Foundational Elements

Optimizing organizational effectiveness

A key understanding that emerged through the strategic planning process was a recognition that a number of underlying Foundational Elements serve as the building blocks for organizational effectiveness and efficacy in all areas.

We are committed to creating optimal conditions for success by focussing our efforts on enhancing these elements. By doing so, we facilitate success in each area of priority – Achieving, Believing and Belonging – which will ultimately improve student achievement and well-being.

Our Goals Under the Priority of Foundational Elements:

  1. Improved access to services and supports for students and schools.
  2. Communication is clear, transparent and responsive.
  3. Results-based accountability and evidence-informed decision-making are the standard approaches to planning and improvement efforts.
  4. Stewardship of resources optimizes human, financial, physical and material assets.
  5. Proactive recruitment, talent growth and succession planning are aligned to student and system needs.

The Strategic Plan Monitoring Survey indicated that 76% of HCDSB staff respondents agreed or strongly agreed that staff have opportunities for professional development and training related to their role.


The Strategic Plan Monitoring Survey indicated that 79% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the communication from schools and/or the Board is clear, transparent, and responsive.


The Strategic Plan Monitoring Survey indicated that 63% of staff respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the HCDSB uses evidence/data to inform decisions, strategies or initiatives.

Official Ground-Breaking & Blessing of Milton #10 Catholic Elementary School

Group photo of Honourable Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education; Parm Gill, Member of Provincial Parliament; Gordon Krantz, Mayor of Milton; and Patrick Murphy, Chair of the Board and Milton Trustee.

On Friday, March 26, 2021, HCDSB staff, trustees, honourable guests and members of the community gathered outdoors for the official Ground-Breaking and Blessing Ceremony of the new Milton #10 Catholic Elementary School, to serve the growing student population in the Boyne community of Milton.

As part of the ceremony, greetings were shared by the Honourable Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education; Parm Gill, Member of Provincial Parliament; Gordon Krantz, Mayor of Milton; and Patrick Murphy, Chair of the Board and Milton Trustee.

A blessing of the school site was officiated by Reverend Jim Petrie, Pastor at St. Benedict Parish in Milton, along with a bible scripture passage presented by Marvin Duarte, Vice-Chair of the Board and Milton Trustee.

Quick Facts:

  • On January 13, 2021, the Ministry of Education gave approval to proceed to tender and begin construction on the new Catholic elementary school. 
  • Milton #10 Catholic Elementary School will accommodate 671 pupil places and a 5-room child care centre.
  • The school will be located at the intersection of Whitlock Avenue and Kennedy Circle West in Milton, and is scheduled to open in the Winter, 2022.
Pat Daly

“The establishment of a new school is always an exciting time from a school board’s perspective. We recognize that a school is more than just the bricks and mortar building where students gather to learn. Today’s ground-breaking ceremony represents a very tangible first step towards the building of a new school community – where families and staff will come together to create and nurture a welcoming space in which all students can experience an engaging Catholic learning environment. We look forward to completing this new school and opening our doors to this vibrant new community.”

Pat Daly, Director of Education

New Child Care Centres at Bishop Reding Catholic Secondary and St. Michael Catholic Elementary Schools

Two new infant, toddler and preschool Child Care Centres opened up at Bishop Reding Catholic Secondary School in the fall of 2020 and at St. Michael Catholic Elementary School in May, 2021!

The Child Care Centre at Bishop Reding is offered through The Family Place, which provides a rich learning environment that allows children to engage in meaningful exploration through the Emergent Curriculum.

The Emergent Curriculum is based on the philosophy that young children learn best through social interaction and self-reflection.

Qualified Early Childhood Educators facilitate reflective experiences that enhance children’s critical thinking skills, imagination and creativity. 

The Child Care Centre at St. Michael Catholic Elementary School is offered through YMCA of Oakville, which provides a positive, safe and nurturing environment where children can enhance their social, intellectual, physical and emotional development. 

The YMCA Early Learning and Care program offers an expansive learning environment for children to reach their full potential, through the YMCA Playing to Learn curriculum.

