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Toronto Catholic District School Board

1997 - 1998
 
Message from the Director of Education
1998
 
The 1998 calendar year has brought with it the full implementation of the Fewer School Boards Act (Bill 104), the Education Quality Improvement Act (Bill 160) along with a host of other new regulations and the transition from our former board, the MSSB, to our new Toronto Catholic District School Board.
 
During the past year, we have had to face a large number of changes in many areas. The implementation of the New Ontario Curriculum, information technology, the new provincial report card, expanded provincial testing programs, pending secondary school reform, school councils, the establishment of the Ontario College of Teachers, new roles for principals and vice-principals and new provincial legislation represent some of the recent dramatic changes in education.

The new funding model, which allocates funding differently to the Board’s expenditure patterns, has created a number of difficulties. The new funding envelopes have forced TCDSB to make difficult decisions in order to reduce costs for school caretaking, school secretarial support, and for administrative staffing in the central office and curriculum support units.

Changes, through Bill 160, to the Education Act and to government funding of public education have made collective bargaining with teachers’ unions a difficult process. TCDSB and its’ secondary school teachers have not been able to negotiate a settlement and a government appointed mediator-arbitrator is currently finalizing a collective agreement between the two parties. The TCDSB continues to negotiate with its elementary school teachers.

Despite these challenges, TCDSB has enjoyed a number of high points this year. The Board welcomed the opening of Marshall McLuhan Catholic Secondary School, the implementation of new curriculum, improvement in the results of provincial standardized tests, and celebrations of school anniversaries, special events and individual staff and student achievements.

I take great pleasure in congratulating staff for their commitment, professionalism and passion for the preservation of the quality of Catholic education. In spite of the tremendous amount of change required from teachers and support staff, and obstacles encountered, their steady, unwavering dedication is clearly evident in the work they do on behalf of the TCDSB and our students. As we move further into the implementation of changes to our educational system brought upon us by the provincial education reform, I trust that we will remain fully focused and dedicated to maintaining an educational faith community centered on the person of Jesus Christ.

In the document Educating the Soul we read that, "Catholic Education is imbued by more than just secular knowledge. It is imbued with another wisdom, one that listens to the voice of God’s revelation and in doing so glimpses another reality and another possibility for living." As we journey toward the new millennium, may we continue to listen to the voice of God’s revelation, and glimpse new possibilities in the path ahead.
Johanne Stewart, Director of Education

The Toronto Catholic District School Board has undertaken a number of new initiatives throughout 1998. The following are some of the highlights:
 
PROGRAM SERVICES
 
Religious and Family Life Education

TCDSB Religious/Family Life Education programs are developed under the direction of the Canadian and Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Religious Education Program assists Catholic students to acquire a basic knowledge of their faith, develop attitudes and skills that encourage a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and participate in a faith community committed to living the Gospel’s call to transform persons, relationships and structures. The Family Life Program enables students to understand the Christian vision of the human person, with a special focus on the Church's teachings concerning dignity, relationships and sexuality.

The National Office of Religious Education, operating under the auspices of the Canadian Bishops, completed its curriculum revisions for the intermediate cycle of the We Are Strong Together catechetical series. In-service on the new program for Grade 8 students entitled Stand by Me was offered to all TCDSB Grade 8 teachers in October.

The Religious Education/Family Life Department continues to assist teachers in the delivery of programs. Religion/Family Life resource teachers for both elementary and secondary schools provide ongoing support and in-service for teachers in the Religious Education and Family Life programs as well as for those on secondary school chaplaincy teams. A Family Life resource binder was produced to provide schools with information regarding board policies and directives pertaining to the Family Life program. A resource document was also created to provide teachers with the required student learning expectations, sample demonstrations and statements to assist in the reporting of students’ learning all of which support the Religious Education and Family Life education section of the new Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) report card.

When Faith Meets Pedagogy Conference

For the third year, the Toronto Catholic District School Board assumed a leadership role in the planning and implementation of Ontario’s largest gathering of Catholic educators. This celebration of Catholic education included a powerful and uplifting address by Father Richard Fragomeni, workshops celebrating best practices in Catholic education, many delivered by TCDSB teachers and coordinators, and a special professional development component for school council members. Thomas Groome is booked as the keynote speaker for next year’s conference.
 
Local Action Planning
 
All TCDSB schools have engaged in a school improvement process using the support document, An Action Planning Process for Continuous School Renewal. This document outlines a process which schools may follow to incorporate both system and local school initiatives. The document will be revised in 1999 to reflect changes in Ministry and Board perspectives.

New Elementary Curriculum
 
The Ministry of Education and Training’s New Curriculum for Grades 1 to 8 was delivered to all schools. All departments in Program Services offer ongoing workshops to teachers to assist them in implementing the new curriculum. Workshop topics include integrating curriculum, linking expectations, assessment and implementation strategies, and place particular emphasis on Language Arts and Mathematics. Program coordinators will arrange specific workshops to meet local needs.
 
Secondary School Reform
 
The new Secondary School Reform Program will be implemented in all secondary schools beginning September 1999. A TCDSB Steering Committee, comprised of superintendents, teachers, principals and coordinators, developed an action plan for the Board. The committee acts as a liaison between MOET and the schools. Its efforts concentrate on placing reforms within a Catholic perspective.

A staff document entitled Educating the Soul provides a framework for writing curriculum for Catholic schools. Program Services will deliver copies of the document to all secondary schools. TCDSB took a leading role in organizing summer writing teams, in conjunction with the Catholic Cooperative of Central and Western Ontario, which developed blueprints for course profiles in each of the subject areas.
 
The steering committee regularly disseminates and shares information with schools. An information package was distributed to Grade 8 teachers to assist them in helping students select secondary school programs. The program coordinators regularly in-service their department heads on issues concerning the content and implementation of the new curriculum as it pertains to the respective subject areas. An information pamphlet, designed for parents, was distributed last spring.

Language Arts Program

The Board's Balanced Language Arts Program is in its second year of implementation. This program was developed in response to needs identified in the Board's review of primary language programming. The Balanced Language Arts Program’s mandate is to improve learning for all students by identifying and ministering to individual needs and abilities.

Student texts, teacher materials, teacher support in the form of in-service, resource teacher guidance and modeling, as well as assessment tools and local divisional planning have contributed to the success of this important education initiative. A study is underway to determine how the success and capacity building experienced in the primary division can be transferred effectively to the junior division.

At the secondary level, department heads are examining drafts of the Ministry of Education and Training's new English curriculum in preparation for its implementation in September, 1999. The Language Arts Department published a media resource for teachers to support the implementation of this new curriculum.

Mathematics

Last year, TCDSB elementary school teachers began to implement the new Ontario Mathematics Curriculum for Grades 1-8. In June, a MOET grant provided elementary schools with new mathematics textbooks. Both the curriculum and the textbooks help provide students with a broader approach to mathematics and strengthen problem-solving and communication skills while maintaining a strong focus on the basics. Many teachers attended several after-school workshops focused on curriculum and assessment. The Board provided additional support by funding the purchase of mathematics manipulatives and textbook resources for schools requiring additional program support.

Six secondary schools began piloting a grade nine computer-assisted mathematics program, The Learning Equation. A number of schools have participated in the Collaborative Professional Development Program for Catholic Elementary Teachers and the Tutors in the Mathematics classroom project, both being offered in association with York University. Many TCDSB students continue to enrich their mathematics experience through their participation in the Junior and Senior Mathematics Leagues, the Canadian Mathematics Competitions, the Mathematics Science Fair, and the Ontario Mathematics Olympics.
 
