UCDSB approves balanced budget . . .


Thursday, June 21st – The Board of Trustees for the Upper Canada District School Board met on Wednesday, June 19 for the last Committee of the Whole meeting for the 2018-19 school year. Several agenda items were discussed, including finalizing and approving the 2019-20 school year budget. 

        At the beginning of the budget deliberations, which started in early May, UCDSB Trustees were facing a projected $11.7 million deficit. Trustees, alongside Senior staff, met weekly to discuss budget matters and receive the most up-to-date funding figures. During budget deliberations the Trustees established a set of guiding principles to follow, as they worked through the budget process. These principles included achieving a balanced budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year and to, wherever possible, make use of innovative practices in order to mitigate the impact throughout our educational system. 

        The budget for the 2019-20 school year, as approved by the Trustees, has resulted in a number of staffing reductions across the system for the 2019-20 school year, including one Superintendent position and two central office support staff positions, five system and school Principal/Vice-Principal positions, 42.33 Teacher positions, 30.3 Educational Assistant, Early Childhood Educator, English Language Learner Instructor and Instructional Assistant positions, 22 school office support staff positions, 22 Learning Commons Informationist positions, 24 Student Support Partner positions, 11 Speech Language Assistant positions, and one Psychological Associate position. 

        “We are aware that people may be upset by some of the decisions that we as a Board have had to make. With many former educators sitting around the Trustee table, we are obviously empathetic to the situation. However, we are also obligated to deliver public education within the funding that has been allocated to us by the Ministry of Education and to deliver budgets that are compliant with government regulations,” explained Chair of the Board John McAllister.

        “We have endeavored to do this with the least possible impact on the classroom. Although the actual delivery of some programs may look different in the upcoming year, we are confident that the Upper Canada District School Board will be able to provide students with a quality education that meets their needs and prepares them for a successful life.” 

        Other matters that were discussed during the meeting included, the approving of the Special Education Plan for the 2019-20 school year, a status update for the Director’s Work Plan, and a year-end review report from Student Trustee Bushra Khadra. 

        The Director’s Workplan update, as presented by Director Stephen Sliwa, indicated that 10 out of 13 key actions have been achieved. These actions focused on the student success support model to help more students graduate; creating a common focus in all elementary schools on social-emotional learning; and increasing the Board’s presence at community events. 

        Student Trustee Khadra outlined the progress she has made during her term, highlighting the effective use of working group centered on bettering Indigenous Relations, Student Achievement, Student Wellness, and Student Culture within schools. She also reported the work done to help increase awareness of the Student Senate and Student Trustee position. Khadra’s term as Student Trustee will end on July 31, 2019. 

Students honored - budget approved . . .

Certificates of Appreciation 2019

        Each year, the CDSBEO honours deserving students and staff through the presentation of Certificates of Appreciation. Awarded to remarkable persons with outstanding successes, the certificates were presented to 24 students at the June 18th Board meeting. The following are this year’s award recipients:

Sarah Parent, Notre Dame Catholic High School

        In addition to having excellent grades, Sarah is a dedicated competitive rugby player. She travelled to Las Vegas at the end of February to compete at the HSBC USA Sevens Rugby Invitational in Las Vegas, which is the premier amateur rugby event in the United States. It is also is the largest rugby tournament in North America. Sarah represented the Ottawa Ospreys Rugby Club and the Eastern Ontario Ruby Union.

Addyson Delorme, St. Thomas Aquinas CHS

        Addyson has been a dedicated dancer from a young age. This year, Addyson was invited to audition for the Canadian National Dance Team, and has been offered a spot on the team representing Canada at the Commonwealth Cup Dance Championships in July, which takes place in Sun City, South Africa. The Commonwealth Cup Dance Championships is a biannual event that convenes dancers from all Commonwealth nations to celebrate excellence in dance. 

Elizabeth Moffatt, Notre Dame Catholic High School

        Elizabeth is a grade 9 student at Notre Dame Catholic High School who works very hard to maintain excellent marks in all of her classes while training 7 days a week at her dance school. This past year, Elizabeth has competed at the provincial and national level. In addition, Elizabeth earned judges points at the Ontario Championships, which means she was ranked in the top 6 in the province, and will compete in the World Championships in Scotland this summer.

Eva Gardhouse and Iris Ormsby, St. John Catholic Elementary School, Reegan Hoogwerf, St. Francis de Sales Catholic School, and Taylor Cuggy, St. Mary Catholic School, Carleton Place

        Eva, Iris, Reegan and Taylor are students who work very hard not only in their studies, but also in their dedication to their beloved sport of hockey. The girls are members of the Smiths Falls Cubs Atom A team, who came second in the province of Ontario in their division. The team also placed second in the International Silver Stick tournament, which is at the highest level possible for girl’s hockey.

