Commercial vehicle inspections show small improvement over 2016 results.

News 100 redBy Staff

October 12th, 2017



Policing the commercial traffic on our highways is vital. There was a time when we had wheels flying off trucks that were unsafe because they weren’t properly maintained.


The Regional Police have a fully equipped vehicle with all kinds of inspection equipment. with the 401, the 403, the 407 and the QEW cutting through Halton region commercial vehicle inspection is a big job.

Police officers and inspectors from seven services, the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Finance/ Environment recently completed a two-day commercial vehicle (CMV) enforcement blitz held at the Mohawk Raceway in Milton on October 4-5.

Results of the showed some encouraging signs for road safety. The data shows a record number of vehicles being inspected and an increase in compliance over 2016.

The two day blitz this year yielded the following results:

• Total commercial motor vehicles inspected: 477
• Total commercial motor vehicles taken out of service: 156 (33% failure rate)
• Total charges laid: 331
• Sets of plates seized by police: 24

2016 Results:
• Total commercial motor vehicles inspected: 470
• Total commercial motor vehicles taken out of service: 179 (38% failure rate)
• Total charges laid: 476
• Sets of plates seized by police: 35

Top six charges laid by police in 2017:

• Fail to complete daily inspection (58 charges)
• Improper brake (24 charges)
• Failure to complete annual inspection (22 charges)
• Insecure load (21 charges)
• Fail to have permit (19 charges)
• Overweight vehicle (14 charges)


Halton police officer checks the tires on a truck during a blitz.

“The results of the 2017 Halton commercial motor vehicle blitz reveal that there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure commercial motor vehicles are safe. The rules of the road apply equally to all motor vehicle operators and ensuring a mechanically fit, safely loaded and secure vehicle remains the law. As always, safer trucks equate to safer roads.” said Sgt. Ryan Snow, Traffic Services Unit.

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Fire prevention week - Fire Chief wants your attention - takes the social media route to get it - prizes

News 100 redBy Staff

October 10th, 2017



The Burlington Fire Department is recognizing Fire Prevention Week from Oct. 8 to 14, 2017 with a contest for residents who connect with them through social media.

Residents are asked to look for Fire Prevention Week transit shelter ads around Burlington, take a photo clearly showing the safety message– selfie optional – and tag @BurlingtonFire on Twitter or @BurlingtonFireDept on Facebook to be entered into a draw to win a Fire Prevention Week gift pack.

The contest runs from Oct. 2 to 29, 2017.
Fire Prevention week is a province-wide initiative held each year in October. This year’s theme of Fire

Prevention Week is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!”

In a fire, you may have just seconds to safely escape your home. Be prepared in advance with these simple steps for home fire escape planning:

Fire 3155 Michael 3 alarm

Fire and smoke move faster than you can. Plan and practice fire escape exercises.

Consider the needs of everyone in your home
Identify anyone who needs help to get out of the home safely, such as small children or older adults.
Make sure that you have working smoke alarms on every storey of the home and outside all sleeping areas
Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm.
Identify all possible exits (doors and windows) and make sure they work
Know two ways out of all areas, if possible.
Everyone must know what to do when the smoke alarm sounds
Name someone to take care of those who need help.
Identify a safe meeting place outside.
Call the fire department from outside the home – from a neighbour’s home or a cell phone.
Practice your home fire escape plan at least twice a year
Have everyone take part.
Make changes to your plan if necessary.

Burlington Fire Chief Dave Lazenby tells people that “Fire and smoke move faster than you. There’s no time to figure out how to escape your home after a fire starts. Practice an escape plan before there’s a fire so you can get out safely.”

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Is there a link between the closing of two Burlington high schools and the plans for a new administrative office?

opinionandcommentBy George Ward

October 7th, 2017



Many residents in Burlington are still questioning why we are closing two schools in the growing City of Burlington. The Halton District school Board has presented its perspective and justification for the closures, it still doesn’t make sense.

Hayden High school, Burlington's newest built as part of a complex that includes a Recreational Centre and a public library with a skate park across the street.

Hayden High school, Burlington’s newest built as part of a complex that includes a Recreational Centre and a public library with a skate park across the street. The school is well over its intended capacity and currently has 12 portables.

To begin, closing both Pearson and Bateman high school does not alleviate the overcrowding at Hayden (overcrowded with over 1,650 pupils and growing, necessitating the use of 12 portable classrooms and a desire to add 6 more in the future).

Secondly, it does not alleviate the growing pressures on our busing system and in fact contributes to the growing problem and safety concerns. Closing our schools makes absolutely no sense, is unwarranted, unjustified, and simply put is very short-sighted.

The board seems to have lost sight of the fact that schools are public assets and that taxpayers have invested their money in these schools and communities. If one was to look at these school closures in Burlington solely from a financial perspective you would realize that closing Pearson and Bateman will result in a substantially higher costs.

Closing two schools save approximately $2 million, however, some of these operating costs, such as the pool and day care, added busing, and other new ongoing costs to take care of the closed schools are not accounted for. In addition, the costs of capital equipment and facilities to transition specialty programs to Nelson was put at $12 million, but there is concern that this will  be much higher.  While a no school closure would result in the expense range of approximately $250,000 in operating costs. How is that being fiscally responsible?

Gerry Cullen

Some of the data that was presented during the PARC meetings was out of date and conflicted with other data put forward. Many had difficulty figuring out just what the full story was. Superintendent of Facilities Gerry Cullen was challenged at times to give a satisfactory explanation.

Throughout the Program Accommodation Review (PAR) process, it became clear early on of the lack of transparency when it came to information sharing from the board. From information and data changing periodically to the extensive and lengthy data provided, it became a challenge to gain insight into the facts that led to the decision to close our schools.

With more questions than answers, one might start to wonder:  What is the real motivation behind the HDSB wanting to close these schools?

Perhaps when we go back through Board Minutes to understand why the board needs to move forward on school closures in Burlington.

Below is an excerpt from HDSB meeting minutes of February 2017:

The Halton District School Board Administration is experiencing significant growth pressures due to growth in student population and the increasing complexity of its work. As a result, the Board’s existing office facilities have become woefully inadequate. This is not a question of quantity of space, but rather of quality of space.

Five level bldg

It is only a concept but it gives you some idea as to how far along the thinking is within the Boar of Education Administration.

Our analysis of how to meet the Board’s current and future needs presents an opportunity to provide the staff of the HDSB with a 21st century work environment: a new 95,000 sq. ft. facility to accommodate 350 staff within a single building, designed according to the guiding principles identified herein.

The sale of the existing J.W. Singleton site would make this project possible and in turn, create a facility that reflects the Board’s values, resulting in the delivery of the highest quality education for the Board’s students.

Budget Estimate: 95,375 sq. ft. x $310/sq. ft. = $29.6M

This estimate is based on the HWDSB (Hamilton-Wentworth) precedent and it is for project costs only. Land costs are not included, as they will depend on the site selection. Space for growth (10,000 sq. ft.. included) is based on HDSB projections, and can be adjusted should projections increase.

