I am delighted to present this 2016–2017 Budget to my fellow trustees. I believe this Budget supports our goals as a faith-based Board committed to excellence in education and fiscal responsibility in accordance with the Ministry of Education.
Before discussing the Budget, I want to thank the members of the Budget team who provided their expertise and knowledge, as well as a great deal of time and effort, to prepare this document.
During the 2016–2017 school year, we will focus on that portion of our Board’s Vision Statement that calls us to: “Make a difference as faith-filled community builders.” We will work together throughout the year to build lasting and loving connections that make a difference in our communities. Our Catholic school system works to provide an inclusive, respectful environment for our students to become responsible citizens committed to social justice and stewardship of our environment. In 2016–2017, we will work to further strengthen our connections within our communities.
The 2016–2017 budget aims to increase capacity in several specific areas of learning. Technology Enabled Learning will focus both on professional development and increasing the number of devices available to students. Mathematics instruction is another key area for targeted investment, with a focus on enhancing problem solving and student engagement. Other specific areas of focus are French as a Second Language, the revised Kindergarten program, as well as increasing innovation and creativity through programs such as Destination Imagination and the Specialist High Skills Majors. Despite a spending shortfall, Special Education also continues to be a key priority for the Board.
And I must say that our board and school administration, our teaching staff, educational assistants, early childhood educators and support workers—deserve our thanks for providing truly joy-filled environments in which our students can achieve their personal best.
In the area of capital spending, the Board will allocate $2.8 Million for renovations, repairs and upgrades at schools across the system including the commencement of interior library and cafeteria renovations at St. Joseph’s High School in Renfrew. . The board will continue to explore measures to enhance pupil safety, health and well-being at schools across the Board.
We also will continue to automate several internal processes to achieve efficiencies throughout the system.
These are only some of the projects in our 2016–2017 budget.
I want to thank our school communities, particularly our parents and the Parent Involvement Committee, for their support. As trustees, we work to ensure that our students can learn and grow in a safe, respectful Catholic environment that encourages creativity, generosity of spirit and achievement.
With this budget, I believe that we meet our responsibilities.
I therefore ask my fellow trustees to approve this budget as submitted.