OPSBA Connects

 

 

Call for Nominations for OPSBA Elected Positionshttp://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=139Call for Nominations for OPSBA Elected Positions2017-03-24T19:50:34Z<div class="ExternalClass15EEBF8AA59946FA9FD41930A10932ED"><p><img class="ms-rtePosition-2" src="/PublishingImages/OPSBAlogo.png" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:300px;height:300px;" />The OPSBA 2017 elections will be held as part of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) which takes place from <span lang="EN-US">June 8 – 11, 2017</span> 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.</p><p><strong>All nominations received by the nomination deadline of 5 p.m. on May 11, 2017 will be published in the OPSBA Election Handbook. </strong></p><h2>Executive Positions </h2><p>Positions to be decided through the election process at the Annual General Meeting and at the accompanying regional meetings are as follows:</p><ul><li>President;</li><li>First Vice-President;</li><li>Second Vice-President;</li><li>Vice-President/Chair and Vice-Chair of each of the five OPSBA regions: Central East, Central West, Eastern, Northern, and Western.</li></ul><p>Please note the following important guidelines if you are considering running for <em>President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President or Regional Vice-President</em></p><ul><li>The <strong>deadline</strong><strong> </strong>for nominations for these Executive Council positions is 30 days prior to the AGM where the elections will be held. This means that nominations for President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President and the Regional Vice-Presidents must be received at the OPSBA office by <strong>5</strong><strong> </strong><strong>p.m.</strong><strong> </strong><strong>on</strong><strong> </strong><strong>Thursday,</strong><strong> </strong><strong>May 11,</strong><strong> </strong><strong>2017</strong><strong> </strong><strong>–</strong><strong> </strong><strong>the</strong><strong> </strong><strong>nomination</strong><strong> </strong><strong>deadline.</strong></li><li>If a candidate is interested in <strong>standing</strong><strong> </strong><strong>for</strong><strong> </strong><strong>more</strong><strong> </strong><strong>than</strong><strong> </strong><strong>one</strong><strong> </strong>of the above-noted positions, the candidate must declare his or her interest in each respective position <strong>by</strong><strong> </strong><strong>the</strong><strong> </strong><strong>nomination</strong><strong> </strong><strong>deadline</strong>. This is very important, as there is <strong>no</strong><strong> </strong><strong>opportunity</strong><strong> </strong><strong>for</strong><strong> </strong><strong>"dropping</strong><strong> </strong><strong>down"</strong><strong> </strong>on the day that elections are held at the AGM (i.e., being considered for another of these positions if a candidate is unsuccessful for the first). Nominations are only accepted from the floor of the AGM if NO advance nomination has been received for the position of President, First Vice-President and Second Vice-President.</li><li>As well, nominations for <strong>Regional</strong><strong> </strong><strong>Vice-President</strong><strong> </strong>for each of the five regions must be submitted by the <strong>same</strong><strong> </strong><strong>deadline</strong><strong> </strong><strong>–</strong><strong> </strong><strong>May 11.</strong><strong> </strong>Nominations will ONLY be accepted from the floor of each Regional Council election meeting if no nomination for that Region's Vice-President position has been received in advance.</li></ul><h2>Nominations for Regional Vice-Chairs and Members of Core Issue Work Groups</h2><ul><li>The nomination and election process for the position of Regional Vice-Chair (alternate to the Regional Vice-President) or representatives on the Work Teams (Education Program and Policy Development) permits nominations to be taken from the floor of the Regional meeting. However, advance nominations and bios for these positions are encouraged as those provided by May 11, 2017 will be included in the AGM Election Handbook which is distributed to boards and voting delegates prior to the election. The nominee information will also be posted on the OPSBA website.</li><li>There is a requirement that candidates for the position of Regional Vice-Chair must be a confirmed member of the incoming Board of Directors. Prior to holding the election of the Regional Vice-Chair, each Board's Voting Delegate will be asked to confirm their board's appointment(s) to Board of Directors to ensure candidates qualify to stand for election.</li></ul><h2>Nominations, Nomination Forms and Biographies</h2><ul><li>The <a title="2017 Election Nomination Form" href="/SiteCollectionDocuments/Nomination_Form.pdf" target="_blank">2017 Election Nomination Form</a>, as well as the <a title="OPSBA Roles and Responsibilities Guide" href="/SiteCollectionDocuments/Roles_Responsibilities_Guide.pdf" target="_blank">OPSBA Roles and Responsibilities Guide</a> are available online.</li><li>Nominations can be made by any trustee from a member board in good standing once they have confirmed the nominee is willing to stand for the elected position.</li><li>Trustees running for election are asked to ensure that their nomination form and a brief biography in an electronic format are submitted to the OPSBA office no later than end of day May 11, 2017. A biography should be up to <span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">one</span><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;"> </span><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">page</span><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;"> </span>in length (for consistent formatting) and include the candidate's photograph. This information will be printed in the AGM Election Guide, which is distributed to member boards so they can review the slate of candidates running for various positions and provide guidance to their voting delegates.</li><li>Information on the candidates running for the various positions will also be posted on the OPSBA website after the nomination deadline.</li></ul><h2><strong>Confirmation</strong><strong> </strong><strong>of</strong><strong> </strong><strong>Board</strong><strong> </strong><strong>of</strong><strong> </strong><strong>Directors</strong><strong> </strong><strong>Members</strong><strong> </strong><strong>and</strong><strong> </strong><strong>Elections</strong><strong> </strong><strong>to</strong><strong> </strong><strong>Core</strong><strong> </strong><strong>Issue</strong><strong> </strong><strong>Work</strong><strong> </strong><strong>Groups</strong></h2><ul><li>At the Regional meetings held during the Annual General Meeting and Conference, member boards confirm their Board's member (and alternate) to OPSBA's Board of Directors for the 2017-2018 term.