• 1 move required
• Unknowns could impact the costs include site issues such as geo-technical, soil, zoning,

• Only 1 move – no temporary accommodations required, and minimized disturbance to staff.
• Because this would be a purpose-built environment, it is the option that would best meet the Board’s needs outlined in this report without compromise.
• Other sites no longer in use could be used to raise funds.

It is clearly stated in the minutes that it is NOT a situation of need for additional space but rather a desire for better quality of space. According to the board, a better facility for their staff would in turn provide better education. How does having a nicer work space for HDSB board staff contribute to a better quality of education for our students?

Protest outside board office

Demonstrations didn’t make a bit of difference. The trustees, who are the people who made the decision, didn’t hear the parents.

Bateman hug

Bateman high school parents chose to give their school a public hug.

Shouldn’t priority be that our students have the “best quality learning environment”. Where students can walk or ride their bikes to school instead of sitting on the floor of an overcrowded bus. Where students are able to learn in an environment that is quiet, calm, and not overcrowded, where classes are not held in hallways, where students are not learning in portables, where there is sufficient heating, air conditioning, and/or proper ventilation systems?

The planning for a new Administration office for the Board Staff are moving along:  The following comes from a report prepared by a firm of architects.  The options before the Board were set out as follows:

Do Nothing,’ but maintain the existing facilities, for an estimated cost of $20M over the next 25 years, with no improvement to the actual offices in terms of functionality or design .

Complete a Renovation- Addition to one of the existing buildings, which  would  yield a compromised facility with increased disruption, for a similar cost to the final option .

Build a new facility, estimated at

$29 .6M (not including land) is the option that would best meet the Board’s needs as outlined in our guiding principals .

In order to obtain true value and create the desired synergies enabling Board staff to work at their best, we strongly recommend the Board proceed with constructing a new Administrative office facility .

Because of existing legislative requirements, selling the J .W . Singleton property appears to be the best way to generate sufficient dollars to fund this project . This would in turn allow for a new administrative facility to be centrally located in the Milton/Oakville area, where the Region’s growth is projected in the next 25-50 years .

The next phases of this Study will explore potential partnerships that could yield community benefits as well as capital and operating savings . Once specific sites are identified, concept plans, cost estimates and implementation strategies will be completed .

It appears that the need to accommodate 350 board staff takes precedence over the 76 elementary schools, and 17 secondary schools that serves over 50,000 students, excluding those in adult, alternative, and Community Education program within our school system.

Despite the fact the Minister of Education announced a moratorium on the Program Accommodation Review process and the fact that the HDSB is now subject to an Administrative Review, the HDSB continues to move forward on their plan to close two Burlington high schools, despite the fact the process that led to the decision has been publicly deemed to be flawed.

So, the question still remains.

Why is the HDSB really closing schools in Burlington?

Related article:

School Board announces it is looking for partners.

LBP George Ward 2George Ward is a semi- retired quality control auditor who is deeply involved in the community effort to keep the Lester B. Pearson high school open. Both his children and some of their children attended Lester B. Pearson.

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School Board wants to listen to people and organizations that might be interested in using some space.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 6th, 2017



Community organizations and members of the public are invited to a meeting on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 7 p.m., to discuss potential planning and partnership opportunities within Halton District School Board facilities.

Partnership opportunities in existing schools and co-build opportunities in proposed new schools, as well as a new Board Administrative Centre, will be discussed at the J.W. Singleton Education Centre (2050 Guelph Line, Burlington).

HDSB sign with flag

Education Centre – has been described as a development site.

The full list of facilities available for community partnerships and the community planning and partnerships policy can be viewed at

Potential partners are requested to bring relevant planning information such as population projections, growth plans, community needs, land use and greenspace/park requirements to the meeting.

It’s a bit of a step in the right direction.

The HDSB has not been as aggressive in marketing the opportunities that exist in the buildings they have. There are numerous opportunities for the Board of Education to partner with the municipalities.

There is a pressing need for additional facilities for Seniors north of the QEW – this is the time to start those conversations.

There are a number of people who were members of the Burlington PARC who thought there was a sharing of facilities opportunity that would keep Pearson high school open and the Nursery operation at the location.

Hopefully the Board will be more open to some innovative ideas.

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Announcement of who the facilitator will be for the Administrative Review is somewhere between Queen's Park and Burlington.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 4th, 2017



It is taking a bit longer than anyone expected but the Ministry of Education assures us that there will be an announcement shortly on who has been assigned the task of doing the Administrative Review of the PAR process that resulted in the decision to close two of the city’s seven high schools.


Is there any life left for this high school?

“The Ministry is currently in the process of finalizing the details regarding selecting a facilitator to undertake an Administrative Review for the Pupil Accommodation Review which included Lester B. Pearson High School and Robert Bateman High School.

“Once finalized, the ministry will notify the Halton District School Board, lead petitioners and the broader public.”

The parent groups at each high school feel there is a lot riding on whatever the appointed facilitator concludes after looking at all the documents.

Miller with students Mar 7-17

HDSB Director of Education Stuart Miller with students during a public meeting. Bate parent group member Denise Davy stands to Miller’s left.

Halton District school Board Director of Education Stuart Miller told the Gazette recently that “these reviews tend to be paper heavy”.

There are those in the community who feel that the delay in appointing someone is a part of the process to keep the issue out of the public eye until the June 7, 2108 provincial election is out of the way – that’s ten months off.

The Board staff had hoped that this would all be done quickly so they could get on with the job of getting one school upgraded so they could take in the students. Many of the Bateman students are due to move to an upgraded Nelson high school in 2020.

Lester B. Pearson is scheduled to have their last high school graduation in June of 2018; in 2019 they are supposed to become M.M. Robinson students.

PARC with options on the wallsOne wonders if the PARC that was created to serve as the communications channel from parents to the Board will have anything to say once the Administrative Review is completed.

Most parent groups felt the PAR failed the community – which is part of why they requested the Administrative Review.

The school board staff just want to get on with the job of transitioning students to their new schools – the parent groups have taken the position that this isn’t over yet.

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An amazing piece of film footage - watching the earth move.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

October 4th, 2017



You’ve heard the phrase: “The earth moved” perhaps in a context you don’t want to expand on.

We came across a piece of film footage that is actually awesome. The earth literally moved!

It runs for 20 minutes – you won’t want to spend that much time on it. But the first three to four minutes are  riveting to watch.

Perito_Moreno_Glacier_Patagonia_Argentina_Luca_Galuzzi_2005If there was ever any doubt in your mind that the earth’s climate has changed – spend a couple of minutes on this.

You will see a glacier of ice being pushed into the sea and creating huge waves.

They call it glacier calving – walls of ice as high as fifty feet – maybe more just crashing down into the sea. That ice will flow into the waters resulting in a cooling that changes a weather pattern.

It is the sight of the ice crashing down that makes this film footage so fascinating. It was taken from people who are on a ship who are recording the glacier as it disintegrates.

