Friday, April 3, 2020 is the deadline for OPSBA member boards to submit policy resolutions for consideration by the general membership at the 2020 OPSBA Annual General Meeting. Policy resolutions from member boards that are passed at the AGM are incorporated into the work planning that takes place over the summer and are aligned with the action framework to achieve OPSBA's priorities for the year ahead. Please note:
Policy resolutions received at OPSBA by Friday, April 3, 2020 will be reviewed by a Policy Resolutions Review Committee; i.e., members of Executive Council acting in this capacity. The policy resolutions, along with comments from the Policy Resolutions Review Committee, will be presented to the Board of Directors for information at their May 1-2, 2020 meeting before being forwarded to member boards.In accordance with the OPSBA Constitution, policy resolutions may also be presented from the floor of the Annual General Meeting but are first subject to obtaining the approval of two-thirds of the delegates at the AGM to consider the new resolution. Once the approval to consider the new resolution has been obtained, the member board representative (delegate) who has introduced the new resolution from the floor must provide written copies of the resolution for every voting delegate.Guidelines for Submission of Policy Resolutions, including submission form
Each year, member boards have an opportunity to submit proposals for amendments to the OPSBA Constitution for consideration by the Board of Directors. The deadline for submission this year is April 3 in order to allow time for staff and legal counsel to review the proposals and to prepare language before submission to the Board of Directors for consideration at their May 1-2 meeting. This year, the AGM is being held on June 5 in Ottawa. The constitutional amendments take effect once they are confirmed by at least two-thirds of the votes cast at the Annual General Meeting. In some cases, a proposed constitutional amendment can be referred to a specially formed work group for further careful study and consideration of the full impact of the proposed change. That work group's recommendation(s) would be provided in time for the following year's process; i.e., consideration by the Board of Directors in May, and then forwarded to the Annual General Meeting for consideration by the delegates.OPSBA Constitution and By-Laws (last amended in July 2019)Board submissions, including a clear rationale/background for the proposed Constitutional change (use the form provided below), should be sent to Jane Hayes, Executive Coordinator, by email, by fax at (416) 340-7571, or by mail to:
Jane Hayes, Executive CoordinatorOntario Public School Boards' Association439 University Ave., 18th FloorToronto, ON M5G 1Y8
Proposed Constitutional Amendments form
The Legislative Assembly of Ontario resumes on February 18, 2020, after Family Day.
At the end of January, the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs held Pre-Budget Consultation public hearings in Toronto, Sioux Lookout, Thunder Bay, Kitchener-Waterloo, Belleville, and Niagara. Four member boards were chosen to speak at the hearings to advocate for stable, responsive and equitable funding to support student achievement and well-being. OPSBA did provide a brief submission to the Committee. In addition, OPSBA responded to the January 13 Ministry of Education consultation memo that asked stakeholders to provide "comments on initiatives that could support reducing red tape and administrative burden for the education sector." Our response was based on our comprehensive member engagement process that included:
On January 27, Sam Oosterhoff, the parliamentary assistant to the education minister, announced the province is moving ahead with a review of its school bus funding model. The province has established a Student Transportation Advisory Group to guide the review that will include representatives from school board associations and school bus stakeholder groups. The review is to include: Funding formula for student transportation; Consortia model and operations; and student transportation procurement. OPSBA attended the Advisory Group's first meeting, which was held on January 28, and a second stakeholder meeting will occur on February 27, 2020.
On February 10, the government announced a consultation on the potential implementation of additional cannabis business opportunities in the future, including:
The government's news release stated they would be meeting with "key groups, including industry representatives, public health and safety organizations, education stakeholders and Indigenous representatives, to ensure their expertise and advice help to inform next steps." Details have been posted on the government's Ontario Regulatory Registry. The deadline for feedback is March 10, 2020. OPSBA will connect with the Ministry of Education about education stakeholder engagement and the Policy Development Work Team will review the feedback form for educational impacts.
Last December the provincial government announced its intention to develop a new poverty reduction strategy for Ontario. Recently, the online survey was launched to seek feedback on the following areas:
The government is engaging with Indigenous partners, the public, people with experience living in poverty, service providers, employers, local partners and municipalities. The deadline to respond is March 30, 2020. OPSBA's work teams will review the online survey components.