</li><li>School authorities have an opportunity to elect one representative to the Board of Directors at a specially convened meeting of district school area boards at the AGM.</li><li>The First Nations Council members meet at the AGM prior to the regional meetings in order to elect their representative on the Board of Directors.</li><li>Confirmation is received in writing prior to the AGM from the group of treatment centre school authorities naming their representative and alternate on the Board of Directors for the upcoming year.</li><li>During the Regional Meetings, each region holds elections to choose their members and alternate members to the Education Program and Policy Development Core Issues Work Groups for 2017-2018. Northern Sub-Region East and Northern Sub-Region West each elect one representative and one alternate to the two work teams.</li></ul><p><em>For more</em><em> </em><em>information, contact</em><em> </em><em>Jane</em><em> </em><em>Hayes,</em><em> </em><em>Executive</em><em> </em><em>Coordinator,</em><em> </em><em>ext.108;</em><em> </em><em>or</em><em> email the OPSBA </em><strong><em>webmaster</em></strong></p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=139
Legislative Updatehttp://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=138Legislative Update2017-03-24T17:30:38Z<div class="ExternalClassDBE9C223CDD944B89F96A6A1BF761B5A"><p>​<img class="ms-rtePosition-2" src="/PublishingImages/Pink_Palace_Toronto_2010.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:250px;height:167px;" /><strong>Bill 92, <em>School Boards Collective Bargaining Amendment Act<br></em></strong>On March 23, the Ministry of Education issued the <a title="Ministry News Release" href="https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2017/03/ontario-strengthens-collective-bargaining-in-education-sector.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=m" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">news release</span></a> <em>Ontario Strengthens Collective Bargaining in Education Sector</em> 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, <a title="OPSBA presented to the Standing Committee" href="/_layouts/15/WopiFrame.aspx?sourcedoc=/SiteCollectionDocuments/Submission%20to%20the%20Standing%20Committee%20re%20SBCBA%20Amendments%20FINAL_EN.pdf&action=default" target="_blank">OPSBA presented to the Standing Committee</a> on General Government along with OCSTA, ACEPO and AFOCSC. </p><p><strong>Bill 68, <em>Modernizing Ontario's Municipal Legislation Act, 2016<br></em></strong>Municipal 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 <em>Municipal Elections Act</em> 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 <em>Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.</em> On March 3, OPSBA sent <a title="OPSBA letter re Bill 68" href="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/Documents/OPSBAletterBill68Mar0317.pdf" target="_blank">a letter to the Ministry of Education</a> 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.</p><p><strong>Financial Literacy<br></strong>On March 23, 2017, the Ministry of Education <a title="Ministry Announcement re pilot projects" href="https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2017/03/preparing-students-to-thrive-in-ontarios-innovative-economy.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=m" target="_blank">announced 29 pilot projects</a> 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.</p><p><strong>Construction Lien Act (CLA)<br></strong>The Ministry of the Attorney General's office issued an update to stakeholders describing recent developments with the <em>Construction Lien Act</em> (CLA). New legislation is to be introduced this spring to include recommendations from the <a title="Borden Ladner Gervais report" href="https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/about/pubs/cla_report/" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Borden Ladner Gervais report</span></a> and will focus on three areas:</p><ol><li><div>Modernizing the lien and holdback process;</div></li><li><div>Introducing rules around prompt payment; and </div></li><li>Creating an adjudicative process for resolving disputes.</li></ol><p>OPSBA and the other school board/trustee associations all share a consultant working on this project on our behalf.</p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=138
OPSBA in the Mediahttp://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=137OPSBA in the Media2017-03-24T14:34:43Z<div class="ExternalClass6C53B494A3EF46978C5C396138736233"><p><strong><img class="ms-rtePosition-1" src="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/PublishingImages/TheNews.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:250px;height:193px;" />Muslim prayers in schools get provincial endorsement following intense meeting</strong><br><strong>Kristin Rushowy, The Star, Mar. 23, 2017<br></strong>The 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.</p><p><a href="https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2017/03/23/muslim-prayers-in-schools-get-provincial-endorsement-following-intense-meeting.html">More...</a>​</p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=137
Legislative Updatehttp://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=136Legislative Update2017-03-09T16:43:01Z<div class="ExternalClass3EDA0B36E8514D18A308C65BB4722C26"><p>​<img class="ms-rtePosition-2" src="/SiteCollectionImages/LegislativeUpdate.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" />MPPs have a constituency week that coincides with March Break, March 13 to 17. The following is an update on recent items. </p><p><strong>Bill 92, <em>School Boards Collective Bargaining Amendment Act<br></em></strong>On March 8, OPSBA made a <a href="/SiteCollectionDocuments/Submission%20to%20the%20Standing%20Committee%20re%20SBCBA%20Amendments%20FINAL_EN.pdf">presentation to the Standing Committee</a> on General Government regarding Bill 92, <em>School Boards Collective Bargaining Amendment Act</em>. 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 <a href="/SiteCollectionDocuments/4AssociationsLetter-to-HonMitzieHunter-EN.pdf"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#008ce9">joint letter</font></span></a> to Minister Mitzie Hunter. </p><p><strong>Rural and Remote Education Review<br></strong>On March 6, 2017 <a href="/_layouts/15/WopiFrame.aspx?sourcedoc=/SiteCollectionDocuments/UPDATE-PupilAccommodationReviewsandSupportforEducationRuralandRemoteCommunities.pdf&action=default"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">a letter was sent</span></a> 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. </p><p><strong>Ontario's Three Year Anti-Racism Strategic Plan<br></strong>On March 8, 2017, Michael Coteau, Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism, <a title="Government announcement of 3-year plan" href="https://news.ontario.ca/ard/en/2017/03/ontario-combatting-systemic-racism-and-breaking-down-barriers.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=m" target="_blank">announced the release of a three-year plan</a> to combat systemic racism in the province entitled, <em>"<a title="A Better Way Forward, 3-year plan" href="https://www.ontario.ca/page/better-way-forward-ontarios-3-year-anti-racism-strategic-plan" target="_blank">A Better Way Forward</a>." </em>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."</p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=136
