OPSBA Connects

 

 

New Privacy Guide for Ontario Schools releasedhttp://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=305New Privacy Guide for Ontario Schools released2019-01-11T20:30:31Z<div class="ExternalClass32D27D5B9FF74E258F4E8C5F1797B04D"><p><img src="/PublishingImages/privacyguidecover.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="The front cover of the IPC's Guide to Privacy and Access to Information in Ontario Schools" style="margin:5px;width:250px;height:309px;" />The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) has produced <a href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/guide-to-privacy-access-in-ont-schools.pdf" title="A Guide to Privacy and Access to Information in Ontario Schools" target="_blank"><em>A Guide to Privacy and Access to Information in Ontario Schools</em></a>. This guide describes the obligations and rights that school boards, principals, teachers and administrators have under the <em>Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA)</em>. <br></p><p>IPC has also developed a series of fact sheets, including:<br></p><ul><li><a href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/fs-edu-protecting-your-students-privacy-online.pdf" title="protecting students’ privacy online" target="_blank">protecting students’ privacy online</a></li><li><a href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/fs-edu-privacy-in-the-school.pdf" title="privacy in the school" target="_blank">privacy in the school</a></li><li><a href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/fs-edu-privacy_access-guide-for-educators.pdf" title="privacy and access to information in Ontario’s schools" target="_blank">privacy and access to information in Ontario’s schools</a></li><li><a href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/fs-edu-your-childs-privacy.pdf" title="children’s privacy in schools" target="_blank">children’s privacy in schools</a> – a fact sheet and brochure for parents<br></li></ul><p> For a hard copy of the guide, email your request with quantities to <a href="mailto:info@ipc.on.ca" title="Email the IPC" target="_blank">info@ipc.on.ca</a>.​</p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=305
Legislative Update, January 11, 2019http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=304Legislative Update, January 11, 20192019-01-11T15:09:59Z<div class="ExternalClass591D662CAA22413BBB78A1E286724408"><p><img class="ms-rtePosition-2" src="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/PublishingImages/Pink_Palace_Toronto_2010.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:300px;height:200px;" />The Legislative Assembly of Ontario remains adjourned for winter recess and returns on February 19, 2019. </p><p>On January 7, the Premier sent a <a title="Premier's letter to public sector" href="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/Documents/PremierLetterPublicSectorJan0719.pdf" target="_blank">letter</a> to all Ontario Public Service staff with a message focusing on jobs, health care and fiscal balance. The Premier outlined his administration’s top three “emerging priorities” in a letter to more than 60,000 bureaucrats. He thanked the civil service for “providing consistent, high-quality, non-partisan professional advice as we implemented our ambitious plan.”  </p><h3>PPM 9: Reporting of Children in Need of Protection – Revision</h3><p>On January 8, ADM Denise Dwyer sent a <a title="Ministry memo re PPM 9" href="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/Documents/MinistryMemoPPM%209Jan0819.pdf" target="_blank">memo regarding updates made to PPM 9</a> that reflect changes stemming from <em>The Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017</em> which came into force on April 30, 2018. The updated PPM “summarizes the responsibilities of school boards with respect to the duty to report suspected abuses or neglect of children under the CYFSA.”</p><p><a title="PPM 9" href="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/Documents/PPM9Jan0719.pdf" target="_blank">Policy/Program Memorandum No. 9</a> <br><br></p><h3>Provincial Education Reform Consultation </h3><p>On December 31, Education Minister Lisa Thompson issued the media release, “<a title="Government media release re education reform consultation" href="https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2018/12/ontario-government-concludes-largest-consultation-on-education-in-provinces-history.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=m" target="_blank">Ontario Government Concludes Largest Consultation on Education in Province's History</a>.” The government has said they have received 72,000 submissions and details about next steps would be announced in the coming months.</p><p><a href="/SiteCollectionDocuments/OPSBA%20Submission%20-%20Government%20Education%20Consultation.pdf">OPSBA submission</a> <br><br></p><h3>Ministry of Indigenous Affairs </h3><p>On December 28, Minister of Indigenous Affairs Greg Rickford issued the media release, “<a title="Government media release re special advisor on Indigenous Affairs" href="https://news.ontario.ca/mirr/en/2018/12/ontario-names-clifford-bull-special-advisor-on-indigenous-affairs.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=p" target="_blank">Ontario Names Clifford Bull Special Advisor on Indigenous Affairs</a>.” Mr. Bull is to advise the Minister “on economic and social and jurisdictional issues affecting Indigenous communities. He will also serve as a liaison on behalf of Premier Doug Ford and Minister Rickford with Indigenous communities.” <br><br></p><h3>Federal By-Elections</h3><p>Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced by-elections in Burnaby-South in B.C., Outremont in Quebec, and York-Simcoe in Ontario will occur on February 25. Queen’s Park alumnus and federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is bidding for a seat in the House of Commons via Burnaby. Electors in Outremont will pick a replacement for Singh’s predecessor, ex-NDP Leader Tom Mulcair. <br><br></p><h3>Office of the Ombudsman</h3><p>In its <a title="Ombudsman's December newsletter" href="https://mailchi.mp/29ccf3d0d0f6/ombudsman-ontario-the-watchdog-april-newsletter-2628713?e=c00f66ba75" target="_blank">December newsletter</a>, the Ombudsman’s office listed their “TOP 10 HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR WORK IN 2018.” Included at number 6 was the following: </p><p>"6. TEACHABLE MOMENTS: Our office reviewed nearly 900 complaints about school boards in fiscal 2017-2018, and helped several improve their practices, for example, how they communicate about student transportation or school closings. One formal investigation is pending, involving a school closure decision by the Near North District School Board. Complaints about universities and colleges are also on the rise. Read more in our Annual Report about <a title="early years to Grade 12" href="https://ombudsman.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=644a19cfd678bd6e6d2c513f8&id=699250aa1a&e=c7ae545153" target="_blank">early years to Grade 12</a> and about <a title="post-secondary education" href="https://ombudsman.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=644a19cfd678bd6e6d2c513f8&id=b8065e84b3&e=c7ae545153" target="_blank">post-secondary education</a>." <br></p><p>The <a title="Ombudsman 2017-18 annual report" href="https://www.ombudsman.on.ca/Media/ombudsman/ombudsman/resources/Annual%20Reports/2017-2018AR-EN.pdf" target="_blank">2017-18 Annual Report</a> being referred to was originally released last June.  At this year’s PES, there will be a session (Friday, January 25) conducted by the Ombudsman’s Office entitled, “The Ontario Ombudsman and School Boards - Learn how the Ontario Ombudsman resolves thousands of school board complaints through early resolution and referral, almost always without a formal investigation. Find out what to expect if the Ombudsman contacts your board, and how we work directly with boards to solve problems and improve school board practices and procedures.” <br><br></p><h3>Reminder: Pre-Budget Consultations</h3><p>The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs continues to hold Pre-budget Consultations and public hearings allowing people and organizations a chance to tell the government what matters to them ahead of the government’s first spring budget. The list of dates are:</p><ul><li>January 15 and 29 — Toronto</li><li>January 21 — Dryden</li><li>January 22 — Timmins</li><li>January 23 — Ottawa</li><li>January 24 — Sarnia</li><li>January 25 — Kitchener-Waterloo</li><li>January 28 — Peterborough<br></li></ul><p> The deadline for written submissions is Tuesday, January 29, 2019. OPSBA will be sending in a submission based on our recent Education Funding/GSN document.​</p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=304
Legislative Update, December 18, 2018http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=303Legislative Update, December 18, 20182018-12-20T19:43:06Z<div class="ExternalClass64C9D3B6B7514F198C6A4C3294834823"><p><img src="/PublishingImages/Pink_Palace_Toronto_2010.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin:5px;font-family:plantin, georgia, cambria, "times new roman", times, serif;font-size:18.0006px;width:350px;" /><span style="font-size:1.6rem;font-family:plantin, georgia, cambria, "times new roman", times, serif;">The House reconvened this week for four days to allow Labour Minister Laurie Scott to introduce Bill 67, Lab</span><span style="font-size:1.6rem;font-family:plantin, georgia, cambria, "times new roman", times, serif;">our Relations Amendment Act (Protecting Ontario's Power Supply). The legislation is aimed at preventing a strike or lockout at Ontario Power Generation and sets out a mechanism for binding arbitration between OPG and the Power Workers' Union. The bill was time allocated and passed Third Reading this morning and received Royal Assent as well. The Legislature has now risen for winter recess with MPPs back on February 19, 2019. Please see below for an update on recent items...</span></p><h3><span lang="EN-CA">Education Funding - 2019-2020 GSN and EPO</span></h3><p>Earlier this week, OPSBA provided the Ministry of Education with our submission for the 2019-2020 Grants for Student Needs (GSN). Our submission was based on feedback received from the OPSBA Board of Directors at our regional meetings, input from senior staff, and input from our member boards through Senior Business Officials. It focuses on the needs and pressures facing member boards and also reflects the Association's overall priorities and the ongoing work of OPSBA's work teams.<br></p><p>Our submission follows last week's announcement regarding Education Program Other (EPO) Funding. OPSBA did issue a public statement and continues to follow up with member board's about their individual and local impacts.<br></p><p>Click <a href="/SiteCollectionDocuments/OPSBA%202019-2020%20GSN%20December%2014,%202018.pdf" title="2019-2020 Grants for Student Needs (GSN) submission">here</a> for our 2019-2020 Grants for Student Needs (GSN) submission</p><p>Click <a href="https://twitter.com/OPSBA/status/1074746407930740736" title="EPO statement">here</a> for our EPO statement<br></p><h3><span lang="EN-CA">Pre-Budget Consultations</span></h3><p>The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs will be holding Pre-budget Consultations/public hearings in the new year to give people and organizations a chance to tell the government what matters to them ahead of the government's first spring budget. The list of dates are:<br></p><ul><li>January 15 and 29 — Toronto<br></li><li>January 21 — Dryden<br></li><li>January 22 —Timmins<br></li><li>January 23 — Ottawa<br></li><li>January 24 — Sarnia<br></li><li>January 25 — Kitchener-Waterloo<br></li><li>January 28 — Peterborough<br></li></ul><p><span style="font-family:plantin, georgia, cambria, "times new roman", times, serif;font-size:1.6rem;">Deadlin</span><span style="font-family:plantin, georgia, cambria, "times new roman", times, serif;font-size:1.6rem;">es:</span><br></p><p>Monday, January 7, 2019 – for those wishing to be considered to make an oral presentation to the Committee on January 15, 2019. </p><p>Tuesday, January 8, 2019 – for those wishing to be considered to make an oral presentation to the Committee during the week of January 21, on January 28, or on January 29, 2019.