On October 18, we were notified that the second component of
the ministry’s education reform consultation will begin October 19 in the
Northwestern region of the province. This component includes a series of 90
minute telephone town halls across Ontario. OPSBA has created a chart that
lists the dates and locations for the town halls that will occur from October 19 to November 29, 2018. Please note there is more than one
town hall scheduled in each region.
The Ministry of Education’s Consultation: Education in
Ontario includes an online submission form, telephone town halls, and a
separate online survey to be released later.
Please note and remember:
OPSBA’s Policy Development and Education Program Work Teams are taking the lead
on the Association’s response. The work teams are meeting this month to
review evidence-based information and past position statements regarding each
question. OPSBA will prepare a resource for all member boards and trustees to
consider when responding to the consultation well in advance of the December 15
Additional consultation details are available at https://www.ontario.ca/page/for-the-parents
On October 17, Bill 36, Cannabis Statute Law Amendment Act,
received Royal Assent shortly after 5 p.m. Deputy Minister Nancy Naylor sent a memo that provides an update on revised
PPMs, links to fact sheets for parents and educators and links to other
resources. The memo includes an appendix that provides a board-by-board
breakdown of one-time funding provided by the Ministry of Education to support
local training needs related to the legalization of recreational cannabis. On November
8, 2018, the ministry will
host three Safe and Healthy Schools Webinars to provide information related to
the legalization of recreational cannabis, including an overview of the policy
On October 15, 2018 the Ministry of Education issued
memo B15, Temporary Cap on Education Development Charge Rates.
The memo indicates the government’s intent to review the EDC policy framework
and announced amendments made to Ontario Regulation 20/98 Education Development
Charges – General. These changes will have a significant financial impact to
several of our member boards. In particular, freezing the amount boards were
able to charge developers to remain at the level existing in by-laws as of
August 31, 2018. OPSBA has contacted the Minister’s office staff to express our
concerns and will be connecting with member boards Senior Business Officials to
fully capture the implications. We will also be asking to be part of any EDC
review consultation as we had been seeking regulation changes to allow for more
board flexibility with the use of EDC generated funds.
The Public Services Health & Safety Association (PSHSA)
provides health and safety training for the public services sector, including
the education sector.
Upcoming education sector sessions include Certification Part 2 Education Sector Specific Hazards Training and Certification, Part 2 General Workplace Specific Hazards Training and Effective Joint
Health and Safety Committees (JHSC).
to view upcoming health and safety training courses.
Click here to view eNewslettersWorkplace Violence Risk Assessment Toolkit for the Education Sector
The PSHSA's Workplace Violence Risk Assessment Toolkit for the Education Sector is now available. The resource was created to protect education workers from workplace violence, prevent injuries and consequences resulting from acts of violence, and meet legal responsibilities for ensuring healthy and safe workplaces.
Established in 2009, the PSHSA is a not-for-profit association created by the amalgamation of three health and safety leaders – the Education Safety Association of Ontario, the Municipal Health and Safety Association and the Ontario Safety Association for Community and Healthcare.
OPSBA Media Release, OPSBA statement regarding seat belts on school buses, Oct. 15, 2018
Pressure increases on Ontario to ban vaping displays to protect teens from addictionRob Ferguson, The Star, Oct. 12, 2018Pressure increased on the Ontario government to ban displays of vaping gear in convenience stores, where they can be seen by children and teens, as hearings on a bill setting the rules for sales of cannabis and vapour products drew to a close.More ...
OPSBA's 2019 Public Education Symposium (PES) will take place in Toronto, January 24 to 26. PES is the premier professional learning event of the year for school board trustees and offers outstanding keynote speakers who are experts in their field, dynamic, stimulating and interactive sessions, opportunities to discuss the future of education and time to network with colleagues across the province.
Trustees, Directors of Education, supervisory officers and student trustees are warmly encouraged to attend PES 2019.
These are just some of the sessions being planned for you:
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: MICHAEL "PINBALL" CLEMONS
PLENARY SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS with time for discussion and Q. & A.
BOOK YOUR HOTEL ROOM NOW:OPSBA has secured a preferred rate for delegates at the Sheraton Centre Hotel of: $221.99 plus taxes
return to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario on October 15, 2018.
On October 11, OPSBA sent a submission to the
Standing Committee on Social Policy. Clause-by-clause consideration will be
held on October 15 and the bill (with amendments or not) will report back to
the House on October 16, 2018.
