School Board Trustees explain their decision to rename Ryerson Public School

background graphic redBy Staff

July 11th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

shuttle worh and Tracy

Trustees Margo Shuttleworth and Tracy Ehl Harris delegating virtually before a city Standing Committee.

Halton District School Board trustees Margo Shuttleworth and Tracy Ehl Harris delegated before a city Standing Committee earlier this week to explain what the Board of Education was doing in the matter of renaming a school.

We have heard from many voices in the community and had many conversations which culminated with formal requests from community members, including those who are survivors of residential schools to consider a change in name of our school on Woodview Drive.

Of course, we have also heard from some who feel we are discounting the positive contributions of Egerton Ryerson to the Canadian education system. He did indeed create school boards, making textbooks more uniform, and making education free. He also advocated for the separation of Church and State within education….. apart from the education for Indigenous children.

For Indigenous students he drafted a Ryerson Industrial Schools Report which supports the creation of industrial schools. These schools have been called manual labour schools, industrial schools, boarding schools, and residential schools. They included religious instruction which Ryerson felt necessary to assimilate and civilize Indigenous children, .

students with nun

Instruction for the most part was delivered by Clergy

We need to be accountable to the legacy that Ryerson also left behind and the trauma and hurt it causes our students and their families to feel. We must be compassionate to the hurt and trauma that has been part of his legacy.

I am going to read for you an overview of The Ryerson Experiment compiled by Nishnawbe Aski Nation ( Nishnawbe Aski Nation Indian Residential Schools in Ontario, 2005 ). This group represents 49 First Nation communities within northern Ontario with a population of membership (on and off reserve) estimated around 45,000 people.

In 1845, a report to the Legislative Assembly recommended that industrial boarding schools be adopted for the education of Indian children. In 1847, Dr. Egerton Ryerson, the Chief Superintendent of Education for Upper Canada (Ontario) suggested a method of establishing and conducting the industrial schools for the benefit of Indian children.

Their purpose should be to “give a plain English education adapted to the working farmer and mechanic” and in addition “agriculture, kitchen-gardening and mechanics so far as mechanics is connected with the making and repairing the most useful agricultural implements”. To attain their objective, it would be necessary for the students to reside together, with adequate provision being made for their domestic and religious education. Dr. Ryerson especially deemed the latter essential. “With him (the Indian) nothing can be done to improve and elevate his character and condition without the aid of religious feeling”.

boys prayers before bed

Spiritual guidance was part of the curriculum at the residential schools.

For this reason he insisted that the animating and controlling spirit of each Industrial School “should be a joint effort of the Government and of the religious organization concerned. Decisions on the appointment of the School Superintendent, buildings to be erected and conditions for admission of pupils were also to be made jointly. The Government would be responsible for inspection and the laying down of general rules and regulations as well as making financial grants to support each of the operating cost, and provide spiritual guidance for the pupils.

It was these experiments that lay the foundation for residential schools. Ryerson’s approach was to separate Indigenous children from their parents in order to achieve assimilation and although it can be recognized that he made many contributions to the education system, this piece of his legacy has had a traumatic and harmful impact on a part of our school community.

The name Ryerson, for many, brings up experiences of trauma and mistrust of the education system. We value all students who are part of our HDSB community and we must live up to our commitments in recognizing the harm that some of our school names may have.

 

The delegation was then passed to Board of Trustees  Vice Chair Tracy Ehl Harrsion  to give an overview of policy and links to our Multi Year Plan

I am going to discuss the policy overlay at the Halton District School Board that compels this renaming process.

The Board adopted a new strategic multi year plan in late 2020.

  • The Multi-Year Plan (MYP) is a strategic four-year plan created collaboratively for the Halton District School Board (HDSB). The purpose of the MYP is to set direction and prioritize the collective actions of all stakeholders to ensure our efforts as an organization are aligned and coordinated to support the more than 65,000 students 9,000 staff and the broader HDSB
  • Five Key Areas & Commitments
    • Equity & Inclusion
    • Mental Health and Well-Being
  • Learning and Achievement
  • Environmental Leadership
  • Indigenous Perspectives and Awareness
  • The Board motion touches on a number of these commitments, including equity and inclusion, mental health and well being and Indigenous Perspectives and
  • Specifically the commitment related to Indigenous Perspectives and Awareness includes:
    • Provide opportunities for a whole community approach to understanding the  impacts of colonialism, past and present.
  • Foster engagement with Indigenous peoples, communities, practices, perspectives and realities to build awareness, mutual respect and shared
  • Enhance learning about Treaty relationships, Indigenous rights, residential schools and Indigenous peoples’ contributions to Canada to fulfil the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action for
Untitled

These were not small schools. Above is a photograph of the Kamloops Indian Residential School where the graves of 215 students who attended the school were discovered.

 With this as our backdrop, as Trustee Shuttleworth indicated that the Board received a number of requests to rename Ryerson Public School. We also received a number of messages indicating that we needed to do research to understand the positive contributions Ryerson has made to public education. When the renaming requests were received, the School Naming and Renaming Policy and Governance Procedure and Administrative Procedure were followed.

These were updated in January 2021, to reflect the new MYP and the current social context.

Once of the guiding principles of the policy is to “Consider equity, diversity and inclusion in the school community;”. The Governance Procedure details what is under the purview of Trustees, while the Administrative Procedure details staff responsibilities, and the two dovetail. In summary:

Renaming requests are submitted to the Director’s office, and the Chair and Director determine whether or not to bring forward a report to the Board. According to the Procedure, the renaming of a school shall be considered if: a) the current name constitutes a significant departure from generally-recognized standards of public behaviour which is seen to undermine the credibility, integrity or relevance of the HDSB’s contemporary values; or b) the current name was appropriated from a culture or community without the necessary recognition or awareness process.

