CSBA Board of Directors November Meeting
The Board of Directors of the Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA) met on November 10 and 11, 2008 in Ottawa. The following provincial members were in attendance: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Ontario. OPSBA President Colleen Schenk and Executive Director Gail Anderson are Ontario's representatives.
Two key goals of the Canadian School Boards Association are:
- to share information, initiatives and expertise among provinces, and
- to advocate for publicly funded education.
CSBA's discussions of education issues include an exchange of information about the initiatives of the Council of Ministers of Education (CMEC). Updates on CSBA's priorities are an important part of the agenda. Key areas covered include:
- high school completion rates;
- new models of education delivery;
- closing the gap for First Nations, Métis and Inuit children;
- Immigrant and Refugee students;
cyber-bullying; public confidence in publicly funded education and locally elected school boards; copyright;
- proposed statement on physical punishment of children and youth;
- Goods and Services Tax (GST);
- trustee professional development;
- Governor General's Literacy Project; and,
- activities of the Canadian Council on Learning.
The following are some brief highlights on selected issues. Detailed reports from each of the provincial associations are included at the end of this article.
British Columbia shared information about new models of education delivery to meet a range of student needs in the face of economic and demographic change. BC has a "distributed learning" portal, LearnNowBC. The BC model of "virtual" schools provides access to programs that offer upgrading and credit recovery, access to credits on-line that are not currently available locally, and distance education. The model responds to specific learning and scheduling needs.
The Manitoba School Boards Association has developed several modules for trustee professional development. A team from Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario are working collaboratively on professional development activities for trustees.
The Alberta government has increased funding to private schools. They will now receive 70% of the funding applicable to public schools.
The Quebec English School Boards Association through its Task Force on Anti-Bullying has developed a Report, entitled Towards Empowerment, Respect and Accountability. The report offers seven broad recommendations for the school community:
- Educate and involve community partners in responsible Internet use
- Initiate and support programs and materials to integrate Internet use in teaching and learning practices
- Enhance public awareness of key Internet issues
- Develop and adapt clear pertinent policies on Internet use
- Undertake safety and security measures
- Train teachers and other school personnel in information literacy
- Encourage the Ministry to respond to the impact of new technologies
The Task Force report also suggests a range of possible actions to deal with bullying. The complete report is available on the Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) website.
The Nova Scotia School Boards Association reported that the Halifax and Strait Boards have resumed their board governance following the school board elections. The Minister of Education issued a discussion paper on effective school board governance and consultation took place over the summer. The Minister plans to put legislation in place this fall to provide boards with greater authority to handle contentious governance situations should they occur in the future. The Nova Scotia School Boards Association supports the recommendations in the discussion paper with the exception of a proposed two-year term of office for board chair. The Minister has also recommended a small increase to board member stipends. Their municipal colleagues earn about 2 to 3 times the $9,200 stipend per board member.
James Bartleman joined the members of CSBA during the two day meeting to discuss Aboriginal issues and the expansion of his Club Amick literacy project. During James Bartleman's tenure as Ontario's Lieutenant Governor, he established Club Amick to distribute books to remote Aboriginal communities, promote literacy and build bridges between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth. Canada's Governor General, the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, has indicated an interest in promoting this program across Canada. The CSBA office is exploring ways to support this expansion. The summer 2008 edition of Education Today includes an article about Club Amick.
Council of Ministers of Education (CMEC) has launched a campaign to develop an education brand world-wide in conjunction with the Department of External Affairs.
CSBA Networking Initiative
On behalf of the membership and in support of the work of the Association, CSBA has developed a relationship network of Canadian organizations. Included in the network is the Coalition on Community Safety, Health and Well-being, Chamber of Commerce, Society for Advancement of Excellence in Education, Conference Board of Canada, Canadian Association of School Health, Assembly of First Nations, Anaphylaxis Canada, Office of the Governor General and others.
Future CSBA Congress
Annual CSBA Congress will be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia in July 2009 and in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2010. The 2011 Congress will be held in Ottawa in conjunction with the OPSBA Annual General Meeting and Conference.
For more information: Gail Anderson, Executive Director, ext.109, or Webmaster
|British Columbia Report to CSBA Nov 08.pdf||144.44 KB|
|Manitoba Report to CSBA Nov 08.pdf||52.97 KB|
|Newfoundland & Labrador Report to CSBA Nov 08.pdf||65.9 KB|
|Nova Scotia Report to CSBA Nov 08.pdf||94.89 KB|
|Quebec Report to CSBA Nov 08.pdf||31.94 KB|
|Saskatchewan Report to CSBA Nov 08.pdf||164.96 KB|