OPSBA Connects

 

 

OPSBA appoints new Executive Director http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=153OPSBA appoints new Executive Director 2017-04-28T14:31:35Z<div class="ExternalClass830ADBCD2E004334B3D1BF116DC61705"><p>​<img class="ms-rtePosition-1" src="/PublishingImages/Rusty%20Hick%20headshot.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:250px;height:349px;" />The Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA) is pleased to <a href="/Media%20Desk/Pages/OPSBA-appoints-new-Executive-Director.aspx">announce the appointment</a> of W.R. (Rusty) Hick as the Association's new Executive Director. Mr. Hick will succeed Gail Anderson who is retiring from the role in July after a rewarding career in public education.</p><p>Rusty Hick will join OPSBA on June 1, 2017 to assume the role of Executive Director following OPSBA’s Annual General Meeting.</p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=153
Legislative Update, April 21http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=152Legislative Update, April 212017-04-27T17:17:45Z<div class="ExternalClass8B1B66ACEBC4439E9715C1DAC4381E0B"><p class="ExternalClass29DEC616458A41398C3A8C23C621104F">​MPPs were off on a constituency week from April 17 to 21, 2017 and returned to the Ontario Legislature on April 24. The following is an update on recent items. </p><p class="ExternalClass29DEC616458A41398C3A8C23C621104F"><strong>Rural and Remote Education Review<br></strong>On April 21, the Ministry of Education released <a title="News release re Ontario's Rural Education Strategy" href="https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2017/04/ontario-seeking-public-input-on-strengthening-rural-education.html?_ga=1.18486713.1031830682.1493312087" target="_blank">details for their consultation regarding Ontario's Rural Education Strategy</a>. Ten consultations will occur across the province beginning May 5 and ending May 26, 2017. The consultations will include daytime sessions with school boards and municipalities (including student trustees) and evening community town halls. In addition to the in-person meetings, the ministry has posted a document entitled, <a title="Ministry Discussion Paper re Education in Ontario's rural and Remote Communities" href="https://www.ontario.ca/page/consultation-ontarios-rural-education-strategy?_ga=1.186903272.1989582564.1492706567" target="_blank">Supporting Students and Communities: A Discussion Paper to Strengthen Education in Ontario's Rural and Remote Communities.</a>  Feedback can be given via the online discussion paper and all comments are due <strong>June 9, 2017</strong>. OPSBA will be discussing the paper at an upcoming Policy Development Work Team meeting and drafting a submission. We will also encourage trustees and school board staff to attend a relevant nearby session and/or participate in the online discussion paper. </p><p class="ExternalClass29DEC616458A41398C3A8C23C621104F">The dates and locations are: </p><ul><li><div class="ExternalClass29DEC616458A41398C3A8C23C621104F">Merrickville, Friday, May 5</div></li><li><div class="ExternalClass29DEC616458A41398C3A8C23C621104F">Lakefield, Friday, May 5</div></li><li><div class="ExternalClass29DEC616458A41398C3A8C23C621104F">Picton, Friday, May 12</div></li><li><div class="ExternalClass29DEC616458A41398C3A8C23C621104F">Amherstburg, Tuesday, May 23</div></li><li><div class="ExternalClass29DEC616458A41398C3A8C23C621104F">Honey Harbour, Tuesday, May 23</div></li><li><div class="ExternalClass29DEC616458A41398C3A8C23C621104F">Thedford, Wednesday, May 24</div></li><li><div class="ExternalClass29DEC616458A41398C3A8C23C621104F">Markstay, Wednesday, May 24</div></li><li><div class="ExternalClass29DEC616458A41398C3A8C23C621104F">Markdale, Thursday, May 25</div></li><li><div class="ExternalClass29DEC616458A41398C3A8C23C621104F">Wawa, Thursday, May 25</div></li><li><div class="ExternalClass29DEC616458A41398C3A8C23C621104F">Nipigon, Friday, May 26</div></li></ul><p><strong>Background:</strong> On Monday March 6, 2017 <a title="March 6 Ministry letter" href="/SiteCollectionDocuments/UPDATE-PupilAccommodationReviewsandSupportforEducationRuralandRemoteCommunities.pdf">a letter was sent</a> to school boards and municipalities from Education Minister Mitzie Hunter and Infrastructure Minister Bob Chiarelli. The letter address "impacts of recent pupil accommodation reviews" and announces the creation of a Rural and Remote Education Review. Three parliamentary assistants have been appointed to lead engagement and research gathering on how to sustain a strong education system in rural and remote Ontario. These individuals are: Education PA Granville Anderson; Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs PA Grant Crack; and Municipal Affairs PA Lou Rinaldi.</p><p><span><strong>Bill 65, <em>Safer School Zones Act, 2016</em><br style="text-decoration:underline;"></strong></span>Transportation Minister Steve Del Duca introduced the government's photo radar legislation, Bill 65, <em>Safer School Zones Act</em> on November 15, 2016. The bill would provide municipalities with the option to use three road safety tools:</p><ol><li>Use of automated speed enforcement (photo radar) in two areas: school zones and community safety zones (not on provincial highways)</li><li>Ability to reduce default speed limits (current default speed limit is 50 km/hour)</li><li>Opportunity to gain access/entry to the red light camera program (already in existence; change is to make it easier for municipalities to do this)</li></ol><p>The bill has been referred to the Standing Committee on General Government and will have public hearings on April 24, 2017 and April 26, 2017. Written submissions need to be sent to the clerk by end of day Wednesday (5 pm) and can be sent directly to <a href="mailto:sprzezdziecki@ola.org">Sylwia Przezdziecki </a>. </p><p>OPSBA`s letter will include the following comments and questions:</p><ul><li>Municipalities should have more authority over setting their own speed limits and speed enforcement and ensuring the safety of residents</li><li>School boards need to be involved in the discussion with their municipal counterparts – this is a neighbourhood issue (444 municipalities, 72 school boards)</li><li>Real concern about the number of injuries and even deaths caused by motorists speeding through school zones</li><li>Want to ensure schools and school zones to be as safe as possible – keeping children safe a priority</li><li>Many people affected –  child care, school age children (elementary and secondary), parents, caregivers, grandparents, teachers, administrators, education workers, etc.</li><li>Protect children, other vulnerable groups (seniors) and reduce collisions and fatalities</li><li>Protects not just those walking to school but our also students who are bussed</li><li>Will there be signage announcing drivers are entering a school zone or community safety zone?</li><li>Will school zone enforcement be 24/7 or just during school hours? (Schools are occupied longer than 9 am to 3 pm)</li><li>What is the definition of a community safety zone?</li><li>What about the schools in rural and remote areas that are located on provincial highways? Is this to be a city/urban only thing?</li><li>How many kilometres over the speed limit causes a ticket? </li></ul></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=152