In this case, a report was brought forward to initiate the renaming, and it was unanimously supported by the Board. Next steps include:

  • Forming an ad hoc committee, involving staff, Trustees, and members of the school
  • Notifying and seeking pubic input and ideas from the whole community (staff, students, community) which are narrowed down by the committee, and vetted to ensure the uphold the MYP and the criteria of the
  • A short list of up to five, fully researched names, are submitted to the Board of Trustees for discussion and ultimate selection of one

This process for the current school under consideration, is to be wrapped up by the end of November 2021.

The discussion at the Board table was not an easy one, and certainly there are complexities. At the end of the day, the Board must uphold the commitments of the MYP. Its development reflects the ideas and values of thousands of people in the HDSB community. Now is our time to be true to those commitments, not only to the words, but to the actions that as a community we decided will make a positive impact on this and future generations.

During the discussion at the Board table, it was noted that the adjacent park has the same name, and as such, the Board wanted to alert you to the process that is going to be undertaken for the school.

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City council hears from an Indigenous Elder on the matter of renaming parks and schools.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

July 9th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Standing Committee on Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services met earlier this week and almost swooned as they listened to Stephen Paquette talk about why the Ryerson school and the park adjacent to it should be renamed.

The Councillors and the two school board trustees who took part as delegations were like high school students listening to a rock star.

paquette Stephen

Stephen Paquette.

Paquette on the other hand was sensible and balanced.

Sure he took a strong position on the getting rid of the Ryerson name but he said he could live with statues of Sir John remaining providing there was a plaque beside the statue putting the man’s role in context.

Unfortunately many are not as sensible and balanced as Paquette.

He taught the Councillors some important lessons; one being the way we choose to elevate some people and create a statue and put it in a public place without a full understanding of the person. He seemed to be saying the statues were more adulation than realistic accounting of the person.

The fear I have is that we will rename the park and the school and then move on to something else forgetting what the real issue is – first making amends for the harm we created and then giving the Indigenous people what they deserve. Decent housing and water they can drink.

A number of years ago Gord Downie stood on a stage and implored the Prime Minister who was in the audience to take care of the Indigenous people. And how much has been done for those people since that time?

I look to Paquette being the person who keeps our feet to the flame and helps us get to the point where the members of the First Nation are true equals.

I was impressed with the man – he is an Elder serving as a staff consultant with the Halton District School Board. He is an excellent spokesperson for his people.

Joseph Boyden, wrote a book: The Orenda. It is a hard book to read on the relationship between the Jesuits who came to Canada to civilize the “savages”. There was painful cruelty on both sides. Boyden created significant controversy writing on Indigenous people. Boyden is primarily of Irish and Scottish ancestry. A number of Indigenous writers and researchers came forward to publicly state Boyden did not have the right to speak on behalf of any Indigenous community because he was not a First Nations citizen and ultimately not Indigenous.

We are going to be dogged with controversy on the question of how we atone for some time. Hopefully the plight of the Indigenous people gets improved while we squabble.

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

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The Band Plays on - Bandology pivots from wind instruments to percussion

 

eventsred 100x100By Staff

July 2nd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

After such an unusual year, local non-profit Bandology has some news that will hit all the right notes for keen young musicians. Their fifth annual Band Camp for teens will run a modified in-person, physically distanced camp this summer on July 12-16. A similar Band Camp Junior for kids ages 6-12 will run at the same time.

With the provincial government confirming that day camps may run this summer, Bandology has tweaked its usual concert band format to switch to handheld instruments instead. The potential to spread aerosol particles via blowing into instruments could be too risky, similar to school music programs which have not allowed blowing or singing this past year.

bandology class

A Bandology class in the Music Room at King’s Christian Collegiate in north Oakville

However, the modified Band Camp will utilize a wide variety of handheld instruments, including drumline, ukulele, boomwhackers, bucket drumming and much more, all designed to keep kids interested and engaged. Plus, there’ll be music games and activities, plus special guests and performers. Above all, campers will have the opportunity to interact and hang out with other young musicians.

“This has been a tough year for everyone, but especially for kids used to hanging out in the music room,” said Lisa Michaels, co-founder of Bandology. “Social isolation and mental health are real issues that can be addressed by giving kids the chance to be together in a safe and welcoming environment.”

Bandology will observe all government protocols, including frequent hand washing and sanitization, physical distancing, mask indoors and small cohorts of campers. They will shift the majority of their programming outside, to reduce risk and extend opportunities for fresh air and play.

Parents can register their children online at bandology.ca. Band Camp V is for students in grades 7-12 while Band Camp Junior is for kids ages 6-12. Both camps run July 12-16 and are held at King’s Christian Collegiate in north Oakville. There is also a virtual option for those who would rather participate at a distance, with Band Camp Online running July 26-30.

Bandology provides other opportunities for young musicians to play, including the Play A Gig Online program, which gives kids and adults the chance to perform online, in either a live or pre-recorded format. Bandology also works to promote and advocate for the long-term value of music education.

 

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The Bateman High school story has a decent ending - the community comes out on top

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 30th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The community battle to keep the current Robert Bateman High school functioning at some level within the community has been won.

Bateman - crowd scene with Bull

Bateman parents fought hard to keep the high school open.

The parents with students attending the school were not able to keep the high school open – the bulk of the high school program got transferred to Nelson High School.

The Bateman parents were not wrong.