Alyssa Lunny, Chloe Larose-St. Onge, Erin McCready and Matthew Hughes

        This group of students were part of a national initiative called “Imagine a Canada” which called on young Canadians to demonstrate their vision of what reconciliation could be through art, poetry, music, writing, and other creative endeavours. The project was launched by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. These four students cooperatively created a visual representation of their vision of reconciliation. The painting was designed with the help of two Indigenous community partners, who helped the students with symbolism and shared their insights into Indigenous spirituality. The painting was chosen among thousands of submissions from across Canada, and the group was invited to speak about their art at the Imagine a Canada 2019 national event in Winnipeg.

Alexandre Hietala, St. Jude Catholic School, Joy Hiliuta, St. Anne Catholic School and Abigail Graves, St. Thomas Aquinas CHS

        Alexandre, Joy and Abigail represented the CDSBEO at the Provincial “Festival d’art oratoire” at York University’s Glendon College in Toronto, on May 4th, which is an annual public speaking event for students in grades 4 through 12 studying French-as-a-Second-Language in Ontario schools. Each student won first place in his/her category at the Board level competition that was held in early April. Joy represented the board in the Extended French – grades 4 to 6 category, Alexandre represented the Board in the French Immersion – grades 4 to 6 category, and Abigail represented in the Extended French, Grade 7 and 8 category.

Calum Theobald, Notre Dame Catholic High School

        Calum has been selected to participate in a ten day leadership opportunity that gathers students from more than 145 countries. Hosted in New York City and Washington, DC, students who attend the Global Young Leaders Conference will examine diplomatic, social, and economic policies as well as visit international embassies, hear from world leaders such as the head of the United Nations, the World Bank and Amnesty International. Calum is an excellent student and a very worthy candidate to participate in this experience.


South Dundas' Lauryn Roy, Paige Roy,  and Angelina Polegato
South Dundas' Lauryn Roy, Paige Roy, and Angelina Polegato

Paige Roy, Lauren Roy and Angelina Polegato, St. Mary-St. Cecilia Catholic School

        Paige, Angelina, and Lauren and three very accomplished gymnasts. All have competed in the prestigious provincial competition. Paige in currently in her first year of competitive gymnastics, and she has worked very hard to make it to provincials just a few weeks ago, and she placed impressively at all of the qualifiers. Lauryn is in her third year of competitive gymnastics, and this year she has competed in provincials, as well as one international competition. Angelina is also in her third competitive season, and has competed as a Junior Olympic Level 8 athlete in the 11-12 age division of the Gymnastics Ontario Competitive Program. At the 2nd Annual Simone Biles International Invitational, Angelina came second all-around in her session, competing against some athletes who have achieved top 100 ranking in USA Gymnastics.

Brooke Peladeau, St. Francis de Sales Catholic School and Shaye Peters and Ella McLenaghan, St. John Catholic Elementary School

        Brooke, Shaye and Ella are members of the Smiths Falls Novice C team, who recently won a bronze medal and the Ontario provincial championships. The girls have a love for school, and hockey. They are exceptional students who excel at everything they set their minds to, and there is no doubt that they will continue to reach for the stars both on and off the ice.

Wyatt Warner, St. Andrew’s Catholic School

        Wyatt Warner is a respected part of the St. Andrew’s community as he leads through fair play, integrity, inclusivity and empathy, promoting active healthy living. An all-around athlete, Wyatt has had much success in many sports including cross county, where he has won multiple championships, and in basketball, soccer, volleyball, soft ball, and ball hockey, where he has been a finalist and gold medalist at several competitions. Wyatt’s beloved sport however, is hockey, which he has played at the AAA competitive level for five years. Wyatt has not only been the lead scorer and Assistant Captain this season with the Eastern Ontario Wild AAA Pee Wee team, but is also a regional gold AAA team member, MVP Pro Bauer Shootout All Star, and has played on the all-star team at the Bell Canada Cup.

Donovan Pilon, St. Joseph’s Catholic Secondary School

        Donovan is a grade 10 students at St. Joseph’s CHS, who is also a very accomplished dart player. Donovan has won Junior Boys Bursary Shoot and Junior Boys Doubles in the National Darts Federation of Canada 2019 Youth World Cup Qualifier. He has also helped Team Canada win the Nodor Cup, coming in second with mixed doubles at the World Master Qualifier. As a result of his recent win at the World Cup Qualifier, he will be joining three other youth on the boys’ Canadian Youth National Team at the world tournament taking place this October in Romania. Donovan will also be travelling to England in October to compete in the Ninmau World Masters tournament.


