The torch is passed…


Janet Foord, newly elected President of CSBA

Following elections held during the Canadian School Boards Association Annual General Meeting on July 3, 2014, we are pleased to announce that Janet Foord, President of Saskatchewan School Boards Assocation was elected as President and Floyd Martens, President of Manitoba School Boards Association was elected Vice President.

Ms. Foord began her term and hit the ground running, attending  a meeting with the Council of Ministers of Education in Prince Edward Island, July 9-10, just days later.  To learn more about her and her vision for the association, please see the “President’s Message”  under About Us.


Floyd Martens, Vice President, Janet Foord, President and Michael McEvoy, Past President, CSBA

Floyd Martens, Vice President, Janet Foord, President and Michael McEvoy, Past President, CSBA

Michael McEvoy, the outgoing President of 2013-2014, passed the gavel to Ms Foord officially on July 5.  He subsequently received a Life Membershp to the CSBA as a Past President.  The association Board of Directors was unanmous in their gratitude and appreciation for his leadership and commitment over the past year.

Janet Foord presents Michael McEvoy with his Honorary Life Membership to CSBA

Janet Foord presents Michael McEvoy with his Honorary Life Membership to CSBA




CSBA Past Presidents: (clockwise from left) Ruth Ann Furgala, Michael McEvoy, Marcus Tabachnick, Rick Johnson, Gerri Gershon, Nada Borden (missing Goden Comeau, Sandi Urban Hall)

CSBA Past Presidents: (clockwise from left) Ruth Ann Furgala, Michael McEvoy, Marcus Tabachnick, Rick Johnson, Gerri Gershon, Nada Borden.

How can we support Aboriginal student success…?

canadian flag smilingAboriginal 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…?

Check out the Publication and for more information on the research,  visit the CEA website.

Facts on Education Series: Standardized Testing Does Not Lead to Improved Educational Outcomes for Students

Girl writingJPEGEducators and students should be provided with assessment tools to identify issues and gaps for individual students.

Release date: 10 February 2014

Standardized testing is a contentious issue in Canada, and internationally. There is a large body of literature about these large-scale standardized tests with no consensus on their effectiveness. According to the Canadian Education Association’s latest Facts on Education fact sheet, while there is some support for standardized testing, overwhelmingly, research suggests that it does not lead to improved educational outcomes for students.

To access What is the Value of Standardized Testing, go to  Facts On Education – Standardized Testing  And for other hot button issues such as, Under what conditions does technology impact learning? Do good grades in high school guarantee post-secondary successHow useful is homework? and Do smaller classes improve learning?, please visit:

About The Facts on Education

With a generous sponsorship from the Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA), CEA has teamed up with researchers from the University of Prince Edward Island’s Faculty of Education to conduct the research and produce the content. Four more facts sheets focusing on what the research says about the correlation of high school grades and post-secondary success, the impact of technology on classrooms, effective approaches to improving students’ mental well-being, creating conditions for Aboriginal student success in our public schools, and defining what standardized testing is actually measuring, will be distributed throughout the 2013-2014 academic year.


Max Cooke, Director of Communications

Canadian Education Assocation


PISA Results released December 3, 2013

thoughtprovokersfestivalThe 2012 PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) results were released December 3, 2013.   Canada has seen a small decline in results but still remains among the best performers internationally, behind only 9 other countries.  “PISA 2012 Results in Focus” is a summary document that provides an international prespective, as well as more detailed comparisons of several provinces and how they perform in the three categories (mathematices, reading and science) vis-à-vis  international rankings.  In addition to showing above average results in the assessment of skills , Canada is also one of several countries demonstrating leadership in “equity in education opportunities.”  Worth a look…


CSBA President Michael McEvoy
CSBA 203 Annual Conference, Vancouver, B.C.

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) 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

CSBA Elects New Leadership


 Montreal, March 29, 2013 -  The Canadian School Boards Association is pleased to announce that at the Spring Board of Directors meeting, the members elected Michael McEvoy, of the British Columbia School Trustees Association as the new President of the CSBA.  Michael will assume office as of July 1, 2013 at the CSBA congress in Vancouver.

Michael has been an elected trustee for the past 11 years on the Greater Victoria Board of Education, including three years as Board Chair. He is nearing the end of his second year as President of the British Columbia School Trustees Association and has been a valuable contributor at the CSBA table for two years.

Growing up in Manitoba, earning a law degree from the University of Manitoba before moving to the west coast in the mid 1980’s.  He is presently Assistant Commissioner for the Office of the BC Commission Information and Privacy Commissioner of BC.  He is also very involved in his community including with the United Way, where he served as campaign Chair in 2009.  Michael is active, playing hockey with a bunch of old guys and cycling to work most every day.  His wife Judy is a school principal.  His two extraordinary daughters are in grade 12 and in third year of university, respectively.

Michael believes passionately that locally elected, accountable school boards underlie the strength of public education in Canada and that the CSBA, has an important role to play “connecting boards across our incredible country, which undoubtedly contributes to making our education system even stronger”.   

The CSBA delegates also elected Janet Foord of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association to serve as Vice President, alongside Mr. McEvoy.  We look forward to the dynamic leadership that these two valuable members will bring to the year ahead as the CSBA navigates the challenges and issues shared by boards across the country.

Over the past year, the CSBA has had the privilege of working with current President, Sandi Urban Hall of Saskatchewan and Vice President, Jacquie  Hansen of Alberta, whose leadership at the helm of the association during a challenging and extremely important developmental year was invaluable. We thank them both for their contributions and wish them luck in their future projects, which will no doubt, be many!


MONTREAL, JANUARY 9, 2013 -  The Canadian School Boards Association is pleased to see the results of the study “School Boards Matter: A Pan-Canadian study of school district governance”  by Bruce Sheppard, Gerald Galway, Jean Brown and John Wiens.

The full report, School Boards Matter; A Pan-Canadian Study of School District Governance   is available along with a CSBA Executive Summary and a list of other studies with complementary reading.

This important and timely study on school district governance, counters recent literature that has called school boards “wasteful hierarchies” and deals head on with political trends affecting public education across Canada.  At the heart of the study, the authors provide convincing evidence that in fact, effective and successful school boards do matter to the education of our children.

The authors draw a strong correlation between effective school boards and successful public school systems and state that “strong and effective boards are essential to maintaining a meaningful and sustainable public school system”.  They provide clear answers to the question “What are the attributes of effective school boards in Canada?”.

This study will be of particular interest to local school board trustees/commissioners across Canada, Provincial School Boards Associations and members of the CSBA Board of Directors.

CSBA President, Sandi Urban Hall welcomed the report and stated, “Boards of education use a wealth of research to strengthen their education practices and decisions. This report gives school boards data that will help strengthen school board governance and as a result, student success”.

For more information, contact the CSBA at

Canadian School Boards Association is proud to have participated in the Senate Committee on Human Rights report on Cyberbullying, released in Ottawa this past December.

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:

Youth Guide:

Parents’ Guide:



MONTREAL, January 2013 –   It was with great sadness that the CSBA received the news from the family of Dr. Roy Wilson, that he passed away peacefully recently from cardio-respiratory issues in Medicine Hat, Alberta.  He was 74 years old.

Roy Wilson was the longest serving school board trustee in Medicine Hat, and the second longest serving trustee in the Province of Alberta.  First elected to the Board of Trustees of School District #76 in 1980, he served continuously from that date, acting as board chairman on three separate occasions.  He was, during the 1990’s, president of both the Alberta School Boards Association and the Canadian School Boards Association.  Dr. Wilson recently completed serving his second term as senator in the University of Alberta Senate.

Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Roy received his B.Ed, M.Ed and Ph.D from the University of Alberta.  His teaching career began in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1960.  He would go on to teach at schools and colleges in Edmonton, Camrose, the Crowsnest Pass and Medicine Hat, retiring in 2003.

He taught over 5000 students in his tenure, and receiving many honours for his work, including the Alberta Home and School Association’s Presidents Award, the Medicine Hat College Academic Achievement Award, the Alberta Centennial Medal for his service to public education in Alberta, Medicine Hat College’s honourary applied baccalaureate degree and honourary life memberships in the Alberta School Boards Association and the Canadian School Boards Association.  Dr. Wilson also authored numerous articles on local and educational history and was involved in the production of several historical videos.

Active for many years in the local, provincial and national Canadian Music Festival movement, Dr. Wilson was also a long-time board member and past Chairman of the board of the Good Samaritan Society.  And while known throughout the province for his contributions as an educator,  trustee and volunteer, his first dedication was to his family.  He was a deeply devoted husband, father and grandfather.

Sandi Urban Hall, CSBA President, noted that “Roy’s contributions to education and to the Canadian School Boards was substantial and greatly appreciated.  He will be missed by all and his legacy will remain with us”.