Ward 5 trustee Amy Collard, Ward 5 said “I have championed the idea of moving Gary Allan High School to the Bateman site since the decision to close Bateman was made in 2017, and I am very pleased to see the Board moving in this direction. The continued presence of a secondary school in southeast Burlington is good for the community.”

Amy Collard 1

Trustee Collard was consistent in her efforts over a five year period that the school site be retained for public use.

Collard fought consistently to keep as much of the school operations in the community. At their June 2 meeting, Halton District School Board trustees approved a plan to relocate Gary Allan Learning Centre to Robert Bateman High School, both located in Burlington, and declare the remainder of the Robert Bateman High School facility surplus to its needs and to circulate it for purchase to other public agencies according to Ontario Regulation 444/98. This regulation sets out who can purchase or lease school property declared surplus and in what order expressions of interest are dealt.

As part of its disposition strategy of the former Robert Bateman High School property, the Board seeks to retain a long-term interest of approximately 45,000 square feet within the facility to accommodate Gary Allan Learning Centre, which provides adult, alternative and continuing education programs, and language instruction programs for newcomers, among others.

The plan to retain an interest in the facility is to ensure that the Board continues to maintain a visible and continued presence in the Southeast Burlington area, and continue offering and operating important educational programs within the community.

Through the Ontario Regulation 444/98 circulation process, public agencies will have the opportunity to submit their interest in retaining the remaining area of the facility of approximately 167,000 square feet to operate for their own uses in collaboration with the Board.

Public agencies include any government and/or educational entity that has jurisdiction within the area in which the school is located. The remaining Robert Bateman HS facility will be offered to prospective public agencies as a shared ownership, or as a long term lease back arrangement with the Board for up to 25 years on a cost recovery basis.

Burlington Marianne Meed Ward has had her eye on the property as well. Her ideas parallel those of Trustee Collard.

City Council is fully supportive of the City taking the important next step of formally submitting an expression of interest to purchase the Robert Bateman site now that the Halton District School Board (HDSB) has declared the site surplus.

Bateman high school

The building is in good shape, has a city owned swimming pool attached to it and a large sports field with a track at the rear.

The City’s expression of interest will include the exploration of a partnership with Brock University to offer post-secondary programming on this site. The Burlington Economic Development Corporation has been the lead on that part of the file.  Anita Cassidy has been working with Brock University on this.

In addition to exploring a relationship with Brock, the City also plans to partner with other institutions, ensuring that there is an adaptive reuse strategy for the site. This includes the Burlington Library relocating its Appleby Line branch to this location to develop a hub for learning and education.

Trustee Collard was very interested in having the school serve as a site where people new to Canada go for help in adjusting to how things are done in Ontario.

The Recreation Centre which is attached to the east side of the high school only adds to the outcome.

This acquisition would push forward key objectives laid out in the City of Burlington’s 25-year strategic plan. Key pillars of this Plan include making Burlington a city that grows through attracting talent, good jobs and economic opportunity to the community.

The Burlington Economic Development Corporation has been working with Brock University for some time. Setting them up at the Bateman site is a perfect fit.

From the left, WArd 6 Councillor Blair Lancaster sitting in for MAyor Goldring who had to remain at Regional Concil to assure quorum, as she signs the 20 year $1.3 milion naming rights deal with Chris HAber in the Centre. Chris Glenn on the right is pleased with that much casj

Former ward 6 Councillor Blair Lancaster as she signs the 20 year $1.3 million naming rights deal with Chris Haber lead partner of a Burlington law firm.  Chris Glenn, Director of Parks and Recreation witnesses the “steal of a deal”.

What we are seeing in this situation is much like the opening of the new high school and Library in Alton Village. The addition of a recreation centre resulted in a fully rounded community centre with a commercial driving school office on site.   All it needed was a coffee shop and a dry cleaner to make it complete.

There is a very large sports field and track at the back of the school that will serve all the interests.

The issue will be to ensure that they do not give the “hub” a name that will come back to embarrass us all.

Naming rights were sold for the Alton set up – if naming rights are sold for Bateman location please ensure that the city gets a better deal. The price Haber paid for the naming rights was close to a steal.

Related news stories

Haber takes the naming rights

Collard fights to keep Bateman High school open.

The fight to keep Bateman open got a little dirty

Brock University decides they like Burlington better than Hamilton

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Ontario Funds Combatting Islamophobia in Schools

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 29th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Ontario government is investing in a plan to counter Islamophobia and ensure classrooms are free from discrimination.

Those in the community who were raised in a different culture than what most of us are used to seeing are beginning to play a larger role in public life.

Muslims participating in Call to Prayer

Muslims taking part in a public prayer event at Spencer Smith Park.

The Muslim community recently held a Call to Payer on a Friday afternoon in Spencer Smith Park rather than at their mosque.
Few people in Burlington had ever witnessed such an event.

We now have a Muslim woman nominated as the Liberal candidate for the next provincial election.

We see a lot more woman wearing the hijab when they are out for a walk or in the supermarkets. We are also seeing different food offerings on the shelves.

We human being are not very good at adapting to change. The kids get it – their parents have a more difficult time.

As part of the Safe Return to Class fund, Ontario’s government is providing $225,000 to the Muslim Association of Canada to create digital resources for educators, students and parents to raise awareness about Islamophobia. These resources will provide information about Islamic practices, values and misconceptions, root causes of Islamophobia and ways to help end Islamophobia, racism and discrimination.

