You'll never know if you don't ask
College members can receive discounts at attractions and stores throughout Ontario just by showing their membership card or by asking when ordering over the phone.
A huge range of discounts is available. Some are very generous. Olympic Spirit in downtown Toronto gives College members and one guest free entrance. The Hockey Hall of Fame gives free entrance, as do the Royal Ontario Museum, Science North and the Ontario Science Centre. Ontario Place discounts entrance fees for members and their parties by nearly half.
The Stratford Festival offers College members substantial discounts on specific performances in the spring, early summer and fall. Call the box office at 1-800-567-1600 for dates and prices.
The Shaw Festival offers members two half-price tickets to either Arms and the Man or The Crucible during the 2006 season. Call Group Sales at 1-800-511-7429, ext 62 for details (some restrictions apply).
When we asked the Niagara Parks Commission, staff thought about it and responded by e-mail:
Niagara Parks attractions include: Journey Behind the Falls, Butterfly Conservatory, White Water Walk, Whirlpool Aero Car, Sir Adam Beck 2 Generating Station Tours, Old Fort Erie, Laura Secord Homestead, Mackenzie Printery & Newspaper Museum and McFarland House. Visit www.niagaraparks.com.
Grand & Toy and Staples have long provided school-based, purchase-rebate programs and are now considering additional offers to teachers shopping for their families, not just for school. Be sure to ask next time you're there.
Indigo/Chapters gives $5 off its iRewards card, which provides a 10 per cent discount on all purchases for one full year. The Bata Shoe Museum gift shop offers 10 per cent off educational items and a complimentary visit if a class booking has been confirmed. Both Friends of Algonquin Park bookstores offer 15 per cent discounts.
Twenty per cent discounts are available on Casa Loma's entrance fee and at GA Educational Books and Toys stores on all purchases (the latter is also available to faculty of education students).
Since we started inquiring many more places are considering discounts. These include: the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canadian Canoe Museum, Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People (formerly the Young People's Theatre), Halton Region Conservation Authority and Metro Toronto Zoo. We didn't have firm commitments as we went to press, so ask at these and other places when you visit or call.
Many places have fabulous curriculum-based programs and are keen to attract teachers. They want you to visit so you can consider bringing your students. Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Scenic Caves Nature Adventures in Collingwood, Wings of Paradise Butterfly Conservatory in Cambridge and Doon Heritage Crossroads in Kitchener admit teachers for free to learn about their programming.
Check out web sites for other attractions to see if they offer curriculum-based programming. If you ask, theytoo may admit you free of charge. And when you shop at stores selling educational materials or even when looking at courses, ask if they offer a discount to teachers. For example, the Bethune Institute in Guelph runs a five-day certified TESOL program on how to teach English in China, where it has long-standing connections. It offers members a 25 per cent discount on course fees.
And more .
We can't possibly contact the thousands of stores and attractions throughout Ontario to find out if they offer discounts. And we wouldn't have the resources to maintain and update such a list anyway.
Over 200,000 members represent a powerful purchasing group, and many stores and attractions see the benefit of supporting teachers and encouraging new business.
So ask wherever you go and whenever you order tickets. Carry your new membership card with you. Have it handy when ordering tickets by phone. It's simple for a customer service representative to confirm your membership on the public register with just a few mouse clicks.
There are some generous deals out there just waiting to be had. Keep your card handy, ask and then spread the word. Happy saving!
Assessing learning disabilities
Francophone students with learning difficulties will benefit from new diagnostic tools and from the targeted help of psychologists and other assessors.
The Ontario government has invested $3 million to develop French-language versions of standard testing and assessment tools that until now have been available only in English. French-language school boards, colleges and universities across the province will receive kits at no cost.
To support the program, up to 2,500 psychological and education professionals who assess French-language students for learning disabilities will train online at Cambrian College in Sudbury. The college is recognized as one of the leading centres in North America for assisting students with learning disabilities.
The new tools and training will allow professionals to confidently identify learning disabilities and recommend support services to French-language students.
For more information visit the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities at www.edu.gov.on.ca 'What's New' November 2005.
30 join Canada's top principals
Thirty principals from across the country were inducted into the National Academy of Principals in February as Canada's Outstanding Principals for 2006.
Now in its second year, Canada's Outstanding Principals Program was developed by the Learning Partnership and the Canadian Association of Principals, in collaboration with U of T's Rotman School of Management, to recognize dedicated principals of publicly funded schools for their unique and crucial contributions.
Nominations from every province and territory were judged by a distinguished group of education, community and private-sector leaders. Judges looked for outstanding capacities, evidence of partnerships with parents and community, and personal stories illustrating successful change and innovation that resulted in improved student achievement and letters of support.
Winners were invited to participate with other leaders from the educational, social, cultural and business communities in a five-day Executive Leadership Training Program at the Rotman School and to take part in a year-long online forum. They were formally honoured on February 14th at a gala awards celebration in Toronto.
