MPPs rose for summer recess on June 1, 2017, and return on Monday, September 11, 2017. The following is an update on recent items.
Rural and Remote Education ReviewOPSBA provided a submission to the Ministry consultation on June 16, 2017. The content was based on feedback from the ten engagement sessions, as well as the discussion at the recent Policy Development Work Team, Executive Council and Board of Directors. OPSBA staff have met with policy staff from Minister's Hunter office who were appreciative of our submission and the comments. We expect information about next steps very soon.
Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017Bill 148 was introduced on June 1, 2017, by Minister of Labour Kevin Daniel. That same day the bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, which was given permission from the House to meet over the summer to study the bill. The legislation builds upon the final "Changing Workplaces Review" – a 420-page report containing 173 recommendations for how the province can improve its workplace regulations. The bill includes raising Ontario's minimum wage, expanding personal emergency leaves, changes to employment standards and other issues all intended to create fairer workplaces. OPSBA will be reviewing the bill for school board implications and reaching out to member board CFOs and Human Resources staff.
The committee will be holding public meetings in Thunder Bay, North Bay, Ottawa, Kingston, and Windsor-Essex the week of July 10, 2017. Public meetings will also be held in London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Niagara, Hamilton and Toronto during the week of July 17, 2017. Written submissions are due Friday, July 21, 2017.
Capital Funding AnnouncementsEarlier this week, the ministry announced details for the 38 school construction projects across the province – a combination of new schools, renovations and additions. This funding was previously announced in the GSNs, but the specific project were not identified. The ministry backgrounder lists the 38 locations.
Provincial and Federal Child Care AnnouncementsOn June 6, 2017, the government announced Ontario's Renewed Early Years and Child Care Policy Framework. The Framework is a Seven Point Action Plan that includes: Increasing Access, Enhancing Affordability, Establishing a Workforce Strategy, Determining a Provincial Definition of "Quality", A Renewed Approach to Inclusion, Creating an Outcomes and Measurement Strategy and a Public Awareness Campaign.
On June 16, 2017, the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario announced the first Early Learning and Child Care Bilateral Agreement. This followed an earlier announcement on June 12 when the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework was announced, addressing the federal government's long term vision and plans for children across the country. The June 16 Ontario announcement includes a three year bi-lateral agreement allocating $435 million to the sector. The priority areas for this funding are: increasing access to child cares (including money to municipalities for subsidies), Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centres (expansion) and Training & Professional Development (more opportunities and ECE qualification upgrades).
The University of Guelph has partnered with the Ontario Association of School Business Officials (OASBO) to offer professional development opportunities for school board staff leaders to earn a Diploma in School Board Administration.
The Leadership and Ethics online course examines major themes and concepts related to
leadership and ethics within the context of school board administration. As
part of the course, participants will be introduced to various frameworks and tests,
including emotional intelligence and ethical decision-making.
For more information and to register, visit http://opened.uoguelph.ca/
Halton, Peel Catholic boards receive funds for new schools, renovationsKristin Rushowy, The Star, Jun. 20Two boards in Greater Toronto are receiving funding for new schools and renovations, which are among 38 projects announced this week that will also create 460 child-care spaces across the province.More...
Statement from Minister and Deputy Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation on National Aboriginal Day, Jun. 21, 2017
Ontario Enhancing Support for Refugees and Newcomers, Jun. 20, 2017
Ontario Building New Schools and Additions Across Province, Jun. 19, 2017
The Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario Concludes the First Early Learning and Child Care Bilateral Agreement, Jun. 16, 2017
Ontario Reaches Tentative Extension Agreement with AMAPCEO, Jun. 14, 2017
Schools Receiving $1.4 Billion for Repairs and Renewal This Year, Jun. 13, 2017
Ontario Reaches Tentative Extension Agreements with OPSEU, Jun. 12, 2017
Ontario Transforming Autism Services for Children and Their Families, Jun. 8, 2017
More Educational Opportunities for Indigenous Students, Jun. 7, 2017
Ontario Making Child Care More Accessible and Affordable for Families, Jun. 6, 2017
Ontario Continuing Progress on Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, Jun. 5, 2017
Ontario Preparing Students for Jobs of Tomorrow, Jun. 5, 2017
Ontario Introduces Legislation to Create Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs, Jun. 1, 2017
Ontario Passes Anti-Racism Legislation, Jun. 1, 2017
Ontario Passes Legislation to Strengthen Child Welfare and Improve Outcomes for Youth, Jun. 1, 2017
The Legislative Assembly of Ontario rose for summer recess on June 1, 2017, and returns on September 11, 2017. Current party standings among the 107 MPPs are:
Ontario Liberal Party: 57Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario: 28New Democratic Party of Ontario: 20Independent: 1Vacant: 1
Throughout the year, OPSBA provided submissions on the following matters:
Bill 142, Construction Lien Amendment Act, 2017
OPSBA and the other school board/trustee associations all share a consultant working on this project on our behalf.
Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017
Rural and Remote Education Review
Ombudsman Stats (September 2015 --)
The University of Guelph has partnered with the Ontario Association of School Business Officials to offer professional development opportunities for school board staff leaders to earn certificates in contract management, compensation and benefits, and human resources management, among others.
For more information and to register, visit www.professionalcertificates.ca or email info@OpenEd.uoguelph.ca
Trustees and Directors of Education were welcomed to Blue Mountain for OPSBA's 29th AGM and Program from June 8 to 10. An opening greeting by Algoma DSB Trustee Elaine Johnston, Chief of Serpent River First Nation, acknowledged that the meeting was being held on traditional Indigenous territories. A traditional smudge was offered by First Nation Trustee Howard Archibald.
At this annual event, OPSBA members confirm priorities and directions for the coming year, elect officers and plan for the future. A comprehensive professional development program is also offered. The 2017 program featured dynamic and inspiring speakers and a range of workshops that focused on key issues in education in Ontario today.
Sandra Herbst The opening keynote speaker was the engaging and energetic Sandra Herbst, the CEO of connect2learning and a former superintendent and Past President of the Manitoba Association of School Superintendents. Her presentation, Assessment in the Service of Learning, shared ways in which school boards have aspired to and planned for deep alignment by linking policy, leadership and student achievement. Her session was a follow-up to her presentation at last year's OPSBA AGM in Ottawa. Herbst also provided an additional breakout session for attendees to continue to examine the impact of aligning practice across classrooms.
Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé The Office of the Ontario Ombudsman has had oversight of school boards for almost two years. Ombudsman Dubé reviewed his office's role, the main topics of recent cases and gave an update on the first systemic investigation involving school boards.
Ramona Pringle – Surviving – and Thriving – in an Era of Disruption: Preparing the Next Generation for the Age of Automation Pringle, an interactive producer and expert on Digital Media Culture and a faculty member at Ryerson University's Radio and Television Arts School of Media, explored the skills required for the jobs of tomorrow, and the strategies needed to successfully manage the transition into the age of automation.
Joseph Boyden Saturday morning's keynote speaker was acclaimed Canadian novelist Joseph Boyden, who delved into his creative writing process.
Workshops and Discussion Groups Offering in-depth and interactive workshops, expert speakers addressed issues such as the legalities of social media rights, internal audit processes and committees, equity and diversity, and labour relations.
A special thank you to all presenters and OPSBA member boards for sharing their expertise on behalf of students!
OPSBA AwardsRecipients of OPSBA's Awards were announced at Saturday's President's Dinner. We congratulate the following winners for their hard work and dedication to our students!
The President's Award This award recognizes trustees who have given 25 or more years of service to public education. This year's recipients were:
Award of Merit and Certificate of Recognition in Memory of Jack A. MacDonald The recipient of this student award is selected on the basis of a sound academic record throughout their student career, accompanied by outstanding community service and leadership.
This year's Award of Merit was given to Riley Beam, Chippewa Secondary School, Near North DSB. Riley serves as her school's Student Senator at the board-wide Student Senate, is a member of student council and is involved in numerous initiatives at Chippewa SS, including the school's dance team and Sears Drama Festival entries. She currently serves on the Near North DSB's Accommodation Review Committee and participates in Dreamcoat Fantasy Theatre programs. Riley has volunteered more than 800 hours to community programs on top of her commitment to her studies and school-based extra-curricular activities.
"Riley is an accomplished young woman and has worked very hard through her entire educational career," writes Special Education and Dance teacher Andrea Lefebvre. "She is reliable, responsible and accountable…has a sound academic record and outstanding community service and leadership."
A Certificate of Recognition was also awarded to Rachel Stripp, a Grade 8 student at Pineland Public School, Halton DSB. In addition to being an outstanding student and member of numerous school clubs, Rachel is the founder and president of the Burlington Junior Civitan Club, running twice-monthly meetings for the 22 members and representing her club at district and international events. She also delivers newspaper to 40 customers and volunteers at Parish Ridge Stables.
OPSBA Award of Excellence and Achievement Award This Award is presented by the local board to volunteers for outstanding, exemplary and/or unique contributions to the overall well-being of the school or community through in-school, board-wide, extra-curricular and/or volunteer activity.
This year's Award of Excellence was given to Eileen Haven, Executive Secretary, Lakehead DSB. Eileen worked with the board for 25 years, supporting the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) for nine of them. While she retired on May 31, 2017, she was always an excellent resource to SEAC through careful and detailed preparation for meetings, events and preparations. Eileen always went above and beyond to ensure that everything was in place and had a professional presence.
The OPSBA Achievement Award was given to:
Fred L. Bartlett Memorial AwardThis award is given to an active or retired member of the teaching profession for outstanding contribution to education in Ontario. This year's recipients were Stacey Griffen, Sonya White, and Jennifer Jager, Itinerant Teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Upper Grand DSB. All three teachers were instrumental in the production of the recent OPSBA/OSTA-AECO bilingual accessibility-themed film By Any Measure, showcasing the success of accessibility in Ontario schools.