Ontario is also providing $75,000 to the National Council of Canadian Muslims to facilitate outreach and engagement with Muslim parents and families, with a focus on newcomer communities. These engagements will provide information on school supports and will provide culturally relevant resources to enhance well-being for families and help Muslim students prepare for the return to school in September.

sign at call to Prayer

The Muslim community is reaching out to the people of Burlington – the city now needs to learn to hear what they are saying.

According to the most up to date data from Statistics Canada, hate crimes have been on the rise in Canada, with a nine per cent increase in anti-Muslim attacks in 2019, when compared to the previous year. Tragic and disturbing reports and incidents across Canada and the world over the past years underscore the need for action.

“It is unacceptable that many Muslim students continue to face discrimination in our schools, on our playgrounds and in communities across this country,” said Minister of Education Stephen Lecce. “That is why we are investing and partnering with community leaders — who are leading this effort— to counter racism and better support Ontario’s Muslim students and their families.

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Coping with Covid: Free Workshop

graphic community 3By Staff

June 28th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It has been a long, long, long 18+ months; with vaccinations on the rise and covid cases on the decline, things are starting to get back to some sort of normalcy. But… we still have a long way to go and while summer fast approaches, the reality is there is still a lot we don’t know and much to contend with.

The folks at Peachey Counselling Services are putting on a free Coping with Covid workshop July 7th from 6:30 to 8 pm via Zoom.

Steffanie Peachey

Stephanie Peachey, a Registered Social Worker and founder of the Counselling and Family Support Service will be delivering part of the free workshop July 7th

During the live zoom event they will break down how to cope with stress, anxiety and burnout. They will pass along some tips and set out some strategies to help build resiliency so you can have the best summer possible.

Topics Discussed
What You May Be Feeling: From frustration to fear, to anxiety or burnout. We’ll talk it out.

Under Pressure: Do you NOT want things to go back to pre-pandemic days? Do you feel pressured to let go of some of the things that you liked about being in lockdown?

Getting Prepared for Uncertainty: If there is anything we learned, especially in the last several months, we don’t know what to expect or plan for…so we’ll work on being prepared to handle that kind of uncertainty.

Building Resiliency: We’ll share all sorts of tips and strategies to help you develop the coping skills you will need to build resiliency so you can have the best summer possible.

This workshop is being facilitated by Stefanie Peachey, Registered Social Worker and owner of Peachey Counselling and Family Support, and Chris Martin, Registered Psychotherapist and member of Peachey Counselling and Family Support.

Their office is on the Pearl/Pine side of Village Square; 414 Pearl Street Unit 11 Village Square Burlington ON L7R 2N1 Situated on the 2nd floor

To Register email their office at:  info@peacheycounselling.ca

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Public school board read into the record - the expectation is students will be in classrooms come September

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 25th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It has been a very difficult year for school boards across the province.

Child getting off school bus

Most of the students can’t wait to get back to their classrooms,

Senior staff at the Halton District School Board “expect” students to return to class in September but no one is able to say with certainty that they will open.

Everything depends on how many people have been vaccinated and if the new infection levels decline.

And – that one of the variants does not get past the defences we have in place.

At the last Board meeting until September the public got to hear the totals on the budget that had been approved.

The Operating budget came in at $815,389,709

The Capital budget came in at $87,383,860
.

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Freeman Station Adds to its Rolling Stock

graphic community 5By Staff

June 21st, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Freeman Junction sign BESTFriends of Freeman Station, the not-for-profit charity in Burlington (Ontario) run by volunteers working together to preserve a 1906 Grand Trunk Railway Station, have added a caboose and a box car to their rolling stock.

The boxcar is believed to have been in service when Burlington farmers would take their produce down to the station to be loaded on to trains and delivered to Toronto and Montreal.

First to arrive was the Boxcar – Canadian Pacific #404109. Weighing in at LT WT 43,000, it is green in colour with white lettering.

CP box car

Boxcar – Canadian Pacific # 404109.

The wooden walls are in excellent shape as is the steel roof.

Then CN caboose #78188 arrived. Built in October 1929, records indicate it is AAR class NE Caboose type M930 built of wood by CN Transcona.

Until recently both railcars were on display at Memory Junction in Brighton Ontario, a railway park for visitors at the site of the old Brighton Railway Station.

caboose

CN caboose # 78188

Brighton is located between Cobourg and Trenton and sits on the CN and CP lines originally laid in the 1850s and are still used daily.

Memory Junction had to close in 2020 due to various reasons and all the displays were removed at auction in October 2020.

Prior to Brighton – these cars were on display in Trenton Ontario. Before that, the caboose was displayed at Doon Pioneer Village in Kitchener in the 1990s.

The cars will be placed on the new track that has been laid immediately to the north/west side of the Freeman Station building.

Pic 3 Freeman Station 1920 baskets on platform

Brought into the Freeman Station by a team of horses pulling a wagon to be loaded onto boxcars for delivery to Toronto and Montreal. Some of the better produce was transported to Europe.

After some work is done inside and out the cars will be open to the public to visit. These cars give the charity more much needed room to display the artifacts and stories they have accumulated.

Once the COVID restrictions are lifted visitors can see the city’s newest tourist attraction joining the Joseph Brant Museum, Ireland House and the Pier – must see Burlington locations.

Funding for the acquisition, transport and set up of the cars was provided by member donations as well as a large donation from one of their sponsors.

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Statement from Burlington Mayor Meed Ward on City Council to Consider Renaming Ryerson Park

News 100 redBy Staff

June 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

I recently received correspondence from the Chair of the Board of the Halton District School Board (HDSB) notifying me that the Trustees, at their June 16, 2021 meeting, approved a motion to rename Ryerson Public School on Woodview Road in Burlington in accordance with the Board’s Naming and Renaming Schools Policy and Governance Procedure.