Social Studies, History and Geography

Program Services is developing a teachers’ planning guide for the Ontario Social Studies, History and Geography Curriculum (Grades 1-8). This curriculum support document will be modeled after the user-friendly teacher resources previously developed to support the core curriculum. Sample units will be developed through the Catholic Curriculum Cooperative of Central and Western Ontario to further support the implementation of the new curriculum. Existing units of study are currently under revision.

The Arts

The Arts Department, in co-operation with the Catholic Curriculum Cooperative of Central and Western Ontario, produced a CD-ROM containing seventeen documents (drama, music, dance and the visual arts) to support teachers in planning a balanced and varied arts program. Schools received the CD-ROM at in-services. The resource has been enthusiastically acclaimed by TCDSB teachers and teachers throughout the province.

The Arts Department introduced an information newsletter for elementary and secondary schools covering issues in all of the arts. The newsletter is published three times a year, in December, March and June.

Physical Education and Health

The Physical Education and Health Department developed a new core Physical Education Curriculum for Grades 4, 5 and 6. Each school received three binders, one for each grade, containing twelve units (80 lesson plans) of curriculum material. The classroom-ready units allow teachers to apply Physical Education expectations in context and to instill in students an appreciation for a physically active, healthy lifestyle.
 
A new health program called Know Your Body was piloted, reviewed, and will be available to schools early in the spring.

The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Science and Technology
 
The elementary curriculum for Science and Technology is designed to ensure that all students acquire basic scientific literacy and technological capability before entering secondary school. Central to the curriculum are three fundamental goals for students:

to understand the basic concepts of science and technology;
to develop the skills, strategies, and habits of mind required for scientific inquiry and technological design; and
to relate scientific and technological knowledge to each other and the world outside the school.

There are two main components to the Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Science and Technology: Expectations and Achievement Levels.

Expectations are identified for each grade, describing the knowledge and skills students are expected to develop and demonstrate. Overall and Specific Expectations are listed for each grade and strand.

Overall Expectations relate to each of the three goals of the program, and in general terms describe the knowledge and skills students should achieve by the end of each grade. Specific Expectations describe the expected knowledge and skills in greater detail.

Expectations are organized into five major areas of knowledge and skills in the Science and Technology curriculum. These five strands combine science and technology: Life Systems, Matter and Materials, Energy and Control, Structures and Mechanisms, Earth and Space Systems.

Achievement levels are based on the three goals of science and technology education, and also focus on communication skills.

Library Automation

The purpose of this initiative is to provide all TCDSB students access to libraries using an electronic database. Library Services is building and installing electronic databases in each elementary and secondary school. Library Pro software is provided by the Board. Automation in over one-third of the schools has been completed. Library Services also provides ongoing in-service for Teacher-Librarians in the maintenance of the databases.

Business Studies

Program Services initiated the implementation of subject specific web pages to facilitate Secondary School Reform. The Business Studies prototype will serve as the standard for other subject disciplines. The site can be accessed Here.           .
 
Central to the prototype development process was a team approach. Business heads identified the content and purpose of the site, and the final format incorporated:
 
a vision of the goal of Business Studies for Catholic students and teachers; and
direct web site links to MOET course titles, MOET strands, and other relevant topics including Careers, Post Secondary Institutions, Print Media, and Business Profiles.
 
A strong component of this web site is the e-mail feature, which allows teachers across the system to communicate with each other. This newest communication tool allows teachers and students, to be at the forefront of information technology, allowing immediate access to current educational resources for all participants and enhancing the quality of students’ learning.
 
STUDENT AND PROGRAM ASSESSMENT

The New Provincial Report Card

The New Provincial Report Card was implemented in all elementary schools in the fall of 1998. Early in the fall, Program Services began to in-service principals on the report card’s four achievement levels. Principals, in turn, began in-servicing their own staff. To assist with the process, Program Services produced guidelines to address specific issues for schools. A pamphlet was developed to assist parents in interpreting the new report card. A section entitled Religious and Family Life Education was positioned at the beginning of the report card to underscore the centrality of religious values and beliefs in Catholic education.

EQAO Provincial Grade Three Tests

Provincial Grade 3 math test results improved dramatically this year. Thirty-three TCDSB elementary schools whose students had scored below the provincial standard in last year’s round of assessment showed improved results this year. A preliminary report on 1998 EQAO Grade 3 test results shows that 77.7 per cent of TCDSB students tested in those schools in 1998 surpassed, achieved or were approaching provincial expectations, compared to 55 per cent of students tested in 1997.

Last year, the Board reviewed the findings of the 1997 provincial tests and approved additional funds to purchase new math textbooks and materials. School superintendents worked with principals and their staff to develop math specific action plans, including the in-servicing of teachers on the new math program and implementing math-tutoring programs for students.

Province-wide Grade 3 tests in reading, writing and mathematics were administered to about 131,000 students in 3,300 Ontario schools over five days last May.

Of the nearly 7,000 TCDSB students who took the provincial tests, 54 per cent reached levels three or four in writing, 48 per cent in reading and 43 per cent in mathematics. Level three identifies a high level of achievement of the provincial expectations. When level two, considered to be approaching this high level, is added to those scores, 92 per cent of TCDSB students met or came close to provincial expectations in writing, 84 per cent in reading and 84 per cent in mathematics.

Schools shared their results and relevant contextual information with their school communities. A central action plan was developed for the system and local school action plans will be created and shared with school communities by February 1, 1999.
 
SPECIAL SERVICES INITIATIVES

Review of Special Education Programs/Services

All school boards are required to conduct a comprehensive review of Special Education Programs and Services and report to the Ministry by May 15th, 1999. A steering committee and a working committee were established to coordinate this task, with members including school administration and teaching staff, parents and Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) members.
The committee developed comprehensive surveys for parents, students and staff concerning the provision of special education programs and services. In addition, focus groups will be conducted to gather more in-depth feedback.
Changes to the Special Education Funding Model

On March 25, 1998, the Minister of Education and Training announced a new student-focussed approach to provide Special Education funding, and to ensure students’ needs are identified and addressed in a consistent manner across the Province of Ontario.

The Special Education Grant provides school boards with two types of funding. The Special Education Per Pupil Amount (SEPPA) is based on a Board’s total enrolment and is for programs that address relatively common exceptionalities that do not require a high level of financial support for an individual student. The Intensive Support Amount (ISA) is provided for students who require high-cost specialized programs and services. Grants are generated according to individual levels of student need and funding will stay with the students if they move to another part of the province.
 
The ISA funding approval has enabled the Board to provide additional equipment and support staff for exceptional students with intense needs.

Identification Placement and Review

Regulation 181 replaces Regulation 305 and outlines the requirements for Identification Placement and Review Committee (IPRC). The intent of these changes is to make the IPRC more user friendly for parents and older pupils, to clarify processes and responsibilities and to provide the content of Individual Education Plan (IEP).
Staff were in-serviced on the changes contained in Regulation 181 and continued in-service on the preparation of IEPs will take place for special education staff.

Parent Guide to Special Education
 
The Parent Guide outlining Special Education programs and services offered in the TCDSB is being revised and expanded. The Guide will include a comprehensive outline of the duties and responsibilities of IPRCs, the rights and responsibilities of parents in the IPRC process, names and addresses of provincial and demonstration schools, and the names of local parent organizations eligible to be on SEAC.
 
