OPSBA Connects

 

 

OPSBA in the Media, December 2017http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=215OPSBA in the Media, December 20172017-12-07T15:44:31Z<div class="ExternalClass4B59252C97484A1DB84FA2414F60CA8A"><p><img class="ms-rtePosition-1" src="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/PublishingImages/TheNews.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:250px;height:193px;" /><a title="Statement from OPSBA on Auditor General's Annual Report" href="/Media%20Desk/Pages/Statement-from-OPSBA-on-Auditor-General’s-Annual-Report.aspx">OPSBA Media Release, <em>Statement from OPSBA on Auditor General's Annual Report</em>, Dec. 6, 2017</a><br></p><p><strong>Auditor takes aim at Wynne’s government over spending, waste, lax oversight</strong><br><strong>Rob Ferguson and Robert Benzie, The Star, Dec. 6, 2017</strong><br>School board employees are taking more sick days, hydro ratepayers are getting zapped and the government’s books may not really be balanced, according to auditor general Bonnie Lysyk.</p><p><a title="Auditor takes aim at Wynne’s government over spending, waste, lax oversight" href="https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2017/12/06/auditor-general-takes-aim-at-liberals-over-spending-and-waste.html" target="_blank">More</a> ...​</p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=215
Results of survey of students, parents and educators releasedhttp://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=214Results of survey of students, parents and educators released2017-12-07T13:55:40Z<div class="ExternalClassD436A47F80744C85AFDEC4178767744D"><p><img class="ms-rtePosition-1" src="/PublishingImages/GEDSB-1463.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:250px;height:192px;" />The results of the Ontario Student, Parent, and Educators Survey (OSPES) have been released by the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association (OSTA-AECO). This report serves as a holistic assessment of Ontario’s education system from the perspective of three of its most important stakeholders. A copy of the full OSPES report can be accessed on the <a title="OSTA-AECO website" href="http://www.osta-aeco.org/2017/12/05/2017-ospes-report/" target="_blank">OSTA-AECO website</a>.</p><p><span style="margin:0px;color:black;font-family:calibri, sans-serif;"><font size="3"> </font></span></p> <font size="3"></font><font color="#000000"></font><font face="Times New Roman"></font><p>​</p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=214
OPSBA Board of Directors Meeting - Dec. 1 and 2, 2017http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=213OPSBA Board of Directors Meeting - Dec. 1 and 2, 20172017-12-06T14:49:06Z<div class="ExternalClass368C40348407439581C484EB522CB091"><p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Image_045.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="Board meeting stock photo" style="margin:5px;" />The OPSBA <a href="/who-we-are/structure/board-of-directors" title="Board of Directors">Board of Directors</a> held a meeting on Dec. 1 and 2, 2017, in Toronto. A traditional Indigenous territory acknowledgement was provided by Trustee Elaine Johnston, the <a href="/who-we-are/structure/indigenous-trustees-council" title="Indigenous Trustees' Councl">Indigenous Trustees' Council</a>'s Board of Director member.</p><p>Representatives from the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS) joined Directors on the evening of Dec. 1 - Caroline Newton, Director of Communications, and Christina Campbell, Advocacy and Public Engagement Specialist. OACAS shared new information about progress made on the transformation of the child welfare system, the new Child, Youth and Family Services Act, which will be proclaimed in 2018, and new data from the Education Data Sharing Agreement.</p><p>Education policy and program issues that were discussed at the meeting are summarized below.<br></p><p><strong><em>Indigenous Trustees' Council</em></strong><br><strong><em> </em></strong>Indigenous Director Elaine Johnston provided a report from OPSBA's Indigenous Trustees' Council (ITC), which included the following:</p><p><em>GSN Consultations</em><br><em> </em>The Ministry of Education has engaged the lTC in two consultations on the 2018-19 Grants for Student Needs (GSN). The first was a response to the questions asked of school boards in the GSN consultations. The second consultation took place on November 29, and was specific to Indigenous trustees and other Indigenous organizations, including the Chiefs of Ontario. Topics included the enveloping of grants, First Nations language courses, assessment and curriculum.<br></p><p><em>Working Group – Education Service Agreements (ESAs) and Reverse Education Service Agreements (RESAs)</em><br><em> </em>The Ministry has established a working group to examine potential regulatory or legislative changes to ESAs and RESAs. OPSBA is represented on the working group through Geoff Williams, OPSBA ITC staff advisor, and a number of school board trustees and staff.</p><p><em>TRC Curriculum Steering Committee</em><br><em> </em>The Ministry released a memo to Directors of Education on November 9, 2017, outlining changes being made to the curriculum in order to introduce mandatory components of Indigenous history and culture. Primarily focused on Social Studies and History courses at the moment, there are plans to extend these revisions into other areas of the curriculum in order to ensure that students in Ontario have an accurate understanding of Indigenous history, including the treaties, residential schools, and the Indian Act and its impact. It will be soft launched later this school year, with full implementation in time for the 2018-19 school year.</p><p><em>Minister's Advisory Committee</em><br><em> </em>The third progress report on the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Policy Framework is almost complete, with a projected publication date in January 2018. The Government of Ontario is establishing a Transformation Steering Committee to take an in-depth look at transformation of curriculum, reporting and assessment. The committee will have two advisors with extensive backgrounds in the education sector: Ken Thurston and Marilies Rettig.</p><p><strong><em>Communications and Media Relations</em></strong><br> The following updates on recent OPSBA communications issues were provided:</p><ul><li>There has been some media activity involving OPSBA and President Laurie French since September, including mentions in the Toronto Star, Hamilton Spectator, Durham Region News and the Sault Star. Topics included EQAO testing, cannabis retail locations and Ontario's renewed math strategy.</li><li>OPSBA distributed two media releases in October and November regarding <a href="/Media%20Desk/Pages/Trustees-head-back-to-class-for-Local-Government-Week-.aspx" title="OPSBA Local Government Week news release">Local Government Week</a> and <a href="/Media%20Desk/Pages/Ontario-school-boards-celebrating-Treaties-Recognition-Week.aspx" title="OPSBA Treaties Recognition Week news release">Treaties Recognition Week</a>. </li><li>Communications support to school boards included tactical packages on executive compensation, Local Government Week, and new multi-year strategic planning resources. <br></li></ul><p><strong><em>Finance</em></strong><br> Updates were provided on the School Energy Coalition and the next steps with regards to the review of student transportation procurement. In response to the Auditor General's recommendation that the Ministry of Education revisit the current student transportation funding formula, the ministry is proceeding 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 is now moving forward with the Student Transportation Procurement Advisory Project Phase II. The first meeting of the committee was held on October 13, 2017 and the committee focused primarily on discussing and confirming committee terms of reference. The committee will next meet on December 5.