The Legislative Assembly of Ontario is now adjourned for a constituency week that coincides with the Easter holiday. MPPs will return on April 12, 2021.

Ministry Initiatives Committee – Online and Remote Learning Proposal

A special meeting of OPSBA’s Board of Directors was held to discuss the proposed changes regarding Expanding Student Access to Online and Remote Learning. OPSBA’s Table Officers and senior staff also had a virtual follow-up meeting with Ministry of Education staff to discuss these plans and ask questions. This was a major discussion item during the recent school board chairs call. All stakeholders have been given an extension to provide their initial comments and OPSBA’s response will consider our past commentary and submissions.

March 25, 2021 – OPSBA preliminary statement

December 10, 2020 – OPSBA Submission to the Ministry of Education and TVO

October 27, 2020 – OPSBA Submission regarding PPM 164: Requirements for Remote Learning

Manitoba Legislation – Bill 64, The Education Modernization Act

On March 29, a joint Presidents’ letter (from all member associations within the Canadian School Board Association) was sent to Manitoba’s Minister of Education, Cliff Cullen. More information on Bill 64 can be found on the Manitoba School Boards Association (MSBA) web site, including their Local Voices, Local Choices campaign.

COVID-19 Update

As of the morning of April 1, 2,487 cases of COVID-19 had been reported in publicly funded schools in the past 14 days. Of those cases, 2,057 are students, 424 are staff, and six are not identified. Sixty-three of the 4,828 schools in the province are currently closed.

On April 1, Minister Stephen Lecce stated on Twitter that “schools will remain open” and that “students deserve to be in class.” More information about a number of additional health and safety measures that will be in place after the April 12 to 16 break is expected soon. Premier Doug Ford also announced that all 34 Public Health Units in the province would be heading into a 28-day “shutdown” or “emergency brake” effective April 3 at 12:01 a.m. in the face of fast-rising COVID-19 variant case numbers and hospitalizations. Details of the restrictions can be found in the government’s news release.

On April 1, the government also announced the expansion of vaccination locations at pharmacies and primary care centres and new lower age requirements in various public health units was announced.

Thursday, April 8 – OPSBA Speaker and PD Series

OPSBA continues to offer online lunchtime speakers and professional development sessions for trustees. On April 8, the guest speaker is Tyler Stewart from the iconic Canadian music group Barenaked Ladies. Tyler will discuss the connection between the Arts and Public Education. Zoom details have been sent and although registration is NOT required, please send a quick email to kdevine@opsba.org indicating you plan to attend.

Other News Releases and Information