The Parent Guide will be available in alternate formats upon request (i.e. Braille, Large Print or audiocassette format).

Crisis Management/Physical Restraint Training
 
In-service in crisis management and physical restraint training was offered throughout the year at both the elementary and secondary levels. A video highlighting Board policies and practices in the area of crisis management is currently in production.
 
Speech and Language Videos and Resource Guides

The Speech and Language Department prepared a video and resource guide, entitled Let’s Talk…About AAC, explaining how teachers and parents can help non-verbal children develop articulation skills.

A support document, Animating Language and Literacy, was developed in collaboration with the Curriculum Department to enhance the development of phonological awareness and early literacy skills.

The annual department newsletter, Let’s Talk, was distributed to parents and teachers of children in the primary grades as well as to teachers and parents of children in Special Education.

A video focusing on ways to support students with Autism/PDD is in production. Also underway are resource guides to support students with language impairments and students with minimal hearing loss.

Kindergarten Language Program

The Kindergarten Language Program is in its third year. This early intervention program provides intensive assistance to groups of senior kindergarten students who experience difficulties with speech and/or language development. The program is based at St. Charles Garnier Catholic School and provides assistance to 32 children. Research results from the first year of the program have been analyzed with very positive findings.
 
Early Literacy

The Toronto Catholic District School Board celebrated Catholic Education Week with an important message for parents and caregivers: Read with your child. A number of schools invited celebrity readers, including Ontario Lieutenant-Governor Hilary Weston, elected officials and local media to visit the school and share a book with kindergarten to Grade 3 students.

To help parents encourage reading, the TCDSB has developed a video, entitled Ready… Set… Read! The three-part video emphasizes opportunities for literacy activities in the home, promotes oral story-telling as a way to enhance language skills, and recommends paired reading as a method of reading practice. The 15-minute video is available to parents in five languages – English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic and Cantonese – through public libraries, or directly from the TCDSB.
 
Tip sheets which summarize ways parents can prepare their child for reading success are available at all TCDSB elementary schools and on the TCDSB’s web site at www.tcdsb.org , under Communications, Special Bulletin.

Co-operative Program in Psychology

During the last school year, 26 Grade 12 and OAC students completed a one semester co-operative placement in the Psychology Department. The students faced challenging and rewarding assignments as they provided one-to-one tutoring support to young learners. Co-operative opportunities will be offered again this year.

Violence Prevention Curriculum Pilot

Two TCDSB secondary schools participated in a program to include violence prevention as part of the curriculum. An American program was adapted to reflect the needs of Toronto students. Feedback from students and secondary school staff was positive. This program is now available for use in other TCDSB secondary schools.

Attentional Deficit Disorder

Psychology staff were in-serviced and provided with extensive resource material on Attentional Deficit Disorder (ADD). They are now able to offer useful information to parents. In addition, information is now available to assist teachers in meeting the learning needs of students with attentional difficulties.

Special Education Courses for Teachers

The Board has again offered School Based Support Teacher Courses at both the Basic and Specialist levels for teachers. These courses run during the month of August and on Wednesday evenings during the regular school year. Over 70 teachers are enrolled in the 1998-99 school year and have opportunities to share their expertise in special education and learn from specialists in the field. The courses also provide the foundation for teachers wishing to assume assessment and programming positions in both elementary and secondary panels.

Continuing Education Highlights

Adult Education programs received funding from the MOET and from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The programs spanned a variety of profiles and delivery modules: English as a Second Language, Literacy and Basic Skills, Citizenship Preparation and a host of employment related programs including computers, job search, Business English and sector specific language training.

New revenue generating initiatives were developed including driver education, computer training and an English immersion program for visitors to Canada and visa students.

In August 1998, the Immigration Settlement Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Canada called for proposals from all Ontario adult program deliverers to develop an Ontario-wide curriculum for Language Instruction to Newcomers to Canada (L.I.N.C.) Levels 4 and 5. In November, the Adult Education program of TCDSB was awarded the contract for the project. Its mandate is to create an integrated language and computer skills curriculum based on the Canadian Language Benchmarks, to be used in all adult programs in the province.

The Continuing Education Department will deliver the federally funded L.I.N.C. program in two new centres located at 2299 Dundas Street West and at 5555 Dundas Street West. These centres replace seven classrooms previously located in facilities owned by the Basilian Fathers at the former location of Michael Power/St. Joseph Catholic Secondary School.

Program information, registration procedures and co-sponsoring partner information can be accessed in the Adult Basic Education website Here.

International Languages Program

The International Languages Program, offered as part of the regular school day, Extended Day Model, and after school, has strong support from the cultural communities within the Board. Over 32,000 elementary school students are studying 23 languages.

The curriculum for International Languages (Italian, Portuguese and Spanish) has been adapted to mirror the Board’s Balanced Literacy Initiatives, focusing on early literacy in first and second languages, both at home and in school. This was a co-operative effort, actively involving the family, the regular school teacher, the international language instructor, and Research and Community Relations Departments.
 
Community Relations Department
 
Community Relations staff continue to respond to student needs as identified in the First Duty report. Approximately 6,000 students benefit from programs including Child Care, Breakfast and Nutrition Programs, Family Resource Centres, Tiny Tot Programs, Nursery Schools, Before and After School Programs and other community based initiatives.
 
The Directory of Interpreters is being revised and will be made available through the Board’s Exchange e-mail system early in 1999.

Resource materials were developed in different languages in response to community needs in pre-school literacy and to support new immigrants. International Languages (elementary) instructors are currently implementing these resources.

Social Work Services

The need for school Social Work Services has dramatically increased over the last year due to increasing social and economic pressures. In addition to the direct services provided by social workers, the staff is involved in special initiatives, which include:

continuing the MOET funded school based services project Violence against Women in partnership with the Etobicoke Children’s Centre, Women’s Habitat and the Toronto District School Board (Etobicoke area). This project raises the awareness of family violence, assists children who are witnesses to violence in their homes and teaches students non-violent ways to resolve conflict;
assisting schools in delivering violence prevention programs such as bullyproofing, healthy dating relationships, and anger management groups;

in-servicing school staff on the new Risk Assessment Model for identifying suspected child abuse;
updating TCDSB procedures and guidelines for reporting suspected child abuse to reflect the proposed amendments to the Child and Family Services Act (Projected date of April 1999);

providing teacher training and assisting with the implementation of the child abuse prevention program I’m a Great Kid for Grades 4, 5and 6. This primary prevention program includes a video and teaching materials for the classroom. The program includes such as topics as self-esteem, respecting differences, communication skills, touching, making choices and how and where to get help;

collaborating with Catholic agencies and parishes across Toronto in a Parish Social Ministry project to coordinate and network community and social services resources in order to reach all families in our faith community; and

working with three of the schools who have received MOET funding from the Learning Opportunities Grant to provide concentrated social work services to assist students and families who are seriously affected by socio-economic factors.

Gifted Education Initiatives

The Gifted Program embarked on a series of initiatives and activities designed to give students the opportunity to meet their peers and exchange ideas.

A pilot project to help identify non-traditional potentially gifted students is operating in nine schools. The first group of students was enrolled in the Gifted Program in September/October 1996. A second group from eight pilot schools, was placed in September 1997. After re-evaluating the program, the pilot project may be expanded to address further needs in the 1998-99 school year.
 
In May, TCDSB hosted the second annual conference for gifted elementary students, entitled Journey of Discovery, at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. Over 1,200 elementary students from TCDSB and surrounding boards took part in the conference, attended workshops ranging from Atoms to Building a Multi-Cultural Mosaic.

