Milton School Boundary Review Coming Up

Many thanks to Milton School Board Trustee Donna Danielli for sending me this information today.

As I go out knocking on doors speaking with Milton residents, one of the top concerns I hear is schools.  When will we be getting more?  When is the next one being built?  When it is built will my children be transferred.

We found out in October of last year (see my post) there will be a new school constructed near Fourth Line and Derry Road for occupation (HOPEFULLY) for September 2013.  With that announcement a lot of people were curious as to what will happen with their children.  There is no doubt about the need for more schools in Milton as many councillors including myself attended an AMO Conference this year to meet with education officials at the provincial government about it.

One of the main concerns of those in our ward who were once attending Hawthorne Village PS and transferred to Tiger Jeet Singh PS is … will they have to move again?  Many parents would NOT like to move again for a number of reasons, and as a parent I have to agree.

So Donna has let us know there will be a school boundary review coming up on January 17th, which as a parent I will be attending.

Here are the details.  Many thanks Donna!

The Halton District School Board invites parents and members of the community to attend a public consultation meeting regarding school boundaries in southeast Milton.

The meeting will take place on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at Bruce Trail Public School (1199 Costigan Road, Milton), beginning at 7 p.m.

As a result of the opening of the new Milton #7 public school (625 Sauve Street) in September 2013, the Board is conducting a boundary review that will impact Bruce Trail PS, E.W. Foster PS, Hawthorne Village PS, Sam Sherratt PS, Tiger Jeet Singh PS and W.I. Dick PS. The purpose of this meeting is to provide information about the boundary review process, review boundary scenarios and give members of the public an opportunity to provide feedback.

The scenarios being presented at the meeting will be shared on the Board website at www.hdsb.ca, under the heading “Program and Accommodation”.

Official Opening of Craig Kielburger High School

It was more like a rock concert than an opening!  All the students of CKSS were in the gymnasium of their new school to celebrate in the opening of Milton’s newest high school.

The CKSS Spartan’s squad lead us with some great music and dancing.  There was singing by the glee club followed by student after student talking about what makes them different, yet the same, as each one of them declared afterwards that they “are the face of CKSS”

The excitement continued to build until what many were waiting for happened…Craig Kielburger was introduced to a standing ovation.  He talked about is journey as a 12 year old speaking to politicians and government officials to do something that many want to do…change the world.

He spoke passionately about his teachers, his parents and his family.  Everyone who supported him in his journey.  Many would have said a 12 year old couldn’t make a difference in the world…but he has.  Craig told us stories of people who inspired him in other countries to continue his quest and how deeply honoured he was to be there today.  Looking around at the students in attendance, you could see they were hanging on every word.  The opening ended with a mini concert from the band Neverest.  Once it was over students surrounded him to shake his hand and meet with him personally.  Like I said, it was like a rock concert.

Thank you to everyone involved in the organization of today’s event and I am very honoured to have been invited to attend along with Principal Donna Taylor, Mayor Krantz, Halton school board trustees Donna Danielli and Nancy MacNeil and the teachers of CKSS among others in attendance.

Congratulations on a fantastic opening and good luck with the rest of the school year and the years to come.  Im very proud that in 2 years my son Anthony will be able to attend CKSS as they are laying the ground work of a successful curriculum and a great learning environment.

AMO Coverage in Milton Champion

Milton politicians stress need for more schools at AMO – Key concerns discussed at provincial conference

Julia Le – Milton Canadian Champion:  A need for more schools was among the key concerns Mayor Gord Krantz and eight councillors raised last week during the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference.

Krantz, councillors Sharon Barkley, Arnold Huffman, Mike Cluett, Rick Di Lorenzo, Cindy Lunau and Zeeshan Hamid, Tony Lambert and Local and Regional Councillor Colin Best were joined by Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr and Halton District School Board Trustee Donna Danielli as they met with Deputy Education Minister George Zegarac at the conference held in Ottawa to explain the challenging situation they are finding the Town in and the dire need from the Province to commit to building more schools to support the fast growing communities and the families and young children moving into them.

