The Halton District School Board will host
the 2nd annual Human Rights Symposium on December 5, 2019 to
bring together education and community partners to engage in vital
conversations and challenge thinking. This year’s theme is the “Rights
of the Child” and features two keynote speakers Stephen Lewis and Michel
A full day of learning is planned with
Agenda and list of workshops and presenters
This year marks the
30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention
was adopted by the UN General Assembly on November 20, 1989 to protect the rights
of children from discrimination, violence and neglect.
Rights is the work and responsibility of all members of society. We look
forward to once again bringing educators and community partners together to
examine important issues as we engage in focused learning about the rights of
children.” - Rob Eatough, Superintendent of Education
for the Halton District School Board.
Halton District School Board recognizes the importance of participating in
vital discussions to challenge our thinking. The Human Rights Symposium
provides an opportunity for community partners to come together to examine
important issues and drive actionable change.” - Stuart Miller, Director of Education for the Halton District School
For event details or support with registration,
CSBA Congress is being hosted in Alberta in 2020. The event will be held in Banff, Alberta from July 2-5, 2020 at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. This year's theme is "Standing Stronger Together," reflecting the importance of education and what happens when we work together.
There are two messages from the organizers in Alberta – one on hotel accommodation and the second is a call for presenters:
1. HOTEL ACCOMMODATION
While the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is nearly full, please follow the steps below to book:
Local Government Week (LGW) aims to increase youth and public awareness about the important role local government plays in our communities. Please join OPSBA, our member trustees and our education partners in raising civic awareness and promoting the role of trustees among Ontario students. We know many trustees visit their schools regularly and we encourage them to consider arranging classroom visits with Grade 5 Social Studies and Grade 10 Civics students to discuss the important democratic role of a school board trustee. As always, trustees should follow their board protocols for setting up school visits when determining the most appropriate time for these visits. These could in fact, occur, after the official LGW when a classroom teacher is discussing this unit.
OPSBA has updated resources to facilitate your classroom sessions, including a Word document and a short PowerPoint presentation. Common information includes:
The Legislative Assembly of Ontario remains on summer recess and resumes on October 28, 2019. Finance Minister Rod Phillips announced that the Fall Economic Statement will be presented on November 6, 2019.
Local Government Week (LGW) will be held October 20-26. LGW aims to increase youth and public awareness about the important role local government plays in our communities. Due to the Federal Election on October 21, we expect the announcement to be somewhat low key with Ministry of Municipal
Affairs and Housing tweets and a possible news release. OPSBA's Policy Development Work Team (PDWT) discussed LGW earlier this school year when details were scarce. With this new information, OPSBA will be running a social media campaign to promote LGW to highlight the long advocacy history of trustees and the importance of their work. OPSBA resources have been updated to include current information and these resources are available on our website. We know many trustees visit their schools regularly and we ask trustees to determine locally if a school visit to either a Grade 5 or Grade 10 class is appropriate at this time and to follow board protocols for setting up these visits. Visits can also be scheduled after the official LGW.
The Ontario Association of Business Officials (OASBO) submission includes a reference to OPSBA as part of their consultation process. The OPSBA submission focuses on our continued advocacy for an increase in the charges to cover the actual costs of sites and the flexibility to support boards experiencing areas of growth.
The Legislative Assembly of Ontario remains on summer recess and resumes on October 28, 2019.
OPSBA sent the following submissions to government regulatory postings.
During federal elections, OPSBA advocates for non-partisan strategies to engage politicians on issues that affect public education and our children and youth. OPSBA sent letters to the main parties asking questions about key education-related topics contained in the Guide. The Guide and the letters are available on a dedicated webpage, The 2019 Federal Election.
CTA and the Provincial Government Reach a Tentative Agreement with CUPEOPSBA Media Release, Oct. 6, 2019
Ontario high school teachers approach negotiations in new, transparent wayToronto Star, Oct. 12, 2019Want to know what Ontario’s high school teachers are seeking in their contract with the province and school boards? Or what the Doug Ford government is proposing in return?More ...
Schools open Monday as tentative deal reached between Province, CUPECanadian Press, Oct. 7, 2019The province and the union representing 55,000 education workers reached a tentative deal in weekend contract talks, averting a strike that could have shut down schools in various parts of Ontario.More ...
