Spotlight May 24


May 24, 2016

2016-2017 Meeting Dates Approved

During the May 24 Board Meeting, the Board approved the meeting dates for the 23016-2017 academic year.

The approved 2016-2017 School Year calendar, which includes meeting dates, is available here.

2016-2017 Annual Budget Approved

After months of working diligently to ensure Niagara Catholic’s cost structure is aligned with the Board’s estimated 2016-2017 Ministry revenue, on May 24, Trustees approved the 2016-2017 Annual Budget, which is balanced without the use of prior year surplus funds.

The 2016-2017 Annual Budget is set at $254,053,854, an increase of $211,000 over 2015-2016.

In March, the Ministry of Education announced funding for the 2016-2017 school year. This includes a 1.25 per cent increase for salaries, a result of the central labour agreements within the province.

Keeping this, an estimated decline in enrollment of 426 students for 2016-2017, and the two per cent benchmark for School Operations Allocation in mind, Senior Administrative Council presented a budget which addresses these issues and accomplishes the expectations of the Vision 2020 Strategic Plan.

The Report on the 2016-2017 Balanced Board Budget is available in the May 24 Board Meeting agenda. The complete 2016-2017 Budget Book will be made available online shortly.

Board Supports Niagara Catholic Athletic Association 

NCAADuring the May 24 Board Meeting, Trustees endorsed a report presented by Superintendent of Education Mark Lefebvre, and Niagara Catholic Health and Physical  Education, Science and Social Science Consultant Mike Sheahan which would see Niagara Catholic form its own Athletic Association.

Niagara Catholic’s eight Catholic secondary schools are part of the Southern Ontario Secondary School Athletic Association (SOSSA) and within this association, participate fully in the Niagara Regional Secondary Schools Athletic Association (NRHSAA) and are members of the Ontario Federation of Secondary School Athletics (OFSAA).

Our student-athletes compete against schools from the District School Board of Niagara, French Public and Catholic schools, private schools and independent schools.

This arrangement has proven to be challenging to Niagara Catholic schools (and student-athletes) for a variety of reasons, including being in a minority when voting on constitutional issues, the implementation of a tier system for sports (especially football) which prohibits our students from experiencing a true athletic experience and the way in which OFSAA’s transfer rules for eligibility.

A Niagara Catholic Athletic Association would be similar in scope to the way other Catholic boards in Ontario have set up their athletic programs; in particular, boards like Hamilton Catholic, London Catholic and Waterloo Catholic. If approved at the Niagara Regional level, Niagara Catholic schools would compete against each other in league play for team sports, and enter back into Zone 3 (South Niagara) and Zone 4 (North Niagara) for SOSSA qualification.

If approved, individual or single athlete sports such as Cross Country or Track and Field from Niagara Catholic schools would continue to compete in the current Zone structure.

Read the complete report here.

Trustees Approve Final Long Term Accommodation Report

At the April 26 Board Meeting, Trustees approved the third phase of the Board’s Long-Range Accommodations Plan for Niagara Catholic’s 57 Catholic elementary and secondary schools. This phase focused on potential boundary changes, closings, amalgamations and potential space-sharing with outside agencies.

During the May 10 Committee of the whole Meeting, Trustees reviewed the complete Long-Term Accommodations Plan, which included a number of updates. Among the options being discussed is examining the potential of a joint venture with the French Catholic District School Board to build a new joint-use Catholic elementary school in downtown St. Catharines that would be occupied by St. Nicholas Catholic Elementary School and Ecole Immaculee Conception.

Following that meeting, copies of the Long Term Accommodation Plan were provided to all administrators, Catholic School Council Chairs, the Chairs of Niagara Catholic’s SEAC Committee and Niagara Catholic Parent Involvement Council, Alliance Committee, Mayors and municipalities throughout Niagara.

During the May 24 Board Meeting, Trustees endorsed all three phases of Niagara Catholic’s Long Term Accommodation Plan. All information, agendas and minutes related to Long Term Accommodation Planning will be posted on the Board website. Read the approved report here.

Policies Approved

During the May 24 Board Whole Meeting, Trustees approved two updated policies.

Reimbursement of Travel Expenses Policy (201.4) and Establishment and Cyclical Review of Policies Policy (100.5) were updated following a vetting process. A third policy – Access to Board Premises – Safe Schools Policy (302.6.3) – was sent back to Policy Committee for further review. The Board regularly reviews policies to ensure that they continue to comply with Ministry of Education requirements and meet the needs of the system.

Catch Up With Our Good News!

If you haven’t checked out our Good News section in a while, be sure to take a look at some of the great stories we shared in throughout May, including our Graduation Celebration, Student Leadership Sympoisum and our Specialist High Skills Major students gaining valuable experience at Hollo Maple Farms.

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