Attorney General Caroline
Mulroney announced an advertising campaign aimed at educating youth about the
risks and rules of recreational cannabis use. The campaign will begin the week of October 15 and include
ads on social media, television, and the internet. Ontarians will be
able to legally purchase recreational cannabis online exclusively on October 17
from the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) until April 2019 when the province
expects retail stores to be open. The OCS has launched an education website to provide consumers with information
to make informed choices.
Advance Voting has begun for some municipalities. Be sure to
check your local municipality’s website for advance voting dates, locations and
hours. When voting in person, be sure to bring your voter ID card and/or proper
identification showing your name and address.
board candidates have until 9 a.m. on October 19 to submit their profiles to
Profile information should include: name, school board, ward, photo, a brief
biography, email address and website address.
October 9, 2018 – News Release from the Office
of the Premier: Promises
Made, Promises Kept: Ontario's Government for the People Marks 100 Days of
Please see the following updated OPSBA summaries indicated below for information regarding Ministry of Education 2018 B and SB Memoranda.
2018 B Memoranda (funding policy, financial matters)
2018 SB Memoranda (administrative information, clarification on financial matters)
2017 B Memoranda
2017 SB Memoranda
B and SB Memoranda
know a terrific teacher or early childhood educator? Consider nominating them
for a 2019 Prime Minister's Award! This program honours innovative and
outstanding elementary and secondary school teachers and early childhood
educators who are helping prepare Canadian youth for the challenges of
for inspiration? Check out previous teaching and early childhood education award
nomination packages are now available at www.pma.gc.ca. The
nomination deadline is January 14, 2019 (23:59 Pacific
MPPs have a constituency week following Thanksgiving
and will return to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario on October 15,
On September 28, the Ministry of Education released its Consultation: Education in Ontario.
This online submission form was the first piece of this consultation with a
separate online survey and telephone town halls to be scheduled later.
OPSBA’s Policy Development and Education Program Work Teams are
taking the lead on the Association’s response. The work teams are meeting
this month to review evidence-based information and past position statements
regarding each question. OPSBA will prepare a resource for all member boards
and trustees to consider when responding to the consultation, well in advance of
the December 15 deadline.
Memo from Deputy Minister
On October 1, the Canada Revenue agency sent a Q&A memo, "What you need to know: Changes to the
Non-accountable allowances," to stakeholders.
On October 4, this bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Social Policy. Public
hearings will occur on October 11 and October 12
with written submissions due on October 12. OPSBA will
be sending a submission for this new bill and its proposed amendments.
Both work teams will be reviewing key points for our submission. Key issues
include the development of a regulation for distances between schools and
retail sites; the need for local decision making with municipal partners and
key community stakeholders, public consumption; a call for a public awareness
campaign that includes youth prevention; and additional educational supports
and resources. The bill will report back to the House on October 16, 2018 – the
day before the federal legalization date. This bill was introduced by Attorney
General Caroline Mulroney on September 27, 2018.
OPSBA's previous submission on Bill 174, Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and
Road Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, 2017
wishing to be considered by the Committee to make an oral presentation should
provide their contact name, mailing address, phone number, and email address to
the Clerk of the Committee by 5 p.m. on October 5, 2018. Those who
do not wish to make an oral presentation but wish to comment on the Bill may
send a written submission to the Clerk of the Committee by 12 p.m. on October 12, 2018. The clerk, Eric Rennie, can be reached at: email@example.com.
The OPSBA Board of Directors held a meeting on September 28 and 29, 2018, in Toronto. OPSBA President Cathy Abraham gave an acknowledgement that the meeting was being held on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation and the Métis Nation.
Representatives from the Ontario School Trustees Association (OSTA-AECO) joined the Board of Directors on Saturday morning to provide a presentation.
Education policy and program issues that were discussed at the meeting are summarized below.
The Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, led by Doug Ford, was the winner of the provincial election held on June 7, 2018. Lisa Thompson (MPP Huron-Bruce) was named Minister of Education and Sam Oosterhoff (MPP Niagara West) her Parliamentary Assistant. Nancy Naylor is the new Deputy Minister of Education, replacing the now-retired Bruce Rodrigues.
Summer and Fall SessionsThe Legislative Assembly of Ontario opened the first session on July 11, 2018, and rose after Tuesday, August 14, 2018. The main pieces of work included Bill 2, Urgent Priorities Act, 2018 and Bill 5, Better Local Government Act, 2018.