In September, over 400 parents of new students enrolled in the Gifted Program attended an information meeting.

This year the TCDSB will be hosting the provincial competition Odyssey of the Mind. This is the first time that this competition will be hosted in the GTA. Last year, five teams from St. Rose of Lima Catholic School represented the province in the world finals and the TCDSB technology team set an Ontario record for the best strength to weight ratio in a Balsa Wood Building Competition.

In the secondary panel, Separate School United Nations Assembly (SSUNA) was held in March. The Board hosted last June, a teacher conference, organized by Educators of the Gifted of Ontario. Many of our teachers had the opportunity to meet, discuss and share ideas with their counterparts in coterminous Boards.
A conference for secondary school students is planned for February and another SSUNA will be held in March.

SYSTEM INITIATIVES/STAFF DEVELOPMENT

Leadership in Catholic Schools Program

The System Initiatives/Staff Development Department, and other TCDSB partners, are developing a comprehensive program to support current and future Catholic school leaders. Four series are being developed:
 
Foundation Series: A program for teachers who are in the process of exploring Catholic School leadership. This program will be of interest to those who are interested in the position of vice-principal.
Issues Series: A program for newly appointed vice-principals, or for those on the short-list.
Succession Series: A program for newly appointed principals.
Renewal Series: A program for experienced principals who desire refresher programs.

System Accountability

System Accountability was identified as a project priority for 1998/99, which will enable the Board to continue to create, provide and maintain an excellent Catholic school system for faith development, learning and continuous improvement.

Accountability is defined as a process for bringing together planning, assessment, and reporting to stakeholders visible and objective evidence of performance. The Board continued to serve the Catholic community with a framework of system accountability based on ongoing program review, comprehensive resources allocation, professional development, public accountability and partnerships with the Catholic community (i.e. school councils).

System initiatives such as Balanced Literacy provided an excellent model to address the issue of assessment and accountability in terms of the implementation strategies and the monitoring of measurable goals. The process of accurate data gathering, the professional implementation of the delivery model and capacity of the system to improve literacy skills created an excellent model for the system.

Summer Institutes

A variety of professional development opportunities were offered to academic and support staff during the summer of 1998. The Summer Institute program was expanded and had wide appeal to board employees. Workshops focused on both classroom and personnel issues. It is anticipated that additional workshops will be provided during the summer of 1999.

Conflict Management/Affirmative Action

Further revisions were made to the Sexual Harassment Policy and Guidelines for Employees. A Sexual Harassment Policy and Guidelines for Students was developed and forwarded to TCDSB associations and union representatives for comment. A program on Sexual Harassment designed for Intermediate level students was piloted in nine schools and is now available in final form.

Conflict Resolution Policy and Pilot Guidelines were distributed to all TCDSB schools. St. Stephen’s Community House provided training for 16 facilitators, who upon request, will assist in bringing disputes to resolution.

Crisis Intervention and Prevention Workshops were offered to the 14 schools who had requested the seminars. Four secondary schools participated in a Diversionary Peer Mediation Pilot Program.

Race and Ethnic Relations Multiculturalism

The System Initiative/Staff Development Department continues the Five-Year Implementation Plan according to the Board’s policy on Antiracism and Ethnocultural Equity. The process includes a Leadership Course on Race and Ethnic Relations, the Advisory Group on Race and Ethnic Relations, as well as outreach to various work sites, and addresses the needs of students, staff, parents and teacher candidates in the area of cross-cultural education.

Program additions including Understanding Our Cultural Mosaic and Race Relations Leadership are specifically designed to promote harmony and awareness of the diversity within TCDSB and the City of Toronto.

The Catholic Teachers’ Centre

This year schools were offered the option of choosing their own Faith Development Day, and because of this option, the Catholic Teachers’ Centre was able to service more schools this year than previously. Faith Development Days offered opportunities for staff to gather as faith communities, reflect on their mission and ministry and celebrate the presence of God in school communities.

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS ADVISORY COUNCILS
 
Catholic School Advisory Councils enjoyed a second successful year. Best practices were shared among councils. On-site support and training continued to be a focus during the 1998-1999 school year, and additional training sessions are planned for the future.

NEW WEB SITE

The Toronto Catholic District School Board launched its new web site on September 15, 1998. Approximately 20,000 users visited the site at www.tcdsb.org during the last three months of the year, accessing information about schools, programs and services offered by TCDSB, as well as the latest news from the Board. The new web site is more user-friendly and has been expanded to include a section on assessment and testing (featuring the results from last spring's EQAO testing), and features easy access to TCDSB's Policy Register and lists of schools offering child care, French immersion, gifted programs and other special programs and services. A number of schools and departments have created their own individual web sites or web pages, which can be easily accessed through the Board site. Additional sites are currently under development.
 
ADMINISTRATIVE AND CORPORATE INITIATIVES

Education Quality Improvement Act

The Education Quality Improvement Act (Bill 160) received Royal Assent on December 8, 1997. Through the early months of 1998 staff held information sessions throughout the city on the content and impact of the Bill for the TCDSB school communities. The Board reviewed various matters relating to the new Bill including fiscal responsibilities of the Board and its Officers, constitutional requirement to set a mill rate and the right of Catholic school boards to tax. Staff prepared and followed through on a full Bill 160 implementation checklist.

Many regulations evolving from the passage of Bill 160 were key issues in 1998. These issues included pupil representation on boards, electronic meetings, new SEAC membership rules, class size, instructional time, board names and a host of grant and finance regulations.

Fewer School Boards Act

Following the passage of Bill 104, The Fewer School Boards Act in 1997, the Education Improvement Commission (E.I.C.) issued two major directives for the transfer of assets and liabilities between Designated and Supported District School Boards, and for the transfer of employees. Work was undertaken by TCDSB Corporate Services, Research and Finance Departments to implement the transfers between TCDSB (Board 40) and Conseil scolaire de district catholique 64 by August 31, 1998. The transfer of six French-language elementary schools and one secondary school, and the portions of assets and liabilities required by regulation was approved by the Board in June 1998, along with the transfer of all school-based French-language employees pursuant to the E.I.C. directives and policy memoranda.

Student-Focused Funding

The Board of Trustees and staff received technical papers for the student-focused funding in March and June of 1998. Using these documents, in conjunction with MOET briefings, Trustees and staff conducted an exhaustive review of the Board’s financial position using projected grant calculations and expenditure levels based on 1997 and 1998 short-year experience. Major issues were highlighted in June and July and included shortfalls in the Board administration and governance envelope, school secretaries envelope, school operations, transportation, continuing education and international languages programs.

By working closely with Ministry officials, progress has been made in addressing funding concerns around prior year’s deficits, debt charges, school lease costs, capital grants for new pupil places, and renovations and transportation. However, funding levels remain a serious concern.
 
Restructuring

Due to the new student-focused funding model, initiated in 1998, the Board identified several areas where restructuring and cost-reduction would be required. A review of school operations and maintenance, and a restructuring of the maintenance model resulted in a reduction of caretaking staff, facilitated through a voluntary exit plan made available to all caretaking staff. One hundred and thirty one caretaking staff voluntarily left the Board and severance costs associated with this initiative were funded in part from an amount received under the MOET’s School Board Restructuring Fund (SBRF) severance allocation of $9.2 million.