OPSBA Board of Directors Meeting – March 3 and 4, 2017http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=135OPSBA Board of Directors Meeting – March 3 and 4, 20172017-03-13T12:38:12Z<div class="ExternalClass3DCF286E626E476F83D8741A8C718CC2"><p>​<img src="/PublishingImages/leadership.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:250px;height:188px;" /></p><p>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.</p><p><strong><em>Labour Relations</em></strong><br> A comprehensive confidential report on developments in the labour relations and collective bargaining sector was provided. The Board of Directors was reminded of the <a title="Labour Relations Symposium" href="/events-and-publications/labour-relations-symposium"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Education Labour Relations and Human Resources Symposium</span></a>, scheduled for April 6 and 7 at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto.</p><p><strong><em>Communications and Media Relations</em></strong><br> Updates on the following were presented:</p><ul><li>Two presentations delivered at the Communicators Network Meeting at the Public Education Symposium (PES): 1) The role of communications in Pupil Accommodation Reviews and 2) The strategic communications campaign developed by the Peel DSB on the Revised Health and Physical Education Curriculum.</li><li>Presentation at the PES Labour Relations Seminar on Effective Collective Bargaining Communication and Confidentiality</li><li>President Laurie French's well-received <a title="January 16 TVO appearance" href="http://tvo.org/video/programs/the-agenda-with-steve-paikin/an-education-for-all" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">January 16 appearance</span></a> on TVO's <em>The Agenda</em> on the issue of Pupil Accommodation Reviews and school closures. This was followed by Laurie also being quoted in a Toronto Star article entitled, "<a title="Rural school closings hit communities hard" href="https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2017/01/22/rural-ontario-school-closings-hit-communities-hard.html" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Rural school closings hit communities hard</span></a>."</li><li><a title="Media coverage" href="https://www.google.ca/search?q=Greater+Essex+County+trips&oq=Greater+Essex+County+trips&aqs=chrome..69i57.6063j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#tbm=nws&q=greater+essex+county+district+school+board+US+trips&%2a" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Media coverage</span></a> as a result of a decision by the Greater Essex DSB to suspend all student trips to the United States.</li><li>School boards helping students feel safe, valued and included in the aftermath of the mass shooting at a mosque in Quebec City.</li><li><a title="OPSBA letter to the editor" href="https://www.thestar.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editors/2017/02/06/cohn-misrepresents-role-of-school-boards.html" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">OPSBA letter to the editor</span></a> in response to an op-ed in the Toronto Star "<em>Dismantle our schools, ditch our trustees</em>."</li></ul><p><strong><em>Finance</em></strong><br> Updates were provided on OPSBA's <a title="OPSBA Grants for Student Needs brief" href="/OUR%20PRIORITIES/_layouts/15/WopiFrame.aspx?sourcedoc=/OUR%20PRIORITIES/Documents/OPSBASubmission2017-18GSN.pdf&action=default" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Grants for Student Needs brief</span></a> and the Student Transportation Competitive Procurement <a title="Review Report" href="http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/stcpr_report.html" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Review Report</span></a> and related memos. A summary of <a title="OPSBA Summary of B & SB Memoranda" href="/OUR%20PRIORITIES/Pages/B-and-SB-Memoranda.aspx"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">recent B & SB</span></a> memoranda was included.</p><p><strong><em>Legislature and Government Relations</em></strong><br> An update on activities following the resumption of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario on February 21, 2017, was provided. Relevant legislation <a title="SBCBA Proposed Amendments" href="http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&Intranet=&BillID=4495" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">includes proposed amendments</span></a> to the <em>School Boards Collective Bargaining </em>Act and <a title="Bill 68" href="http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&Intranet=&BillID=4374" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Bill 68</span></a>, Modernizing Ontario's Municipal Legislation Act, 2016. Other bills being monitored by OPSBA include <a title="Bill 69" href="http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&Intranet=&BillID=4375" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Bill 69</span></a>, Financial Literacy for Students Act, 2016; <a title="Bill 65" href="http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&Intranet=&BillID=4358" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Bill 65</span></a>, Safer School Zones Act, 2016; <a title="Bill 89" href="http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&Intranet=&BillID=4479" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Bill 89</span></a>, Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act, 2016; <a title="Bill 90" href="http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&Intranet=&BillID=4480" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Bill 90</span></a>, Highway Traffic Amendment Act (School Safety Zones), 2016; <a title="Bill 94" href="http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&Intranet=&BillID=4498" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Bill 94</span></a>, Highway Traffic Amendment Act (School Bus Camera Systems), 2017; and <a title="Bill 98" href="http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&Intranet=&BillID=4534" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Bill 98</span></a>, Child Care and Early Years Amendment Act (Not-for-Profit Corporations), 2017. A review of statistics pertaining to <a title="Complaints made" href="http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=644a19cfd678bd6e6d2c513f8&id=17dde3f0cf&e=4ead5c1b8d" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">complaints made</span></a> 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 <a title="Bill 92" href="http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&Intranet=&BillID=4495" target="_blank">Bill 92</a>, An Act to amend the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act, 2014.