</p><p>Tuesday, January 29, 2019 – for those who wish to send a written submission.  <br></p><p>The clerk, Timothy Bryan, can be reached at: <a href="mailto:comm-financeaffairs@ola.org">comm-financeaffairs@ola.org</a><br></p><h3><span lang="EN-CA">Provincial Education Reform Consultation </span></h3><p>Last week OPSBA shared with the Ministry of Education our submission to the government's Consultation: Education in Ontario. In the new year, we will follow up with the ministry as to next steps and how the consolidated feedback will be shared with stakeholders and the public.</p><p>Click <a href="/SiteCollectionDocuments/OPSBA%20Submission%20-%20Government%20Education%20Consultation.pdf" title="Provincial Education Reform Consultation">here</a> for our submission<br></p><h3><span lang="EN-CA">Bill 36, Cannabis Statute Law Amendment Act, 2018 </span></h3><p>On December 13, Attorney General Caroline Mulroney and Minister of Finance Vic Fedeli announced changes are being made to the licensing process for recreational retail cannabis stores in Ontario. The province will only issue up to 25 licences for retail cannabis shops to start when they open for business in April 2019, citing concerns over national supply shortages. Municipalities have until January 22, 2019, to opt out of having stores in their communities.<br></p><p>Click <a href="https://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2018/12/ontario-takes-a-phased-approach-to-cannabis-retail-licensing-due-to-national-supply-shortages.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=m" title="Government news release re: Bill 36, Cannabis Statute Law Amendment Act" target="_blank">here</a> for the government news release </p><p>Click <a href="https://agco.ca/" title="additional information from the province's cannabis regulator, the Alcohol and Gaming Corporation (AGCO)" target="_blank">here</a> for additional information from the province's cannabis regulator, the Alcohol and Gaming Corporation (AGCO) <br></p><h3><span lang="EN-CA">DON'T FORGET! – OPSBA's 2019 Public Education Symposium (PES) </span></h3><p>Registration is now open for PES, which occurs January 24 to 26, 2019. Keynote speakers include: Michael "Pinball" Clemons and Don Drummond.</p><p>Click <a href="/Pages/Public%20Education%20Symposium%20Registration%20now%20open%20.aspx" title="Information on the 2019 Public Education Symposium">here</a> for more information<br></p><p><br></p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=303
Public Education Symposium 2019http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=302Public Education Symposium 20192019-01-14T19:14:51Z<div class="ExternalClass18F301C5532A4142847362705B5BFA0C"><h3>January 24 to 26<br></h3><p><a title="2019PES - online registration" href="/EVENTS%20AND%20PUBLICATIONS/Pages/2019-PES-Online-Registration.aspx"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Online Registration</span></a><br></p><p><a title="2019 PES - Full Program" href="/SiteCollectionDocuments/PES2019_FinalProgram.pdf"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Full Program</span></a><br>A new workshop has been added on Friday at 3:00 p.m. titled, <em>"The Ontario Ombudsman and School Boards."</em>  Attendees will be able to choose this workshop on site.<br></p><p><a href="https://www.marriott.com/event-reservations/reservation-link.mi?id=1809242689&key=DE9A361&app=resvlink"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Hotel Reservations </span></a>– Hotel cut-off date was Monday, January 7.<br><em>Additional hotel information is located at the bottom of this post.</em><br></p><p>OPSBA's 2019 Public Education Symposium (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.<br></p><p>These are just some of the sessions being planned for you:</p><p><strong>KEYNOTE SPEAKERS:</strong><br>Thursday, January 24, 7:30 p.m.:  <strong>Minister of Education</strong></p><p>Thursday, January 24:<strong>  DON DRUMMOND, </strong>Adjunct Professor, School of Policy Studies, Queen's University<br><strong>"Educating in a World Where Education is Everything"</strong><br>Consensus is building that education is the answer to many of societies' goals including stronger economic growth, less poverty and better health outcomes.  These aspirations will be on a collision course with constrained public resources. Better ways of delivering education will be required but ideology too often prevails over evidence in that dialogue.</p><p>Friday, January 25:<strong>  MICHAEL "PINBALL" CLEMONS<br></strong><strong>"The Importance of Teamwork"<br></strong><strong>Few people exemplify the qualities of personal excellence</strong>, teamwork, community leadership, and overcoming the odds better than CFL legend Michael "Pinball" Clemons. With boundless energy Pinball's talk centres on the potential for each of us to achieve anything we set our minds to.</p><p><strong>PLENARY SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS</strong> with time for discussion and Q. & A.<br></p><ul><li>Parliamentary Procedures– both Basic and Advanced</li><li>Labour Relations – Collective Agreements Are Expiring : What's Next?</li><li>Trust with Respectful Oversight:  What does an effective relationship look like between the Board of Trustees and Administration?</li><li>Role of the Trustee, Role of the Chair, Relationships within School Boards</li><li>Everything a Trustee needs to know about Best Practices for Board Meetings; Conflict Resolution and the Purpose of Code of Conduct; Requests for Trustee Emails and complying with privacy legislation.</li><li>Current Issues and Hot Topics in Education – Panel presentation</li><li>Trustees and Their Boards – The Legal Framework</li><li>Reconciliation in Education:  The Role of the Indigenous Trustee</li><li>What Does OPSBA Do for You?  How can you get involved?  Professional Development Modules and Government Legislation; Special Education; Mental Health</li><li><strong>***  NEW workshop: The Ontario Ombudsman and School Boards ***</strong><br></li></ul><h3 style="margin:0px;text-align:left;color:#262626;text-transform:none;line-height:29.02px;text-indent:0px;letter-spacing:normal;font-size:20.73px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:300;text-decoration:none;word-spacing:0px;white-space:normal;orphans:2;background-color:transparent;"><br>Additional Hotel Information<br style="margin:0px;color:#262626;line-height:29.02px;font-size:20.73px;font-weight:300;"></h3><p>The room block is sold out. We’ve been able to secure a rate of <span lang="EN-US">$261.99</span><span lang="EN-US"> </span>(single/double) in case people still require accommodation. Please contact the hotel directly for reservations.</p><p style="margin:0px 0px 10px;text-align:left;color:#444444;text-transform:none;line-height:28.8px;text-indent:0px;letter-spacing:normal;padding-top:15px;font-size:18px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:400;text-decoration:none;word-spacing:0px;white-space:normal;orphans:2;background-color:transparent;"><a title="Online reservations" href="https://www.starwoodmeeting.com/events/start.action?id=1809242689&key=DE9A361" target="_blank" style="outline:0px;color:#008ce9;text-decoration:underline;background-color:transparent;">Book online<br style="outline:transparent 0px;color:#008ce9;text-decoration:underline;background-color:transparent;"></a>OR<br style="margin:0px;line-height:28.8px;padding-top:0px;">Telephone: <span class="baec5a81-e4d6-4674-97f3-e9220f0136c1" style="white-space:nowrap;">1-888-627-7175 </span>(reservations centre). Please quote the group name "OPSBA Public Education Symposium 2019" or the group code "<span aria-hidden="true" style="margin:0px;line-height:28.8px;padding-top:0px;"></span>OA30AB" in order to receive the preferred rate. After this deadline, rooms will be available on a space-available basis only.​</p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=302
OPSBA Board of Directors Meeting – December 7 and 8, 2018http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=301OPSBA Board of Directors Meeting – December 7 and 8, 20182018-12-11T17:22:43Z<div class="ExternalClass3453B8147AB9442DB0573D729DF1869E"><p><strong><em><img class="ms-rtePosition-2" src="/PublishingImages/leadership.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:300px;height:225px;" />Please note – the deadline for securing a hotel room at the Sheraton Centre for the </em></strong><a title="2019 Public Education Symposium" href="/events-and-publications/public-education-symposium"><strong><em>Public Education Symposium</em></strong></a><strong><em> is Jan. 7, 2019.</em></strong></p><p>The OPSBA Board of Directors held a meeting on Dec. 7 and 8, 2018, in Toronto. <span style="font-family:plantin, georgia, cambria, "times new roman", times, serif;">Elaine Johnston, Chair of OPSBA's Indigenous Trustees' Council (ITC) and OPSBA's First Nations Director,</span> 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.</p><p>Ontario's Minister of Education Lisa Thompson joined the Board of Directors on the evening of Dec. 7. The Minister delivered remarks and participated in a Q&A session.</p><p>Education policy and program issues that were discussed in public session at the meeting are summarized below.</p><h3>Legislative and Government Relations</h3><p>MPPs rose for Winter Recess on Dec. 6, 2018, and will return after Family Day on Feb. 19, 2019. Members received updates on several pieces of legislation including:</p><p><a title="Bill 36, Cannabis Statute Law Amendment Act" href="https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-36" target="_blank"><em>Bill 36, Cannabis Statute Law Amendment Act </em></a><br><a title="Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Ac" href="https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-47" target="_blank"><em>Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act</em></a><br><em> </em><a title="Bill 48, Safe and Supportive Classrooms Ac" href="https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-48" target="_blank"><em>Bill 48, Safe and Supportive Classrooms Act</em></a><br><em> </em><a title="Bill 56, Keeping Students Safe on School Buses Ac" href="https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-56" target="_blank"><em>Bill 56, Keeping Students Safe on School Buses Act</em></a><br><em> </em><a title="Bill 57, Restoring Trust, Transparency and Accountability Act" href="https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-57" target="_blank"><em>Bill 57, Restoring Trust, Transparency and Accountability Act</em></a><br><em> </em><a title="Bill 66, Restoring Ontario's Competitiveness Act" href="https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-66" target="_blank"><em>Bill 66, Restoring Ontario's Competitiveness Act</em></a></p><h3>Finance</h3><p> Updates were provided on the followings issues related to education funding:</p><p><em><strong>2019-20 Education Funding Consultation</strong></em><br>OPSBA is preparing a document for submission to the Ministry of Education outlining current funding pressures being experienced by school boards. Board of Director members were consulted during the meeting. Consultation responses are due by mid-December.</p><p><em><strong>Education Development Charges</strong></em><br>On Oct. 15, 2018, the government announced its intention to undertake a review of the Education Development Charges (EDC) policy framework, as well as recent amendments to <a title="O. Reg. 20/98" href="https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/980020" target="_blank">O. Reg. 20/98</a>: Education Development Charges – General. The amendments include four key elements:<br></p><ul><li>Maintain EDC rates at the levels in existing by-laws as of Aug. 31, 2018</li><li>Limit the ability of school boards to change areas in their by-laws that are subject to EDCs</li><li>Restrict additional school boards from becoming eligible to pass a new EDC by-law</li><li>Streamline some of the requirements to be included in the required background study.<br></li></ul><div><br>OPSBA staff are working with senior business officials to identify and collect specific data regarding the impact of the EDC freeze.</div><p><em><strong>Benefits Technical Advisory Committee</strong></em><br> OPSBA staff have been informed that the work of this group has been discontinued.