OPSBA's 2017 Annual General Meeting The Annual General Meeting is an opportunity for member school boards to provide direction for the future work of the organization and to elect officers and members of the Association's Work Teams. At this meeting, the Membership reviewed the 2016-2017 OPSBA Annual Report and confirmed OPSBA's priorities for 2017-18, which continue to be part of a multi-year strategic work plan.
OPSBA Priorities for 2017-2018 The priorities were reaffirmed through a process which invited input from all trustee members, regional councils and Indigenous trustees this past spring. These were approved by the OPSBA Board of Directors at its April meeting and forwarded to the AGM for confirmation by OPSBA's membership.
The six priority areas are:
The Executive Council will hold a planning meeting in August and develop action plans for each priority area for the year ahead.
OPSBA's Executive Council and Work GroupsCongratulations to the following members of OPSBA's Executive Council and Work Groups for the 2017-18 school year.
Executive Council President – Laurie French, Limestone DSB First Vice President – Jerry Chadwick, Toronto DSB Second Vice President – Cathy Abraham, Kawartha Pine Ridge DSB Eastern Region Vice President – Dave Shields, Renfrew County DSB Western Region Vice President – Robert Hunking, Avon Maitland DSB Central East Vice President – Donna Edwards, Durham DSB Central West Vice President – Donna Danielli, Halton DSB Northern Region Vice President – Gerald Kleist, Keewatin-Patricia DSB Enrolment Vice President – Parthi Kandavel, Toronto DSB Enrolment Vice President – Rick Williams, Peel DSB
First Nation Director to OPSBA Board of Directors Elaine Johnston, Avon Maitland DSB Karen Sandy, Grand Erie DSB (Alternate)
Education Program Work Group Members
Policy Development Work Group Members
Tell Us How We Did! Attendees are invited to complete our online evaluation form which will be e-mailed to you electronically through the registration system. We hope you will take a few minutes to give us your feedback and advice. Your information provides us with valuable input as we plan for future conferences. The 2018 AGM and Program will be held in Niagara Falls. Please contact us at any time through firstname.lastname@example.org with ideas and suggestions for conference content or format. Send us your ideas – we can't do it without you!
OPSBA has released its 2016-17 Annual Report, highlighting our advocacy and work in the past year.
Read it today to find out how we've advanced progress on our six strategic priorities since June 2016!
Each June, Canadians are invited to celebrate the contributions of Indigenous people in Canada by taking part in National Aboriginal History Month events and festivities.
Declared in 2009, National Aboriginal History Month is a time to acknowledge the role Indigenous peoples played, and continued to play, in the development of Canada, to honour Indigenous heritage and to celebrate Indigenous cultures. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the strength of present day First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities, and their hopes for the future.
This year marks the 21st anniversary of the first National Aboriginal Day in 1996! June 21 was chosen as National Aboriginal Day because of the cultural significance of the summer solstice - the first day of summer and longest day of the year, the rebirth of Mother Earth - and because many Aboriginal communities mark this day as a time to celebrate their heritage. Setting aside a day for First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples is part of the wider recognition of their primary and founding place within the fabric of Canada and their ongoing contributions as First Peoples. This is a special day to celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples in Canada.
It was in 1982 that the National Indian Brotherhood (now the Assembly of First Nations) called for the creation of June 21 as National Aboriginal Solidarity Day. This call was renewed in 1995 when The Sacred Assembly, a national conference of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people chaired by Elijah Harper, called for a national holiday to celebrate the contributions of Aboriginal peoples. In 1996, National Aboriginal Day was proclaimed by former Governor General Roméo A. LeBlanc.
This has now become a day in the Canadian calendar when First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples express pride in their rich diverse cultures with their families, neighbours, friends and visitors.
Aboriginal Day 2016 is a day for the Ontario Public School Boards' Association, its member boards and for all of Canada to honour the traditions, cultures, languages and contributions of First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples.
We offer a warm thank you to the First Nations trustees who serve on OPSBA's Indigenous Trustees' Council and school boards across the province. We send greetings and good wishes to First Nation, Métis and Inuit students, parents, teachers and communities on this day of celebration.
OPSBA's First Nation, Métis and Inuit Education Resources
National Aboriginal Day Learning Resources
A range of contemporary and historical resources and Ontario events
Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs, May 30, 2017
Ontario Modernizes Municipal Legislation, May 30, 2017
Ontario Passes Legislation to Keep Kids Safe on Local Roads, May 30, 2017
New Hospitals, Schools and Transportation Projects to Benefit People Across Ontario, May 17, 2017
Province Passes Balanced Budget to Support a Stronger, Healthier Ontario, May 17, 2017
Connecting Students Across Ontario with Faster Internet, May 15, 2017
High School Graduation Rate Climbs to All-Time High, May 8, 2017
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.