Inside this Issue:

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(l.-r.) James Ryan, Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association President, Bishop John Boissonneau, Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario, Minister of Education, Liz Sandals, and Kathy Burtnik, Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association President.

 

 

FACE Lobby Day

The joint initiative between OCSTA, OECTA and the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario (ACBO) called “FACE” (Friends and Advocates for Catholic Education), recently hosted the annual Lobby Day at Queen’s Park for Catholic Education.

Coordinated by FACE Project Manager Carole Allen and Enterprise Canada consultants, the day involved several meetings between new MPPs and members of the FACE delegation team which included representatives from OCSTA and OECTA.  Members of the ACBO were unable to participate in meetings this year, but were in attendance at the closing reception.

Each MPP meeting provided an opportunity for FACE delegation team members to discuss the contributions, made by the students and staff in Catholic schools, to the vitality and success of Ontario’s distinctive and acclaimed education system.

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Preparing for meetings with MPPs (click to enlarge picture).

Lobby Day Participants

OCSTA Representatives: Kathy Burtnik, Niagara CDSB and OCSTA President, Bob Schreader, Renfrew CDSB and OCSTA Vice President, Ann Andrachuk, Toronto CDSB, Anna Da Silva, Dufferin-Peel CDSB and OCSTA Director, Beverley Eckensweiler, Bruce-Grey CDSB and OCSTA Director, Michelle Griepsma, PVNC CDSB, and Linda Ward, St. Clair CDSB and OCSTA Director.

OECTA Representatives: James Ryan, OECTA President, Marshall Jarvis, OECTA General Secretary, David Church, Sonia De Petta, Andrew Donihee, Cheryl Fullerton, Ann Hawkins, Victoria Hunt, Julie Pauletig, Liz Stuart, and Marcie Tombari.

ACBO Representatives: Bishop John Boissonneau and Bishop Dan Miehm.

Statements in Support of Catholic Education in Ontario

During the Legislative Assembly Question Period, a number of statements were made in recognition of Catholic education and the FACE Lobby Day initiative. Following are excerpts from those statements (taken from Hansard 10 March 2015):

Mrs. Cristina Martins: …I am proud to be part of a government that recognizes the importance of investing in people, specifically through investing in education.  We are proud of the progress we have made across Ontario in all of our four diverse, publicly funded school systems: the English public, English Catholic, French public and French Catholic systems.

…We believe the Catholic boards play an important part of our vibrant and diverse education system. That’s certainly true in my great riding of Davenport, where we have a number of wonderful Catholic schools.

Hon. Liz Sandals: As I mentioned earlier today, the Friends and Advocates of Catholic Education are here at Queen’s Park, and I’d like to welcome supporters from the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association, and the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario, who will be here later in the day.

Indeed, as the members says, together we have indeed built an excellent system.  Over the past 10 years, we’eve been able to raise the graduation rate from 68% to 83%, and our government remains committed to providing an excellent education, and that includes the Catholic school system.

Mrs. Cristina Martins: We are recognized around the world as having one of the best publicly funded education systems in the English-speaking world.  I have two young sons that are part of the Catholic school board here in the city, and I know first-hand this is so true.

Following the meetings with MPPs, the FACE delegation team hosted a Legislative Reception welcoming the Minister of Education, Liz Sandals, PC Education Critic Garfield Dunlop and NDP Education Critic, Peter Tabuns, each of whom addressed the gathering with engaging and positive remarks about the value of Ontario’s Catholic schools.

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Students from Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts (Toronto CDSB).

 

Key highlights of the evening included an outstanding string quartet performance by students from Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts (Toronto Catholic District School Board) and the welcome participation of Student Trustees, Christopher MacDonald, Hannah McGroarty, Jason Barron, Kim Gubbels and Joel Louzado.

We appreciate the participation and support of all who attended including the following MPPs:

 

Lobby Day Highlights in Pictures:

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(l.-r.) OECTA President, James Ryan; OCSTA President, Kathy Burtnik; Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne; OCSTA Vice President, Bob Schreader; and FACE Project Manager, Carole Allen

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(l.-r.) FACE Project Manager, Carole Allen; OECTA President, James Ryan; OCSTA Director, Beverley Eckensweiler; and MPP, Garfield Dunlop.

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(l.-r.) Durham CDSB Trustee, Kathy LeFort; NDP Leader, Andrea Horwath; OCSTA President, Kathy Burtnik; and OCSTA Director, Linda Ward.

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Student Trustees: Jason Barron, Joel Louzado and Kim Gubbels.

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AFOCSC Executive Director, Benoit Mercier; FACE Project Manager, Carole Allen; and Peterborough Victoria Northumberland & Clarington CDSB Chair, Michelle Griepsma.

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(l.-r.) MPP Daiene Vernile, OCSTA Director, Beverley Eckensweiler, and OECTA President, James Ryan.

 

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Toronto CDSB Trustee, Ann Andrachuk with NDP Education Critic, Peter Tabuns.

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OCSTA Executive Director, Kevin Kobus (at left) and Howie Bender, Chief of Staff, Minister of Education’s Office.

 

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Register for OCSTA’s 85th AGM and Conference

Where: Sheraton Hotel and Conference Centre – 801 Dixon Rd., Toronto

When: April 30 – May 2, 2015

“Inspired by the Past; Focused on the Future”

This year OCSTA will be celebrating 85 years of service to Ontario’s Catholic District School Boards at the Association’s Annual General Meeting and Conference.

