Members of Provincial Parliament will return to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario on February 22, 2022.

COVID-19 Update / Return to School Winter 2022

The Government of Ontario launched its school closures and absenteeism webpage in January. As of February 10, four schools across Ontario were closed, which is 0.08% 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.

On February 10, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore announced that Ontario Students would once again be able to take part in extracurricular activities, including high-contact sports in schools and other musical activities. In alignment with advice from public health officials, layers of protection will remain in place to help limit the spread of COVID-19, including masking and daily on-site confirmation of screening. Students and other participants will be required to wear a mask while on school premises but may temporarily remove their mask where required, to enable active participation in activities such as playing basketball or musical instruments. Indoor curriculum-based programs including health and physical education and music, will continue with similar masking and other health and safety requirements in place.

For more information, see the memo.

See the statement from OPSBA President Cathy Abraham on the return of extracurricular activities.

On February 9, the government announced expanded access to rapid testing kits to the general public for at-home use and will be distributing five million rapid tests each week for eight weeks through pharmacy and grocery locations across the province, as well as 500,000 each week through community partners in vulnerable communities.

Ministry memos released include:

  • February 8 re: Flexibility for Final Evaluations
  • February 8 re: Professional Activity Days for the 2022-23 School Year
  • February 10 re: Support for First Nation Students in Provincial School Boards

2022-23 Capital Priorities Program

On February 4, the Ministry of Education released Memo B1, Launch of 2022-23 Capital Priorities Program. School boards have been asked to submit up to five project proposals and at least two must be new project proposals. Boards can re-submit proposals that were declined last year. During Minister Lecce’s weekly call with school board chairs, it was confirmed that boards can connect with ministry staff to obtain feedback about those unsuccessful projects. The projects “are expected to be completed and open no later than the 2026-27 school year.” The submission deadline for all capital funding requests is February 25, 2022.

2022 Municipal and School Board Elections

OPSBA will be working with the Ontario Education Services Corporation (OESC) on the revision to several resources, including the Candidate’s Guide, Good Governance Guide and the School Board Elections Website. The Association has been meeting with key stakeholders, including the Ministry of Education’s Leadership and Governance Branch, the Equity Secretariat, PCODE, OPC, OSTA-AECO, AMCTO, AMO, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, and senior staff and communications officers within our member boards. Municipal-election related information and memos can be found on the OPSBA website: Municipal Elections – OPSBA.

Nominations for the Public Property Assessment Network Scholarship Now Open

The Public Property Assessment Network Scholarship is once again being awarded this year in the amount of $1,000 to one recipient in each of the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association’s (OPSBA) five regions. This will be the final school year that this scholarship is offered to graduating students. Scholarship recipients are students of strong character, leadership skills and potential, who care deeply about their communities and furthering their own learning. Each of OPSBA’s regions has fine-tuned the eligibility and selection criteria that may be taken into consideration. More information on the Public Property Assessment Network Scholarship is available from your local school board. Please contact inquiry@opsba.org if you have any questions or concerns.

Other News Releases and Information