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Dans certaines régions du pays, il y a une érosion croissante des droits fondamentaux des Canadiens à l’égard d’une voix démocratique locale en matière d’éducation publique. Dans tout le Canada depuis des décennies, la gouvernance de l’éducation des enfants et des adolescents a été confiée à des commissaires élus à l’échelle locale. Il appartient aux citoyens de protéger les Voix locales en vue d’assurer des Choix locaux.
The letter below was sent to media across the country.
In some areas of the country there is an increasing erosion of the fundamental rights of Canadians with regard to local democratic voice in public education. Governance of the education of children and youth in Canada has been entrusted to locally elected trustees across the country for decades. Protecting Local Voices to ensure Local Choices is the responsibility of citizens.
November 6, 2018 – The Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA) is pleased to announce, after a national search, that Nancy Pynch-Worthylake will serve as the new Executive Director of the Association, effective immediately.
“The CSBA is very pleased to welcome Nancy to the team. Her extensive experience in all facets of public education, along with her energy and passion for democratic leadership at the local level are assets that will serve the national organization very well,” said CSBA President Laurie French, who chaired the National Search Committee.
Nancy has served as a School Board Association Executive Director at the provincial level, as a provincial government Senior Executive Director and as a Superintendent of Schools (CEO). She is fluent in French and English and holds degrees at the Bachelor and Masters levels, as well as certification in governance and graduate level education in leadership and administration.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (902) 456-5574.
L’Association canadienne des commissions/conseils scolaires nomme une nouvelle directrice exécutive
le 6 novembre, 2018 – L’Association canadienne des commissions/conseils scolaires (l‘ACCCS) est heureux d’annoncer qu’après une recherche nationale madame Nancy Pynch-Worthylake sera la nouvelle directrice générale de l’Association à partir d’aujourd’hui.
«Nous sommes très heureux et heureuses d’accueillir Nancy au sein de l’équipe l’ACCCS. Sa vaste expérience dans le secteur d’éducation publique, ainsi que son énergie et sa passion pour le leadership démocratique locale sont des atouts qui serviront très bien à l’organisation nationale,» de dire Laurie French, présidente de L’ACCCS.
Nancy a occupé le poste de directrice exécutive d’une association des conseils scolaires au niveau provincial, comme directrice exécutive au gouvernement provincial, et comme directrice générale des écoles. Elle parle le français et l’anglais et elle est diplômée d’un baccalauréat et d’une maîtrise, ainsi que d’un certificat en gouvernance et d’une formation avancée en leadership et en administration.
Elle peut être contactée à email@example.com ou à (902) 456-5574.
February 22, 2018
The Honourable Stephen McNeil
Premier of Nova Scotia
Government House, Halifax
NS B3J 1X5
The Canadian School Boards Association, representing School Boards from across Canada, is incredibly disappointed by your government’s decision to abolish locally elected school boards in favour of government appointees based on the recently commissioned “Raise the Bar” report.
Since Confederation, provincial/territorial governments have been given the responsibility of managing the education system. This however, was in part due to the important role and deep connection between education and community including the right to choose their own representative to make decisions and choose priorities reflecting the circumstances in their own community. Children’s learning is integral for our future and that of our communities and locally elected school boards were created to ensure those closest to students and communities were given a significant voice in their education.
And yet, this recent announcement has decimated the principle at the heart of our democracy, a right that is being protected for minority populations only. While we applaud the protection of the minority language education system and your decision to maintain the French language board in Nova Scotia, we never imagined the majority language voice could so easily be dismissed.
School boards serve our nation well. They provide every Canadian citizen with a meaningful voice in an education system which is the envy of the world. Nova Scotia children compete internationally and perform well among the best countries in the world.
We recognize our system of governance can improve; we strive to make strides in this area and will continue to do so. Voter apathy is a problem in all elections and acclamations are sometimes a result of positive results. However, it is incomprehensible that such a heavy handed, top down directive of removing the significant voice of the community through elected representatives is an improvement. Your government has recognized the value of school boards by maintaining the minority language board. We would identify that what is of value for the minority is also of value to the majority.
We strongly suggest you reconsider your decision and meet with the Nova Scotia School Boards Association to explore alternatives to abolishing a right that all Canadians enjoy and that you consider instead in investing and supporting the education system as opposed to dismantling it.
CSBA Committee on Student Health and Wellness is committed to working in partnership with government, non-government, and community partners to advocate for active healthy lifestyles. Benefits to creating healthy learning environments include: greater overall achievement, well-rounded students, decreased discipline problems and improved attendance, improved lifelong health, reduced disparities. We are committed to demonstrating leadership and providing a national voice in responding to the health and wellness challenges of students across Canada.
After collaborating with several national partners, the CSBA is proud to adopt a Charter of Commitment to Student Health and Wellness. It provides a clear mission, terms of reference and a framework for our work. Find the full charter in the link below.
