{mosimage}TORONTO - When nine-year-old Erica Martin and her friends take a break from playing in the schoolyard, they sit down on the yellow gas pipes along the side of the yard.

But as the weather gets warmer, the St. Brigid Elementary School students say resting on the metal pipes isn’t exactly a good idea.

“Students need shade. Sometimes it gets too hot,” said nine-year-old Erica.

Toronto school trustees seek forgiveness

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{mosimage}TORONTO - We’re sorry, ask for your forgiveness and hope you will trust us again.

That was the message from 12 Toronto Catholic District School Board trustees in a public apology.

“Words cannot express how truly sorry we are for the embarrassment, anxiety and frustration we have caused to the school communities, our staff and Catholic ratepayers for our actions, lack of actions and mistakes,” the trustees said in a May 1 statement.

Ontario to introduce school trustee code of conduct

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{mosimage}TORONTO - An upcoming provincial code of conduct for school trustees will include sanctions for those who don’t abide by the new rules, says Ontario Education Minister Kathleen Wynne.

“Having a code of conduct in place makes sure that everyone’s clear about what their roles and responsibilities are and should help if there were future situations of that kind,” Wynne told The Register after a May 9 speech at the annual general meeting of the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association.


Hamilton's St. Mary's School to close after 155 years

By Sheila Dabu Nonato, The Catholic Register
{mosimage}After the doors close at St. Mary’s Elementary School in Hamilton, Ont., Grade 8 student Joana Sampaio will swing by the school’s playground to meet up with the friends she first met in Kindergarten.

It will be a chance for them to reminisce about their time at St. Mary’s.


36 Toronto schools certified as ‘Ecoschools’

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{mosimage}Students across 36 elementary schools sang, rapped and rhymed their way on May 27 to certification in the Ontario Ecoschool environmental education program.

The Toronto Catholic District School Board officially certified these schools as EcoSchools as part of its third annual recognition event at Downsview Park. Each school was presented with an Ontario EcoSchool plaque for its efforts throughout the year.

Toronto Catholic school trustees to remain under supervision

By Sheila Dabu Nonato, The Catholic Register
{mosimage}TORONTO - The Toronto Catholic District School Board will remain under provincial supervision for another year but interim steps could be taken to allow trustees to sit at the board table, said board supervisor Norbert Hartman.

The Catholic trustees will not regain decision-making authority until after the next municipal elections in November 2010, Hartmann told  The Register. He said provincial laws specify that publicly funded boards can only escape supervision when their budgets are balanced.

Fully Alive brought up to speed for Internet age

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TORONTO - Teen dating and online relationships will be among new topics in the revised family life textbooks for Ontario Catholic elementary students.

The Fully Alive textbooks for Grades 6 to 8 students are part of the updated second edition of the Ontario bishops’ family life program which starts at Grade 1. The original texts were published from 1988 to 1992, with the Grade 6 revised edition expected this fall and the final two revisions within the next few years. Earlier revisions were launched two years ago.

Union calls for Ontario teachers to run full-day kindergarten

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Certified teachers should run full-day kindergarten programs soon to be implemented in Ontario schools instead of hiring part-time early childhood educators, says the president of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association.

Following the Ontario government’s pledge to implement recommendations in a new report on early learning, association president James Ryan said students will benefit more from having a full-day program delivered by certified teachers.

Toronto school board budget chops deficit, angers parent groups

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Budget woes that have forced cuts to programs at the Toronto Catholic District School Board can be solved with a bailout from the province, says a local Catholic parent group.

“If they can bail out (swimming) pools at the public board for $16 million, surely they can bail out the board,” Murielle Boudreau of the Greater Toronto Catholic Parent Network told The Catholic Register after the provincially supervised board revealed its budget, which will chop the remaining $10 million of its accumulated deficit, at a public meeting June 24.

Democracy deficit at Toronto Catholic school board

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{mosimage}TORONTO - A year of provincial supervision for the Toronto Catholic District School Board has been a year with little accountability and transparency, say some Catholic parent groups.

Murielle Boudreau, chair of the Greater Toronto Catholic Parent Network, said it has often been a one-way conversation with the provincially appointed supervision team of Norbert Hartmann and Norm Forma on key issues like the budget and special education funding.

Change studied for east end Toronto schools

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Neil McNeil High School could be getting a new building, paid for by new condos or townhouses on the current school site, according to the Toronto Catholic District School Board.

Neil McNeil is part of a cluster of high schools undergoing a school accommodation review by the Toronto Catholic board. The cluster includes Notre Dame, Cardinal Newman, Jean Vanier and St. Patrick High Schools, all in east Toronto and south Scarborough.