Ministry launches Rural Education Strategy consultationhttp://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=151Ministry launches Rural Education Strategy consultation2017-04-27T17:11:26Z<div class="ExternalClass32E50C5467FF4336B3EEBC25C09B59D9"><p><img class="ms-rtePosition-2" src="/PublishingImages/beavercrest.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:200px;height:200px;" />On April 21, 2017, the Ministry of Education <a title="consultation details" href="http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/parents/rural_schools.html" target="_blank"><font color="#0066cc">released details</font></a> for their upcoming consultation on Ontario's <a title="Rural Education Strategy" href="https://www.ontario.ca/page/consultation-ontarios-rural-education-strategy" target="_blank"><font color="#0066cc">Rural Education Strategy</font></a>. <br></p><p>Ten consultations will occur across the province beginning May 5 and ending May 26, 2017. The consultations will include invitation-only daytime sessions with school boards and municipalities (including student trustees) and public community town halls in the evening.<br>  <br>In addition to the in-person meetings, the ministry has posted a document entitled <a title="Supporting Students and Communities: A Discussion Paper to Strengthen Education in Ontario's Rural and Remote Communities" href="https://www.ontario.ca/page/consultation-ontarios-rural-education-strategy?_ga=1.186903272.1989582564.1492706567" target="_blank"><em><font color="#0066cc">Supporting Students and Communities: A Discussion Paper to Strengthen Education in Ontario's Rural and Remote Communities</font></em></a>.  Feedback can be given via the online discussion paper. All comments are due June 9, 2017. OPSBA will be discussing the paper at an upcoming Policy Development Work Team meeting and drafting a submission.</p><p>The dates* and locations of the public consultations are: </p><ul><li>Merrickville, Friday, May 5</li><li>Lakefield, Friday, May 5</li><li>Picton, Friday, May 12<br></li><li>Amherstburg, Tuesday, May 23</li><li>Honey Harbour, Tuesday, May 23</li><li>Thedford, Wednesday, May 24</li><li>Markstay, Wednesday, May 24</li><li>Markdale, Thursday, May 25</li><li>Wawa, Thursday, May 25</li><li>Nipigon, Friday, May 26<br></li></ul><p><em>*All public town halls run from 6:30-8:30 p.m.</em></p><p>The town halls will focus on the following themes:</p><ul><li>What strategies work best for educating children in rural Ontario? </li><li>How could the Province improve its policy and funding levers to better support these objectives?</li><li>What can be done to assist rural communities planning collaboratively and making the best use of public assets?<br><br></li></ul><h3><span lang="EN-CA">Background</span></h3><p><span lang="EN-CA"></span>On March 6, 2017, <a title="March 6 Letter to school boards" href="/SiteCollectionDocuments/UPDATE-PupilAccommodationReviewsandSupportforEducationRuralandRemoteCommunities.pdf"><font color="#0066cc">a letter was sent</font></a> to school boards and municipalities from Education Minister Mitzie Hunter and Infrastructure Minister Bob Chiarelli. The letter addressed the "impacts of recent pupil accommodation reviews" and announced the creation of a Rural and Remote Education Review. </p><p>Three parliamentary assistants have been appointed to lead engagement and research gathering on how to sustain a strong education system in rural and remote Ontario. These MPPS are: Education PA: Granville Anderson; Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs PA: Grant Crack; and Municipal Affairs PA Lou Rinaldi. </p><p>Click <a title="Ministry news release re: Rural Education Strategy" href="https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2017/04/ontario-seeking-public-input-on-strengthening-rural-education.html?_ga=1.250334534.1989582564.1492706567" target="_blank"><font color="#0066cc">here</font></a> for the Ministry news release<br></p><p> <br></p><p>​</p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=151
Celebrate Education Week – May 1 to 5http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=150Celebrate Education Week – May 1 to 52017-04-27T15:57:37Z<div class="ExternalClass2F403DF668FB4D5EACF791CC8508344E"><p>​<img class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="Ontario150.png" src="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/PublishingImages/Lists/Posts/Post/Ontario150.png" style="margin:5px;width:250px;height:140px;" />Every year during Education Week, the contributions of students, parents, teachers and education workers are recognized. This year, <a title="Education Week" href="http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/memos/april2017/min_education_week_2017.pdf" target="_blank">Education Week</a> will be held from May 1 to 5, and marks another significant milestone – Canada’s and Ontario's 150th anniversary. As a result, the theme of this year's Education Week will be <a title="Ontario 150" href="https://www.ontario.ca/page/ontario150" target="_blank">Ontario 150</a>.</p><p>To mark this anniversary, Ontario is supporting events and programs that showcase our diverse communities and encourage Ontarians to get involved. Many of <a title="these initiatives" href="https://www.ontario.ca/page/whats-happening-ontario" target="_blank">these initiatives</a> focus on engaging youth.<br></p><p>The government has also created many resources to help communities celebrate and reflect throughout the year. One of those resources is a song called <em>A Place to Stand.</em> Sheet music and lyrics in both English and French have been shared with school boards across the province so schools can create their own version of the song. During Education Week, creative performances of <em>A Place to Stand</em> will be profiled on social media. Schools can share their version on Twitter and Facebook using #Ontario150.<br></p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=150
OPSBA Board of Directors Meeting – April 21-22, 2017http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=149OPSBA Board of Directors Meeting – April 21-22, 20172017-04-26T13:33:35Z<div class="ExternalClass02E79888AE3F42A480A269A22EF24F19"><p>​<img class="ms-rtePosition-1" src="/PublishingImages/leadership.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:250px;height:188px;" />The OPSBA Board of Directors held a meeting on April 21 and 22, 2017. </p><p><a title="Dr. Karen Grose" href="http://tvo.org/about/people/dr-karen-grose" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Dr. Karen Grose</span></a>, Vice-President, Digital Learning at TVO, presented to the board on the evening of April 21, providing an overview of the broadcaster's products and services, with a specific focus on their digital offerings. She noted <a title="mPower" href="https://mpower.tvo.org/students/#/login" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">mPower</span></a>, <a title="Teach Ontario" href="https://www.teachontario.ca/" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Teach Ontario</span></a>, <a title="Homework Help" href="https://homeworkhelp.ilc.org/" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Homework Help</span></a> and <a title="TVO Kids" href="http://tvokids.com/" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">TVO Kids</span></a> digital games. The board was invited to participate in a hands-on demonstration of some of TVO's online products.</p><p>Education policy and program issues that were discussed at the meeting are summarized below.</p><p><strong><em>Labour Relations</em></strong><br> A confidential report was provided on developments in the labour relations and collective bargaining sector. </p><p><strong><em>Communications and Media Relations</em></strong><br> Updates on the following issues were provided:</p><ul><li>Distribution of <a title="OPSBA Media Release" href="/Media%20Desk/Pages/Students-Benefit-from-Stable-Funding-.aspx"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Media Release</span></a> re: Grants for Student Needs Announcement</li><li>OPSBA's <a title="OPSBA's Letter to the Editor" href="https://www.thestar.