Deal reached, Peterborough schools to stay openPeterborough Examiner, Oct. 7, 2019A deal reached late Sunday has averted a strike that threatened to close Peterborough-area schools Monday.More ...
School strike averted as CUPE, province reach tentative deal for support staffToronto Star, Oct. 7, 2019Class is not dismissed.The Canadian Union of Public Employees and the provincial government managed to reach a tentative deal Sunday night - meaning no strike by 55,000 caretakers, educational assistants, early childhood educators and office staff.More ...
Deal reached! Schools open MondayBay Today, Oct. 6, 2019Parents are breathing a big sigh of relief as contract negotiations between the provincial government and the union representing Ontario's education workers reached a tentative agreement this evening.More ...
Ontario education workers reach deal with province, averting Monday school strikeCBC News, Oct. 6, 2019Some 55,000 education workers in Ontario will not strike Monday after successful last-minute contract talks with the provincial government, according to Education Minister Stephen Lecce.More ...
Schools will remain open as CUPE and province reach tentative deal avoiding strikeDaily Hive, Oct. 6, 2019Toronto schools will remain open on Monday morning, as CUPE and the provincial government have reached a tentative settlement.More ...
Strike averted as education workers reach last-minute tentative agreementGuelph Today, Oct. 6, 2019The Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA) is pleased to announce that the CTA and the provincial government have successfully negotiated a tentative settlement on central terms of a collective agreement with Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) education workers.More ...
Breaking: Tentative deal means Niagara schools are open MondayNiagara Now, Oct. 6, 2019The schools of both the public and the Catholic boards in Niagara will be open Monday, after proviniclal negotiators and the Canadian Union of Public Employees reached a tentative deal Sunday evening.More ...
Strike averted as education workers reach last-minute tentative agreementOrillia Matters, Oct. 6, 2019The Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA) is pleased to announce that the CTA and the provincial government have successfully negotiated a tentative settlement on central terms of a collective agreement with Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) education workers.More ...
Council of Trustees' Associations (CTA) and the Provincial Government Reach a Tentative Agreement with CUPE Port Stanley News, Oct. 6, 2019Toronto, October 6, 2019 – The Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA)
is pleased to announce that the CTA and the provincial government have successfully
negotiated a tentative settlement on central terms of a collective agreement with
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) education workers.More ...
Rising rate of sick leave emerges as key issue as school strike loomsOttawa Citizen, Oct. 4, 2019The number of days CUPE support staff in Ontario schools book off sick has increased by nearly 20 per cent in the past three years, according to associations representing school boards.The boards released the data to this newspaper as the issue of sick-leave pay emerged as a key issue in contract negotiations between CUPE, the province’s school boards and the provincial government.More ...
Ontario CUPE Education Workers Give Strike NoticeHuffington Post, Oct. 2, 2019TORONTO — Non-teaching staff at Ontario’s schools could walk off the job as early as Monday.The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario School Board Council of Unions gave five-day strike action notice Wednesday.More ...
Schools prepare, as CUPE support-staff strike set for Oct. 7The Toronto Star, Oct. 2, 2019Ontario schools are bracing for a strike by 55,000 caretakers, office staff, early childhood educators and educational assistants who are set to hit the picket lines Monday unless a deal can be worked out in time.More ...
'GREAT CONCERN': CUPE education workers set to launch full strikeToronto Sun, Oct. 2, 2019The union representing 55,000 education workers across the province says it is preparing to go on strike Monday.CUPE Ontario president Fred Hahn said they are in conversation with other education unions and ideally teachers would not cross their picket lines.More ...
A big snag in labour talks: Boards want CUPE to take less pay for sick leaveMetro Morning with Matt Galloway, CBC Radio, Oct. 1, 2019Cathy Abraham, President of the Ontario Public School Boards Association, says the absentee rate of CUPE members is higher than in "comparable sectors" and "it creates a hardship in school for student(s"'. She says they could manage the absentee rate better if there were a decrease in the "very generous" rate at which CUPE employees are paid while sick.More ...