The 2015 conference theme – “Inspired by the Past; Focused on the Future” – speaks to the enormous community achievements that set in motion the establishment of Catholic education in Ontario almost 200 years ago, and the ongoing commitment of Catholic trustees to current and future students in publicly funded Catholic schools.

Keynote Presentations:

The “Francis Effect” and the Future of Catholic Education
Fr. Leonard Altilia, S.J., Veteran Educator, President, St. Paul’s High School

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The Hon. Liz Sandals, Minister of Education (Invited)

OCSTA President, Kathy Burtnik, with Minister of Education, Liz Sandals.

OCSTA President, Kathy Burtnik, with Minister of Education, Liz Sandals.

Trends Expert, Max Valiquette: “Millenials, Technology, and the Human Component”

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Anne Sado, President, George Brown College – “Innovative Education Partnerships”

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Other Session Topics include:

  • Understanding Education Finance in Ontario
  • Bill 177 and the Role of the School Trustee
  • Aboriginal Education
  • Supporting Students an d Families Living in Poverty
  • On Being a Catholic Student Leader (student trustee workshop)

Discounted “OCSTA” Hotel rate: $139 per night

Hotel reservations cut-off date: April 10, 2015. After the deadline, this special rate will be provided on a space available basis only.

Preliminary Program

For any questions about the program, please contact Sharon McMillan at OCSTA, ext. 232.

OCSTA 2015 Elections – May 1, 2015

Now is a good time to start thinking about the role you might serve as part of the leadership team steering the direction of OCSTA. That opportunity is available as a member of the Association’s Board of Directors.

The OCSTA Board of Directors is the principal source of policy and political direction and the major decision-making body of the Association. The Board manages the affairs of the Association and consists of the following elected positions:

President
Vice-President
Past President
Regional Directors (Directors in Regions 6, 7, 8 and 12 are not elected by the membership but are instead selected/appointed by their respective boards)

For the 2015 OCSTA AGM, nominations are being accepted for “Regional Directors”.  View list of regions.

  • The Role of the OCSTA Regional Director
    The Regional Director knows and understands:

    • the issues currently under discussion at OCSTA;
    • the position of OCSTA on these issues; and
    • the position of boards (within their region) on these issues
  • Regional Directors seek input and views on current issues from their respective regions and bring forward these issues, as required, to the Board of Directors
  • The Association relies on Regional Directors to know the full range of services that are available from OCSTA for trustees and administrators and to encourage the maximum use of OCSTA services by members.
  • Regional Directors have a key role to play in enhancing communication between the Boards they represent and OCSTA by:
    • providing on a regular basis to boards in their regions, a report on OCSTA Board of Directors’ meetings;
    • encouraging boards to respond to OCSTA issues and discussion papers
  • The Board of Directors meet 6 times per year (September, December,February, April (twice) and June).
  • There are currently 6 standing committees comprised of OCSTA Directors.
  • OCSTA Regional Directors are required to sit on at least 2 Standing Committees.

The deadline for nominations is 10:00 a.m. (EST) on April 2, 2015.  A list of all nominations received in the OCSTA office by April 2, 2015 will be distributed to all member boards no later April 6, 2015.  Please direct any questions to Jane Ponte at OCSTA – 416-932-9460, ext. 223 / jponte[at]ocsta.on.ca.

Trustee Learning Modules – No Charge for Members

A memo was recently sent to all trustees with the announcement that the trustee professional development modules available on this website in the Good Governance Centre, are now accessible at no charge to trustees. At the core of this content are the 14 modules for trustees developed by the Ontario Education Services Corporation and further enhanced by OCSTA to address the Catholic perspective on each topic. There is also included in this package, a 15th module which was developed by OCSTA to specifically address Catholic education issues.

Costs incurred by the association to develop a cost effective way to continually delivery this information going forward is now being covered by the Ministry of Education.  The Good Governance Centre on this website required the Association to incur programming and website development costs to create a “self-directed” way for trustees to receive the multimedia content contained within each module, including the automated self testing tools and certificate generation.

Trustees will now have access to this centre and all the content within it, 24-hours a day, free of charge. User IDs and passwords provided to all OCSTA members must be used to access this area of the website.  If you do now know your user ID or password, please contact Sharon McMillan at smcmillan@ocsta.on.ca / (416) 932-9460, ext. 232.  Instructions for using this online service can be downloaded here. All details about the modules and access to the login link are in the Good Governance Centre.

CPCO Webinars Open to Trustees

The Catholic Principals’ Council of Ontario (CPCO) would like OCSTA members to be aware of various professional learning opportunities that are being made available to Catholic principals and vice-principals but are also open to non-practicing associates and Catholic partners.

The following two webinars may be of particular interest to trustees or staff members at your boards:

  • March 30, 2015 from 4-5 p.m.  – “Having Hard Conversations: How to get through the tough conversations that drive your school and community forward”.
  • April 7, 2015 from 4-5 p.m. – “Generational Savvy: The Multigenerational Workplace – Communicate, Collaborate and Create Community”.

Both webinars will be live and interactive – making this the perfect opportunity learn from and with colleagues from across the province in order to strengthen your capacity to navigate difficult but necessary conversations with the many stakeholders you engage with daily as well as how to deepen your leadership capacity.

These Adobe Connect “webinar” sessions will allow you to participate from any location – at home or your office – as long as you have internet access.

Click here to register. Spaces are limited. $25 fee for non-CPCO members.  For more information, please contact CPCO at 1-888-621-9190.