Annual Report on the Provision of Special Education Services

        Superintendent of School Effectiveness, Dr. Donaleen Hawes, presented to Trustees a copy of the Annual Report on the Provisions of Special Education Programs and Services, to be submitted to the Ministry of Education. The Special Education Plan for 2019-2020, as outlined in the Standards for School Boards’ Special Education Plans, has been compiled through consultation with stakeholders and key participants, including the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC). The report includes recommendations to be implemented, including staffing allocations for schools, professional development plans for communication and involvement of parents.

        The Board approved the report as presented. The recommendations will be included in the Report to the Ministry of Education on the Provisions of Special Education Programs and Services.


CDSBEO Trustees Approve Budget for 2019-2020

        The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario’s Board of Trustees has approved an operating budget of $189.9 million, which includes an operating expenditure budget of $184.6 million, and a capital expenditure budget in the amount of $5.3 million for the 2019-2020 school year. All expenditure areas were carefully reviewed for efficiencies and to ensure excellence in Catholic program delivery for students across Eastern Ontario. 

        “The Board is required to present a balanced budget for compliance to the Ministry of Education. The 2019-2020 budget is compliant with all enveloping provisions,” explained Manager of Finance, Ashley Hutchinson. 

        "I would like to thank our Manager of Finance, Ashley Hutchinson, and our Associate Director of Education, Bonnie Norton and the Finance Department for all of their work in preparing the budget,” noted Chair Lalonde. “We recognize the hard work of your team in calculating this information, and in continuing to ensure the Board’s ongoing fiscal accountability.”


Board of Trustees Pays Tribute to Retiring Superintendent of School Effectiveness,

Dr. Donaleen Hawes

        The Board of Trustees paid tribute to retiring Superintendent of School Effectiveness, Dr. Donaleen Hawes. Dr. Hawes has been with the CDSBEO since amalgamation in 1998. Chair Lalonde commended Dr. Hawes on her expertise and professionalism.

        “Donaleen’s expertise has been second to none. Her leadership and guidance has been so pivotal within our Board, particularly in the Special Education portfolio, which Donaleen has led for many years. She will truly be missed.”

        “On behalf of SEAC, it has been a true pleasure to work with you over the last 19 years,” noted Trustee Wilson. “You have given so much of your time, and your heart, and many children have benefitted from the gifts that you bring to your role, and through your leadership. You have truly demonstrated compassion and understanding for all of our students, but particularly for those with special needs.”

OFSAA  Boys A Soccer Championship

Glengarry High School wins soccer title . . .

Pictured back row (left to right):  Co-Coach David Filion, Liam Filion, Kenneth MacMillan, Ethan Attridge, Liam MacDonald, Hamish MacLeod, Hunter MacPherson, Cameron Poirier, Sheldon MacCallum, Aaron Keurentjes, Berry Wassihun, Dove Rickerd, Co-Coach Laurent Rivard, and Co-Coach Glen Campbell. Pictured front row (left to right): Ben Horton, Jared MacLeod, Seamus Hardy, Craig Van Loon, Kevin Doyle, Logan Keurentjes, Lochlan MacDonald, Bailey Pidgeon, Crew Rickerd, and Rocco Bhagwandin.


Monday, June 17 - Glengarry District High School (GDHS) won the OFSAA Boys’ A Soccer Championship in Ancaster, Ontario by defeating Ridley College of St. Catharines 6-5 in a shootout following double overtime. The victory came on the 12th shot of the shootout, with the first five from both sides finding net. The sixth shot from Ridley College hit the goalpost, giving GDHS striker Ethan Attridge the chance to kick the winning goal and seal the victory. 

        “It was absolutely fantastic,” said Co-Coach Glen Campbell, adding “I am so thrilled for these guys. They were an extremely focused group of young athletes. We started training back in February and they were excellent at every step of the way in terms of their coachability, their work ethic and their sense of sportsmanship.” 

        This is the second OFSAA gold in soccer for GDHS in six tries over the last decade. The school earned the other in 2014. GDHS took silver in 2010 and 2012. The team is also guided by Co-Coaches David Filion and Laurent Rivard. 

Board working toward balance . . .

Trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board met on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 for a special board meeting. The focus of the meeting was to finalize the Board’s budget deliberations. 