In September and October of 1998, the Board conducted a review of the administration and governance funding envelope and of the shortfall identified as a result of the new funding model. The Board, assisted by an external consulting firm, is restructuring a number of administrative areas. Reductions were made in school secretarial support, curriculum support units, administrative support, Catholic Education Centre (CEC) administrative management and secretarial/clerical support. The Board facilitated these reductions by offering a voluntary exit plan and approved voluntary exits for 98 positions, most of which were effective December 31, 1998 and funded in part through the SBRF severance allocation.
 
The Board issued a request for proposals for all printing services and is in the process of closing the four curriculum support units administrative facilities. Professional support staff such as psychologists and social workers will work out of school locations. The Board is investigating the possibility of allocating up to 25 per cent of the CEC head office as school space for Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts.

School Board Restructuring Fund

In April 1998 the Board made application under the School Board Restructuring Fund, to support a number of major projects focusing on technological issues as well as improved efficiency in both schools and administrative offices.
The Board qualified to receive an allocation of $19.6 million for nine projects. Approved projects include a student information system, a human resource/payroll management system, a financial information system, a wide-area network, and new telephone, electronic mail and messaging systems. Implementation began in 1998 and will be completed in 1999.

Catholic School Boards’ Services Association

During the summer and fall of 1998 final arrangements were made for the establishment of the Catholic School Boards’ Services Association (CSBSA). The CSBSA is a non-profit organization formed by six Greater-Toronto Area and Southern-Ontario Catholic School Boards including TCDSB. The Association’s objectives are the development, support, implementation and advancement of educational and training programs and innovative projects, which will promote publicly-funded Catholic education.

Through sharing and joint-project development, the CSBSA hopes to realize cost efficiencies and benefits for all of its member boards. Recent project reviews have included transportation services and information technology systems.
 
Government Relations

TCDSB Trustees and staff have been actively involved in maintaining communication with various Ontario and City of Toronto staff and elected officials regarding issues of importance for all school communities. An ongoing series of consultations related to funding issues with the MOET has proven to be beneficial to the Board. Senior staff served on a number of Ministry committees and have provided valuable input in the areas of pupil accommodation, pupil transportation, special education and various curriculum areas.

Teachers’ Contract Negotiations

Under Bill 160, the Education Quality Improvement Act, all teachers’ contracts in the Province of Ontario expired on August 31, 1998.
Negotiations between the Toronto Catholic District School Board and the Toronto Secondary Unit (TSU) of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association ended without an agreement. TCDSB schools were closed to teachers and students for fifteen days in September.

The Back to School Legislation (Bill 62), enacted by the Province on September 28, 1998, resulted in an end to all strikes and lockouts in the province, and allowed for the reopening of schools.

A mediator-arbitrator was appointed to settle the collective agreement between the TCDSB and its secondary school teachers.

At time of writing, negotiations continued between TCDSB and the Toronto Elementary Unit of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association.

Transportation for Exceptional Circumstances

The Ministry of Education and Training provided additional funding of $592,000 for transportation to TCDSB to compensate for the reduced number of professional activity days. The Board approved the reinstatement of up to 14 school buses required to accommodate exceptional circumstances transportation for elementary students, a service which had been originally cut from the interim budget in June of 1998. The additional funding allowed the Board to reinstate some exceptional circumstances transportation for secondary students in the form of TTC tickets.
 
Hot Lunch Pilot Program

The Board approved the use of the family studies classroom at D’Arcy McGee Catholic School for a pilot program involving the preparation of hot lunches for surrounding elementary schools. The hot lunch program is designed to generate revenue for the participating schools through corporate sponsorship and commission of sales. The program may be expanded to other interested schools within TCDSB.

POLICY INITIATIVES

Student Trustee Policy

The Board approved a new Student Trustee Policy, and Caroline Chuang was appointed as student trustee at the June Board meeting. Caroline will serve a one-year term effective September 1, 1998. The student trustee’s main responsibilities are to provide a student voice on the TCDSB and to inform the student body at large by maintaining contact with the Toronto Inter-Board Council of Ontario Catholic Student Council Federation.

Review of Permit Guidelines

As a result of changes in the funding model the TCDSB must operate the permits function as a full-cost recovery operation. A committee comprising staff from the Planning and Facilities Department, principals from elementary and secondary schools, and CUPE 1280 custodial staff, established draft guidelines with respect to the Board’s permit policy.

Violence Prevention Policy

The Special Services Department is currently reviewing the TCDSB’s Violence Prevention Policy with a particular focus on staff development needs of all schools on the Board’s policy and practice on violence prevention, and on developing partnerships with the Toronto Police Force.

Admission of Non-Resident Students

Trustees approved revisions to the Board policy concerning fees levied on non-residents. Effective September 1998, Catholic parents residing outside of the City of Toronto no longer pay tuition fees to send their children to TCDSB schools. Fees charged to out-of-province and international students remain unchanged.

Certain restrictions apply to the new board policy, including: parents must be able to direct their taxes to their home Catholic Board, students must be baptized Catholic, and schools must maintain limited class size as specified in the provincial government’s new funding model.

RESPONSE TO RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING THE DEATH OF KENNETH AU-YEUNG

On August 20, 1998, the Board passed an important resolution regarding the tragic death of St. Michael’s Choir School student Kenneth Au-Yeung in December 1997. His death was a painful loss to our community and the Board is committed to taking whatever actions are possible to prevent future tragedies of this kind.

In addition to expressing sincere condolences to Kenneth Au-Yeung’s family, the resolution passed by the Board confirms that the principal’s actions immediately prior to and after Kenneth Au-Yeung’s death were consistent with, and in accordance with, the current policies of the Board.

Three separate investigations were carried out to review the circumstances surrounding the death and to try to answer the troubling questions it raised. One was initiated by the Board, the second was the Coroner’s Inquest, and the third was carried out by the Internal Affairs Department of the Toronto Police.

In July the Coroner’s Inquest made 23 recommendations, including several directed specifically to the TCDSB and St. Michael’s Choir School. Justice Holden’s report was submitted to the Board on August 7, with 11 recommendations.
Two senior staff were appointed to head task forces in response to the recommendations of both these investigations with reports due back to the Board.

PLANNING AND FACILITIES INITIATIVES

School Accommodation Review

The Board revised its School Accommodation Review Policy to comply with MOET timelines and criteria for determining which schools shall be reviewed for consolidation or closure. Responding to active lobbying by Trustees, staff and parents, the government removed the December 31, 1998 deadline for school boards to declare excess capacity and qualify for new pupil places grants.

A School Accommodation Review Committee (SARC) was established at each of the 29 schools being considered for closure, co-chaired by the principal and the Catholic School Advisory Council Chair. The SARCs reported to the Board. Schools faced with closure will remain open until at least June 30 of the year 2000.

This spring, the Board will develop a strategic plan on accommodation, which will reflect the findings of the SARCs. The Board will look at utilizing existing facilities more efficiently through the realignment of school boundaries, redirection of pupils and the elimination of unnecessary portables, as well as other space utilization opportunities. This will allow the Board to maximize the use of space, reduce operating costs, and minimize the need to close schools.

School Operations, Maintenance and Renewal

The MOET announced that the TCDSB would receive grants for new pupil places of approximately $50 million over the next three years for the construction of new buildings, renovations to existing schools and for leases of school buildings.
The Ministry has agreed to fund leases for school facilities for the 1998-1999 school year in the amount of $4.2 million. Starting in the 1999-2000 year, subject to stable or increasing secondary enrolment, the TCDSB will receive $21 million per year over the next 25 years for leases and for the construction of new or expanded secondary schools.

