I hope parents, guardians and students had a wonderful and rested summer and I welcome you back to our school system for the 2019-2020 academic year.
Last school year was an exciting and busy year as I learned the ropes alongside a new group of Trustees and our experienced Board staff. I visited many schools in Milton and met with our wonderful administrators and staff who educate and take care of our children on a daily basis. Meeting with several school councils and attending many school and community events has given me a deeper insight into our school system operations. After seeing all the good work done by everyone involved, I can assure you that our children are in excellent hands!
This is the third year of the current Multi-Year Strategic Plan (MYSP). The MYSP informs you what the board intends to achieve, what its priorities are, and how it plans to accomplish them. This year, our Board of Trustees will continue to engage in a process to review its outcomes in preparation for the next Multi-Year Strategic Plan. The MYSP can be found on our School Board website and your suggestions are always welcome.
The development of the 2019-2020 budget was challenging following the announcements and funding cuts from the Ministry of Education. We sought your input for this task, and after considering the priorities of quality Catholic education, student well-being, achievement and accountability, our Board of Trustees approved a compliant budget in June. Your suggestions for efficiencies and improvements are more than welcome at any point in time.
As Milton continues to grow with an average of 4-5 new families per day, we know that our school system is under tremendous pressure to accommodate this growth. There are 3 new elementary schools proposed to be built south of Derry and as we know the much needed new Milton #3 secondary school at Thompson & Louis St Laurent is in the works. Capital funding priorities have been submitted and we await funding approval from the province. I look forward to your support in emphasizing to our local and provincial elected representatives that we receive funding in a timely manner for our much needed new schools.
Over the summer, our Facilities Department was very busy keeping all of our schools clean and updated to ensure our children are in a safe learning environment. Additional portables have been added at Jean Vanier and Bishop Reding to accommodate the growing student demands. Construction at Bishop Reding is progressing well and on schedule with all phases planned for completion in 2021.
At HCDSB, parents & guardians form an integral part of our school communities. I have been a part of 5 different school councils where my children studied, and I see the tremendous benefits of getting involved. I would like to encourage every parent/guardian to participate in our Catholic community in some way – Join the School Council, volunteer to help with activities and events etc.. Contact your school Principal/VP and they would be happy to guide you.
I am very pleased to represent you as your Milton Trustee and I am committed to excellence in education. I encourage you to write to me and bring your concerns and suggestions for student achievement and success, which will be addressed promptly. This year, as I visit schools and attend events, I look forward to meeting and talking with you.
I look forward to another successful year in partnership with our Parish and our families. I wish you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving, and a spiritually and academically successful year!