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editors/2017/04/19/trustees-deserve-support-not-trashing.html" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Letter to the Editor</span></a> of the Toronto Star re: a column entitled <em>"School trustees have lost public trust"</em></li><li>President Media Interviews:</li><ul><li>President interviewed by Toronto Star re: <a title="GSN Announcement" href="https://www.thestar.com/yourtoronto/education/2017/04/13/province-boosts-education-funding-to-24b-for-next-school-year.html" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">GSN Announcement</span></a> (April 12)</li><li>CBC Radio Ottawa "All in a Day" Program - interviewed/clipped for re:  Rural School Closures (March 28)</li></ul><li><a title="Advocacy on behalf" href="/Media-Desk/ontario-public-school-boards’-association-condemns-anti-muslim-rhetoric-and-prejudice"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Advocacy on behalf</span></a> of Peel District School Board regarding Religious Accommodation Issue</li></ul><p><strong><em>Finance</em></strong><br> Updates were provided on the <a title="School Energy Coalition" href="/advocacy-and-action/education-funding/energy"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">School Energy Coalition</span></a> and the next steps with regards to the <a title="review of student transportation" href="http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/stcpr.html" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">review of student transportation</span></a>. In response to the Auditor General's recommendation that the Ministry of Education revisit the current student transportation funding formula, the ministry will proceed with a 12 to 18-month multi-stakeholder engagement to solicit input and feedback to renew the vision of student transportation in Ontario. </p><p>The <a title="Ministry released information" href="https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2017/04/ontario-reducing-class-sizes-boosting-special-education.html?_ga=1.68047061.539002632.1485879327" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Ministry released information</span></a> regarding education funding (Grants for Student Needs [GSN]) on April 12, 2017. Investments in Ontario's publicly-funded education system continue to increase from $23 billion in 2016-17 to $23.8 billion in 2017-18. Per-pupil funding is projected to increase in 2017-18 to $12,100 – an increase of 68 per cent since 2002-03. The 2017-18 GSN reflects implementation of recently ratified labour agreements. The announcement showed increased funding to support Special Education, Indigenous student achievement, school infrastructure, and student transportation. OPSBA will continue to address pressures related to excess capacity and programming needs through pupil accommodation reviews with the phase out of top-up funding under the Ministry's School Board Efficiencies and Modernization Strategy (SBEM) and growing student transportation costs. The provincial budget will be released on April 27, 2017.</p><p><strong><em>Copyright</em></strong><br><strong><em> </em></strong>An update on<a title="copyright regulations" href="/advocacy-and-action/education-funding/copyright"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"> </span><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">copyright regulations</span></a> and activities was provided. In the fall of 2016, OPSBA electronically distributed a <a title="bundle of materials" href="/advocacy-and-action/education-funding/copyright"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">bundle of materials</span></a> developed by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada. These materials will help aid school boards in keeping staff advised about copyright requirements.  The <a title="Copyright Decision Too" href="http://copyrightdecisiontool.ca/DecisionTool/" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Copyright Decision Tool</span></a> was also noted and an overview of the new prohibition on copying of consumables was given.</p><p><strong><em>Community Hubs</em></strong><br><strong><em> </em></strong>OPSBA staff and a number of member board trustees are participating in the Ontario Community Hubs Summit on May 1 and 2 at the Evergreen Brickworks in Toronto. On April 4, Minister Hunter announced the government is seeking to preserve local community services for families in Toronto by proposing to acquire two facilities from the TDSB that would be maintained as <a title="community hubs" href="/advocacy-and-action/new-generation-education/community-hubs"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">community hubs</span></a>. The <a title="March 6 memo" href="/SiteCollectionDocuments/UPDATE-PupilAccommodationReviewsandSupportforEducationRuralandRemoteCommunities.pdf" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">March 6 memo</span></a> announcing a provide-wide engagement on education in rural and remote communities also included a review of progress made with regards to supporting community hubs, noting investments in capital funding for community hub school retrofits and upcoming funding for community replacement space. </p><p><strong><em>Legislature and Government Relations</em></strong><br> An update on activities of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario was provided. The House will rise for the summer recess after June 1, 2017. <a title="Current Bills" href="http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_current.do?locale=en" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Current Bills</span></a> relevant to the education sector include: Bill 68, <em>Modernizing Ontario's Municipal Legislation Act</em>; Bill 90, <em>Highway Traffic Amendment Act (School Safety Zones)</em>; Bill 94, <em>Highway Traffic Amendment Act (School Bus Camera Safety Systems)</em>; Bill 114, <em>Anti-Racism Act</em>; and the <em>Construction Lien Act</em>. The Ministry of Education's upcoming <a title="Rural and Remote Education Review" href="https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2017/04/ontario-seeking-public-input-on-strengthening-rural-education.html?_ga=1.122141903.539002632.1485879327" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Rural and Remote Education Review</span></a> has been of great interest to Ontario school boards and OPSBA has reached out to the Minister's Office to learn more about the timing, process and how boards and trustees can be part of this review. The consultation will include stakeholder and public town hall meetings in rural areas across the province. Feedback is due June 9, 2017.</p><p><strong><em>Early Years/Middle Years</em></strong><br> An overview of recent announcements and activities related to Ontario's <a title="Early Years" href="http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/childcare/earlyyearsvision.html" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Early Years</span></a> and Middle Years strategies was provided. A new provincial framework for the early years and child care will be released in May. In early March, OPSBA facilitated a conference call between the Ministry of Education and Early Years leads regarding before-and-after-school care for children ages six-to-12. OPSBA will be following up with school boards regarding the September 2017 implementation date. Ministry contacts have confirmed the federal child care budget will assist with facilitating new growth in child care spaces and help low-income families access services.