It’s worth a few minutes of your time. Come back to it when you have the time. Just the first couple of minutes:
Click here for the link.


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School board hot weather action plan should be activated when the humidex reaches or exceeds 35ºC

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 26th, 2017



It has been hot.

Been that way for two days so far this week and we are probably going to see more of this type of weather before the snow arrives.

And for students in classrooms with no air conditioning – this is not fun time nor is it the kind of environment that learning takes place in very efficiently.

Superintendent of Facilities Gerry Cullen reports that all of Hayden high school is air conditioned?

The Education centre is air conditioned.

All of the high schools have some area that is air conditioned. Newer schools (since Iroquois Ridge) are air conditioned in most areas. Some shop areas may not have air conditioning.

Any elementary school built in the last 25+ years are air conditioned. Some older ones have an area, typically the library, is air conditioned.

The Board has a program in place that is installing air conditioning in older two level buildings. It is part of the ” Close the Gap” projects.

The school board does have a policy related to weather conditions but it is skewed to winter weather. “In rare circumstances, the Director of Education may order schools closed due to extreme weather conditions.”


The best some schools could do was open windows. In some schools the windows cannot be opened.

When the heat or high humidity is combined with other stresses such as hard physical work, physical activity/play, loss of fluids, fatigue or some medical conditions, it may lead to heat-related illness, disability and even death. Some individuals are more susceptible to heat related illness: children less than 15 years old, seniors 65 years and older, children playing sports or prolonged physical exertion, children wearing excessive/heavy clothing, children on certain medications.

Therefore, it is very important to have a Hot Weather Action Plan to deal with these occurrences and to provide precautions on very hot days to protect both students and staff from heat related illnesses and heat stress. Heat stress is affected by 4 environmental factors: air temperature, humidity, air movement and radiant heat. Individual factors such as age, existing medical and physical conditions also play a part in how an individual copes during times of extremely hot weather.

Additional information about preventative measures to manage hot weather conditions can be found on the Region of Halton website at

Student with fan

Do we issue students with fans?

4. Hot Weather Action Plan
• The plan should be activated when weather/environmental triggers occur such as:
• the humidex reaches or exceeds 35ºC;
• Environmental Canada Humidex Advisory (air temperature exceeding 30ºC and the humidex exceeds 40ºC) is issued;
• there is a smog alert and higher temperatures (27-30ºC); or
• a heat wave occurs (3 or more days of 32ºC or higher temperatures).
• Parents and staff should be notified whenever the hot weather plan is activated. Note that there is no specific temperature or humidex value that would trigger schools to close.
A Hot Weather Action Plan includes the following general prevention and control measures:

1.1 Communication
• When hot weather conditions described above (item 1) exist in the Halton Region, the Director or designate will communicate to schools that they are to initiate their Hot Weather Action Plan.


Getting students outside and under trees is going to be one of the solutions when the heat is extreme.

1.2 General Prevention and Controls
• Use PA announcements to advise students not to overexert themselves during nutrition breaks
• Make use of shady areas in the schoolyard.
• Consider indoor or modified recesses and lunch hours. Limit time outdoors when temperatures and UV radiation are most intense, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
• Make available and encourage students to drink plenty of cool water throughout the day.
• Inform staff on how to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat stress (see chart) and monitor students for these signs.
• Recognize that students who have been on vacation or absent from school need to be acclimatized to working in heat.
• Keep as many heat-generating appliances and fixtures off while maintaining safety. Shut off computers and projectors when not in use.
• If there is a breeze outside and the humidex levels are not excessive, consider opening operable windows.
• Increase air movement with the use of fans if temperature is less than 35ºC and the relative humidity is below 70%.
• Keep blinds/curtains closed in classrooms/offices directly exposed to sunlight. Turn off any unnecessary lights.
• If air conditioning is present in some areas of the building, consider cycling classes through these areas.
• If possible, reschedule physical activities and slow down the pace of physical activities as appropriate.

• Avoid activities in direct sunlight.
• Increase the frequency and length of rest breaks, if necessary.
• Cool the body by placing cool, wet paper towels or cloths on the head, forehead or neck. Forearms may also be submersed in cool water.
• When in doubt, seek assistance for the school’s qualified First Aiders for the identification and treatment of heat related disorders.
• Monitor local radio stations for announcements regarding humidex readings.

1.3 Personal Protective Equipment
• Light summer weight clothing made from natural fibers should be worn (whenever possible) to allow free air movement and sweat evaporation. Avoid wearing synthetic fabrics.
• If participating in outdoor activities, wear light coloured clothing.
• Students are encouraged to wear a sunscreen containing a minimum SPF of 15 when outdoors. Other protective measures include a brimmed hat and sunglasses with ultraviolet radiation protection.

student water

There are stations similar to this around Burlington now. will we see more of these in schools?

student fainting

Some students may succumb to the heat and faint – teachers are going to need some instruction.

1.4 Heat Related Illnesses
• People suffer heat-related illnesses when their body temperature rises rapidly and they are unable to properly cool themselves.
• Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs.
• People are generally unable to notice their own heat stress related symptoms. Their survival depends on the ability of others, especially adults, to recognize these symptoms and seek timely first aid and medical help.
• Staff should be aware of signs and symptoms of heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. When in doubt, seek assistance for the school’s qualified First Aiders for the identification and treatment of heat related disorders.
Stop activity and seek medical help immediately if someone:
• has difficulty breathing,
• experiences weakness or fainting,
• is feeling more tired than usual,
• is feeling sick,
• has a headache, and/or
• is experiencing confusion.

• Move the person to a shaded area or indoors to a cooler place. Give the person sips of cool water, not ice water, or a sports drink. Do not provide salt tablets. Although the body will lose a lot of water during times of heavy perspiration, not a lot of salt is lost. Adding extra salt can raise the sodium levels in the body to hazardous levels.

Only a doctor should advise on using salt additives.

Lot’s of detail – this week, so far, the humidex did reach that 35 degree level and the Board of Education didn’t issue any statements to the public generally.

This is a new situation – everyone is going to have to adapt – what steps the Board of Education is going to have to take are going to need some attention.

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REVISED| Aldershot high school may get a new purpose in life - public has been asked what they would like to see.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

September 26, 2017



The Halton District Board of Education is always looking for opportunities to make the course offerings more creative and relative to the work force students will be going into when they graduate.

During the PARC discussions members of that committee wanted to see some innovation – they weren’t at all sure that the school board had the same understanding of just what innovation is in the eyes of the public sector and the way it was interpreted by the private sector.

BT YA cheque presentation Aldershot

Small school – they roar when they have to.

The Board had an addition problem – enrollment at the Aldershot high school was low – 358 now with a capacity for 558. One school board Superintendent summed it up pretty well when she said “there are elementary schools in Burlington with higher enrollments”

Aldershot is a grade 7–12 school. It was originally just a high school that had grades 7 and 8 added in 2001 to make use of spare capacity.

Aldershot was at risk during the PAR process – it was spared but the Board knew that it had to do something to increase enrollment.

