See Also: RCCDSB 2017-2018 Budget Chair’s Remarks
Safe, healthy, faith-based schools that encourage individual achievement, as well as equity and inclusiveness, are the focus for the Renfrew County Catholic District School Board’s 2017–2018 Budget.
“The Board is committed to providing a distinctive Catholic curriculum that seeks to nurture the giftedness, self-worth and potential of each student, while aligning with Ministry of Education goals,” said Board Chair Dave Howard as he presented the new Budget at Monday night’s Board meeting. “This Budget puts funding where it is most needed to provide the best education possible for all students across our Catholic education system.”
Howard also pointed out that RCCDSB is maintaining its enrolment numbers, which indicates “our success in responding to our communities’ needs.” He added that the new Budget complies with Ministry of Education guidelines to keep the Board’s projected deficit, which will be covered by Board surpluses, at no more than 1% of its $68 million budget.
The Board’s theme for 2017–2018, according to Chair Howard, is to “sustain safe school environments characterized by warmth, hospitality, good humour and joy, as well as ensuring students reach their full potential.” The Board also will continue working on its 2016–2017 theme “to make a difference as faith-filled community builders,” he added.
In order to align Mental Health and Wellness priorities with Safe Schools programming, Howard said the Board has realigned these priorities under one supervisory officer to better streamline our efforts. In addition, the board is using $600,000 from the Ministry of Education to enhance staffing and support programs. It also is investing approximately $800,000 in Special Education in addition to the funding model, as well as a dedicated teaching position reporting to a Supervisory Officer to lead Indigenous Education programming.
“We are very proud of the high quality of professionalism among our teachers, educational assistants, early childhood educators and all support staff,” Howard added. “They provide our students with rich, challenging programs in safe, caring, joy-filled classrooms and schools, while nurturing their individual giftedness and personal interests.”
Mathematics remains a top academic priority in line with Ministry of Education goals, Howard said. “Strategies to strengthen classroom teaching and professional development are key elements of the Budget, as are investments in learning technology to ensure that the Board keeps pace with 21st century teaching and learning techniques,” Howard said.
A total of $2.5 million will be spent on capital projects, according to Howard, for updates to windows and exterior doors on some schools, as well as installing electronic signs, a heat pump at one school, and electric upgrades at two other schools. Space pressures in the Renfrew-Arnprior family of schools will also be reviewed and addressed, Howard noted.
Funds for new energy-efficient components in Board buildings will be allocated appropriately throughout the county to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
As part of the Board’s focus on community-building, Howard said that the Board will continue to support the Shaw Woods outdoor experiences program to teach students about stewardship of the environment.
“We teach our students how they can contribute to their communities as mature, respectful citizens and responsible stewards of the world around them. We focus on inclusivity, respect for one another, and sustainability of our environment.”
June 26, 2017
For further information, please contact:
Michele Arbour, Director of Education
Renfrew County Catholic District School Board
499 Pembroke Street West
Pembroke, ON K8A 5P1
Phone: 613-735-1031 or 1-800-267-0191