A city-owned park adjacent to the school also bears the Ryerson name.

Ryerson Park

The Mayor is now ashamed of the man who created the public education system that has served everyone very well.

Ryerson statue

The statue to commemorate the man who created the public school system in Ontario was first defaced and then toppled

Ryerson Public School and adjacent Ryerson Park are named after Egerton Ryerson for his contributions to the Ontario education system, however, Ryerson was also instrumental in the design of Canada’s Residential School system. In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada concluded this assimilation amounted to the genocide of Indigenous peoples.

The City of Burlington is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion, and the names we choose for our municipal properties must reflect that commitment – both going forward, and in retrospect. As part of that commitment, Burlington City Council recently unanimously endorsed the Halton Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Charter produced by the Halton Equity and Diversity Roundtable. We have also recently updated our naming policies to ensure equity, diversity and inclusion is integrated in all our asset naming.

There have been growing calls to remove Ryerson’s name from public buildings and institutions, including Ryerson University in Toronto, where a report on the matter is expected to come before their president and board of directors this fall.

I support the change the HDSB is making and the reasons behind it.

Mayor Meed Ward

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

As part of our continued commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, I am working with City of Burlington staff to bring forward a report to Committee and City Council in July 2021 recommending removing the Ryerson name from our park and embarking on the council-approved naming process. We expect this process to be complete by November 2021. We will keep you updated on this process and opportunities for members of the public, including the HDSB, to provide input.

Our Indigenous community needs to enjoy our parks and public spaces without a reminder of one of the architects of the Residential School system and the legacy of harm it created for their people. Renaming our city park is one step we can take toward reconciliation with our Indigenous residents.

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Public School Board gets in on the erasing of history

News 100 redBy Staff

June 17th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

At the June 16, 2021 meeting of the Halton District School Board, Trustees unanimously approved a motion to rename Ryerson Public School on Woodview Road in Burlington in accordance with the Board’s Naming and Renaming Schools Policy and Governance Procedure.

Ryerson statue

Egerton Ryerson statue

The renaming process will begin in September 2021 to ensure the parent/guardian, student and broader community has the opportunity to provide their input. The process to rename the school will be completed by the end of November 2021. The current exterior school sign will be covered until a new name is chosen. Information and signage will also be posted to indicate a renaming process will take place in Fall 2021.

As part of the Board motion, the Chair of the Board will also send a letter to the Mayor of Burlington to inform her of the initiation of the HDSB process to rename the school, as the community park adjacent to the school bears the same name.

Ryerson Public School was named after Egerton Ryerson for his contributions to the Ontario education system, however, Ryerson was also instrumental to the design of Canada’s residential school system. In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada concluded this assimilation amounted to the genocide of Indigenous people.

There have been growing calls to remove Ryerson’s name from public buildings and institutions and the HDSB has received formal requests to remove Ryerson’s name from the school. At their June 16, 2021 meeting, Trustees also heard a delegation from a Ryerson Public School parent in support of renaming the school.

As part of the HDSB’s Multi-Year Strategic Plan 2020-2024, the Board has committed to champion supportive and inclusive practices, and to promote knowledge and understanding of Indigenous perspectives and realities. One of the first steps taken is to assess how the HDSB can raise awareness.

“As Trustees, we need to lead by example and have the courage to approach these difficult conversations,” says Chair Andréa Grebenc. “As years have gone by and truths have been uncovered, we have a responsibility, in collaboration with our staff and communities, to reevaluate past decisions and address accordingly.

Ryerson H&S

Portrait of Egerton Ryerson

“The perspectives of the diverse communities of Halton must be valued and honoured. Indigenous students, staff and the broader community should be able to enter a school without being harmed by the HDSB upholding the name of a person that has contributed to genocide.”

Egerton Ryerson did more than contribute, he created the public school system we have today. Erasing history doesn’t mean it disappears – all we have done is hide it.

Ryerson was reported to have “done more than any other man of his day for the cause of public instruction in Ontario.”

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Writing school essays and relaxing when the work is done - and waiting for that top grade

News 100 blueBy Eva Thaler

June 16th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Students have some favorite places to visit to ease their stress after a long, tiring day at school. Know their favorite places in Burlington.

Burlington is among the places that students choose to study. There are a lot of schools that students can choose from. It is favorite among parents and students because of the suitable environment it has plus the good quality of education its schools provide. Being in a top-notch school, university or college can bring pressure and stress to any student. It is normal to be given tons of schoolwork in these wonderful schools. You would sometimes wish you could ask someone to help you and say ‘please
write a paper for meessay helper online

It is a good thing that you can find essay helper online these days. There are websites like https://writemyessayforme.cheap/ and many others that you can order essays from. This will give you the chance to be eased from doing tons of written work for the school. Through these student-help websites, you can take a breather and relax a bit.

Students are not just for schoolwork. They should also have the time for themselves to relax, rest and enjoy life. Burlington may have the best schools around, but it also has tons of places that students love to visit.

Top Places in Burlington for Students

Mapleview Shopping Centre
This premier shopping centre in southern Ontario is among the favorites of students with shopping, dining, movies, and more. When they want to unwind and simply enjoy the company of friends, this is their usual destination. It has establishments where they can eat, play, shop, and enjoy. And of course, shopping is always among the favorite pastimes for young people.

RBGRoseteahouse

One of the best outdoor locations in the city.

