This section provides updates on licensing and qualification requirements, notification of Council resolutions and reports from various Council committees, including reports on accreditation and discipline matters.
In March 2020, the Ontario College of Teachers submitted its annual Fair Registration Practices Report (FRP Report) to Ontario's Office of the Fairness Commissioner (OFC). The FRP Report contains information about College registration practices and statistics in the 2019 calendar year.
The OFC uses the FRP Report to assess the registration practices of the College to determine if they are fair, transparent, impartial and objective. All Ontario professional regulatory organizations, for example, nurses, doctors and engineers, are required to submit an FRP Report to the OFC every year. This submission is mandated by the Fair Access to Regulated Professions and Compulsory Trades Act, which also requires regulators to make the FRP Report publicly available. The FRP Report is available on the College's website (oct-oeeo.ca/FairRegistrationReport) in English and French.
Two workgroups at the College provide information for the FRP Report, one for registration practices and the other for registration statistics. Both workgroups comprise staff from multiple College departments.
Upon reviewing the FRP Report, the OFC will advise the College if it requires further information or believes changes to registration practices should be made. In recent reviews of College registration practices, the OFC has not recommended changes. In fact, it has listed on its website a number of commendable College registration practices.
Ontario applicants will not have to complete their remaining practicum to qualify for certification if they are unable to do so solely because of school closures related to COVID-19. College Council recommended regulatory changes at a special meeting Friday, April 17, 2020, and the provincial cabinet approved the changes on Wednesday, April 22, 2020.
An exemption in the Teachers' Qualifications Regulation means that candidates in their fourth semester of a four-semester teacher education program at Ontario's faculties of education will not be required to complete remaining practicum to qualify for certification if they are unable to do so solely because of school closures.
All other program components must be completed by December 31, 2020, or the day after Ontario's state of emergency is over (whichever is later), and Ontario applicants must apply and be certified by December 30, 2023, otherwise they will not be able to make use of this exemption, and they will have to complete their remaining practicum in order to become certified.
Further, the College has worked closely with the government to enable Ontario faculty of education teacher candidates who complete their application on or after March 31, 2020, to be certified, with condition. The condition stipulates that the applicant must successfully complete the Math Proficiency Test by August 31, 2021.
Until recently, the Math Proficiency Test had been a prerequisite to obtain College certification. An amendment to the Proficiency in Mathematics Regulation made under the Ontario College of Teachers Act now means that Ontario applicants who meet all other applicable certification requirements will be granted initial certification with a condition to pass the test by August 31, 2021. If they do not meet this condition by this date, their certificate will expire.
A complete application includes the receipt of all required documentation and fees by the College.
The Ministry of Education will work with the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) on options to administer the test online. Test centres will continue to offer in-person testing once public health officials advise that it is safe to do so.
The College will provide updates on its website, oct.ca, as new information becomes available.
With Ontario's Learn at Home program in place, the College has created guidelines to support the professional practice of teachers in the use of video conferencing technology.
The College recognizes that supporting student learning in a COVID-19 world can be challenging and confusing for teachers.
Teachers can minimize risks and model the virtual professionalism expected from teaching professionals.
Read the guidelines at oct-oeeo.ca/professionaladvisories.
Photos: GiantVision Photography
Chantal Bélisle OCT, was appointed as Deputy Registrar of the Ontario College of Teachers. She has been employed by the College since 2008, and has held numerous positions during that time.
Bélisle began at the College as an investigator, progressing to various roles including a secondment to the Complaint Resolution Program, a program officer in Accreditation, and, most recently, a position on the senior leadership team in 2015 as director of Investigations and Hearings.
Bélisle is a member of the College and holds the Principal as well as Supervisory Officer qualifications. In 2013, she completed a master of laws degree with York University's Osgoode Hall Law School. She also holds an advanced certificate in dispute resolution and mediation from York University.
Prior to arriving at the College, Bélisle was a teacher for 16 years in Simcoe County with the Catholic as well as the public French-language school boards.
Bélisle's other professional experience includes participation on initiatives for the Ontario Ministry of Education and as a roster member with York University's Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program.
The College welcomes Bonnie Oakes Charron, who was appointed to College Council in March 2020 for a three-year term.
Based in Ottawa, Oakes Charron is an independent governance consultant, specializing in governance education, coaching and resource development.
Since 2016, she has served in various governance roles. She is an urban panel member of the City of Ottawa's Committee of Adjustment ruling on land-use and planning matters, and is a non-profit board director for Odyssey Theatre. She previously served on the board of Governance Professionals of Canada, was a Parent Involvement Committee member with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, and was an executive committee member of the Ottawa-Carleton Assembly of School Councils.
From 2011–16, Oakes Charron served as a special assistant in governance with Colleges and Institutes Canada. She was an assistant corporate secretary with Canadian Blood Services, senior assistant secretary to the Bank of Canada board of directors, and, between 2000 and 2011, a procedural clerk in the House of Commons. In addition, she has worked in information management as a consultant, knowledge manager and documentalist, data quality analyst, national and international programs officer with the National Library, and a systems librarian for the Federal Court.
A member of the Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators and the Society of NonProfit Board Directors, Oakes Charron has been recognized by the mayor of Ottawa for her community service and is a recipient of a corporate champion award from Colleges and Institutes Canada.
She holds a master's degree in library and information science from Western University, an Honours BA from Bishop's University, a certificate in diplomacy and social protocol from Carleton University, and is a recognized Fellow in Board Governance with the Canadian Board Diversity Council.