</p><p><strong><em>Healthy Schools Working Table</em></strong><br><strong><em> </em></strong>OPSBA staff attended a Healthy Schools Working Table meeting hosted by the Ministry's Healthy Schools Unit/Safe Schools and Student Well-Being Branch on March 29. The agenda included updates on concussions, medical conditions, student injury prevention and future funding for Physical Activity in Secondary Schools Grants. It was noted that the main part of the day concentrated on a proposed review of the Daily Physical Activity (DPA) requirement for school boards, with changes that could be in effect by September 2017. </p><p><strong><em>Indigenous Trustees Council (ITC)</em></strong><br><strong><em> </em></strong>Peter Garrow, OPSBA's First Nations Director, delivered an update on the ITC's recent actions and advocacy. OPSBA has received funding to act as the lead on developing a new module for the <a title="Trustee Professional Development Program" href="http://modules.ontarioschooltrustees.org/en/" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Trustee Professional Development Program</span></a> on educating trustees about the real history of Indigenous peoples in Ontario, as well as highlighting best practices in Ontario school boards that are moving us towards reconciliation. He also provided updates on the work of the Well-Being Subcommittee of the Minister's Advisory Council on FNMI Education Working Group and the development of new curriculum to address the Calls to Action of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  </p><p><strong><em>Well-Being Engagement Paper Response</em></strong><br><strong><em> </em></strong>The Ministry released its <a title="Well-Being Engagement Paper" href="http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/about/wellbeing2.html" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Well-Being Engagement Paper</span></a> in November 2016. OPSBA, through the Education Program Work Team, created an online survey that teams of trustees and board staff from boards were requested to complete. A <a title="summary report" href="/SiteCollectionDocuments/WellBeing_Consultation_Submission_March172017.pdf"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">summary report</span></a> with recommendations and guiding principles was created and forwarded to the Ministry. The <a title="Ontario Coalition for Children and Youth Mental Health" href="/what-we-do/coalition-for-children-and-youth-mental-health"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Ontario Coalition for Children and Youth Mental Health</span></a> also utilized the results to submit their own report, which reinforced many of the principles contained within OPSBA's submission.</p><p><strong><em>Ontario's Special Needs Strategy</em></strong><br><strong><em> </em></strong>The Ministry of Children and Youth Services is leading <a title="Ontario's Special Needs Strategy for Children and Youth" href="http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/professionals/specialneeds/strategy.aspx" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Ontario's Special Needs Strategy for Children and Youth</span></a>. Steps are being taken to support children and youth with special needs to get the timely and effective services they need at home, in school, and in the community, as they transition to adulthood. This is a multi-ministerial strategy that includes Education, Health and Long-Term Care and Community and Social Services.</p><p><strong><em>Minister's Advisory Council for Special Education (MACSE)</em></strong><br><strong><em> </em></strong>Cheryl Lovell, OPSBA's representative on MACSE, provided an update on recent activities related to the advisory council.</p><p><strong><em>Education Labour Relations and Human Resources Conference</em></strong><br><strong><em> </em></strong>An overview of the recent <a title="Education Labour Relations and Human Resources Conference" href="/events-and-publications/labour-relations-symposium"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Education Labour Relations and Human Resources Conference</span></a> was provided. Participants viewed the event as informative and engaging.</p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=149
News from Our Education Partnershttp://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=148News from Our Education Partners2017-04-18T16:18:34Z<div class="ExternalClassD4A554A2F2EA4904A1CBB7696B5B2A37"><p><img class="ms-rtePosition-2" src="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/PublishingImages/EducationPartnersUCDSBprimary-students_jpg.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:250px;height:91px;" /><a title="CSBA Congress 2017 and the National Trustee Gathering on Aboriginal Education " href="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=99" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Register now for CSBA Congress 2017 and the National Trustee Gathering on Aboriginal Education </span></a></p><p><a title="Diploma in School Board Administration" href="http://www.schoolboardadmin.com/" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Diploma in School Board Administration, OASBO</span></a></p><p><a title="Education Law Newsletter" href="http://www.millerthomson.com/en/publications/newsletters/education-law-newsletter" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Education Law Newsletter, Miller Thomson LLP</span></a></p><p><a title="Game-Based Online Math Resource" href="https://mpower.tvo.org/educators/#/login/" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Game-Based Online Math Resource</span></a> </p><p><a title="Guide to Accessible Festivals and Outdoor Events" href="/SiteCollectionDocuments/FEOGuideEN.pdf" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Guide to Accessible Festivals and Outdoor Events</span></a></p><p><a title="Health & Safety Training" href="http://www.pshsa.ca/shop/?swoof=1&pa_training-category=training-cat" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Health & Safety Training, PSHSA</span></a></p><p><a title="PSHSA Newsroom" href="http://www.pshsa.ca/newsroom/" target="_blank">Health & Safety Newsroom, PSHSA</a></p><p><a title="Professional Development Catalogue" href="http://www.principals.ca/documents/OPC_Catalogue_2016_2017.pdf" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Professional Development Catalogue, OPC</span></a></p><p><a title="Morning Recess Webinar Series" href="http://www.millerthomson.com/en/news-and-events/morning-recess-webinar-series/" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Morning Recess Webinar Series, Miller Thomson LLP</span></a> </p><p><a title="TeachOntario" href="https://www.teachontario.ca/welcome" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">TeachOntario, TVO</span></a></p><p><a title="Creating Authentic Learning Ecosystems" href="https://www.teachontario.ca/community/explore/teachontario-ebook-CALE" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">TeachOntario, </span><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><em>"Creating Authentic Learning Ecosystems" </em></span><span style="text-decoration:underline;">(eBook)</span><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><em>, </em></span><span style="text-decoration:underline;">TVO</span></a></p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=148
Ontario Newsroomhttp://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=147Ontario Newsroom2017-04-27T17:25:56Z<div class="ExternalClass962483C048E4434B9D06CE2EEC1609BB"><div><img class="ms-rtePosition-1" src="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/PublishingImages/TheNews.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:250px;height:193px;" /></div><div><a title="Ontario Seeking Public Input on Strengthening Rural Education" href="https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2017/04/ontario-seeking-public-input-on-strengthening-rural-education.html?_ga=1.18486713.1031830682.1493312087" target="_blank">Ontario Seeking Public Input on Strengthening Rural Education, Apr. 21, 2017</a></div><div> </div><div><a title="Ontario Boosting On-the-Job Learning Opportunities for Students" href="https://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2017/04/ontario-boosting-on-the-job-learning-opportunities-for-students.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=p" target="_blank">Ontario Boosting On-the-Job Learning Opportunities for Students, Apr. 19, 2017</a></div><div> </div><div><a title="Ontario Sets Budget Date for April 27" href="https://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2017/04/ontario-sets-budget-date-for-april-27.html" target="_blank">UPDATE: Ontario Sets Budget Date for April 27, Apr. 13, 2017</a></div><div><br></div><div><a title="Supporting Success for Youth Across Ontario" href="https://news.ontario.ca/mcys/en/2017/04/supporting-success-for-youth-across-ontario.