Royal Botanical Gardens
Not all may love plants and flowers, but this garden is a favorite place for students. It is because it is relaxing and quiet. The plants, trees, and flowers will free your eyes and mind from the stress and pressure that you get from school. It will relax your body and brain and simply give you the time to re-energize. Besides, this is a national historic site in Canada and everyone wants to visit this place because of its beauty.

Mount Nemo Conservation Area
Students who love adventure often visit the Mount Nemo Conservation Area. Here, they can walk down the trail, jog, climb and simply explore the beautiful mountain tracks. Those who wish for an outdoor and physical activity to do will enjoy going to this place.

Escarpment - view to fields

From the top of Mt Nemo you can see the CN Tower on a good day – everyday you can say rural Burlington spread out before you. On a spectacular day you might find a rock climber popping up in front of you as the scale the heights.

Art Gallery of Burlington
Students who love arts are the ones who frequently visit this place. Art museums can be informative and inspirational. Those who are thinking of pursuing a career in the arts will surely enjoy visiting an art museum like the Art Gallery of Burlington.

Downtown Burlington
Students who do not have a specific activity or place in mind would just go downtown. This is where they can find many activities to do and establishments to visit. You can go walking on the streets where you can see historic buildings. There are also hotels, churches, and establishments that will amaze your eyes.

Bars and Lounges
Students also love the nightlife. Those who love music, food, drinks, and the company of friends enjoy going to bars and lounges. Burlington has tons of these and students can easily pick their favorites.

Stonehaven Farms
Those who love fruit picking or seeing lovely plantations of vegetables go to Stonehaven Farms often. Students that cook a lot or those who are into agriculture enjoy visits to these farms. This farm has been around since 1904. Its bounty of fresh produce is well-maintained and has been providing the people of Burlington nature’s products all year round. This place offers clean, and relaxing air which will help students relax and simply enjoy nature.

Queens Head

Popular waterhole – yards from Spencer Smith Park and the edge of Lake Ontario

Roaming around for Restaurants
There are tons of restaurants in Burlington. From the ones that sell cheap hotdogs on buns or stick to the fine dining restaurants, students explore and get to taste the delicacies being served in the many dining establishments around Burlington. Students who have free time usually go out and dine in with friends or family. There are various cuisines to choose from, giving students a lot of options.

Lowville Park
This has been a good summer getaway for many students of Burlington. You can do fishing, basking in the lake, walking, picnicking, jogging and a lot more. This place is not only for friends but also for the entire family.

When the students get their time off from school, these are the places they usually go to in Burlington. This place offers tons of activities that students of different preferences will enjoy. There will always be a perfect place for every student of Burlington. This is among the reasons even international students would love to study here. It is not just the schools that they want to enjoy but also the entirety and beauty of Burlington.

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Citizens choose location for next Rainbow Crosswalk - opposite Catholic School Board

News 100 redBy Staff

June 5, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Rainbow Crosswalk are now part of the Burlington streetscape.

The first was put in place across Lakeshore at Burlington Street, at a cost of $10,000.

Public response was very positive and there was appetite for other Rainbow crosswalks.

The city did a survey asking people where they thought the next cross walk should be.
The response to the survey was very high – the preferred location surprising.

Citizens chose to have the next Rainbow Crosswalk on Fairview, near Drury which would be basically in front of the Halton District Catholic School Board.

Rainbow catholic BEST

The report on the survey and the results will be going to Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility Committee on Tuesday June 8th beginning at 9:30 a.m.

It will be interesting to see if there are any delegations.

The Halton District Catholic School Board chose recently to not permit the raising of Rainbow flags at Catholic schools.

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Managers and staff at school bus company might be getting dunked

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 4th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Those men and women who drive the school buses have a sense of humour. And like everyone else they have learned to pivot – rather well.

First student

School bus company pivots to reward drivers.

They weren’t able to hold their annual Awards Banquet – they came up with a different idea.

This year they are holding a drive-through BBQ for the drivers and they are holding a charity dunk-the-staff-and-managers event for the drivers.

dunked

Dunking senior management

Every driver has been given a form to indicate which management and staff they want to dunk.

The drivers will pay $2 a ball or 3 balls for $5.

100% of the funds will be going to Food for Kids Halton.

We will get back to you on the where of this event.

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Outdoor Graduation ceremonies - maybe. School boards have heard nothing from the province. Several schools have planned virtual events

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 3rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In a grand gesture yesterday the Premier announced that outdoor graduation events were going to be permitted.

That news came as a surprise to every high school principal in the province.

The Halton District School Board was taken by surprise when they heard the news.

Bateman graduation class 2017

Bateman high school graduation in 2017

“At this point we don’t even know if we will be able to do it. Many Boards have already said they will not be doing it” said a news source.

“The Ministry has not given any direction, we haven’t spoken to Public health about it yet. It was a total surprise to us he announced it.

“Many schools have already planned their virtual events, which weren’t easy. Also don’t forget he said a celebration for every grade not just graduation.

The school board “will be going over this next week” – what they need is clear direction from the Ministry of Education. “… we have also yet to receive any written confirmation or direction from the Ministry.

The Premier said that there would be graduation events for every grade – which has not been the custom for Ontario schools. The long standing practice has been for high school students to graduate. More recently there have been graduation events for those completing elementary school.

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Kearns withdraws from nomination race - supports Grebenc

News 100 redBy Staff

May 28th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

A statement, jointly released by Lisa Kearns, Councillor for ward 2 and a candidate for the Burlington Provincial Liberal Association and Andrea Grebenc, Chair of the Halton District School Board and also a candidate for the Liberal nomination, said:

Burlington is the best place to live, raise a family, start a business or age in place. Ontario’s general election is just over a year away. It will be an election focused on fighting to strengthen public health care, deliver quality education, grow our economy, and protect our environment for generations to come.