</p><p><em>Benefits Technical Advisory Committee</em><br><em> </em>Through the 2017-18 GSN the Ministry announced the establishment of a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to discuss a go-forward approach to funding benefits within the GSN. The TAC will review all benefits, including Statutory, Health, Life, and Dental. The TAC will include school business officials and financial experts from the Trustee Associations. OPSBA has designated two Senior Business Officials to represent the association on this technical advisory committee and the first meeting of the committee is scheduled to take place on December 5.</p><p><strong><em>Legislature and Government Relations</em></strong><br> An update on activities of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario was provided. The Assembly adjourns for Winter Recess after Dec. 14, 2017, and resumes on Feb. 20, 2018.</p><p><em>Bill 174, Cannabis Act</em><br><em> </em>The government's official cannabis regulation legislation was released on Nov. 1. The omnibus legislation enacts two new bills, the Cannabis Act and the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation Act and also repeals the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and the Electronic Cigarettes Act, replacing them with a new Smoke-Free Ontario Act, and amends the Highway Traffic Act regarding driving under the influence of drugs. OPSBA reviewed the proposed legislation and its education implications and <a href="/SiteCollectionDocuments/OPSBA%20written%20submission%20re%20Bill%20174%20(Final).pdf" title="OPSBA submission re: Cannabis Act">provided a submission</a> to the government.</p><p><em>Governance-related issues - Sector Engagement Discussion Guide</em><br><em> </em>On September 19, 2017, the Discussion Guide was sent to all four school board/trustee associations, CODE, OSTA-AECO, Principal Associations, SO Associations and the unions/federations. It was also sent to board advisory committees, some of which contain trustee representation. OPSBA is providing collected feedback to the Ministry of Education in the form of an official submission.</p><p><em>Provincial Election and OPSBA Education Day</em><br><em> </em>The next Ontario provincial election is to take place on or before June 7, 2018. During provincial elections, OPSBA advocates for non-partisan strategies to engage politicians in issues that focus on education and the well-being of children and youth. OPSBA staff are discussing plans for the 2018 election and the resources to support Education Day in the province of Ontario. On that day, candidates from the four major provincial parties will be invited to attend Provincial Candidates Meetings in their ridings across the province.</p><p><em>Municipal and School Board Elections</em><br><em> </em>Next year's Municipal and School Board Elections will be held on October 22, 2018. The nomination period is much shorter than in previous elections, from May 1 to July 27, 2018. OPSBA will be coordinating a series of resources to support all candidates in the upcoming election.</p><p><em>Local Government Week – 2017</em><br><em> </em>Local Government Week (LGW) took place October 15 to 21, 2017, with several trustees visiting Grade 5 Social Studies and Grade 10 Civics students. OPSBA updated its resources designed to raise civic awareness and promote the role of trustees among Ontario students. Final resources were sent to all members and posted on the OPSBA website. In addition, new resources were also sent to school board communications departments, with suggested website content, messages for board staff, a template news release, suggested social media posts and a backgrounder.</p><p><strong><em>Program Policy Update</em></strong><br> A summary of Ministry meetings, workgroups and program-related announcements was provided. Information shared included the following:</p><p><em>FSL-Labour Market Partnership Project</em><br><em> </em>OPSBA continues to lead a <a href="/SiteCollectionDocuments/FINAL%20FSL%20Partnership%20Information%20Sheet%20_%20Nov1.pdf#search=labour%20market%20partnership" title="OPSBA FSL Labour Market Partnership Project">labour market partnership project </a>for English and Catholic public school boards entitled <em>Meeting Labour Market Needs for French as a Second Language Instruction in Ontario. </em>This is a three-year initiative with an ultimate goal of creating workable solutions to the growing demand for qualified French teachers and support staff. Research has begun and continues to expland.</p><p><em>Supporting Students with Prevalent Medical Conditions: Policy/Program Memorandum (PPM) 161 </em><br><a href="http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/healthyschools/medicalconditions.htm" title="Draft PPM 161" target="_blank">Draft PPM 161</a> was released to school boards October 24, 2017. The PPM has been released as a draft prior to it being finalized for release in winter 2017-2018, for implementation by September 2018. School boards are encouraged to provide feedback and amendments will be made as required. This will allow time for school boards to complete a gap analysis to determine implementation plans.</p><p><em>EQAO</em><br><em> </em>EQAO has released an <a href="http://www.eqao.com/en/about_eqao/modernization/Communication%20Documents/information-paper-modernizing-eqao.pdf" title="EQAO Information Paper" target="_blank">Information Paper</a> – <em>Modernizing EQAO to Better Support Student Learning</em> – in anticipation of the Ministry of Education's upcoming assessment review.<br><em> </em><br><em>Ministry Committees </em><br>Updates from the following Ministry of Education committees were provided:</p><ul><li><em>Staff Well-Being Advisory Committee</em></li><li><em>Renewed Mathematics Strategy Sub-committee</em></li><li><em>Ministry Initiatives Committee</em></li><li><em>Transformation Steering Committee</em></li><li><em>French as a Second Language Working Group</em><br><em> </em><br></li></ul><p><strong><em>Public Education Symposium</em></strong><br><strong><em> </em></strong>The 2018 <a href="/events-and-publications/public-education-symposium" title="Public Education Symposium">Public Education Symposium (PES)</a> will be held from January 25 to 27 at the Sheraton in Toronto in partnership with ACÉPO. Speakers include Professor Yong Zhao of the University of Oregon and University of Kansas, Minister Mitzie Hunter, Patrick Case, Kevin Lamoureux and more. For information, visit <a href="/" title="OPSBA homepage ">www.opsba.org</a>. </p><p><strong>2018 Summit on Children and Youth Mental Health</strong><br><em> </em>All sessions have been finalized for the <a href="/events-and-publications/summit-on-children-and-youth-mental-health" title="Summit on Children and Youth Mental Health">2018 Summit</a> in April and <a href="/EVENTS%20AND%20PUBLICATIONS/Pages/2018-Summit-Online-Registration.aspx" title="Summit registration">registration is now open</a>. School boards are encouraged to send teams from their board and include their key community partners for networking opportunities following the summit. This year the theme is Beyond Collaboration: Towards Integrated Systems for Supporting Child and Youth Mental Health.</p><p><br><br></p><p><em> </em></p><p><br></p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=213