</p><p><strong><em>Early Years </em></strong><br>An overview of recent announcements and activities related to Ontario's Early Years and Child Care sector was provided. On Feb. 1, 2017, <a title="OPSBA submission" href="/_layouts/15/WopiFrame.aspx?sourcedoc=/SiteCollectionDocuments/OPSBAsubmission_EarlyYearsDiscussionPaper_Feb2017.pdf&action=default" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">OPSBA submitted a response</span></a> to <a title="Discussion Paper on Early Years & Child Care in Ontario" href="https://www.ontario.ca/page/building-better-future-discussion-paper-transforming-early-years-and-child-care-ontario" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;"><em>Building a Better Future: A Discussion Paper for Transforming Early Years and Child Care in Ontario</em></span></a> 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 <a title="OPSBA submission" href="/_layouts/15/WopiFrame.aspx?sourcedoc=/SiteCollectionDocuments/OPSBAsubmission_re_BASP_draft_guidelines_and_policies.pdf&action=default" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">submission</span></a> 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. </p><p><strong><em>Middle Years </em></strong><br>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.</p><p><strong><em>Community Hubs </em></strong><br>OPSBA staff continue to participate in the <a title="Community Hubs" href="https://www.ontario.ca/page/one-year-progress-update-community-hubs-ontario-strategic-framework-and-action-plan" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Community Hubs</span></a> 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.</p><p><strong><em>AODA </em></strong><br>The Executive Council was informed that school boards are required <a title="Online accessibility compliance report" href="https://www.ontario.ca/page/completing-your-accessibility-compliance-report" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">to file an online accessibility compliance report</span></a> every two years. The next report must be filed by the end of 2017.</p><p><strong><em>Indigenous Trustees' Council (ITC)</em></strong><br> 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 <a title="World Indigenous Peoples Conference" href="http://www.wipce2017.com/" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">www.wipce2017.com</span></a>. </p><p><strong><em>Public Education Symposium</em></strong><br> A summary of the 2017 <a title="Public Education Symposium" href="/events-and-publications/public-education-symposium"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;">Public Education Symposium</span></a>, which was held from January 19 to 21, 2017, in Toronto, was provided.</p><p><strong><em>Canadian School Boards Association</em></strong><br><a title="CSBA President's Bulletin" href="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/Documents/CSBApresidentsBulletinFeb2017.pdf" target="_blank">An update</a> was provided on Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA) education issues. </p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=135
Ontario Newsroomhttp://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=134Ontario Newsroom2017-03-09T16:15:47Z<div class="ExternalClassEC7BD5CA0A3748EFA4EA77B7AC52919D"><p><a title="Statement from the Minister of the Status of Women on International Women's Week" href="https://news.ontario.ca/owd/en/2017/03/statement-from-the-minister-of-the-status-of-women-on-international-womens-week.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=p" target="_blank">​</a><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><img class="ms-rtePosition-1" src="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/PublishingImages/TheNews.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:250px;height:193px;" /><a href="https://news.ontario.ca/ard/en/2017/03/ontario-combatting-systemic-racism-and-breaking-down-barriers.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=m"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#008ce9">Ontario Combatting Systemic Racism and Breaking Down Barriers, Mar. 7, 2017</font></span></a><font color="#008ce9"></font></span></p><p><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#008ce9">Statement from the Minister of the Status of Women on International Women's Week, Mar. 6, 2017</font></span></p><p><a href="https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2017/03/premiers-statement-on-ontarios-fair-hydro-plan.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=p">Premier's Statement on Ontario's Fair Hydro Plan, Mar. 2, 2017</a></p><a title="More Support for Parents to Get Involved in Their Children's Learning" href="https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2017/02/more-support-for-parents-to-get-involved-in-their-childrens-learning.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=p" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#008ce9">More Support for Parents to Get Involved in Their Children's Learning, Feb. 23, 2017</font></span></a><p><a title="Ontario Strengthening Negotiation Process with the Education Sector" href="https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2017/02/ontario-strengthening-negotiation-process-with-the-education-sector.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=p" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#008ce9">Ontario Strengthening Negotiation Process with the Education Sector, Feb. 21, 2017</font></span></a></p><p><a title="Ontario Providing Faster Access to Mental Health Services for Thousands of People" href="https://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2017/02/ontario-providing-faster-access-to-mental-health-services-for-thousands-of-people.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=p" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#008ce9">Ontario Providing Faster Access to Mental Health Services for Thousands of People, Feb. 8, 2017</font></span></a></p><p><a title="Strategic Investments Creating Foundation for Prosperity" href="https://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2017/02/strategic-investments-creating-foundation-for-prosperity.