</p><p>A summary of B and SB memoranda is available on <a title="B & SB Memoranda" href="/advocacy-and-action/education-funding/b-sb-memoranda">the OPSBA website.</a></p><h3>Indigenous Education</h3><p><strong><em> </em></strong>Elaine Johnston, Chair of OPSBA's Indigenous Trustees' Council (ITC) and the First Nations Director on the OPSBA board, delivered an update on Indigenous Education. The ITC has not met since the last OPSBA Board of Directors meeting but will meet at the OPSBA Public Education Symposium in January 2019. The <a href="/events-and-publications/agm-program">National Trustees' Gathering on Indigenous Education</a> will be happening in Toronto on July 3. A brief discussion regarding the creation of Indigenous Student Trustees occurred.<br></p><h3>Communications and Media Relations</h3><p> Updates on recent OPSBA communications issues were provided. There has been some media activity involving OPSBA since the September Board of Directors meeting, which can be found on the <a title="OPSBA in the Media" href="/Media%20Desk/opsba-in-the-media">OPSBA website</a>.<span style="text-decoration:underline;"> </span></p><p>OPSBA released a <a title="media statement regarding seat belts" href="/Media%20Desk/Pages/OPSBA-statement-regarding-seat-belts-on-school-buses.aspx">media statement regarding seat belts</a> on school buses on Oct. 15.<br><br> Communications support was also provided for issues and projects including:</p><div><ul><li>The 2018 Provincial <a title="Fall Economic Statement" href="https://www.fin.gov.on.ca/fallstatement/2018/index.html" target="_blank">Fall Economic Statement</a><br></li><li>Completion of OPSBA's <a title="OPSBA Key Work" href="/events-and-publications/key-work">2018-2019 Key Work document</a><br></li><li>The launch of Education Today's Fall <a title="ET fall 2018 online issue" href="/Education%20Today/current-issue" target="_blank">2018 online issue</a> on Nov. 6<br></li><li>Planning for Prosperity – the Government's September 2018 online public consultation<br></li><li><a title="2019 Public Education Symposium" href="/events-and-publications/public-education-symposium">The 2019 Public Education Symposium</a><br></li><li><a title="Auditor General's 2018 Annual Report" href="http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/content/annualreports/arbyyear/ar2018.html" target="_blank">The Auditor General's 2018 Annual Report</a><br></li></ul> </div><h3>2018 Municipal and School Board Elections Overview</h3><p><strong><em> </em></strong>Initiatives and analysis that took place related to the 2018 Municipal and School Board Elections included:</p><div><ul><li>Collection of data regarding the 317 elected and acclaimed public school trustee positions<br></li><li>On behalf of the four school board/trustee associations, the Ontario Education Services Corporation (OESC) partnered with the Ministry of Education to produce <a title="bilingual election resources" href="http://elections.ontarioschooltrustees.org/ResourceToolKit/Guides.aspx" target="_blank">a series of bilingual election resources</a> to support trustee candidates and communities, to promote the role of school board trustee and encourage voter interest and participation in the 2018 school board elections. <br></li><li><a title="Why I Run – Trustee Video" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBU83Byn17U" target="_blank">Why I Run – Trustee Video</a><br></li><li>Election resources media outreach and Twitter campaign<br></li><li>2018-2022 Term of Office – OPSBA's Guide to Good Governance 2018-2022, school trustee exit interview survey<br></li></ul> </div><h3>Program Policy Update</h3><p> A summary of Ministry meetings, workgroups and program-related announcements was provided. Information shared included updates on the following:<br><em> </em><br><em><strong>EQAO</strong></em><br><em> </em>The first meeting of the EQAO Advisory Committee was held on Nov. 15, 2018. A number of the recommended changes to the accommodation and assessment practices have previously been identified at varying times by OPSBA through consultation processes and also contained in the OPSBA <a title="EQAO and Large Scale Testing Discussion Paper" href="/OUR%20PRIORITIES/Pages/EQAO-and-Large-Scale-Testing.aspx" target="_blank">EQAO and Large Scale Testing Discussion Paper</a>. One notable suggestion by EQAO is to adjust the number of students included in assessment reports by subtracting from the denominator those students who are unable to engage with the curriculum for a variety of reasons. This "denominator" in the EQAO formula calculation represents the total number of students who have taken the assessment. School boards have been asking for this for some time.  </p><p><em><strong>Ontario Coalition for Children and Youth Mental Health</strong></em><br><em> </em>The Coalition met on Sept. 25 and Nov. 20, 2018, to discuss government engagement strategies and the necessity to reintroduce the group to the new government. Many members reported on the transfer of mental health supports and services being transferred to the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care as of April 2019. It is anticipated that there will be significant changes and efficiencies as a result of this transfer.</p><p>The Summit on Children and Youth Mental Health has been confirmed for April 16 and 17, 2020 at the Beanfield Centre. A new format will provide more opportunities for networking and delving deeper into topics that are evidence-based.</p><p><em><strong>OACAS Public Engagement, Advocacy and Stakeholder Engagement Strategic Council</strong></em><br><em> </em>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. The first meeting was held on Oct. 29, 2018. The child welfare sector is experiencing the same challenges with government engagement and a significant portion of the meeting explored strategies and ways of reframing priorities.</p><p><em><strong>FSL Labour Market Partnership Project (FSL-LMPC)</strong></em><br><em> </em>OPSBA is leading a labour market partnership project, <a title="French as a Second Language" href="/advocacy-and-action/the-whole-child-student-well-being/fsl">Meeting Labour Market Needs for French as a Second Language Instruction in Ontario</a>, for English and Catholic public school boards. This is a three year initiative and the ultimate goal of this project is to uncover workable solutions to the current worsening imbalance between the growing demand province-wide for qualified French language teachers and support staff and the related supply pipeline.  </p><p><em><strong>French as a Second Language</strong></em><br><em> </em>The bilateral agreement discussions that determine the amount of federal Department of Canadian Heritage funding to support FSL programs in schools are still in process.  After 10 years, there has been no increase in dollar levels and every effort is being made to increase these levels.  These monies flow through the Grants for Student Needs to school boards. </p><p>Given the national concern regarding attracting and retaining language proficient FSL teachers, the Department of Canadian Heritage will be providing supplemental funding to support applications for initiatives and research to increase the supply pipeline. OPSBA and the FSL-LMPC are working with the Ministry of Education to leverage the labour market research to expand pilot and high leverage strategies regarding recruitment and retention.</p><p><em><strong>Consultation: Education in Ontario</strong></em><br><em> </em>The consultation process for this review of curriculum, which has involved town hall call-ins, online and other forms of engagement, concludes on Dec. 15, 2018.  OPSBA will be making a full submission.</p><p>Based on previous OPSBA positions and a consultation process with the Education Program and Policy Development Work Teams, OPSBA developed a <a title="OPSBA consultation resource document" href="/SiteCollectionDocuments/Final%20Point%20Form%20Version-Government%20Consultation%20Nov%201,%202018.pdf" target="_blank">consultation resource document</a>.​</p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=301
Legislative Update, December 10, 2018http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=300Legislative Update, December 10, 20182018-12-10T14:11:47Z<div class="ExternalClass98CF1930D98141A6834043C9A29F863B"><p><img class="ms-rtePosition-2" src="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/PublishingImages/Pink_Palace_Toronto_2010.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:300px;height:200px;" />MPPs rose December 6, marking the end of the fall session. On December 7, the government issued a <a title="Government news release" href="https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2018/12/ontarios-government-for-the-people-continues-fight-to-make-life-easier-for-ontarians-in-busy-fall-se.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=m" target="_blank">news release</a> outlining the results of their accomplishments. The House is recessed for the winter break and is scheduled to return February 19, 2019, after Family Day. <br></p><h3>Bill 66, <em>Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act</em> </h3><p>On December 6, Economic Development Minister Todd Smith introduced Bill 66, <em>Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act</em>. The omnibus bill includes changes to 12 different ministries and proposes to change business regulations relating to toxic chemicals, employment standards, child care caps, safety in assembly plants, pawnbrokers, food safety testing, wireless cellphone contracts, agriculture, water extraction permits, wastewater treatment, private career colleges and more. OPSBA will review the proposed changes to the <em>Education Act</em> and the <em>Child Care and Early Years Act</em>. </p><p><a title="Government news release" href="https://news.ontario.ca/medg/en/2018/12/ontarios-government-for-the-people-cutting-red-tape-to-help-create-jobs.html" target="_blank">Government News Release, "Ontario's Government for the People Cutting Red Tape to Help Create Jobs"</a> <br></p><p><a title="Backgrounder" href="https://news.ontario.ca/medg/en/2018/12/proposed-changes-to-create-jobs-and-reduce-regulatory-burden-in-specific-sectors.html" target="_blank">Backgrounder</a> </p><h3>Bill 57, <em>Restoring Trust, Transparency and Accountability Act, 2018</em></h3><p>On November 15,  Finance Minister Vic Fedeli <span lang="EN-US">delivered the provincial government’s <a title="Fall Economic Statement" href="https://www.fin.gov.on.ca/fallstatement/2018/fes2018-en.pdf" target="_blank">Fall Economic Statement</a>, which outlines the government’s plans for spending and fiscal restraint and was the government’s </span>first major financial update. The supporting legislation, Bill 57, was also introduced that day and includes 45 Schedules – changes or amendments to various Acts. Part of the announcement included the repealing of the <em>Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth Act, 2007</em> and transferring the Advocate’s oversight to the Office of the Ombudsman. It also proposes to raise the number of seats required for official party status with the new threshold being 10 per cent of the House, or 12 seats out of 124.<br><strong>Current Status:</strong> Royal Assent was granted on December 6, 2018. </p><h3>Bill 56, <em>Keeping Students Safe on School Buses Act</em></h3><p>This bill was introduced on November 14 by Liberal education critic Kathleen Wynne. If passed, the legislation would make seat belts mandatory on forward-facing school bus seats by 2020.<br><strong>Current Status:</strong> Referred to the Standing Committee on Social Policy. </p><h3>Bill 48, <em>Safe and Supportive Classrooms Act</em></h3><p>On October 25, Minister of Education Lisa Thompson introduced Bill 48, <em>Safe and Supportive Classrooms Act</em>. The legislation, if passed, would require teachers to pass a math test before getting licensed and would revoke teaching certificates from teachers disciplined by the profession’s regulatory body for committing sexual abuse against a student or child. The Ministry also issued a separate news release, "<a title="Government news release" href="https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2018/10/ontario-supporting-students-with-special-needs.