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Caratao: JV's Name Change, New Trustees and Textbooks -March 1-7 Board Meeting


Trustee Davin Caratao’s Week(s) in Review: March 1- March 7

BY DAVIN CARATAO reporting from BURLINGTON, ON


Hey BR, Davin Caratao here. You may know me as the guy on the announcements, but I also moonlight as the Student Trustee on our HCDSB. This is the fifth time I've recorded the various transpirings of the Halton Catholic Board. The Regular Board Meetings are the main meetings of our school board, where presentations are heard and Board policies are passed.


The Board, after some discussion and debate on its overall procedure, heard a presentation on the Educational Assistants’ Survey that was conducted earlier this month. 86% of all EAs surveyed responded to the emailed survey. The presenters discovered three main results from the survey: firstly, the majority of EAs were either satisfied or very satisfied with their professional support. Secondly, the EAs also requested more professional development in student mental wellbeing, special needs student information, and personal stress management. Finally, the majority of EAs claimed satisfaction with most aspects of their job.


The senior staff and trustees of the board critically acknowledged the integral role EAs play in the education of children. Both student and adult trustees requested various other clarifications regarding the EAs and this survey, including addressing specific concerns, working to reduce absenteeism, and steps forward. Superintendent Cipriano called specifically for trustees to thank EAs personally when they see them doing their jobs well in every school.


Trustees, including myself, and Milton Adult Trustee Murphy, spoke on the necessity of starting the process to rename Jean Vanier CSS. The board of trustees passed the motion to initiate the process unanimously. Senior staff will prepare a plan for the future of the school’s name.


A number of action items and policy amendments were proposed after being previously reviewed at last week’s policy meeting. Updates and amendments to board policy on Banking, Purchasing, Fair Labour Practices in Apparel, Corporate Purchasing Cards, and Alcohol at Board Sanctioned Events were made.


The board has long debated purchasing Grade 7 Religion textbooks in order to meet the growing needs of this school board. The purchase of more than 2300 copies cost $266,000. Both digital and print copies of the textbook were purchased in order to fulfill the needs of the various learning styles of all students.


The School Year Calendar for next year was brought forward by Superintendent Crowell in consultation with unions, administrators, and the District School Board. The calendar was different than other years due to the Ministry’s request that the new year not start until after Labour Day.


The Student Trustees released a report for the past few weeks, detailing our trip to the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association Board Council Conference in Ottawa and our activities there. This report can be found here: https://www.hcdsb.org/Board/Meeting%20Documents/BOARD_2020_03_03_REPORT.pdf


On the topic of student trustees, the Board recently confirmed the election of three new student trustees to replace this year’s crop. Nicholas Gubert from CtK will replace me in August for North Halton, Kirsten “Kel” Kelly from Assumption will be the new Burlington trustee, and Joseph Roshdy from St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Secondary School will be the new Oakville student trustee.


Director Daly confirmed that Bishop Reding’s March Break Trip overseas would be cancelled and remains cancelled, due to concerns regarding the Coronavirus.


Regarding the changes to Extended French Immersion made last meeting, the Board will be investigating the impacts that expanding the French Immersion program at the various elementary schools will have on the previously projected budget and waitlists currently in place at schools across the board.


The minutes and a video recording of the meeting will be available on https://www.hcdsb.org/Board/Pages/MeetingInformation.aspx and on the HCDSB YouTube page.


Stay tuned for more updates, and if you guys ever have any questions or ideas on what you’d like to see changed or implemented in our school and board, you can email me at CarataoD@hcdsb.org, or DM @isitdavincaratao on Instagram. You can even pick up my card in Student Services.


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