The meeting was originally schedule with Education Minister Laurel Broten, however likely due to the issues surrounding the current negotiations with teachers’ unions and school boards, Broten was unable to attend the conference, held each year to bring together municipal and provincial leaders and offer panels, discussions, and keynotes on a selection of municipal interest topics led by industry experts.

The group served as a united front in presenting Zegarac the reality Milton faces.

Danielli, the school trustee for the Milton 2, 3, 4 and 5 areas, said if it wasn’t for the repurposing of the old E.C. Drury High School, P.L. Robertson Public School was projected to have 40 portables by 2014. The old high school will now host a satellite location for P.L. Robertson as a temporary measure until a new school is built.

“It’s the best solution we have, but it certainly isn’t an ideal situation,” she said, adding that there’s no real place for full-day kindergarten and that families will have to be split up at different locations.

The group also lobbied for more funding to keep older schools up-to-date technologically and physically.

Danielli added the funding formula the province uses to dole out money to school boards needs to be revised.

“When you look at the 11 boards that are closest in area (to us), we’re at the bottom of the list in terms of per pupil funding,” she said.

The 56,000 students in Milton are receiving $1,000 to $1,500 when compared to surrounding school boards.

Krantz said he believes the group put its best case forward to the Ministry of Education and Zegarac, who seemed to be well versed in the town’s concerns.

“Was there anything ultimately resolved, well that’s hard to tell at this point, but I refer to it as keeping issues on the radar screen,” he said. “I think being in their face with your issues is just as important. (It shows) we’re not going away until we get some of this stuff sorted out.”

Danielli was more optimistic about the outcome of the meeting.

She said Zegarac seemed empathetic, even going as far as to say Milton was the “poster child of why we need capital funding.”

She doesn’t believe anything will be resolved until teacher negotiations have been settled, but hopes the Town will get the green light sooner rather than later to start construction before the end of the year.

Other issues Krantz and councillors discussed with the appropriate provincial ministers at the conference included making sure the hospital expansion was kept on the radar and the effect the Slots at the Racetracks program closure will have, not only on the horse racing industry but on the town.

The Province announced earlier this year that all payments made to the horse racing industry, including Mohawk Slots, through the Slots at the Racetracks program will end as of March 31, 2013.

Krantz and Lunau met with Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister Ted McMeekin to discuss the importance of keeping the horse industry alive. 

Door Knocking Notes & School Board Trustees

I had a great time knocking on doors last night near 4th Line & Louis St Laurent and meeting up with regular readers of my blog, like Andre (Thanks for reading!)

If you were going through that intersection last night, you know they are doing some repair work finally because going through the stop sign almost felt like an off road course.  The kids love it by the way, but its not good on the suspension of the car.

Many of the people I spoke with were looking for updates on when the high school would begin construction and I’ll be sending Donna Danielli an email today to find out.  Donna is our Public School Board Trustee who has worked very hard over the last 4 years. 

With this election comes a change in the number of trustees for Milton.  There are now 2 positions open for the October election, one for the “southern” wards 1,6,7 & 8 and the other for the” northern” wards of 2,3,4 & 5.  This will provide them with more of an opportunity to concentrate their focus on a smaller area instead of the town as a whole.

School board trustees are often overlooked as a “minor” position and are not given the due they deserve.  Hours upon hours of work are put into this job with almost very little recognition.  I know from experience dealing with a number of trustees that this position is anything but “minor”  It takes dedication and a lot of hard work to do what they do and to help ensure that as the town grows, so do the opportunities for our education system.

This election as you choose who you want to support for Regional Chair, Mayor, Regional Council, and Local Council (thats me!), take some time and research who you want to be your public and catholic school board trustee.

If you live in wards 2,3,4 &5 drop Donna a note as shes running for re-election at the public school board level.  Tell her I sent you.

The evenings are becoming more comfortable for strolls (and door knocking) and Im looking to do some more tonight and later on this week.  I hope to see you at the doors.

*edit*  Thanks to Gary for letting me know I had the wards Donna was running in listed incorrectly.