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=m" target="_blank">Ontario Supporting Students with Special Needs</a>" about the section in the proposed legislation concerning service animals. It indicates there will be an opportunity for stakeholders to “provide input on the policy directive that would be issued to boards.” OPSBA will be sending in a submission regarding this legislation and our support for a consistent policy approach across the province. We have surveyed our boards and many have either a policy or procedure in place while others review on a case-by-case basis.<br><strong>Current Status:</strong> Second Reading </p><h3>Bill 47, <em>Making Ontario Open for Business Act</em></h3><p>This bill is the government’s labour legislation and it was introduced on October 23 by Todd Smith, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. OPSBA sent a brief submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs on November 14, 2018. Our submission focused on the changes to the apprenticeship ratio and our advocacy for skilled trades. Royal Assent was granted on November 21, 2018.    </p><h3>Current Party Standings – 124 seats<br></h3><ul><li>Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario - 74</li><li>New Democratic Party of Ontario - 40</li><li>Ontario Liberal Party - 7</li><li>Green Party of Ontario - 1</li><li>Independent - 2 </li></ul><h3>2019-2020 Education Funding Engagement Guide </h3><p>The Ministry of Education has released details regarding the 2019-2020 Education Funding Engagement Guide. The four areas identified by the ministry for efficiencies are: Efficient Price Setting, Outcomes-Based Funding, Accountability and Value-for-Money, and Other Education Funding Efficiencies. Our submission will focus on the feedback from school boards regarding funding priorities, pressures, and concerns. The deadline for responses is December 14, 2018. </p><h3>Pre-Budget Consultations</h3><p>Finance Minister Vic Fedeli is launching the government’s pre-budget consultation tour for the 2019 budget in North Bay on December 14. The Minister will travel across the province to gather input from the public and stakeholders on what the PC government’s first spring budget should include. The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs has announced additional dates to hold public hearings in Toronto on January 15 and 29, 2019; and in Dryden, Timmins, Ottawa, Sarnia, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Peterborough during the week of January 21 and on January 28, 2019. OPSBA has traditionally shared its Grants for Student Needs (GSN) submission with this committee. </p><h3>Provincial Education Reform Consultation </h3><p> OPSBA has shared with its members a resource document intended to help individuals and school boards when completing the online submission and/or the online survey and participating in the telephone town hall meetings. The points of information under each topic include evidence-based information and past position statements. OPSBA will be sending in a submission to meet the deadline of December 15, 2018.​</p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=300
OPSBA in the Media, December 2018http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=299OPSBA in the Media, December 20182019-01-07T14:18:26Z<div class="ExternalClassE89AB1C0C57B486A86064BBA531558CB"><p><img class="ms-rtePosition-1" src="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/PublishingImages/TheNews.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:300px;height:232px;" /><strong>Boards of education across the province learn of funding cuts after 4:30 pm on a Friday afternoon</strong><br><strong>Pepper Parr, Burlington Gazette, Dec. 18, 2018</strong><br>A Friday afternoon, days before schools close down the Christmas holiday, isn’t the time that senior people at the Halton District School Board have to expect to scramble and pow wow with the senior financial officer asking just what the document from the Ministry of Education means to how they are going to deal with a notice from the province that was skimpy on details.<br><a title="Boards of education across the province learn of funding cuts after 4:30 pm on a Friday afternoon" href="http://www.burlingtongazette.ca/boards-of-education-across-the-province-learn-of-funding-cuts-after-430-pm-on-a-friday-afternoon/" target="_blank">More</a> ...<br></p><p><strong>Ontario education cuts to hit vulnerable youth the most, students say</strong><br><strong>Kristin Rushowy, The Star, Dec. 17, 2018</strong><br>Ontario’s education minister calls them “responsible decisions” that were made following a detailed look at school board spending, but a provincial student group is warning that at-risk youth are taking the biggest hit in the government’s $25-million cut to specialized programs.<br><a title="Ontario education cuts to hit vulnerable youth the most, students say" href="https://www.thestar.com/politics/provincial/2018/12/17/ontario-education-cuts-to-hit-vulnerable-youth-the-most-students-say.html" target="_blank">More</a> ...<br></p><p><strong>'Tremendous' growth in French immersion at Durham Catholic schools, yet shortage of French teachers</strong><br><strong>Jillian Follert, DurhamRegion.com, Dec. 4, 2018</strong><br>DURHAM — Durham’s Catholic school board is seeing “tremendous” growth in its French immersion programs, with almost 1,000 more students enrolled this year compared with three years ago.</p><span style="text-align:left;color:#000000;text-transform:none;text-indent:0px;letter-spacing:normal;font-family:"open sans";font-size:16px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:400;text-decoration:none;word-spacing:0px;display:inline !important;white-space:normal;orphans:2;float:none;background-color:#ffffff;"> </span><p>A new report says the number of elementary French immersion students jumped from 1,677 for the 2015/2016 school year, to 2,561 this year.<br><a title="'Tremendous' growth in French immersion at Durham Catholic schools, yet shortage of French teachers" href="https://www.durhamregion.com/news-story/9061590--tremendous-growth-in-french-immersion-at-durham-catholic-schools-yet-shortage-of-french-teachers/" target="_blank">More</a> ...​</p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=299
Ministry of Education Update, November 2018http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=298Ministry of Education Update, November 20182018-11-27T19:53:13Z<div class="ExternalClass1C9C54690FB6453EBED8F08217429C2E"><p style="margin:0px 0px 10px;text-align:left;color:#444444;text-transform:none;line-height:28.8px;text-indent:0px;letter-spacing:normal;padding-top:15px;font-size:18px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:400;text-decoration:none;word-spacing:0px;white-space:normal;orphans:2;background-color:transparent;"><img class="ms-rtePosition-2" src="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/PublishingImages/GSNNewsRelease.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:300px;height:137px;" />Please see the following updated OPSBA summaries indicated below for information regarding Ministry of Education 2018 B and SB Memoranda.</p><h3 style="margin:0px;text-align:left;color:#262626;text-transform:none;line-height:29.02px;text-indent:0px;letter-spacing:normal;font-size:20.73px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:300;text-decoration:none;word-spacing:0px;white-space:normal;orphans:2;background-color:transparent;">OPSBA Summaries</h3><p style="margin:0px 0px 10px;text-align:left;color:#444444;text-transform:none;line-height:28.8px;text-indent:0px;letter-spacing:normal;padding-top:15px;font-size:18px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:400;text-decoration:none;word-spacing:0px;white-space:normal;orphans:2;background-color:transparent;"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#008ce9" style="outline:transparent 0px;color:#008ce9;text-decoration:underline;background-color:transparent;"><a title="Summary of 2018 B Memoranda" href="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/Documents/2018B_Memoranda.pdf" style="outline:0px;color:#008ce9;text-decoration:underline;background-color:transparent;">2018 B Memoranda</a></font></span> (funding policy, financial matters)</p><p style="margin:0px 0px 10px;text-align:left;color:#444444;text-transform:none;line-height:28.8px;text-indent:0px;letter-spacing:normal;padding-top:15px;font-size:18px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:400;text-decoration:none;word-spacing:0px;white-space:normal;orphans:2;background-color:transparent;"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#008ce9" style="outline:transparent 0px;color:#008ce9;text-decoration:underline;background-color:transparent;"><a title="Summary of 2018 SB Memoranda" href="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/Documents/2018SB_Memoranda.pdf" style="outline:0px;color:#008ce9;text-decoration:underline;background-color:transparent;">2018 SB Memoranda</a></font></span> (administrative information, clarification on financial matters)<br style="margin:0px;line-height:28.8px;padding-top:0px;"></p><p style="margin:0px 0px 10px;text-align:left;color:#444444;text-transform:none;line-height:28.8px;text-indent:0px;letter-spacing:normal;padding-top:15px;font-size:18px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:400;text-decoration:none;word-spacing:0px;white-space:normal;orphans:2;background-color:transparent;"><a title="Summary of 2017 B Memoranda" href="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/Documents/2017B_Memoranda.pdf" style="outline:0px;color:#008ce9;text-decoration:underline;background-color:transparent;"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#008ce9" style="outline:transparent 0px;color:#008ce9;text-decoration:underline;background-color:transparent;">2017 B Memoranda</font></span></a></p><p style="margin:0px 0px 10px;text-align:left;color:#444444;text-transform:none;line-height:28.8px;text-indent:0px;letter-spacing:normal;padding-top:15px;font-size:18px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:400;text-decoration:none;word-spacing:0px;white-space:normal;orphans:2;background-color:transparent;"><a title="Summary of 2017 SB Memoranda" href="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/Documents/2017SB_Memoranda.pdf" style="outline:0px;color:#008ce9;text-decoration:underline;background-color:transparent;"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#008ce9" style="outline:transparent 0px;color:#008ce9;text-decoration:underline;background-color:transparent;">2017 SB Memoranda</font></span></a></p><h3 style="margin:0px;text-align:left;color:#262626;text-transform:none;line-height:29.02px;text-indent:0px;letter-spacing:normal;font-size:20.73px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:300;text-decoration:none;word-spacing:0px;white-space:normal;orphans:2;background-color:transparent;">Ministry of Education Memoranda</h3><p style="margin:0px 0px 10px;text-align:left;color:#444444;text-transform:none;line-height:28.8px;text-indent:0px;letter-spacing:normal;padding-top:15px;font-size:18px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:400;text-decoration:none;word-spacing:0px;white-space:normal;orphans:2;background-color:transparent;"><a title="Ministry B and SB Memoranda" href="https://efis.fma.csc.gov.on.ca/faab/Memos.htm" target="_blank" style="outline:0px;color:#008ce9;text-decoration:underline;background-color:transparent;"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#008ce9" style="outline:transparent 0px;color:#008ce9;text-decoration:underline;background-color:transparent;">B and SB Memoranda</font></span></a>​</p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=298
