At this evening’s Regular Board Meeting, the 2016-2017 Lakehead Public Schools Budget was approved by the Lakehead District School Board. The Operating and Capital Budget of $133,869,895 supports the Lakehead Public Schools commitment to the success of all students.
“Lakehead Public Schools Administration and the Budget committee worked diligently to build a budget that not only supports student achievement and well-being, but it is also reflective of the current financial times in our province,” says Deborah Massaro, Chair of the Lakehead District School Board.
The 2016-2017 Operating and Capital Budget was developed in an inclusive manner with stakeholder input. Input was received from a number of stakeholders in the form of presentations and written submissions. A link on the Lakehead Public Schools website also provided an opportunity for individuals and groups to provide budget input. On April 5, seven community stakeholder groups provided presentations to the Budget Committee.
“The strength of our budget process is found within our inclusive and transparent process,” says Karen Wilson, Chair of the Budget Committee. “It is an excellent opportunity to hear from our various and valued stakeholders about what their priorities are.”
Stakeholder Groups participating in the budget consultations included:
- Special Education Advisory Committee;
- Parent Involvement Committee.
- Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee;
- Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation – Student Support Professionals’ (OSSTF-SSPs);
- Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation – Early Childhood Educators (OSSTF-ECEs);
- Lakehead Ontario Principals’ Council;
- Lakehead Elementary Teachers’ of Ontario; and
- Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation District 6A Teachers’ Bargaining Unit (OSSTF); and
Highlights of the 2016-2017 budget include:
- To support First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students, and to help address both the achievement and graduation gaps, a new position is being established in secondary schools. Two new graduation coaches will be hired next year.
- To support students with special needs, a new position is being established to assist and provide strategies and support plans to student support professionals (SSPs). One central learning support SSP will be hired next year.
- A commitment to continuing professional development for incorporating Information Technology into schools, further advancing Lakehead Public Schools students as learners in a global environment;
- Continued support for Tutors in a Cultural Environment;
- Continued support for core French in all secondary schools;
- Continued support for the positions of Aboriginal Community Liaison & Partnership Officer and Aboriginal Resource Teacher;
- Support and resources to help further communication and engagement between schools and parents/guardians;
- Continued support for student and staff well-being through the allocation of Social Workers, Child/Youth Workers, training and resources; and
- Support for continued e-Learning opportunities for secondary students.
The next step in the budget process is the formal submission to the government. The budget must be submitted to the Ministry of Education by June 30, 2016.