The House resumed on September 12, for Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark to table the revamped Bill 31, Efficient Local Government Act. Bill 31 was introduced in response to an Ontario Superior Court judge's determination that Bill 5 violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It invoked Section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the notwithstanding clause, to reduce the number of City of Toronto wards and councillors to 25 before the October 22 election. Debate on Bill 31 was no longer required when a three-judge panel on Ontario's highest court granted a stay on the Bill 5 ruling. Government House Leader Todd Smith said Bill 31 will remain on the order paper, but there is no plan to debate or vote on it. Bill 5 will be back in the Court of Appeal for Ontario in November. The City of Toronto and several private citizens and former council candidates will take part.
The nomination period in Toronto opened again on September 20 and 21 to ensure no incumbents or prospective councillors or trustees were left out of the race. The government will sit again until a scheduled Thanksgiving constituency week.
Opposition criticsNew Democratic Party of Ontario: MPP Marit Stiles (Davenport) becomes the party's new Education Critic. Prior to being elected in the recent provincial election, Ms. Stiles was a trustee with the Toronto District School Board.Liberal Party of Ontario: MPP Kathleen Wynne (Don Valley West). Current Party StandingsPC Party of Ontario - 76 Ontario NDP - 40Ontario Liberal Party - 7 Green Party of Ontario – 1
School Board Governance – Update Four regulations have been updated and filed:
Update: There is currently no direction if this work group will be established. OPSBA will continue to monitor for developments.
Update: On August 24, the government issued memo B 14 - Update: Education Funding for 2018–19. The memo contains information about new initiatives and programs, as well as "Efficiencies and Redistributions for 2018–19." Included in this section are changes to executive compensation (previously announced) and trustee honoraria. With regards to honoraria the memo states: "Compensation adjustments are being suspended until the new government can conduct a review and put in place an appropriate expenditure management strategy. As a result, the ministry will not be increasing the base amount for the school board trustees' honorarium as announced in the 2018–19 GSN memo (2018:B06). The base amount for district school board trustees will remain at $5,900. The ministry may review trustee honoraria in the future. In addition, the ministry will not be providing the trustees of Section 68 School Authorities an honorarium as announced in the 2018–19 Section 68 SB Memo (2018: SB13)."
OPSBA will be following up with the Ministry's governance branch following the completion of the line-by-line audit and its recommendations.
Provincial Education Reform ConsultationConsultation: Education in Ontario was launched on September 28. This is the first piece of this consultation. It includes an online submission form. Information regarding a separate online survey for more feedback and telephone town halls will be announced in the coming weeks.
The Ministry of Education reissued the 2010 curriculum for Grades 1 – 8 as an interim version to be used until a new curriculum is created. The government said it will also release a compendium to the current math curriculum that will allow teachers to move away from Discovery Math towards traditional memorization techniques. Ontario Government Planning for Prosperity Online ConsultationOn August 29, 2018, Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy announced a three week online public consultation, called Planning for Prosperity. It ran from August 29, 2018 to September 21, 2018, to complement the government's current line-by-line review of all government programs and services. The survey focused on eight areas: Children's and Social Services, Education, Environment and Resources, Economic Development, General Government and Other Services, Health, Justice and Postsecondary and Training. It also included an opportunity for people to provide up to three ideas or suggestions to improve the delivery of programs and services.
On September 25, the government released the results of its line-by-line review of government spending in a report entitled: Managing Transformation – A Modernization Action Plan for Ontario.
Feedback from the online public consultation, which gave the public an opportunity to rank the importance of eight areas of programs and services, including education, were reflected in the 'transformational opportunities' suggested in the Plan. There were apparently over 15,000 submissions. Key themes that emerged from the public responses to the consultation include:
Bill 36, Cannabis Statute Law Amendment Act, 2018 This bill was introduced on Attorney General Caroline Mulroney on September 27, 2018. Bill 36 would allow private retail stores to be open for business by April 1, 2019. The province will also create "distance buffers" between stores and schools and this is to be determined by regulation. The federal legalization date is October 17, 2018, and this bill is expected to move fairly quickly through the legislative process. OPSBA will review the bill's contents for educational impacts, including the location of retail stores near schools and where cannabis can be consumed.