Legislative Update, Dec. 1, 2017http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=212Legislative Update, Dec. 1, 20172017-12-04T15:58:34Z<div class="ExternalClass548BD42E02B448D38E6C85C488D8BD55"><p><img class="ms-rtePosition-1" src="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/PublishingImages/OntarioLegislature.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:250px;height:188px;" />The Legislative Assembly of Ontario adjourns for Winter Recess after December 14, 2017, leaving eight sitting days left this session. It will then resume on Tuesday, February 20, 2018. </p><h3>Bill 174, <em>Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, 2017</em></h3><p>On November 30, Rusty Hick, our Executive Director and President Laurie French addressed the Standing Committee on Justice Policy regarding Bill 174, <em>Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, 2017</em>. The bill has been time allocated which means it is moving fairly quickly through the legislative process. The focus of our remarks were to highlight the importance of education throughout the implementation of the legalization of recreational cannabis. Our remarks included:</p><ul><li>The concept of youth prevention programs and how we can support youth with a circle of care.</li><li>Changes to the Education Act that will be required by our boards in terms of updating policies and procedures.</li><li>The linkages between regular cannabis use, adolescent brain development and mental health and addictions.</li><li>Site locations for the standalone stores that will be selling cannabis and paraphernalia in our communities.</li><li>Future revenues from the sale of cannabis and where these monies might be directed. </li></ul><p>Our written submission includes more commentary on the above and other parts of the overall bill. The Committee meets next on December 4 for clausal review and will return to the House for Third Reading. </p><p><a title="OPSBA speaking remarks and Submission" href="/advocacy-and-action">OPSBA Submission and speaking remarks</a>​</p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=212
Legislative Update, Nov. 27, 2017http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=211Legislative Update, Nov. 27, 20172017-11-27T14:41:58Z<div class="ExternalClass27B354731EC64660BDFD4FD9A5E668D0"><h3><img src="/PublishingImages/Pink_Palace_Toronto_2010.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:300px;height:200px;" />Bill 174, <em>Cannabis Act</em></h3><p>On November 1, Attorney General Yasir Naqvi introduced the government's official cannabis legislation. The omnibus legislation enacts two new bills, the <em>Cannabis Act</em> and the <em>Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation Act</em>. It also repeals the <em>Smoke-Free Ontario Act</em> and the <em>Electronic Cigarettes Act</em>, replacing them with a new <em>Smoke-Free Ontario Act</em>, and amends the <em>Highway Traffic Act</em> regarding driving under the influence of drugs.  </p><p>OPSBA has reviewed the proposed legislation and its education implications, such as changes to board policies, procedures, updating curriculum (age/grade information), suspensions and expulsions, input on public awareness and youth/young adult prevention etc. – some of which were outlined in a <a href="/SiteCollectionDocuments/OPSBA%20Letter%20re%20Cannabis%20implementation%20Sept%2019.pdf" title="http://www.opsba.org/SiteCollectionDocuments/OPSBA%20Letter%20re%20Cannabis%20implementation%20Sept%2019.pdf">letter sent to the Ministry of Education</a> on September 19, 2017. Much of the actions/changes concerning the legalization of cannabis will follow education and school board practices for tobacco and alcohol that are applicable to students and employees. <br></p><p>Bill 174 was time allocated and referred to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy. The Committee intends to hold public hearings in Toronto on November 29, 2017 and November 30, 2017. Those interested in making an oral presentation on Bill 174 need to contact the clerk by 10 a.m. on November 27, 2017. Those who do not wish to make an oral presentation but wish to comment on the Bill may send a written submission to the clerk of the Committee by 6:00 p.m. on November 30, 2017. OPSBA has requested to make an oral presentation. The Committee clerk can be reached at <a title="Committee Clerk" href="mailto:comm-justicepolicy@ola.org" target="_blank">comm-justicepolicy@ola.org</a> <br></p><h3><span lang="EN-US">Governance-related issues - Sector Engagement Discussion Guide</span></h3><p>OPSBA sent <a href="/OUR%20PRIORITIES/PublishingImages/advocacy-and-action/Submission_Governance_Related_Issues_Nov2417.pdf" title="OPSBA Governance submission">our submission</a> to the Ministry of Education's consultation regarding Governance-Related Issues. Feedback was received from individual trustees, as well as entire boards. Additionally, OPSBA connected with OSTA-AECO, CODE and the other school board/trustee associations to align key messages and areas of advocacy. The Policy Development Work Team took the lead on this submission and a summary was shared with all trustees prior to their November regional meetings. It was also shared with the Northern Trustees who had their meeting in October. The deadline for comments has been extended to November 30, 2017. <br></p><p> All OPSBA submissions and letters are available on our web site under the <a href="/advocacy-and-action">Advocacy and Action</a> page.​</p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=211
A public engagement of Education Assessment in Ontariohttp://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=210A public engagement of Education Assessment in Ontario2017-11-22T13:47:09Z<div class="ExternalClass1439E1A6B8C7447BB483086D058F0A7E"><p>​<img src="/PublishingImages/4227487.jpg" alt="A Caucasian female math teacher" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px;width:300px;height:200px;" /><span style="font-family:plantin, georgia, cambria, "times new roman", times, serif;font-size:1.6rem;">Earlier this fall, Premier Kathleen Wynne and Minister of Education Mitzie Hunter announced a review of Ontario's student assessment practices. Led by the Minister's <a href="https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2017/08/ontario-appoints-new-advisors-to-guide-transformation-in-education-system.html" title="Education Advisors" target="_blank">Education Advisors</a>, the independent review aims to ensure that Ontario's student assessments are culturally relevant, able to measure a wider range of learning, and better reflect student well-being and equity.</span></p><p>Over the next several weeks, the Advisors will be holding public engagement sessions across the province to seek input on how to im<span style="font-family:plantin, georgia, cambria, "times new roman", times, serif;font-size:1.6rem;">prove student assessment.</span></p><p><a href="/OUR%20PRIORITIES/Pages/EQAO-and-Large-Scale-Testing.aspx" title="Read OPSBA's Discussion Paper on EQAO and Large Scale Testing in Ontario" target="_blank"><span style="font-family:plantin, georgia, cambria, "times new roman", times, serif;font-size:1.6rem;">Read OPSBA's Discussion Paper on EQAO and Large Scale Testing in Ontario</span></a></p><p><a href="http://www.ontarioalearningprovince.ca/assets/downloads/A_Learning_Province_Discussion_Paper_EN.pdf?v=20171121" title="Read the Public Engagement Paper" target="_blank">Read the Public Engagement Paper</a><br></p><p>All members of the community are welcome to attend public engagement sessions, at the following times:<br></p><p><strong>6 to 6:30 p.m. – Open House</strong></p><p><span style="font-family:plantin, georgia, cambria, "times new roman", times, serif;font-size:1.6rem;"><strong>6:30 – 8:30 p.m. – Roundtable Meeting</strong></span></p><p>Meeting locations, dates and links to register for the public session are below. Child minding is provided.