April 2020 Newsletter

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.

COVID-19

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.

Continuing Education

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.

School Visits

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.

Budget

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.

Capital Funding

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!

Happy Easter!

Amanda BartucciApril 2020 Newsletter
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October 2019 Newsletter

I hope parentsguardians 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-beingachievement 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 ensurour 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 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 eventsI look forward to meeting and talking with you. 

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!  

God Bless, 

Marvin Duarte
Milton Trustee 

Amanda BartucciOctober 2019 Newsletter
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April 2019 Newsletter

I would first and foremost like to introduce myself as one of the new Trustees of HCDSB for Milton and would like to thank you for your support at the last municipal poll.

The school year is well underway with a few months left to end this academic year, and I hope students are well-engaged and are enjoying participating in academics, sports and various extra-curricular activities across our schools and parishes. We are truly blessed to have teachers and administrators who make Catholic education a wonderful experience!

As you know, Milton has and is undergoing exponential growth with roughly 5-7 families moving in every day! This puts a lot of pressure on our school system and the ability to accommodate students and provide excellent education. You are also aware of the cuts to funding programs in schools, which directly affect our students.

The HCDSB budget for this year is $433 million. We are funded by the Ministry of Education in what are referred to as Grants for Student Needs (GSNs), which are based on a per pupil amount. We have shortfalls in funding especially in the area of special education and transportation. HCDSB continues to have a strong commitment to our students who are diverse learners and so we will do our best to manage with what we have.

Overcrowding in our 2 Milton high schools is a huge problem and we have been working diligently to lobby our local and provincial representatives with some success. Planning for the new high school (Milton #3) is in progress with the purchase of land complete along with town approvals – we are still awaiting funding and approval to proceed from the Province. Three new Catholic elementary schools are proposed to be built south of Louis St Laurent due to heavy growth in the near future.

The town of Milton is planning heavy residential and commercial growth along the “Trafalgar corridor” area along with many high density condo towers being built all over the town. This undoubtedly is going to exert a lot of pressure on existing schools infrastructure and we are closely monitoring the situation.

I have been visiting with school councils and events at schools and I am proud to see the wonderful work being done in our school communities. I would like to encourage you to attend your Parent School Council meetings and actively participate to make a difference for all our children. I have been an active participant on 5 different school councils in Milton over the past decade and find the experience to be fulfilling!

HCDSB is also committed to the Home – School – Parish relationship and we work very closely with our 2 parishes in Milton bringing our faith and values to our children.

As your Trustee, understanding my community needs and advocating for parents and students is a crucial part in my role in the decision-making process at the Board of Trustees’ table. I encourage you to email or call me and I will be most pleased to have your concerns promptly addressed.

We are in Holy week and as we approach Easter, I pray that our Lord fill your life and home with his Love, Joy and Peace. I would like to wish all families a blessed and Joyous Easter!

All the best and God bless you!

Amanda BartucciApril 2019 Newsletter
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