The community is being asked by the school board what they would like to see added to the school’s curriculum.

Aldershot school for ideas graphicAll kinds of ideas have been floated – an alternative school, an arts school or a school that focused on entrepreneurship. What had become evident was that the school board did not have a clear idea or pedagogical objective – they seemed to be flailing about for the “right idea”.

Given the continued enrollment challenges at Aldershot High School, the School Board decided to explore possible theme/magnet/incubator programs that are in alignment with the Multi-Year Plan, will increase student enrollment, and enhance student choice.

The asking for ideas is being labelled the Aldershot High School Focus Exploration.

The decision to go looking for something that will boost enrollment came out of the Program accommodation Review process – the concern was the possibility of closing yet another high school and have all the Aldershot students bused to Central high school. The political flash back from that was more than anyone wanted to take on.

ADI Masonry - Station West

Early rendering of the Station West development proposed for the Aldershot GO station area.

Aldershot is in the awkward position of having an older population that is going through a process of transition. There are a number of developments that will add significantly to the student population which includes the ADI Station West project next to the Aldershot GO Station; the National Homes project that is being proposed for Brant Street, a project on Plains Road where there is currently a Bingo Hall and then the long term upgrade to the Georgian Court Community.

Add to that the long delayed Eagle Heights project that Paletta interests have been sitting on for more than a decade.

Lots of development in the pipeline – the School Board’s problem is that it has empty seats today and needs to do something.

It will be interesting to see what gets put into the ideas box,

The School Board has said it “will explore (and potentially develop) unique programs that currently exist provincially, nationally and internationally.

Whatever they recommend will align with the Ontario Ministry of Education curriculum expectations.

The request to the community for ideas ends on October 20th with the following meeting dates

Exploration Committee Meeting #1 – Oct. 24 (3 – 5 pm) @ Aldershot High School
Open House – Nov. 13 (5 – 7 pm) @ Aldershot High School
Exploration Committee Meeting #2 – Dec. 7 (3 – 5 pm) @ Aldershot High School
Exploration Committee Meeting #3 – Dec. 12 (3 – 5 pm) @ Aldershot High School

All those meetings are in the afternoon – doesn’t exactly encourage parent attendance. There are some really smart people in Aldershot that shouldn’t have to take time off work to participate.

portrait of Terri Blackwell

Superintendent  Terri Blackwell

portrait of Jacqueline Newton

Superintendent  Jacqueline Newton

portrait of Gord Truffen

Superintendent Gord Truffen

The ideas that come in are going to be sorted through by the committee formed to figure out what can be done with Aldershot. Committee members are Superintendent Jacqueline Newton, she handles the innovation file, Superintendent Gord Truffen – he oversees IT, School principal Maria McLellan, Student representation, Terri Blackwell, Superintendent of Education responsible for the Aldershot file and Superintendent Julie Hunt Gibbons

It will be interesting to see what they find in the Ideas Box.

In an earlier edition of this story we noted that the name of the ward trustee was not on the list.  The staff people we interviewed did not mention the name of the trustee.

They apologize for that error


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Tickets for David Suzuki visit to Burlington in November go on sale Wednesday afternoon.

eventsgreen 100x100By Staff

September 25, 2017



David Suzuki won’t get to Burlington until November – but if you want a ticket to the event – log into the Performing Arts Centre Wednesday – sometime after the noon hour and get your ticket. – They will move quickly.

vbhy mj

Jane Goodall spent time in Burlington in 2012 – she was a huge hit.

Burlington Green has been very good at bringing top name speakers to the city. Jane Goodall came in 2012 And was a huge success.

You can expect even more from Suzuki.

“We’re expecting tickets to sell very quickly. David Suzuki doesn’t come to this part of the province often,” says BurlingtonGreen executive director Amy Schnurr. “All summer we’ve heard how excited people are to hear him speak.”

“Grassroots people have been organizing in towns and cities like Hamilton and Burlington and asking our politicians to recognize our right to live in a healthy environment,” said David Suzuki, award-winning scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster. “For the first time in Canadian history, our elected members of parliament are coming around to the simple but powerful idea that Canadians deserve to drink safe water, breath fresh air and eat clean food.”

Both Hamilton and Burlington have passed declarations recognizing their residents’ right to live in a
healthy environment.


David Suzuki is a very engaging person. He dives right in and asks questions – younger audiences love him; adults revere him.

Before the public event, David Suzuki will join 700 Halton youth for a free all-day environmental leadership conference co-hosted by BurlingtonGreen and the David Suzuki Foundation.

“Youth have a vital role to play in the environmental rights movement,” says Peter Wood, national campaign manager for environmental rights at the David Suzuki Foundation. “Two years ago, students at Ancaster High School and Acton District High School self-organized and successfully lobbied their city Councillors to pass a declaration supporting the right to a healthy environment. By inspiring government to do the right thing, the youth of today can become the environmental leaders of tomorrow.”

Event information are available at or through the Burlington Performing Arts Centre box office.  The event doesn’t appear to be on the Performing Arts Centre web site – you might be better served to give them a call – 905-681-6000

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New principal at Gary Allan was named as an Outstanding leader who now manages a four campus school.

backgrounder 100By Pepper Parr

September 25, 2017



The high school education I got – more than 60 years ago, is a lot different than the high school education Andrea Taylor got before she started her university studies at McMaster and then went on to Queen’s to do graduate work in education.

And the high school education that Taylor was responsible for delivering to students at M.M. Robinson high school where she was principal for five years was different yet again.

“It used to be that students had to fit into the mold the classroom teacher created” said Taylor – “now the classroom teacher has to find a way to fit into and work with what the students bring to the classroom. “There is no pigeon holing in schools today. The challenge today is huge and the dynamic is a lot different.”

“How do we prepare our high school students to develop careers in areas that don’t exist today? What are we preparing students for? We often don’t know but we do know that we can give them the tools they will need to grow and prosper.

“The challenges are immense.”

Today’s student has to deal with forces that are new to society. Student mental health was not an issue when Taylor was a high school student; today it is a prime concern for every principal in the system

Andrea Taylor

Andrea Taylor, principal at Gary Allan school.

Taylor was the recipient of a Learning Partnership award and named one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals for 2017. She was one of two principals named in Halton. The award is given to high school principals from across the country who are then brought together for a five-day leadership training program at the Rotman School of Management.

Taylor, born in Toronto, spent some time in Vancouver and returned to Toronto.

She is one of four girls in the family.

The system Andrea Taylor became a part of in the early 1990’s when she started out as a classroom teacher was not all that healthy province wide.

In 1998, Michael Fullan and British educator Andy Hargreaves co-authored “What’s Worth Fighting for in Education?” It was the beginning of a much different look at the way we were educating our children.

Fullan was the Dean of the Faculty of Education in 1988; and remained Dean following its amalgamation with the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in 1996.

His work is what brought Ontario’s schools out of the troubled state they were in. “The system had flat lined across the province — results were stagnant year after year. Morale of teachers was low; the schools as a whole could be characterized as ‘loosely-coupled’ and without focus” claimed Fullan.