Please note: There continue to be many statements issued by the Minister of Education regarding labour issues. These are available on the Ministry of Education's website.
There are two more weeks before the Legislative Assembly of Ontario returns from winter break and resumes on February 18, after Family Day.
From January 20 to 24, the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs held Pre-Budget Consultation public hearings in Toronto, Sioux Lookout, Thunder Bay, Kitchener-Waterloo, Belleville, and Niagara. Four member boards were chosen to speak at the hearings to advocate for stable, responsive and equitable funding to support student achievement and well-being. In addition, OPSBA provided a brief submission to the Committee. Currently OPSBA is reviewing the data from a survey sent to all boards and preparing a more comprehensive submission to the Ministry of Education's 2020-21 Education Funding Feedback consultation. In addition to the survey, OPSBA has gathered input from regional meetings, discussions with the Policy Development and Education Program work teams, our Indigenous Trustees' Council, and a survey sent to Senior Business Officials at member boards.
On January 30, the Minister of Finance released its 2019-20 Third Quarter Finances. The next fiscal update will be the 2020 Ontario Budget on or before March 31, 2020.
Two provincial by-elections have been called for the ridings of Ottawa-Vanier and Orléans due to the vacancies created by the retirement of Liberal MPP Nathalie Des Rosiers (Ottawa—Vanier) and the resignation of Liberal MPP Marie-France Lalonde (Orléans). Voting day will be February 27, 2020. The deadline to become a candidate February 13 at 2 p.m. By-election information, including candidates, can be found at the Elections Ontario website.
The Minister of Health and the Minister of Education issued a joint statement with information about the Coronavirus. For the time being, the government is planning to provide regular updates on the province's ongoing response to the 2019 novel coronavirus. Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, and Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, will hold regular media briefings every Monday and Thursday. Many boards are working with their local public health units and issuing news releases to their board communities with factual information and recommendations for reducing the risk of transmission of the flu and respiratory illness.
Letter from Ministry of Health to school community members
For more information, the government has a dedicated webpage
On January 27, Sam Oosterhoff, the parliamentary assistant to the education minister, announced the province is moving ahead with a review of its school bus funding model. The province has established a Student Transportation Advisory Group to guide the review that will include representatives from school board associations and school bus stakeholder groups. Details of the scope of the review were included in memo 2020-B02 Student Transportation Review (attached). The review will include:
OPSBA attended the Advisory group's first meeting, which was held January 28. Our Association last commented on this issue in 2018 in our response to the previous government's New Vision for Student Transportation in Ontario discussion paper. An OPSBA internal survey at that time found that the top four service issues were: ride times, driver retention, funding, and school bus safety. Ministry news release
In early November, at the request of the Chair and Director of Education, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce announced a review of the Peel District School Board. Ontario Regulation 43/10: Provincial Interest in Education was amended on November 8, 2019, to include a section referencing the review of the Peel DSB, which includes a revocation date of December 31, 2020. Education Minister Stephen Lecce released the interim report from the team conducting the provincial government's review. At least 350 members of the public who want to be interviewed about alleged racism at the province's second-largest school board have contacted the three-person review panel.
Please note: Many statements issued by the Minister of Education regarding labour issues continue to be made. These statements are available on the Ministry of Education's website.
OPSBA Media Release, OPSBA identifies clear funding priorities to address pressures facing school boards, Feb. 19, 2020
OPSBA Media Release, OPSBA RatifiesSettlement Reached with EWAO, Feb. 4, 2020
Boards ask province to lift ban on school closingsThe Toronto Star, Feb. 19, 2020Ontario’s education minister says the ban on school closings won’t last forever, as boards clamour for the province to lift a three-year-old moratorium so they can deal with changing enrolments as well as tight budgets.More ...
OPSBA 2020 President’s Award goes to ADSB trusteemyespanolanow.com, Feb. 6, 2020A long-time Algoma District School Board trustee has been acknowledged at the provincial level for his years of service.More ...
