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Catholic Board launches new consultation initiative

For immediate release

April 20, 2015 (Brant, Haldimand, Norfolk) - The Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board is pleased to announce a new and innovative community consultation process called Thoughtexchange. Information collected from community stakeholders during the process will drive the strategic direction of the Board for the next three years. The Thoughtexchange process is not a regular online survey, but rather a sophisticated, automated online utility that gathers what people have identified as important in their local Catholic schools, written in their own words, and then gives all participants the opportunity to rank what the group has collectively identified as priorities.

Thoughtexchange is an anonymous online community engagement process that takes place in two phases. The process is scheduled to begin with the initial phase today, April 20, and will be completed, including the creation of an initial draft Strategic Plan for the system, by June 2015.

Using Thoughtexchange to truly hear what stakeholders believe should be priorities in our schools was the idea of Director of Education, Chris N. Roehrig, who recognizes a gap in common community consultation efforts such as surveys, roundtable discussions, and town hall meetings. “It is important to hear, in their own words, what our community believes the priorities of our Board should be. Selecting ideas from a pre-determined list or trying to be heard in a group gathering isn’t what we are after,” said Roehrig. “I am pleased to report that we will have completed all the goals set out in the 2012-15 Strategic Plan and want to ensure that our next Plan is based on the priorities of the community we serve. Our student achievement results, supported by the four pillars of our existing plan, have been outstanding and we expect to continue this trend with a revitalized focus as determined by our students, parents, staff, and community partners.”

Chair of the Board, Rick Petrella, who has a background in technology, is pleased to see that students, parents and the Catholic community are being consulted using new and improved methods. “The Thoughtexchange process provides everyone who wants to be heard with the ability to make a difference in our system. This style of community engagement is powerful and helps to ensure that everyone connected to our system is able to reach us,” said Petrella.

As information from the consultation is processed, the results will reside on a website for everyone to access. The Board has named this new initiative EveryVoiceCounts. For more information about this process, please view our Thoughexchange Backgrounder.

To track the progress of this consultation process follow @bhncdsb on twitter, with the hashtag #EveryVoiceCounts, visit, or email



For more information about this media release or the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board contact:

Tracey Austin | Manager of Communications and Community Relations
(P) 519-756-6505 Ext. 234    (C) 519-732-5282    (E)

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