Fullan served as Special Policy Adviser in Education to the Premier of Ontario from 2004-2013. His work worked and by 2013, the overall performance of the almost 5,000 schools in the province had dramatically improved on most key measures and continues to improve to the point where Ontario is recognized as and proven to be one of the best school system in the English-speaking world — right up at the top with Finland, Singapore and South Korea.

PARC Andrea Taylor MMR with PARC member

Andrea Taylor in discussion with Steve Armstrong during the PARC meetings.

Taylor was part of that process as she moved from the elementary school level into high school, served as a vice principal and then was made principal of M.M. Robinson were she spent five years until her recent appointment as principal of Gary Allan – a school with four campuses and strong relationships with The Centre, a trade school that operates at arm’s length from the Board of Education, self funds but is tied into School Board policies.

Ontario had developed “from good to great.” The challenge now was to move from great to excellent.

“Greatness is the enemy of excellence because it is easy to be complacent, and take things for granted” claims Fullan.

The challenge now for educators like Taylor is to sustain improvement as well as go beyond it into new levels of learning through focused innovations.

Grade 3 reading

The exceptional improvement of the grade 3 reading scores is seen as a direct result of the introduction of full day kindergarten.

There were significant achievements: Literacy and numeracy improved from 54 per cent to 70 per cent on average across the province’s 4,000 elementary schools as measured by the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO).

Those numbers are even better for 2016.

Graduation rates improved by about two per cent every year, bringing the province’s 900 high schools to an 82 per cent graduation rate from its starting point of 68 per cent.

Fullan tells us that “What really sticks with the external researchers and the numerous site visitors to the province’s schools from all over the world is what they see and hear when they visit schools. They can go into almost any school in the province and they will find consistency of good practice. When they ask teachers or principals to explain what they are doing and why, they get specific. Educators can point to particular actions and show the link to student learning. They know where each and every student is on the learning journey.”

Taylor was a classroom teacher and a principal during this period of significant change. Chosen as a one of the best principals in the country was recognition that she not only participated in the change but was one of the leaders

Ontario’s full-day kindergarten now has all 250,000 four and five year-olds in full-day kindergarten, the first program of its kind in North America

Instructional strategies have been modified in grades 1 and 2 to match the new capabilities and confidences of the children being served.

The superb, best ever results in Halton for grade 3 reading and writing is a reflection of the full day kindergarten program.

What all of the above means is that teachers, individually and collectively — and the system as a whole — know what they are doing. They are doing it because it works. They are intrinsically motivated to keep on improving.

They are driven not just because they care, but also because they are actually making a measurable difference that affects the lives of their students.

The public has also noticed. Public satisfaction with the education system has moved from 43% in 2004 to the present all-time high of 65 per cent.

Just what the 21st century is going to require of educators was a large part of the week long session Taylor spent at the Rotman School of Business Management University of Toronto where the group of 49 Outstanding Principals met each day with leaders from different professional groups.

Andrea Taylor +

Andre Taylor and Loui Silvestri the two Outstanding Principals in Halton for 2017.

“They explained the changes they saw coming and dialogued with us on how our schools were a critical part of preparing students for a world that is in a constant state of change”, said Taylor

In a paper “Energizing Ontario Education”, three core priorities were established:

• High levels of student achievement — in literacy and numeracy at 75 per cent and in high school graduation at 85 per cent.

• Reduced gaps in school achievement for all subgroups of students.

• Increased public confidence in publicly funded education — greater two- way partnership and confidence with parents, communities and the public at large.

Fullan talks from that 40,000 foot up level when he says “People have been talking about skills for the 21st century for at least a quarter of a century — a conversation marked by superficiality and vague notions of what it means. This is rapidly changing as new pedagogical specificity and powerful technology converge. Ontario now has the capacity to make pedagogy the foundation in learning through the use of technology and new digital resources. What makes this even more exciting is that the new work is already happening in many pockets across the province.”

Taylor is one of those “pockets”. “Teachers have that special relationship with their students” she said. “I never had a student I didn’t like” and quietly recalled a student that was lost due to an accident.

Taylor has hired some of the students she taught in high school and added – as they grow up they do get away from calling me Ms Taylor. Some never do she added with a kind of “perky” smile.

Schools don’t offer cookie cutter programs anymore. There is an almost a limitless list of courses they can take.

“Every student has a gift, the task is to discover that gift with the student and then nurture and grow it”, said Taylor.

“Teachers don’t stand in front of the classroom any more, they partner with their students and prepare them for a world that is confusing, fearful at times and prone to change every 30 days.”

Six c'sThe six Cs that Fullan brought to the table form the agenda: character, citizenship, communication, critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration and teamwork, and creativity and imagination.

Fullan explains that “As we delve into the meaning of these concepts, it is important to stress that we should not launch into an abstract discussion. In the next period of development, these core priorities must be defined, operationalized in practice, measured to mark success and to clarify progress. These next steps have to be widely shared because they work. This process of specificity and dissemination is our strength. We must put it to good use for the next phase of success.

“The capacity of educators in Ontario, as noted, is at such a high level as a result of the strategies of the past nine years that much of the leadership — what we might call leading from the middle — is already in the system. It needs to be cultivated and spread throughout the province, including establishing clarity of each of the six clusters and their interrelationships, learning experiences that develop the skills and dispositions in question, and the means of measuring and fostering progression in their development. But the middle cannot lead in a vacuum. Focused leadership from the government will continue to be essential for whole system excellence.”

Teachers use the six C’s which are defined as:

• Character education— honesty, self-regulation and responsibility, perseverance, empathy for contributing to the safety and benefit of others, self-confidence, personal health and well-being, career and life skills.

• Citizenship — global knowledge, sensitivity to and respect for other cultures, active involvement in addressing issues of human and environmental sustainability.

• Communication — communicate effectively orally, in writing and with a variety of digital tools; listening skills.

• Critical thinking and problem solving — think critically to design and manage projects, solve problems, make effective decisions using a variety of digital tools and resources.

• Collaboration — work in teams, learn from and contribute to the learning of others, social networking skills, empathy in working with diverse others.

• Creativity and imagination — economic and social entrepreneurialism, considering and pursuing novel ideas, and leadership for action.

Some distance from the reading, writing and arithmetic – and that rote learning that was used when Taylor was an elementary school student.

Fullan adds that “The fundamental purpose of education in an excellent system is to produce in all of its graduates — as close to 100 per cent as possible — the quality of leadership. By that they mean the capacity and commitment to act for one’s own good and for the common good.”

Robotics NOT canada

Elementary students are taught to think creatively and solve problems.

When the province implemented Full Day Kindergarten it set in place programs that promote the development of self-regulation, social- emotional learning, inquiry skills, and play-based learning that fosters creativity, imagination and problem solving.