CRA Webinars for Teachershttp://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=297CRA Webinars for Teachers2018-11-19T15:06:19Z<div class="ExternalClassEA3D4561ABBC4919A2AB28CBBD486B4C"><br><div style="text-align:center;"></div><h3><img class="ms-rtePosition-3" alt="CRA graphic.png" src="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/PublishingImages/Lists/Posts/Post/CRA%20graphic.png" style="margin:5px;" /></h3><h3>Teachers – sign up for a webinar to teach students about money and taxes </h3><p>The Canada Revenue Agency will is hosting a live and interactive national webinar to promote financial literacy to high school students in grades 11 and 12 this Thursday at 11 a.m. Help your students learn to make responsible economic and financial decisions today for a more prosperous tomorrow.</p><p>The topics covered will include:<br></p><ul><li>Responsible citizenship -- how paying your share contributes to society<br></li><li>Risks of not reporting all sources of income (underground economy)</li><li>How doing your taxes is the gateway to accessing credits and benefits <br></li></ul><p>This free webinar will be co-hosted by the following leading financial literacy organizations:</p><ul><li>Financial Consumer Agency of Canada</li><li>Canadian Bankers Association</li><li>Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada <br></li></ul><p>Teachers and students will have an opportunity to ask questions and get answers live throughout the webinar. </p><p>If you are a teacher interested in hosting this webinar for your students, please <a title="Registration - CRA webinar for teachers" href="https://www1.webcastcanada.ca/cra-arc/registration/11182eng.php" target="_blank" style="font-family:plantin, georgia, cambria, "times new roman", times, serif;font-size:18.0006px;">register now!</a><span style="font-family:plantin, georgia, cambria, "times new roman", times, serif;font-size:18.0006px;">​</span><br></p><p>English session<br></p><ul><li>Thursday, November 22, 2018 at 11:00 a.m., Eastern time<br><br></li></ul><div>French session</div><ul><li>Thursday, November 22, 2018 2:00 p.m., Eastern time<br></li></ul><div> <br></div><div>Duration<br></div><ul><li>About 45 minutes<br></li></ul><p><br></p></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=297
Legislative Update, November 19, 2018http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=296Legislative Update, November 19, 20182018-11-19T14:43:05Z<div class="ExternalClass1DF1B52020554080BD4824865F62E7EC"><p class="ExternalClass29798403F9D24FC5ACA70A5D51C128E4"><img class="ms-rtePosition-1" src="/OPSBA%20Connects%202/PublishingImages/Pink_Palace_Toronto_2010.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:300px;height:200px;" />The House is back following a constituency week break and MPPs are scheduled to meet for four more consecutive weeks before breaking for the end-of-year holidays. <br></p><h3 class="ExternalClass29798403F9D24FC5ACA70A5D51C128E4">2019-2020 Education Funding Engagement Guide </h3><p class="ExternalClass29798403F9D24FC5ACA70A5D51C128E4">The Ministry of Education has just released details regarding the 2019-2020 Education Funding Engagement Guide. The four areas identified by the ministry for efficiencies are: Efficient Price Setting, Outcomes-Based Funding, Accountability and Value-for-Money, and Other Education Funding Efficiencies. OPSBA will be connecting with member boards for their input and feedback and will work with the Education Program and Policy Development Work Teams on a submission for the Association. The deadline for responses is December 14, 2018.<br></p><p class="ExternalClass29798403F9D24FC5ACA70A5D51C128E4"><a title="Ministry invitation - 2019-20 education funding" href="/SiteCollectionDocuments/Invitation%20-2019-20%20Education%20Funding%20Engagements%20-%202018-11-16.pdf" target="_blank">Ministry invitation for input on 2019-20 education funding</a><br></p><p class="ExternalClass29798403F9D24FC5ACA70A5D51C128E4"><a title="2019-20 Education Funding Guide" href="/SiteCollectionDocuments/Education_Funding_Sector_Engagement_Guide_2019_20_(Nov%202018)_FINAL-AODA.pdf" target="_blank">2019-20 Education Funding Guide</a> <br><br></p><h3 class="ExternalClass29798403F9D24FC5ACA70A5D51C128E4">Bill 47, <em>Making Ontario Open for Business Act</em></h3><p class="ExternalClass29798403F9D24FC5ACA70A5D51C128E4">OPSBA sent a brief submission to the government’s labour legislation, Bill 47, <em>Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018</em>. Bill 47 was time allocated earlier in the week and the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs held public hearings in Toronto on November 15. Our submission focuses on the changes to the apprenticeship ratio and our advocacy for skilled trades. The Committee will conduct a clause-by-clause consideration of the bill on November 19, and is to report the bill to the House no later than November 20.</p><p class="ExternalClass29798403F9D24FC5ACA70A5D51C128E4"><a href="/SiteCollectionDocuments/OPSBASubmissionreBill47.pdf">OPSBA submission on Bill 47</a><br><br></p><h3 class="ExternalClass29798403F9D24FC5ACA70A5D51C128E4">Bill 48, <em>Safe and Supportive Classrooms Act</em></h3><p class="ExternalClass29798403F9D24FC5ACA70A5D51C128E4">On October 25, Minister of Education Lisa Thompson introduced Bill 48, <em>Safe and Supportive Classrooms Act</em>. The legislation, if passed, would require teachers to pass a math test before getting licensed and would revoke teaching certificates from teachers disciplined by the profession’s regulatory body for committing sexual abuse against a student or child. The Ministry also issued a separate news release <a title="Ministry news release - Bill 48" href="https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2018/10/ontario-supporting-students-with-special-needs.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=m" target="_blank">Ontario Supporting Students with Special Needs</a> about the section in the proposed legislation concerning service animals. It indicates there will be an opportunity for stakeholders to “provide input on the policy directive that would be issued to boards.” OPSBA will be sending in a submission regarding this legislation and our support for a consistent policy approach across the province. We have surveyed our boards and many have either a policy or procedure in place while others review on a case-by-case basis. The bill is currently at Second Reading Debate and should move to Committee next week. <br><br></p><h3 class="ExternalClass29798403F9D24FC5ACA70A5D51C128E4">Bill 56, <em>Keeping Students Safe on School Buses Act</em></h3><p class="ExternalClass29798403F9D24FC5ACA70A5D51C128E4">This bill was introduced on November 14 by Liberal education critic Kathleen Wynne. If passed, the legislation would make seat belts mandatory on forward-facing school bus seats by 2020. <br><br></p><h3 class="ExternalClass29798403F9D24FC5ACA70A5D51C128E4">Bill 36, <em>Cannabis Statute Law Amendment Act, 2018</em> - Regulations</h3><p class="ExternalClass29798403F9D24FC5ACA70A5D51C128E4">On November 15, the PC government released information about outstanding recreational cannabis regulations that includes banning retail shops within a minimum of 150 metres of schools, which the government says will help protect children. Hours of operation will be from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. The government has set a market concentration limit of 75 stores per operator “to prevent a high degree of market consolidation, promote opportunities for small businesses and promote investment in the cannabis retail sector.” Employees will undergo special training and all private cannabis retail storefronts must be “stand-alone stores only.” In order to get a licence, would-be operators will have to show their taxes are in good standing, and people will be prohibited from participating in the legal market if they have “an association with organized crime.” Retailers can start applying for licences at the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, which oversees and enforces the rules, on December 17, with bricks-and-mortar shops opening for business in April 2019. School boards will be receiving information from the Ministry of Education that includes a mapping of the schools in their jurisdiction. Boards will be asked to confirm school sites and a final map of school locations in Ontario will be shared with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario for their consideration when approving retail licenses. OPSBA continues to recommend school boards contact and communicate with their local municipalities about future retail locations and ultimate recommendations. Potential sites will be marked with a notification and members of the public will have 15 days to provide comment. </p><p class="ExternalClass29798403F9D24FC5ACA70A5D51C128E4">Bill 36 received Royal Assent on October 17. OPSBA did participate in a stakeholder consultation meeting regarding the “school buffer” regulation last month. </p><p class="ExternalClass29798403F9D24FC5ACA70A5D51C128E4">Here is the <a href="https://news.ontario.ca/mag/en/2018/11/ontario-establishes-strict-regulations-for-the-licensing-and-operation-of-private-cannabis-stores.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=m" title="government news release" target="_blank">government news release</a> regarding this regulation, which has yet to be formally filed. This should occur sometime this week.<br></p><p class="ExternalClass29798403F9D24FC5ACA70A5D51C128E4"><a title="OPSBA submission - bill 36" href="/SiteCollectionDocuments/OPSBASubmission_Bill36_CannabisStatuteLawAmendmentAct.pdf" target="_blank">OPSBA submission</a> re: Bill 36<br><br></p><h3 class="ExternalClass29798403F9D24FC5ACA70A5D51C128E4">Bill 57, <em>Restoring Trust, Transparency and Accountability Act, 2018</em></h3><p class="ExternalClass29798403F9D24FC5ACA70A5D51C128E4">On November 15,  Finance Minister Vic Fedeli <span lang="EN-US">delivered the provincial government’s <a title="Fall Economic Statement" href="https://www.fin.gov.on.ca/fallstatement/2018/fes2018-en.pdf" target="_blank">Fall Economic Statement</a>, which outlines the government’s plans for spending and fiscal restraint and is the </span>Tories’ first major financial update. The supporting legislation, Bill 57, was also introduced and includes 45 Schedules – changes or amendments to various Acts. OPSBA will be reviewing the contents of this omnibus legislation. Part of the announcement included the repealing of the <em>Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth Act, 2007</em> and transferring the oversight to the Office of the Ombudsman. </p><p class="ExternalClass29798403F9D24FC5ACA70A5D51C128E4"><a title="A Plan for the People, government news release" href="https://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2018/11/a-plan-for-the-people.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=p" target="_blank">A Plan for the People, government news release</a> </p><p class="ExternalClass29798403F9D24FC5ACA70A5D51C128E4"><a title="OPSBA overview - Bill 57" href="/SiteCollectionDocuments/OPSBAReview_2018FallEconomicStatement.pdf">OPSBA overview</a> of Bill 57 </p><p class="ExternalClass29798403F9D24FC5ACA70A5D51C128E4"><strong><em>Don’t Forget:</em> Provincial Education Reform Consultation – OPSBA Consultation Resource and Additional Telephone Town Halls</strong></p><p class="ExternalClass29798403F9D24FC5ACA70A5D51C128E4">OPSBA has shared with its members a resource document intended to help individuals and school boards when completing the online submission and/or the online survey and participating in the telephone town hall meetings. The points of information under each topic include evidence-based information and past position statements. The deadline for the consultation process is December 15, 2018. </p><p class="ExternalClass29798403F9D24FC5ACA70A5D51C128E4"><a title="OPSBA resource document" href="/SiteCollectionDocuments/Final%20Point%20Form%20Version-Government%20Consultation%20Nov%201,%202018.pdf">OPSBA resource document</a> </p><p class="ExternalClass29798403F9D24FC5ACA70A5D51C128E4">Additional consultation details can be found at: <a href="https://www.ontario.ca/page/for-the-parents">https://www.ontario.ca/page/for-the-parents</a>. </p><h3 class="ExternalClass29798403F9D24FC5ACA70A5D51C128E4">Other Information </h3><div class="ExternalClass29798403F9D24FC5ACA70A5D51C128E4"><ul><li><span lang="EN-US"><a href="/SiteCollectionDocuments/OPSBA%202018%20Preliminary%20Post%20Election%20Data.pdf">Updated overview of OPSBA School Board Election results</a> </span></li><li>The PCs will raise the number of seats required for official party status with the new threshold being 10 per cent of the House, or 12 seats out of 124. Current Party Status:</li><ul><li>Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario - 75 </li><li>New Democratic Party of Ontario - 40 </li><li>Ontario Liberal Party - 7  </li><li>Green Party of Ontario - 1 </li><li>Independent - 1​</li></ul></ul></div></div>http://www.opsba.org/OPSBA Connects 2/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=296