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=p" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#008ce9">Strategic Investments Creating Foundation for Prosperity, Feb. 8, 2017</font></span></a></p><p><a title="Statement From Minister Hunter Regarding Tentative Labour Agreement With ETFO" href="https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2017/02/statement-from-minister-hunter-regarding-tentative-labour-agreement-with-etfo.html" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#008ce9">Statement From Minister Hunter Regarding Tentative Labour Agreement With ETFO, Feb. 2, 2017</font></span></a></p><p><a title="Statement From Minister Hunter Regarding Tentative Labour Agreement With OCEW​" href="https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2017/02/statement-from-minister-hunter-regarding-tentative-labour-agreement-with-ocew.html" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#008ce9">Statement From Minister Hunter Regarding Tentative Labour Agreement With OCEW​, Feb. 2, 2017</font></span></a></p><p><a title="Statement from Minister Coteau on Black History Month" href="https://news.ontario.ca/ard/en/2017/02/statement-from-minister-coteau-on-black-history-month.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=p" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#008ce9">Statement from Minister Coteau on Black History Month, Feb. 1, 2017</font></span></a></p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=134
Legislative Updatehttp://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=133Legislative Update2017-03-02T18:40:18Z<div class="ExternalClass1C1D53B81D0C466E89C81D9965396D5C"><p><span lang="EN-CA"><img class="ms-rtePosition-2" src="/SiteCollectionImages/LegislativeUpdate.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" />Bill 92, <a href="http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&Intranet=&BillID=4495" title="School Boards Collective Bargaining Amendment Act" target="_blank">School Boards Collective Bargaining Amendment Act</a>, 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. </span></p><p><span lang="EN-CA">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 our submission.</span></p><p><span lang="EN-CA">The deadline for written submissions is 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 9, 2017. These can be sent directly to the clerk Sylwia Przezdziecki at <a title="Email Sylwia Przezdziecki" href="mailto:sprzezdziecki@ola.org" target="_blank">sprzezdziecki@ola.org</a>. </span></p><p>​</p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=133
Ontario Middle Years Strategy Surveyhttp://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=132Ontario Middle Years Strategy Survey2017-03-01T18:57:40Z<div class="ExternalClassBFF106563CD4495DB553B2B56A6FA271"><p><span lang="EN-CA"><img class="ms-rtePosition-2" src="/PublishingImages/BeAChampDay1.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:300px;height:200px;" />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 and families.</span></p><p><span lang="EN-CA"></span><span lang="EN-CA">As part of the Ministry's efforts to engage parents and caregivers supporting middle years children ages six to 12, they have developed a <a title="Ontario Middle Years Strategy survey" href="https://interceptum.com/si/en/3624579" target="_blank">short survey</a>. </span><span lang="EN-CA">Once respondents have completed the survey it will be automatically returned to the Ministry - no further action is required.</span></p><p><span lang="EN-CA">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 </span><span lang="EN-CA"><a href="https://interceptum.com/si/en/3624579" target="_blank">https://interceptum.com/si/en/3624579</a>.</span></p><p>​</p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=132
Call for Nominations for 2017 OPSBA Awardshttp://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=131Call for Nominations for 2017 OPSBA Awards2017-03-01T15:39:27Z<div class="ExternalClassE2880300226141EFA9B6C8F5D3CBC6D5"><p><span lang="EN-CA"><img class="ms-rtePosition-2" src="/PublishingImages/ISP2152206.JPG" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:250px;height:375px;" />Know an Ontario public school student, teacher or trustee who deserves recognition for making a difference in their community? </span></p><p><span lang="EN-CA">Nominations are now being accepted for the Ontario Public School Boards' Association's <a title="OPSBA Awards" href="/what-we-do/awards-programs">OPSBA Awards Program</a>, which strive to recognize the outstanding contributions to the public education system made by individuals across Ontario. </span></p><p><span lang="EN-CA">The nomination deadline for all the awards,</span><span lang="EN-CA"> </span><span lang="EN-CA">except</span><span lang="EN-CA"> </span><span lang="EN-CA">for the <a title="Bernardine Yackman Memorial Award" href="/what-we-do/awards-programs/bernardine-yackman-memorial-award">Bernardine Yackman Memorial Award</a>, is:</span><span lang="EN-CA"><br> </span><span lang="EN-CA"><strong>Friday, April</strong></span><span lang="EN-CA"><strong> 7</strong></span><span lang="EN-CA"><strong>, 201</strong></span><span lang="EN-CA"><strong>7,</strong></span><span lang="EN-CA"><strong> at 5 p.m.</strong></span></p><p><span lang="EN-CA">The nomination deadline for the</span><span lang="EN-CA"> </span><span lang="EN-CA">Bernardine Yackman Memorial Award</span><span lang="EN-CA"> </span><span lang="EN-CA">is:</span><span lang="EN-CA"><br> </span><span lang="EN-CA"><strong>Friday, June 1</strong></span><span lang="EN-CA"><strong>6</strong></span><span lang="EN-CA"><strong>, 201</strong></span><span lang="EN-CA"><strong>7,</strong></span><span lang="EN-CA"><strong> at 5 p.m.</strong></span></p><h3><span lang="EN-CA"><a title="OPSBA Awards Nomination Form" href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2017OPSBA_Awards" target="_blank">Online Nomination Form</a></span></h3><p><span lang="EN-CA"><a title="OPSBA Awards Program" href="/what-we-do/awards-programs">Complete information about the awards</a></span><span lang="EN-CA">, including nomination forms, is available online. Please take a few moments to review the criteria for each of the Awards, listed below:</span></p><p><span lang="EN-CA"><a title="Jack A. MacDonald Award of Merit" href="/what-we-do/awards-programs/jack-a-macdonald-award-of-merit" target="_blank">The Jack A. MacDonald Award of Merit</a></span><span lang="EN-CA"> </span><span lang="EN-CA">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.