HDSB Director of Education is still a little short of cash but did get more than last year - he also got 800 more students.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

August 28, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The start of a new school year has parents busy getting their children ready, getting the clothing and supplies that are needed and wondering what their children are going to learn in the school year ahead.

While parents ready the family, the school board administrators ready the schools, classrooms and teaching staff in a climate where the provincial funding is at times ‘iffy’.

Miller with students Mar 7-17

Stuart Miller, talking to students during the difficult days when high schools were being closed.

Stuart Miller, Director of the Halton District School Board, has worked through several months of dealing with the Ministry of Education and is still waiting for approval to send the plans for an addition to Nelson High School to take in the students who will leave Bateman High School when it closes.

“The design has been approved, the funding has been approved but we don’t yet have permission to issue the tender”, said Miller.

“I’m not sure I am going to have classrooms ready in time.”

Bateman - crowd scene with Bull

Bateman high school may be kept open a little longer than expected – forever? Not likely.

Keeping students at Bateman for a little longer isn’t going to hurt anyone – there are some that might see it as a sign that perhaps the move will never be required.

Funds aren’t flowing the way they have in the past added Miller. The HDSB did get an additional $1.5 million but they also got an additional 800 + students this year; the final number will be known when the doors open next week.  This increase would translate to over an additional $20 M in costs.

The HDSB has always felt it was getting the short end of the financial stick from the province.

The new school being built in Oakville might be ready but Miller won’t guarantee that all the paint will be dry when the doors open.

Blackwell and Miller at itsem Nov 2018

Superintendent Terri Blackwell with Director of Education Stuart Miller the day that hundreds of parents showed up to register their children in the iStem program at Aldershot high school.

Miller will be at Aldershot High School next Wednesday to formally welcome the first iStem students to the facilities that have been built for a different approach to high school educations.  The Board spent about 1.4 M on upgrades to Aldershot.

iStem was one of the positive things that came out of the Program Administrative Review (PAR) that saw Lester B. Pearson and Bateman High School closed – which amounted to two out of the seven high schools in the city.

Proteau at desk

Claire Proteau in her office – where she is open and engaging with her students.

The merging of the Pearson students into M. M. Robinson went exceptionally well due in no small measure to the superb direction from MMR principal Claire Proteau and the decision to move the Pearson vice principal into MMR.  Cost of  transitions/moving LBP to MMR – about $175,000.

The HDSB trustees are going to have to grapple with losing $6.8M from a funding source called Local Priorities. This money was not in the budget for this year( it was provincial funding from last year).

All the union contracts come up for renewal this year.  Miller feels confident that there won’t be any impossible situations at the local level – what happens at the provincial level is something he wouldn’t even hazard a guess at.

The International Baccalaureate program that was moved from Bateman to Central takes root this year with pre-grade 9 and a pre-grade 10 offering.  Miller expects about 100 students to register at Central for the program.  He expects about 600 to register at White Oaks high school for the program there.

With streets crowded with students come Tuesday,  let’s hope the the police crack down on irresponsible drivers will have an impact so we can have a traffic accident free week.

 

 

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5 comments to HDSB Director of Education is still a little short of cash but did get more than last year – he also got 800 more students.

  • Mike Ettlewood

    Watch out for Miller’s water bottle – wields it like a weapon occasionally. Bit of a clumsy metaphor for the passive-aggressive way he managed the PAR process. Picture of he and Blackwell is most interesting – plotting the fate of yet another BCHS Principal? Really nothing to laugh about.

  • Phillip Wooster

    Glad to hear that iSTEM is getting started. It has been a very successful program in other countries where it has been running. So glad the HDSB decided to adopt it.

  • Rob Allan

    Additional 800 + students!!! I thought the School Board were closing schools because of reduced intake!

  • david barker

    Too right. Let’s hope police crack down on irresponsible drivers around school zones.

    Let’s also hope police similarly crack down in irresponsible pedestrian students crossing away from lights, and on irresponsible parent drivers who drop of kids in an unsafe manner.

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