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=m" target="_blank"><font color="#0066cc">Supporting Success for Youth Across Ontario, Apr. 5, 2017</font></a></div><p><a title="Ontario Partnering with Tech Leaders to Improve Public Services" href="https://news.ontario.ca/maesd/en/2017/04/ontario-partnering-with-tech-leaders-to-improve-public-services.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=p" target="_blank"><font color="#0066cc">Ontario Partnering with Tech Leaders to Improve Public Services, Apr. 5, 2017</font></a></p><p><a title="Preparing Students to Thrive in Ontario's Innovative Economy" href="https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2017/03/preparing-students-to-thrive-in-ontarios-innovative-economy.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=p" target="_blank"><font color="#0066cc">Preparing Students to Thrive in Ontario's Innovative Economy, Mar. 23, 2017 </font></a></p><p><a title="Statement from the Minister of the Status of Women on International Women's Week" href="https://news.ontario.ca/owd/en/2017/03/statement-from-the-minister-of-the-status-of-women-on-international-womens-week.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=p" target="_blank"><font color="#0066cc">​</font></a><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><a href="https://news.ontario.ca/ard/en/2017/03/ontario-combatting-systemic-racism-and-breaking-down-barriers.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=m"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#008ce9">Ontario Combatting Systemic Racism and Breaking Down Barriers, Mar. 7, 2017</font></span></a><font color="#008ce9"></font></span></p><p><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#008ce9">Statement from the Minister of the Status of Women on International Women's Week, Mar. 6, 2017</font></span>​</p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=147
OPSBA in the Mediahttp://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=146OPSBA in the Media2017-04-28T14:37:01Z<div class="ExternalClass01227BD45CC343B0B67D804605BD8D4A"><p><img class="ms-rtePosition-2" src="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/PublishingImages/TheNews.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:250px;height:193px;" />OPSBA Media Release, <a href="/Media%20Desk/Pages/OPSBA-appoints-new-Executive-Director.aspx"><em>OPSBA appoints new Executive Director</em></a>, Apr. 28, 2017</p><p>​OPSBA Media Release, <em><a title="Students Benefit from Stable Funding" href="/Media%20Desk/Pages/Students-Benefit-from-Stable-Funding-.aspx">Students Benefit from Stable Funding</a></em>, Apr. 12, 2017</p><p><strong>Trustees deserve support, not trashing</strong><br><strong>Re: School trustees have lost public trust — and outlived their role, Cohn, April 17<br>OPSBA President Laurie French, Readers' Letters, The Star, Apr. 19, 2017<br></strong>Once again, a giant and unjust leap of logic on the part of Martin Regg Cohn. His latest column, as have two previous ones, takes the reader from his fair criticism of the actions of some trustees in a school board to a universal call of “off with their heads!” for all 700 school trustees in Ontario.<br><a title="Trustees deserve support, not trashing" href="https://www.thestar.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editors/2017/04/19/trustees-deserve-support-not-trashing.html" target="_blank">More</a>... </p><p><strong>Province boosts education funding to $24B for next school year<br></strong><strong>Andrea Gordon, The Star, Apr. 13, 2017<br></strong>Ontario is increasing education spending by almost 4 per cent to $23.8 billion in the next school year, with a focus on providing more special education support and reducing class sizes, Education Minister Mitzie Hunter announced Wednesday.</p><a title="Province boosts education funding to $24B for next school year" href="https://www.thestar.com/yourtoronto/education/2017/04/13/province-boosts-education-funding-to-24b-for-next-school-year.html" target="_blank">More</a>...​<br></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=146
Ministry of Education Updatehttp://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=145Ministry of Education Update2017-04-13T15:11:33Z<div class="ExternalClassB9DC1D6B6C9E41999C4ABE81AC2AB751"><p>​<img class="ms-rtePosition-2" src="/PublishingImages/GSNNewsRelease.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:250px;height:114px;" />Please see the following updated OPSBA summaries indicated below for information regarding Ministry of Education 2017 Memoranda B02 and B03; and SB07 and SB08.</p><p>OPSBA Summaries</p><p><a title="Summary of 2017 B Memoranda" href="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/Documents/2017B_Memoranda.pdf"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#008ce9">2017 B Memoranda</font></span></a> (funding policy, financial matters)</p><p><a title="Summary of 2017 SB Memoranda" href="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/Documents/2017SB_Memoranda.pdf"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#008ce9">2017 SB Memoranda</font></span></a> (administrative information, clarification on financial matters)</p><p><a title="Summary of 2016 B Memoranda" href="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/Documents/2016B_Memoranda.pdf?Web=1"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#008ce9">2016 B Memoranda</font></span></a></p><p><a title="Summary of 2016 SB Memoranda" href="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/Documents/2016SB_Memoranda.pdf?Web=1"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#008ce9">2016 SB Memoranda</font></span></a></p><p>Ministry of Education Memoranda</p><p><a title="Ministry B and SB Memoranda" href="https://efis.fma.csc.gov.on.ca/faab/Memos.htm" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#008ce9">B and SB Memoranda</font></span><span aria-hidden="true"></span></a></p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=145
TVO Resources for Educatorshttp://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=144TVO Resources for Educators2017-04-11T14:13:17Z<div class="ExternalClass3F77F885F79F45EC875236D6FE9D5120"><p><img src="/PublishingImages/21stCenturyEducation_3.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="Students working on a computer." style="margin:5px;width:300px;height:204px;" /><strong>mPower</strong><br></p><p>Last year, TVO introduced<a title="mPower" href="https://mpower.tvo.org/educators/#/signup/?gr=K2?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=edpartnerships" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US"> </span><span lang="EN-US">mPower</span></a> for Kindergarten to Grade 2. It is now available for Grades 3 to 6. <span lang="EN-US">mPower</span> is a fun, innovative, online game-based resource that engages students in problem-solving and critical thinking through math. </p><p><strong>For Grades 7 to 12:</strong> Over the last few months, TVO received a number of requests specifically from Grade 7-12 educators, for a quick and easy way to be aware of and access TVO's free films, documentaries and interviews to support teaching and learning in their classrooms. Educators are more than welcome to join TVO's Current Affairs and Documentaries community by<a href="http://bit.ly/2nOBJgU"><span lang="EN-US"> </span><span lang="EN-US">signing up</span></a> for the TVO newsletter.  In doing so, educators receive links to in-depth current affairs coverage, Steve Paikin's blog and a preview of the evening's documentary. Newsletters are delivered straight to email inboxes Monday through Saturday.<br></p><p><br></p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=144