</p><ul><li>Ottawa, November 22 – <a href="http://ministryofeducation.cmail20.com/t/r-i-jrglily-l-r/" title="Register for Ottawa" target="_blank" style="background-color:rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.9);font-family:plantin, georgia, cambria, "times new roman", times, serif;font-size:1.6rem;">Register Here</a><br></li><li>Ottawa French Session, November 22 – <a href="http://ministryofeducation.cmail20.com/t/r-i-jrglily-l-y/" title="Register for Ottawa (French)" target="_blank" style="background-color:rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.9);font-family:plantin, georgia, cambria, "times new roman", times, serif;font-size:1.6rem;">Register Here</a><br></li><li>Barrie, November 27 – <a href="http://ministryofeducation.cmail20.com/t/r-i-jrglily-l-t/" title="Register for Barrie" target="_blank" style="background-color:rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.9);font-family:plantin, georgia, cambria, "times new roman", times, serif;font-size:1.6rem;">Register Here</a><br></li><li>Sudbury, November 30 – <a href="http://ministryofeducation.cmail20.com/t/r-i-jrglily-l-i/" title="Register for Sudbury" target="_blank" style="background-color:rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.9);font-family:plantin, georgia, cambria, "times new roman", times, serif;font-size:1.6rem;">Register Here</a><br></li><li>Sudbury French session, November 30 – <a href="http://ministryofeducation.cmail20.com/t/r-i-jrglily-l-d/" title="Register for Sudbury (French)" target="_blank" style="background-color:rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.9);font-family:plantin, georgia, cambria, "times new roman", times, serif;font-size:1.6rem;">Register Here</a><br></li><li>Windsor, December 4 – <a href="http://ministryofeducation.cmail20.com/t/r-i-jrglily-l-h/" title="Register for Windsor" target="_blank" style="background-color:rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.9);font-family:plantin, georgia, cambria, "times new roman", times, serif;font-size:1.6rem;">Register Here</a><br></li><li>Hamilton, December 5 – <a href="http://ministryofeducation.cmail20.com/t/r-i-jrglily-l-k/" title="Register for Hamilton" target="_blank" style="background-color:rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.9);font-family:plantin, georgia, cambria, "times new roman", times, serif;font-size:1.6rem;">Register Here</a><br></li><li>Toronto, December 8 – <a href="http://ministryofeducation.cmail20.com/t/r-i-jrglily-l-u/" title="Register for Toronto" target="_blank" style="background-color:rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.9);font-family:plantin, georgia, cambria, "times new roman", times, serif;font-size:1.6rem;">Register Here</a><br></li><li>Toronto French Session, December 8 – <a href="http://ministryofeducation.cmail20.com/t/r-i-jrglily-l-o/" title="Register for Toronto (French)" target="_blank" style="background-color:rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.9);font-family:plantin, georgia, cambria, "times new roman", times, serif;font-size:1.6rem;">Register Here</a><br></li><li>Thunder Bay, December 12 – <a href="http://ministryofeducation.cmail20.com/t/r-i-jrglily-l-b/" title="Register for Thunder Bay" target="_blank" style="background-color:rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.9);font-family:plantin, georgia, cambria, "times new roman", times, serif;font-size:1.6rem;">Register Here</a><br></li></ul><p><em>Note: Advance registration is not required, but will help with planning and preparations. During registration, there will be an opportunity to advise of any accommodation needs that will support your ability to fully participate in the engagement session in your region.</em></p><p>The government states that any input gathered directly from parents/caregivers, students, teachers/educators, officials, business leaders and the broader community will be used to help develop recommendations for improving Ontario's assessment practices.</p><p><strong>More information on the engagement program and other ways to give input can be found: </strong><a href="http://ministryofeducation.cmail20.com/t/r-i-jrglily-l-n/" target="_blank" title="Ontario, A Learning Province engagement site">OntarioALearningProvince.ca</a>.<br></p><p><br></p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=210
OPSBA in the Media, November 2017http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=209OPSBA in the Media, November 20172017-11-15T14:19:23Z<div class="ExternalClassD29D1E5D852B4A688FB5F3AE91FE68E7"><p><strong><img class="ms-rtePosition-1" src="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/PublishingImages/TheNews.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:250px;height:193px;" />School boards association raises question of store locations</strong><br><strong>Jennifer Hamilton-McCharles, North Bay Nugget, Nov. 15, 2017</strong><br>The Ontario Public School Boards' Association is asking school trustees across the province how close cannabis stores should be to elementary and secondary schools?</p><p>Near North trustee Michelina Beam says schools want to get ahead of the issue before the drug becomes legal next summer.</p><p><a title="School boards association raises question of store locations" href="http://www.nugget.ca/2017/11/15/school-boards-association-raises-question-of-store-locations" target="_blank">More</a> ...​</p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=209
Public Education Symposium 2018http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=208Public Education Symposium 20182017-11-15T18:43:00Z<div class="ExternalClass2866C0DB927C442A93FCDE7EB261A940"><p><img class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="buildings-2297210_1920.jpg" src="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/PublishingImages/Lists/Posts/AllPosts/buildings-2297210_1920.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:300px;height:191px;" />Don't miss the stimulating, thought-provoking sessions planned for the 2018 OPSBA Public Education Symposium (PES), which will be held from January 25 to 27 at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto. </p><p><a title="PES 2018 Program Outline" href="/EVENTS%20AND%20PUBLICATIONS/Documents/PES_Program.pdf">Program outline</a></p><p style="font-family:plantin,georgia,cambria,"times new roman",times,serif;font-size:18px;"><a title="PES 2018 Online Registration" href="/EVENTS%20AND%20PUBLICATIONS/Pages/PES-2018-Online-Registration.aspx">Online registration</a> <br></p><p style="font-family:plantin,georgia,cambria,"times new roman",times,serif;font-size:18px;"><a title="Hotel information" href="/events-and-publications/public-education-symposium">Hotel information</a><br></p><p><strong>Pre-Symposium </strong>– January 25: </p><ul><li><em><strong>E</strong></em><em><strong>quity and Inclusion</strong></em><em> - Ontario's Education Equity Action Plan</em><br><strong style="font-family:plantin,georgia,cambria,"times new roman",times,serif;font-size:1.6rem;">Patrick Case</strong><span style="font-family:plantin,georgia,cambria,"times new roman",times,serif;font-size:1.6rem;">, Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Equity Officer in the Education Equity Secretariat of the Ministry of Education. Includes discussion and interactive sessions.</span></li><li><span style="font-family:plantin,georgia,cambria,"times new roman",times,serif;font-size:1.6rem;"></span><strong style="font-family:plantin,georgia,cambria,"times new roman",times,serif;font-size:1.6rem;">Kevin Lamoureux<br></strong>Associate V.P. Indigenous Affairs, University of Winnipeg</li><li><strong>15 Minute Sessions</strong><br>A variety of innovative programs and successful practices at boards across the province.<strong></strong></li></ul><p><strong>Main Symposium </strong>– January 25 – 27: </p><p><strong>Keynote Speaker - Evening of January 25 </strong> </p><p>YONG ZHAO, "<span lang="EN-US">Perils or Promises: Education in the Age of Smart Machines</span>"<br>Professor in the Department of Educational Measurement, Policy, and Leadership, University of Oregon; and Foundations Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas.</p><p><strong>Keynote Speakers and Sessions – January 26 and 27</strong><br></p><ul><li>Mitzie Hunter - Minister of Education</li><li>Michael Coteau - Minister of Children and Youth Services / Anti-Racism Directorate (Invited)</li><li>Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey Report – Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)<br></li><li>Labour Relations Update<br></li><li>Panel session – "What I'd Like to See on the Next Party Platform"</li><li>Two Student Workshops<br></li><li>Choice of additional workshops</li><li>OPSBA Regional Meetings, and meetings of the OPSBA Indigenous Trustees' Council, Education Program and Policy Development Work Teams<br></li></ul><p>For further information and the complimentary Student Trustee code, contact the <a href="mailto:webmaster@opsba.org">OPSBA webmaster</a>. <br></p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=208
