The following is part of a 90th Anniversary series that features Catholic trustees from across Ontario sharing insight on the experience of Catholic education at their boards.
NOTE: The Trustees of the Sudbury CDSB responded to these questions collectively as a board.
1. What singular experience as a trustee at your CDSB can you share that can serve to illustrate the positive impact of Catholic schools in the community?
The Board of Trustee’s establishment of the Multi-Year Strategic Plan through a wide consultation process resulted in a vision, mission, values and strategic pathways that have guided the work of the whole organization to truly have a positive impact on Catholic Education in the community. While this action might not be considered a singular event it certainly is an important process that has made a difference as an organization and ultimately in the community. For example the pathway of ‘We are called to strengthen our faith-based, inclusive and equitable community.’ provides direction to the system including a commitment to be engaged in community service. Our students and staff are involved in many charitable organizations both locally and globally that definitely serve to illustrate the positive impact of our Catholic schools in the community. One such experience is our involvement in the Easter Seals campaign where our Board Chair sends out a challenge to all of our schools to contribute to Easter Seals. The school communities have truly come together over the last two years to give back to this organization. In April 2018, schools rallied together to raise almost $3000 for the cause. With a goal of surpassing last year’s total, Sudbury Catholic raised nearly $5000 during the telethon in April 2019! The Board looks forward to continuing to support this cause led by our Board Chair. Having our Board Chair on local television emphasizes the commitment that we have made to community service and profiles the Sudbury Catholic DSB in the community.
2. What current Good News story about students/Catholic schools at your CDSB would you like to share?
Beginning in March of last year the Sudbury Catholic DSB has experienced continuous growth at both the elementary and secondary panels, largely due to an influx of families to the area from outside of Canada. At the elementary panel we have increased by 276 students and by 51 students at the secondary panel at October 31, 2019. An increase in enrolment has been very welcomed for many reasons but most importantly we are experiencing more culturally diverse classrooms where we have the opportunity to learn from one another. What is also amazing is how staff and students have accepted our newcomers and have truly created welcoming school environments, including helping to find warm clothing and other necessities for our new families. The Student Senate also helped to organize a coat drive where over 600 winter items were donated to help many of these families stay warm this Winter. Having a more diverse population in our classrooms is new to the Sudbury area and we are thrilled at how accepting and welcoming everyone has been. We are a better, stronger system as a result.