Inside this Issue:

Message for Lent

From Pope Francis’ Message for Lent, 2017

Lent is a new beginning, a path leading to the certain goal of Easter, Christ’s victory over death. This season urgently calls us to conversion. Christians are asked to return to God “with all their hearts” (Joel 2:12), to refuse to settle for mediocrity and to grow in friendship with the Lord. Jesus is the faithful friend who never abandons us. Even when we sin, he patiently awaits our return; by that patient expectation, he shows us his readiness to forgive. 

We invite you to view this Lenten resource from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Legislative Update 

Bill 92, School Boards Collective Bargaining Amendment Act, 2017

Ontario is proposing changes to the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act, 2014 with the introduction of Bill 92, School Boards Collective Bargaining Amendment ActThe proposed amendments are being put forward to build on the current model for collective bargaining established under the SBCB Act.

Bill 92 has been referred to the Standing Committee on General Government with public hearings scheduled to occur on March 8 and 9th.  Ontario’s trustee associations are coordinating a joint submission to be presented at these public hearings.

The deadline for written submissions is 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 9, 2017.

Bill 68, Modernizing Ontario’s Municipal Legislation Act, 2016

OCSTA continues to monitor Bill 68 – Modernizing Municipal Legislation Act, 2016 which proposes to amend certain acts including the Municipal Act, the City of Toronto Act, the Municipal Elections Act and the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.  The proposed legislation, if passed, would amend the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and the Municipal Elections Act in ways that will impact all municipalities and school boards.  An OCSTA memo detailing these proposed impacts was sent to all CDSB chairpersons and directors of education on February 10.

Catholic Education Week – April 30 – May 5

OCSTA’s Catholic Education Week committee members have worked diligently over the year to develop the resources and learning materials for the 2017 Catholic Education Week event. Developed this year under the theme “Walking forward Together” all marketing and learning materials can be downloaded directly from the website at www.goodnewsforall.ca.

Of special note is the wonderfully catchy song “Walking Forward Together” written and performed by Dufferin-Peel CDSB teacher, Nancy Bodsworth.  Mp3 files and English and French lyrics are also included in the resources located at the website referenced above.

Register for the 87th OCSTA AGM & Conference

Date and Location: April 27 – 29, 2017 at the International Plaza Hotel, Toronto

This year’s AGM and Conference focuses on the distinctive role of Catholic trustees in speaking up for and protecting publicly funded Catholic education in Ontario. The conference theme “Our Voice – Our Message – Our Future” is reflected in an engaging program that includes:

  • Keynote address by Dr. John Milloy, former Ontario Cabinet Minister and current lecturer on politics and ethics at Wilfred Laurier University
  • Special welcome by Minister of Education, The Hon. Mitzie Hunter
  • Presentation on Ministry of Education Key Initiatives by Deputy Minister, Bruce Rodrigues
  • Presentation on the Legacy of Ontario Premier Bill Davis, presented by Steve Paikin, Anchor, TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin
  • A discussion of good governance practices by a panel of Catholic Trustees and Directors of Education
  • A unique workshop entitled “Digital Discipleship”,  presented by York CDSB

Click here to view the full program.

Register online for the 2017 OCSTA AGM and Conference.

Pre-conference event: 2017 OCSTA/OCSBOA Business Seminar

All members are invited to attend the annual OCSTA/OCSBOA Business Seminar which takes place prior to the AGM on Thursday, April 27 from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the International Plaza Hotel in Toronto.

This year’s seminar includes an intensive workshop on the Internal Audit Process and Audit Committees. The session has been designed specifically for trustees will be presented by Ministry of Education staff.

This workshop will cover audit committee-related topics identified through a survey that has been distributed to trustees.  Regional internal audit managers will provide a short presentation on each topic, with each presentation followed by an activity and/or group discussion.

Other sessions at the Business Seminar include:

  • Panel Discussion – Accommodation Review, moderated by Bill Gartland, Director of Education, CDSB of Eastern Ontario. Panelists:
    • Kathy Le Fort, Vice Chair, Durham CDSB
    • Michael Hines, Partner, Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP
    • Daniel Del Bianco, Superintendent of Planning and Operations, Dufferin-Peel CDSB
  • Robert Lavigne, Managing Director, Economic Research, OMERS Capital Markets
  • John Sabo, President and CEO, Ontario Education Collaborative Marketplace

Click here to view the full program.

Register online for the 2017 OCSTA/OCSBOA Business Seminar.

Together in Faith Campaign

OCSTA’s campaign to engage Ontario’s Catholic education community (students, parents, trustees, teachers, staff, parishioners, neighbours and all supporters of publicly funded Catholic schools in this province) is progressing very well.

At this time we are particularly focused on engaging Catholic school alumni and we have developed online campaign posters that are being shared on social media platforms.

Have you signed up to receive updates on OCSTA’s Together in Faith campaign? If not, we hope you’ll sign up today as this campaign is designed to surface and profile province-wide the social justice initiatives, faith-based activities, successful programs and academic achievements of students and staff in our Catholic schools.

We encourage you to share the posters and pre-written (but customizable) messages and letters that you can access directly from the Together in Faith website and share with members of your family, parish, Catholic school community, local MPP, city councillors and others in your local network.

OCSTA Online Community Forum for Trustees

All trustees are encouraged to join the OCSTA Online Community Forum for Trustees. This forum has been established in response to trustees’ requests for secure online space for trustees to share ideas and questions on issues related to Catholic education, Catholic school board governance, and Ministry of Education initiatives, policies and legislation. If you need assistance to log onto this forum, please do not hesitate to contact Ashlee Cabral at acabral@ocsta.on.ca – 416-932-9460, ext. 232.

New Categories:  New discussion categories have been added to provide trustees with timely and direct access to OCSTA memos, briefs, submissions and information on upcoming events.

Catholic Trustee Forum 

Community Hub Summit – Save the Date

Save the Date! May 1 – 3, 2017 in Toronto, Ontario for the 2017 Ontario Community Hubs Summit!

The Community Hub Summit is being produced by the province’s Community Hubs Secretariat with input from various provincial stakeholders, including all four trustee associations. The Summit will feature keynote speakers, hands-on workshops, and opportunities to interact with participants and speakers.  More details will be provided in the coming days.

Click here for ongoing Summit updates.

Catholic Register Easter Contest for Students

The Catholic Register newspaper is conducting its sixth annual children’s Easter drawing contest. The top entry in each of 3 categories will receive a $50 gift certificate for a day at the movies.  The winning drawings will appear in the The Register’s Easter edition, April 16, 2017.

To learn more and to access the submission form, please click here.