TCDSB will receive about $56 million annually in grants for operations of its schools as well as a grant of approximately $10 million for school renewal. The announcement of a top-up grant for operations for those schools which are operating under capacity means an additional $7.2 million dollars for the operation, maintenance and renewal of TCDSB schools.
The Board is working with the MOET to correct school capacity data and continues to push to have many older facilities declared obsolete in order to qualify for new pupil places grants. If the Board is successful this will enable the Board to repair and replace obsolete buildings with high quality facilities while reducing future operating and maintenance costs.

Construction Projects Improve Schools
 
Marshall McLuhan Catholic Secondary School, with a focus on media studies, opened its doors to Grade 9 students in September 1998. Construction is ongoing and Grades 9 and 10 students will be accommodated in renovated facilities in September 1999.
St. Gregory Catholic School, 126 Rathburn Road, Etobicoke, a three-storey replacement building includes 21 classrooms, five specialty rooms and a unified arts centre including a computer lab.

St. Maria Goretti Catholic School, 21 Kenmark Blvd, Scarborough, a three-storey complex includes four kindergarten classes, seven specialty rooms, 23 classrooms and a lunchroom/assembly forum feature space. Construction on the addition is continuing and should be completed early in 1999.

St. Basil-the-Great Catholic Secondary School, 3100 Weston Road, North York, a two-storey facility on 16 acres of land, includes a skylit chapel, 23 classrooms, 24 specialty spaces, three communication technology labs, and a 300-seat theatre complex for both program and community use. Construction is scheduled for completion in June 1999.

Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School, 3200 Kennedy Road, Scarborough, celebrated the opening of a new computer and technology wing at on November 24, 1998. The process began early in 1997 with a successful bid by the Mary Ward School Community for a federal grant of $300,000 from the Human Resources and Development Canada. TCDSB assisted with renovation of space in the basement and networking of the school. Business partners NEC and TORCOMP collaborated with the school to provide computer hardware and software.

St. Anselm Catholic School moved from its temporary facility back to its newly renovated facility on Bessborough Drive last March.

Service Quality System
 
The Planning and Facilities Superintendency undertook a reorganization of caretaking and maintenance services. The reorganization, based on the implementation of a Service Quality System, followed two fundamental principles: partnering and productivity improvement. TCDSB will enter into a partnership with a third party vendor for the provision of caretaking supplies, equipment, staffing, and inventory control.

In addition, a very important component will be the establishment of a staff training and development centre in partnership with the supplier. These initiatives will help the Board to meet the challenges of reduced government funding and an improved level of service to our schools.

The department is currently compiling a Service Quality System manual, which outlines all the components of the Service Quality System. The manual compiled in partnership with representatives from both the Elementary and Secondary Principals’ Association will be distributed to all schools in January 1999.

Energy Retrofit Program

TCDSB is reinvesting annual savings of $1.2 million from reduced energy and utility use to fund the recent retrofit of 60 schools. The savings accumulated over the next 107 months will be used to fund the $10.7 million debenture issued to fund the retrofit program. The program includes new lighting, conversion from electricity to gas heating, water conservation, and controls for environmental comfort. The Board accepted a project management proposal from Duke Solutions Canada Inc. for the retrofit. This project is nearing completion and has significantly improved the learning environment for several thousand TCDSB students.

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENTS

Alumni Tops in Technology

Anna Galea (a graduate of Pope John Paul II Catholic Secondary School) received a $250,000(US) scholarship to MIT, as well as a scholarship from the Engineering Society, which named her the most promising female engineer in Canada.
 
Karen Daniels received a $42,000(US) scholarship offer for Cognitive Gerontology at Georgia Tech University.
David Huyhn achieved the second highest mark in the Waterloo Engineering program with four perfect 100% scores in his first four courses.

Canada Wide Science Fair

TCDSB students winners at the Canada Wide Science Fair:

Luke Madej, Stephanie Martin and Phillip Kwan, students at Francis Libermann Catholic High School, won a bronze medal for the Biotechnology Section and also the Best Biomedical Experiment Award; Patrick Fong, a student at Francis Libermann, obtained an Honourable Mention for Physical Science; Desmond Ngai, student at St. Elizabeth Seaton won a silver medal in the Biotechnology Division.
 
Canadian Chess Championship
 
Nativity of Our Lord Catholic School Grade 4 student, Justin Roncal won first place in the Canadian Chess Championships (10 years and under). Justin represented Canada at the World Chess Championships in Spain.
Chess Champions

Nativity of Our Lord Catholic School’s Primary chess team placed 2nd in the Ontario-wide chess championships. Team members are Kevin Barnes, Martin Dasko, Jeff Pangilinan and Justin Roncal.
Chess Scholarships
 
Last June teachers and organizers in the Greater Toronto Area organized the first-ever chess scholarships. The 1998 Queen’s and King’s Pawn Scholars include: Justin Roncal, Nativity of Our Lord Catholic School and Jay Cormack, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School.

Concours d’art oratoire

Winners of the secondary Concours d’art oratoire at the provincial level:
Immersion–Gr. 9/10: Martin Clough, Bishop Allen Academy (2nd place)
FSL – Gr. 9/10: Stephanie Abinakle, Loretto Abbey (1st place)
Immersion – Gr. 11/OAC: Enery Bassilious-Samy, Loretto Abbey (1st place)
FSL-Gr.11/OAC: Christelle Gédéon, Loretto Abbey (2nd place)
 
Electric Vehicle International Challenge
 
Students in Marian Academy’s Electric Vehicle Program competed in the 1997 Vehicle International Challenge. The four day event included a ½ mile timed slalom course, acceleration competition, troubleshooting, and a technical inspection. Marian Academy placed 4th overall competing with 14 American schools and took 1st place in the troubleshooting competition.

Father Andrew Cuschieri Award

Father Andrew Cuschieri Awards for humanitarian efforts were presented to:
Alana Evers, Venerable John Merlini Catholic School, who over the past five years, has provided assistance at recess to students in the school’s developmentally delayed class. Her example served as inspiration to many students now involved in similar efforts.

Ying Yan Kwan, Prince of Peace Catholic School. During an outdoor education field trip last year, Ying Yan found her roommate unconscious and immediately went for help. Her quick response was instrumental in saving her friend’s life. During the many long months of convalescence, Ying Yan visited her friend in hospital providing much needed encouragement and support. She continues to be an invaluable helper now that her friend has returned to school.

Mark Hrycyna and Paul Olijnyk, St. Demetrius Catholic School, who minister to elderly residents at the Ukrainian Care Centre at St. Demetrius Community Complex. Their daily visits include visiting with residents and assisting staff in transporting residents to chapel services and other activities within the Centre. Staff and residents say the boys’ efforts have enriched the lives of many elderly residents who do not have an opportunity to visit with their grandchildren on a regular basis.

Emery Berger, Carlos Illanes, Bradley McCart, Dainius Sileika, Alex Singh, Marz Switzer and Richard Zulys, students at St. Pius X Catholic School, were witnesses to a tragic bus accident, which claimed the life of a woman. The students went into action immediately to provide emergency assistance to the victim and to her teenaged daughter who had also witnessed the tragedy.
 
Girls’ Chess Championships

St. Boniface Catholic School’s Girls’Chess Team obtained the top results in Scarborough.
 
