Last week was Education Week in Ontario. I hope you had a chance to attend one of the many events hosted in our schools this week. It is always so amazing to walk into your child’s school and see all of the artwork, projects and performances on display and to feel the energy that the students and staff bring to the building. It really is a great way for you to connect with your child’s teachers and to connect with your child and learn more about what is going on in their school day. Thanks to those folks who attended the Speaker Series with Dr. Rob Copland this week – what a great session!
Looking forward at the OCDSB….
It’s hard to believe that the end of the school year is in sight. In the weeks ahead, there are some important things happening in our school district that you might want to be aware of:
– on May 10th, staff will present the draft recommended budget for the 2016-2017 school year. The budget report will be available on Monday and the detailed budget document will be released at the meeting on Tuesday night. Budgets are important tools to help an organization balance available resources and expectations. This budget has been prepared with careful consideration and will be the subject of discussion over the next two months as the Board considers options and makes final decisions. You can follow our budget process on our website
Secondary School Review – consultation on the Secondary School Review is coming to a close next week. Staff will be reviewing the community feedback before making final recommendations to Committee of the Whole on June 7th. The recommendations will outline changes to the secondary school program delivery framework.
Multi-Year Student Learning and Pupil Accommodation Planning – On May 17th, staff will bring forward a discussion report outlining a multi-year strategy for student learning and pupil accommodation reviews. Over the course of several years, the school district will review the number of pupil places in our schools in order to right size available pupil space and enrolment. The first report will be scheduled for discussion in May, followed by a report with recommendations in June. Watch for the report next Friday.
Client Service Standards and Complaint Resolution Policy
– this year, work has been underway on the development of a policy on client service standards. This policy will express our commitment to client service and outline the mechanisms available to help clients resolve any outstanding concerns. A discussion report on this topic will be presented to Committee of the Whole on May 17th. Learn more here.
Future Capital Priorities
In anticipation of an upcoming request for information about capital priorities from the Ministry of Education, staff has prepared a draft report for discussion with Committee of the Whole. Learn more here.
Each year the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board recognizes the extraordinary contributions of individuals and groups who volunteer their time and skills to make great things happen in our schools. This year we had a record number of nominations with a grand total of 70 nominations!
The awards will be presented at the Annual Volunteer Appreciation Reception and Community Recognition Awards on June 8, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. at the Confederation Education Centre – 1645 Woodroffe Ave. (corner of Hunt Club & Woodroffe).
Please mark your calendar for June 8th and join us as we celebrate all our nominees. Advance registration is required and you can register here.
Doing Mathematics with Your Child (Kindergarten to Grade 6)
Today, critical thinking, problem solving, reasoning ability and ability to communicate mathematically are essential skills. These processes are the foundation of mathematics instruction in Ontario schools. “Doing Mathematics with Your Child” is a guide available for parents of students in Kindergarten to Grade 6. This guide offers ways to engage their child in thinking and talking about mathematics around the four strands: number sense and numeration, measurement, patterning and algebra, and data management and probability. Click here
to access the guide in English and 13 other languages.
Your Child’s Education – Tips for Parents
Spring is here. Parents can encourage active learning through outdoor play, visiting a museum, attending a special event. Learn more here
SCHOOL COUNCIL BUSINESS
The OCASC final meeting of the year will be held Thursday May 19 from 7-9pm. The meeting topic is the Secondary School Review
, with special guest Superintendent Neil Yorke-Slader. A report on the Secondary School Review
and background information is available on our website.
The OCASC AGM immediately follows the meeting. Join us to hear annual reports from the current executive and to elect a new slate of officers for 2016/17.
The Nominations Committee for the AGM is comprised of Paul Warner (Glen Cairn PS), Mark Tymowski (Huntley Centennial PS) and Dale Childs (Elizabeth Park PS). To contact the Committee with any questions or to forward a nomination for yourself or a peer, please firstname.lastname@example.org
Executive positions include:
Chair – Administers the affairs of the assembly and ensure that all policies and actions approved by the general membership are implemented. The chair presides at meetings of the Assembly and prepares the agenda for such meetings with advice from other executive officers and committees. The Chair also represents the views of the Assembly to the Board, the Ministry of Education, the media and elsewhere as required.
Vice Chair (or Co-Chair) – The Vice-Chair (or Co-Chair) fulfills the duties of the Chair when that person is temporarily absent or otherwise unable to perform the duties of the office. The Vice-Chair also performs specific duties assigned by the Chair, or requested by the Executive Committee or the general membership.
Recording Secretary– The recording secretary is responsible for the general correspondence of the Assembly including preparing and distributing minutes of all general meetings and of the executive committee.
Membership Secretary– The membership secretary is responsible for maintaining a current list of member school councils including the names and contact information for school delegates. The Membership Secretary registers the attendance at general meetings, determines quorum and counts the votes.
