The OPSBA 2017 elections will be held as part of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) which takes place from June
8 – 11, 2017 in Collingwood. The Northern Region is hosting the event and is looking forward to welcoming you to OPSBA's 29th Annual General Meeting and Program.
All nominations received by the nomination deadline of 5 p.m. on May 11, 2017 will be published in the OPSBA Election Handbook.
Positions to be decided through the election process at the Annual General Meeting and at the accompanying regional meetings are as follows:
Please note the following important guidelines if you are considering running for President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President or Regional Vice-President
For more information, contact Jane Hayes, Executive Coordinator, ext.108; or email the OPSBA webmaster
Bill 92, School Boards Collective Bargaining Amendment ActOn March 23, the Ministry of Education issued the news release Ontario Strengthens Collective Bargaining in Education Sector after the bill received Third Reading in the House. The legislation was supported by the Liberal and PC parties and opposed by the NDP. Before March Break, OPSBA presented to the Standing Committee on General Government along with OCSTA, ACEPO and AFOCSC.
Bill 68, Modernizing Ontario's Municipal Legislation Act, 2016Municipal Affairs Minister Bill Mauro introduced this legislation on November 16, 2016 and after over 10 hours of debate, it was referred yesterday to the Standing Committee on Social Policy. No public hearing dates have been posted. The legislation includes proposed amendments to the Municipal Elections Act that would change the term start date for councillors and school board trustees (from December 1 to November 15). It also contemplates several changes to the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. On March 3, OPSBA sent a letter to the Ministry of Education addressing our concerns. The letter was based on feedback from OPSBA's Policy Development Work Team, Executive Council and updates at the Board of Directors.
Financial LiteracyOn March 23, 2017, the Ministry of Education announced 29 pilot projects to revise current career studies courses and add financial literacy content. Currently, there is no standalone financial literacy course, rather it is integrated into existing curriculum.
Construction Lien Act (CLA)The Ministry of the Attorney General's office issued an update to stakeholders describing recent developments with the Construction Lien Act (CLA). New legislation is to be introduced this spring to include recommendations from the Borden Ladner Gervais report and will focus on three areas:
OPSBA and the other school board/trustee associations all share a consultant working on this project on our behalf.
Muslim prayers in schools get provincial endorsement following intense meetingKristin Rushowy, The Star, Mar. 23, 2017The morning after a tense meeting at the Peel board — where a protester tore up a Quran and others yelled Islamophobic comments — two provincial ministers spoke out in support of schools providing space for Muslim students’ Friday prayers.
The OPSBA Board of Directors held a meeting on March 3 and 4, 2017. First Nations Director Peter Garrow acknowledged that the meeting was situated on the traditional territory of Canada's indigenous peoples. Education policy and program issues that were discussed at the meeting are summarized below.
Labour Relations A comprehensive confidential report on developments in the labour relations and collective bargaining sector was provided. The Board of Directors was reminded of the Education Labour Relations and Human Resources Symposium, scheduled for April 6 and 7 at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto.
Communications and Media Relations Updates on the following were presented:
Finance Updates were provided on OPSBA's Grants for Student Needs brief and the Student Transportation Competitive Procurement Review Report and related memos. A summary of recent B & SB memoranda was included.
Legislature and Government Relations An update on activities following the resumption of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario on February 21, 2017, was provided. Relevant legislation includes proposed amendments to the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act and Bill 68, Modernizing Ontario's Municipal Legislation Act, 2016. Other bills being monitored by OPSBA include Bill 69, Financial Literacy for Students Act, 2016; Bill 65, Safer School Zones Act, 2016; Bill 89, Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act, 2016; Bill 90, Highway Traffic Amendment Act (School Safety Zones), 2016; Bill 94, Highway Traffic Amendment Act (School Bus Camera Systems), 2017; and Bill 98, Child Care and Early Years Amendment Act (Not-for-Profit Corporations), 2017. A review of statistics pertaining to complaints made to the Ontario Ombudsman was provided. On March 8, OPSBA and the three other school board/trustee associations will present to the Standing Committee on General Government regarding Bill 92, An Act to amend the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act, 2014.