Winners from Ontario schools this year were: Charles Austin of Pinecrest Public School in Ottawa, Patricia Blake of Burlington's C.H. Norton Public School, Leona McEwan of St. Ann Catholic School in Thunder Bay, Mary-Ann Nova of R.A. Sennett Public School in Whitby, Stephen Redmond of St. Michael Catholic School in Guelph, Patrick Rocco of Orchard Park Secondary School in Stoney Creek, Scott Sincerbox of Prince of Wales Elementary School in Hamilton, Sydney Zyla of St. Joan of Arc High School in Barrie and Toronto principals Roger Dale of Kipling Collegiate Institute, Mary-Jane Jones of Pope Paul VI Elementary School and Susan MacDonald of Chester Le Jr. Public School.
For more information visit www.thelearningpartnership.ca.
Cold Tubas Hot
VISITORS: CHINA, NETHERLANDS, JORDAN, KUWAIT
Delegations visit the College to share and gather information on a range of education issues, including accreditation, qualifications and standards of practice.
Teach in Ontario
Physical Education Teacher of the Year
Physical Education Teacher of the Year Awards recognize teachers who have shown an exceptional ability to motivate students to participate in a lifetime of physical activity.
Three national and 10 provincial awards are presented each year. National award winners receive free travel, accommodation and registration at the CAHPERD National Conference as well as physical education equipment for their school, courtesy of Wintergreen Phys-Ed. The 10 provincial winners receive a recognition plaque, provincial and national publicity, and a free one-year membership to CAHPERD.
Teachers at the elementary, middle and secondary school levels are eligible. For information and a nomination form visit www.cahperd.ca.
The nomination deadline is March 15, 2006.
Lakehead University has introduced a course to help prepare Intermediate/Senior teacher-education candidates who will be counselling students who do not intend to attend university.
The program provides tools for integrating career information into course content. Its internship was developed in collaboration with Confederation College, Lakehead and Thunder Bay Catholic DSBs and community organization - for better awareness of workplace, apprentice and college destinations that may be of interest to graduating secondary school students.
Words of inspiration
Students in Grades 3-12 are invited to submit artwork and/or inspiring essays and stories for potential publication in Wings of Hope - published by Prepskills for distribution to hospitals, clinics, hospices and doctors' offices. Students whose work is selected for publication will receive acknowledgement in the book. As well, the
For information visit www.prepskills.com.
Deadline: March 31, 2006
Educator's organ-donation bill proposed
College member and Brant riding MPP Dave Levac tabled a private member's bill that, if adopted, would require Ontario high schools to provide education on the importance of organ donation.
Bill 33, which received first reading on November 21, 2005, would allow students to be exempted for religious or cultural beliefs or similar personal reasons.
Canada has one of the lowest rates of organ donation in the developed world.
National Nutrition Month
Youth Science Festival Month
8 - International Women's Day - An opportunity to reflect on and assess the challenges facing women in contemporary society, to consider future steps and celebrate the gains made in these areas. March 5-11 is International Women's Week.
20 - International Francophonie Day - Celebrates the language and cultural diversity of la francophonie worldwide through various activities and events.
21 - International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination - On this day in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people in Sharpeville, South Africa, at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid's pass laws. This day heightens awareness and mobilizes youth to take a stand and eliminate all forms of racism.
22 - World Water Day - An initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro and its recommendations regarding Fresh Water Resources. This year's theme is Water and Culture. 2005 to 2015 is the UN International Decade for Action Water for Life.
27 - World Theatre Day - An occasion for celebrating the power of the performing arts and its capacity to contribute to understanding and peace between people.
29 - Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test Administration Date
22 - Earth Day - Recognizes the gains made to accelerate environmental progress. It is a time to create new visions and to unite around new actions.
23 - World Book and Copyright Day - Celebrates the richness and diversity of the written word by paying tribute to books and authors. This day encourages everyone - and in particular young people - to discover the pleasure of reading and gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those who further the social and cultural progress of humanity through books.
23-29 - National Volunteer Week - Pays tribute to Canadian volunteers across the country who give of themselves to better their communities and the lives of others. Volunteers Grow Community is this year's theme.
Speech and Hearing Month
1-7 - International Youth Week - To improve young people's communities and inspire proactive youth involvement year-round.
3 - World Press Freedom Day - To inform the public of violations of the right to freedom of expression and that many journalists brave death or jail to bring people their daily news.
6 - International Astronomy Day - Professional and amateur astronomers bring the universe to the public, through observing sessions, displays, and information booths in malls, science centres and planetaria.
18 - International Museums Day
23-26 - Aboriginal Awareness Week - To increase awareness in the public service of aboriginal peoples.
25 - Active Healthy Kids Day - Raises awareness of the importance of physical activity for children and youth and kicks off a year of increased physical activity.
Deaf-Blind Awareness Month - Commemorating the birthday of Helen Keller who was unquestionably the most famous Deaf-Blind person.
4-10 - Canadian Environment Week
5 - World Environment Day - This United Nations day for worldwide awareness of the environment. The 2006 theme is Deserts and Desertification.
20 - World Refugee Day - Salutes the indomitable spirit and courage of the world's refugees.
27 - Canadian Multiculturalism Day - Celebrates diversity in Canada and a commitment to democracy.
For other international special days, observances and events, visit www.un.org and click on Conferences & Events, to the left of the UN's 60th anniversary logo.