Ontario Public Consultations

Here’s how to participate:

Click on this private and confidential online submission form.  https://www.ontario.ca/form/open-submissions-education-ontario

You may answer questions in your own words or choose from the following suggested responses: (up to 500 words/response) (Click through the 8 questions and answer them).

CONSULTATIONS END DECEMBER 15, 2018. SUBMIT YOUR OPINIONS EARLY!

Q1:  How should we improve student performance in the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)?

(Choose 1 answer below and copy and paste into form or write your own response)

A1:  More STEM experts with qualifications and industry experience should be attracted to the profession of teaching and fast-tracked through teacher certification programmes.

A2:  More emphasis in Maths and Sciences should be placed on curriculum at Elementary school level. Our current standardized testing results prove that half of our students are not meeting the standard.

A3:  At High School level, greater flexibility to allow for interdisciplinary structures like STEM with teachers collaborating across multiple subjects should be encouraged.

Q2:  How should our schools prepare students with needed job skills, such as skilled trades and computer coding?

(Choose 1 answer below and copy and paste into form or write your own response)

A1:  Currently Independent schools are being discriminated against by not being permitted to offer apprenticeship programmes and dual credit programmes like public and Catholic schools do.

Access to these programmes are through funding applications which are denied to our schools at the moment.

A2:  Our Independent schools are in a unique position to assist the government in placing students in apprenticeship and other workplace participation programmes. That is because over 40% of our heads of families are self-employed entrepreneurs.  That would open the pathways to greater workplace  experience for all students.

A3:  The Ministry should allow all OSSD-granting schools in Ontario access to all OSSD programmes by providing a separate application process for independent schools.  Inspection for programme compliance can be included with Ministry inspection already in place.

Q3:  What measures can be taken to improve provincial standardized testing?

(Choose 1 answer below and copy and paste into form or write your own response)

A1:  In addition to the use of standardized testing for the purpose of accountability, all schools, including independent schools, should be given support and access to universal screening and progress monitoring assessments—more frequent, actionable data that supports student growth in core areas.

A2:  Students in Independent schools should be permitted to participate in standardized testing free of charge and without financial penalty.

Q4:  What more can be done to ensure students graduate High School with important life skills, including financial literacy?

(Choose 1 answer below and copy and paste into form or write your own response)

A1:  The Ministry can invite innovative programs in specific areas such as financial literacy and invite and/or permit individual schools, whether public, separate, or independent, to provide recommended programs for wider adoption and implementation.

A2:  Re-introduce bookkeeping as a course in High School which some students will learn to use as a potential employment opportunity while all others will gain invaluable life skills from the financial literacy it offers. Ledgers, AR, AP, debits, credits, balances are important parts of being financially literate.

A3:  Innovation in programs and program modernization occurs by allowing for opportunities to be generated by individual schools—bottom up—in addition to at the Ministry level—top down.  Including independent schools in the mix will generate additional ideas and insight to benefit all schools.

Q5:  What steps could schools take to ban cellphone use in classrooms?

(Choose 1 answer below and copy and paste into form or write your own response)

A1:  The following has been done in a number of independent schools successfully:

Upon entering school every morning, students deposit their phones into a mounted movable phone repository labeled with students’ names. When classes commence support staff moves repository into locked, protected area where it is left for the day.

Moments before dismissal bell rings,  repository is moved back into hallway and students pick up their phones on the way out.

Support staff stands by to ensure everyone takes their own phone only. If student has to leave school early one day,  office staff will retrieve phone for student. If student arrives late to school, upon signing in, student will surrender phone to be put into repository.

This plan can be adapted to large schools or schools with multiple dismissal times.

Q6:  How can we build a new age-appropriate Health and Physical Education programme that includes subjects like mental health,  sexual health education and the legalization of cannabis?

(Choose 1 answer below and copy and paste into form or write your own response)

A1:  Parents should be considered key participants in the education of their children. As such, parents of private religious schools have different sensibilities towards health education. Therefore, the Boards representing these schools should be the arbiters of what is taught in the health curriculum.

A2:  Parents have a critical role and responsibility for the educational well-being of their children and should be recognized as such.  This is especially true in Independent schools.  To this end, parents should be consulted as to what is included in the health curriculum with a right to veto certain topics.

Q7:  What elements should  be included in a Ministry of Education Parents’ Bill of Rights?

(Choose 1 answer below and copy and paste into form or write your own response)

A1:  Parents in Ontario have the right to choose the type of schooling for their children–public, Catholic,  independent,  Homeschool.

A2:  Parents should know their children’s schools are safe and are protected from external security threats, particularly religious (private) schools which may face greater threats.

A3:  It is critical to recognize that parents/legal guardians have a prior right to choose for their children schools other than those established and managed by the public authorities, i.e. Independent schools, which conform to such minimum educational standards as may be laid down or approved by the legislature, and to ensure the religious, moral, and pedagogical education of their children in conformity with their own convictions.

A4:  Religious beliefs and cultural traditions should be respected, accommodated and protected, both in public and Indpendent schools.

A5:  Students with Special Needs should receive the educational funding they require to accommodate all of their disabilities in independent schools.

Q8:  Do you have any other feedback or ideas?

(Choose 1 answer below and copy and paste into form or write your own response)

A1:  The funding formula for Ontario’s schools was established in the late 19th  century.  It is an archaic formula and must be brought into the 21st century to better reflect the province’s diverse population and realities of today.  Recognize and give status to Independent schools in Ontario.  Update the definition of private school in the Education Act.

A2:  Support the educational needs of all students with Special Needs in Independent schools.  This means accommodating all disabilities of children in independent schools as opposed to the current policy of only supporting a select number of disabilities.

A3:  On balance,  Ontario’s private schools produce an excellent “product”–solid citizens that contribute to the future tax base of the province. It makes sense to support these schools and their parents in the educational journey of their children.

A4:  Property taxes paid by landowners is a significant contribution to Ontario’s revenue stream.  It is important  for taxpayers to see an ROI (return on investment) by expanding the funded school boards to include private/ independent schools. Landowners can then direct their property taxes to the school board of their choosing in a more equitable way.

Thank you for participating in this important forum. Once you have submitted your responses to the Ministry website please send us an email (info@chaniaryehbain.ca) to let us know you’ve completed the survey. 

CONSULTATIONS END DECEMBER 15, 2018. SUBMIT YOUR OPINIONS EARLY!

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