April 2020 Newsletter

This update comes to you at a time of so much uncertainty, while we navigate the new landscape of a global pandemic. I send all of you my sincere wishes for strength and patience as you figure out how to deal with daily worries, having your children home from school, not being able to physically spend time with friends and family members, and trying to keep up hope that we will soon see things return to “normal” for whatever that means.

Our work at the Board table has had a few hiccups only in how we have had to move recently to a new way of conducting our Board business, and working through the technology challenges that come with having to do everything remotely. But we seem to have figured that all out and our last Board meeting went relatively well and we look forward to our next virtual meeting. We are trying as best as we can to keep things business as usual.

I want to thank all of our staff, parents and students for their patience while everyone has been working through the best way to deliver Distance Learning. There was little time to prepare and for many, this is a whole new way of teaching and learning, but together we will get there. The first few days seem to be going well, and my hope is that we continue to be able to support our students so they can be successful in their e-learning. Communication will be the key to keeping things running as smoothly as possible, and I encourage everyone to make sure they are in continuous contact with teachers and school administration to keep the flow of information going. I know this has been shared many times, but the link to information and resources for distance learning is available here.

As I mentioned, we have tried to keep things business as usual, with a big focus currently on the budgeting process for next year. We have been working through some of the initial stages of planning, which include reviewing expenses and anticipated funding allocations, and incorporating stakeholder feedback in our decision making.

We are also still in the process of policy changes with respect to our Uniform Policy, and have been going through an RFI process to engage with interested vendors. The proposed policy changes, with the changes noted in red, is available here.

In January we invited our community to provide feedback on the School Uniform Provider Consultation. Thank you to all the parents and guardians who took the time to attend a consultation session and/or share their thoughts in the online feedback form. The consultation has now ended and the results of the survey can be found here.

In February, Trustees voted unanimously in favour of expanding the French Immersion program for the 2020-2021 school year. The vote came after collecting stakeholder feedback and working with staff to create a feasible plan for expansion. We want to thank everyone who provided their input and suggestions on how to best expand this program. The details of the motion can be found here.

I encourage everyone to attend our board meetings, the dates of which are posted on website. For those who are unable to attend in person, our meetings are recorded and posted on our Board’s YouTube channel. The public is also invited to attend our virtual Board meetings and Policy meetings, which as I mentioned have been our current way of meeting.

I also want to remind people that I am always available to connect with you for any questions, concerns or ideas you may have. My email is agnewb@hcdsb.org and my phone number is 905-505-0303. I am happy to be of any assistance I can.

Lastly, I would like to wish you all a happy and blessed Easter. While we may not be able to attend church services or gather with family as we normally have done in years past, let’s be grateful that we can see each other virtually, participate in church services online, spend time with the loved ones in our homes with us, that spring is starting to show us a sign it is almost here, and be rejoiceful that Christ has Risen.

May you have the gladness of Easter which is Hope;

May you have the promise of Easter which is Peace;

May you have the spirit of Easter which is Love.

Amanda BartucciApril 2020 Newsletter