The Playing to Learn curriculum is based on the philosophy that young children learn best through play.

Qualified Early Childhood Educators facilitate play experiences that help children develop foundational skills in language and literacy, mathematics, science, technology and the arts. 

More information about Child Care and Before and After School Care at HCDSB can be found on the Board’s website

Milton Catholic Secondary School Boundary Review

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In the 2020-2021 school year, as part of the Milton Secondary School Boundary Review that was initiated in 2019, we identified a temporary accommodation plan to help us define the school attendance boundary for the future Milton secondary school (Milton #3), and identified a temporary accommodation plan for the 2021-2022 school year.

Goals of the Milton Boundary Review:

  • Define the school attendance boundary for the future Milton #3 CSS, as well as its elementary family of schools;
  • Identify an interim holding school to temporarily accommodate Milton #3 CSS students, in wait for the school opening;
  • Work with senior staff to develop an interim and ultimate accommodation plan for Milton secondary school students; and,
  • Define future holding areas for the next Milton Catholic Secondary School, as defined in the Board’s 2019 Long-Term Capital Plan.

Approved:  Milton Ultimate Boundary Option and Interim Accommodation

At the November 17, 2020 Regular Board Meeting, the Board of Trustees approved the ultimate school boundary option and interim accommodation plan for the Milton Catholic secondary schools. The approved accommodation plan was based on the School Boundary Review Committee’s (SBRC) recommendation as presented at the November 3 and November 17 Regular Meeting of the Board.

The full board report and approved resolution can be downloaded here.

Click here to learn more about the Milton Catholic Secondary School Boundary Review.

Four New Boundary Reviews Initiated

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In the 2020-2021 school year, we initiated four new boundary reviews as a response to our growing communities in Milton and Oakville.

Please click on the links below for information about each boundary review.

For more information about school planning at HCDSB, please visit our School Planning website.

Welcoming Students & Staff at the Thomas Merton Centre for Adult & Continuing Education

In September, 2020, the Thomas Merton Centre for Adult & Continuing Education and the HCDSB Halton South Welcome Centre moved to 255 Morden Road in Oakville!

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During the 2020-21 school year, the Thomas Merton Centre offered academic programs to over 9700 students, with the support of over 460 staff. This included elementary and secondary students, as well as mature students interested in upgrading their skills.

Programs Offered at Thomas Merton:

  • Alternative
  • Day School (including Co-op)
  • Night School
  • Secondary International Languages
  • E-Learning
  • Literacy and Numeracy
  • Independent Study
  • Summer School (Elementary)
  • Summer School (Secondary)
  • Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) and English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) and French-as-a-Second Language (FSL)
  • Literacy and Basic Skills
  • International and Indigenous Languages (Elementary)

HCDSB Ranked 4th in Sustainable Schools’ Top Energy Performing School Boards Report!

Sustainable Schools logo

In June, 2021, the Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB) was ranked 4th in the 2021 Top Energy Performing School Boards Report: Sustainable Schools!

HCDSB successfully ranked in the top 10 of energy performing school boards, out of 72 school boards and 5000+ schools.

Since 2007, Sustainable Schools has worked with school boards across Canada to build the knowledge and practice of energy efficiency and conservation. The Top Energy Performing School Boards Report is released annually to analyze the energy use of Ontario’s schools. 

Sustainable Schools provides insights and identifies key opportunities for greenhouse gas emissions reductions that have high social, environmental and economic impact, and return on investment.

Thank you to HCDSB staff, educators, students and community partners for your efforts in keeping our schools energy efficient and eco-friendly.

View the 2021 Top Energy Performing School Boards Report online.

St. Kateri Tekakwitha Chosen for Milton’s Newest Catholic Secondary School

At the May 27, 2021 Special Board Meeting, the Board of Trustees approved the school name of St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Secondary School, our newest Catholic secondary school in Milton.

St. Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680), the first Indigenous person to be canonized a saint, is the patroness of the environment and ecology. Her feast day is July 14th. She is known as ‘Lily of the Mohawks’.