Treasurer- The treasurer is responsible for the care and custody of the funds and other financial assets of the Assembly and for making payments for all approved expenses incurred by the Assembly. The treasurer maintains books of the accounts that shall be made available for inspection by members at any reasonable time on request. At each AGM, the treasurer presents an account of the finances of the Assembly and a budget for the following fiscal year including any recommendations for change to the annual dues of member councils. The treasurer also maintains a record of dues paid by member school councils.
Communication Officer – The communication officer prepares communications on behalf of the assembly, to the media and elsewhere as directed by the Executive. The communications officer may undertake additional tasks such as monitoring the media coverage of education generally at the suggestion of the executive or their own initiative.
The Liaison Officer Positions – Liaison Officer positions typically act as Members at Large, which allows an individual to attend and participate in Executive and Assembly meetings and may choose areas of specialization with the agreement of the Executive.
School Council Insurance Coverage – 2015-2016
School council insurance coverage for the 2015-2016 school year is being provided through the Ontario School Boards’ Insurance Exchange (OSBIE) and Jones Brown Insurance Brokers.
The District has purchased school council insurance on behalf of all OCDSB school councils. However, if your school council is planning to use a bouncy castle, you must ensure the vendor has liability insurance and that they are Technical Safety Standards Authority (TSSA) certified. The vendor should be the only persons responsible for installing and running the bouncy castle. Use of Inflatable Structures Like Bouncy Castles – is a high-risk activity and only allowed if the structure is assembled by the company from whom it is being rented; the structure is supervised by the company’s staff; the company installing the structure has sufficient liability insurance and approvals for the structures; and the structure is regulated by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA). Only qualified and competent supervisors should be on site when these structures are in place. Parents should not supervise these activities unless they are qualified in these specific activities. Principals and school council representatives are cautioned not to sign any agreement accepting all liability. Dunk tanks should not be used.
Information from OSBIE: Garage Sales and Liability Risk
Spring and Fall is a popular times for schools to hold garage sales. Health Canada has released a memorandum entitled “Facts for Garage Sale Vendors” which clearly states the following: “Everyone holding a garage sale is legally responsible for ensuring that products sold, whether new or used, are safe and meet current safety standards. Damaged articles should be discarded.”
In addition, the Hazardous Products Act places safety requirements on certain products, particularly those intended for use by children – it is against the law to import, sell, give away or lend products that do not meet this Act. Some of the most common products that often appear in garage sales that must meet the Hazardous Products Act include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Baby Gates – certain designs can result in strangulation hazards
- Baby Walkers (these devices have been illegal to sell in Canada since April 2004)
- Child Car Seats – seats must meet the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard
- Children’s Jewellery – lead is often used in the decorative paint or the materials used to manufacture inexpensive jewellery.
- Children’s Sleepwear – loose fitting cotton fabrics may not meet flammability requirements.
- Baby Cribs – cribs made before September 1986 are illegal to sell under the law.
- Lawn darts – illegal to sell if they have elongated tips.
- Playpens, Baby Carriages/Strollers made before 1985
- Toys – may present choking hazards, sharp protrusions, disrepair – beware of recalled toys
- Toys or Science kits with magnets – can create intestinal blockage if swallowed
- Bicycle, rollerblading, equestrian helmets – designed for a single impact and should not be re-sold
- Hockey Helmets – must comply with CSA standards
- Clothing containing draw strings – presents a strangulation hazard
- Blinds/curtains with pull cords – strangulation hazard y Infant bath seats/rings – safety warnings may have been removed
For more information, contact Consumer Product Safety, Health Canada at 1-866-662-0666
or visit their website
Secondary School Review Update
While our discussion forums are now complete we are still seeking feedback from all parents, students, staff, community members, and the general public.The focus is primarily secondary schools, but this would be of interest to elementary parents as well. You can also submit your feedback electronically.
Summer School Programs
The Summer School reach-ahead and make-up programs allow secondary students to earn or recover a credit towards their high school diploma. Online courses are also being offered. Summer Co-op provides students with the opportunity to earn a credit and gain valuable work experience. Grade 7 and 8 students can stay connected and be ready for the next level of language arts and math. Students in Grade 8 have the opportunity to take a secondary school credit in the reach-ahead program. Registration is underway. For more information click here
Call for Community Representative on the Special Education Advisory Committee – Deadline May 31st
The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board is seeking to appoint a community representative
who has an interest in issues related to exceptional children to sit on the Board’s Special
Education Advisory Committee. More information can be found here
. If you are interested in serving on the Committee, please use this link to complete the application
Parents Reaching Out (PRO) Grants 2016-2017 – Deadline May 29th
How to: A Guide to the Parents Reaching Out Grant
The Parent Involvement Committee has gathered information and resources to assist councils in applying for a PRO Grant for the 2016-2017 school year. The deadline for this year’s PRO Grant application is 29 May 2016.
Each school council is unique and so are their needs for assistance. Find a variety of information for all councils regardless of their experience with the PRO Grant here