Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
Letters to the editor...School council chairs support campus
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 16 Jun 2006, p. 10

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(This letter was sent to the Halton Catholic District School Board via chair Al Bailey and a copy was made available for publication.) Dear Mr. Bailey, Re: Halton Region Campus Because "parents want to have a voice that they can be assured will be taken into account at the school, board, and provincial levels", it is vitally important that the Board of Trustees seek and use input from parents in the Halton Catholic District School Board. At our Council of Chairs meetings, we receive updates on what is going on at our Board, and then take that information to the parents at our schools during regular school council meetings. We presented the Halton Region Campus to our school communities and we'd like to take this opportunity to provide feedback to you, hopefully helping you make your decision based on what a large majority of the stakeholders of Catholic education in Halton want. We, the undersigned Catholic School Council Chairs, believe that the Halton region will be well-served by the Halton Regional Campus proposal because of cost savings and accessibility to services and because "these four Halton organizations have a long history of innovative, successful partnerships" it makes sense to share a campus to build on that successful partnership, while ensuring and enhancing each organization's respective identity, culture and autonomy. When it comes to the future of Catholic Education in Halton, our Board must participate in a project that acknowledges our school board on a level playing field with our counterparts. We do not want to be referred to as the "separate" board. We are the Catholic board-- and we belong in the Halton Regional Campus. We agree this is the trustees' opportunity to allow our Catholic board to be "recognized as one of the four distinct partners in Halton Region" and in order for our board to be a valued, vital, and important component of the Halton community in general, we should be at the center and not in some stand-alone obscure location. After following the story in the media, reading comments attributed to various trustees and reading the minutes from Board meetings, we learned that a number of trustees had concerns, amongst others, about losing our autonomy and identity if we participate in this project. We agree that, "It is the manner in which the Board's operations are carried out on a daily basis rather than the physical space, that conveys Catholicity". We are confident that the trustees and staff will ensure that the Memorandum of Understanding will be very clear about recognizing the autonomy and identity of the respective partners including "their beliefs, culture, icons, imagery, uniqueness and values", which means all participants would have to be tolerant/respectful of each other's beliefs. The Halton Regional Campus is good for Halton, especially the Halton Catholic District School Board. Submitted by (School Council Chairs and Co-chairs from 34 schools)

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16 Jun 2006
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Bailey, Al
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Halton Catholic District School Board
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Letters to the editor...School council chairs support campus