Education Updates (child care, school closures, exams, events)

Posted by: Ira Timothy
in: All News

Financial Updates for Child Care Centres
Due to the Emergency Order, child care centers were ordered to close, with the exception of the emergency child care for health care and other front-line workers. First Nations who have been approved to run emergency child care will be contacted by the Ministry of Education. The Ministry will work with First Nations on identifying costs to run emergency child care programs. The Ministry also recognizes that emergency child care fees may be higher than the current maximum current daily per diem rate in their communities, therefore the communities’ Early Years Advisor will be reaching out soon.

While the order is in effect child care providers are prohibited from charging and collecting payments from parents. As a result of these closures the Ministry of Education announced some financial updates for child care and EarlyON centres on May 9, 2020.

During the prohibition of the collection of fees from parents, there will be fixed operation costs for eligible child care and EarlyON centres. School Boards cannot charge rent to childcare centres or EarlyON centres located in schools while they are closed. Direct funding will be distributed through the municipal service managers for centres who do not receive funding. Child care centres who do not currently receive provincial funding will be able to access funding by application to the Ministry of Education.

Under Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, child care centres must maximize all available support (i.e. staffing costs) retroactively to March 15, 2020, including the federal-provincial rental subsidy supports. The Ministry of Education has stated that there will be protection on “existing base funding for licensed home child care agencies, and regular funding and wage enhancement grant funding for licensed home child care providers who have remained active during the emergency closure”.

Child care licensing applications, renewals and revision fees are waived during the emergency closure period and 60 days after the order is lifted. Child care licenses about to expire during the emergency period will be automatically extended. Vulnerable sector checks and first aid training renewals for existing child care centre staff and home child care providers and their families will be also be extended during this closure period.

First Nations with Child Care and Child and Family Program Funding Transfer payment agreements between the Ministry of Education and the First Nation will be honoured. First Nations will continue to obtain cash-flow based on their 2019-2020 service agreements and allocations (less one-time funding adjustments) to continue their child care and family programs.Information will be provided in the future about the 2020-2021 transfer payment agreements and the Ontario Child Care and Child and Family Program Business Practice, Service and Funding Guideline.

Student Achievement Events (Proms & Graduations) Student achievement events such as prom and graduation events have been cancelled or delayed. School boards are encouraged to reschedule events based on their local medical officers of health advice. This means that graduation ceremonies and proms may be held in the summer or fall when it is deemed to be safe.

School Closures for First Nation/Federally Funded Schools – May 19, 2020 Under the Government of Ontario’s order under the Education Act, First Nation/federally funded schools and private schools’ closures have been extended until May 19, 2020. First Nation/federally funded schools should consult with legal counsel if they have questions about applicability of the order in terms of operations and circumstances. Schools with questions relating to access should discuss with their local leadership and public health unit about minimizing exposure and observing social distance and self-isolation requirements.Questions relating to First Nation/federally funded schools may be directed to contact IEO@Ontario.ca

Examinations and School Year Updates Examination days will be used as instruction days. School boards are encouraged to look into other forms of assessment i.e. take-home exams or culminating assignments. Students will still be provided their final reports. Final evaluations may be provided in a different format other than examinations (i.e. assigning learning tasks, projects and culminating activities for formative and summative purposes). Marked assignment results will be communicated to students and will be used in the students’ final course marks.Student performance prior to March 13, 2020 will be recognized and teachers can adjust the weighting of assigned tasks in final marks. Elementary and secondary student marks and grades will not drop from where they were on March 13, 2020.

Teacher and Educational Assistant Calendar Submissions School boards are encouraged to work with teachers and educational assistants to ensure that teachers are given ample time to complete report cards for June.2020-2021 school year calendar submissions are not being considered for approval at this point. Therefore, school boards were not be required to submit 2020-2021 school year calendar and professional activity day descriptions by May 1, 2020. Directions will be provided on the new deadlines once decisions are made on the 2020-2021.

Amendments to Education Act Amendments were made on April 14, 2020 to the Education Act through Bill 189, Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Protection Act, 2020. The amendments dealt with potential suspension reviews that may have been impacted by school closures. The amendments will enable school boards to continue to use existing Education Development Charge (EDC) by-laws that were supposed to expire during the COVID-19 emergency and six months thereafter.

Suspensions & Expulsions The Act’s change applies to students suspended before the school closure order, but where a decision was not made in regard to expulsions. The Director of Education will permit principals and boards to conduct investigations and expulsion hearings for students up to 20 school days after the school closure order ends. Suspensions will continue to be a 20-day maximum allowable suspension period, and these suspension terms will not be extended. Boards will consider other electronic methods for hearings during closures.Please see http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/safeschools/suspexp.html for updated suspensions and expulsion located on the Ministry’s parents’ resource.If you have questions about the amendments to suspensions and expulsions, please contact Denise Dwyer, Assistant Deputy Minister, Indigenous Education and Well-being, at denise.dwyer@ontario.ca.

Education Development Charge (EDC) The Ministry of Education stated that school boards with expiring EDC by-laws may continue to use “their existing by-laws for six months after the termination of the emergency, unless the board repeals the by-law before then.” This amendment ensures EDC revenue may be collected during the pandemic and allow time for public consultation before a new EDC by-law is passed by the Board.Inquiries about the EDC amendments, are encouraged to contact Didem Proulx, Assistant Deputy Minister, Capital and Business Support, at didem.proulx@ontario.ca.

Contacts Provided by The Ministry of Education & InformationSupply Chain Contact: Access and Order Technologyo Ontario Education Collaborative Marketplace (OECM). John Sabo (john.sabo@oecm.ca) and Karen Owen (karen.owen@oecm.ca).•

Corporate Announcement between Rogers and Apple Contact:o Ralph Kamuf | National Education Manager | Apple Canada | ralph@apple.com | O:647 943 4606 M: 416 414 9508o https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2020/04/ontario-establishes-key-partnerships-tomake-home-learning-moreaccessible.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=o•

Indigenous Education Office – Thunder Bay Region Education Officer Contact (Sharing of Information on Available Resources & Training)o Patti Pella (Patti.Pella2@ontario.ca)•

Inspections

oInspectors will begin to reach out to remaining schools in the Regions who werescheduled this year for inspections so they discuss options.o Inspections will be done virtually, if a First Nation School is unable to have a virtualinspection, they can ask for the inspection to be deferred to next year.

FURTHER INFORMATION AND RESOURCESChild Care for Health Care and Frontline Staff
https://www.ontario.ca/page/child-care-health-care-and-frontline-staff

Learn at home
https://www.ontario.ca/page/learn-at-home

News Release: Ontario Extends School and Child Care Closures to Fight Spread of COVID-19 – March 31, 2020https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/03/ontario-extends-school-and-child-care-closures-tofight-spread-of-covid-19.html

News Release: Ontario Supporting Education Sector, Students, and Municipalities During COVID-19 – April 14, 2020
https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/04/ontario-supporting-education-sector-students-andmunicipalities-during-covid-19-outbreak.html

News Release: School Closures Extended to Keep Students, Staff and Families Safe – April 26, 2020
https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2020/04/school-closures-extended-to-keep-students-staffand-families-safe.html

News Release: Ontario Government Supporting Parents as Economy Reopens – May 9, 2020
https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2020/05/ontario-government-supporting-parents-aseconomy-reopens.html

News Release: School Boards Encouraged to Celebrate Student Achievement When it is Safe to Do So – May 11, 2020
https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2020/05/school-boards-encouraged-to-celebrate-studentachievement-when-it-is-safe-to-do-so.html

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