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Chairman's Message

Chairman's Message 2016-2017

As Chairman of the Council of Commissioners, it is my pleasure to wish our students and their parents, as well as all of the members of our dedicated staff a successful 2016-2017 school year.

To those of you who are new to the CQSB, allow me to inform you of our school board's motto ''Learning for All''! These three words have been, and will continue to be, the motivation behind all of our decisions. The success of each and every student is what we strive to ensure through the many actions that we take during any particular year. With the unwavering dedication of a competent and enthusiastic CQSB TEAM of teachers, professionals, principals, support staff and board administrators, our students have achieved, year after year, enviable results in the June exams of the Ministère de l'éducation et de l'enseignement supérieur (MEES). Thanks to the support of the many parents who give of their time and expertise on Governing Boards, on the CQSB Parents' Committee, on a Parent Participation Organization (PPO) as well as those who volunteer to help on specific school projects, the students of the CQSB continue to make us proud. And so, to all of you who are newcomers to the CQSB, allow me to congratulate you on deciding to entrust your child/children to our dedicated CQSB TEAM.

To those who are already members of the CQSB school communities- we do cover an area that spans more than 30% of the province of Québec - we say WELCOME BACK! Rest assured that we will continue to provide the quality educational services which have become the trademark of our schools and Learning Centre.

The 2016-2017 school year marks the opening of Riverside Regional School which will cater to the educational needs of all of our students in the Saguenay, from Kindergarten to Secondary 5. Principal, Jamie Kirlin, and his entire team of teachers and staff are ready and eager to greet all of their students. The Council of Commissioners is especially proud of the fact that this project is a joint effort with the community.  We took the time to bring it to fruition and now we hope that both our students and their parents will reap the benefits of this reorganization of services in the Saguenay.

Dollard-des-Ormeaux School will also experience considerable change during the course of this year. In September 2017, the school will have 12 more classrooms and a new elementary size gymnasium for its students.

Although not all of our schools will be experiencing such important changes, I can assure you that all of them will continue to offer high quality educational services to all of our students. Our main purpose is to ensure their success, while also making sure that the human, financial and material resources of the CQSB are put to the task efficiently and equitably.

On the political front, although Bill 86 has been put to rest and the government has agreed to maintain school board elections, we will continue to be vigilant so as to ensure that the management of our English public schools remain in YOUR hands - the hands of the parents and taxpayers. At first glance, Bill 105, which was made public last June, seems more acceptable and so we hope that discussions with the government on this proposed legislation will be less combative and will lead to a win-win conclusion.

I am also very much aware of certain inequalities in the school taxation system. As mentioned above, the CQSB covers a very large territory, spanning more than 200 municipalities. It is not possible for us to modulate our tax rate according to municipality, and so in some areas our tax rate is much higher than that of the French school board covering the same area. I have brought the issue to the attention of Minister Sébastien Proulx and have proposed that the government consider the possibility of school tax rates being determined by region, thus avoiding large discrepancies between the French and the English school boards covering a common area. The taxation issue is definitely a priority for me and I will keep you abreast of my efforts to reach an equitable form of taxation for all.

Par ailleurs, tout comme je l'ai fait au cours des deux dernières années, je tiens à rassurer tous nos parents relativement à l'importance que nous accordons à l'apprentissage du français dans chacune de nos écoles. En effet, notre but est de faire de nos élèves des citoyens qui pourront s'exprimer de façon claire et précise dans chacune des deux langues officielles de notre grand pays, le Canada.

I also want to mention the important work accomplished throughout the year by the CQSB's Council of Commissioners. The Council is a public governing body guided by the solemn commitment of ensuring an equitable distribution of all of the Board's resources, human as well as material,throughout the CQSB's territory. Decisions are not always easy to make and the many budget cuts imposed by the government over the past ten (10) years have added a significant degree of complexity to our task. The monthly meetings of the Council are open to the public and with the technology of videoconferencing,any student, parent or community member may attend and ask questions to the Council. Moreover, your Commissioners are at your service should you wish to discuss a particular issue during the course of the school year.

Lastly, but not least, should you feel the need, I am pleased to remind you that the CQSB has a Student Ombudsman in the person of Ms. Anne Letellier de St-Just, whose coordinates can be found on our website.
 

STEPHEN BURKE

Chairman of the Council of Commissioners
August 2016