Quick Facts about the School Naming:

  • A School Name Selection Committee was established in February 2021, in accordance with Policy I-15 School Name Selection. The committee was made up of parents, staff, parish representatives, and trustees.
  • A survey was sent out for stakeholder feedback between February 24 and March 7, 2021, inviting public input on possible school names.
  • The School Name Selection Committee met on March 17th and developed a short list of names, in accordance with the Diocesan criteria included in Policy I-15.
  • Parents and students of the Our Lady of Fatima and Guardian Angels Catholic Elementary School communities were invited to vote for their top two (2) choices from the shortlist of school names.
  • The School Name Selection Committee reviewed public input for the preferred school names and submitted their final recommendations to the Board of Trustees at the Regular Board Meeting held on May 4, 2021. Read the Action Report online.
  • The top two (2) submissions were forwarded to Bishop Douglas Crosby for approval on May 5th, and then to the Board of Trustees for final approval on May 27th.

Once St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Secondary School received final approval in the school name selection process, a new logo design was created for the school.

St. Kateri Tekakwitha HCDSB logo

About the Logo

  • The new logo features St. Kateri Tekakwitha, an Algonquin-Mohawk woman who was the first Indigenous person to be canonized as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church. The logo depicts St. Kateri holding a cross close to her heart to illustrate her unwavering devotion to Christ.
  • The colours work together in the same way that stained glass does, a historical art form in Catholic Churches. The elements symbolize the ‘fragments’ of St. Kateri Tekakwitha’s life, from losing her parents at a young age, losing her eyesight, being badly scarred due to smallpox illness and being ridiculed for her devotion to her Catholic faith. The fragments demonstrate that there is beauty in all experiences, and that both positive and negative fragments create our unique path as individuals. 
  • The new logo is prominently displayed on the St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Secondary School website – a reminder of the many qualities that students, families and staff in the St. Kateri school community can emulate: faithfulnesscourageequity, reconciliationstewardship of God’s creation.
St. Kateri Tekakwitha HCDSB logo

New HCDSB Website

In January 2021, our new board website launched to ensure it meets accessibility standards in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA compliance. We are thrilled to announce our site launched as 100% compliant with WCAG 2.1 level AA standards.


In August 2020, the Strategic Communications team initiated the new website redesign process. Design and development of the new site began in September and continued into October 2020. Throughout November and December, the team focused on the content – updating, rewriting and migrating content from the then current site onto the new site.

IT Services was instrumental in optimizing site speed and security, and continues to oversee server maintenance. 

Website Survey

On November 26, 2020, a survey was released to all stakeholders to gather feedback from parents, students, staff, and members of the community. The survey remained open through December 11, 2020. We received 791 survey responses, with the majority of responses received from HCDSB Parents (67%). The responses received helped to guide the final website page hierarchy and navigation as well as adjustments to content.


WCAG 2.1 level AA compliant


Survey Responses

Learn at Home Resources

In January 2021 and again in April 2021, the Minister of Education closed all publicly funded schools in Ontario to help slow the spread of COVID-19 across the province.

As a school district, we had to pivot quickly and adapt our practices so that we could continue to support our students and families remotely.

We continued to use our microsite ( to post updates, FAQs and resources for parents, students and staff.

The microsite provided ‘buckets’ of information specific to the remote learning period that families and staff could easily access, including: Remote Learning Resources, Special Education Resources, Mental Health Resources, Faith Resources, and Newcomer Resources.

Student Census Pilot Study

In May 2021, we implemented a Student Census Pilot Study to help us prepare for the Board-wide Census happening in 2022.

This pilot study helped us determine how to best collect identity-based information (i.e., race, gender, language, etc.) from students and/or parents using a survey method. 

Some important notes about the survey:

  • The survey was only available to select classes in select schools.
  • The survey was completely voluntary.
  • Parents of students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 were asked to participate on behalf of their child(ren).
  • Participants were able to skip any questions they did not want to answer.

Watch an information video about the Student Census Pilot Study here.

First Nations Principles of Ownership, Control, Access and Possession (OCAP) Training

In the 2020-2021 school year, the Research Services Department at HCDSB successfully completed the First Nations Principles of Ownership, Control, Access and Possession (OCAP) training.

