As anticipated, the Government of Ontario has launched its consultations on education reform. I would like to take this opportunity to invite and encourage all of our stakeholders, including students, parents/guardians, staff, education partners, organizations, and other members of our communities, to participate in these all important discussions, which will help to inform a number of key decisions impacting how education is delivered in Ontario over the next several years.
While we hope that a broad cross section of individuals from the above stakeholder groups get involved, our board is especially focused on ensuring that the student voice will be heard loud and clear throughout these consultations. When all is said and done, it is our students who stand to be impacted the most by the resulting government decisions.
As outlined on the above website, consultation topics focus on the following key areas:
- Improving student performance in the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM);
- Preparing students with needed job skills, such as skilled trades and coding;
- Ensuring students graduate with important life skills, including financial literacy;
- Building a new age-appropriate Health and Physical Education curriculum that includes subjects, such as mental health, sexual health education, and the legalization of cannabis;
- Improving provincial standardized testing;
- Managing the use of technology in classrooms, such as cell phones; and
- Developing the first-ever Parents’ Bill of Rights.
There are a few ways in which to participate in these consultations. These include an online submission form, email submissions to the Ministry of Education through firstname.lastname@example.org, and an online survey to be launched in the near future.
A series of 90-minute telephone town halls are also being conducted across the province. The Ontario Public School Boards’ Association has created a chart outlining the dates and locations for these town halls, which will occur from October 19 to November 29, 2018. More than one town hall has been scheduled for each region.
Telephone town hall participation details:
- Provide your telephone number and email address to register for each session by 4:00 p.m. the day before the town hall;
- You will receive an email reminder about the telephone town hall the day before, or if the session is cancelled;
- Participants that do not register may attempt to call directly using the toll-free number 1-800-385-0829.
The outcomes from these consultations will invariably set the future direction for a number of our priorities and programs in Bluewater District School Board. I strongly urge everyone to lend their voices to this process as we work together in the best interests of all our students.
Director of Education