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CDSBEO discusses financials and cybersecurity

The CDSBEO held its first meeting after the municipal election on October 24.  — file photo
The CDSBEO held its first meeting after the municipal election on October 24.
file photo
The CDSBEO discussed cybersecurity awareness month, last year’s finances, and departing trustees at the first regular board meeting after the municipal election.

November 1 was the first board meeting for the new Board of Trustees at the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario (CDSBEO). The board bid farewell to three trustees who didn’t seek re-election in the municipal election, and then discussed financial statements for last year as well as Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

Trustees Ron Eamer, Paula Hart, and Board Chair Todd Lalonde left the board after not seeking re-election this fall. All three made a tremendous impact on schools across the CDSBEO, especially Eamer, who began his career in Catholic education 41 years ago. To celebrate his many years of service, he was presented with a framed letter of gratitude from the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association.

“Trustee Eamer, I want to thank you for the gift of generations, the oversight of governance which spanned over 40 years,” said Director of Education Laurie Corriga. “Trustee Hart, I want to thank you for the gift of timeliness at a time when your service was needed. Chair Lalonde, I want to thank you for your gift of leadership of the Board of Trustees during some of the most challenging times in recent memory. To all of the Trustees of the Board, I want to thank you for your good governance and unity in support of CDSBEO and Catholic education in the province of Ontario. I wish you all every blessing in the days ahead.”

The CDSBEO reviewed and approved the financial statements for the previous fiscal year, which spanned from September 1, 2021, to August 31, 2022. Total revenue was $207,200,000, and expenditures totaled $204,700,000. The surplus of $2,300,000 was attributed to transportation savings due to school closures, bell-time efficiencies, an increase in enrolment, and reduced travel and professional development under COVID. Speaking of which, COVID-related capital and operating expenditures totaled $5,500,000 which was funded by the Ministry of Education.

“As always, the Board strives to make the best use of its fiscal resources, to provide transparency and accountability with regard to the allocation of those resources, and to optimize resources in support of student achievement,” said Manager of Finance Traci Bloomfield. “As the GSNs are largely driven by enrolment, it is important to note that the Board has experienced a growth of approximately 144 FTE in 2021-2022 over the previous year’s enrolment.”

October is recognized as Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and the CDSBEO has partnered with ECNO (Educational Computing Network of Ontario) to teach students about safety, security, and privacy in an online setting. This year’s theme was “Be a Cyberhero!”, which focuses on protecting from phishers, scam artists, and other privacy threats.

“Along with the Cyber Awareness campaign, I was honoured to present information to our future leaders at the Student Senate on October 6, 2022,” said Chief Information Officer Steve Payne. “This presentation covered many relevant topics including how to recognize cyber threats, being aware of your digital footprint and how to curate it to establish a positive online presence.”