Updates were provided on the followings issues related to education funding:
Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund The $100 million designated for 2018-19 was cancelled as of July 5, 2018. As such, school boards were told not to enter into any further related contracts after July 3, 2018. The Ministry will cover the costs incurred if school boards have entered into contractual agreements for capital works on or before July 3, 2018. School boards with projects that are in the planning and design stage, and have not entered into contractual agreements for capital works on or before July 3, 2018, may choose to proceed with these projects only with their other existing funding allocations.
2018-19 Grants for Student Needs On March 26, 2018, the Ministry of Education released memo B06 – Grants for Student Needs. Highlights are available on the OPSBA website.
Benefits Technical Advisory Committee Through the 2017-18 GSN the Ministry announced the establishment of a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to discuss a go-forward approach to funding benefits within the GSN. The TAC is reviewing all benefits, including Statutory, Health, Life, and Dental. The TAC includes school business officials and financial experts from the Trustee Associations. OPSBA has designated two Senior Business Officials to represent the association on this technical advisory committee. The committee is meeting throughout the school year.
A summary of B and SB memoranda is available on the OPSBA website.
Chief Elaine Johnston, Chair of OPSBA's Indigenous Trustees' Council, provided a report that included updates on the following:
Cancellation of the Curriculum Writing Sessions of Four Indigenous Studies Courses Following the government's cancellation of summer curriculum writing sessions, the ITC has asked OPSBA's incoming ITC Staff Advisor, Sean Monteith, to draft a letter on its behalf to submit to the Minister asking for clear and definable actions related to the cancellations.
Role and Capacity of Indigenous Trustees The ITC Staff Advisor reported on research into the range of the role and capacity of Indigenous Trustees from a provincial perspective. It is clear that the role is wide and varied. Given that the Staff Advisor will be working with his Board (the Keewatin Patricia District School Board) this fall to completely rewrite their policy on Trustees to Represent the Interests of Indigenous Students, it was agreed once that new policy is approved, it would be shared with the ITC.
Updates on recent OPSBA communications issues were provided. There has been some media activity involving OPSBA since the June Board of Directors meeting, which can be found on the OPSBA website. OPSBA sent out four news releases since the previous board meeting:
September 26, 2018 - Before you vote - get to know your local trustee candidates June 4, 2018 – Cathy Abraham elected President of OPSBA June 8, 2018 – OPSBA extends congratulations to new PC government July 6, 2018 – New CSBA President and Vice-President Acclaimed
OPSBA also released three media statements on Twitter during the summer months: August 22, 2018 – Education Reform Consultation August 14, 2018 – Executive CompensationJuly 9, 2018 – Cancellation of Truth and Reconciliation Writing Sessions Communications support was also provided for issues and projects including:
Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) New Policy and Recommendations on Accessible Education On August 29, the OHRC released a new policy and recommendations on accessible education. This policy and recommendations provide the education sector, which includes primary, secondary and post-secondary education providers, the Commission's advice on how to meet legal obligations under Ontario's Human Rights Code. The recommendations set out actions that the government, school boards, schools and post-secondary institutions should take that the OHRC says will make the education system inclusive, function effectively and allow students with disabilities to thrive. Of the 29 recommendations, eight are specifically aimed at school boards and private educational providers. The full policy and additional 21 recommendations can be found at http://ohrc.on.ca/en/news_centre/ohrc-releases-new-policy-and-recommendations-accessible-education. OPSBA staff are seeking feedback from member boards to determine what in the recommendations is currently standard school board practice, what boards require in order to comply and if a response to the OHRC is necessary.
A summary of Ministry meetings, workgroups and program-related announcements was provided. Information shared included updates on the following: EQAO In September, the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) released highlights of the provincial-level results from its 2017–2018 Assessments of Reading, Writing and Mathematics, Primary Division (Grades 1–3), Junior Division (Grades 4–6), the Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics and the OSSLT. At the elementary level, math results have continued in a downward trend over a 5-year period. Since 2013 reading results have improved at the elementary level, while writing has declined in Grade 3, with a slight increase at the Grade 6 level. There is no significant difference in the results in elementary mathematics, reading or writing from the 2016-17 or 2015-16 results. The secondary OSSLT and provincial Grade 9 EQAO mathematics assessment did also not see significant changes from the past two years.
Health and Physical Education Curriculum The initial announcement by the government to return to the 1998 Health and Physical Education Curriculum led to a response by OPSBA and every OPSBA member board. Other education sector partners were equally engaged in providing very consistent feedback. Student safety, human rights, equity, inclusion, professional development needs and expediting the consultation process were cornerstones of the feedback. OPSBA was clear in asking for a status quo position on the 2015 curriculum for both the elementary and secondary panel. There were no opportunities made available to meet or discuss this issue.
