• Vote for Change - Natalie Waddell

    Delegation Process Safe…..For Now

    Know Where I Stand On This Issue Big thanks to Peter Shawn Taylor for coming the board meeting on Monday evening and covering the story on the pending delegation procedure debate. I stood in the old boardroom in October 2012 and spoke to the trustees publicly about these proposed changes to the delegation procedure. I went then because I didn’t believe the proposed changes were in the best interests of…

  • Delegation at Board Meeting

    Proposed Changes to the WRDSB Delegation Process Expected Make it More Difficult to Voice Your Concerns

    The recent incident where some trustees tried to muzzle me and prevent me from speaking publicly before they ratified the 2014/2015 budget has brought their plan to make it much more difficult for parents to speak and voice their opinions at board meetings to the forefront of my mind. In January 2012 six trustees started hatching a plan to dramatically revise the delegation process. Months passed while they ‘fine-tuned’ their…

  • Trustees attempt to muzzle parent at WRDSB Meeting

    Some Trustees’ Attempt to Muzzle Me Failed

    Why was there an attempt to muzzle me at this month’s Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) Meeting? On Monday evening of this week the WRDSB was set to meet and ratify their approval of their budget for 2014/15. As a parent and taxpayer I had concerns about this budget and wished to express these concerns publicly to the trustees before they ratified their decisions. For this reason I preregistered…

  • Webcasts and Transparency

    Webcasting Can Improve Communication and Transparency

    There is no doubt about it. We live in a connected world. And for those of us with children at the WRDSB, we know that there is often a disconnect between stakeholders and the board — especially when it comes to communication. But the time has come for the Board to work on bridging these gaps in communication and engagement. A simple way to help bridge this gap is to…

  • Failing Grade

    Parent Communcation and Engagement

    In the past several years, while I have been attending the public WRDSB meetings, one thing has become very clear to me: parents and community members are often ‘caught off-guard’ when it comes to decisions being made by the administration and/or the board. Too often there are stories in the local newspaper where people feel they were neither consulted nor communicated with regarding important decisions. You just have to look…

  • Whistle Blower Hotline

    Whistleblower ‘Hotline’ Needed for WRDSB

    I have had this thought ‘rattling’ around in my head for months now. The Waterloo Region District School Board should establish an anonymous whistleblower ‘hotline’ for students, parents, staff, administrators, and public to allow them to safely report any wrong-doings they observe. My original thoughts on this idea were so parents could report things directly related to their children and their school – without fear of repercussions on themselves or…

  • Modular School in Alberta

    Ontario Not Heeding Alberta’s Lesson On Building New Schools

    While the Province of Ontario shells out roughly $700 million this year to build new schools in areas where the population demands, school boards continue to close schools in areas where they are no longer needed. School boards around the province also continue to invest in portables – at $75,000 each – to temporarily accommodate children during years of excessive population or while the community awaits a newly built school.

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    Board Should Develop Concussion Policy

    Re. New helmet rule disrupts public school skating I grew up in the 1970s, when the public elementary schools flooded the playgrounds and created rinks, and we skated at lunchtime. We didn’t wear helmets, simply because it was before society became aware of head safety and the serious — and often permanent — health implications that even the slightest jolt can cause. It wasn’t until 1979 when helmets became mandatory…