It is incredibly hard to believe we are now in October, with a full month of school already behind us!
It was only a few months ago that I was attending Grade 8 and Grade 12 graduation ceremonies, and now those students are navigating new hallways, friends, classrooms and teachers as they embark on their first years at high school, college and university! Or maybe some of our incredible graduates have gone into an apprenticeship program, or maybe even taking some time to work and save money. Whatever new adventure those graduates are experiencing, I hope they are embracing everything to the fullest.
Our facility team were hard at work over the summer in partnership with principals and school staff overseeing and completing many improvements, upgrades and renovations that were happening at a number of our schools including Notre Dame, St. Mark and Corpus Christi. Work is still continuing at Assumption, but we are hopeful to see an end to construction early in the new year. I want to thank parents and students for their patience through these projects.
I continue to be excited and honoured to be invited to attend events at our local schools. Last year, some highlights were the ABA for All Bonanza, SEA Showcase, Salad Bar Wednesdays, speech competitions, end of year BBQ’s, and more. Every visit provides me with an opportunity to connect with staff, students and parents, and I take much away from every encounter. I am very much looking forward to cross country meets, Christmas concerts, school liturgies, track and field, council meetings and so much more. Please continue to send invites my way and I will make every attempt to attend!
At the board table, we have jumped right back in! Our focus, and my focus, remains a constant review of how our actions and plans align with our HCDSB Strategic Plan. We are working together to monitor progress and outcomes, with discussions about parent and student satisfaction, safe schools, mental health, equity and inclusion, transportation, special education programming, facility improvements. Last school year, new policies were created, including those around French programming and Stakeholder feedback processes.
This year, we have a number of policies up for review including Uniforms, which we know is such an important item for families, along with the creation of new policies such as Student Use of Service Animals in our schools. My hope is to see more presentations at our meetings from students and staff, highlighting programs and initiatives that are taking place across our board. I also encourage our stakeholders to remember that there is an option to delegate to the Board of Trustees at our meetings if there is a matter that you would like to speak to or bring forward. We also have an open questions portion of our meetings. A reminder that Board meetings are open to all stakeholders, and we encourage people to attend. The board packages, including the agenda and minutes of each meeting are listed on our website.
I am excited for the start of a new school year and to see what lies before us. As we approach Thanksgiving, I want to wish everyone all the blessings of the season.
“Oh God, You are so good. You are faithful and gracious and You have blessed me beyond measure. Thank you for everyday blessings to which I have become accustomed, but never want to take for granted: clean drinking water, electricity, food in my pantry, hot showers, a roof over my head, and a bed to sleep in.
Thank you for legs that carry me where I need to go and hands that enable me to accomplish many things. Thank you for my hearing and my vision and for a sound, healthy mind.
Thank you my family, my friends, my job, my neighbors. Thank you for freedom to attend my church, for my pastors, and for my small group(s) and my many relationships.
Thank you for the things You are doing in my heart and in my life. I’m grateful that by the power of Your Holy Spirit, I am much different today than I was 10 years ago, or a year ago. I am even different that I was at the beginning of this year, and it’s because of Your power at work in me, continually transforming me into Your image.
I love and adore You, Lord, and my heart overflows with gratitude for all these blessings. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.”
–excerpt from 3 Grateful Prayers to Prepare Your Heart for Thanksgiving by Julie K. Gillies