Over the last two years, our children have lived through an historic public health crisis, the loss and threat of loss of love ones, severe learning disruptions, a lack of access to learning supports and tools, economic precariousness and severe stresses for many families, long periods of social isolation from friends, no extra-curricular experiences and successes, and closed places of worship.
This has resulted in tremendous loss for our students. Loss in learning – especially those with special learning needs. Evidence shows that it’s left this cohort of student months behind and with an average achievement rate below that of earlier cohorts. The COVID-19 Science Table’s analysis is that this will lead to life long losses in income as adults for our children, if efforts aren’t made now to bring them up to speed. It’s brought loss to mental, physical and spiritual health and well being. Based on the CAMH 2021 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey, it has increased levels of depression, reduced their ability to deal with difficult problems and their physical health.
During this same troubling time for our students, when they have needed our support more than ever, they have seen some trustees upon whom they rely to advocate for them and defend them from attack, to indicate through their public votes that not all members of our Board community are valued and to be celebrated. Is our mission not to be a “inclusive learning environment” “rooted in the love of Christ”? It’s our mission and our Catholic social justice values of equity, solidarity and the dignity of every person, that are meant to differentiate us as an education system and drive the decisions we make to support the whole child.
This is a critical time for education – for Catholic education in particular. It’s a critical time for our students, families and schools. My own son is entering high school in September – we’ve all seen what our children have gone through, what they’ve missed out on, in the last two years. What opportunities will he and his fellow students find with the increases in class sizes and resulting reduced course options, mandatory e-learning (with even larger class sizes of 30 and no supports), chronic Ministry underfunding, no sustainable Board funding for playgrounds and fields, a shortage of technology and educational supports, and an urgent need for a board-wide learning recovery plan?
We know that a year in the life of a student is a long-time – they can’t wait 4 more years for needed action...needed change.
It's all this, and my Catholic faith with a call to serve, that motivates me to run for election and seek to be your trustee.
I believe we need local leadership with a track record for advocating for policy, programming and process changes that reduce systemic barriers and inequity, increase opportunities for student success and well being, amplify the student and community voice, and bring further accountability, transparency and environmental sustainability to the Board.
I served as TCDSB Ward 9 trustee (2010 – 2018) – and both Chair and Vice Chair of the Board. Since then, our family has called Roncesvalles home and I’ve served as CSPC (parent council) Chair of St Vincent de Paul school for the last 4 years.
I believe I have shown through my public record – highlights of which can be found on the ABOUT JO-ANN PAGE - that I can be that trustee for Ward 4.
The campaign is expected to cost an estimated $10,,000 - consider donating today to help us elect Jo-Ann in Ward 4. Any donation amount is appreciated!