It is hard to believe that we are in the last week of the 2018-19 school year. June seemed to sneak up on me and for some reason, this June appeared to be busier than previous from the perspective of many of our schools. There might be many internal reasons but certainly with the provincial election and no budget announcement, the end of the year has been a little bit of a frenzy.
The board will review and pass the budget on Wednesday this week. As part of the process dictated by the province, school divisions were required to complete their budgets making their own assumptions. The assumptions that we are going with are that student enrolment growth and collective agreement items negotiated at the TEBA table will be funded but temporary grants for Classroom Improvement Fund (CIF) and nutrition programs will be eliminated. What this means, is that positions funded by these temporary grants will not be replaced, a tightening of all belts and some very minor reductions in staff. Division office and schools were asked to limit spending for essential purposes only, as the more that we can put back into surplus, the more funds we will have available to meet needs in September. While not quite a status quo budget, I’m quite pleased of what I’m taking to the Board of Trustees for their approval given the cuts I’m hearing about that are occurring around the province. We really will not know more until the province provides funding and grant rates later in the fall.
As I got in the office early this morning and began writing, I realized that this will be my last year-end message in my role as Superintendent of Schools for Holy Spirit. You’ll still be subjected to a few more From the Desk of the Superintendent messages in the new school year but this is my last official year-end message!
With that, let me begin by offering my congratulations and sincere best wishes to all who have chosen to retire at the end of this school year. I know what a difficult decision this can be as you plan out your next journey. Regardless of where that journey will take you, please always remember the impact you have made to the students, staff and ultimately the entire community of Holy Spirit. I wish you God’s blessings for health, hope and happiness in your retirement.
While no division is ever perfect, I’m confident that the students entrusted to our care are and have been well taken care this past year. That is attributable to all who are in the schools right up to the decisions made by the Board of Trustees and everybody in between. Everyone in an educational system has the ability to be “difference makers.” It is why we put in extra hours and give of ourselves just a little more. But there seems to be something special in Holy Spirit that sets us apart and I’m extremely proud of leading such an incredible organization filled with so many committed and dedicated individuals. Thank you for being difference makers in our schools and in our communities. YOU ARE BLESSED!
Have a wonderful summer!