OAPCE News – January 2019
WHAT HAVE WE BEEN UP TO?
OAPCE met with new Minister of Education Honorable Lisa Thompson at the Ministry office to continue to advocate for Catholic Education, and ensuring the continuance of PRO Grants. OAPCE also attended the Catholic Education Lobby Day at Queens’s Park and met NDP Education Critic Marit Stiles. As always we continue to find opportunities to meet with all politicians to ensure that Catholic Education, its importance and sustainability is front and centre.
- OAPCE met with Minister Kathleen Wynne regarding Bill 56 “Keeping Students Safe on School Buses”, MPP asked for our support in which we have agreed. Also reiterated that her support for Catholic Education will continue and if needed, would help support us in any way in Legislature.
- OAPCE Executive members presented to the Ontario English Catholic Teacher Association about our mandate and ongoing advocacy we do for catholic education. Together as partners with OECTA we continue to promote and ensure the sustainability of Catholic Education in Ontario.
OAPCE is scheduled to present to ACBO Bishop Plenary in March 2019.
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION NEWS
- PRO Grants have been “Un-Paused”! Thanks to all the overwhelming input and advocacy the Ministry of Education has released all PRO Grant funding for applications submitted for the 2018/19 year! We are thankful for the over 1500 parents who signed the online and written petition. The parent voice is an integral part in our children’s education, having these grant monies to help with parent engagement only helps to lead to our children’s success!
- Ministry of Education is looking at reviewing the regulation that addresses class sizes, teacher mobility, interviewing the most qualified teacher candidates and how boards hire: https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2019/01/statement-by-education-minister-on-consultations-with-education-labour-partners.html
- Class size is a concern that many parents have, especially in the younger years of JK-Grade 3. No one can disagree that smaller class sizes help provide more opportunities for a close teacher to student ratio. Reach out to your MPP and advocate for this as the government is currently reviewing cap sizes.
- 2019 Conference and AGM News: Our 80th Annual Conference will be April 5, 6 2019, and will be held at Madonna CSS, with Mass led by His Eminence Cardinal Collins. The theme is Celebrate OAPCE 80, with keynote speaker Greg Rogers from Me to We speaking about Catholic Education Expectations in 2019. Also launching John Kostoff’s book “One Home at a Time, the Story of the Domestic Church”. Friday night Networking and Saturday Gala Awards Dinner will be held at Montecassino Hotel and Event Centre in North York.
- The next meeting of the Board of Directors is February 8 & 9, 2019 in Toronto.
- We are very happy to announce that Bruce-Grey and London are full members of OAPCE
- York OAPCE hosting first meeting of the organization! As we know our OAPCE provincial family is made of many school boards across the province. The OAPCE executive continues to reach out to boards that have yet to join our OAPCE family which is the only government recognized parent organization that represents the Catholic parent. (CLICK HERE TO VIEW FLYER)
NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Please Join Us! Fix Our Schools Campaign
Fix Our Schools is a non-partisan, Ontario-wide, parent-led campaign focused on ensuring that all publicly funded schools in our province are safe, healthy, well-maintained buildings that provide environments conducive to learning and working. When we began in 2014, provincial funding for school repairs was only $150-million/year even though industry standards suggest that this amount was only one-tenth of the yearly funding required to keep schools in a state of good repair. Today, provincial funding has increased substantially to $1.4-billion/year thanks to the engagement of parents like you, who have worked with us to put pressure on our provincial government to provide the adequate, stable funding required for schools.
However, even with this substantial increase in provincial funding, the overall disrepair in Ontario’s publicly funded schools has continued to increase and now sits at an estimated $15.9-billion. We must continue to educate and pressure our local MPPs to find funding solutions to eliminate this unacceptable repair backlog in our children’s schools. Please join us at: http://fixourschools.ca/joinus/ to find out more details on how to help. And please engage with us on social media:
Facebook (Fix Our Schools)
FROM OUR NEW PARTNER
Creating a quality recess environment to support student well-being
If we think back to our own elementary recess time, many of us have positive, enjoyable memories of what we played and who we played with. Not so for many children today, and the sad part is, this is a global problem, not just a local one. What can we do to support a recess environment that will encourage social and emotional growth, and allow for an increase in physical literacy, thereby aiding in a positive cognitive classroom experience? We need to start looking at recess through a different lens.
We are fortunate in Canada to have recess on the daily school schedule in elementary. The definition of recess is a time where children have a break from the classroom setting and have the freedom to choose which activity they would like to participate in. This is also the time during which friendships and creativity can spontaneously develop. If we consider the time scheduled for recess an extension of learning, we can bring a positive, fresh outlook to that time on the playground.
The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board (HWCDSB) recognized that research and best practices in recess show that recesses with an enriched environment and activities promoted by caring, trained supervisors and peer leaders will maximize student benefits and the overall well-being of the school and community. The HWCDSB Quality Recess Project Team includes senior board administration, a board consultant and two community partners, and is working to develop the HWCDSB Recess Protocol and Guidelines along with a fillable Recess Action Plan that every school can tailor to fit their unique population and environment. The Team has progressed from Pilot to Project phase, and is currently gathering information, evidence and an amazing collection of stories from administration and staff who are starting to see changes throughout their whole schools, including the attitude towards recess.
One of the ten points in the Recess Protocol and Guidelines focuses on the L.E.A.D. Recess program, led by one of the community partners on the Recess Team, Playocracy Inc. The L.E.A.D. Recess program is a research-based, hands-on approach to training student leaders to create a strong school community through play. This program uses physical activity as a conduit to teach and role model a healthy social and emotional culture within the student body.
This HWCDSB Quality Recess Project is one of the first in Canada to take a serious look at recess, develop and implement changes on a board-wide level and support all students in their social, emotional, physical and cognitive wellness journey.
Lynn Campanella, CEO of Playocracy Inc., has been a play, physical literacy and recess advocate and developer of programs and activity kits for almost 20 years. Taking a creating view of how people move and connect to each other through play is a passion, not a job.
ONTARIO CATHOLIC SCHOOL TRUSTEES ASSOCIATION (OCSTA)
Catholic Education Week is scheduled to take place the week of May 5-10, 2019 the theme for this time is “Living as Joyful Disciples”
OAPCE’S FIRST PARENT TO PARENT SURVEY!
- Please participate in our survey! As we continue to move our organization forward we want to hear from parents across the province to ensure we truly represent the voice of Catholic Parents. OAPCE is looking for feedback on various topics related to catholic education and what areas we can improve and what should be our priorities.