Legislative Update, Nov. 10, 2017http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=207Legislative Update, Nov. 10, 20172017-11-15T18:45:32Z<div class="ExternalClass4FE59081DEB041B38364A45DC4C24C7D"><p><img class="ms-rtePosition-2" src="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/PublishingImages/OntarioLegislature.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:250px;height:188px;" />The Legislature is closed on Monday, November 13, for the Remembrance Day holiday. When the House returns on Tuesday, November 14, Finance Minister Charles Sousa will present his fall economic statement. </p><h3>Treaties Recognition Week<br></h3><p>The Ministry of Education announced $2.7 million to implement a revised curriculum on Indigenous histories, cultures and contributions in Grades 4 and 6 social studies classes and Grades 7, 8 and 10 history classes. The revisions, which were consulted on by residential schools survivors, First Nations, Métis and Inuit partners, are in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. The announcement was made during Ontario’s second annual Treaties Recognition Week. Indigenous Relations Minister David Zimmer also recognized November 8 as Aboriginal Veterans Day. </p><p><a title="News Release, Ministry of Education" href="https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2017/11/ontario-ensuring-students-learn-indigenous-histories-and-cultures.html?_ga=2.144660277.1690514611.1510166894-473242817.1510166894" target="_blank">News Release</a>, Ministry of Education </p><p><a title="News Release, Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation" href="https://news.ontario.ca/mirr/en/2017/11/ontario-marks-second-annual-treaties-recognition-week.html" target="_blank">News Release</a>, Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation <br><br></p><h3>Liquor Control Board of Ontario and Cannabis Legalization<br></h3><p>The LCBO announced the first 14 municipalities that will be assigned cannabis retail stores on July 1, 2018. The selected municipalities include: Barrie, Brampton, Hamilton, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Mississauga, Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Vaughan and Windsor. Cannabis retail sites are to be accessible to the community, able to outshine existing illegal markets and be away from school zones. The LCBO and the Ministry of Finance are now working with the selected municipalities to discuss guidelines for siting stores. OPSBA will be advocating to ensure school boards and trustees are involved in these discussions. </p><p><a title="LCBO Cannabis Updates" href="https://lcbocannabisupdates.com/" target="_blank">LCBO Cannabis Updates</a> <br></p><h3>Education Development Charges</h3><p> OPSBA sent a <a title="OPSBA letter re EDC regulation review" href="/Pages/OPSBA%20supports%20EDC%20regulation%20review.aspx">letter</a> to Education Minister Hunter recommending the creation of a working group to assess EDC by-law implications across the province and review the current regulation. OPSBA supports a revised regulation to allow more local flexibility for capital and renewal costs.​<br></p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=207
Legislative Update, Nov. 3, 2017http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=206Legislative Update, Nov. 3, 20172017-11-15T18:43:31Z<div class="ExternalClassFBB32AACD865436E8863900F57930474"><p>​<img class="ms-rtePosition-2" src="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/PublishingImages/OntarioLegislature.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:250px;height:188px;" />The Legislative Assembly of Ontario is adjourned for a constituency week and returns on November 14; there is no session on November 13 to recognize Remembrance Day. Upon returning, MPPs have 19 sitting days before Winter Recess on December 14, 2017. </p><h3>Ontario's Career Studies Course </h3><p>On November 3, Education Minister Mitzie Hunter announced changes to the Grade 10 Career Studies Course to include four areas of learning. These are:</p><ul><li>Financial Literacy</li><li>Pathways Planning</li><li>Innovation Creativity and Entrepreneurship</li><li>Digital Literacy</li></ul><p>The enhancements will be in place for September 2018. <br><a title="Ministry News Release" href="https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2017/11/financial-and-digital-literacy-coming-to-career-studies-course-next-september-1.html" target="_blank" style="font-family:plantin, georgia, cambria, "times new roman", times, serif;font-size:1.6rem;background-color:rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.9);">Ministry News Release</a></p><h3><br></h3><h3>Bill 174, Cannabis Act</h3><p>On November 1, Attorney General Yasir Naqvi introduced the government's official cannabis regulation legislation. The omnibus legislation enacts two new bills, the<em> Cannabis Act</em> and the <em>Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation Act</em>. It also repeals the <em>Smoke-Free Ontario Act</em> and the <em>Electronic Cigarettes Act</em>, replacing them with a new <em>Smoke-Free Ontario Act</em>. It also amends the <em>Highway Traffic Act</em> regarding driving under the influence of drugs. </p><p>The bill creates the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation, which will be run by the LCBO and tasked with opening 40 cannabis retail locations by July 1, 2018. It will also control all online sales of cannabis. Marijuana use will be banned in public places and will only be sold to people 19 and over. The bill includes "strict, escalating penalties" for illegal storefront dispensaries to discourage them from reopening after a raid. Corporations could face fines up to $1 million plus jail time for the illegal sale of cannabis. An individual under the age of 19 caught possessing marijuana could face a $200 fine. An adult caught consuming marijuana in public will face a fine of up $1,000 on the first conviction and up to $5,000 for subsequent convictions. Bill 174 increases penalties for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, including a zero tolerance policy for young drivers and contains a provision authorizing the use of automated school bus camera systems and their resulting evidence. </p><p>OPSBA will be reviewing the proposed legislation and its implications on education. The Ministry has indicated that a memo to the sector will be sent soon.</p><p><a href="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/PublishingImages/Lists/Posts/Post/MinistryMemoCannabisSchoolSupportsApr1917.pdf">Ministry of Education Memo re Supports for Schools</a> (Apr. 19, 2017)</p><p><a title="Ministry of Education slide deck presented to OPSBA PDWT and EPWT" href="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/PublishingImages/Lists/Posts/Post/Ministry%20of%20Education%20slide%20deck%20presented%20to%20OPSBA%20PDWT%20and%20EPWT.pdf">Ministry of Education slide deck presented to OPSBA PDWT and EPWT</a> (Sept. 8, 2017) </p><p><a title="Bill 174" href="http://www.ontla.on.ca/bills/bills-files/41_Parliament/Session2/b174_e.pdf" target="_blank">Bill 174</a> (54 pages). </p><h3>Recent news releases</h3><p>October 27, 2017:  <a title="Ontario Taking Next Steps to Identify Cannabis Store Locations" href="https://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2017/10/ontario-taking-next-steps-to-identify-cannabis-store-locations.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=m" target="_blank">Ontario Taking Next Steps to Identify Cannabis Store Locations</a></p><p>September 18, 2017: <a title="Ontario Improving Road Safety Ahead of Cannabis Legalization" href="https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2017/09/ontario-improving-road-safety-ahead-of-cannabis-legalization.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=m" target="_blank">Ontario Improving Road Safety Ahead of Cannabis Legalization</a></p><p>September 8, 2017: <a title="Ontario Releases Safe and Sensible Framework To Manage Federal Legalization of Cannabis" href="https://news.ontario.ca/mag/en/2017/09/ontario-releases-safe-and-sensible-framework-to-manage-federal-legalization-of-cannabis.html" target="_blank">Ontario Releases Safe and Sensible Framework To Manage Federal Legalization of Cannabis</a></p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=206