Burlington needs an exceptionally strong candidate to go on the ballot for the June 2022 provincial election. There were two elected officials for the Ontario Liberal nomination: Lisa Kearns, City and Regional Councillor Ward 2 and Andrea Grebenc, Halton District School Board Chair and Trustee for Wards 3 & 6.

Kearns - trhe like

Ward 2 city councilor Lisa Kearns announces decision to withdraw from seeking the Liberal nomination.

Lisa Kearns has withdrawn her nomination after due consideration and will seek municipal re-election. She states, “when Ms Grenbenc put forth her interest in running I was happy that there was another candidate that I felt that was a good strong choice for this position, which would allow me to stay in my role as Ward 2 Councillor and continue my passionate work for the ward that I work and live in. There is still so much work to be done here, especially on matters of planning and development. All the recent advancements we have achieved could become undone without the continued watch of a seasoned councillor who is up to date and understands planning matters. I am happy to work alongside Ms Grebenc and give her my support in solidly positioning Burlington for community supported growth, not over-development.”

As a life-long Burlington resident, Ms Grebenc has successfully competed in two municipal elections for Halton District School Board Trustee and runs an IT consultation business. The second-largest area of provincial oversight is education.

By the time the provincial election is called she will have been working directly for that sector – approving budgets, advocating, and setting policy for nearly 8 years.

Burlington is fortunate to have nomination candidates truly focused on serving constituents so we can make a better tomorrow for Burlington residents and the citizens of Ontario.

Grebenc frown

Andrea Grebenc, Chair of the Halton District School Board chairing a meeting virtually.

Grebenc, speaking about Kearns said: “Lisa’s work as a councillor both at the city and regional level is impactful and shows a deep concern for the future of the City of Burlington. The conversations I’ve had with Lisa surrounding municipal issues where she has advocated for critical changes at the provincial level include the Land Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) and policies that prioritize the health & well-being of our families and loved ones.

“These are issues I am happy to carry forward into the candidacy and ultimately to Queens Park as MPP for Burlington.” .

Kearns who didn’t know Grebenc previously said: “Andrea’s proven leadership and tenacity for advancing provincial matters are widely recognized. Her elected and professional roles demonstrate a keen interest in community well-being and navigating complex issues with political acuity. She will be a strong champion for Burlington’s values as we seek greater autonomy at the provincial level.”

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Find the will to vaccinate every student and teacher before September

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

May 28th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The back and forth debate over sending students back to school for the three weeks in June that are the balance of this school term seems to forge what everyone says they want – the best thing for the students.

Stuart Miller

While due to retire in August, current Director of education for the Halton District School Board Stuart Miller could lead a drive to get students vaccinated before September.

Students have been jerked around for the past 18 months.

The pandemic that we are now beginning to admit was something we should have been more aware of did throw a monkey wrench into the way we educated students.

Teachers went into shock when they were asked to teach their students by telephone, which is basically what virtual teaching is. There were no programs to help the teachers overcome the problems.

The equipment needed didn’t exist. The Halton District school Board has put more than “2000 pieces of hardware” into the hands of students.

Some teachers had difficulty adapting to teaching virtually.

The public doesn’t yet understand just how big a challenge students faced. The idea of thinking about teaching kindergarten virtually boggles the mind.

Significant damage has been done, much of it unavoidable.

But surely we don’t have to continue damaging these students.

We appear to be on our way out of the pandemic. Vaccinations are taking place and the Ontario government seems too to have learned to communicate with its citizens.

It looks, as well, that the federal government has vaccine supply lines that are holding.

Could we not now commit to having every student and every teacher vaccinated before school classes begin again in September?

There is an organization called CODE – Committee of Directors of Education.  These men and women have clout – have them use that clout and work with the local Medical Officers of Health and get the job done.

It’s possible – what it appears to be missing is the will.

Find it – the students deserve to be back in the classrooms and the teachers have to be able to do what they do best.

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

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Halton Public Secondary school students invited to take part in focus groups on racism.

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 26th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Halton District School Board Secondary students area invited to participate in focus groups to gather insight into HDSB’s response to racism.

The Halton District School Board will be conducting virtual focus groups with secondary students (Grade 9-12) during the month of June to gather student insight into the Board’s current response to racism in schools.

BLM march June

Thousands of students marched to city hall and took part in a peaceful demonstration in June of 2020

Gathering this information supports the Board’s ongoing accountability to its equity goals, as outlined in the 2020-2024 Multi-Year Plan and the Human Rights Equity Action & Accountability Plan: The Way Forward. The focus groups will be hosted virtually across each of the four municipalities in Halton.

Halton students have been active participants in the movement to remove racism from the community.  While the Black Lives Matter march on Burlington city hall was very successful – there have nevertheless been racial incidents that the larger community will not tolerate.

Curtis Ennis Dir Of Ed

Curtis Ennis, newly appointed Director of Education for the Halton District School Board

The newly appointed Director of Education for the Halton District School Board is a man of colour with a strong record of working with communities to end racism. Curtis Ennis will join the Board soon and be in place for the start of the new school year in September. He leaves the Toronto District School Board as the interim Associate Director, Equity, Well-Being and School Improvement.

Interested secondary students must complete the ‘Student Insight Conversations on HDSB’s Response to Racism’ Registration Form by Monday, May 31 at 4 p.m. Participation is voluntary. Registration form is HERE

“As a Board we are invested in learning more about how well students feel we have responded to incidents of racism in our schools,” says Rob Eatough, Superintendent of Education with responsibility for Equity. “The information and insights received will be reviewed over the summer and a report will be developed with recommendations to guide and inform a plan of action and enhanced accountability beginning in the fall.”

