September 3, 2013
A message from the Chair and the Superintendent
Welcome to a new school year! We hope you made many good memories over the summer and are looking forward to the year ahead.
Summer is an ideal time to complete many maintenance and facilities projects, as well as some major technology upgrades. This summer, we launched new and improved individual school websites, all aligned with the main School District site: www.sd44.ca. We hope that together these channels not only support enhanced student learning opportunities, but also provide easier access to the information you need on programs, services policies, meetings, events and success stories from across the NVSD.
Significant progress was also made over the summer in the final phase of rebuilding and restoring Queen Mary Elementary. Staff and students can look forward to moving in to the new school by the end of 2013. Renovations on the new Mountainside Secondary should also be completed this year.
2013/14 marks the third year of our 10 Year Strategic Plan implementation. The Plan guides our commitment to keep students at the centre of all that we do, and challenges us to deliver the highest level of service we can provide through our operations. Please watch for our annual report to the community (in March 2014) and other updates on our progress over the course of the year.
The Board strongly believes in the necessity of rebuilding both Argyle and Handsworth Secondary—our top priority schools for seismic upgrading and replacement. While the Ministry of Education has pledged funding for seismic upgrades at both schools, we will have to ensure additional financing locally, as a Board, if full school replacements are to be pursued. With this in mind, community input regarding the future of several surplus properties will be facilitated this year. We encourage your participation in this process.
As we are sure you are aware, unionized employee groups representing support workers and teachers are currently in contract negotiations with the Province. We sincerely hope that agreements can be achieved without disruption to services. We remain hopeful that the bargaining process will be resolved as soon as possible and will keep everyone informed as negotiations proceed.
Thank you for taking the time to read this message in what we know is always a busy and hectic week. We wish you, and all our students, the very best for the year ahead.
BOARD OF EDUCATION