I would first and foremost like to introduce myself as one of the new Trustees of HCDSB for Milton and would like to thank you for your support at the last municipal poll.
The school year is well underway with a few months left to end this academic year, and I hope students are well-engaged and are enjoying participating in academics, sports and various extra-curricular activities across our schools and parishes. We are truly blessed to have teachers and administrators who make Catholic education a wonderful experience!
As you know, Milton has and is undergoing exponential growth with roughly 5-7 families moving in every day! This puts a lot of pressure on our school system and the ability to accommodate students and provide excellent education. You are also aware of the cuts to funding programs in schools, which directly affect our students.
The HCDSB budget for this year is $433 million. We are funded by the Ministry of Education in what are referred to as Grants for Student Needs (GSNs), which are based on a per pupil amount. We have shortfalls in funding especially in the area of special education and transportation. HCDSB continues to have a strong commitment to our students who are diverse learners and so we will do our best to manage with what we have.
Overcrowding in our 2 Milton high schools is a huge problem and we have been working diligently to lobby our local and provincial representatives with some success. Planning for the new high school (Milton #3) is in progress with the purchase of land complete along with town approvals – we are still awaiting funding and approval to proceed from the Province. Three new Catholic elementary schools are proposed to be built south of Louis St Laurent due to heavy growth in the near future.
The town of Milton is planning heavy residential and commercial growth along the “Trafalgar corridor” area along with many high density condo towers being built all over the town. This undoubtedly is going to exert a lot of pressure on existing schools infrastructure and we are closely monitoring the situation.
I have been visiting with school councils and events at schools and I am proud to see the wonderful work being done in our school communities. I would like to encourage you to attend your Parent School Council meetings and actively participate to make a difference for all our children. I have been an active participant on 5 different school councils in Milton over the past decade and find the experience to be fulfilling!
HCDSB is also committed to the Home – School – Parish relationship and we work very closely with our 2 parishes in Milton bringing our faith and values to our children.
As your Trustee, understanding my community needs and advocating for parents and students is a crucial part in my role in the decision-making process at the Board of Trustees’ table. I encourage you to email or call me and I will be most pleased to have your concerns promptly addressed.
We are in Holy week and as we approach Easter, I pray that our Lord fill your life and home with his Love, Joy and Peace. I would like to wish all families a blessed and Joyous Easter!
All the best and God bless you!