</span></p><p><span lang="EN-CA"><a title="Fred L. Bartlett Memorial Award" href="/what-we-do/awards-programs/fred-l-bartlett-memorial-award" target="_blank">The Fred L. Bartlett Memorial Award</a></span><span lang="EN-CA"> </span><span lang="EN-CA">is 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.</span></p><p><span lang="EN-CA"><a title="Dr. Harry Paikin Award" href="/what-we-do/awards-programs/dr-harry-paikin-award-of-merit" target="_blank">The Dr. Harry Paikin Award of Merit</a></span><span lang="EN-CA"> is awarded to an active or retired public school trustee for outstanding service.</span></p><p><span lang="EN-CA"><a title="Achievement Award / Award of Excellence" href="/what-we-do/awards-programs/achievement-award-award-of-excellence" target="_blank">The Achievement Award / Award of Excellence</a></span><span lang="EN-CA"> </span><span lang="EN-CA">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.</span></p><p><span lang="EN-CA"><a title="Bernardine Yackman Memorial Award" href="/what-we-do/awards-programs/bernardine-yackman-memorial-award" target="_blank">The Bernardine Yackman Memorial Award</a></span><span lang="EN-CA"> </span><span lang="EN-CA">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 </span><span lang="EN-CA">16, 2017.</span></p><p><span lang="EN-CA">For more information: Call Mary Adams, Awards Coordinator, 416-340-2540 ext.101, or email the OPSBA</span><span lang="EN-CA"> </span><span lang="EN-CA"><a title="Email the OPSBA webmaster" href="mailto:webmaster@opsba.org">webmaster</a>.</span></p><p>​</p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=131
Call for Policy Resolutions & Proposed Amendments to the OPSBA Constitutionhttp://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=130Call for Policy Resolutions & Proposed Amendments to the OPSBA Constitution2017-03-01T14:57:51Z<div class="ExternalClass61B28432ABB24A83885C244C2B5EB1B0"><h3><img class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="OPSBA logo big.jpg" src="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/PublishingImages/Lists/Posts/Post/OPSBA%20logo%20big.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:300px;height:232px;" />OPSBA Policy Resolutions</h3><p><strong>Submission deadline: Monday, April 3, 2017</strong></p><p>Monday, April 3 is the deadline for OPSBA member boards to <a title="2017 Guidelines to Submit Policy Resolutions" href="/EVENTS%20AND%20PUBLICATIONS/Documents/2017Guidelines_SubmissionPolicyResolutions.pdf">submit policy resolutions</a> for consideration by the general membership at the 2017 OPSBA Annual General Meeting. Policy resolutions from member boards that are passed at the AGM are incorporated into the work planning that takes place over the summer and are aligned with the action framework to achieve OPSBA's priorities for the year ahead. <a href="/SiteCollectionDocuments/KeyWork_2016-17-FINAL.pdf">The Key Work of OPSBA</a> is the OPSBA publication that sets out this action framework.</p><p><strong>Please note:</strong></p><ul><li>Policy resolutions must reflect the corporate position of a member school board and address issues that have provincial implications.</li><li>Proposals for action by OPSBA should be clearly described as part of the backgrounder and within the resolution itself.</li></ul><p>Policy resolutions received at OPSBA by Monday, April 3, will be reviewed by a Policy Resolutions Review Committee; i.e., members of Executive Council and Regional Vice-Chairs acting in this capacity. The policy resolutions, along with comments from the Policy Resolutions Review Committee, will be presented to the Board of Directors for information at their April 21-22, 2017 meeting before being forwarded to member boards.</p><p>In accordance with the <a href="/Who%20We%20Are/Documents/Constitution_and_By-laws.pdf">OPSBA Constitution</a>, policy resolutions may also be presented from the floor of the Annual General Meeting but are first subject to obtaining the approval of two-thirds of the delegates at the AGM to consider the new resolution. Once the approval to consider the new resolution has been obtained, the member board representative (delegate) who has introduced the new resolution from the floor must provide written copies of the resolution for every voting delegate.</p><h4>See the link at the end of this article for the Guide to Submitting Policy Resolutions, including sample submission form.</h4><h3>Proposed Constitutional Amendments</h3><p><strong>Submission deadline: Monday, April 3, 2017</strong></p><p>Each year, member boards have an opportunity to <a href="/EVENTS%20AND%20PUBLICATIONS/Documents/2017ProposedConstitutionalAmendmentForm.pdf">submit proposals for amendments to the OPSBA Constitution</a> for consideration by the Board of Directors. The deadline for submission this year is April 3 in order to allow time for staff and legal counsel to review the proposals and to prepare language before submission to the Board of Directors for consideration at their April 21-22 meeting. Constitutional amendments must be first approved by the Board of Directors and are then forwarded to the OPSBA Annual General Meeting for confirmation by a two-thirds vote of the membership. This year, the AGM is being held on June 9. The constitutional amendments take effect once they are confirmed by at least two-thirds of the votes cast at the Annual General Meeting. In some cases, a proposed constitutional amendment can be referred to a specially formed work group for further careful study and consideration of the full impact of the proposed change. That work group's recommendation(s) would be provided in time for the following year's process; i.e., consideration by the Board of Directors in April of the following year, and then forwarded to the Annual General Meeting for consideration by the delegates.</p><h4>See the link at the end of this article for the OPSBA Constitution and By-Laws, last amended in July 2014.</h4><p>Please send your board's submissions, using the form provided, including a clear rationale/background and the proposed Constitutional change, to OPSBA by mail, fax or e-mail to the attention of Jane Hayes, Executive Coordinator, 439 University Ave., 18th Floor, Toronto M5G 1Y8; fax (416) 340-7571, or <a href="mailto:webmaster@opsba.org">webmaster@opsba.org</a>.  </p><p><a href="/Who%20We%20Are/Documents/Constitution_and_By-laws.pdf">OPSBA Constitution and By-Laws</a> (last amended in July 2014)</p><p><a href="/EVENTS%20AND%20PUBLICATIONS/Documents/2017Guidelines_SubmissionPolicyResolutions.pdf">Guidelines for Submission of Policy Resolutions, including submission form</a></p><p><a href="/EVENTS%20AND%20PUBLICATIONS/Documents/2017ProposedConstitutionalAmendmentForm.pdf">Proposed Constitutional Amendments form</a></p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=130