Apr 28
OPSBA appoints new Executive Director

The Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA) is pleased to announce the appointment of W.R. (Rusty) Hick as the Association's new Executive Director. Mr. Hick will succeed Gail Anderson who is retiring from the role in July after a rewarding career in public education.

Rusty Hick will join OPSBA on June 1, 2017 to assume the role of Executive Director following OPSBA’s Annual General Meeting.

Apr 27
Legislative Update, April 21

​MPPs were off on a constituency week from April 17 to 21, 2017 and returned to the Ontario Legislature on April 24. The following is an update on recent items. 

Rural and Remote Education Review
On April 21, the Ministry of Education released details for their consultation regarding Ontario's Rural Education Strategy. Ten consultations will occur across the province beginning May 5 and ending May 26, 2017. The consultations will include daytime sessions with school boards and municipalities (including student trustees) and evening community town halls. In addition to the in-person meetings, the ministry has posted a document entitled, Supporting Students and Communities: A Discussion Paper to Strengthen Education in Ontario's Rural and Remote Communities.  Feedback can be given via the online discussion paper and all comments are due June 9, 2017. OPSBA will be discussing the paper at an upcoming Policy Development Work Team meeting and drafting a submission. We will also encourage trustees and school board staff to attend a relevant nearby session and/or participate in the online discussion paper. 

The dates and locations are:

  • Merrickville, Friday, May 5
  • Lakefield, Friday, May 5
  • Picton, Friday, May 12
  • Amherstburg, Tuesday, May 23
  • Honey Harbour, Tuesday, May 23
  • Thedford, Wednesday, May 24
  • Markstay, Wednesday, May 24
  • Markdale, Thursday, May 25
  • Wawa, Thursday, May 25
  • Nipigon, Friday, May 26

Background: On Monday March 6, 2017 a letter was sent to school boards and municipalities from Education Minister Mitzie Hunter and Infrastructure Minister Bob Chiarelli. The letter address "impacts of recent pupil accommodation reviews" and announces the creation of a Rural and Remote Education Review. Three parliamentary assistants have been appointed to lead engagement and research gathering on how to sustain a strong education system in rural and remote Ontario. These individuals are: Education PA Granville Anderson; Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs PA Grant Crack; and Municipal Affairs PA Lou Rinaldi.

Bill 65, Safer School Zones Act, 2016
Transportation Minister Steve Del Duca introduced the government's photo radar legislation, Bill 65, Safer School Zones Act on November 15, 2016. The bill would provide municipalities with the option to use three road safety tools:

  1. Use of automated speed enforcement (photo radar) in two areas: school zones and community safety zones (not on provincial highways)
  2. Ability to reduce default speed limits (current default speed limit is 50 km/hour)
  3. Opportunity to gain access/entry to the red light camera program (already in existence; change is to make it easier for municipalities to do this)

The bill has been referred to the Standing Committee on General Government and will have public hearings on April 24, 2017 and April 26, 2017. Written submissions need to be sent to the clerk by end of day Wednesday (5 pm) and can be sent directly to Sylwia Przezdziecki 

OPSBA`s letter will include the following comments and questions:

  • Municipalities should have more authority over setting their own speed limits and speed enforcement and ensuring the safety of residents
  • School boards need to be involved in the discussion with their municipal counterparts – this is a neighbourhood issue (444 municipalities, 72 school boards)
  • Real concern about the number of injuries and even deaths caused by motorists speeding through school zones
  • Want to ensure schools and school zones to be as safe as possible – keeping children safe a priority
  • Many people affected –  child care, school age children (elementary and secondary), parents, caregivers, grandparents, teachers, administrators, education workers, etc.
  • Protect children, other vulnerable groups (seniors) and reduce collisions and fatalities
  • Protects not just those walking to school but our also students who are bussed
  • Will there be signage announcing drivers are entering a school zone or community safety zone?
  • Will school zone enforcement be 24/7 or just during school hours? (Schools are occupied longer than 9 am to 3 pm)
  • What is the definition of a community safety zone?
  • What about the schools in rural and remote areas that are located on provincial highways? Is this to be a city/urban only thing?
  • How many kilometres over the speed limit causes a ticket? 
Apr 27
Celebrate Education Week – May 1 to 5

Ontario150.pngEvery year during Education Week, the contributions of students, parents, teachers and education workers are recognized. This year, Education Week will be held from May 1 to 5, and marks another significant milestone – Canada’s and Ontario's 150th anniversary. As a result, the theme of this year's Education Week will be Ontario 150.