Good Citizenship Awards
 
Renée Giesta and Brian Brigadeiro from St. Sebastian Catholic School received a "Good Citizenship Award" from Tony Ruprecht M.P.P. for Parkdale.

Intermediate W5H Results

W5H semi-final rounds results:
St. Maurice Catholic School team: Phil Ray Constantino, Daniel Vigna, Michael Kim, Luigi Dominicis, Cedric Rocha, Adrian Tomassi, Oscar Echeverri, and Elton Fernandes captured 1st place
St. Michael’s Choir School placed 2nd.
Junior W 5H Competition
St. Antoine Daniel Catholic School placed 1st and Holy Rosary Catholic School placed 2nd in the Junior W5H City Championships.

Kids Witness News Team

St. William Catholic School students participated in the Panasonic Kids Witness News program, and produced a video at Toronto Police Department, 55 Division, using the facilities to create a film about saying no to drugs.

Kiwanis Music Festival

Brebeuf College: Junior Concert Band (1st place), Stage Band (4th place), and BC Jazz Vocal (1st place)
Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts: Secondary Symphonic Band (2nd place), Saxophone Quartet (1st place), Jazz Quartet (1st place), Senior String Orchestra Open Class (1st place Best of Class), Senior String Orchestra Concerto Class (1st place), Intermediate String Orchestra (1st place Best of Class), Junior String Orchestra (1st place, Best of Class), Women’s Choir (1st place), Senior Choir (1st place), Chamber Choir (1st place, Best of Class), SSA Choir (2nd place), Junior Treble Choir (1st place), Senior Choir SATB Open Class (1st place, Best of Class, and Pepsi Award for best choir in the Kiwanis Festival);
Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School: Choir (3rd place), Band (1st place tied), Woodwind duet (1st place), Clarinet quartet (2nd place);

Nativity of Our Lord & St. Gregory Catholic Schools: Family of Schools Elementary Band (1st place).

Mathematics, Science and Technology Competition

Archbishop Romero Catholic Secondary School’s First Annual Mathematics, Science and Technology Competition finals:
Father Serra Catholic School’s team won 1st place;
Father Serra Catholic School students were awarded two gold medals;
St. Demetrius Catholic School student was awarded one gold medal;
James Culnan and All Saints Catholic Schools students received silver medals St. Bernard; Father Serra and All Saints Catholic Schools students received bronze medals.

Medal from Lieutenant Governor

St. Wilfrid Catholic School student School Safety Patroller Chrys Gonsalves received the CAA/Governor General Lifesaving medal for saving a schoolmate from a potentially fatal accident last year.

Miller Thomson Foundation Awards

Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School student Luke Devine was one of 100 winners of the Miller Thomson Foundation 1998 Scholarship valued at $1,000.

National Award

Father Henry Carr Catholic Secondary School Grade 12 student Kerry Carter has been awarded a 1998 Harry Jerome Award in Athletics. As Captain and Most Valuable Player, Kerry led the Henry Carr football program for four years.
 
National Improv Games Gold Medal

The Francis Libermann Improv team, coached by Cathy Smith, won the gold metal in the Canadian National Improv Game Finals, their second national championship in the past four years. The national champions are Natya Castaneda, Brian Faraldo, Brent Johnston, Halla Khayat, Nareg Kutyan, Russell Rosos, Paulo Rubio, and Percilla Rubio.

National Scholar to Pursue Engineering

Pope John Paul II Catholic Secondary School OAC student Heru Riwanto, was named 1998 University of Toronto National Scholar. Heru will receive $48,000 over four years to assist in his studies.

Odyssey of the Mind World Finals

Five teams from St. Rose of Lima Catholic School Gifted Program comprising 29 students from twelve TCDSB school represented Ontario in the 19th annual Odyssey of the Mind World Finals. The program challenges students to apply their imaginations and ingenuity in contests that stress creativity, teamwork and problem solving. Seven hundred and eighty teams from 22 countries competed during the four-day tournament. Two TCDSB teams placed 8th overall and one placed 11th overall in the World Finals.
Team members are: Amanda Wetmore, Colin Breen, Justin Couture, Sabina Martyn and Liza Batenga from St. Brendan Catholic School; Magdalene Lugowski, Aaron Ablona and Michael O’Shaughnessey from St. Ursula Catholic School; Amy Allicock and ErinMae Sampang from St. Rose of Lima Catholic School; Jeffery Bogue, Megan Shrubsole and Elizabeth Robinson from St. Nicholas Catholic School; Tiffany Ngai and Kara Vitullo from St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic School; Ann Marie Winkler and Theresa McGee from St. Malachy Catholic School; Devina De Silva from St. Martin de Porres Catholic School; Ian Barbeito, Kathlyn Gan, Elizabeth Jackman, Raymond Siochi and Jacqueline Smith from Cardinal Léger Catholic School; Kimberly Bethke from St. Thomas More Catholic School; Eva Ng from St. Lawrence Catholic School; Anna Marie Bernard, Shawna Powell and Joanna Gidziela from St. Boniface Catholic School; and Jeanette Tresidder from St. Richard Catholic School.

Ontario Business Education Association Accounting Contest

The 1998 OBEA Accounting Contest winners are: Sonia Gomes (1st) and Loretta Ing (2nd), in the OAC Accounting contest, and Andrea Guerin, 3rd in the Grade 11 Advanced Accounting contest.

Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship

Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School student Craig Kielburger received the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship.

Paul Harris Scholarships

Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School student Catherine Febria, and Francis Libermann Catholic Secondary School student Albert Kwan were among four high school students presented with the Rotary Club of North Scarborough’s Paul Harris Scholarship which awards $1,000 towards post-secondary education.
 
Peace Poster Contest

Sonia Hong, a student at St. Aidan Catholic School, won two local "Peace Poster" competitions sponsored by the Toronto Kaiteur Lions Club.

Poster Contest Winners

Brebeuf College School student Desmond Shum won the TCDSB’s Occupational Health and Safety Department poster contest. Jharangi Pongaiam from Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School placed second.
 
Professional Engineers of Ontario Scholarship

St. Joseph Morrow Park Catholic Secondary School student Jessica Law was one of two recipients of the Professional Engineers of Ontario Scholarship, Willowdale-Thornhill Chapter.

Queen’s Chancellor’s Scholarship

Aneta Ratynska from Senator O’ Connor College School has been awarded the Queen’s Chancellor’s Scholarship in the amount of $26,000 and a Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation Award for academic excellence during the 1997-98 school year, completing her secondary school studies with a final average of 99 per cent in five OAC subjects – calculus, finite mathematics, algebra and geometry, economics, and Families and Canadian society. Her final average, which includes 100 per cent in algebra and geometry, was the highest average attained by a TCDSB secondary school student for the 1997-98 school year.
 
Sister Mary Hamilton Award

Amanda Tabar, a student at St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic School was presented the Sister Mary Hamilton Award for exceptional students in recognition of her volunteer work as a kindergarten monitor.

Sarah Mair, a student at St. Joseph’s Morrow Park Catholic Secondary School was recognized for her contribution to the life and character of her school. A member of the student government, Sarah has taken a leadership role in the school musical, fashion show and international day celebrations. She devotes time to work with the elderly, and participated in a summer mentorship program at the University of Toronto’s Health Science faculty.

Students Score in Mathematics

Fourth Annual Father Redmond Math Contest winners:
Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School (1st place); Brebeuf College (2nd place); Father Redmond (3rd place); Senator O’Connor (4th place); Loretto Abbey 5th place
Individual winners: Christopher So, Francis Libermann—1st; Nitin Gonsalves, Francis Libermann—2nd; Samuel Wong, Mary Ward—3rd; Nigel Rodrigues, Monsignor Johnson—4th ; Janice Lam, Mary Ward—5th .
 