It is that vast and significant change that Taylor rode to the point where she now leads a program that wasn’t even thought of when she first became a teacher; heading up a school that has four campuses and a mandate to work with students who are as diverse as it gets and who are on learning curves that can range from catching up or taking a course that wasn’t available elsewhere.

The student body at Gary Allan ranges from late bloomer high school students to adults who are upgrading or getting a high school diploma that wasn’t available to them in their country of birth.

The Gary Allan school is just up the road from what used to be Elgin high school, it got renamed to Bateman when it was merged with what was General Brock. Now Bateman is scheduled to be closed.

It has indeed been a changing world for Andrea Taylor; one wonders what she will do at Gary Allan in the next five years.

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Process of merging the Bateman student population into both M.M. Robinson and Nelson begins: architect appointed, Parent Council reps chosen.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 23, 2017



Things are moving along on two different levels: Parents who harbour the hope that somehow the Board of Education decision to close two of the cities seven high schools can be reversed while the Board of Education staff proceeds cautiously in making the changes at Nelson to accommodate the students body currently at Bateman high school who are scheduled to transfer in 2020 and the Lester B. Pearson students who move to M.M. Robinson in September o 2018.

The parents are waiting to learn who the Facilitator (there might be more than one) will be. The province has yet to announce anyone to the task. Senior people at the Board of Education are wondering what is taking so long.
The Board is committed to continuing the Program Accommodation Review (PAR) Implementation plan, while cognizant of the ongoing Administrative Review by the Ministry of Education.

Jean Vanier secondary school

Jean Vanier secondary school: A Snyder design

The School Board appointed the firm of Snyder Architects Inc. to participate on the committees related to school consolidation. The job involves developing a variety of options, preparing the design details and developing the project management process needed to address the Burlington PAR outcomes for M.M. Robinson and Nelson High Schools that will expand and Lester B,Pearson and Bateman that will close.

Terri Blackwell Mar 7-17Terri Blackwell, the Superintendent of Education who is handling the implementation of the decision to merge the Bateman students into both Nelson and M.M. Robinson said: “It’s important that Snyder is involved early in the process, prior to design. They will be participating in the LBP/MMR integration committee and working with Board staff to design a variety of options for both M.M. Robinson and Nelson. As with our other facilities projects the process will also include opportunities for stakeholder feedback. It is important that Snyder is engaged in the conversations regarding the program and student needs in the creation of the two composite schools.

The project has specified timelines that schedule the work over several years. The Steering Committee will undertake a process in consultation with Snyder Architects Inc. to determine the final plans for each school. The timeline will align with the initiation of school integration committees and discussion around program changes, which will necessitate modifications to existing school buildings.

Bateman high school

Bateman high school – due to close in 2020.

Those school integration committee will include representation from the Parent Council’s from Pearson, Bateman, M.M. Robinson and Nelson.

In their media release the Board said: “The planning for and design of these facilities requires thoughtful consideration to meet the needs of our students, and therefore the input of an architect at this initial stage is integral,” said Gerry Cullen, Superintendent of Facilities Service for the Board.

Financing for the entire project has been requested from the Ministry in the 2017 Capital Priorities. The Board has the ability to stop the work at various stages of the project, if required.

Snyder Architects Inc. has successfully completed many projects for the Board, including new school construction (e.g., Martin Street PS, Oodenawi PS, Tiger Jeet Singh PS, P.L. Robertson PS), as well as additions/renovations of our schools; the Alton Village PS, Georgetown District HS.

“As a Board, we are committed to working with the students, staff and the community to support the facilities’ enhancements resulting from the Burlington Secondary School Program and Accommodation Review,” adds Cullen.

The parent groups are in the process of selecting their representatives. Pearson has chosen:

Steve Armstrong + Cheryl deLught - Pearson

Steve Armstrong and Cheryl deLught – Parents on the School Council.

Chair – Steve Armstrong *

Co-Chair – Cheryl DeLugt *

Secretary – Amy DeZouza *

Alternate Secretary – Cassandra Wandham (a local student parent)

Treasurer – Siobhan Duguay

Community Representatives – Tony Brecknock * & George Ward *

Parent Involvement Committee Representative – Cheryl DeLugt *

Asterisks represent Save LB Pearson Committee members

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Three Burlington schools to be adopted by bookstores - purpose is to grow the libraries in those schools.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

September 23, 2017



Did you know that there are school libraries in Burlington that can only afford to purchase one new book per year for every three children, leaving students without adequate access to resources for literacy development and overall growth.

The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation has announced their 2017 Indigo Adopt a School program which has named three Burlington schools that will be part of the program

Holy Rosary adopted by Indigo Spirit Mapleview Centre
Kings Road adopted by Chapters Burlington
Paul A. Fisher adopted by Indigo Burlington

The program runs from September 16 – October 8, 2017

There are several parts to the program.


There are schools that do not have funds to purchase books for their students.

The Adopt a school program
During the campaign, Indigo, its employees and their communities rally together to raise in-store donations and online donations with each dollar raised going towards transforming their adopted school’s library. The goal of Adopt a School is to add one book for every child to school libraries in high-needs communities and to raise awareness for the literacy challenges facing high- needs elementary schools.

All participating Indigo, Chapters, and Coles stores have “adopted” a local school to fundraise on its behalf during the three-week campaign period. To qualify for the program, all adopted schools must identify as “high-needs” elementary schools, having a library budget of less than $30 per student per year. During the campaign, Indigo employees together with their communities raise in-store donations, with every dollar contributed helping to transform their adopted school’s library.

In addition to in-store support, the Foundation provides a free online fundraising platform to all the schools that have been “adopted” by Indigo, Chapters and Coles stores, as well as over 350 other high-needs elementary schools across Canada. The online platform,, allows supporters to find a participating school of their choice to support. Each participating school is also eligible to receive up to an additional $1,200 for books through the Foundation’s matching initiatives.

Books - boy reading

Reading at a very early stage sets a foundation for the education needed in a society where information is vital.

All schools participating in the Adopt a School program receive 100% of the funds raised in-store and online at At the end of the campaign, the Foundation will provide each school with their funds as an eGiftcard for the purchase of books. In addition, the schools will receive a 30% discount on books at Indigo, Chapters and Coles stores.

Book Bonus! – For every $20 donation online (, the equivalent value of two books, made to a participating school, the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation will contribute a donation of $10, the equivalent of one extra book, up to $1,000.

Adopt a School Story Contest
Canadians can also get involved by sharing a short story on the online profile of a participating school, with an option to “heart” their favourite stories. In each province, the top five schools with the most “heart” stories will have a chance to win a top prize of $2,500 Indigo eGiftcard to purchase new books. The remaining four schools in each province will receive $500 Indigo eGiftcard for new library resources. The top prize will be selected by random draw.

Tell a Story, Give a Story! – Through, supporters are able to submit a story in support of a participating school of their choice, with no donation required. For every story shared, the Foundation will donate $10, the equivalent of a book to support the students at that school, up to $200.

Books - Indigo graphicSince its inception in 2004, the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation has committed over $25 million to support more than 3,000 Canadian high-needs elementary schools. The Foundation has impacted the lives of more than 900,000 students, replenishing school libraries in every Canadian province and territory.

