Update on Progress Reports, parent-teacher interviews
The Peel District School Board has been informed that, as part of the tentative agreement between the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO), Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA) and the Government of Ontario, teachers will complete Progress Reports by Dec. 11, 2015. Full reports, including comments, will be sent home on Dec. 14, 2015. If students have Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), these will be sent home with Progress Reports.
Ray Lawson and Roberta Bondar public schools will send Progress Reports home on Dec. 11, 2015, as they operate on a different school-year calendar.
Parent-Teacher interviews will be conducted in the evening of Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015, and during the school day on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. As scheduled, Nov. 13, 2015, remains a Professional Activity (PA) Day—there is no school for elementary students on this day.
As previously communicated to families, parent-teacher interviews will only be held if initiated by a teacher. As part of the tentative agreement between ETFO, OPSBA and the government, teachers will only conduct interviews related to Progress Reports if they have concerns about a student's progress.
As always, teachers will continue to maintain contact with parents regarding student progress throughout the school year. If you would like to connect with your child's teachers about his/her progress, you can contact teachers as you normally would, e.g. notes in the agenda, phone calls, etc.
We will continue to provide updates as they become available. Thank you for your continued understanding.
Letter from Director of Education regarding post-job action transition period
Nov. 4, 2015
Dear Peel District School Board families:
As you likely already know, we are pleased to share with you that the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) reached a tentative agreement with the Ontario Public School Boards' Association and the Ontario government on Nov. 2, 2015. Terms of the tentative agreement have not yet been made public and it must still be ratified by ETFO and CUPE members.
Although job action for these union groups has ended, there will be a transition period as schools return to their regular routines. I must stress with everyone that it will not be "business as usual" immediately. Activities will slowly return as soon as staff have had time to prepare for their re-start. For example, food days may take a few days to resume as vendors need to be contacted and arrangements need to be made for orders to be taken. As well, School Council meetings may not happen on their established date as agendas need to be created or elections still need to be held. Once these meetings dates are confirmed, they will be shared with families.
We know that elementary school parents also have questions about their children's Progress Reports. Yesterday, the Minister of Education Liz Sandals indicated that teachers will be providing Progress Reports, but that there may be a delay in getting them to families. We expect reports to be provided to parents by mid-December. Your school will share more about this with you in the coming days.
In addition, elementary school parents may be wondering about parent-teacher interviews. We're working through this process and, again, your children's school will share information once details are finalized.
As we head into November, I want to assure you that our key priority remains—we will work to ensure that students have a successful school year. We know our staff will continue to inspire success, confidence and hope in each student. We appreciate your continued patience and understanding, and thank you for your support as we return to our regular school routines.
Director of Education
ETFO, Ontario Public School Boards' Association, Government of Ontario reach tentative agreement
On Nov. 2, 2015, the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO), Ontario Public School Boards' Association and Government of Ontario reached a tentative agreement. Teachers' work-to-rule sanctions are lifted. Progress Reports will be issued, but may be delayed until mid-December.
We thank everyone for their patience and support over the past several months. We will provide additional updates as they become available.
CUPE, Ontario Public School Boards' Association, Government of Ontario reach tentative agreement
On Nov. 2, 2015, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing custodial and secretarial education workers in Peel, the Ontario Public School Boards' Association and the Ontario government reached a tentative agreement.
CUPE has agreed to stop all job action while awaiting ratification of the deal by CUPE members. Terms of the tentative agreement have not yet been made public. Additional information will be shared here as it becomes available.
Peel District School Board postpones elementary Progress Reports
Given the current, cumulative impact of labour action by education unions across the province, the Peel District School Board, along with most other public school boards in Ontario, is postponing elementary Progress Reports.
We will continue to monitor the labour situation and will provide Progress Reports if time allows. This means that if the situation is resolved within the next few weeks, school staff will provide Progress Reports for students. However, if the job action continues beyond that, there may not be sufficient time to provide Progress Reports as school staff will be focused on the completion and distribution of Term 1 Report Cards.
We understand that this is frustrating and that parents want information about their children’s progress. Since progress reports are postponed, information from the reports is not available from the school at this time. It is our understanding that, during current job action, teachers will not conduct parent interviews related to Progress Reports unless they have concerns about a student’s progress, and that these interviews may only be held if initiated by a teacher. It remains our understanding, as well, that teachers will continue to maintain contact with parents regarding students during the instructional day.
We will continue to provide updates as they become available. Thank you for your ongoing patience.
Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario directs elementary teachers to withdraw from extracurricular activities as of Oct. 28
On Oct. 22, the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) announced that they would be escalating its current job action next week, if an agreement is not reached. As per their news release, beginning Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, elementary teachers and occasional teachers will withdraw from all voluntary extracurricular activities in Ontario public schools, as directed by ETFO provincially.
We understand that this is disappointing news. We will continue to monitor the labour situation and will provide updates as they become available. We thank you for your ongoing patience.
Peel board breakfast programs continue with support of ETFO, CUPE 2544
Breakfast programs in many Peel District School Board schools are running again thanks to the support of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and CUPE 2544, which represents custodial and maintenance staff in Peel. ETFO Peel confirmed that teachers will continue to be able to volunteer to help supervise breakfast programs. CUPE 2544 provided their ongoing support to set up for the program and to clean up and tear down afterwards.