Mar 24
Call for Nominations for OPSBA Elected Positions

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.

Executive Positions 

Positions to be decided through the election process at the Annual General Meeting and at the accompanying regional meetings are as follows:

  • President;
  • First Vice-President;
  • Second Vice-President;
  • Vice-President/Chair and Vice-Chair of each of the five OPSBA regions: Central East, Central West, Eastern, Northern, and Western.

Please note the following important guidelines if you are considering running for President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President or Regional Vice-President

  • The deadline for nominations for these Executive Council positions is 30 days prior to the AGM where the elections will be held. This means that nominations for President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President and the Regional Vice-Presidents must be received at the OPSBA office by 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 11, 2017 the nomination deadline.
  • If a candidate is interested in standing for more than one of the above-noted positions, the candidate must declare his or her interest in each respective position by the nomination deadline. This is very important, as there is no opportunity for "dropping down" on the day that elections are held at the AGM (i.e., being considered for another of these positions if a candidate is unsuccessful for the first). Nominations are only accepted from the floor of the AGM if NO advance nomination has been received for the position of President, First Vice-President and Second Vice-President.
  • As well, nominations for Regional Vice-President for each of the five regions must be submitted by the same deadline May 11. Nominations will ONLY be accepted from the floor of each Regional Council election meeting if no nomination for that Region's Vice-President position has been received in advance.

Nominations for Regional Vice-Chairs and Members of Core Issue Work Groups

  • The nomination and election process for the position of Regional Vice-Chair (alternate to the Regional Vice-President) or representatives on the Work Teams (Education Program and Policy Development) permits nominations to be taken from the floor of the Regional meeting. However, advance nominations and bios for these positions are encouraged as those provided by May 11, 2017 will be included in the AGM Election Handbook which is distributed to boards and voting delegates prior to the election. The nominee information will also be posted on the OPSBA website.
  • There is a requirement that candidates for the position of Regional Vice-Chair must be a confirmed member of the incoming Board of Directors. Prior to holding the election of the Regional Vice-Chair, each Board's Voting Delegate will be asked to confirm their board's appointment(s) to Board of Directors to ensure candidates qualify to stand for election.