To mark this anniversary, Ontario is supporting events and programs that showcase our diverse communities and encourage Ontarians to get involved. Many of these initiatives focus on engaging youth.

The government has also created many resources to help communities celebrate and reflect throughout the year. One of those resources is a song called A Place to Stand. Sheet music and lyrics in both English and French have been shared with school boards across the province so schools can create their own version of the song. During Education Week, creative performances of A Place to Stand will be profiled on social media. Schools can share their version on Twitter and Facebook using #Ontario150.

Apr 27
Ministry launches Rural Education Strategy consultation

On April 21, 2017, the Ministry of Education released details for their upcoming consultation on Ontario's Rural Education Strategy.

Ten consultations will occur across the province beginning May 5 and ending May 26, 2017. The consultations will include invitation-only daytime sessions with school boards and municipalities (including student trustees) and public community town halls in the evening.
 
In addition to the in-person meetings, the ministry has posted a document entitled Supporting Students and Communities: A Discussion Paper to Strengthen Education in Ontario's Rural and Remote Communities.  Feedback can be given via the online discussion paper. All comments are due June 9, 2017. OPSBA will be discussing the paper at an upcoming Policy Development Work Team meeting and drafting a submission.

The dates* and locations of the public consultations are:

  • Merrickville, Friday, May 5
  • Lakefield, Friday, May 5
  • Picton, Friday, May 12
  • Amherstburg, Tuesday, May 23
  • Honey Harbour, Tuesday, May 23
  • Thedford, Wednesday, May 24
  • Markstay, Wednesday, May 24
  • Markdale, Thursday, May 25
  • Wawa, Thursday, May 25
  • Nipigon, Friday, May 26

*All public town halls run from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

The town halls will focus on the following themes:

  • What strategies work best for educating children in rural Ontario?
  • How could the Province improve its policy and funding levers to better support these objectives?
  • What can be done to assist rural communities planning collaboratively and making the best use of public assets?

Background

On March 6, 2017, a letter was sent to school boards and municipalities from Education Minister Mitzie Hunter and Infrastructure Minister Bob Chiarelli. The letter addressed the "impacts of recent pupil accommodation reviews" and announced the creation of a Rural and Remote Education Review.

Three parliamentary assistants have been appointed to lead engagement and research gathering on how to sustain a strong education system in rural and remote Ontario. These MPPS are: Education PA: Granville Anderson; Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs PA: Grant Crack; and Municipal Affairs PA Lou Rinaldi.

Click here for the Ministry news release

 

Apr 26
OPSBA Board of Directors Meeting – April 21-22, 2017

The OPSBA Board of Directors held a meeting on April 21 and 22, 2017.

Dr. Karen Grose, Vice-President, Digital Learning at TVO, presented to the board on the evening of April 21, providing an overview of the broadcaster's products and services, with a specific focus on their digital offerings. She noted mPower, Teach Ontario, Homework Help and TVO Kids digital games. The board was invited to participate in a hands-on demonstration of some of TVO's online products.

Education policy and program issues that were discussed at the meeting are summarized below.

Labour Relations
A confidential report was provided on developments in the labour relations and collective bargaining sector.

Communications and Media Relations
Updates on the following issues were provided:

  • Distribution of Media Release re: Grants for Student Needs Announcement
  • OPSBA's Letter to the Editor of the Toronto Star re: a column entitled "School trustees have lost public trust"
  • President Media Interviews:
    • President interviewed by Toronto Star re: GSN Announcement (April 12)
    • CBC Radio Ottawa "All in a Day" Program - interviewed/clipped for re:  Rural School Closures (March 28)
  • Advocacy on behalf of Peel District School Board regarding Religious Accommodation Issue

Finance
Updates were provided on the School Energy Coalition and the next steps with regards to the review of student transportation. In response to the Auditor General's recommendation that the Ministry of Education revisit the current student transportation funding formula, the ministry will proceed with a 12 to 18-month multi-stakeholder engagement to solicit input and feedback to renew the vision of student transportation in Ontario.

The Ministry released information regarding education funding (Grants for Student Needs [GSN]) on April 12, 2017. Investments in Ontario's publicly-funded education system continue to increase from $23 billion in 2016-17 to $23.8 billion in 2017-18. Per-pupil funding is projected to increase in 2017-18 to $12,100 – an increase of 68 per cent since 2002-03. The 2017-18 GSN reflects implementation of recently ratified labour agreements. The announcement showed increased funding to support Special Education, Indigenous student achievement, school infrastructure, and student transportation. OPSBA will continue to address pressures related to excess capacity and programming needs through pupil accommodation reviews with the phase out of top-up funding under the Ministry's School Board Efficiencies and Modernization Strategy (SBEM) and growing student transportation costs. The provincial budget will be released on April 27, 2017.

Copyright
An update on copyright regulations and activities was provided. In the fall of 2016, OPSBA electronically distributed a bundle of materials developed by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada. These materials will help aid school boards in keeping staff advised about copyright requirements.  The Copyright Decision Tool was also noted and an overview of the new prohibition on copying of consumables was given.

Community Hubs
OPSBA staff and a number of member board trustees are participating in the Ontario Community Hubs Summit on May 1 and 2 at the Evergreen Brickworks in Toronto. On April 4, Minister Hunter announced the government is seeking to preserve local community services for families in Toronto by proposing to acquire two facilities from the TDSB that would be maintained as community hubs. The March 6 memo announcing a provide-wide engagement on education in rural and remote communities also included a review of progress made with regards to supporting community hubs, noting investments in capital funding for community hub school retrofits and upcoming funding for community replacement space.

