advocacy and action

Fast Report: August 16, 2012 | Vol. 24, No. 25

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Election of OPSBA President — Nomination DEADLINE: August 23

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A General Meeting of the OPSBA membership will be held on  Friday, September 21/Saturday, September 22, 2012 for the purpose of electing a new President. The possibility exists that a subsequent vacancy in OPSBA executive positions may occur as a result of the presidential election. If either of the two Vice-Presidents seek election to the position of president and are successful in that bid, then there will also need to be an election for Vice-President. Therefore, nominations are also being accepted for First and Second Vice-Presidents. 

NOTE:  The nomination deadline is 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 23, 2012.

A nomination form is provided here and can be photocopied as required.

These elections are necessary because, effective July 26, the position of President of the Ontario Public School Boards' Association became vacant.

The information provided here is the result of decisions made by the OPSBA Board of Directors during a teleconference call held on August 8 to discuss a date and procedure for a general meeting to elect a new OPSBA President.

Eligibility: Any trustee from a Member Board who has been nominated by the August 23rd deadline is eligible to run for election to these offices.

Voting: Each Member Board is entitled to one vote through its Delegate Member. Each vote shall be weighted according to the weighted voting structure used at all Annual and General Meetings (OPSBA Constitution Section 16.05).

Member boards are requested to confirm your Board's OPSBA Voting Delegate.

The Board of Directors recognizes that a healthy organization provides ease of opportunity for members to participate in elections. To provide options for boards who would have challenges in sending a representative to the September 21-22 general meeting, staff will investigate alternative voting processes. We note, for example, that school and hospital authorities who do not have an individual seat on the Board would incur additional costs in order to attend the General Meeting. More information on alternative voting processes will be communicated to Member Boards as soon as they are confirmed.

District school boards who appoint a trustee other than their OPSBA Director as their Voting Delegate may wish to consider designating their OPSBA Director as their Voting Delegate for this meeting.

Attendance at General Meeting: Any trustee from a member board can attend a general meeting. Expenses are borne by the member board.

Expenses: OPSBA does not reimburse trustee expenses for the purpose of attending the Annual or other General Meetings. OPSBA does reimburse expenses for all members of the Board of Directors to attend their meetings. Therefore, for the purposes of the September 21-22 meetings, OPSBA Board members will have their usual expenses reimbursed, as they would for a typical Board of Directors meeting.

The OPSBA Constitution is available on the OPSBA website. Alternatively, a PDF copy can be emailed to any member board trustee upon request.

We are committed to providing our membership with a transparent and easily accessible general meeting that will stimulate active participation in the Association's leadership. Member board trustees are encouraged to email or telephone Florenda Tingle at the OPSBA office with any questions, comments or concerns that they may have.

For more information: Florenda Tingle, Executive Coordinator, ext.108; or webmaster

Accessibility For Ontarians With Disabilities — August Update

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OPSBA is pleased to provide an update on:

  • Annual Report on Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities
  • TeachAble Project Website - September Launch
  • What is happening with the Built Environment Standard?

Annual Report on Accessibility Directorate for Ontarians with Disabilities
The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (Ministry of Community and Social Services) has recently released its 2011 Annual Report on progress in implementation of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the Accessibility Standards which have been set out in regulation. The report provides useful overviews of requirements for organizations in Ontario and information on resources provided by the Accessibility Directorate. Of note to school boards is the new member of the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council of Ontario - John Hendry, a veteran trustee and member of the Waterloo Region District School Board.

TeachAble Project Website - September Launch
OPSBA as a partner of the Ontario Education Services Corporation has been involved in development of the TeachAble Project, a dynamic website that will provide resources to help school boards implement provisions of the province's Integrated Accessibility Regulation. This is on track to be released in September, 2012.

For a preview of the TeachAble Project site:
TeachAble Teaser - Final - EN-H264 for Web.m4v

What is happening with the Built Environment Standard?
A comprehensive version of the Built Environment Standard was finalized by the Standards Development Committee in the latter part of 2010 but was never enacted as a regulation. Most recently, decisions were made to refer a majority of the proposed provisions to the body responsible for revising Ontario's Building Code and this work is getting underway. The remaining provisions of the draft Standard are now included in draft amendments to the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (Reg. 191/11) and form a new Part IV entitled Design of Public Spaces Standards (Accessibility Standards for the Built Environment). Aspects of the new Standards that will be most applicable to school boards are: Outdoor play spaces; exterior paths of travel; accessible parking.

The proposed Amendments to Regulation 191/11 have been released in draft form for public consultation. The consultation period is from August 15 to October 1, 2012. OPSBA will review the proposed amendments and coordinate a response. Input for this response can be sent to scook@opsba.org . For easier reference, a Highlights document has also been prepared by the Ministry. This information is also available on the Ministry's website.

For more information: Susan Cook, Policy & Communications Associate, ext.112; or webmaster

Nomination deadline for Provincial By-Elections is August 23

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On August 8th, the Premier anounced that provincial by-elections will be held on Thursday September 6th - two days after most students will begin their fall classes. The by-elections are to fill the vacancies left by the resignations of Liberal Greg Sorbara (Vaughan) and PC Elizabeth Witmer (Kitchener-Waterloo). There are a total of 107 seats in the Ontario Legislature. With the 2 vacancies, the Liberals currently hold 51 seats (excluding Liberal Speaker Dave Levac), the PCs have 36 and the NDP have 17. The Assembly is currently scheduled to resume on Monday September 10th. Nominations for both by-elections close on Thursday, August 23rd. OPSBA will send out a list of the candidates for each by-election once they are confirmed.

