OPSBA in the Media – August 2020

2020 8/10 | Connects Page, OPSBA in the Media

It’s time to properly invest in public education
The Toronto Star, Aug. 30, 2020
As a longtime school board trustee and two-term president of the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about how we ensure our students will continue to receive a world-class education at their local public schools, despite the pandemic. COVID-19 has impacted all of society, and it will affect an entire generation of students if we don’t handle this correctly.

School boards need to pick up the pace of air quality improvements, Ontario premier says
The Canadian Press, Aug. 29, 2020
TORONTO — School boards need to pick up the pace of air quality improvements as schools reopen this fall, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Friday, urging them not to move “on government time” as they rush to spend millions in funding allocated earlier this week.

Boards ‘frustrated’ by Ontario’s school funding plan
The Canadian Press, Aug. 15, 2020
TORONTO — Ontario school boards said Friday their reserve funds are already budgeted for high-priority initiatives not related to the COVID-19 pandemic and should not be used to lower class sizes and hire new teachers, as the government is asking them to do.

‘NON ANNOUNCEMENT:’ Promise of cash to lower class sizes no help for Ottawa’s largest school board
Ottawa Sun, Aug. 15, 2020
“We are effectively doing already what the minister gave us permission to do.”
Trustee Mark Fisher calls Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce’s promise to allow school boards to raid their reserves to pay for smaller classes a “non announcement.”

Toronto school board pitch for smaller class sizes strikes out. Back to the drawing board
The Toronto Star, Aug. 15, 2020
Toronto’s public school board is reeling after learning its plan to shrink elementary class sizes to 15 or 20 students has been rejected by the province and — like other large, urban boards including Ottawa-Carleton — it must now also overhaul its schedule for high schools, too.

Bay Observer, Aug. 14, 2020
Yesterday Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board Chair Patrick Daly expressed his concern about school boards being asked to dip into their reserve funds to pay for some of the special distancing requirements that will accompany back-to-school next month. Today, Daly’s concerned were echoed by the organization that represents all public school boards in the province. The text of a statement from the Ontario Public School Board Association follows:

About a quarter of Ontario parents don’t want to send children back to school, early survey results suggest
The Toronto Star, Aug. 14, 2020
About a quarter of families say they will keep their children at home learning online this fall because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to preliminary results of fall attendance surveys from Ontario school boards.

Concerns raised about what to do if COVID-19 outbreak happens at school
CTV News, Aug. 11, 2020
KITCHENER — Just four weeks before children across Ontario head back to school, some are raising concerns about the lack of guidance provided when it comes to dealing with a possible COVID-19 outbreak.

Boards trying to estimate how many students will return to Ottawa classrooms in September
Ottawa Citizen, Aug. 11, 2020
Up to 20 per cent of families may be opting for online learning in September, according to preliminary estimates by school boards.

Federal back-to-school guidelines urge phased-in return to classes, face shields for teachers
The Toronto Star, Aug. 8, 2020
Canada’s new back-to-school COVID-19 guidelines include many of the measures already adapted by the Ontario government, but go further urging a phased in return to class, face shields for teachers and Plexiglas dividers.