Dec 07
OPSBA in the Media, December 2017

OPSBA Media Release, Statement from OPSBA on Auditor General's Annual Report, Dec. 6, 2017

Auditor takes aim at Wynne’s government over spending, waste, lax oversight
Rob Ferguson and Robert Benzie, The Star, Dec. 6, 2017
School board employees are taking more sick days, hydro ratepayers are getting zapped and the government’s books may not really be balanced, according to auditor general Bonnie Lysyk.

More ...​

Dec 07
Results of survey of students, parents and educators released

The results of the Ontario Student, Parent, and Educators Survey (OSPES) have been released by the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association (OSTA-AECO). This report serves as a holistic assessment of Ontario’s education system from the perspective of three of its most important stakeholders. A copy of the full OSPES report can be accessed on the OSTA-AECO website.

 

Dec 06
OPSBA Board of Directors Meeting - Dec. 1 and 2, 2017

Board meeting stock photoThe OPSBA Board of Directors held a meeting on Dec. 1 and 2, 2017, in Toronto. A traditional Indigenous territory acknowledgement was provided by Trustee Elaine Johnston, the Indigenous Trustees' Council's Board of Director member.

Representatives from the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS) joined Directors on the evening of Dec. 1 - Caroline Newton, Director of Communications, and Christina Campbell, Advocacy and Public Engagement Specialist. OACAS shared new information about progress made on the transformation of the child welfare system, the new Child, Youth and Family Services Act, which will be proclaimed in 2018, and new data from the Education Data Sharing Agreement.

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

Indigenous Trustees' Council
Indigenous Director Elaine Johnston provided a report from OPSBA's Indigenous Trustees' Council (ITC), which included the following:

GSN Consultations
The Ministry of Education has engaged the lTC in two consultations on the 2018-19 Grants for Student Needs (GSN). The first was a response to the questions asked of school boards in the GSN consultations. The second consultation took place on November 29, and was specific to Indigenous trustees and other Indigenous organizations, including the Chiefs of Ontario. Topics included the enveloping of grants, First Nations language courses, assessment and curriculum.

Working Group – Education Service Agreements (ESAs) and Reverse Education Service Agreements (RESAs)
The Ministry has established a working group to examine potential regulatory or legislative changes to ESAs and RESAs. OPSBA is represented on the working group through Geoff Williams, OPSBA ITC staff advisor, and a number of school board trustees and staff.

TRC Curriculum Steering Committee
The Ministry released a memo to Directors of Education on November 9, 2017, outlining changes being made to the curriculum in order to introduce mandatory components of Indigenous history and culture. Primarily focused on Social Studies and History courses at the moment, there are plans to extend these revisions into other areas of the curriculum in order to ensure that students in Ontario have an accurate understanding of Indigenous history, including the treaties, residential schools, and the Indian Act and its impact. It will be soft launched later this school year, with full implementation in time for the 2018-19 school year.

Minister's Advisory Committee
The third progress report on the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Policy Framework is almost complete, with a projected publication date in January 2018. The Government of Ontario is establishing a Transformation Steering Committee to take an in-depth look at transformation of curriculum, reporting and assessment. The committee will have two advisors with extensive backgrounds in the education sector: Ken Thurston and Marilies Rettig.

Communications and Media Relations
The following updates on recent OPSBA communications issues were provided:

  • There has been some media activity involving OPSBA and President Laurie French since September, including mentions in the Toronto Star, Hamilton Spectator, Durham Region News and the Sault Star. Topics included EQAO testing, cannabis retail locations and Ontario's renewed math strategy.
  • OPSBA distributed two media releases in October and November regarding Local Government Week and Treaties Recognition Week.
  • Communications support to school boards included tactical packages on executive compensation, Local Government Week, and new multi-year strategic planning resources.

Finance
Updates were provided on the School Energy Coalition and the next steps with regards to the review of student transportation procurement. In response to the Auditor General's recommendation that the Ministry of Education revisit the current student transportation funding formula, the ministry is proceeding 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 is now moving forward with the Student Transportation Procurement Advisory Project Phase II. The first meeting of the committee was held on October 13, 2017 and the committee focused primarily on discussing and confirming committee terms of reference. The committee will next meet on December 5.

Benefits Technical Advisory Committee
Through the 2017-18 GSN the Ministry announced the establishment of a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to discuss a go-forward approach to funding benefits within the GSN. The TAC will review all benefits, including Statutory, Health, Life, and Dental. The TAC will include school business officials and financial experts from the Trustee Associations. OPSBA has designated two Senior Business Officials to represent the association on this technical advisory committee and the first meeting of the committee is scheduled to take place on December 5.

Legislature and Government Relations
An update on activities of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario was provided. The Assembly adjourns for Winter Recess after Dec. 14, 2017, and resumes on Feb. 20, 2018.

Bill 174, Cannabis Act
The government's official cannabis regulation legislation was released on Nov. 1. The omnibus legislation enacts two new bills, the Cannabis Act and the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation Act and also repeals the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and the Electronic Cigarettes Act, replacing them with a new Smoke-Free Ontario Act, and amends the Highway Traffic Act regarding driving under the influence of drugs. OPSBA reviewed the proposed legislation and its education implications and provided a submission to the government.

Governance-related issues - Sector Engagement Discussion Guide
On September 19, 2017, the Discussion Guide was sent to all four school board/trustee associations, CODE, OSTA-AECO, Principal Associations, SO Associations and the unions/federations. It was also sent to board advisory committees, some of which contain trustee representation. OPSBA is providing collected feedback to the Ministry of Education in the form of an official submission.

