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Catholic board to vote on new school

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The Northwestern Catholic District School Board will vote tonight to approve a $2.01-million commitment to the new consolidated school build at the St. Francis School site here.

The consolidated school will combine St. Michael's and St. Francis to create one school where students can get their education from kindergarten to Grade 8.

In early November, 2015, the board received approval for the school consolidation from the Ministry of Education and was granted $12.06 million to complete the project.

The draft “Approval to Proceed” has a cost estimate exceeding the total funding available from the ministry by roughly $2.88 million.

The board plans to pay down the deficit using its accumulated surplus.

As of Aug. 31, 2017, the board's total accumulated surplus held a little over $11.53 million.

The recommendation for the report is that the board approve the commitment of funding for the new school consolidation.

The consolidated school is expected to open for the 2019-20 school year.

Also at tonight's meeting, the board will vote to approve the consent agenda that contains reports on Catholic Education Week, children's mental health week, health and safety, EQAO testing, and school council minutes.

As well, the board's monthly “Recognition of Excellence” will be awarded to St. Michael's School and St. Francis School.

St. Michael's School is receiving the honour for its staff and students who helped fundraise money that goes towards providing less-fortunate children with clean drinking water.

Staff and students from the school raised just over $7,000 for the Tom Newell home in Whomgbay, Liberia

The home is an orphanage that houses 47 children, with many of them coming from areas plagued by Ebola, war, and AIDS.

Meanwhile, St. Francis School is receiving its “Recognition of Excellence” for Lisa Latimer's dedication to students and commitment to the school's drama club.

For many years, Latimer has been instrumental in organizing and presenting theatrical productions with students.

Also at tonight's meeting is a presentation about therapy dogs and student partnership given by Nicole Boyd, Garet Weston, Michelle Weston, and “Lord the Therapy Dog.”

The presentation is aimed at discussing the benefits therapy dogs can have on students with behavioural issues.

The board then will vote on whether it will approve awarding the St. Joseph's School Roof Replacement tender to Cardinal Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc. in the amount of $111,495.00.

That will be followed by a vote on the Rainy River District Transportation Services Consortium's transportation procurement

The board then will confirm reports regarding budgets, staffing, variances, the new school build, and playground improvements.

This will be followed by the confirmation of administrative procedures relating to funerals and memorials, leaves for urgent personal business, voluntary exit surveys, child abuse reporting, the assessment of reporting procedures, student achievements, and concussions.

The chair's report, regarding the “Ministry Program in Human Rights, Ethical Leadership & Good Governance for School Board Trustees,” then will be reviewed by the board before the meeting goes in-camera and the public portion is adjourned.

The meeting will take place tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Fort Frances board office via videoconference.

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