        Trustees passed the motion to approve the recommended budget scenario, with reductions amounting to $11.7 million dollars for the 2019-2020 school year. Additional financial information will be presented by staff to the Board at its next meeting on Wednesday, June 19th, allowing Trustees to confirm a final budget to be forwarded to the Ministry of Education.


Board met for a special board meeting. The focus of the  meeting was to finalize the Board’s budget deliberations. 2019-2020 Budget Discussions: Trustees were presented with a budget scenario from the senior staff that addressed the school board’s $11.7 million deficit to enable a balanced budget for 2019-20.

       Senior Business Consultant Roger Richard presented Trustees with a summary of budget considerations and recommendations that met the Ministry of Education obligation to pass a balanced budget. Trustees set out five basic principles that guided and informed their deliberations:

   • commitment to a balanced budget;

   • arriving at budget decisions that result in a minimal impact on the classroom to the greatest extent possible;

   • alignment of expenditures with the actual revenues the Board receives from the province;

   • seeking efficiencies in all areas of the Board’s operation, and;

   • implementing innovative practices wherever possible.

       The budget scenario included $11.7 million of reductions from program support, school operations, school office administration, central office administration, and special education.

        Trustees passed a motion, amending the budget scenario by removing a reduction of $830,657 associated with Secondary Programming – Student Success Teachers and applying these reductions to the Special Education program line. The Board confirmed that while these reductions would prevail as part of its budget, it will continue to enhance spending for Special Education beyond the current funding allocation for 2019- 2020. With the amendment, trustees passed the motion to approve the recommended budget scenario, with reductions amounting to $11.7 million dollars for the 2019-2020 school year. Additional financial information will be presented by staff to the Board at its next meeting on June 19th.

Program support, school operations, office and central administration . . .

$10.9 million in budget reductions . . .

Thursday,  June 6th– Trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board met on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 to discuss two agenda items:

UCDSB Ipsos Culture Survey: Trustee David McDonald presented details of the Board’s most recent culture survey, in his capacity as the Chair of the Accountability Framework Committee for the Board. The survey of staff and students is taken every four years to understand the current learning environment for students, job satisfaction levels among staff and, in a more general sense, the culture of our schools. The process involves both a staff and a secondary student survey, taken in September 2018. The online surveys received 1,746 responses from staff, and 5,866 responses from secondary students.

        “The trustees really value this tool as one pillar to modify the next Trustee Work Plan and Director’s Work Plan, as well as the board’s CREW Strategic Plan,” said Chair John McAllister.

Some Key Findings:

    •  Communication from the Board level to staff is improving, with 68% saying that they are very/somewhat well informed of what is happening within the UCDSB. However, an area of focus will be working to improve community relations between the Board and schools.

    •  Fewer students say there are better places to go to school, however only 64% are satisfied with their education.

• More students (68%) say their school has the equipment and material necessary for their success and achievement.

• Improvements to support staff well-being have realized positive results, but more can be done to support the mental and emotional needs of staff and work/life balance.

    •  More secondary students (69%) believe that staff at their school engage students in the learning process. In response to these findings, Trustees passed a motion in response to survey results requiring the Director of Education to:

    •  Determine a range of strategies to engage parents and communities;

    •  Continue a review of secondary program delivery models and how a common timetable will assist in more choice for our students;

    •  Better inform the school district about ways the board is distributing resources as part of its strategic planning process;

    •  Continue to collaborate with groups such as the Student Senate to better understand the student experience as it relates to availability of material and equipment for their success;

    •  Ensure graduation rate remains a priority and that students develop the confidence to get their diploma and are aware of supports the district offers to help them obtain it;

    •  Promote wellness resources available to all staff through the Employee Assistance Program; and

    •  Report back on the outcome of the four-school pilot project testing a common assignment schedule.


2019-2020 Budget Discussions: Trustees were presented with a budget scenario from the senior staff, that could address the board’s $11.7 million deficit and allow them to bring in a balanced budget for 2019-20.

        In reviewing this scenario, trustees agreed to follow basic principles as they work to finalize the budget, including: maintain a balanced budget without additional cuts to begin rebuilding its reserves for the next fiscal year, that Trustees are committed to using innovative practices to address areas where the board has overspent.

        Senior Business Consultant Roger Richard presented the scenario, which would include $10.9 million in reductions from program support, school operations, school office administration and central office administration. Another $816,000 in possible reductions are being considered in Special Education. Staff provided trustees with an assessment as to how these proposed cost reductions could impact programs and services at the school and district levels, by grouping reductions into low impact, medium impact, and high impact levels.

        Staff will now use the budget scenario and the trustee principles to create a draft budget for June 12, with the goal of bringing in a final budget for the Board’s review by June 19.