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All 21 Ontario universities will have representatives at Assumption Catholic high school on Wednesday the 27th.

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

September 22, 2017



Representatives from Ontario’s 21 universities will be in Burlington at Assumption Catholic Secondary School on Wednesday, September 27, 2017, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., for the University Information Program (UIP).

Assumption is located at 3230 Woodward Avenue, Burlington L7N 3P1

Assumption map

Assumption high school location – 3230 Woodward avenue

This free event offers high school students from the surrounding area, and their parents, the opportunity to speak in-person with multiple university representatives. Any high school students in the area are welcome to attend, regardless of which school board their school belongs to.

The UIP offers students who are considering an Ontario university the opportunity to learn more about admission requirements, scholarships, residence, the application process, campus life and much more.

The event is designed to assist graduating high school students in making an informed decision before they apply to university in January 2018. The event also aims to help younger students with high school course selections in order to guide them toward future university programs.

Students and their parents will have the opportunity to learn more about Ontario’s 21 universities in either a fair- or presentation-style format, where they can visit each Ontario university representative individually.

University - UofT

One of the 21 universities that will be in Burlington to tell their story.

The UIP is hosted exclusively by Ontario universities. Each university participates in joint visits to high schools across the province each fall. Each UIP event is organized by the University Information Program Working Group with oversite from the Standing Committee on Student Recruitment, and the Ontario University Registrars’ Association.

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Hayden high school students recognized by Regional police for a video on crime prevention.

News 100 blueBy Staff

September 21st, 2017



Students at Dr. Frank J. Hayden Secondary School have received an award from the Halton Regional Police Service for their work on a Crime Prevention project.

Earlier this year, members of the 3 District Criminal Investigations Bureau and the 3 District Regional Community Mobilization Bureau challenged local students to produce a video for their community with a crime prevention theme. This is the first year the Halton Regional Police Service has implemented this initiative.

HRPS student video award

From left to right – Christopher Rosser, Suzanne Pierce, Sergeant Stephen Siomra, Lindsay Hepburn, Detective Constable Jacqueline Ross, Olivia Conn, Shawna Johnson, Colin Crawford, Detective Sergeant Ron Hansen, Detective Phil Vandenbeukel.

On September 11, 2017 the winning students attended 30 Division in Burlington to receive an award for their theft awareness video. Halton Regional Police Service would like to congratulate the participating students for their hard work and their help in assisting police in bolstering public safety.

The video – short – less than a minute,  Check it out HERE

Crime prevention is the anticipation, recognition and appraisal of crime risk, and taking action to remove or reduce it.

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Elementary students score very well on their mathematics, reading and writing tests. Board wants to add more oomph to the math side.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

September 21st, 2017



The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) results for the elementary students in Halton are the highest the Board has every received.

elementary student examThe Halton District School Board achieved its highest results ever in Grade 3 Reading and Grade 6 Reading and Writing. Halton students continue to perform above the provincial average.

These results are based on assessments completed in the 2016-2017 school year for primary and junior students in Reading, Writing and Mathematics.

Grade 3 readingIn Grade 3:
• Reading: Results show a three percentage point gain from the previous year in Reading from 79% to 82% of students achieving at or above the provincial standard, while the provincial average is 74%.

• Writing: The results show that 79% of students attained the provincial standard, an increase from 78% last year, while the provincial average is 73%.

• Math: Halton results remain unchanged at 70% compared to the previous year, even though the provincial average dropped one percentage point from last year to 62%.

Grade 6 reading resultsIn Grade 6:
• Reading: Results increased from the previous year by two percentage points to 87% of all students achieving at or above the provincial standard, while the provincial average remains at 81%. The past five years have seen an overall growth of 5% in Junior Reading.

• Writing: Results show an increase from the previous year from 85% to 86% of all students achieving at or above the provincial standard, while the provincial average decreased to 79%. In the past five years, there has been an overall increase of 6% in Junior Writing.

• Math: Halton math results increased by one percentage point to 57% of students achieving at or above the provincial standard. The provincial average remains unchanged in Grade 6 Mathematics with 50% of students achieving at or above the provincial standard.

While the Board is pleased with the overall EQAO results, having achieved higher than the provincial results in all six categories of the primary and junior assessments, the Halton District School Board recognizes the need to improve, particularly in the area of math.

“While the news is good, we do recognize we have work to do, specifically, Junior Mathematics is an area of growth, as it is for school boards across Ontario,” says Tina Salmini, Superintendent of Education for the Halton District School Board.

“The province has initiated a Renewed Math Strategy and our Board’s Mathematics Improvement Plan is aligned with it. This will remain a key focus for our Board over the next several years.”

This work includes:

• A focus on Mathematics leadership across the Board
• Professional learning to support our teachers in mathematics instruction and assessment
• Investment in high quality resources and training for these resources in every school

Boag David

Associate Director of Education, David Boag

“We recognize our staff members make a significant impact on students each and every day,” says David Boag, Associate Director for the Halton District School Board. “We applaud our families and students for their hard work, support and partnership. This partnership is acknowledged when we say, ‘Together, we inspire every student to learn, grow and succeed.’”

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Halton students are doing better than the provincial average in grade 9 math - but the marks at the applied level are nothing to brag about.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 21, 2017



The data gathered province wide by the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) shows Halton District School Board students outperforming the province in Grade 9 Academic and Applied Mathematics, and on the Grade 10 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT).

Secondary students must write the OSSLT as a requirement of graduation.

For Grade 9 Math, there are different assessments for students in the academic and applied courses. On the Grade 9 Academic Math assessment, 92% of students achieved the provincial standard, which is a 2% increase from the previous year’s result. The provincial average remained the same at 83% of students achieving the provincial standard.

Grade 9 math

Halton students are doing well in the academic mathematics program. There was some slippage in the applied mathematics program. No comment from the Board on where the slippage is taking place or why the slippage is taking place.  While Halton is above the provincial average – grades just above 50% are barely above a pass.

In total, there were 3,484 students enrolled in the Academic Math course in 2016-2017.

For the 619 students in the Applied Math course, 52% attained the provincial standard in 2016-2017, a three percentage point decrease from the previous year. Since last year, the provincial average decreased by one percentage point from 45% to 44%.

Secondary literacyThe OSSLT results for 2016-2017 were also released today. The Halton District School Board’s success rate for students writing the test for the first time decreased by one percentage point to 87%, while the provincial average remained the same as last year at 81%. The overall results for the OSSLT demonstrate that students in Halton continue to have strong literacy skills.

Julie Hunt Gibbons, Superintendent of Education commented that: “We continued to have strong results on the Grade 9 Academic Math and Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test.”  She added “We will continue to implement our Math strategy with a specific focus for improvement on Grade 9 Applied Math achievement.”

That number of 619 students seems kind of low for a Board of Education that has 18,500 + secondary students. Are enough of our students getting the math proficiency they need?

