Last week the HMBCA began a campaign to shift Half Moon Bay Public Elementary School to priority number one on the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board's (OCDSB) Capital Priorities List.

Our campaign consisted of a number of different strategies to reach out to the community to become advocates to the OCDSB Trustees through emails, telephone calls and attending the OCDSB Committee of the Whole meeting on October 1st 2013.

We want to thank the community for your passion and support with this endeavor. It was great to receive the support we did in this 6 day campaign.

On October 1st Ryan Knuth, Director of Public Relations attended the OCDSB Committee of the Whole to put forward why Half Moon Bay Public Elementary School should be priority number one for capital funding priorities for next year. Ryan did an amazing job highlighting our concerns why our school should be the number one priority. A portion of the presentation was featured on CBC radio and it presented the community association and Half Moon Bay in the best possible light.

We would also like to thank our public school board Trustee Donna Blackburn for her support, time and energy. Donna moved a motion that would've shifted HMB Public Elementary School to priority number one from it’s current second place. A lively debate followed this motion and after a good ninety minutes the vote took place. Despite her passionate efforts, the motion did not pass. Despite this, we remain as priority number two for capital funding for next year. Donna’s commitment to our community was crystal clear.

What are the next steps? The OCDSB will finalize the capital funding priorities and send the list to the Ontario Ministry of Education by October 31. We are hopeful that HMB Public School will continue to be priority number two given the engagement of community members, HMBCA and the facts and specifics we brought forward at the committee meeting. The final funding decision will be made by the Ministry.

Half Moon Bay is a new and growing community. This campaign was not only an exercise of participating in a process that determines the direction of our community, but was also about building our voice, community member relationships and getting more members involved to become advocates for what we need to thrive.

On behalf of Half Moon Bay Community Association, thank you for your engagement in the campaign. We look forward to working together for our community!