Jan 11
New Privacy Guide for Ontario Schools released

The front cover of the IPC's Guide to Privacy and Access to Information in Ontario SchoolsThe Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) has produced A Guide to Privacy and Access to Information in Ontario Schools. This guide describes the obligations and rights that school boards, principals, teachers and administrators have under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA)

IPC has also developed a series of fact sheets, including:

For a hard copy of the guide, email your request with quantities to info@ipc.on.ca.​

Jan 11
Legislative Update, January 11, 2019

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario remains adjourned for winter recess and returns on February 19, 2019. 

On January 7, the Premier sent a letter to all Ontario Public Service staff with a message focusing on jobs, health care and fiscal balance. The Premier outlined his administration’s top three “emerging priorities” in a letter to more than 60,000 bureaucrats. He thanked the civil service for “providing consistent, high-quality, non-partisan professional advice as we implemented our ambitious plan.”  

PPM 9: Reporting of Children in Need of Protection – Revision

On January 8, ADM Denise Dwyer sent a memo regarding updates made to PPM 9 that reflect changes stemming from The Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017 which came into force on April 30, 2018. The updated PPM “summarizes the responsibilities of school boards with respect to the duty to report suspected abuses or neglect of children under the CYFSA.”

Policy/Program Memorandum No. 9 

Provincial Education Reform Consultation

On December 31, Education Minister Lisa Thompson issued the media release, “Ontario Government Concludes Largest Consultation on Education in Province's History.” The government has said they have received 72,000 submissions and details about next steps would be announced in the coming months.

OPSBA submission 

Ministry of Indigenous Affairs

On December 28, Minister of Indigenous Affairs Greg Rickford issued the media release, “Ontario Names Clifford Bull Special Advisor on Indigenous Affairs.” Mr. Bull is to advise the Minister “on economic and social and jurisdictional issues affecting Indigenous communities. He will also serve as a liaison on behalf of Premier Doug Ford and Minister Rickford with Indigenous communities.” 

Federal By-Elections

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced by-elections in Burnaby-South in B.C., Outremont in Quebec, and York-Simcoe in Ontario will occur on February 25. Queen’s Park alumnus and federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is bidding for a seat in the House of Commons via Burnaby. Electors in Outremont will pick a replacement for Singh’s predecessor, ex-NDP Leader Tom Mulcair. 

Office of the Ombudsman

In its December newsletter, the Ombudsman’s office listed their “TOP 10 HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR WORK IN 2018.” Included at number 6 was the following: 

"6. TEACHABLE MOMENTS: Our office reviewed nearly 900 complaints about school boards in fiscal 2017-2018, and helped several improve their practices, for example, how they communicate about student transportation or school closings. One formal investigation is pending, involving a school closure decision by the Near North District School Board. Complaints about universities and colleges are also on the rise. Read more in our Annual Report about early years to Grade 12 and about post-secondary education." 

The 2017-18 Annual Report being referred to was originally released last June.  At this year’s PES, there will be a session (Friday, January 25) conducted by the Ombudsman’s Office entitled, “The Ontario Ombudsman and School Boards - Learn how the Ontario Ombudsman resolves thousands of school board complaints through early resolution and referral, almost always without a formal investigation. Find out what to expect if the Ombudsman contacts your board, and how we work directly with boards to solve problems and improve school board practices and procedures.” 

Reminder: Pre-Budget Consultations

The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs continues to hold Pre-budget Consultations and public hearings allowing people and organizations a chance to tell the government what matters to them ahead of the government’s first spring budget. The list of dates are:

  • January 15 and 29 — Toronto
  • January 21 — Dryden
  • January 22 — Timmins
  • January 23 — Ottawa
  • January 24 — Sarnia
  • January 25 — Kitchener-Waterloo
  • January 28 — Peterborough

The deadline for written submissions is Tuesday, January 29, 2019. OPSBA will be sending in a submission based on our recent Education Funding/GSN document.​

Dec 20
Legislative Update, December 18, 2018

The House reconvened this week for four days to allow Labour Minister Laurie Scott to introduce Bill 67, Labour Relations Amendment Act (Protecting Ontario's Power Supply). The legislation is aimed at preventing a strike or lockout at Ontario Power Generation and sets out a mechanism for binding arbitration between OPG and the Power Workers' Union. The bill was time allocated and passed Third Reading this morning and received Royal Assent as well. The Legislature has now risen for winter recess with MPPs back on February 19, 2019. Please see below for an update on recent items...

Education Funding - 2019-2020 GSN and EPO

Earlier this week, OPSBA provided the Ministry of Education with our submission for the 2019-2020 Grants for Student Needs (GSN). Our submission was based on feedback received from the OPSBA Board of Directors at our regional meetings, input from senior staff, and input from our member boards through Senior Business Officials. It focuses on the needs and pressures facing member boards and also reflects the Association's overall priorities and the ongoing work of OPSBA's work teams.

Our submission follows last week's announcement regarding Education Program Other (EPO) Funding. OPSBA did issue a public statement and continues to follow up with member board's about their individual and local impacts.

Click here for our 2019-2020 Grants for Student Needs (GSN) submission

Click here for our EPO statement

Pre-Budget Consultations

The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs will be holding Pre-budget Consultations/public hearings in the new year to give people and organizations a chance to tell the government what matters to them ahead of the government's first spring budget. The list of dates are:

  • January 15 and 29 — Toronto
  • January 21 — Dryden
  • January 22 —Timmins
  • January 23 — Ottawa
  • January 24 — Sarnia
  • January 25 — Kitchener-Waterloo
  • January 28 — Peterborough

Deadlines:

Monday, January 7, 2019 – for those wishing to be considered to make an oral presentation to the Committee on January 15, 2019.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 – for those wishing to be considered to make an oral presentation to the Committee during the week of January 21, on January 28, or on January 29, 2019.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 – for those who wish to send a written submission.  

The clerk, Timothy Bryan, can be reached at: comm-financeaffairs@ola.org

Provincial Education Reform Consultation

Last week OPSBA shared with the Ministry of Education our submission to the government's Consultation: Education in Ontario. In the new year, we will follow up with the ministry as to next steps and how the consolidated feedback will be shared with stakeholders and the public.

Click here for our submission

Bill 36, Cannabis Statute Law Amendment Act, 2018

On December 13, Attorney General Caroline Mulroney and Minister of Finance Vic Fedeli announced changes are being made to the licensing process for recreational retail cannabis stores in Ontario. The province will only issue up to 25 licences for retail cannabis shops to start when they open for business in April 2019, citing concerns over national supply shortages. Municipalities have until January 22, 2019, to opt out of having stores in their communities.

Click here for the government news release

Click here for additional information from the province's cannabis regulator, the Alcohol and Gaming Corporation (AGCO)

DON'T FORGET! – OPSBA's 2019 Public Education Symposium (PES)

Registration is now open for PES, which occurs January 24 to 26, 2019. Keynote speakers include: Michael "Pinball" Clemons and Don Drummond.

Click here for more information


Dec 10
Public Education Symposium 2019

January 24 to 26

Online Registration

Full Program
A new workshop has been added on Friday at 3:00 p.m. titled, "The Ontario Ombudsman and School Boards."  Attendees will be able to choose this workshop on site.

Hotel Reservations – Hotel cut-off date was Monday, January 7.
Additional hotel information is located at the bottom of this post.