Legislature and Government Relations
An update on activities of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario was provided. The House will rise for the summer recess after June 1, 2017. Current Bills relevant to the education sector include: Bill 68, Modernizing Ontario's Municipal Legislation Act; Bill 90, Highway Traffic Amendment Act (School Safety Zones); Bill 94, Highway Traffic Amendment Act (School Bus Camera Safety Systems); Bill 114, Anti-Racism Act; and the Construction Lien Act. The Ministry of Education's upcoming Rural and Remote Education Review has been of great interest to Ontario school boards and OPSBA has reached out to the Minister's Office to learn more about the timing, process and how boards and trustees can be part of this review. The consultation will include stakeholder and public town hall meetings in rural areas across the province. Feedback is due June 9, 2017.

Early Years/Middle Years
An overview of recent announcements and activities related to Ontario's Early Years and Middle Years strategies was provided. A new provincial framework for the early years and child care will be released in May. In early March, OPSBA facilitated a conference call between the Ministry of Education and Early Years leads regarding before-and-after-school care for children ages six-to-12. OPSBA will be following up with school boards regarding the September 2017 implementation date. Ministry contacts have confirmed the federal child care budget will assist with facilitating new growth in child care spaces and help low-income families access services.

Healthy Schools Working Table
OPSBA staff attended a Healthy Schools Working Table meeting hosted by the Ministry's Healthy Schools Unit/Safe Schools and Student Well-Being Branch on March 29. The agenda included updates on concussions, medical conditions, student injury prevention and future funding for Physical Activity in Secondary Schools Grants. It was noted that the main part of the day concentrated on a proposed review of the Daily Physical Activity (DPA) requirement for school boards, with changes that could be in effect by September 2017.

Indigenous Trustees Council (ITC)
Peter Garrow, OPSBA's First Nations Director, delivered an update on the ITC's recent actions and advocacy. OPSBA has received funding to act as the lead on developing a new module for the Trustee Professional Development Program on educating trustees about the real history of Indigenous peoples in Ontario, as well as highlighting best practices in Ontario school boards that are moving us towards reconciliation. He also provided updates on the work of the Well-Being Subcommittee of the Minister's Advisory Council on FNMI Education Working Group and the development of new curriculum to address the Calls to Action of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. 

Well-Being Engagement Paper Response
The Ministry released its Well-Being Engagement Paper in November 2016. OPSBA, through the Education Program Work Team, created an online survey that teams of trustees and board staff from boards were requested to complete. A summary report with recommendations and guiding principles was created and forwarded to the Ministry. The Ontario Coalition for Children and Youth Mental Health also utilized the results to submit their own report, which reinforced many of the principles contained within OPSBA's submission.

Ontario's Special Needs Strategy
The Ministry of Children and Youth Services is leading Ontario's Special Needs Strategy for Children and Youth. Steps are being taken to support children and youth with special needs to get the timely and effective services they need at home, in school, and in the community, as they transition to adulthood. This is a multi-ministerial strategy that includes Education, Health and Long-Term Care and Community and Social Services.

Minister's Advisory Council for Special Education (MACSE)
Cheryl Lovell, OPSBA's representative on MACSE, provided an update on recent activities related to the advisory council.

Education Labour Relations and Human Resources Conference
An overview of the recent Education Labour Relations and Human Resources Conference was provided. Participants viewed the event as informative and engaging.

Apr 18
News from Our Education Partners
Apr 18
Ontario Newsroom
Apr 13
OPSBA in the Media

OPSBA Media Release, OPSBA appoints new Executive Director, Apr. 28, 2017

​OPSBA Media Release, Students Benefit from Stable Funding, Apr. 12, 2017

Trustees deserve support, not trashing
Re: School trustees have lost public trust — and outlived their role, Cohn, April 17
OPSBA President Laurie French, Readers' Letters, The Star, Apr. 19, 2017
Once again, a giant and unjust leap of logic on the part of Martin Regg Cohn. His latest column, as have two previous ones, takes the reader from his fair criticism of the actions of some trustees in a school board to a universal call of “off with their heads!” for all 700 school trustees in Ontario.
More... 

Province boosts education funding to $24B for next school year
Andrea Gordon, The Star, Apr. 13, 2017
Ontario is increasing education spending by almost 4 per cent to $23.8 billion in the next school year, with a focus on providing more special education support and reducing class sizes, Education Minister Mitzie Hunter announced Wednesday.

More...​
Apr 11
Ministry of Education Update

Please see the following updated OPSBA summaries indicated below for information regarding Ministry of Education 2017 Memoranda B02 and B03; and SB07 and SB08.

OPSBA Summaries

2017 B Memoranda (funding policy, financial matters)

2017 SB Memoranda (administrative information, clarification on financial matters)

2016 B Memoranda

2016 SB Memoranda

Ministry of Education Memoranda

B and SB Memoranda

Apr 11
TVO Resources for Educators

Students working on a computer.mPower

Last year, TVO introduced mPower for Kindergarten to Grade 2. It is now available for Grades 3 to 6. mPower is a fun, innovative, online game-based resource that engages students in problem-solving and critical thinking through math. 

For Grades 7 to 12: Over the last few months, TVO received a number of requests specifically from Grade 7-12 educators, for a quick and easy way to be aware of and access TVO's free films, documentaries and interviews to support teaching and learning in their classrooms. Educators are more than welcome to join TVO's Current Affairs and Documentaries community by signing up for the TVO newsletter.  In doing so, educators receive links to in-depth current affairs coverage, Steve Paikin's blog and a preview of the evening's documentary. Newsletters are delivered straight to email inboxes Monday through Saturday.


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OPSBA Connects is the Ontario Public School Boards' Association's online newsletter, providing the province's public education sector with the news needed to make informed decisions on the issues that matter to students and their families.

To access the archives of OPSBA Connects - previously known as Fast Reports - contact webmaster@opsba.org.