Provincial Election and OPSBA Education Day
The next Ontario provincial election is to take place on or before June 7, 2018. During provincial elections, OPSBA advocates for non-partisan strategies to engage politicians in issues that focus on education and the well-being of children and youth. OPSBA staff are discussing plans for the 2018 election and the resources to support Education Day in the province of Ontario. On that day, candidates from the four major provincial parties will be invited to attend Provincial Candidates Meetings in their ridings across the province.

Municipal and School Board Elections
Next year's Municipal and School Board Elections will be held on October 22, 2018. The nomination period is much shorter than in previous elections, from May 1 to July 27, 2018. OPSBA will be coordinating a series of resources to support all candidates in the upcoming election.

Local Government Week – 2017
Local Government Week (LGW) took place October 15 to 21, 2017, with several trustees visiting Grade 5 Social Studies and Grade 10 Civics students. OPSBA updated its resources designed to raise civic awareness and promote the role of trustees among Ontario students. Final resources were sent to all members and posted on the OPSBA website. In addition, new resources were also sent to school board communications departments, with suggested website content, messages for board staff, a template news release, suggested social media posts and a backgrounder.

Program Policy Update
A summary of Ministry meetings, workgroups and program-related announcements was provided. Information shared included the following:

FSL-Labour Market Partnership Project
OPSBA continues to lead a labour market partnership project for English and Catholic public school boards entitled Meeting Labour Market Needs for French as a Second Language Instruction in Ontario. This is a three-year initiative with an ultimate goal of creating workable solutions to the growing demand for qualified French teachers and support staff. Research has begun and continues to expland.

Supporting Students with Prevalent Medical Conditions: Policy/Program Memorandum (PPM) 161
Draft PPM 161 was released to school boards October 24, 2017. The PPM has been released as a draft prior to it being finalized for release in winter 2017-2018, for implementation by September 2018. School boards are encouraged to provide feedback and amendments will be made as required. This will allow time for school boards to complete a gap analysis to determine implementation plans.

EQAO
EQAO has released an Information PaperModernizing EQAO to Better Support Student Learning – in anticipation of the Ministry of Education's upcoming assessment review.

Ministry Committees
Updates from the following Ministry of Education committees were provided:

  • Staff Well-Being Advisory Committee
  • Renewed Mathematics Strategy Sub-committee
  • Ministry Initiatives Committee
  • Transformation Steering Committee
  • French as a Second Language Working Group

Public Education Symposium
The 2018 Public Education Symposium (PES) will be held from January 25 to 27 at the Sheraton in Toronto in partnership with ACÉPO. Speakers include Professor Yong Zhao of the University of Oregon and University of Kansas, Minister Mitzie Hunter, Patrick Case, Kevin Lamoureux and more. For information, visit www.opsba.org.

2018 Summit on Children and Youth Mental Health
All sessions have been finalized for the 2018 Summit in April and registration is now open. School boards are encouraged to send teams from their board and include their key community partners for networking opportunities following the summit. This year the theme is Beyond Collaboration: Towards Integrated Systems for Supporting Child and Youth Mental Health.



 


Dec 04
Legislative Update, Dec. 1, 2017

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario adjourns for Winter Recess after December 14, 2017, leaving eight sitting days left this session. It will then resume on Tuesday, February 20, 2018. 

Bill 174, Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, 2017

On November 30, Rusty Hick, our Executive Director and President Laurie French addressed the Standing Committee on Justice Policy regarding Bill 174, Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, 2017. The bill has been time allocated which means it is moving fairly quickly through the legislative process. The focus of our remarks were to highlight the importance of education throughout the implementation of the legalization of recreational cannabis. Our remarks included:

  • The concept of youth prevention programs and how we can support youth with a circle of care.
  • Changes to the Education Act that will be required by our boards in terms of updating policies and procedures.
  • The linkages between regular cannabis use, adolescent brain development and mental health and addictions.
  • Site locations for the standalone stores that will be selling cannabis and paraphernalia in our communities.
  • Future revenues from the sale of cannabis and where these monies might be directed. 

Our written submission includes more commentary on the above and other parts of the overall bill. The Committee meets next on December 4 for clausal review and will return to the House for Third Reading. 

OPSBA Submission and speaking remarks

Nov 27
Legislative Update, Nov. 27, 2017

Bill 174, Cannabis Act

On November 1, Attorney General Yasir Naqvi introduced the government's official cannabis legislation. The omnibus legislation enacts two new bills, the Cannabis Act and the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation Act. It also repeals the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and the Electronic Cigarettes Act, replacing them with a new Smoke-Free Ontario Act, and amends the Highway Traffic Act regarding driving under the influence of drugs.  

OPSBA has reviewed the proposed legislation and its education implications, such as changes to board policies, procedures, updating curriculum (age/grade information), suspensions and expulsions, input on public awareness and youth/young adult prevention etc. – some of which were outlined in a letter sent to the Ministry of Education on September 19, 2017. Much of the actions/changes concerning the legalization of cannabis will follow education and school board practices for tobacco and alcohol that are applicable to students and employees.

Bill 174 was time allocated and referred to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy. The Committee intends to hold public hearings in Toronto on November 29, 2017 and November 30, 2017. Those interested in making an oral presentation on Bill 174 need to contact the clerk by 10 a.m. on November 27, 2017. Those who do not wish to make an oral presentation but wish to comment on the Bill may send a written submission to the clerk of the Committee by 6:00 p.m. on November 30, 2017. OPSBA has requested to make an oral presentation. The Committee clerk can be reached at comm-justicepolicy@ola.org 

Governance-related issues - Sector Engagement Discussion Guide

OPSBA sent our submission to the Ministry of Education's consultation regarding Governance-Related Issues. Feedback was received from individual trustees, as well as entire boards. Additionally, OPSBA connected with OSTA-AECO, CODE and the other school board/trustee associations to align key messages and areas of advocacy. The Policy Development Work Team took the lead on this submission and a summary was shared with all trustees prior to their November regional meetings. It was also shared with the Northern Trustees who had their meeting in October. The deadline for comments has been extended to November 30, 2017. 

All OPSBA submissions and letters are available on our web site under the Advocacy and Action page.​

Nov 21
A public engagement of Education Assessment in Ontario

A Caucasian female math teacherEarlier this fall, Premier Kathleen Wynne and Minister of Education Mitzie Hunter announced a review of Ontario's student assessment practices. Led by the Minister's Education Advisors, the independent review aims to ensure that Ontario's student assessments are culturally relevant, able to measure a wider range of learning, and better reflect student well-being and equity.

