By Editor

Apr 22, 2020

OSSTF Tentative Agreement

In a recent memo to boards, Labour Relations Committee Chair, Patrick Daly announced that the Council of Trustees’ Associations (comprised of ACEPO, AFOCSC, OCSTA and OPSBA) and the Crown reached a tentative agreement with OSSTF (Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation).

The Association would like to take this opportunity to express deep appreciation for the dedicated work of OCSTA’s Labour Department, especially Director and Labour Relations Counsel, Sharon Duffy; Brian Beal, Director of Education, Simcoe Muskoka Catholic DSB; Shesh Maharaj, Chief Financial Officer, Executive Superintendent of Corporate Services and Treasurer, Waterloo Catholic DSB and Kathy Burtnik, Trustee, Niagara Catholic DSB for their expert advice and support throughout the process.

The OCSTA Labour Relations Committee (LRC) has played an important role throughout negotions this year and the Association is grateful for the outstanding commitment and leadership or LRC Chair and Past President, Patrick Daly and Committee members, President Beverley Eckensweiler; Michael Bellmore, Chair, Sudbury CDSB; Kathy Burtnik, Trustee, Niagara CDSB; Carol Cotton, Trustee, York CDSB; Thomas Thomas, Trustee, Dufferin-Peel CDSB, and; Linda Ward, Trustee, St. Clair CDSB.

Legislative Update

On April 14, the Ontario Legislature approved the extension of the provincial declaration of emergency another 28 days until May 12. This extension allows the goverment of Ontario to continue to enforce current emergency orders, such as closure of all non-essential workplaces, parks and recreational areas, public places and restaurants, as well as restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people.

While in session MPPs also passed Bill 189, Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Protection Act, 2020 to amend the Education Act, Planning Act, Development Charges Act, Police Services Act and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act. The amendments to the Education Act will allow school boards to continue charging Education Development Charges (EDCs) on new construction in order to retain a source of revenue for new school projects. The bill also includes an amendment to provide a fair and consistent province-wide approach to addressing school suspensions and expulsions as part of the government’s commitment to the safety of students and staff upon the reopening of schools.

Catholic Education Week – #CEW202 #IgnitingHope


Catholic Education Week will happen May 3 – May 8. Resource kits for schools were sent to all boards in February, and information contained in those kits can be downloaded directly from the OCSTA website at:

Catholic Education Week Provincial Mass

We are pleased to announce that we will be welcoming His Eminence, Cardinal Collins to celebrate a provincial Mass for Catholic Education Week on Wednesday, May 6th at 10 a.m.  Due to current restrictions on gatherings, this provincial Mass will be broadcast live and made accessible online. To participate please click on the following link at 10 a.m. on May 6:

At Home Resources

New this year for Catholic Education Week are specially prepared resources for use at home by students and their families – click here to view.

CEW Song – Igniting Hope

We would like to acknowledge and thank composer and performer of this year’s inspiring theme song for Catholic Education Week – Teacher Chris Rait of the Brant Haldimand Norfolk CDSB. The song Chris composed is called “Hope” and the audio file can be downloaded and enjoyed by clicking here.

Good News from Ontario’s CDSBs

Read the latest Good News post highlighting activities from Durham and Toronto CDSBs

As is our tradition, all Catholic school boards are invited to share with OCSTA stories that highlight how students and staff are demonstrating this year’s CEW theme – Igniting Hope – through their activities and acts of Christian service. These CEW ‘good news’ stories can be sent to Sharon McMillan – smcmillan [ at ]



A reminder to all OCSTA members that COVID-19 information as it relates to the education sector is located on the Association website here.


CDSB Innovation Centre

On March 31st, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Ontario government announced that schools and child care centres would remain closed for an extended period of time to protect the health and safety of students and staff.

To ensure continuity of learning, the government launched the second phase of its Learn at Home intiative. Developed in conjunction with education partners, the government is establishing clarity for parents, enhancing education supports, and creating opportunities for teachers and educators to connect with students.

Recognizing the distinctive nature of Catholic education and both the challenges and opportunities of online learning, CDSBs have and continue to develop resources to support the virtual learning framework in ways that are aligned to the Catholic education focus on the development of the whole child (academic, spiritual, physical and social aspects).

To help promote and share the best practices of our Catholic School boards, OCSTA has established on the provincial website a center for CDSB Innovation with respect to current virtual learning initiatives.