Last week, Director of Education Tony Pontes reached out to both unions to clarify their position on breakfast programs to determine if they could continue. "We're pleased to share that ETFO and CUPE 2544 have confirmed their support for breakfast programs in Peel schools," notes Pontes. "They clarified that current job sanctions don't prevent their members from helping with Peel's breakfast programs. This is wonderful news and we look forward to restarting these programs so that we can continue to provide a nutritious start to many students' school days."
Pontes informed school administrators Wednesday morning, and principals will now seek the support of staff and parent volunteers at their schools to restart their programs. For programs where funds are collected on a daily basis, the board will forego those costs, and schools will pay for supplies using school funds and rely on the support of the YMCA of Greater Toronto, who is the board's community partner.
In a few cases, school staff may choose not to volunteer to supervise breakfast programs. If that happens, principals and vice-principals will not be able to supervise breakfast programs on their own given their other responsibilities. Food, such as nutrition bars, will, however, be informally available to students in the school office.
"Regardless of whether or not schools have breakfast programs, administrators always have access to food to help meet the nutritional needs of their students," notes Pontes. "Our staff know their students well, know which children might be hungry, and would always approach these students to offer them something nutritious to eat. This same practice will continue."
Media contact: Tony Pontes, Director of Education, 905-890-1010 ext. 2005
Reference: Carla Pereira, Manager of Communications, 905-890-1010 ext. 2814
Important notice for parents/guardians of elementary students regarding status of job action
Sept. 30, 2015
I am writing to provide you with an update on the status of schools, and school activities, as a result of job action by a number of our unions. As you know, our schools are experiencing significant impact by the withdrawal of services by the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario provincially (elementary teachers), and locally by CUPE 2544 (custodial) and CUPE 1628 (secretarial). As of today, ETFO is in phase 3 of work-to-rule, and both CUPE groups are in phase two. At this point, business as usual is no longer an option.
Our principals and vice-principals have done and will continue to do their very best to maintain school activities—and I thank them for their work. But I now have directed schools to focus on only three key areas:
To achieve this, many things you normally expect as part of the school experience will be cancelled or postponed. For example, our secretaries will no longer handle money, so many activities cannot continue, and our custodians will not sweep hallways, so the school will not appear the way is usually does.
At your school, you should expect the following to be cancelled or postponed, effective immediately:
food days/breakfast programs where money still needs to be collected by the school
open houses and other school events such as fall fairs
school council activities, including elections and meetings
printed school newsletters
recycling and compost programs
There may be some exceptional situations—like food days where money has already been collected for the term—but otherwise, expect to hear of postponement or cancellations from your child's school. We are also trying our very best to maintain as many extracurricular sports as possible. These exceptions, however, will be rare.
Principals and vice-principals have been directed to cancel or postpone all but the core work of the school—they do not have the choice to keep some running. We understand your disappointment—and we share it. However, I am sure you see the importance of our focus on keeping schools open, safe, and students learning.
We will continue to monitor the job action's impact on elementary students and we remain committed to keeping you informed:
Thank you for your patience, support and understanding.
Director of Education
Peel District School Board
Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario announces phase three work-to-rule across Ontario to begin Sept. 21
Updated Sept. 18, 2015, at 2:39 p.m.
On Sept. 18, 2015, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) announced phase three of work-to-rule in Ontario. Phase three will begin on Monday, Sept. 21, 2015, unless progress is made at the provincial, central bargaining table. Phase two of ETFO work-to-rule is currently taking place in all public schools across Ontario.
During phase two, elementary teachers did not:
- plan, organize or participate in field trips
- plan, organize or participate in fundraising activities
- collect monies
- attend open houses or ‘Meet the Teacher’ nights outside of the instructional day
- participate in board professional development, other than mandatory first-aid training, Sabrina’s Law and WHMIS
- collect or distribute to students any paperwork required by the school or school board
Phase two job action will continue during phase three of work-to-rule. As of Monday, Sept. 21, elementary teachers will also not:
- fill in for an absent teacher or take on additional students during another teacher’s absence
- update classroom websites/blogs, complete or distribute class newsletters
- update Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) by the deadline. ETFO has directed teachers to make modifications for students and to complete IEPs at their own pace during the instructional day.
- participate in any in-school meetings or professional learning activities on the next PA Day. Instead, they will use the time for their own self-directed activities within the classroom/school.
- prepare report card comments, complete or package the Progress Report. ETFO has directed teachers to provide the principal/vice-principal with a hard copy class list with the ratings for the Learning Skills and Work Habits section, and the required subject area section completed for each child. Teachers of alternative programs will provide one brief comment per area.
- conduct parent interviews related to the Progress Report unless the teacher or occasional teacher identifies a concern about a child’s progress
- participate in extracurricular activities on Wednesdays
In addition, on Wednesdays, ETFO has directed elementary teachers to wear a solidarity colour, their ETFO buttons, t-shirts and ball caps.
At this time, ETFO has informed teachers that unless significant progress has been made at the provincial, central bargaining table by the end of September, they will begin phase four. This means that during the month of October, they MAY begin rotating one-day strikes. If that happens, we will provide you with as much notice as possible about the status of schools.
We will continue to monitor the situation and its impact on elementary students:
As a board, we respect our elementary teachers and value their work with students. We remain hopeful that the fair, negotiated provincial agreements with all of our employee groups will be reached. Thank you for your patience, support and understanding.
Chair, Peel District School Board
Labour updates are issued through the following:
You can view a full list of unionized groups in the Peel board at