{mosimage}TORONTO - The countdown for next year’s province-wide Catholic trustee elections begins with two upcoming trustee training workshops in Toronto.

Toronto Catholic District School Board trustee Rob Davis plans to run a free “trustee boot camp” on Nov. 21 at the Catholic Education Centre. St. Augustine’s Seminary’s Institute of Theology will conduct trustee workshops starting in January.

Southern Ontario Catholic school boards pick new leaders

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{mosimage}TORONTO - In what appears to be a show of support for their embattled chair, a majority of Toronto Catholic District School Board trustees re-elected Angela Kennedy to the position at a Dec. 9 meeting.

Kennedy, who was first chosen as chair in January, is one of two Toronto Catholic trustees facing conflict of interest charges. She will be in Ontario Superior Court of Justice to answer to the charge Feb. 1. She is alleged to have voted on budgetary decisions despite having a son, who would potentially be affected by the decision, employed at the board.

St. Michael's College gets its second lay principal

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Terence Sheridan has been appointed principal of St. Michael’s College School, only the second lay person to hold the position in the school’s 157-year history.

His appointment as the midtown Toronto school’s 28th principal takes effect in January.

“As an alumnus Mr. Sheridan has a strong commitment to the traditions of St. Michael’s College School,” said college president Fr. Joseph Redican, C.S.B., in a statement.

Environmentalism part of promoting peace, says Pope

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{mosimage}VATICAN CITY - The degradation of the environment is a pressing moral problem that threatens peace and human life itself, Pope Benedict XVI said.

“We cannot remain indifferent to what is happening around us, for the deterioration of any one part of the planet affects us all,” the Pope said in his message for World Peace Day, Jan. 1.

Kennedy hopes to lead Toronto Catholic school board out of provincial supervision

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Despite facing a court appearance on a charge of conflict of interest, trustee Angela Kennedy was re-elected chair of the Toronto Catholic District School Board on Dec. 9.

Kennedy is one of two Toronto Catholic trustees facing conflict of interest charges. Former chair Oliver Carroll was found guilty of 10 conflict-of-interest offences in February.

Hamilton board leads way in getting pro-life message out

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{mosimage}When it comes to pro-life teachings in Ontario, most are casting their eyes to the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board as a model.

Nearly six years ago, leaders established a board-run Culture of Life committee that has had its students interested in issues such as abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research ever since.

Helping Henry Carr's dreams come true

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Fr. Henry Carr High School got a boost from the Toronto Police Service in its quest to build its state-of-the-art sports stadium.

The police services board kicked in $50,000 to help make the northwest Toronto school’s dream become a reality.

38 Toronto schools targetted for full-day kindergarten

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{mosimage}TORONTO - The Toronto Catholic District School Board has announced a preliminary list of 38 schools for the province’s new multi-billion dollar, full-day kindergarten program, slated to start next fall.

About 63 full-day kindergarten classrooms will be open for an estimated 1,500 students in Catholic school boards across Ontario next year.

Trustees, teachers seek more special ed funding

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{mosimage}TORONTO - The Ontario government needs to invest more in special education to narrow the $68-million funding gap that 29 Catholic school boards across the province face this school year, says the head of the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association.

“The problem with special education funding (in 2009-2010) and that gap is that boards are forced to take money out of other areas to fund the special education needs of our students,” Paula Peroni told The Catholic Register.

Ontario school boards prepare for new equity strategy

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{mosimage}TORONTO - A new equity policy for Ontario school boards could mean more prayer spaces for non-Catholic students and gay/straight student alliances at Ontario Catholic high schools next year.

The provincial government introduced its equity and inclusive education strategy last year. Boards are required to have equity and inclusive education policies in place by next fall. The policies range from religious accommodation to tackling discriminatory biases like gender or racial discrimination and systemic barriers to education.

Community fights to keep Neil McNeil at home

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{mosimage}TORONTO - It’s a half-century tradition that Neil McNeil High School supporters say they’d like to keep: having their school at the very site where the Spiritan Fathers founded it 1958.

Neil McNeil, along with four other schools in its cluster group in the Toronto Catholic District School Board, is undergoing a school accommodation review this year. The schools — which are part of four clusters of 17 schools under review — either have too many or too few students and could be consolidated, relocated or closed. In December, the board decided to close two schools and relocate another.