The OPSBA Board of Directors held a meeting on September 27 and 28, 2019, in Toronto. Chief Elaine Johnston, Chair of OPSBA's Indigenous Trustees' Council (ITC), 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.
Minister of Education Stephen Lecce attended on Saturday morning and spoke on a number of relevant education-related items.
Education policy and program issues that were discussed in public session at the meeting are summarized below.
An update on collective bargaining was provided to board members. OPSBA is fully engaged in its role as the bargaining agent for all English public school boards in the province. All collective agreements in the sector expired on August 31, 2019. The current round of collective bargaining is well under way and all of OPSBA's partner federations have filed Notice to Bargain. For additional status updates, visit the OPSBA website.
The Legislative Assembly of Ontario is currently adjourned until October 28, 2019. OPSBA is following a number of developments at the provincial level, including proposed public sector wage hike caps, changes to Education Development Charges and school board land acquisition, automated speed enforcement (photo radar) in school zones, and changes to the provincial code of conduct. Additional Legislative Updates are available on the OPSBA Connects blog.
Updates on recent memos, regulations and legislative changes were provided, including the following:
Capital Priorities Program (CPP) On July 22, the Ministry of Education announced the launch of this year's CPP, as well as the review of its School Construction Standards. Each board is to submit their top 10 requests for consideration with a deadline of September 30, 2019.
Indigenous Education: Reciprocal Education Approach (REA) This summer, boards were sent a memo regarding this new approach, which became effective September 1, 2019. Our members support any actions that enhance the educational opportunities and equity of outcomes for Indigenous students and help these students, their families and their communities, and fully support the ability of Indigenous parents to choose the schools that best meet the needs of their children. We also recognize and respect the jurisdiction of Indigenous communities around their schools.
Deficit Approval Requests There were a handful of boards who submitted deficit approval requests in excess of 1% of their operating funding to the Ministry of Education. Boards heard at the beginning of the week of September 23 about whether or not their requests were approved.
Student Transportation: Driver Retention The Ministry is once again planning to provide a financial incentive to returning drivers.
Updates on recent OPSBA government relations and public affairs issues were provided. OPSBA's media statements and releases can be found on the OPSBA website. OPSBA, through President Cathy Abraham, has been active in the provincial news media in the past two months, with many interviews and media appearances speaking to school board concerns including collective bargaining and changes to class size and e-learning.
Work on the fall 2019 issue of Education Today is well underway, with a theme focusing on Indigenous Education. More than two dozen stories from school boards and interviews with Minister of Education Stephen Lecce and Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler are among the content for the issue, which will be posted online in October.
A summary of Ministry meetings, workgroups and program-related announcements was provided. Information shared included updates on the following:
EQAO EQAO has released highlights of the provincial, school board and school level results for the 2018-19 reading, writing and mathematics assessments. These can be found at http://www.eqao.com/en. Math Proficiency Test Regulations were filed on August 20, 2019, concerning the requirement of teachers to complete a math proficiency test. New applicants to the Ontario College of Teachers will be required to successfully pass a mathematics proficiency test if their application for registration is completed on or after March 31, 2020.
Health and Physical Education Curriculum The Ministry of Education released a revised elementary Health and Physical Education Curriculum in late August. A significant positive change is the inclusion of mental health and well-being across all topic areas, as well as consent, concussion and prevention, body image and substance abuse. School boards are now required to create exemption policies and forms for parents who do not wish their child(ren) to participate in the Human Development and Sexual Health expectations found in the curriculum. Service Animals School boards are now required to "implement and make publicly available on their websites their newly developed updated policies and procedures on student use of service animals by January 1, 2020." OPSBA has been actively engaged on this topic since legislation was introduced last year. OPSBA staff are assisting school boards by sharing existing policies and/or procedures that most closely reflect the expectations in the memorandum.
Graduation Rates and Indicators The Ministry of Education released graduation by board as of August 31, 2018, as well as 14 indicators. The graduation rate for students earning their diploma is 87.1% in five years and 81.2% in four years.
FSL Labour Market Partnership Project OPSBA continues to lead 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 three-year initiative's ultimate goal is to uncover workable solutions to the current worsening imbalance between the growing demand province-wide for qualified language teachers and support staff and the related supply pipeline.
