable meal options available for all students.
    • Providing support to ensure equitable access for all students.
    • Providing food literacy opportunities for all students.
  • The pilot program has continued for the 2020-21 school year.
  • The interim program started in September 2020. There are three models underway:
    • In-house food service.
    • Food service by an external vendor using the Healthy School Food Program menu.
    • Food service by and internal/external vendor using their own menu.
  • About 115,000 meals were ordered in the first six meal periods.
  • The Healthy School Food Program will transition to a non-profit organization in September 2021. 
  • This organization will continue to receive funding and support from the provincial government, but will rely on food sales and donations to operate.
  • Successes include overall acceptance of the program, healthy and affordable meal options are available for all students, using local foods, ensuring equitable access, and supporting local vendors and the economy.
  • Challenges include the short time line from program start to implementation, working with different vendors, and having the same menu across all communities.
  • The team is developing a new menu for January that includes some favourites from the past.
  • The team has received lots of feedback over the past months. They are hoping to incorporate this feedback into the new menu.

These points were made in the following discussion:

  • Some schools are finding a lot of waste with some items, due to large portion sizes or dislike of the meal. 
    • The Healthy School Food Program Team have discussed the menu with many people. The team realizes that this initial menu was a bit too unfamiliar to students, leading to pushback. The team took this feedback and is working to create a new menu that is more accessible and relatable to students. 
    • The team plans to relaunch a new menu for January 2021. They will be promoting this change through emails, Facebook, and within the schools. 
    • The team is working with Canada’s Smartest Kitchen to develop the recipes in December for use starting in January.
  • There have been challenges with online platform. The most vulnerable families are having the greatest difficulty in navigating the website for ordering. Is there a way for the school to put the order in for those students? 
    • Many schools have had teachers or administrators ordering meals to the office to distribute to students, or registering students so they receive meals.
    • The team is working with the PEI Newcomers Association to assist parents with getting kids registered in the program.
    • There is a Healthy School Food Program email address and phone line to help parents and walk them through the process.
  • The team is open to ongoing feedback from DACs.
  • The DAC noted that there has been good client service from the PEI Healthy School Food Program.
    • The team mentioned that they would appreciate any efforts by the DAC to help promote the re-launch of the program in January.

Key Topics for the School Year 

  • The extra costs associated with running the school breakfast program under COVID protocols is a concern.
  • KISH has lost revenue that normally comes from the cafeteria due to the Healthy School Food Program.
  • The DAC would like to see the student councils across PEI connect to talk about what types of activities they are hosting within COVID protocols to keep school spirit up during COVID. 
  • The DAC would like more information about the plans in place if COVID gets into the school here. 
  • It was recommended that the DAC should keep asking for school zone clarity to ensure that small schools remains open and to make sure parents know their options when registering their kids. 
    • There is concern over the lack of transparency regarding the dual zone and lack of awareness of parent choice when registering in the dual zone.
  • It was also recommended that the DAC should strongly encourage this government to fulfill its promise regarding elected trustees for each family of schools.

September 30, 2020 WebEx Meeting

Discussion and Outcomes

Working together 

  • The Engagement Officer will continue to develop the meeting agenda and organize DAC meetings.
  • The DAC may work with other DACs if topics of shared interest align.
  • The DAC also agreed to the following ways of working together:
    • Ways of working together can be changed at any time.
    • Everyone has a role in enforcing the ground rules. 
    • Speak up if you tend to be more quiet, speak less to give others a chance to share if you tend to speak more.
    • Listen when others speak, and don’t interrupt.
    • Seek first to understand before jumping to conclusions.
    • When uncertain about someone’s intent, ask questions to try and understand where they are coming from.
    • Treat each other with kindness and tolerance.
  • Questions raised by members at DAC meetings will be addressed during the meeting or following the meeting and directed to the appropriate individual or group (i.e. Department, PSB, Minister).
  • The DAC will consider having a meeting chair from within their group. Anyone who is interested will email the Engagement Officer.

DAC Overview

Anne Rooban, Engagement Officer for the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning, gave an overview presentation on the role of the DACs.

  • The mandate of the DACs is to help shape an education system that is focused on and meets the needs of learners.
  • The role of DACs is:
    • to advise the Minister of Education on educational priorities for the District;
    • to engage school communities in discussions;
    • to foster collaboration among school councils, home and school associations and the community.
  • Responsibilities of membership: 
    • Report concerns of your local Home and School to the DAC; 
    • Provide leadership in identifying priorities to focus on;
    • Work collaboratively with members;
    • Report back to your local Home and School the discussions and outcomes of DAC meetings.

School Operational Plans

  • Cohorts have been difficult to enforce in larger schools. Many students are not sticking to their cohorts outside of school hours. 
  • Mask wearing is going very well. There has been no difficulty in enforcing this rule.
  • Cohorts and movement within the school has been working well for smaller schools. Kids are wearing their masks in the hallways and cafeterias. Some schools are working on giving more time for students to access the doors.
  • Teachers have been good at using google classroom and providing online materials for kids at home with cold symptoms that are waiting for COVID tests or results. This has improved a lot since the spring. 
  • Transportation on busses is a concern. Maintaining cohorts is a challenge, and there are some students that are resisting the rules. 
  • Student councils are finding new ways to do events, such as grade 9 orientation activities. 

Topics for Discussion for the Upcoming School Year

  • School operational plans
    • Adapting and adjusting as things change.
    • What happens if schools were to shut down.
  • Healthy School Lunch Program
    • Menu choices. There has been a lot of food waste on some days, as some food items are unpopular with kids.
  • Elected school boards
    • Request to return to the elected school boards, as promised by current government.
    • UPDATE: Movement forward on elected school boards was held up by COVID. There will be more details released soon.
  • School zoning and mapping
    • Ensuring that changes to legislation and zoning do not impact schools negatively.

These points were made in the following discussion:

  • The Somerset Home and School applied for additional funds for their breakfast program. The breakfast program is being served in the classrooms, meaning that consumption and costs have increased and they may run out of funds by Christmas. They are wondering if there is any update on their request?
    • UPDATE: The Department will have to review this request and consider whether additional funds will be given.
  • Members will send any additional topics that come from meetings they attend (i.e. Parent Council, Home and School, Student Council)

Previous School Years

2015-16 School Year

2016-17 School Year 

2017-18 School Year

2018-19 School Year


Published date: 
December 10, 2020
Education and Lifelong Learning

General Inquiries

Department of Education and Lifelong Learning
Holman Centre
Suite 101, 250 Water Street
Summerside, PE C1N 1B6

Phone: 902-438-4130
Fax: 902-438-4062