The Legislative Assembly of Ontario remains adjourned during winter recess with Members of Provincial Parliament returning on February 22, 2022.
COVID-19 Update / Return to School Winter 2022
The Government of Ontario has launched its school closures and absenteeism webpage. As of February 3, seven schools across Ontario were closed, which is 0.14% of all schools. A summary of school-by-school student and staff absences is provided, but it is not broken down by the reason for absence. Data is current as of 2 p.m. the previous weekday. The Ministry also released two memos this week regarding the COVID-19 testing strategy in schools and consent forms for student vaccination clinics at schools.
A memo regarding Ontario’s Participation in Provincial, National, and International Assessments in 2021-22 has also been released.
Principals and Vice-Principals Agreement
On February 2, OPSBA announced the Association’s approval of Provincial Terms and Conditions for Principals and Vice-Principals. The agreement includes the three other Trustee Associations, the Crown, and the Principal and Vice-Principal Associations.
See the OPSBA media release.
Policy/Program Memorandum 167 – Online Learning Graduation Requirement
The Ministry of Education announced details of a new PPM with details for online learning graduation requirements and opt-out process. Beginning with the cohort of students who entered Grade 9 in the 2020-21 school year, all students will be required to earn a minimum of two online learning credits (unless they have approved exemptions.) The PPM notes, “the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, this Policy/Program Memorandum recognizes up to one secondary school credit completed by Grade 9 students in the 2020-21 school year during the province-wide school closures (from April 2021 to June 2021) may be counted towards the graduation requirement.” In addition, the province and TVO have launched a new website allowing high school students to preview online course content before they decide which classes to sign up for during the 2022-23 academic year. Online courses will continue to be delivered by school boards and their consortia.
Upcoming Review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
As part of the legislation’s requirements, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is reviewed regularly to gather feedback and determine where improvements can be made. On February 1, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility Raymond Cho announced that Rich Donovan has been appointed as the fourth legislative reviewer of the AODA. Donovan will consult with the public, including people with disabilities, as part of his review. The fourth legislative review will focus on three key areas: considering potential changes to improve the AODA’s success, spreading awareness and building community support, and compliance and enforcement. The review will be completed by June 30, 2023. OPSBA will monitor the process and advocate on behalf of member boards as required.
OPSBA’s Public Education Symposium – Recorded Sessions
The January 28 virtual symposium was a tremendous success with over 250 attendees, including elected trustees, appointed Indigenous trustees, student trustees, senior board staff, Directors of Education, and Ministry of Education staff. The program was developed to support the Association’s multi-year strategic priorities. To view the recorded sessions, visit Public Education Symposium – OPSBA
Other News Releases and Information
- February 3, 2022 News Release: Ontario Building New Children’s Treatment Centre in Chatham-Kent
- February 3, 2022 News Release: Ontario Investing $25 Million to Combat Hate in Communities
- February 3, 2022 News Release: Ontario Increasing Mentoring Opportunities for Children, Youth in Care
- February 3, 2022 News Release: Ontario Working for Workers by Moving Towards Expanding Health and Wellness Benefits
- February 2, 2022 ETFO News Release: Conservative government ordered to pay $103 million in damages for interference in public elementary educators’ bargaining rights
- January 31, 2022 News Release: Ontario to Support Rebuilt and Improved Historic York Memorial Collegiate Institute
- January 31, 2022 News Release: Ontario Helping Tamil Students Succeed
- January 31, 2022 News Release: Ontario Helping More Communities Protect Against Racism and Hate
- January 2022: Ombudsman Newsletter