Early Years An overview of recent announcements and activities related to Ontario's Early Years and Child Care sector was provided. On Feb. 1, 2017, OPSBA submitted a response to Building a Better Future: A Discussion Paper for Transforming Early Years and Child Care in Ontario and will continue to work with the Ministry and participate in discussions regarding the paper's next steps. Also provided was an overview of recently released policies and guidelines for before-and-after school programming for children ages six-to-12. This follows a submission OPSBA contributed in November 2016. It was also noted that Early Childhood Educators are receiving a wage enhancement, the third straight year in which this is occurring.
Middle Years OPSBA was invited to participate in an inaugural targeted roundtable discussion on Feb. 7, 2017, hosted by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, on strategic priorities for middle years children (six to 12-years-old) and families in Ontario. Ontario is developing a new Middle Years Strategy and OPSBA has expressed interest in attending future stakeholder discussions in the development, launch and mobilization of the strategy.
Community Hubs OPSBA staff continue to participate in the Community Hubs Resource Network Capacity Development Reference Group (CDRG), which is providing feedback on supportive in-person resources and services, local hands-on facilitation networks and an online suite of resources. The CDRG is also consulting with the Community Hubs Secretariat on the content of the recently announced Community Hubs Summit, which will be held May 1 to 3 in Toronto. OPSBA is providing additional feedback to the Secretariat on three current hubs-related issues – circulation of surplus property, fair market value offsets and the relationship between municipalities and school boards.
AODA The Executive Council was informed that school boards are required to file an online accessibility compliance report every two years. The next report must be filed by the end of 2017.
Indigenous Trustees' Council (ITC) First Nations Director Peter Garrow delivered a report from the ITC. The ITC met at the Public Education Symposium on Jan. 19, 2017, discussing a number of issues, including: tuition agreements, curriculum development, language teaching and the planned Indigenous Language Symposium. Further developments related to monitoring the results of GSN funding and curriculum development were provided. He shared news regarding the creation of a new trustee professional development module providing a review of the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada and Ontario and examples of good work being undertaken by school boards across Ontario and also noted that the World Indigenous Peoples Conference will be held in Toronto this year. Further information may be found at www.wipce2017.com.
Public Education Symposium A summary of the 2017 Public Education Symposium, which was held from January 19 to 21, 2017, in Toronto, was provided.
Canadian School Boards AssociationAn update was provided on Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA) education issues.
MPPs have a constituency week that coincides with March Break, March 13 to 17. The following is an update on recent items.
Bill 92, School Boards Collective Bargaining Amendment ActOn March 8, OPSBA made a presentation to the Standing Committee on General Government regarding Bill 92, School Boards Collective Bargaining Amendment Act. Joining OPSBA at the Committee were representatives from the other school board/trustee associations - OCSTA, ACÉPO and AFOCSC. The Committee is scheduled to meet again March 9 for public hearings but no one is scheduled to appear. The bill will have clause-by-clause review (to vote on any amendments) on March 20 and report back to the House no later than March 21. Third Reading and Royal Assent should follow soon after. On February 10, the four school board associations sent a joint letter to Minister Mitzie Hunter.
Rural and Remote Education ReviewOn March 6, 2017 a letter was sent to school boards and municipalities from Education Minister Mitzie Hunter and Infrastructure Minister Bob Chiarelli. The letter addresses "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. OPSBA will reach out to the Minister's office to learn more about the timing, process and how boards/trustees can be part of this review.
Ontario's Three Year Anti-Racism Strategic PlanOn March 8, 2017, Michael Coteau, Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism, announced the release of a three-year plan to combat systemic racism in the province entitled, "A Better Way Forward." The plan acknowledges the presence of anti-Black racism, anti-Indigenous racism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in Ontario and recognizes this discrimination can act as a barrier to people's achievement. The plan includes strategies for collecting "disaggregated" race-based data so the province can study how specific races experience systemic racism. Beginning in 2017, disaggregated race data will be gathered on the following issues: child welfare, K-12 education, the justice system and mental health. The province is forming a new Ontario Black Youth Action Plan and introducing legislation this Spring that would give the government the authority to "mandate race data collection and implement the use of an anti-racism impact assessment process."
