As a new school year starts and we are back to our “normal routine”, I hope you had some time off during the summer to spend time with your family and recharge your batteries.
We are very busy at the Board, reviewing several of the recent Stakeholder surveys, and focusing on enhancing our current programmes and policies. There are some new policies before the Board, such as Policies II-52 and II-51. Policy II-52 Student use of Service Animals in Schools was adopted at second and third reading. Policy II-51 Optional French Programming is returning to the Policy Committee for second reading. A decision item that may be of interest to many parents is upcoming, Policy I-31 Apparel Purchases and Fair Labour Practices and II-41 School Uniform Dress Code. I have received quite a few letters from parents expressing concerns over our current uniform situation. We are hoping to have an in–depth review of our current uniform policy and we welcome input from parents.
We are excited to see the Bishop Reding renovation to be well underway, for the much–needed additional classrooms and common space. The Bishop Reding renovations will help alleviate some of the pressure on our current secondary schools. We have submitted our Capital Funding request from Milton Catholic Secondary School #3 this summer, and we hope to hear some good news from the Minster of Education regarding funding very soon. Fingers crossed that we can get shovels in the ground in early 2020. Please feel free to express your concerns to our provincial elected officials regarding the dire need to approve our Capital Funding request, so we can start construction on Milton CSS #3 in 2020 – Parm Gill MPP Milton firstname.lastname@example.org and Hon. Stephan Lecce Minster of Education email@example.com
As I am sure you are aware, all the collective agreements with our unionized employee groups expired in August, and provincial negotiations are underway with most unions. On October 6, 2019, a tentative agreement was reached between the Ministry of Education, school boards (represented by trustee associations) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). We are grateful that the parties were able to find resolution and that the strike was averted. Let’s pray for continued strength, guidance and grace for all involved in the remaining rounds of collective bargaining, both at the provincial and at the local levels. May they remain focused on our students and on preserving the wonderful gift of publicly funded Catholic Education.
I look forward to another amazing year at HCDSB, and wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving!