Aboriginal children under age 14 make up 7% of all children in Canada. The Aboriginal population is the fastest growing demographic in this country and eighty percent of Aboriginal children attend off-reserve provincial schools. In terms of school success, there are significant gaps in learning outcomes and graduation rates between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students. How can we create conditions to better support Aboriginal students and their success in our public schools…?
CSBA , in collaboration with Aboriginal Leaders across the country developed and on February 16, 2014 was proud to adopt unanimously the Canadian School Boards Association Charter of Commitment to First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education. While in development the document was requested, reviewed and revised by First Nations Communities and was endorsed enthusiastically by all provinces. It will now serve as our guide to all we hope to accompish in our school boards. For their contributions and hard work in producing this important document, CSBA would like to thank the First Nations communities for their precious guidance, as well as the members of the CSBA Aboriginal Education Committee Members and the Canadian Association of Academic Deans for providing a good, foundational resource for us to adapt. To download your copy: CSBA Charter of Commitment; First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education. Display it proudly in your offices.
While we support a new way forward in First Nations education, when CSBA was invited to submit comments to AANDC regarding the document “Developing a First Nations Education Act: Discussion Guide”, we clearly expressed our concern that the process used to develop the coming legislation had been far too unilateral in approach, with no attempt to co-develop an education system in true partnership with First Nations. The subsequent “Blueprint for First Nations Education” released in July 2013 served only to increase our concerns. In response, CSBA has asked Minister Valcourt to recognize First Nations as a primary or at very least, an equal partner in decisions that will affect their young people going forward, as well as to address other issues such as funding. The full letter sent to the MInister on behalf of Canadian school boards is available at Letter to AANDC.
New Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA) President Michael McEvoy stated that a strong and united CSBA will support and advocate alongside its provincial partners to safeguard the key role of publicly and democratically-elected school boards.
McEvoy assumed the Presidency before more than 400 school trustees from across Canada attending the Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA) http://cdnsba.org/ annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia from July 4-7, 2013.
Many trustees expressed concern at the conference about a growing and worrisome trend by provincial governments to bypass or limit the legitimate role of publicly-elected school boards in delivering quality education and maximizing student success.
The annual conference, hosted by the British Columbia School Trustees Association, offered 450 delegates an engaging and inspiring opening keynote address by the Right Honorable Michäelle Jean, former Governor General of Canada, who reminded delegates of her own personal journey and who gave true meaning to the conference theme, Diversity Matters.
Excellent speakers and presentations on such important CSBA themes as Aboriginal Education, Student Health and Wellness and 21st Century Learning Skills were all explored through the prism of respecting diversity within our public school communities.
For more information contact: Valerie McLeod, Managing Director of CSBA at email@example.com
Only 5 % of Canadian school children are meeting the national physical activity standards. Dr. Mark Tremblay, an expert in Children’s Health and part of the team that wrote the 2013 Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card, will be at the CSBA conference in Vancouver this week to speak to this critical situation and to offer 10 solutions as a starting point for school boards’ discussions. Student Health and Wellness is a Key Priority for the CSBA and we hope that this Pre-Congress session, which takes place from 1 to 4:30 p.m. on July 4, will assist trustees and commissioners from across Canada to take an active role in affecting change.
Please visit http://www.csba2013.ca/index.php/program/july4 for more information on the session or Dr. Tremblay.
When the CSBA congress in July 2012 was ended, CSBA had a new Managing Director, a new President and the knowledge that the many structural changes the Association had made over the past years required us to “regroup”, to redefine our priorities and especially, develop a road map that reflected what each province wanted from us in our role to affect change on behalf of their behalf. After several meetings, workshops and much discussion, we reconfirmed our mission to support, advocate for, and promote publicly elected School Boards across the country and then worked out a 3-year plan on how we wanted to accomplish that over the coming years. Our Core Issues for Advocacy include Aboriginal Education, 21st Century Learning and our newest addition on our list of national concerns; Student Health and Wellness. The 2013-2016 Strategic Plan, adopted at our March meeting is available at CSBA 2013-2016 Strategic Plan.
MONTREAL, January 8, 2012 - The harm caused by cyberbullying is known all too well by Canadians. In fall of 2011, the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights Committee was mandated by the Senate to study this important issue and subsequently, conducted hearings with over sixty witnesses, including academic researchers, volunteers, website operators, government departments, non-government organizations, teachers and students.
The CSBA was pleased to be among witnesses called and were able to present several examples of work being done by school boards across Canada. Present for the day were Sandi Urban Hall, President of CSBA and of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association at the time, David Birnbaum of the Quebec English School Boards Association and Dr. Wayne MacKay, who has done extensive research for the Nova Scotia School Boards Association.
The report, Cyberbullying Hurts: Respect for Rights in the Digital Age was released this last month, calling for Canada “to meet its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, by taking necessary actions to protect children from all forms of physical and mental violence, including cyberbullying”. The federal government intends to step in and coordinate an anti-bullying strategy with provincial and territorial counterparts. The report demonstrates that focus is needed on prevention, through digital citizenship, information and education. Promoting awareness and supporting initiatives that have proven effective are among the recommendations made, in addition to addressing the need for a national Children’s Commissioner to coordinate effective approaches. Punitive legal sanctions, – a rising trend across the country – are continually proving less effective. Said Senator Mobina Jaffer, chair of the committee. “It takes a whole community approach, the teaching of human rights and digital citizenship by parents, teachers, governments and by youth themselves to change online behavior”. Canadian school boards are an integral part of that community.
In addition to the report, the Committee created a Guide for Youth and a Guide Parents, educational resource guides that offer responses that can help youth, parents, educators and others involved in cyberbullying at any level. In both of these guides, there is a summary of the six recommendations from the committee also provided.
The report again is available at Cyberbullying Hurts: Respect for Rights in the Digital Age and the guides for both youth and parents are available at:
The Canadian School Boards Association is excited to endorse “Shifting Minds: A 21st Century Vision of Public Education in Canada“. Produced by C21 Canada following the C21 Summit in February of this year and released October 4, 2012, this document was developed by a group of fifty educational and business leaders with a view to providing our young people with a new set of modern competencies for success. As an active participant in this prestigious group and as one of the founding members of C21, the CSBA is proud to be a part of this important initiative which will provide leadership and a much needed framework that will encourage reflection and inspiration for new, innovative and vitally important practises that will support successful student outcomes.
The document is available at “SHIFTING MINDS”
The Canadian Coalition for the Right of the Child has produced a document on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Canada “Right in Principle, Right in Practice“. CCRC, The Rights of Children.
Listen in on a Webcast discussion between the Canadian Government and the United Nations on September 26 and 27, 2012 at www.unicef.ca/turnupthevolume.
Senate Committee on Human Rights asks CSBA for assistance as they study the impact of cyberbullying