{mosimage}TORONTO - In an effort to regain the public’s trust and confidence, the Toronto Catholic District School Board will be making large cuts to trustee expenses and reducing the board’s overall budget deficit by $8 million, according to a new report by provincial government-appointed supervisor Norbert Hartmann.

In an Aug. 26 report, Hartmann said the board’s accumulated deficit will be less than $10.2 million next year compared to $18.8 million last August.

Hallways Of Heroes

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{mosimage}During Veteran's Week (November 5 - 11) the names and pictures of Canadian soldiers who lost their lives in WWI will be displayed in the hallways of Iona Catholic Secondary School in Mississauga. Every student and staff (1200 people) will receive the name of one of these soldiers and a poppy sticker on November 10. On this day students and staff will be asked to find the name of the soldier that matches the name they were given and place the poppy sticker on it as a means of acknowledging and honouring that soldier for paying the ultimate sacrifice.

Ontario students recognized for leadership

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{mosimage}TORONTO - A total of 181 students from Ontario Catholic schools were honoured at the 25th annual Father Patrick Fogarty Awards dinner Oct. 25.

Toronto trustees forced to repay questionable expenses

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Alcoholic drinks, Internet gaming and personalized vehicle licence plates were some of the $30,000 worth of questionable expenses charged to taxpayers by Toronto Catholic District School Board trustees, according to a Nov. 12 audit report.

The report by Ernst & Young, which did not identify trustees by name, said $914,013 of the $943,783 in trustees' total expenses from Dec. 1, 2005, to May 28, 2008, were deemed eligible. Eligible expenses included Internet connection charges, office furniture, charitable donations and advertising expenses, the report said.

EcoSchools puts learning into action

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PICKERING, Ont. - Surrounded by her classmates, nine-year-old Zeina Abu-Jurja recites some of her “environmental pet peeves.”

One pet peeve, she said, is when the television is on even if no one is watching because it’s an energy waster.

No charges pending against Catholic trustees

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Ontario's education minister says a 15-day police review into Toronto Catholic school trustee expenditures concluded that no trustees will face criminal charges.

Kathleen Wynne told The Catholic Register she's satisfied with the amount of time it took police to review trustees' expenses, which were released in a Nov. 12 audit report by Ernst & Young.

Trustees call for changes in special ed funding

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TORONTO - The underfunding of programs for special education and high needs students as well as “short-lived” declining enrolment grants are serious concerns for many Catholic school boards, says the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association.

In a Nov. 18 financial brief to Ontario Education Minister Kathleen Wynne, the association said while special education grants total almost $2.1 billion, many school boards “continue to express serious concerns about the ongoing gap between the cost of current programs and services for students and special needs and current funding levels.”

OECTA targets bullying

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Bullying should be labelled a workplace hazard to make schools safer, says a proposal made to provincial legislators by the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association.

But the proposal isn’t suggesting that Catholic schools are more dangerous than any other workplace, said Elaine MacNeil, president of OECTA.

School boards choose 2009 leaders

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Most Ontario Catholic school boards have chosen their leaders to guide them into the next year, with one notable exception.

The Toronto Catholic District School Board, which has been under a provincial government-appointed supervisor since a controversy erupted over trustee spending last year, has postponed its board elections until January.

Halton's helping hands for Haiti

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{mosimage}BURLINGTON, Ont. - The children at St. Mark’s Catholic Elementary School learned a lesson about social justice and Christian love recently. It was that they should share from their abundance with their much poorer fellow students in Haiti.

The school was one of 49 in the Halton Catholic District School Board that are being introduced this fall to Helping Hands from Halton Catholic: the Solidarity-Haiti Project.

Trustee infighting derails election of board chair

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{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.