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April 2006

April 2006, Issue 25

Your College and You

Thank you for your interest in receiving breaking news and professional information from the College.

In this Issue:

Proposed legislation significantly alters College

Pending approval from the Ontario legislature, College governance will undergo significant and symbolic change.

With the introduction of the Student Performance Bill (Bill 78), an Act to amend the Education Act, the Ontario College of Teachers Act, and other education-related statutes, former Minister of Education Gerard Kennedy declared his intent to increase the size of the College Council and create a Public Interest Committee.

The bill proposes increasing the number of Council members to 37 by adding six elected teacher positions. That would bring to 23 the number of elected positions. The number of government appointees would remain unchanged at 14.

The former Minister also announced the creation of a Public Interest Committee composed of up to five non-members of the College to "advise the College Council of matters relating to the Council's duty to serve the public interest." The Minister of Education would appoint up to five members of the public to serve on the committee.

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Minister directs College to revise regulations

In a recent letter to Council Chair Marilyn Laframboise, the former Minister gave the College 60 days to rewrite regulations to support the new legislation and to prepare for a Fall election of Council. The College Council will consider the proposed amendments when it meets on May 18.

The former Minister required that regulation amendments:

  • define a classroom teacher as a College member in good standing and one who is employed as "part of a board's regular teaching staff and not hold or be seconded to any other position outside of the regular teaching staff"
  • define a part-time teacher as one who "has taught a minimum of 20 days during the school year ending immediately preceding the election year"
  • require that all elected positions on Council - except those designated for principal, supervisory officer, private school and faculty of education - be classroom teachers.

The government wants candidates to declare whether they belong to an education organization such as a teacher federation or principal's association. They must also indicate they will resign from an elected or appointed position they hold at the provincial or local level within that organization before taking a seat on Council if they are elected.

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Bill 78 makes New Teacher Induction Program mandatory

With the introduction of Bill 78, the province has confirmed its intent to have school boards provide support to newly certified, permanently employed full and part-time teachers in Ontario's publicly funded schools.

The New Teacher Induction Program relies on school principals to assess and determine the school and board support needed (including mentoring) to help new teachers acclimate faster.

If the legislation passes, the Ontario Teacher Qualifying Test will be eliminated and the College will automatically convert all existing Interim Certificates of Qualification (Provisional) and all Provisional Certificates of Qualification to Certificates of Qualification.

According to the legislation, the College will add a notation to the certificates of teachers who successfully complete the New Teacher Induction Program.

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Your membership card can provide you with discounts at stores and attractions throughout Ontario.

Members benefit from showing new membership cards

New Ontario College of Teachers' membership cards have been mailed to members who have paid their annual fee.

You'll notice that your card has a brand-new look in keeping with the College's new visual identity. This is part of a College-wide project ensuring that materials have a professional look that reflects the contributions College members make to the lives of students.

The card is a bit thicker this year in response to many members who asked for a card that wouldn't wear out during the year.

The card only has space for your first and last name. We want to be sure that we use the first name you'd like to be known by on your card. You can provide us with that common name - in other words, your commonly used first name - in the Members' Area of the College web site.

The card provides proof of your membership in the teaching profession and that you hold a current licence to teach in Ontario's publicly funded schools. Show your card when you're purchasing supplies or visiting major attractions. Many book sellers, museums, zoos and office supply stores provide discounts to teachers.

Two recent examples among the growing list include the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough and the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). Both promise free admission to teachers who show their College membership cards.

For a list of organizations that offer discounts to members, see the College web site.

The 2006 membership package also includes a copy of your teaching certificate. Remember, you can log on to the College web site at any time to see the updated version of your certificate.

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Ontario College of Teachers © 2006

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