Message from the Chair

Picture: Message from the Chair

December 2017

Acceptance Speech at Inaugural Meeting:

I am honored to continue to serve the Algoma District School Board as its chair for my sixth year. Thank you Trustee Thayer for your nomination and thank you fellow trustees for your confidence and continued support. I am proud of our team of trustees who serve the needs of our board and students with dedication and passion. I look forward to continuing to work with Vice Chair Evans-Price.

Working with our dynamic leadership team, we will seek every opportunity from the classroom, to the budget discussions, to the board table to strive to best meet the diverse needs of every student in our system.

The new year will include a review of our strategic plan and a review of our priorities. I believe we are well poised as a board to continue to build confident learners and caring citizens that will positively impact our schools, our community and our world. I look forward to continuing to work with our director Lucia Reece and our Senior Administration team as we further drill into our strategic priorities around achievement, well-being and engagement.  I would also like to embark on setting up a policy and procedure around a board self-assessment, which would give us an opportunity to look within our board for areas of strength and opportunities for improvement, which would be a timely exercise before we enter into an election in the fall of 2018.

We will continue our efforts to review and realign our capital plan to right size our system and provide the best possible learning environments for all of our students.  Even though we are currently experiencing a moratorium on school closures while the Ministry revises the Pupil Accommodation Review guidelines, we have continued to reflect on our progress, our plan and our next steps, so that we will be ready to move forward when the moratorium is lifted.  With three completed Accommodation Reviews in the 2016/17 school year in Blind River, Bruce Mines and Wawa, we will continue to support our administration in presenting our capital priorities to the ministry for approval. The major renovation of the new Boreal French Immersion Public school and community hub is an exciting project that will come to fruition within the upcoming, as we plan for students to move into the school in September. We are confident it will serve as a strong model locally and provincially as a hub that maximizes the space for students and serves the community with a new public library. As a board we have seen first-hand the extensive renovations that have taken place in many of our schools which have modernized their learning spaces and facilities in exciting ways and we are so proud of the fact that many of the ideas and projects have been proposed and designed by our students! 

Our renewed focus on our Character Education has everyone smiling! We believe strong character is critical and there is no better time than now to be reminded to treat others with care, fairness and kindness.  As we approach the Christmas season and embrace the spirit of generosity that it brings, I want to acknowledge the many acts of kindness in which our staff and students have and will continue to engage, throughout the month.

Collectively, we all strive to practice and to emulate the character attributes we espouse and, especially during this special time of year, we see the value of living out these attributes within our schools, community and beyond.

I count it a privilege to serve with such a great team of passionate, dedicated individuals from our trustees, our administration team, our principals, teachers and all our support staff. I look forward to leading our board through the coming year. Thank you again for your support.

Have a Safe and  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Jennifer Sarlo

Chair, Algoma District School Board