Nominations, Nomination Forms and Biographies

  • The 2017 Election Nomination Form, as well as the OPSBA Roles and Responsibilities Guide are available online.
  • Nominations can be made by any trustee from a member board in good standing once they have confirmed the nominee is willing to stand for the elected position.
  • Trustees running for election are asked to ensure that their nomination form and a brief biography in an electronic format are submitted to the OPSBA office no later than end of day May 11, 2017. A biography should be up to one page in length (for consistent formatting) and include the candidate's photograph. This information will be printed in the AGM Election Guide, which is distributed to member boards so they can review the slate of candidates running for various positions and provide guidance to their voting delegates.
  • Information on the candidates running for the various positions will also be posted on the OPSBA website after the nomination deadline.

Confirmation of Board of Directors Members and Elections to Core Issue Work Groups

  • At the Regional meetings held during the Annual General Meeting and Conference, member boards confirm their Board's member (and alternate) to OPSBA's Board of Directors for the 2017-2018 term.
  • School authorities have an opportunity to elect one representative to the Board of Directors at a specially convened meeting of district school area boards at the AGM.
  • The First Nations Council members meet at the AGM prior to the regional meetings in order to elect their representative on the Board of Directors.
  • Confirmation is received in writing prior to the AGM from the group of treatment centre school authorities naming their representative and alternate on the Board of Directors for the upcoming year.
  • During the Regional Meetings, each region holds elections to choose their members and alternate members to the Education Program and Policy Development Core Issues Work Groups for 2017-2018. Northern Sub-Region East and Northern Sub-Region West each elect one representative and one alternate to the two work teams.

For more information, contact Jane Hayes, Executive Coordinator, ext.108; or email the OPSBA webmaster

Mar 24
Legislative Update

Bill 92, School Boards Collective Bargaining Amendment Act
On 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, 2016
Municipal 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 Literacy
On 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:

  1. Modernizing the lien and holdback process;
  2. Introducing rules around prompt payment; and
  3. Creating an adjudicative process for resolving disputes.

OPSBA and the other school board/trustee associations all share a consultant working on this project on our behalf.

Mar 24
OPSBA in the Media

Muslim prayers in schools get provincial endorsement following intense meeting
Kristin Rushowy, The Star, Mar. 23, 2017
The 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.

More...

Mar 13
OPSBA Board of Directors Meeting – March 3 and 4, 2017

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:

  • Two presentations delivered at the Communicators Network Meeting at the Public Education Symposium (PES): 1) The role of communications in Pupil Accommodation Reviews and 2) The strategic communications campaign developed by the Peel DSB on the Revised Health and Physical Education Curriculum.
  • Presentation at the PES Labour Relations Seminar on Effective Collective Bargaining Communication and Confidentiality
  • President Laurie French's well-received January 16 appearance on TVO's The Agenda on the issue of Pupil Accommodation Reviews and school closures. This was followed by Laurie also being quoted in a Toronto Star article entitled, "Rural school closings hit communities hard."
  • Media coverage as a result of a decision by the Greater Essex DSB to suspend all student trips to the United States.
  • School boards helping students feel safe, valued and included in the aftermath of the mass shooting at a mosque in Quebec City.
  • OPSBA letter to the editor in response to an op-ed in the Toronto Star "Dismantle our schools, ditch our trustees."

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 Association
An update was provided on Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA) education issues. 

Mar 09
Legislative Update

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 Act
On 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 Review
On March 6, 2017 a letter was sent to school boards and municipalities from Education Minister Mitzie Hunter and Infrastructure Minister Bob Chiarelli. The letter 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 Plan
On 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."

Mar 07
Register now for CSBA Congress 2017 and the National Trustee Gathering on Aboriginal Education

CSBA 2017 graphicThe 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.

Mar 06
Ontario Newsroom
Mar 02
Legislative Update

Bill 92, 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 our submission.

The deadline for written submissions is 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 9, 2017. These can be sent directly to the clerk Sylwia Przezdziecki at sprzezdziecki@ola.org.

Mar 01
Ontario Middle Years Strategy Survey

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 and families.

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.

Mar 01
Call for Nominations for 2017 OPSBA Awards

Know an Ontario public school student, teacher or trustee who deserves recognition for making a difference in their community?

Nominations 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 Ontario.

The nomination deadline for all the awards, except for the Bernardine Yackman Memorial Award, is:
Friday, April 7, 2017, at 5 p.m.

The nomination deadline for the Bernardine Yackman Memorial Award is:
Friday, June 16, 2017, at 5 p.m.

Online Nomination Form

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 Award is 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.

The Achievement 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.

The Bernardine 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.

For more information: Call Mary Adams, Awards Coordinator, 416-340-2540 ext.101, or email the OPSBA webmaster.

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

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