The virtual focus groups will take place between 1 – 3 p.m. or 4 – 6 p.m. on the following dates:
• Oakville: Wednesday, June 2
• Halton Hills: Monday, June 7
• Milton: Wednesday, June 9
• Burlington: Thursday, June 10

The focus groups will be facilitated by HDSB staff in the Equity and Research departments.

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Have you ever wondered how organizations manage to get corporate sponsorship for their events?

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 25th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Have you ever wondered how organizations manage to get corporate sponsorship for their events?

Festivals Ontario is holding a virtual event that will feature Judy Haber, a woman considered best in class in the Sponsorship industry. Judy has been selling Corporate Sponsorship and Naming Rights for the past 25 years.

Judy Haber sponsorshipJudy was instrumental in packaging and selling events that included The Shoppers Drug Mart Toronto Marathon, The Bay Street Rat Race, and over the last 10 years has spearheaded the B&O Yorkville Run for Charities. Since inception, the B&O Yorkville Run for Charities has raised millions of dollars for local not for profit groups, with sponsorship support from companies that included New Balance, Lexus, Equinox, Camrost Felcorp, Hill Street Beverages, Whole Foods, and other like brands.

The events have consistently covered their operating expense with Corporate Sponsorship.

Join Judy on Thursday, May 27 at 1:00pm for an hour of insight on the current landscape of Sponsors, how to package and sell community events, and answers to your specific question.

sponsorship link graphiicSend these to debbie@festivalsandeventsontario.ca by tomorrow (Wednesday) at 12 noon.

Click on the link below to register for free, reserve your space, and get the ZOOM link.

 

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Public school board appoints new Director of Education; a lot of Toronto based experience

News 100 yellowBy Staff

May 19th, 221

BURLINGTON, ON

Trustees of the Halton District School Board are pleased to announce the appointment of Curtis Ennis as the new Director of Education, Chief Executive Officer and Secretary to the Board, effective August 1, 2021.  

curtis Enns

Curtis Ennis, newly appointed Director of Education for the Halton District School Board

Ennis’ career portfolio during the past 22 years has included a variety of senior leadership positions with the Toronto District School Board, Canada’s largest school board, as well as the Ontario Ministry of Education. Ennis began his career as a primary teacher and advanced through various leadership roles as a Superintendent of Education with increasing responsibilities.

He is currently the Associate Director, Equity, Well-Being and School Improvement (Interim). 

Ennis has led numerous strategic planning initiatives in the TDSB, as well as gaining leadership experience with the Ministry of Education’s Toronto and Area Regional Office. Ennis holds a Bachelor of Business Management (Accounting/Finance) and a Bachelor of Education and Master of Education (Language, Culture & Teaching) from York University. 

Following the retirement announcement of the current Director of Education, Stuart Miller, trustees began a search process in early December 2020. With the help of Joan M. Green and Associates/Lough Barnes Consulting Group (LBCG), an extensive consultation took place. The search involved consultation with stakeholders in the education community including HDSB staff, local unions, trustees, students,  community partners and beyond to develop the Halton-specific Director position profile.  

“The Trustees of the Halton District School Board (HDSB) were impressed with, and grateful for, the strong show of interest and outstanding qualifications of the candidates who applied for the position of Director of Education,” says HDSB Chair Andréa Grebenc.

“We are excited to welcome Curtis Ennis as the HDSB’s incoming Director.  Curtis brings a wealth of knowledge gained through senior leadership roles in the Ontario education sector. He has diverse experiences that will be invaluable in building strong relationships with students, staff, families and community members, as the HDSB continues its journey to fulfilling the goals outlined in the 2020-2024 Multi-Year Strategic Plan, and providing outstanding opportunities for every student.” 

 

Ennis has a proven-track record of strategic planning and leadership with a focus on student achievement and well-being, equity and inclusion, communication and relationship building. 

“I am truly honoured and excited to be joining the Halton District School Board as Director of Education, says Ennis. “I am grateful to the Trustees for their confidence in me and I look forward to leading and learning with the students, staff, families and community partners of Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville in the years ahead. Leadership for me has always been about service and I am deeply committed to working with all staff and the Board to carry on the Halton tradition of excellence in education while being acutely mindful of those who have been historically under-served and have faced barriers to positive outcomes.

“Working collaboratively with students, staff, trustees and communities, I will be intentional and focused on ensuring the success and well-being of students of all identities in HDSB.” 

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Parks and Recrearion move fast to get signage in place as part of controlling movement of people in public places

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 4th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Have the people at Parks and Recreation taken dancing lessons?

Spencer Smith sign

We should know by next weekend if the signs are going to make a difference

They have had to pivot on almost every project they have on the go.

sign spencer smith 3

The sign is certainly in the right place.

When the Gazette reported that there were large numbers of people gathering inappropriately we mentioned that there were no signs in place.

We reported that story on Monday (it did great things for our readership) – this afternoon we got a response from Chris Glenn who sent us three pictures of signs that are in place in the park.

Chris Glenn reported: “The signage is in place at SSP and other locations. Included a couple examples below.

The park ambassadors and other compliance monitoring / enforcement options are being discussed with council this week, primarily at the EICS meeting under the COVID verbal update. Will know more after this discussion.”

They are scrambling but they are on top of it.  Realize that much of the communication between staff members is by cell phone from their homes.

sign spencer smith COVID

The message is certainly clear enough. Add a couple of bylaw control officer ans the small crowds will disappear.

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