Welcome back to school! Bienvenue à l’école!
Bienvenido de nuevoa la escuela! Bem vindo de volta à escola!
Maligayang Pagbabalik sa Paaralan! 欢迎您返校 Fáiltear ais ar scoil!
The morning air is crisp, work is back full swing, and TIFF is on – yes, it’s the start of another school year!
While my last update was in June, work did continue over the summer, and we’ve already held our first Board of Trustees and Student Achievement and Well Being Standing Committee meetings for the new school year, so there is still a lot to report.
Some highlights from my latest community update are:
TCDSB’s NEW Director of Education – Angela Gauthier
Our former Director, Bruce Rodrigues, is now the CEO of the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO). In his place trustees appointed Angela Gauthier as our new Director of Education. Ms Gauthier steps into the role from her position as Associate Director of Academic Affairs for the last five years. A TCDSB alumni, Ms Gauthier received her Bachelor of Education from the University of Ottawa, and Bachelor and Masters of Arts from the University of Toronto. Fluent in French and Italian, Ms Gauthier is a respected linguistics specialist in the education community.
Balanced Budget for 2013 – 2014 – Approved at 13 June Board Meeting
Since my June newsletter, trustees approved a balanced $1.1billion budget at the 13 June, Board of Trustees meeting. The approved budget included changes from the staff presented budget, including: $500 to be allocated to each secondary school for the purposes of supporting Student Council events, and $600,000 to be allocated from the in-year surplus to as many suggested cuts to the JLI/5th Block programs, as possible. Given recommended cuts to the Professional Learning Networks in Health & Physical Education (PLN), staff was asked to report at the 22 August Board meeting on how the program will be implemented. (The report is still pending).
TCDSB 21st Century Learning 5-Year-Plan
The environment in which our students will live and work has dramatically changed in the past few decades. Our multi-year strategic plan states that ‘21st century fluencies of digital literacy, creativity, innovation and collaboration are essential for ours students.’ To meet this challenge, change is necessary at all level and our 5-year-plan provides a framework to affect this change. Technology is a means, but more critical is our students’ ability to think and discern critically, communicate deeply, collaborate effectively and act creatively (Catholic graduate expectations). For the approved Plan, see the 30 May, 2013 Student Achievement Committee meeting agenda: http://www.tcdsb.org/Board/TrusteesoftheBoard/Committees.
St Michael Elementary – Temporarily Relocated to 25 Linden St
Given the repair work needed, the community has been temporarily relocated to 25 Linden St (the former site of Sacre Coeur) – the overwhelming site choice of parents. The temporary move ensures everyone’s safety and well-being while work is done, that the school community remains together, and that students have access to proper gym facilities. An Open House took place on 29 August, so that students and parents could walk around and get familiar with the school before the first day. Meetings will be scheduled during the school year to to keep everyone up-to-date on the repair work and the move back to George St South.
Major Initiative Since my June, 2013, newsletter
WORKING TO CLOSE THE LEARNING OPPORTUNITY GAP ACROSS THE BOARD: I am very happy to report that trustees, at the September Student Achievement & Well Being committee meeting, agreed to move forward with my motion to create a Catholic Social Justice Committee Community Advisory Committee with the mandate to advise the Board on policies, programs and services which close the learning opportunity gap for our students. I was elected by trustees to sit on the committee, and the first meeting of the committee will be in October. At that time, the committee will make recommendations on the community members.