Over the next several weeks, the Advisors will be holding public engagement sessions across the province to seek input on how to improve student assessment.

Read OPSBA's Discussion Paper on EQAO and Large Scale Testing in Ontario

Read the Public Engagement Paper

All members of the community are welcome to attend public engagement sessions, at the following times:

6 to 6:30 p.m. – Open House

6:30 – 8:30 p.m. – Roundtable Meeting

Meeting locations, dates and links to register for the public session are below. Child minding is provided.

Note: Advance registration is not required, but will help with planning and preparations. During registration, there will be an opportunity to advise of any accommodation needs that will support your ability to fully participate in the engagement session in your region.

The government states that any input gathered directly from parents/caregivers, students, teachers/educators, officials, business leaders and the broader community will be used to help develop recommendations for improving Ontario's assessment practices.

More information on the engagement program and other ways to give input can be found: OntarioALearningProvince.ca.


Nov 15
OPSBA in the Media, November 2017

School boards association raises question of store locations
Jennifer Hamilton-McCharles, North Bay Nugget, Nov. 15, 2017
The Ontario Public School Boards' Association is asking school trustees across the province how close cannabis stores should be to elementary and secondary schools?

Near North trustee Michelina Beam says schools want to get ahead of the issue before the drug becomes legal next summer.

More ...​

Nov 13
Public Education Symposium 2018

buildings-2297210_1920.jpgDon't miss the stimulating, thought-provoking sessions planned for the 2018 OPSBA Public Education Symposium (PES), which will be held from January 25 to 27 at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto. 

Program outline

Online registration 

Hotel information

Pre-Symposium – January 25: 

  • Equity and Inclusion - Ontario's Education Equity Action Plan
    Patrick Case, Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Equity Officer in the Education Equity Secretariat of the Ministry of Education. Includes discussion and interactive sessions.
  • Kevin Lamoureux
    Associate V.P. Indigenous Affairs, University of Winnipeg
  • 15 Minute Sessions
    A variety of innovative programs and successful practices at boards across the province.

Main Symposium – January 25 – 27: 

Keynote Speaker - Evening of January 25 

YONG ZHAO, "Perils or Promises: Education in the Age of Smart Machines"
Professor in the Department of Educational Measurement, Policy, and Leadership, University of Oregon; and Foundations Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas.

Keynote Speakers and Sessions – January 26 and 27

  • Mitzie Hunter - Minister of Education
  • Michael Coteau - Minister of Children and Youth Services / Anti-Racism Directorate (Invited)
  • Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey Report – Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
  • Labour Relations Update
  • Panel session – "What I'd Like to See on the Next Party Platform"
  • Two Student Workshops
  • Choice of additional workshops
  • OPSBA Regional Meetings, and meetings of the OPSBA Indigenous Trustees' Council, Education Program and Policy Development Work Teams

For further information and the complimentary Student Trustee code, contact the OPSBA webmaster

Nov 13
Legislative Update, Nov. 10, 2017

The Legislature is closed on Monday, November 13, for the Remembrance Day holiday. When the House returns on Tuesday, November 14, Finance Minister Charles Sousa will present his fall economic statement. 

Treaties Recognition Week

The Ministry of Education announced $2.7 million to implement a revised curriculum on Indigenous histories, cultures and contributions in Grades 4 and 6 social studies classes and Grades 7, 8 and 10 history classes. The revisions, which were consulted on by residential schools survivors, First Nations, Métis and Inuit partners, are in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. The announcement was made during Ontario’s second annual Treaties Recognition Week. Indigenous Relations Minister David Zimmer also recognized November 8 as Aboriginal Veterans Day. 

News Release, Ministry of Education 

News Release, Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation 

Liquor Control Board of Ontario and Cannabis Legalization

The LCBO announced the first 14 municipalities that will be assigned cannabis retail stores on July 1, 2018. The selected municipalities include: Barrie, Brampton, Hamilton, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Mississauga, Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Vaughan and Windsor. Cannabis retail sites are to be accessible to the community, able to outshine existing illegal markets and be away from school zones. The LCBO and the Ministry of Finance are now working with the selected municipalities to discuss guidelines for siting stores. OPSBA will be advocating to ensure school boards and trustees are involved in these discussions. 

LCBO Cannabis Updates 

Education Development Charges

OPSBA sent a letter to Education Minister Hunter recommending the creation of a working group to assess EDC by-law implications across the province and review the current regulation. OPSBA supports a revised regulation to allow more local flexibility for capital and renewal costs.​

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Legislative Update, Nov. 3, 2017

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario is adjourned for a constituency week and returns on November 14; there is no session on November 13 to recognize Remembrance Day. Upon returning, MPPs have 19 sitting days before Winter Recess on December 14, 2017. 

Ontario's Career Studies Course

On November 3, Education Minister Mitzie Hunter announced changes to the Grade 10 Career Studies Course to include four areas of learning. These are:

  • Financial Literacy
  • Pathways Planning
  • Innovation Creativity and Entrepreneurship
  • Digital Literacy

The enhancements will be in place for September 2018. 
Ministry News Release


Bill 174, Cannabis Act

On November 1, Attorney General Yasir Naqvi introduced the government's official cannabis regulation legislation. The omnibus legislation enacts two new bills, the Cannabis Act and the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation Act. It also repeals the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and the Electronic Cigarettes Act, replacing them with a new Smoke-Free Ontario Act. It also amends the Highway Traffic Act regarding driving under the influence of drugs. 

The bill creates the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation, which will be run by the LCBO and tasked with opening 40 cannabis retail locations by July 1, 2018. It will also control all online sales of cannabis. Marijuana use will be banned in public places and will only be sold to people 19 and over. The bill includes "strict, escalating penalties" for illegal storefront dispensaries to discourage them from reopening after a raid. Corporations could face fines up to $1 million plus jail time for the illegal sale of cannabis. An individual under the age of 19 caught possessing marijuana could face a $200 fine. An adult caught consuming marijuana in public will face a fine of up $1,000 on the first conviction and up to $5,000 for subsequent convictions. Bill 174 increases penalties for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, including a zero tolerance policy for young drivers and contains a provision authorizing the use of automated school bus camera systems and their resulting evidence. 

OPSBA will be reviewing the proposed legislation and its implications on education. The Ministry has indicated that a memo to the sector will be sent soon.

Ministry of Education Memo re Supports for Schools (Apr. 19, 2017)

Ministry of Education slide deck presented to OPSBA PDWT and EPWT (Sept. 8, 2017) 

Bill 174 (54 pages). 

Recent news releases

October 27, 2017:  Ontario Taking Next Steps to Identify Cannabis Store Locations

September 18, 2017: Ontario Improving Road Safety Ahead of Cannabis Legalization

September 8, 2017: Ontario Releases Safe and Sensible Framework To Manage Federal Legalization of Cannabis

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