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ETFO says new work to rule strike action to affect administration, not students

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The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) is engaging in a series of local meetings to prepare members for a work-to-rule strike action that begins on Tuesday, November 26. The action targets Ministry and school board administrative tasks and does not impact on students.

“We are making this known well in advance to assure parents that this strike action will not affect students, their learning or their safety,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “ETFO members will be withdrawing from Ministry and school board administrative activities, which will give them more time to focus on working with students.”

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Innovative breakaway weeks at Central Senior integrates students into our community

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Innovative breakaway weeks at Central Senior integrates students into our community
Photo courtesy of Kawartha Conservation.

Hands-up if when you were in Grade 7 or 8 you did any of the following:

*Installed a garden that could withstand drought conditions or one that could absorb water run-off.

*Painted yellow fish on storm gratings and carried out a neighbourhood campaign to inform homeowners of the message they should take away from this.

*Assisted a pharmacist in concocting specially-formulated medicinal mouthwash for cancer patients.

*Prepared a vaping awareness campaign for your peers.

*Helped a butcher convert kidneys, hearts, and livers into dog-food.

*Had an opportunity to shadow a specialist in non-surgical cosmetic medicine. 

Too cool for school, right?

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ETFO votes overwhelmingly for strike action if necessary

in Education by
ETFO votes overwhelmingly for strike action if necessary

Members of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) have given their union a strong mandate for central strike action should it be needed during ETFO’s central bargaining negotiations:

  • ETFO’s teacher and occasional teacher members voted 98% in favour of strike action; and
  • ETFO’s education worker members voted 98% in favour of strike action.

“Talks have stalled at ETFO’s central bargaining tables. This is a wake-up call from our members to this government to get serious about key issues affecting educators and students including more supports for Special Education, class size and class structure, fair and transparent hiring practices, and preservation of the current Kindergarten program,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond.

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School board sees modest improvements in math EQAO scores

in Education by
EQAO results show students struggling, especially Grade 3

Trillium lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) has seen a two per cent increase in Grade 3 and a 5 per cent increase in Grade 6 math in recent Education Quality and Assessment Office (EQAO) assessment results.

This is in spite of an overall decrease in math scores across the province. TLDSB also continues to outperform the province in Grade 9 applied math with an increase over last year by 5 percent (13 percent above the province). For the first time in recent years the Board is also outperforming the province in academic math with an increase of 3 percent over last year’s result.

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Teachable moment: Back to school under the shadow of cuts to education

in Education by
Teachable moment: Back to school under the shadow of cuts to education

September always brings back the excitement and promise of a new school year. For some kids and parents it can be a bit of a nervous time. And this year, we all have a reason to be more than a little nervous. Along with new teachers and classmates, students and their parents will be experiencing another thing this year: the first effects of the cuts to education announced by the Ontario PC government in March earlier this year.

As Sinead Fagan, communications officer at the Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) explains, “The cuts will be felt system-wide. The 2019-2020 budget has been reduced in many areas.” Instructional budgets (including staffing) are down $10.7 million dollars this year alone.

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Voting: How high school teachers get students to think about their civic duty

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How high school educators get young people to think about voting

Recently, The Lindsay Advocate’s Mallory Cramp-Waldinsperger asked local high school teachers for their perspectives on how youth see the world, and what educators can do to get students to think about voting. This is what they had to say:

Is there anything unique about how up-and-coming voters see the world, and politics that you think readers should know?

Mark Robinson – Canadian and World Studies, LCVI

There’s a general sense of overwhelming complexity, and a feeling that individual action doesn’t amount to much against the powers that be. However, students do have strong feelings when they are engaged and have been introduced to current issues. Topics which inspire them include climate change and its consequences, and the growing awareness of gender identities and the acceptance of these differences. Students are quick to rally behind causes that try to redress injustices.

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Food choking incident at local school has parents demanding more supervision

in Education by
Neil and Jena-Lyn Westerby with their children.

A Lindsay couple whose daughter choked on food at Leslie Frost Public School while there was no adult in the classroom is fighting for more supervision for students.

Meanwhile, a Trillium Lakelands District School Board spokesperson says “students are not left alone unsupervised.”

Neil and Jena-Lyn Westerby say their daughter Lexie, 7, choked on a piece of orange on March 22 which upset her enough that she wanted to call home. She was not allowed to call home, the parents say, although the teacher did notify the parents via a text message after the school day and after Lexie had already told her parents about what had happened.

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‘Attrition protection’ fund added by PCs to prevent teacher layoffs

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A news release from the Ontario government indicates that a new “Attrition Protection Allocation” of $1.6 billion in the province’s education funding model will top-up funding for school boards to protect front-line teaching staff from being laid off.

This will “prevent boards from having to lay off teachers impacted by proposed changes in class sizes and e-learning,” says the release.

The PCs appear to be getting the message from both union picketing and community feedback, after weeks of advocacy that tried to prevent the layoffs.

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Board losing millions in funding; Director of education says ‘change is upon us’

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Board losing millions in funding; Director of education says ‘change is upon us’
Director of Education Larry Hope for the Trillium Lakelands District School Board.

The widespread cuts to education by the PC government will mean millions of dollars will be lost to the Trillium Lakelands District School Board. However, Director of Education, Larry Hope, says a highly regarded construction program at LCVI can’t solely be blamed on the PC government.

Among other cuts, the board is facing:

  • a $423,000 shortfall for Early Childhood Educators (ECEs).
  • a $526,000 drop in board funding because of new classroom caps for Grades 4-8.
  • a $3.8 million shortfall as secondary class sizes balloon from 22 to 28 students as a cap

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Construction program at LCVI folds due to cuts by PC government

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"We have had so many success stories with students who are non-traditional learners."

For more than a decade Lindsay Collegiate and Vocational Institute (LCVI) has run the Gold Star Construction
program.

The program targeted senior students, many of whom faced challenges in regular classrooms, and offered real world work experiences on job sites around Lindsay. It also offered them a range of useful certifications including First Aid, Working at Heights, and Chainsaw operator certification.

With the cuts to education from the PC government under Premier Doug Ford, that program will not return next year, despite students having already enrolled in it, says a press release from OSSTF.

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