The Legislative Assembly of Ontario resumed last Tuesday and Wednesday. Much of the discussion during Question Period focused on the situation involving long term care facilities. No new pandemic-related legislation was introduced but the government did extend the emergency orders until June 9, 2020.
Members of Provincial Parliament return this week on Tuesday and Wednesday and are planning to meet over the summer instead of concluding on June 3. The government’s motion (that has yet to be passed) provides for continued summer sittings on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the weeks of June 15, 2020, and June 22, 2020; and Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays during the weeks of July 6, 2020; July 13, 2020; and July 20, 2020.
The release of the Grants for Student Needs (GSN) is anticipated the week of June 1 to 5 and information about this will be shared when it becomes available. Also, OPSBA has been in contact with the ministry to seek additional details for their consultation regarding Ontario’s Framework for Continued Learning and the subsection Transitioning Back to School. Our plan will be to engage the Policy Development and Education Program work teams, along with our Executive Council on any final submission. In addition to the weekly teleconferences with the Deputy Minister and the other school board/trustee associations, regular teleconferences will begin next Monday between the Minister of Education and School Board Chairs.
The Ministry of Education released four memos this week:
- May 29, 2020 – SB04, 2020 Summer School & Summer Learning Opportunities
- May 27, 2020 – Additional Assessment and Reporting Clarification and Guidance Memo with 2 supporting documents:
- May 27, 2020 – Personal Property Retrieval Guidelines for Schools
- May 27, 2020 – Additional Guidance on Special Education and Mental Health
OPSBA Submission re: Ministry of Transportation Regulatory Posting
On May 26, OPSBA sent a letter of support to the Ministry of Transportation regarding “Proposed amendments to Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act to develop a regulatory framework that would allow for evidence from a school bus camera to be introduced in court without the need for a witness.” OPSBA’s Policy Development Work Team were involved in the response, which follows past commentary to support school bus safety in and around schools.
QESBA Legal Action
Earlier this week, the Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) filed legal action regarding Bill 40: An Act to amend mainly the Education Act with regard to school organization and governance. Bill 40, passed by the Quebec government in early February, abolishes school boards and creates school service centres. OPSBA did send a letter of support in April 2019.
- May 29, 2020 News Release – Ontario Opens Up COVID-19 Testing Across the Province
- May 2020 – Ontario Ombudsman’s Newsletter
- What’s Next for Education in the Context of COVID19? An OECD Canadian & Global Perspective on Back to School – Mindshare Learning