To view the current CDSB Innovation page please visit:


OCSTA 2020 Virtual AGM – New Date

In a recent memo to members, Executive Director Nick Milanetti announced the following details regarding the reschedulig of OCSTA’s 2020 AGM:

On April 3, 2020, the OCSTA Board of Directors met to discuss and provide direction related to changes arising from the current unprecedented impacts on our workplace, due to emergency measures which prevent a physical gathering at this time.

  • The Board officially cancelled this year’s conference and postponed the Annual General
    Meeting until June.
  • On Saturday, June 27, 2020, from 9:00am – 12:00pm (EST) OCSTA will convene virtually to
    address items which are required elements of an Annual General Meeting.
  • A meeting invitation for the “virtual” Annual General Meeting will be distributed to all Catholic
    school Trustees and Directors of Education. Instructions and parameters for participating in the
    virtual AGM will be provided by OCSTA closer to the meeting date.
  • Election of Table Officers (President and Vice President) and CCSTA Representative: During
    these extraordinary and unprecedented times, members will be able to vote electronically, in real
    time. Rules, regulations and required parameters will be provided to all members in advance of
    the meeting.
  • The current Table Officers will stay in place until the election.

OCSTA is extending the deadline date for receipt of Resolutions, Nominations and Proxy Forms as follows:

o Deadline for Receipt of Resolutions – April 28, 2020 – 12:00pm (EST)
o Deadline for Receipt of Nominations – June 5, 2020 – 9:00am (EST)
o Deadline for Receipt of Proxy Forms – June 25, 2020 – 9:00am (EST)

  • If at the time of the meeting the ban has been lifted on the gathering of more than five people, trustees may be able to gather at their local Board offices to participate in the “virtual” AGM, where they may request the support of their local Board’s IT personnel, if needed. Each individual will require their own electronic device, i.e., laptop or personal computer in order to capture their individual votes. Members may also participate by phone, however, they would not have the capability to vote in real time but would have the ability to vote via proxy.
  • OCSTA has been able to limit the liability to the Association under these extraordinary circumstances. The block of rooms at the Fairmont Château Laurier, and The Lord Elgin in Ottawa have been released, therefore no charges will apply to reservations made under the blocks. ▪ A reminder that all travel arrangements and rooms booked outside the OCSTA “hotel blocks” are the responsibility of the delegate.
  • All AGM & Conference and Business Seminar registrations will be automatically cancelled and no action is required on your part. Paid registration fees for the 2020 AGM & Conference and Business Seminar will be refunded to all member boards. ▪ 2020 OCSTA Award Recipients will be honoured at a future in-person event. ▪ The 2021 Conference date will be announced once confirmed.
  • At this time, Fall Regional Meeting dates will remain as scheduled.

We extend our gratitude to the Ottawa Catholic School Board for their leadership and commitment to date on planning this year’s AGM & Conference. These are unique and challenging times for all. Our staff at OCSTA are working remotely and, as always, can be accessed through email to address the needs of our members.

We ask for your continued prayers for the victims of the Coronavirus, for first responders, doctors, nurses and priests tending to the sick. May God bless you and your families with good health and protection during these difficult and uncertain times.


OCSTA Website Hosts Religious Education Curriculum

OCSTA Director of Education, Anne O’Brien recently issued the following memo regarding CCCB Religious Education Curriculum for Catholic schools:

At this time of Distance Learning in our province, the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association (OCSTA) is pleased to have formed a partnership with the National Office of the Religious Education (NORE) and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) to bring our Religion textbooks to you electronically. These resources were developed for use in Catholic schools in Canada and are approved by the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario.

OCSTA has purchased the licence for the electronic versions of the texts listed below. These texts are for the use of schools and parents and are accessible directly from the Association’s website at the following location:

At this time, we are providing a PDF version of:

1. Believe in Me, Year 7 Student Textbook

2. School by Me, Year 8 Student Textbook

3. Be with Me, Year 9 Student Textbook

4. Christ and Culture, Year 10 Student Textbook

5. In Search of the Good: Year, 12 Student Textbook

*NEW*: The Teacher’s Manual for each textbook is also available for download in this section of the OCSTA website.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Anne O’Brien, OCSTA Director of Catholic Education at

Thank you.





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