The First Nations principles of OCAP establish how First Nations’ data and information is collected, protected, used, and shared.

This training helps our Research Services Department support information governance in light with First Nations’ world view, traditional knowledge and protocols.

Click here to learn about First Nations Principles of OCAP Training.

Consultation & Research Surveys

Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton (GTAH) School Board Collaboration on Schooling During COVID-19

In early 2021, research departments from eight large mostly urban school boards, together representing 865,000 students, agreed to work together to share information on key educational indicators in the context of COVID-19.

The initial focus for this group, the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton (GTAH) School Board Collaboration on Schooling During COVID-19, was data from the 2020-21 school year and baseline data from 2019-20. Five boards, representing over 630,000 students, were able to participate in this round of data sharing:

  • Durham District School Board,
  • Halton Catholic District School Board,
  • Peel District School Board,
  • Toronto District School Board, and
  • York Region District School Board.

The report is based on aggregate administrative data collected by school boards, such as: learning model details, kindergarten enrolment, and attendance and absenteeism. View the report here: GTAH Collaboration Report

This shared data provides system-level insight into important issues about pandemic schooling, while also raising important questions to consider when understanding the experiences of students and families through this pandemic.

Review of HCDSB’s Mission, Vision, and Values Statements

In the winter of 2021, HCDSB began the process of developing our school district’s upcoming Multi-Year Strategic Plan.

To guide a review of the existing Multi-Year Strategic Plan (2016-2021), a Strategic Planning Steering Committee was formed, which comprised of all elected trustees, and our 3 student trustees.

On February 8th, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee reviewed HCDSB’s Mission, Vision and Value statements as this is an integral step to establish who we are, where we want to go, and what is important to HCDSB as an organization.  

From February 11 through 18, 2021, parents, students, staff, and parish and community members were invited to share their input through a survey about the suggested changes made by the Steering Committee to HCDSB’s Mission, Vision and Values.

Collectively, there were over 2100 survey responses from members of our HCDSB community!

Results of the Survey


of survey respondents preferred the revised Mission Statement


of survey respondents preferred the revised Vision Statement.


of survey respondents preferred the original Values Statement #1 (Our Catholic Faith).


of survey respondents preferred the revised Values Statement #5 (The Importance of Contributing to our Communities).

Review the full Survey Results online.

Policy I-46 Correspondence to the Board of Trustees Consultation

At the Special Board Meeting held on June 16, 2021, Policy I-46 Correspondence to the Board of Trustees was introduced and approved by the Board of Trustees at First Reading.

On June 17th, the new policy was released for Stakeholder Consultation. Feedback received from the consultation was shared with the Policy Committee at a later meeting.

Please click here to review the summary of stakeholder feedback.

HCDSB Recruitment

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Our Human Resources Services staff were actively recruiting new hires during the 2020-2021 school year!

  • Staff teams attended 20 online Recruitment Fairs offered virtually for students across Ontario and other provinces.
  • Job opportunities were posted on our Board website, on Apply to Education and other recruitment platforms, as well as through social media.
  • The recruitment process continued throughout 2020-2021 to keep supply lists replenished for Occasional Teachers, Early Childhood Educators and Educational Assistants, as well as to recruit French Teachers (Core, French Immersion, and Extended French) to meet our growing system needs.
762 new hires


Permanent Staff


Supply Teaching Staff


Temporary Staff

Financial Information

Revenue pie chart ($445 million)
Expenses pie chart ($445 million)

The 2020-2021 Director’s Annual Report Sections

Continue browsing the Director’s Report by clicking any of the “View” buttons below.


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Foundational Elements

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About the Director’s Annual Report

The Director’s Annual Report provides a snapshot of some of the great things happening across our school district. The real story of accomplishment, however, is captured daily within the walls of our schools and workplaces through the many individual successes that are celebrated by students, staff, and members of our Catholic learning communities.

Multi-Year Strategic Plan

To view our complete Stratetic Plan, please click here

View our Strategic Plan Monitoring Reports
Year 1 | Year 2 | Year 3 | Year 4 | Year 5