OPSBA's 2019 Public Education Symposium (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 SPEAKERS:
Thursday, January 24, 7:30 p.m.:  Minister of Education

Thursday, January 24:  DON DRUMMOND, Adjunct Professor, School of Policy Studies, Queen's University
"Educating in a World Where Education is Everything"
Consensus is building that education is the answer to many of societies' goals including stronger economic growth, less poverty and better health outcomes.  These aspirations will be on a collision course with constrained public resources. Better ways of delivering education will be required but ideology too often prevails over evidence in that dialogue.

Friday, January 25:  MICHAEL "PINBALL" CLEMONS
"The Importance of Teamwork"
Few people exemplify the qualities of personal excellence, teamwork, community leadership, and overcoming the odds better than CFL legend Michael "Pinball" Clemons. With boundless energy Pinball's talk centres on the potential for each of us to achieve anything we set our minds to.

PLENARY SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS with time for discussion and Q. & A.

  • Parliamentary Procedures– both Basic and Advanced
  • Labour Relations – Collective Agreements Are Expiring : What's Next?
  • Trust with Respectful Oversight:  What does an effective relationship look like between the Board of Trustees and Administration?
  • Role of the Trustee, Role of the Chair, Relationships within School Boards
  • Everything a Trustee needs to know about Best Practices for Board Meetings; Conflict Resolution and the Purpose of Code of Conduct; Requests for Trustee Emails and complying with privacy legislation.
  • Current Issues and Hot Topics in Education – Panel presentation
  • Trustees and Their Boards – The Legal Framework
  • Reconciliation in Education:  The Role of the Indigenous Trustee
  • What Does OPSBA Do for You?  How can you get involved?  Professional Development Modules and Government Legislation; Special Education; Mental Health
  • ***  NEW workshop: The Ontario Ombudsman and School Boards ***


Additional Hotel Information

The room block is sold out. We’ve been able to secure a rate of $261.99 (single/double) in case people still require accommodation. Please contact the hotel directly for reservations.

Book online
OR
Telephone: 1-888-627-7175 (reservations centre). Please quote the group name "OPSBA Public Education Symposium 2019" or the group code "OA30AB" in order to receive the preferred rate. After this deadline, rooms will be available on a space-available basis only.​

Dec 10
OPSBA Board of Directors Meeting – December 7 and 8, 2018

Please note – the deadline for securing a hotel room at the Sheraton Centre for the Public Education Symposium is Jan. 7, 2019.

The OPSBA Board of Directors held a meeting on Dec. 7 and 8, 2018, in Toronto. Elaine Johnston, Chair of OPSBA's Indigenous Trustees' Council (ITC) and OPSBA's First Nations Director, 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.

Ontario's Minister of Education Lisa Thompson joined the Board of Directors on the evening of Dec. 7. The Minister delivered remarks and participated in a Q&A session.

Education policy and program issues that were discussed in public session at the meeting are summarized below.

Legislative and Government Relations

MPPs rose for Winter Recess on Dec. 6, 2018, and will return after Family Day on Feb. 19, 2019. Members received updates on several pieces of legislation including:

Bill 36, Cannabis Statute Law Amendment Act
Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act
Bill 48, Safe and Supportive Classrooms Act
Bill 56, Keeping Students Safe on School Buses Act
Bill 57, Restoring Trust, Transparency and Accountability Act
Bill 66, Restoring Ontario's Competitiveness Act

Finance

Updates were provided on the followings issues related to education funding:

2019-20 Education Funding Consultation
OPSBA is preparing a document for submission to the Ministry of Education outlining current funding pressures being experienced by school boards. Board of Director members were consulted during the meeting. Consultation responses are due by mid-December.

Education Development Charges
On Oct. 15, 2018, the government announced its intention to undertake a review of the Education Development Charges (EDC) policy framework, as well as recent amendments to O. Reg. 20/98: Education Development Charges – General. The amendments include four key elements:

  • Maintain EDC rates at the levels in existing by-laws as of Aug. 31, 2018
  • Limit the ability of school boards to change areas in their by-laws that are subject to EDCs
  • Restrict additional school boards from becoming eligible to pass a new EDC by-law
  • Streamline some of the requirements to be included in the required background study.

OPSBA staff are working with senior business officials to identify and collect specific data regarding the impact of the EDC freeze.

Benefits Technical Advisory Committee
OPSBA staff have been informed that the work of this group has been discontinued.

A summary of B and SB memoranda is available on the OPSBA website.

Indigenous Education

Elaine Johnston, Chair of OPSBA's Indigenous Trustees' Council (ITC) and the First Nations Director on the OPSBA board, delivered an update on Indigenous Education. The ITC has not met since the last OPSBA Board of Directors meeting but will meet at the OPSBA Public Education Symposium in January 2019. The National Trustees' Gathering on Indigenous Education will be happening in Toronto on July 3. A brief discussion regarding the creation of Indigenous Student Trustees occurred.

Communications and Media Relations

Updates on recent OPSBA communications issues were provided. There has been some media activity involving OPSBA since the September Board of Directors meeting, which can be found on the OPSBA website.

OPSBA released a media statement regarding seat belts on school buses on Oct. 15.

Communications support was also provided for issues and projects including:

 

2018 Municipal and School Board Elections Overview

Initiatives and analysis that took place related to the 2018 Municipal and School Board Elections included:

  • Collection of data regarding the 317 elected and acclaimed public school trustee positions
  • On behalf of the four school board/trustee associations, the Ontario Education Services Corporation (OESC) partnered with the Ministry of Education to produce a series of bilingual election resources to support trustee candidates and communities, to promote the role of school board trustee and encourage voter interest and participation in the 2018 school board elections.
  • Why I Run – Trustee Video
  • Election resources media outreach and Twitter campaign
  • 2018-2022 Term of Office – OPSBA's Guide to Good Governance 2018-2022, school trustee exit interview survey
 

Program Policy Update

A summary of Ministry meetings, workgroups and program-related announcements was provided. Information shared included updates on the following:

EQAO
The first meeting of the EQAO Advisory Committee was held on Nov. 15, 2018. A number of the recommended changes to the accommodation and assessment practices have previously been identified at varying times by OPSBA through consultation processes and also contained in the OPSBA EQAO and Large Scale Testing Discussion Paper. One notable suggestion by EQAO is to adjust the number of students included in assessment reports by subtracting from the denominator those students who are unable to engage with the curriculum for a variety of reasons. This "denominator" in the EQAO formula calculation represents the total number of students who have taken the assessment. School boards have been asking for this for some time. 

Ontario Coalition for Children and Youth Mental Health
The Coalition met on Sept. 25 and Nov. 20, 2018, to discuss government engagement strategies and the necessity to reintroduce the group to the new government. Many members reported on the transfer of mental health supports and services being transferred to the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care as of April 2019. It is anticipated that there will be significant changes and efficiencies as a result of this transfer.

The Summit on Children and Youth Mental Health has been confirmed for April 16 and 17, 2020 at the Beanfield Centre. A new format will provide more opportunities for networking and delving deeper into topics that are evidence-based.

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. The first meeting was held on Oct. 29, 2018. The child welfare sector is experiencing the same challenges with government engagement and a significant portion of the meeting explored strategies and ways of reframing priorities.

FSL Labour Market Partnership Project (FSL-LMPC)
OPSBA is leading a labour market partnership project, Meeting Labour Market Needs for French as a Second Language Instruction in Ontario, for English and Catholic public school boards. This is a three year initiative and the ultimate goal of this project is to uncover workable solutions to the current worsening imbalance between the growing demand province-wide for qualified French language teachers and support staff and the related supply pipeline. 

French as a Second Language
The bilateral agreement discussions that determine the amount of federal Department of Canadian Heritage funding to support FSL programs in schools are still in process.  After 10 years, there has been no increase in dollar levels and every effort is being made to increase these levels.  These monies flow through the Grants for Student Needs to school boards.

Given the national concern regarding attracting and retaining language proficient FSL teachers, the Department of Canadian Heritage will be providing supplemental funding to support applications for initiatives and research to increase the supply pipeline. OPSBA and the FSL-LMPC are working with the Ministry of Education to leverage the labour market research to expand pilot and high leverage strategies regarding recruitment and retention.

Consultation: Education in Ontario
The consultation process for this review of curriculum, which has involved town hall call-ins, online and other forms of engagement, concludes on Dec. 15, 2018.  OPSBA will be making a full submission.

Based on previous OPSBA positions and a consultation process with the Education Program and Policy Development Work Teams, OPSBA developed a consultation resource document.​

Dec 10
Legislative Update, December 10, 2018

MPPs rose December 6, marking the end of the fall session. On December 7, the government issued a news release outlining the results of their accomplishments. The House is recessed for the winter break and is scheduled to return February 19, 2019, after Family Day. 

Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act

On December 6, Economic Development Minister Todd Smith introduced Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act. The omnibus bill includes changes to 12 different ministries and proposes to change business regulations relating to toxic chemicals, employment standards, child care caps, safety in assembly plants, pawnbrokers, food safety testing, wireless cellphone contracts, agriculture, water extraction permits, wastewater treatment, private career colleges and more. OPSBA will review the proposed changes to the Education Act and the Child Care and Early Years Act

Government News Release, "Ontario's Government for the People Cutting Red Tape to Help Create Jobs" 

Backgrounder 

Bill 57, Restoring Trust, Transparency and Accountability Act, 2018

On November 15,  Finance Minister Vic Fedeli delivered the provincial government’s Fall Economic Statement, which outlines the government’s plans for spending and fiscal restraint and was the government’s first major financial update. The supporting legislation, Bill 57, was also introduced that day and includes 45 Schedules – changes or amendments to various Acts. Part of the announcement included the repealing of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth Act, 2007 and transferring the Advocate’s oversight to the Office of the Ombudsman. It also proposes to raise the number of seats required for official party status with the new threshold being 10 per cent of the House, or 12 seats out of 124.
Current Status: Royal Assent was granted on December 6, 2018. 

Bill 56, Keeping Students Safe on School Buses Act

This bill was introduced on November 14 by Liberal education critic Kathleen Wynne. If passed, the legislation would make seat belts mandatory on forward-facing school bus seats by 2020.
Current Status: Referred to the Standing Committee on Social Policy. 