ADSB Trustee Russell Reid recipient of OPSBA President’s Awardwawa-news.com, Feb. 4, 2020Ontario Public School Board Association (OPSBA) held their 2020 Public Education Symposium (PES) last month in Toronto, in partnership with the Association des conseils scolaires des écoles publiques de l’Ontario (ACÉPO).One of the highlights of the PES each year is awarding the OPSBA President’s Award. This year, Algoma District School Board (ADSB) Trustee Russell Reid, was one of two recipients of the OPSBA President’s Award, which recognizes Trustees who have provided 25 years of service or more to public education in Ontario.More ...
The Lionel High School Chemistry Scholarship is a
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to four years of tuition in the program at $4000 a year. Selection is based on
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For more information, including eligibility and how to apply
OPSBA's 2020 Public Education Symposium (PES) was held from January 23 to 25 at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto, in partnership with the Association des conseils scolaires des écoles publiques de l'Ontario (ACÉPO).
The conference provided an engaging and informative professional development opportunity for more than 300 public school trustees and senior school board staff.Workshops and plenary sessions for trustees included:
Students from Peel DSB's Mayfield SS animation program provided an outstanding presentation of their learning through filmmaking on Thursday evening. An incredible performance from Ottawa's Chorale de la Salle of the Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario had Friday evening's attendees giving multiple standing ovations.
Algoma DSB Trustee Russell Reid, Ottawa-Carleton DSB Chair Lynn Scott, and Renfrew Country DSB trustee David Shields were the recipients of OPSBA President's Award, which recognizes trustees with 25 years of service to public education in Ontario. View photos on Instagram: #PESym20 and @OPSBA_OfficialView tweets: #PESym20 View the full program
We look forward to seeing you at future OPSBA events. Save these dates today! Education Labour Relations and Human Resources Symposium 2020 April 30 and May 1, 2020, TorontoOPSBA Annual General Meeting and ProgramJune 4 to 6, 2020, Ottawa
The Legislative Assembly of Ontario is on winter break and is scheduled to return on February 18, 2020, after Family Day.
The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs are holding Pre-Budget Consultation public hearings across the province in Toronto, Sioux Lookout, Thunder Bay, Kitchener-Waterloo, Belleville, and Niagara. OPSBA has been working with member boards in those areas and have four boards who will be presenting and speaking about the need for stable, responsive and equitable funding to support student achievement and well-being. Written submissions need to be sent to the Clerk of the Committee by 6:00 p.m. on January 24, 2020. The clerk, Julia Douglas, is available at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ministry of Education released memo B:01, 2020-21 Education Funding Feedback that includes information about the consultation approach to this year's Grant for Student Needs (GSN). This year's process does not include specific funding questions but rather asks for "comments on initiatives that could support reducing red tape and administrative burden for the education sector." Following the initial discussion at most regional meetings in early November, OSPBA has created a brief survey seeking information from all boards to help inform its final submission which was sent to all OPSBA Board of Director members. Education Funding will be an agenda item at the upcoming work team and ITC meetings held at PES. The feedback deadline is January 31, 2020 and OPSBA has asked for an extension.
January 17, 2020 News Release - Ontario Investing $200 Million in Small, Rural and Northern Communities
January 16, 2020 News Release - Applications Open for the Minister's Advisory Council on Special Education
January 15, 2020 News Release - Government Stands with Parents and Kids During Union-Led Strike Actions in Schools
January 13, 2020 Statement from the Minister of Francophone Affairs on the Appointment of a New French Language Services Commissioner
January 10, 2020 News Release - Ontario takes Action to Address Skilled Trades Shortage
January 8, 2020 Statement - Minister of Education on EQAO Testing
December 21, 2019 News Release - Third Reviewer Added to Peel District School Board Review
Ontario Ombudsman - December Newsletter
Please note: There were several recent statements issued by the Minister of Education regarding labour issues. These are available at: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/new/new.html
Inspiring Public Confidence, an Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) conference will feature workshops focused on critical issues concerning regulators, the public, employers of Ontario Certified Teachers and providers of teacher education. Conference keynote speakers include:
Workshops will be offered in English or French, or by simultaneous interpretation. Simultaneous interpretation will also be available for all keynote addresses.