The British Columbia School Trustees Association, on behalf of the Canadian School Board Association (CSBA), is hosting the Canadian School Boards Association National Congress and Trustee Gathering on Aboriginal Education (TGAE) from July 5 to 8, 2017. Both events are taking place at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler hotel in Whistler, B.C.As there is great interest from across the country you are encouraged to register for these conferences and book your accommodation soon. With limited space available at the conference site, additional accommodation options are now available on the Congress website. With the overarching theme of "Leading the Way Together," the CSBA Congress and TGAE offer trustees, as well as senior district educators, principals, vice principals, and school district business officials, an opportunity to explore cohesive leadership which benefits all students in K-12 public education, and to connect with peers from across Canada. We encourage district teams to attend both of these conferences.
More detailed information on the conference agendas, speakers and accommodation is available at csba2017.ca.
Ontario Combatting Systemic Racism and Breaking Down Barriers, Mar. 7, 2017
Statement from the Minister of the Status of Women on International Women's Week, Mar. 6, 2017
Premier's Statement on Ontario's Fair Hydro Plan, Mar. 2, 2017
Ontario Strengthening Negotiation Process with the Education Sector, Feb. 21, 2017
Ontario Providing Faster Access to Mental Health Services for Thousands of People, Feb. 8, 2017
Strategic Investments Creating Foundation for Prosperity, Feb. 8, 2017
Statement From Minister Hunter Regarding Tentative Labour Agreement With ETFO, Feb. 2, 2017
Statement From Minister Hunter Regarding Tentative Labour Agreement With OCEW, Feb. 2, 2017
Statement from Minister Coteau on Black History Month, Feb. 1, 2017
School Boards Collective Bargaining Amendment Act, had Second Reading debate on Feb. 28, 2017. On March 1, the House debated a time allocation motion moved
by Government House Leader Yasir Naqvi. On March 2, after Question Period, this time
allocation motion was voted on and carried.
The Bill has been referred to the
Standing Committee on General Government with public hearings to occur on March 8 and March 9. OSPBA has contacted the
legislative clerk and will be coordinating with the other associations about
deadline for written submissions is 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 9, 2017. These can
be sent directly to the clerk Sylwia Przezdziecki at email@example.com.
The Ministry of Children and Youth Services is leading
the development of an Ontario Middle Years strategy that will seek to bridge existing
policy and development frameworks for the early years and youth. The goal of the strategy is to support the well-being and positive development of Ontario’s children
in the middle years, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable children
As part of the Ministry's efforts to engage parents and
caregivers supporting middle years children ages six to 12, they have developed a short survey. Once respondents have completed the survey it will be automatically
returned to the Ministry - no further action is required.
The survey is anonymous and will only be used to
support the development of an Ontario Middle Years Strategy. The survey can be found at https://interceptum.com/si/en/3624579.
Ontario public school student, teacher or trustee who deserves recognition for
making a difference in their community?
are now being accepted for the Ontario Public School Boards' Association's
OPSBA Awards Program, which strive to recognize the outstanding
contributions to the public education system made by individuals across
deadline for all the
awards, except for the Bernardine Yackman Memorial Award, is:
2017, at 5 p.m.
nomination deadline for the Bernardine Yackman Memorial Award is:
2017, at 5 p.m.
Complete information about the awards, including nomination forms, is available
online. Please take a few moments to review the criteria for each of the
Awards, listed below:
The Jack A.
MacDonald Award of Merit honours an elementary or secondary school student
attending an Ontario public school who has earned a sound academic record and
has shown outstanding service and leadership in his or her community.
The Fred L. Bartlett Memorial
presented annually to an active or retired member of the teaching profession.
The successful candidate is selected on the basis of outstanding contribution
to education throughout Ontario, such as constructive participation in
education affairs over a number of years or for dedication to some recent and
specific project that has had provincial impact.
The Dr. Harry Paikin Award of Merit is awarded to an active or retired public school
trustee for outstanding service.
Award / Award of Excellence was created by OPSBA to recognize the outstanding
contributions of non-teaching staff, parents, volunteers and community partners
involved in education in Member Boards. This award provides an opportunity
to raise awareness and promote the importance of celebrating excellence and the
necessity of recognizing the work of all members of the education community.
Yackman Memorial Award is for dedication, commitment and an outstanding
contribution to education with special recognition for Northern Ontario
service. The deadline for nominations for this particular award is June 16, 2017.
more information: Call Mary Adams, Awards Coordinator, 416-340-2540 ext.101, or email the OPSBA webmaster.
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.