Bill 48, Safe and Supportive Classrooms Act

On October 25, Minister of Education Lisa Thompson introduced Bill 48, Safe and Supportive Classrooms Act. The legislation, if passed, would require teachers to pass a math test before getting licensed and would revoke teaching certificates from teachers disciplined by the profession’s regulatory body for committing sexual abuse against a student or child. The Ministry also issued a separate news release, "Ontario Supporting Students with Special Needs" about the section in the proposed legislation concerning service animals. It indicates there will be an opportunity for stakeholders to “provide input on the policy directive that would be issued to boards.” OPSBA will be sending in a submission regarding this legislation and our support for a consistent policy approach across the province. We have surveyed our boards and many have either a policy or procedure in place while others review on a case-by-case basis.
Current Status: Second Reading 

Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act

This bill is the government’s labour legislation and it was introduced on October 23 by Todd Smith, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. OPSBA sent a brief submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs on November 14, 2018. Our submission focused on the changes to the apprenticeship ratio and our advocacy for skilled trades. Royal Assent was granted on November 21, 2018.    

Current Party Standings – 124 seats

  • Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario - 74
  • New Democratic Party of Ontario - 40
  • Ontario Liberal Party - 7
  • Green Party of Ontario - 1
  • Independent - 2 

2019-2020 Education Funding Engagement Guide

The Ministry of Education has released details regarding the 2019-2020 Education Funding Engagement Guide. The four areas identified by the ministry for efficiencies are: Efficient Price Setting, Outcomes-Based Funding, Accountability and Value-for-Money, and Other Education Funding Efficiencies. Our submission will focus on the feedback from school boards regarding funding priorities, pressures, and concerns. The deadline for responses is December 14, 2018. 

Pre-Budget Consultations

Finance Minister Vic Fedeli is launching the government’s pre-budget consultation tour for the 2019 budget in North Bay on December 14. The Minister will travel across the province to gather input from the public and stakeholders on what the PC government’s first spring budget should include. The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs has announced additional dates to hold public hearings in Toronto on January 15 and 29, 2019; and in Dryden, Timmins, Ottawa, Sarnia, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Peterborough during the week of January 21 and on January 28, 2019. OPSBA has traditionally shared its Grants for Student Needs (GSN) submission with this committee. 

Provincial Education Reform Consultation

OPSBA has shared with its members a resource document intended to help individuals and school boards when completing the online submission and/or the online survey and participating in the telephone town hall meetings. The points of information under each topic include evidence-based information and past position statements. OPSBA will be sending in a submission to meet the deadline of December 15, 2018.​

Dec 05
OPSBA in the Media, December 2018

Boards of education across the province learn of funding cuts after 4:30 pm on a Friday afternoon
Pepper Parr, Burlington Gazette, Dec. 18, 2018
A Friday afternoon, days before schools close down the Christmas holiday, isn’t the time that senior people at the Halton District School Board have to expect to scramble and pow wow with the senior financial officer asking just what the document from the Ministry of Education means to how they are going to deal with a notice from the province that was skimpy on details.
More ...

Ontario education cuts to hit vulnerable youth the most, students say
Kristin Rushowy, The Star, Dec. 17, 2018
Ontario’s education minister calls them “responsible decisions” that were made following a detailed look at school board spending, but a provincial student group is warning that at-risk youth are taking the biggest hit in the government’s $25-million cut to specialized programs.
More ...

'Tremendous' growth in French immersion at Durham Catholic schools, yet shortage of French teachers
Jillian Follert, DurhamRegion.com, Dec. 4, 2018
DURHAM — Durham’s Catholic school board is seeing “tremendous” growth in its French immersion programs, with almost 1,000 more students enrolled this year compared with three years ago.

A new report says the number of elementary French immersion students jumped from 1,677 for the 2015/2016 school year, to 2,561 this year.
More ...​

Nov 27
Ministry of Education Update, November 2018

Please see the following updated OPSBA summaries indicated below for information regarding Ministry of Education 2018 B and SB Memoranda.

OPSBA Summaries

2018 B Memoranda (funding policy, financial matters)

2018 SB Memoranda (administrative information, clarification on financial matters)

2017 B Memoranda

2017 SB Memoranda

Ministry of Education Memoranda

B and SB Memoranda

Nov 19
CRA Webinars for Teachers

CRA graphic.png

Teachers – sign up for a webinar to teach students about money and taxes 

The Canada Revenue Agency will is hosting a live and interactive national webinar to promote financial literacy to high school students in grades 11 and 12 this Thursday at 11 a.m. Help your students learn to make responsible economic and financial decisions today for a more prosperous tomorrow.

The topics covered will include:

  • Responsible citizenship -- how paying your share contributes to society
  • Risks of not reporting all sources of income (underground economy)
  • How doing your taxes is the gateway to accessing credits and benefits 

This free webinar will be co-hosted by the following leading financial literacy organizations:

  • Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
  • Canadian Bankers Association
  • Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada 

Teachers and students will have an opportunity to ask questions and get answers live throughout the webinar.

If you are a teacher interested in hosting this webinar for your students, please register now!

English session

  • Thursday, November 22, 2018 at 11:00 a.m., Eastern time

French session
  • Thursday, November 22, 2018 2:00 p.m., Eastern time
 
Duration
  • About 45 minutes


Nov 19
Legislative Update, November 19, 2018

The House is back following a constituency week break and MPPs are scheduled to meet for four more consecutive weeks before breaking for the end-of-year holidays. 

2019-2020 Education Funding Engagement Guide

The Ministry of Education has just released details regarding the 2019-2020 Education Funding Engagement Guide. The four areas identified by the ministry for efficiencies are: Efficient Price Setting, Outcomes-Based Funding, Accountability and Value-for-Money, and Other Education Funding Efficiencies. OPSBA will be connecting with member boards for their input and feedback and will work with the Education Program and Policy Development Work Teams on a submission for the Association. The deadline for responses is December 14, 2018.

Ministry invitation for input on 2019-20 education funding

2019-20 Education Funding Guide 

Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act

OPSBA sent a brief submission to the government’s labour legislation, Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018. Bill 47 was time allocated earlier in the week and the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs held public hearings in Toronto on November 15. Our submission focuses on the changes to the apprenticeship ratio and our advocacy for skilled trades. The Committee will conduct a clause-by-clause consideration of the bill on November 19, and is to report the bill to the House no later than November 20.

OPSBA submission on Bill 47

Bill 48, Safe and Supportive Classrooms Act

On October 25, Minister of Education Lisa Thompson introduced Bill 48, Safe and Supportive Classrooms Act. The legislation, if passed, would require teachers to pass a math test before getting licensed and would revoke teaching certificates from teachers disciplined by the profession’s regulatory body for committing sexual abuse against a student or child. The Ministry also issued a separate news release Ontario Supporting Students with Special Needs about the section in the proposed legislation concerning service animals. It indicates there will be an opportunity for stakeholders to “provide input on the policy directive that would be issued to boards.” OPSBA will be sending in a submission regarding this legislation and our support for a consistent policy approach across the province. We have surveyed our boards and many have either a policy or procedure in place while others review on a case-by-case basis. The bill is currently at Second Reading Debate and should move to Committee next week. 

Bill 56, Keeping Students Safe on School Buses Act

This bill was introduced on November 14 by Liberal education critic Kathleen Wynne. If passed, the legislation would make seat belts mandatory on forward-facing school bus seats by 2020. 

Bill 36, Cannabis Statute Law Amendment Act, 2018 - Regulations

On November 15, the PC government released information about outstanding recreational cannabis regulations that includes banning retail shops within a minimum of 150 metres of schools, which the government says will help protect children. Hours of operation will be from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. The government has set a market concentration limit of 75 stores per operator “to prevent a high degree of market consolidation, promote opportunities for small businesses and promote investment in the cannabis retail sector.” Employees will undergo special training and all private cannabis retail storefronts must be “stand-alone stores only.” In order to get a licence, would-be operators will have to show their taxes are in good standing, and people will be prohibited from participating in the legal market if they have “an association with organized crime.” Retailers can start applying for licences at the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, which oversees and enforces the rules, on December 17, with bricks-and-mortar shops opening for business in April 2019. School boards will be receiving information from the Ministry of Education that includes a mapping of the schools in their jurisdiction. Boards will be asked to confirm school sites and a final map of school locations in Ontario will be shared with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario for their consideration when approving retail licenses. OPSBA continues to recommend school boards contact and communicate with their local municipalities about future retail locations and ultimate recommendations. Potential sites will be marked with a notification and members of the public will have 15 days to provide comment. 

Bill 36 received Royal Assent on October 17. OPSBA did participate in a stakeholder consultation meeting regarding the “school buffer” regulation last month.

Here is the government news release regarding this regulation, which has yet to be formally filed. This should occur sometime this week.

OPSBA submission re: Bill 36

Bill 57, Restoring Trust, Transparency and Accountability Act, 2018

On November 15,  Finance Minister Vic Fedeli delivered the provincial government’s Fall Economic Statement, which outlines the government’s plans for spending and fiscal restraint and is the Tories’ first major financial update. The supporting legislation, Bill 57, was also introduced and includes 45 Schedules – changes or amendments to various Acts. OPSBA will be reviewing the contents of this omnibus legislation. Part of the announcement included the repealing of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth Act, 2007 and transferring the oversight to the Office of the Ombudsman. 

A Plan for the People, government news release 

OPSBA overview of Bill 57 

Don’t Forget: Provincial Education Reform Consultation – OPSBA Consultation Resource and Additional Telephone Town Halls

OPSBA has shared with its members a resource document intended to help individuals and school boards when completing the online submission and/or the online survey and participating in the telephone town hall meetings. The points of information under each topic include evidence-based information and past position statements. The deadline for the consultation process is December 15, 2018. 

OPSBA resource document 

Additional consultation details can be found at: https://www.ontario.ca/page/for-the-parents

Other Information 

  • Updated overview of OPSBA School Board Election results 
  • The PCs will raise the number of seats required for official party status with the new threshold being 10 per cent of the House, or 12 seats out of 124. Current Party Status:
    • Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario - 75
    • New Democratic Party of Ontario - 40
    • Ontario Liberal Party - 7 
    • Green Party of Ontario - 1
    • Independent - 1​
1 - 10Next