President’s Message Dear Catholic Trustees: During this blessed Advent season, we are reminded of the importance of taking time to reflect on our lives and to prepare for the celebration…

By Editor

Dec 12, 2019

President’s Message

Dear Catholic Trustees:

During this blessed Advent season, we are reminded of the importance of taking time to reflect on our lives and to prepare for the celebration of the birth of our saviour.

As Catholic trustees, we have multiple responsibilities and priorities aligned to our governance and advocacy roles. From the current bargaining environment, to specific issues in our constituencies to the various activities that involve the students in our schools – there is always competition for our attention.

It can be difficult to find that peaceful silence for deep reflection in such a busy environment. Thankfully, all around us in our homes, parishes and most certainly our Catholic schools, we can be inspired and reminded to pull away from the busyness and direct our attention towards the “reason for the season.” The purpose of our schools, our faith, our calling as Trustees is squarely rooted in the Person of Jesus Christ.

As Pope Francis said, “With Christ joy is constantly born anew.”

In the spirit of renewal and joy I wish for you, your families and Catholic school board communities a happy and holy Christmas and all of God’s blessings in the new year.

OCSTA Finance Brief

The 2019 OCSTA Finance Brief addresses current CDSB priorities and includes funding recommendations that address:

  • cybersecurity;
  • capital funding;
  • student transportation and bus driver retention;
  • special education;
  • mental health programs and services;
  • Parents Reaching Out (PRO) grants, and;
  • information technology supports.

The Finance Brief has been shared with all boards and was submitted to the Minister Lecce. For your reference and convenience you can view the 2019 Finance Brief by clicking here.

Upcoming Event:

Almost 200 Catholic trustees from across the province have registered for OCSTA’s annual Catholic Trustees Seminar scheduled for January 17 – 18, 2020 at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto Airport (655 Dixon Rd., Toronto).

Program Highlights Include:

  • Higher Purpose Leadership – Dr. Jill Birch, Leadership and Organizational Change Expert
  • Minister Stephen Lecce (Invited)
  • Exploring the Topic of Gender in Catholic Education – Dr. Moira McQueen, Executive Director, Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute; Mary Margaret MacKinnon, Guild Yule LLP; Shauna Gersbach, Guild Yule LLP, and; Stephanie Young, Borden Ladner Gervais
  • Conflict of Interest, Code of Conduct, and the Role of an Integrity CommissionerTrustee Carol Cotton, York CDSB and OCSTA Director, Moderator; Sandhya Kohli, Integrity Commissioner; Sheila MacKinnon, Shibley Righton
  • What’s Up with School Board Governance? – Marion Thomson Howell, ShaughnessyHowell Inc.
  • Time – Make it Your Best Friend, Never Your FoeBob Koehler
  • Faith in Action – Student Trustee Workshop –  Jade Bilodeau, OSTA-AECO CBC President  and Sofia Zamorano, OSTA-AECO CBC VP
  • Reviewing the Role of Faith Based School Leaders in Advancing Social Justice Initiatives – Avi Benlolo, President & CEO, Friends of Simon Wiesanthal Centre for Holocaust Studies.
  • The Holocaust in History & Living Memory: A Catholic Approach to Holocaust Education – Michael Nasello, Director of Education, PVNC CDSB; Olivia Brown, PVNC CDSB Student; Oliver Fung, York CDSB Graduate, and; Jacquire Girard, PVNC CDSB Graduate

Registrations are still being accepted. Seminar Program and registration information can be accessed online by clicking here.

Ministry Reviews Anti-Bullying Policies

On November 27, the Minister of Education announced five new measures to reinforce the provincial anti-bullying prevention strategy.  These measures include a province-wide survey of students and a review of school reporting practices regarding bullying. The complete list of measures and the Association’s next steps with regard to this Ministry initiative are detailed in this recent OCSTA Memo to Boards.

OCSTA Student Short-Video Contest – Voting Starts Dec. 16

OCSTA has received almost 100 short-video submissions from students across the province participating in the “Igniting Hope” Short-Video Contest. The deadline for submissions was December 10th and we are in the process of preparing the list of semi-finalists that will be posted on December 16 at this URL: .

Public voting for these videos will begin on Monday, December 16 and will conclude at midnight on Friday, December 20. Only subscribers to the Together in Faith supporters list can vote. If you are not a subscriber yet, when you attempt to vote you will be directed to the form where you can become a subscriber before voting.

The elementary and secondary winners of this contest will be announced in January. Good luck to all participants!

CEFO Newsletter

OCSTA is pleased to share with members the current newsletter from the Catholic Education Foundation of Ontario – CEFO News

Catholic Register Contest

The Catholic Register newspaper is once again conducting its ninth annual children’s Christmas Drawing Contest. The deadline is soon (Friday, December 13th) and the top entry in each of 3 categories will receive a $75 gift certificate for a day at the movies, plus a 6-month subscription to the digital edition of the paper.

For more information please download the submission form.



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