From the desk of Marvin Duarte, HCDSB Trustee
I pray and hope that you and your families are staying safe and healthy these days!
This year I have been elected to serve as the Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees and I am very pleased to be of service to ratepayers in Halton. I would like to share information about what we are doing about COVID-19, Continuing Education, School Visits, Budget, Capital Funding and Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) plans.
We are indeed in very challenging historic times with the spread of COVID-19 in our region and around the world, and this is a matter of deep concern for all of us at HCDSB. We have been and will continue to be in constant communication with parents while following recommendations for the health, safety, and wellbeing of our students and staff.
Given the uncharted territory we are in, we have been discussing Continuing Education and Distance Learning in much detail at Board meetings, and we are committed to do our best to impart education using digital media. Our Principals and Teachers are working hard to make sure we meet our curricular requirements and we are eager for any feedback you may have.
Over the past couple of months, I have been visiting elementary and secondary schools in Oakville and Georgetown and have had the opportunity to see the wonderful work being done. We are truly blessed to have such wonderful and dedicated Principals, Teachers, and Staff working with our children every day.
It is budget time. We have received your feedback and Trustees will utilize it for deliberations on budget preparation for the 2020-2021 school year. Also, we will shortly embark on creating the Multi-Year Strategic Plan for HCDSB which is an important function for Trustees.
Milton continues to grow at an average rate of 5-7 new families per day which has contributed to congestion particularly at Jean Vanier and Bishop Reding Catholic Secondary Schools while elementary schools are at or above capacity. We have submitted capital funding requests for Milton #3 (secondary school) and Milton #10 (elementary school) and hope to hear some very good news this month.
Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)
We are interested in building on student participation in STEM co-curricular and extra-curricular events and competitions for elementary and secondary grades. I have requested a report and a plan from staff to implement this for the next school year. We would like to ignite the flame of curiosity, creativity, and innovation in our children, and Trustees are on board with this.
This Easter season we are challenged because of our inability to physically move around and do the things we want to, but this is an opportunity to self-reflect and spend time with people we love. Please join with me in prayer for a rapid end to the COVID-19 pandemic. May God grant eternal rest to those who have died, heal to those who are ill, and bless our caregivers.
As we look ahead to celebrating the resurrection of our Lord, I wish you and your families the blessings of the Easter season. Stay safe!