For more information: Jennifer McIntyre, Director of Policy, ext.103; or webmaster

OPSBA in the MEDIA

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School boards say provincial deadline is unrealistic
As reported by Raveena Aulakh, Toronto Star, August 15
Ontario's public school boards are miffed the government is asking them to negotiate with teachers' unions and pull off 400 deals in two weeks, something the province couldn't do in six months.

That expectation is unrealistic and unreasonable, said Lori Lukinuk, vice-president of the Ontario Public School Boards Association.

"You are looking at multiple contracts within each school board," she said in an interview with the Star. "The expectation that it happen within the next two weeks is just unrealistic."

Lukinuk said it's impossible to say how long it could take 31 boards to hammer out more than 400 contracts with teachers, but said dates are being set up to start talking.

The timeframe to sign deals differs from board to board, she said.

But Education Minister Laurel Broten said the government started that conversation "more than five months ago. Everyone in the education sector knew that the Sept. 1 deadline was an issue."
Complete story

School boards will pay price if there's no deal, Laurel Broten says
As reported by Louise Brown and Kristin Rushowy, Toronto Star, August 11
In an unusual move that has fuelled tensions between Queen's Park and school boards, Education Minister Laurel Broten sent a personal email to some 660 school trustees Friday urging them to sign deals with their local unions by Sept. 1 or face paying millions of dollars in extra wages from their boards' coffers.

The personal pitch also warns trustees that Broten will go ahead with controversial plans regarding in-class testing and the hiring of supply teachers, whether or not boards agree.

"I just think the memo is so inappropriate and so inflammatory," said Janet McDougald, longtime chair of the Peel District School Board, who said she has not received such correspondence from a minister in her 24 years as a trustee.

"I fail to understand why the government would think local school boards could negotiate something with their federations in three weeks that the ministry was unable to accomplish in five to six months."

Broten's letter tells each trustee how much their board will have to pay in wage hikes if they don't pass a proposed deal that freezes all but new teachers where they are on the salary grid. The Toronto public board faces a cost of nearly $12.5 million; Peel nearly $9 million.
Complete story

For more information: Jeff Sprang, Director, Communications & Media Relations, ext.111; or webmaster

Ontario NEWSROOM

From OPSBA Members

2012 Ophea Awards & Recognition

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Nomination deadline: September 7

Every year, the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association (Ophea) presents four awards recognizing outstanding contributions to the fields of child and youth health, physical activity, and H&PE.

Ophea believes it is a priority to recognize excellence in the field by honouring distinguished individuals and organizations for their significant achievements. The following awards are presented annually at the awards ceremony at the Ophea Conference:

  • Award of Distinction: Is presented to an individual who is a leader in the successful advancement of active, healthy living opportunities for children and youth in Ontario schools and/or communities.
  • Award for Outstanding Contribution: Recognizes an individual, group, or organization for their exemplary contribution to the lives of children and youth in the areas of health and physical education, health and physical activity promotion, advocacy, and/or community development.
  • School Community Award: Is presented to a school or community organization that has demonstrated leadership and excellence in successfully bringing together members of the community (including parents, teachers, boards of education, public health, sport and recreation organizations, community coalitions, local businesses, and municipal governments).
  • Outstanding New Professional Award: Is presented to an individual who has been working in the health and education sector for five years or less. Although new to the field, this recipient has already demonstrated a passion for, and made a notable contribution to, the advancement of active, healthy living for children and youth.

More information, including 2012 Award Nomination Packages

National Give Your School a Hug Day—October 10, 2012

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Heartspeak

October 10, 2012 has been designated as Heartspeak's annual provincial and national Give your School a Hug DayTM and your school community is invited to participate. Give Your School a Hug engages the whole school - students and staff - to identify solutions that support well-being, inclusion and achievement at local school and school board levels by engaging in meaningful discussion on topics such as bullying/cyber-bullying, mental health, learning and communication challenges, addictions, and more. This approach builds on and strengthens the Safe Schools, Equity and Inclusive Education strategies and provides a key element for moving forward with Bill 13 (the Accepting Schools Act).

For more information: www.heartspeak.ca

From Education PARTNERS

Career BOARD

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Career Board (from OPSBA members and education partners)

OASBO Job Postings, as of Aug 16 (from OASBO members)

Upcoming Events

AUGUST 2012

FIRST NATION TRUSTEES CAUCUS
August 29—30, 2012
OPSBA Board Room, Toronto

SEPTEMBER 2012

EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
Friday, September 21, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
OPSBA Board Room, Toronto

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Friday, September 21, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. &
Saturday, September 22, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Metropolitan Hotel, 108 Chestnut Street, Toronto
Phone: 416-977-5000; or 1-800-668-6600
OPSBA Rate: $168
Cut-off date: August 31

NORTHERN REGION DIRECTORS
Friday, September 21, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
OPSBA Board Room, Toronto

OCTOBER 2012

POLICY DEVELOPMENT / PROGRAM WORK TEAM (Joint Meeting)
Friday, October 5, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
OPSBA, Toronto

REGIONAL MEETINGS
Saturday, October 13

2012 NORTHERN REGIONAL MEETING & PROGRAM
October 19—20, 2012
Delta Conference Centre, 208 St Mary's River Drive, Sault Ste Marie
Phone: 705-949-0611 or  1-888-713-8482
OPSBA rate: $119.00 plus taxes (single and double room)
Cut-off date: Wednesday, September 19, 2012

EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
Thursday, October 25, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
OPSBA Board Room, Toronto

CHILDREN & YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH SUMMIT
October 25—26
Allstream Centre
105 Princes' Boulevard, Toronto