{mosimage}TORONTO - The Toronto Catholic District School Board will be without a chair and decision-making powers indefinitely until trustee infighting stops, says Ontario's education minister.

Kathleen Wynne told The Catholic Register that she supports the Jan. 28 decision of provincially appointed board supervisor Norbert Hartmann to suspend the appointment of a chair. Long-time trustee Angela Kennedy had been chosen chair, with Ann Andrachuk elected vice-chair, at a Jan. 22 meeting, but the choices were subject to Hartmann's approval.

Ontario schools will feel recession's pinch

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{mosimage}TORONTO - With the economic downturn and declining student enrolment, Ontario school boards could be facing delays in some of their program funding, says Minister of Education Kathleen Wynne.

Provincial funding for new programs could also be on hold.

Theatre last phase of St. Mike's development

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{mosimage}TORONTO - A new $10-million performing arts centre is scheduled to open at St. Michael’s College School next year.

School president Fr. Joseph Redican, C.S.B., said the 440-seat theatre would be a state-of-the-art facility and will support the school’s drama and theatre arts program. It will also serve as a venue for concerts, public speaking and debates. And the centre will have a display space for the school’s visual arts program and will be the site of lectures and conferences.

Toronto trustee guilty of conflict of interest

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{mosimage}TORONTO - An Ontario Superior Court judge has found Toronto Catholic school trustee Oliver Carroll guilty of conflict of interest charges and ordered his removal from the board.

But Carroll said he would be appealing the decision and will file a motion to stay on as trustee while the appeal is being processed.

Trustee to fight dismissal

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Toronto Catholic District School Board trustee Oliver Carroll says he will fight his dismissa l from the board.

While Carroll withdrew a motion to appeal an Ontario Superior Court decision which found him guilty of conflict of interest charges scheduled for Feb. 18, he told The Register that he would be filing an appeal of the decision within a month, along with an appeal to stay on as trustee while the court hearings take place.

Carroll drops appeal of dismissal

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TORONTO  - Former Toronto Catholic school trustee Oliver Carroll has dropped an appeal of a court decision which found him guilty of conflict of interest charges and led to his removal from the Toronto board.

“At end of the day, it’s really about Catholic education. There’s no point in having this replayed every two months for the next year,” he told The Register.

Ontario high-school chaplaincy too valuable to lose

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Catholic school boards should invest adequate resources into high school chaplaincy, says the Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops.

In a pastoral letter issued this month, the conference said while it recognizes the budgetary constraints that school boards face, chaplaincy is too important to be cut.

Members sought for Toronto Catholic District School Board's advisory committee

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{mosimage}TORONTO - The Toronto Catholic District School Board is creating a new community advisory committee.

The board is calling for nominations to the committee “to enhance opportunities to provide input and advice to the supervision team.”

It alluded to provincially appointed supervisor Norbert Hartmann’s Aug. 26 report entitled “Strengthening Public Trust and Confidence ” which had mentioned this committee. 

Equitable financing sought for Ontario schoool extracurricular activities

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{mosimage}TORONTO  - The Ontario Student Trustees’ Association says students don’t have equal access to after-school activities in the province.

In a January 2009 report called “Equitable Education? The Cost of Extra-curriculars in Ontario’s Schools,” the association recommended that the provincial government and school boards adopt a standardized fee system in Ontario and address the lack of access to after-school activities by students who can’t afford to participate.

“A substantial part of education is neither free nor equitable. The rich receive the benefit of experience while the poor receive a no-frills education; the wealthy can afford to participate in extracurricular activities while the poor cannot,” the report said.

$600 million pledged for Ontario schools

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{mosimage}TORONTO - It’s a $50-million cut for computers and textbooks, but $600 million more for Ontario’s publicly funded school boards next year.

 Although declining enrolment and the economic downturn are leading to cuts in computer and textbook funding, Catholic education groups say students will benefit from the Ontario government’s commitment, announced in the March 26 budget, to more funding for public schools.

“These are difficult economic times for all sectors and I appreciate the steps the government has taken to maintain its support for effective initiatives around numeracy, literacy and secondary student success,” said Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association president Paula Peroni.

Earth Hour celebrated in Toronto area schools

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Catholic schools in the Toronto area joined millions of people worldwide in turning off their lights for Earth Hour March 27, but for many, the practice is a daily routine.

In the York Catholic District School Board, 18 elementary schools have been monitoring their energy consumption by classroom, with students rushing to turn off lights, computers and other appliances when a special warning LED “Save Energy” sign warns them of over-usage. The initiative is part of the board’s Eco Champion program launched last year.

“So far these schools have saved 10 per cent of their total consumption on a yearly basis,” said Norman Vezina, the board’s senior manager of environmental services. “It’s amazing the impact they’ve had — you walk into (one of those) schools and you can’t leave a light on because students are chastising you.”