Mathematics Curriculum The Ministry of Education has released a teacher's guide and a parent fact sheet that highlighted the fundamental math concepts and skills in the current curriculum. This does not represent new content. Some of the concepts and skills include working with numbers, recognizing number properties, mastering math facts, developing mental math skills and developing proficiency with operations. The ministry has also requested that school boards focus their numeracy professional activity (PA) day, which is one of three mandatory PA days, on fundamental math skills. To maximize impact, all boards have been asked to schedule this PA day before the Winter Break begins.
Ontario Coalition for Children and Youth Mental Health The steering committee has met to discuss engagement strategies and the necessity to reintroduce the Ontario Coalition to the new government. The Coalition has sent letters to each of the Ministers of Training Colleges and Universities, Health, Education and Children, Community and Social Services to request a meeting. This year the Coalition has added the student alliance organizations from colleges and universities to strengthen the student voice from elementary through to post-secondary settings.
OACAS Public Engagement, Advocacy and Stakeholder Engagement Strategic Council In our continuing partnership discussions with the Ontario Association of Children's Aids Societies (OACAS), OPSBA has been asked to join the OACAS Public Engagement, Advocacy and Stakeholder Engagement Strategic Council. OACAS is continuing with its annual Dress Purple Day Campaign to raise awareness about the rights of children and youth to safety and well-being, and the responsibility of adults and community services to help children, youth, and families who need support. This year OACAS has expanded the available resources to include middle and high school students. The prevention resources are evidence based and include lesson plans based on reasons for getting help, healthy and unhealthy relationships, self-esteem, and networks of support. Resources can be accessed here.
Update on 2018 Municipal and School Board Elections Campaign from Ontario Education Services Corporation (OESC) OESC, on behalf of Ontario's four school board/trustee associations, has partnered with the Ministry of Education to develop a series of resources to support trustee candidates and communities in the upcoming Municipal and School Board Elections. In July 2018, OESC was directed by the ministry to pause work on these projects while the new government evaluated its priorities and resources. In August, OESC received the ministry's approval to carry on with pre-election resources. An update on each resource:
Centralized School Board Elections Website The hub for school board election information and trustee candidate information elections.ontarioschooltrustees.org has been revitalized for 2018.The site features profiles of trustee candidates running in all four school systems across the province. Candidate listings are now online and trustee candidates are welcome to submit their bios and photos for posting to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Guide to Hosting a School Board Trustee All Candidates Meeting This resource is a guide for trustees, school boards and communities to encourage the organization of All Candidates Meetings in advance of the October 2018 Municipal & School Board Elections.
Public Education Resources OESC has created a series of posters and newspaper ads to encourage greater interest in the upcoming elections and promote the role of trustee. The resources have three themes: 1) to encourage individuals to run for trustee office; 2) to promote All Candidates Meetings and 3) to promote the importance of voting in Municipal and School Board Elections.
Making a Difference for Kids: Running for Election as a School Board Trustee This guidebook provides a user friendly overview of Ontario's education system, school boards and the role of trustees.
On September 28, the Ministry of Education released their Consultation: Education in Ontario. The release was the first piece of this
consultation and includes an online submission form. Information
regarding a separate online survey for more feedback and telephone town halls
will be announced in the coming weeks. The first consultation asks for feedback
and comments on the following areas:
OPSBA will be reviewing the consultation document and questions, and sharing information with our members. OPSBA’s Policy
Development and Education Program Work Teams will take the lead on the
Association’s response. The deadline is
December 15, 2018.
This bill was introduced by Attorney General Caroline
Mulroney on September 27, 2018. Bill 36 would allow private retail stores to be
open for business by April 1, 2019. Municipalities will have until January 22,
2019, to opt out of having stores in their communities. The Alcohol and Gaming
Commission of Ontario (AGCO) will be the registrar for licences. There will
also be a 15-day public consultation period for communities to weigh in on the
location of stores, but the final decision will rest with the AGCO. The
province will also create “distance buffers” between stores and schools - this is to be determined by regulation. The federal legalization date is
October 17, 2018, and this bill is expected to move fairly quickly through the
legislative process. OPSBA will review the bill’s contents for educational
impacts, including the location of retail stores near schools and where
cannabis can be consumed.