News, being what it is, tends to focus on the sensational, scandalous, or shocking. And so it is not a surprise for our colleagues across the country or in the U.S. for that matter, that the role of public school boards is often criticized.
While this negative focus seems to be on very few Canadian School Boards, CSBA has garnishing much attention for the good work which goes on at most board tables across the country. In order to greater provide a national perspective, CSBA will be conducting a nationwide poll to develop a national trustee profile to show who and why Trustees/Commissioners do what they do. It will also provide information on the public cost for this governing body, which is a minuscule percentage of education budgets. We are collaborating on strategies with several partners to further educate the public on the considerable research showing the benefits of publicly elected governors in education. Even though efforts by provincial governments attempt to lessen the role of and splinter school boards, CSBA has recently passed policy providing for more representation at our table and a stronger, more national membership. Finally, good policy means boards regularly self-evaluate for performance and effectiveness. If you continue to put students at the centre of every decision you make you will be demonstrating the strength of democracy and public schools
CSBA Members meet quarterly to discuss shared issues of national importance. We continue to work on our priority areas: Student Health and Wellness, FNMI Education and providing support for school boards across the country. In addition, we are actively working on strategies to show the importance of the role that well-governed school boards play and their positive impact on their communities.
ROLE OF SCHOOL BOARDS – The Saskatchewan government recently published a review of school board structure in which they considered the abolishment of elected boards. The public outcry however, was clearly in favour of keeping democratically elected school boards. Nationally, the role of school boards however has seen some erosion that diminishes their authority to govern. For more information, see our website for a Cross Country Snapshot: Worth looking into: Saskatchewan, Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia.
FIRST NATIONS, MÉTIS AND INUIT EDUCATION – Advocacy activities have included communications and meetings with the offices of INAC, provincial Premiers and the Prime Minister to call for appropriate funding for FNMI education as well as clarity on plans that will affect education following the Daniels vs. Canada case. Furthermore, we are working with and have offered our full support to the AFN and their initiatives in education. We have been following up on valuable resources provided by partners at the NCTR Round Table in January and have posted them on the CSBA website (including treaty maps, teacher resources and information to support recognition of treaty and traditional territories). Since January, we have completed work on a cross country portrait, also on our website, showing school board structure with FNMI representation, board progress with regards to the TRC Calls to Action and some promising practices today. Going forward, the committee will continue to monitor the framework that the federal ministries, INAC and FCSD are putting together on Childcare; gather information on voluntary self-identification of staff, trustees and students; examine existing agreements between First Nations communities and boards and look into permanency policy for Indigenous teachers.
STUDENT HEALTH AND WELLNESS – After collaborating with several national partners, the CSBA has adopted a Charter of Commitment to Student Health and Wellness. It provides a clear mission, terms of reference and a framework for our work. The Charter is available on our website. Following some collaborative work with the Pan-Canadian Joint Consortium on School Health (JCSH) which represents the ministries of both Health and Education in all Canadian jurisdictions, we have added three outstanding tools to our Health and Wellness Resources, all of which are free and bilingual: Positive Mental Health Tool Kit, Youth Engagement Tool Kit, Healthy School Planner. As there is already significant work being done in individual jurisdictions on substance abuse, the SHWC committee will be doing a policy framework survey before providing recommendations for school boards on the Legalization of Cannabis. Our collaboration with Respect in Schools is being developed with a view to providing a ministry supported, national on-line training baseline on abuse, harassment and bullying for all adults who work with youth. The two recent issues of Facts on Education, published in collaboration with CEA address two health and wellness issues, providing research on The Most Effective to Ways to Support Student Mental Wellness and The Best Way to Successfully Integrate Recent Immigrants into Canadian Classrooms (see www.cdnsba.org). We are also working on a National School Health Checklist to help boards identify strengths and weaknesses in their schools.
COPYRIGHT – We continue to monitor the 2017 Federal review of copyright regulations and the impact changes could have on schools and students. CSBA is ready to defend “fair dealing” on a national scale, assisting at the CMEC coalition, with several other concerned partners.
PROVINCIAL ISSUES WITH POTENTIAL NATIONAL IMPACT :
British Columbia: Supreme court ruling (http://www.bcsta.org/TheLeader/index.php/2017/01/30/bc-
A Saskatchewan judgement requiring children to produce a baptismal certificate to attend Catholic schools (GSSD v. CTTS) has gone to appeal.
Federal: Taxation on Employee Health Benefits (https://www.mercer.ca/en/our-thinking/mercer-response-to-benefits-taxation.html
OTHER ACTIVITIES – Prime Minister’s Awards in Teaching Excellence
CSBA sits on the Advisory Board and several members are part of the selection committee for these prestigious awards for Teaching Excellence. The recipients were named and Prime Minister Trudeau distributed the awards this past month. The high quality of applicants makes it a very difficult process. If one of the teachers is from your district, you can be very proud. Our congratulations go out to:
Jim Crescenzo, Vancouver. B.C.