Toronto Police Student Peace Award

For the second year in a row, St. Paschal Baylon Catholic School students were presented with a Peace Award for their peacemaking initiatives, by the Toronto Police Department at the April Toronto Peace and Anti-Racism Resource Fair. Forty-three students were trained in a three-day conflict management program. They act as "Conflict Managers" during recess periods, helping other students resolve disputes by using a prescribed problem-solving process, acting as facilitators, not judges nor disciplinarians. Their role is to help fellow students examine their conflict and to agree to their own resolutions.
 
Track Stars Shine at OFSSA

Pope John Paul II Catholic Secondary School student Priscilla Lopes, broke the Ontario record for the 60-metre hurdles at the Ontario Federation of Secondary Schools Association track and field meet, and took the gold medal in the 100-metre race, and silvers in both the 80-metre hurdles and the 200-metre race. Other stars from the school included the junior boys’ 4x100 relay team : A. Harris, R. Harris, J. Chambers and Y. Robertson captured a gold medal. Rene Harris earned a silver medal in the 200-metre race, and 8th place in the 100-metre run.

Wendy’s High School Classic Achiever Canadian Winner

Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School student Meghan Marley, was selected as the Canadian winner of the Wendy’s High School Classic Achiever award. The award is a $6,000 scholarship. Meghan was also Loretto Abbey’s Athlete of the Year. The school was awarded a $1,000 grant.

Young Authors’ Awards

Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School students Katie Edwards (Grade 9) and Amanda Paxton (Grade 11) were provincial winners in the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association’s Young Authors’ Awards.
 
STAFF ACHIEVEMENTS

Certificates of Appreciation

A TCDSB Certificate of Appreciation was awarded to the Congregation of Christian Brothers for their partnership in the founding and administration of Brother Edmund Rice Catholic Secondary School.

Prime Minister’s Award

Sharon Davis is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence. Davis teaches at St. Gregory Catholic School in Etobicoke. The school receives a cash prize of $1,000, which will be used for professional development, equipment, and teaching material.

Teacher of the Year

Shirley La Rouche, a TCDSB Assessment and Programming teacher, was honoured by the Council for Exceptional Children, Chapter 56, as "Teacher of the Year" for her work with exceptional children. Ms. La Rouche received a certificate of appreciation at the annual general meeting for the Council for Exceptional Children.
 
Teacher Receives Reading Award

Brenda Stewart, Grade One teacher at St. Boniface Catholic School, was chosen to receive the Scarborough East York Reading Association Award. This award recognizes the significant contributions Ms Stewart has made in the field of literacy.

Top of the Class Awards

Three TCDSB outstanding educators were honoured at the Top of the Class Awards Banquet at EduTec. Laila Sisca, Program Coordinator at the North Curriculum Support Unit, Lorenzo Rossi, teacher at Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts, and Bob Tone, teacher at Francis Libermann Catholic Secondary School were recognized for their dedication, leadership and accomplishments in the integration of information technology in the learning environment.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM SCHOOLS

Ice Storm Relief

TCDSB students, staff and parents went into immediate action to assist victims of the 1998 devastating ice storm. Collective fund raising efforts totalled approximately $6,000. Schools participating in ice storm relief efforts included:

All Saints Catholic School
Bishop Allen Academy
Holy Cross Catholic School
Holy Spirit Catholic School
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School
St. Agnes Catholic School
St. Conrad Catholic School
St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic School
St. Joseph Morrow Park Catholic School
St. Pascal Babylon Catholic School
St. Sylvester Catholic School
Stella Maris Catholic School
Spirit of Christmas

Students and staff of the following schools demonstrated the true spirit of Christmas by raising over $1,200 for needy families and sick children:

Michael Power/St. Joseph Catholic Secondary School
Our Lady of Assumption Catholic School
Our Lady of Good Counsel School
St. Florence Catholic School
St. Francis Xavier Catholic School
School and Community Help Family
Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School staff, students, and the local community collected food and clothing and in two days raised $1,600 to help one of their families that lost most of its possessions in a fire just before Christmas.
 
Starve-a-Thon Successes
 
Pope John Paul II Catholic Secondary School annual Starve-a-Thon raised over $2,100 for the Good Shepherd Refuge.
Regina Pacis Catholic Secondary students’ 24 hour famine raised $400 for Street Haven, a shelter for homeless women.
 
Food drive
 
Over Thanksgiving, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School students’ food drive collected non-perishable food items for the Our Lady of Lourdes Food Bank.

Lenten Projects

St. Francis de Sales Catholic School staff and students demonstrated their commitment during the season of Lent by visiting the elderly and sick at Yorkview Lifecare Centre, donating food for needy families in El Salvador and other countries served by Dr. Simone’s Canadian Food for Children organization and helping to pack containers for shipment to needy families overseas.

Helping Homeless with Transportation Needs

Neil McNeil, Dante Alighieri Academy, St. Joseph College and Notre Dame Catholic Schools participated in the Ticket to Ride campaign to provide transportation money for homeless people.
 
School Ranks First by Terry Fox Foundation

Cardinal Léger Catholic School ranks first on the Terry Fox Foundation 1997 Top 20 list of Ontario elementary schools for total revenue. The top 20 elementary and top 20 secondary schools surpassed the 1997 school revenue target of $1.7 million for cancer research.

SCHOOL ANNIVERSARIES

75th anniversary
St. Matthew Catholic School
25th anniversary
Holy Redeemer Catholic School
Senhor Santo Cristo Catholic School
St. Aidan Catholic School
St. Angela Catholic School
St. Charles Garnier Catholic School
St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic School
Stella Maris Catholic School

1998 SHORT YEAR BUDGET

Change in Fiscal Year

In preparation for the new fiscal year, this year’s budget period or short year budget runs from January 1, 1998 to August 31, 1998. The Fiscal Year of all school boards in the province of Ontario has been changed to match the school year. The new fiscal year is from September 1, 1998 to August 31, 1999.

Change in Funding
At the end of 1997 the Ministry of Education and Training, with the introduction of Bill 160, changed the way school boards were funded. Under the new system the TCDSB can no longer determine the amount of taxes it will receive from the City of Toronto. The MOET set the tax rates for education in the City of Toronto. The Ministry determined that for the short year all school boards would receive 62% of 1997’s Grant & Taxes.
 
The Trustees of the TCDSB were provided with a 1998 short year budget update on June 15, 1998 based on the MOET’s revenue guarantee of 62% of 1997’s actual revenue. The update indicated a budget expenditure of $433 million while the revenues were $427 million, indicating a projected deficit of $5.7 million.

During July and August 1998, a Ministry of Education and Training team conducted a review of financial data relating to TCDSB’s 1998 short year, the 1998/99 fiscal year and funding issues and opportunities. The final report arising from this review was issued on November 27, 1998. At the time of writing, the 1998 short year deficit was projected at $10.4 million. Significant factors contributing to the shortfall are $0.9 million for debt service costs, $4.6 million in retirement gratuity and severance payments for the caretaker and administration groups, in excess of amounts funded by the Ministry, $2.3 million in Year 2000 computer system conversion costs; $1.9 million shortfall in the funding of teacher retirement gratuities, and $0.7 million for the teachers’ social contract arbitration award.