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Catholic board reports surplus

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FORT FRANCES—The Northwestern Catholic District School Board reported to being in a good financial position at Tuesday night’s monthly board meeting.

The 2007-08 audited financial statements and manager letter were presented for approval to the board, with one highlight being a surplus of $691,238.

Superintendent of Business Chris Howarth explained this increase in net revenue arose mainly from provincial grants that were received after the original budget had been set.

Also Tuesday, the board approved setting aside just over $800,000 into reserve funds.

Altogether, this means that the board is in a good position to meet all its liabilities, Howarth said.

The auditor’s report—done by BDO Dunwoody—also noted it was unable to make a satisfactory verification of individual school revenues from fundraising, but explained that due to the nature of school fundraising itself, this is a common occurrence for many boards across the province.

Howarth told trustees specific areas the auditors highlighted for where improvements could be made have been looked into and addressed.

He also noted there are a few Ontario school boards that have achieved clean audits, including for fundraising revenues, so he will be consulting with them to see what can be done further here to improve controls over individual school funds.

Also at Tuesday night’s meeting:

•a motion was passed to move forward with plans for a celebration that will bring staff together from across the Northwest Catholic District School Board to recognize achievement and excellence;

•trustees discussed composing a paper to submit to the Chevalier-Johnson Commission, which currently is working to compile a report on modernizing school governance across Ontario (representatives from the local Catholic board, along with other trustees and directors of educations from the region, also will be going to Thunder Bay in early February for consultations);

•the appoints of Danielle Flynn and Wes Derksen to the Special Education Advisory Committee were approved; and

•a recognition of excellence was given to Mike Rush, a teacher at St. Joseph’s School in Dryden, for his part in organizing sports tournaments between the different Catholic boards in Northern Ontario.

(Fort Frances Daily Bulletin)

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