Wonder too what the gender split is for those 619 students.

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District school board puts its meeting broadcasts on a Facebook page .

News 100 blueBy Staff

September 20, 2017



The Halton District School Board has gotten into the broadcasting business.

Their public meetings are web cast live and saved to a Facebook channel.

HDSB Facebook channelThat channel is

Book mark it.

For everything BEFORE September 1st, 2017 – videos of Board meetings are at:

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Parents get to comment on Student Success: Creating a Culture of Equity, Inclusion & Well-Being.

eventspink 100x100By Staff

September 19th, 2017



The Halton District School Board’s Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) will be hosting the 10th Annual Parent Engagement Conference on Saturday, October 14, 2017 at Craig Kielburger Secondary School in Milton (1151 Ferguson Drive). The theme of the conference, held from 8:15 a.m. – 2:40 p.m., will be, 21st Century Student Success: Creating a Culture of Equity, Inclusion & Well-Being. Registration is open.

This year’s conference features keynote speaker Candy Palmater (Canadian activist, comedian and award-winning TV and CBC radio personality) on ‘The Road Less Travelled: Educational Leadership in a Diverse World’.

candy palater

Candy Palmater, social activist and a great entertainer. She is worth the drive to Milton

From student council president in a small rural high school and valedictorian of her law school class to obtaining a Master of Education and appearing in a national TV show, Palmater’s accomplishments are unique and inspiring. She has made strides in public service at the federal and provincial level, delving into issues around self-acceptance and diversity in her motivational talks and comedy routines. She will, through words of guidance and personal stories, share her passionate perspective on equity, self- acceptance and inclusivity.

The theme of this year’s PIC conference will provide a variety of engaging workshops that address topics such as mathematics, literacy, promoting positive mental health for students, career pathways, diversity and healthy friendships.

HDSB PIB Milton 2017The Halton District School Board recognizes the important role parents play in the development of their children and in their success at school. The annual PIC conference provides parents/guardians with the opportunity to network, share ideas, offer input and enjoy informative presentations on various education related topics throughout the school year.

No mention in the media release on how parents can protect the schools they have in their neighbourhoods

Registration form


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Students who arrive at school with empty stomachs need support.

News 100 redBy Staff

September 19th, 2017



Every teacher in the Region realizes that if a student is hungry, if they did not have a breakfast the chances of that student absorbing what is being taught are rather slim

And there are students at high schools in Burlington who get to school without a full breakfast in their stomachs.


Halton Learning Foundation executive offices.

The Halton Learning Foundation was created to develop a source of funds to fill these gaps in the lives of students.

Nicole, is a high school student who lives with her father who is financially limited.

Her mother lives in a care facility due to her very high medical needs.

Nicole works at a part time job to help support the family financially, while also juggling her school work.

Funds from Halton Learning Foundation help Nicole purchase food for school lunches, as well as toiletries.

Her need was identified by teacher at her school. The request for funding is sent to the Foundation by the school principal.

Lesley Mansfield

Halton Learning Foundation Executive Director Lesley Mansfield.

Lesley Mansfield, the Executive Director of the Foundation, is on top of every request for financial support. “If the need is desperate we can have funds in the hands of a student before 3:00 pm if we are made aware of the need by 9:00 am”.

Last school year the Foundation met 780 requests for financial support; the year before that the number was 657 requests – a year over year increase of 17%. Mansfield does not expect the number to decrease.

The Foundation is supported by corporations and the Halton District School Board teachers. They hold an annual Benefit Bash to raise the $800,000 plus that is needed each year.

While the economy of the country and financial conditions in the Region are good – there are some who are not able to participate in the prosperity. They need help – that help comes from people like you.

If this is something you would like to direct your donations to – look at their web site and see if this is something you want to be part of. For more detail – give Lesley Mansfield a call – she is one of those people who somehow makes a work day last more than eight hours.

Related news story:

What the Foundation does on a day to day basis.

Nicole is not the real name of the student; the situation however is very real.

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What if ...

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

September 16th, 2017



In the near future there will be an announcement on the appointment of a Facilitator who will review the request for an Administrative Review of the Halton District School Board trustee decision to close two of the city’s seven high schools.

There was a request from the parents at Pearson high school and a request from the parents at Bateman high school for Administrative reviews.

The bar to getting a review was not low – the parents had to show they had wide community support.

The Facilitator will meet with each parent group and meet with the Board of Education staff for reaction from them.

And in the fullness of time there will be a response.

What if – the Facilitator decides there was enough wrong with the process and recommends that the PAR be done again?

PARC with options on the walls

Would another PAR Committee be formed?

The Board would, we think, have to create a new Program Accommodation Review (PAR)  and put a new recommendation forward. Would a new recommendation be any different than the first which was to close Pearson and Central and then revised to close Pearson and Bateman?

Assume all this happens.

Would the current Board of Trustees act any differently?

The power to make a decision exists at the Board of Trustee level and that group does not appear to be in touch with the sentiment in the community.

Unfortunately the Burlington communities are quite fractured – making it difficult for the trustees to make a decision.

Central demo #4

The Central parents were out early and they spared no effort to make sure they told their story.

Central high school parent care only that their school not be closed. They put forward very solid arguments and did a superb job of rallying the parents and focusing the concerns.

The Pearson parents didn’t have anywhere near the resources that Central had and there was a lingering unwillingness to be as bold and as forward as the Central parents were.

The Batman parents failed to read the tea leaves.

The issue the trustees were given was that Burlington has 1800 classroom seats with no students in them. (We appreciate the 1800 number is debatable.) If this was true, it was evident the moment the first map showing where the high schools were located that Batman was at significant risk. They failed to see that until their name was on the list of schools to be closed and while they have done a decent job of getting their story out they have not shown an ability to work with the Pearson parents and create a united front.

PAR presentation - ay Bateman Nov 2 HDSB

That empty room was a damaging and telling statement made by the Bateman parents.

The Bateman grievances are real. They have every reason to feel that they have not been heard. Part of the reason is they didn’t say very much early in the game when it counted.

Given all the turmoil within the different parent groups is it any wonder that the trustees took the safe route and went with the recommendation they were given by the Director of Education?

There was within all the options put before the trustees one that would have given the community the time it needed to take a long hard look at just what Burlington has in the way of high schools and what it needs now and what will be needed ten years from now.

Option 7 - short

Option 7 – close no schools – was on the table but it didn’t get a lot of support from the PARC – this tally was 8 out of 14.

Option number 7 was to not close any schools and take some time to determine just what future needs were going to be. Much of the data the Board staff put forward was suspect and didn’t stand up to the scrutiny the PAR tried to impose.

The public may have expected the trustees to make that kind of decision – the current board of trustees just isn’t up to that task.

Someone is going to have to come forward and pull the parent groups together and hammer out what they collectively want and take whatever consensus they can find to the Board administration and the trustees.

And then begin looking for trustee candidates across the Region to fill those seats with people who are up to the task.

Salt with Pepper are the opinions of the publisher of the Gazette

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