The Legislative Assembly of Ontario remains on summer recess and resumes on Monday, October 28, 2019.
On September 27, the Financial Accountability Officer, Peter Weltman, released a report on the 2019-20 expenditure estimates for the Ministry of Education. The FAO "provides independent analysis on the state of the Province's finances, trends in the provincial economy and related matters important to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario."
Complete Report (PDF)
Briefing Slide Deck
The Information and Communications Standards Development Committee's Initial Recommendations Report is available on the ministry's website for public review and feedback. The Minister has extended the public comment period from September 27, 2019, to October 18, 2019. The extension will provide obligated organizations and the public a greater opportunity to provide comments, suggestions and feedback. All feedback received will be considered by the Committee before finalizing their recommendations to the Minister.
Registration for Ophea's Healthy Schools Certification for
the 2019-20 school year is now open. Registration will be open until 12 pm on
Ophea’s Healthy Schools Certification is an annual process.
All schools, including schools that have been certified in the past, must register each year. To register, schools are required
to upload a signed letter from the administration (principal or vice-principal).
Updated 2019-2020 Guidebook
Healthy Schools Certification, including Registration Information
On September 11, the writ was drawn up for the upcoming Federal Election, which takes place on October 21, 2019. The writ is the signal for the official beginning of the election campaign. During federal elections, OPSBA advocates for non-partisan strategies to engage politicians on issues that affect public education and our children and youth.
The Guide has been developed with input from OPSBA senior staff, the Policy Development Work Team, and from the Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA), which will be distributing a modified version of our Guide to other CSBA members across the country. The guide includes background information on several education related topics and questions to ask both candidates and parties.
How to Use this Guide
Trustees are encouraged to use this information independently when approached by a candidate or party to answer questions and engage in an education discussion. Trustees can also work with other community partners to host an all candidates meeting and supplement education-related questions. School boards can decide locally about their advocacy efforts to those federal candidates that overlap with their board's jurisdiction and can modify it to include local board issues.
OPSBA will post relevant federal election information on our dedicated webpage, the 2019 Federal Election.
Don't forget to encourage your schools to participate in Student Vote. To see if your school has signed up, visit https://studentvote.ca/reports. Schools can sign up at https://studentvote.ca/canada/.
Finally, OPSBA has been trying to determine whether Local Government Week will be recognized this year by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. Typically this occurs during the third week of October, which aligns this year with the Federal Election. OPSBA will provide additional information soon about this initiative to determine our next steps. In past years, we have encouraged trustees to visit their local schools and meet with Grade 5 and Grade 10 Civics classes to discuss municipal government.
On September 9, the Ministry of Education announced the release this new PPM that requires school boards to develop or update their boards policies and procedures on student use of service animals by January 1, 2020. Polices are to be posted on their board websites. The PPM includes a list of minimum policy components and boards should connect with local stakeholders. OPSBA provided input to a draft PPM after consulting with school board staff with expertise in this area and trustees (members of our Education Program and Policy Development Work Teams) who are responsible for approving school board policy. A letter was sent on May 3 to the Minister of Education with our recommendations, including a September 1, 2020 implementation date. The requirement for school board polices respecting service animals in schools was originally part of Bill 48, Safe and Supportive Classrooms Act, 2018. In February 2019, OPSBA sent a submission and presented before the Standing Committee on Social Policy. Government news releasePPM 163
A few weeks ago, OPSBA provided information on this regulatory posting which has a feedback deadline of October 7, 2019. This past week, OPSBA staff participated in a teleconference hosted by the Ontario Association of School Business Officials (OASBO). Participants included finance and planning school board staff, as well as trustees/school board associations. Next week, we have been asked to participate in a Ministry of Education consultation as the ministry is preparing an updated guideline document related to EDCs and site acquisitions to support school boards and other stakeholders. Regulatory RegistryOPSBA submission on Bill 108, More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019.
September 10, 2019 Posting, Five-Year Graduation Rate Information
September 10, 2019 Statement, Minister Lecce Welcomes German Education Committee
September 10, 2019 News Release, Ontario Investing in New Community-Wide Project Aimed at Ending Child and Youth Suicide in Mississauga