Johanna Gordon-Walker, Bella Bella, B.C.
Robert Hammer, Musquodoboit, N.S.
Erica Thompson, Fort McPherson, NWT
Beth Alexander, Toronto, Ontario
Don Ball, Mississauga, Ontario
Kathy Cepo, St. Thomas, Ontario
Thomas Doherty, Balmertown, Ontario
Rahim Essabhai, Toronto, Ontario
Manon, St-Hilaire, St-Jerome, Quebec
Andrea Regier, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
CSBA ANNUAL CONGRESS 2017
Whistler, BC, JULY 5-8 – The congress hotel block at the Fairmont is full, but 2 additional, adjacent hotels are still available. Please register now. Confirmed speakers include Charlene Bearhead, former Education Lead of the NCTR, Mohamed Fahmy, Canadian journalist formally imprisoned in Egypt and Yong Zhao, international speaker on innovation in education. The congress ends with a mountain top dinner that is separate from your registration, so please reserve if you are planning to attend. www.csba2017.ca
COMING CSBA BOD MEETINGS:
CSBA Annual Congress, July 5-8, 2017, Whistler B.C.;
Oct. 15-16, 2017, Wendake, Quebec
Stephen Hansen, an independent consultant with years of experience in education, provides a clear and firm rebuttal to a recent article that groups all trustees in with a few “bad apples.” Never doubt for a moment that our Canadian education system, while far from perfect, is one of the most successful in the world and elected commissioners/trustees have been central to that success.
Read the complete article here:
The CSBA Board of Directors come from each jurisdiction quarterly to discuss shared issues of national importance. We continue to work on our priority areas: Health and Wellness and FNMI Education as well as the pervasive threat to elected school boards and actions we can take nationally to show the importance and positive impact of their role.
ROLE OF SCHOOL BOARDS – Following last year’s failed bid by the Quebec Ministry of Education to abolish school boards in that province, the Saskatchewan government recently published a study to review structure and the role of governance in Education, raising the possibility that school boards may be abolished in that province as well. The SSBA is waiting for the results of the consultation, but the minister has acknowledged that “the vast majority of the people that took the time to make the submissions were in favour of elected school boards and roughly in favour of the status quo.” Following an amalgamation of 4 boards and being assigned appointed trustees, Newfoundland/Labrador successfully completed their first elections in several years this past November.
FIRST NATIONS MÉTIS AND INUIT EDUCATION – Advocacy activities have been focused on appropriate funding for FNMI education and in offering national support for the AFN initiatives in Student Wellness. The National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation recently brought education leadership together from across Canada, an excellent opportunity for CSBA to develop further relationships that could support boards and continue collaborations towards truth and reconciliation in education. Over the coming weeks, we will provide links/resources from several groups who have new and innovative resources. We will monitor the framework that the federal ministries, INAC and FCSD are putting together on Childcare: for more information, see Beyond baby steps: Planning for a National Child Care System. CSBA will attend The World Indigenous People’s Conference on Education (WIPCE) in Toronto July 24-29th.
STUDENT HEALTH AND WELLNESS – A Charter of Commitment to Student Health and Wellness is being developed in collaboration with several other national groups. The committee is reviewing and will provide recommendations on the education component of the report from the Task Force on the Legalization of Cannabis. We are meeting with the Pan Canadian Consortium on Student Health to establish how we can collaborate with the provincial Ministries of Health on issues of national concern, including concussions and mental health. Our collaboration with Respect in Schools is being developed with a view to providing a ministry supported, national training baseline on abuse, harassment, bullying for all adults who work with youth. Coming soon: the next CEA/CSBA joint publication FACTS ON EDUCATION that provides links to research on the most effective ways to successfully integrate recent immigrants into Canadian classrooms.
COPYRIGHT – We continue to monitor the 2017 Federal review of copyright regulations and the affect changes could have on schools and students, ready to defend “fair dealing” on a national scale.
1) British Columbia: Supreme court ruling
2.) Saskatchewan: Theodore Case (GSSD v. CTTS)
3.) Taxation on Employee Health Benefits: https://www.mercer.ca/en/our-thinking/mercer-response-to-benefits-taxation.html
4.) Manitoba: Funding for First Nations Students
PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM ON THE DEFENCE – It’s not news, even for our colleagues in the U.S., that the role of public school boards is continually being questioned. CSBA is working on providing you with strategies from many sources that educate the public on evidence based research on the benefits of publicly elected governors of the education system. But we must do our own homework. Before someone from government comes to evaluate your effectiveness as a board, visit cdnsba.org for helpful board self-assessment tools and make it a regular practice in policy. Lastly, good trustees are good because they put kids first. Put them at the centre every time you raise your voice to defend democracy and public schools.
Until next time…
Floyd Martens, President, CSBA