For more information and to register »
Ontario teachers to hold weekly strikes until deal with province reachedThe Globe and Mail, Jan. 27, 2020Ontario’s public elementary schools will be closed for two days next week as teachers step up job action amid stalled contract talks with the provincial government.More ...
Doug Ford government waiting for mediator to restart talks, says Education Minister Stephen LecceWelland Tribune, Jan. 21, 2020Education Minister Stephen Lecce says the province will return to talks with teachers when mediators call all sides back to the bargaining table.More ...
Doug Ford government waiting for mediator to restart talks, says Education Minister Stephen LecceThe Toronto Star, Jan. 20, 2020Education Minister Stephen Lecce says the province will return to talks with teachers when mediators call all sides back to the bargaining table.More ...
All four Ontario teacher unions now engaged in job action as talks with province stallThe Toronto Star, Jan. 14, 2020For the first time in more than two decades, all of the province’s teacher unions are involved in job action — ranging from work-to-rule to rotating one-day strikes.More ...
Confidential memo raises eyebrows with request for school boards to reduce ‘red tape’The Toronto Star, Jan. 14, 2020A confidential memo sent to school boards from the education ministry asks them to think of ways to “support reducing red tape and administrative burden” as the province looks to set funding levels for the next school year.More ...
Ontario education minister says school boards can delay Grade 9 EQAO testingNiagara Falls Review, Jan. 9, 2020TORONTO — A standardized test for Grade 9 math students may not go ahead next week as planned in most schools, Education Minister Stephen Lecce said Wednesday, as a result of teacher job action.More ...
Grade 9 math tests up in the air as rotating teacher strikes continueThe Toronto Star, Jan. 8, 2020Standardized math tests slated to start Monday for Grade 9 students have been thrown into uncertainty as Education Minister Stephen Lecce gives school boards across Ontario the authority to postpone them until June.More ...
Ontario high school teachers plan a fourth, one-day ‘Wednesday walkout’The Toronto Star, Jan. 3, 2020Classes resume for Ontario students next week — and so do the one-day strikes by public high school teachers.More ...
The Legislative Assembly of Ontario is recessed for the winter break and is scheduled to return on February 18, 2020, after Family Day.
On December 18, Minister of Finance Rod Phillips launched the first of a series of budget consultations that will run across Ontario throughout the months of January and February. During that time, Ontarians will be invited to participate via an online survey, attend an in-person session (details below) and/or, send in a written submission. The deadline for the survey and written submissions is February 11, 2020.
The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs will hold Pre-Budget Consultation public hearings in Toronto on January 17, 2020 and in Sioux Lookout, Thunder Bay, Kitchener-Waterloo, Belleville, and Niagara during the week of January 20, 2020. Interested people who wish to be considered to make an oral presentation to the Committee on January 17, 2020, or during the week of January 20, 2020, are required to provide their contact name, mailing address, phone number, and email address directly to the Clerk of the Committee by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 9, 2020, in order to be registered. Those who do not wish to make an oral presentation but wish to comment on the issue may send a written submission to the Clerk of the Committee at the email or mailing address below by 6:00 p.m. on Friday, January 24, 2020. The clerk, Julia Douglas, can be reached at email@example.com.
Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs details
Ministry of Finance news release
Details about 2020 Budget consultations
Earlier in the fall, the OHRC announced its intention to conduct a public inquiry into potential human rights issues that affect students with reading disabilities in Ontario's public education system. On December 18, the OHRC announced details regarding the The "Right to Read" inquiry that will be reaching out to parents, students and educators across the province to hear about their experiences, challenges and concerns. The inquiry is also assessing whether school boards use scientific evidence-based approaches to meet students' right to read. The OHRC selected eight school boards to assess their compliance with their obligation to provide equal treatment to students with reading disabilities. The English public school boards involved include: the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board; the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, the Lakehead District School Board, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, the Peel District School Board, and the Thames Valley District School Board.
Public hearings will begin on January 14, 2020 in Brampton, January 29 in London, February 25 in Thunder Bay and March 10 in Ottawa. There is an online survey for students with reading disabilities or their parents and guardians. A separate survey will be available for educators and others. OPSBA will follow up as to how the Association might participate.
OHRC website for more information, including student/parent/guardian survey
OHRC news release