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.
Children and students who allege sexual abuse, sexual harassment and child pornography by a member of the College will have access to a counselling and therapy program, starting January 1, 2020.
The legislation for the program was introduced in May 2018 and will be proclaimed when Bill 48, the Safe and Supportive Classrooms Act, 2018 (oct-oeeo.ca/Bill48), is passed.
The College will be working closely with the government to develop and define the parameters of the program, including the application process, administration and implementation. The government is determining the funding amount and duration of the program, and together we are working to iron out the details in regulation that acknowledge the College's financial risk.
The College will also determine how the funds will be distributed — and how the costs of counselling paid by the College will be recovered — if the Discipline Committee finds a member guilty of sexual abuse, sexual harassment or a prohibited act of child pornography.
The College has been reviewing historical disciplinary decisions where there has been a finding of sexual abuse to provide an initial costing of the program. Initial funding will be drawn from College reserves.
The development of a counselling and therapy program for victims of sexual abuse, sexual harassment or child pornography by the College is in line with what already exists with health regulators.
More information about the program will be made available as its development continues.
For the sixth straight year, College Council has frozen member fees at $150.
In approving the College's 2019 budget of $42.1 million at its December 6, 2018, meeting, Council held fees at the same rate they've been for more than half a decade.
Ontario Certified Teachers pay the lowest fees among the province's 40 professional regulatory bodies, and the College has one of the lowest staff-to-member ratios among regulators.
Prudent fiscal management and careful use of reserves have made fixed fees possible despite organizational pressures and legislative changes.
For example, beginning in January 2020, according to legislation introduced last fall, the College expects to provide for therapy and counselling for students who have been sexually abused by members.
The 2019 budget reflects an across-the-board funding freeze of programs. Operational costs are projected at $42,119,402 and assume a draw of $3.6 million from College reserves. Reserves, intended as an emergency source of funding — covering issues such as sudden increases in expenses, one-time unbudgeted expenses, and unanticipated losses in funding — help to make up the deficit needed to meet the budget.
Of the College's revenues of $37.7 million, member fees account for $35 million. The remainder comes from other fees, website and magazine advertising, investment income, and external project funding. The number of member renewals and registrations — 233,346 and 5,425 respectively — are expected to flatline in 2019 and remain stable for the next five years. Roughly 5,000 OCTs retire in a year.
In setting the budget, Council follows a set of financial operating principles to ensure that services are appropriately funded. These include:
To ensure stability and independence, Council seeks to stabilize fees and address unexpected risks and opportunities.
PHOTO: ANDRÉ VAN VUGT, GIANT VISION PHOTOGRAPHY
THE ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM RECOGNIZES AND SUPPORTS EXCELLENCE IN TEACHER EDUCATION. THIS IS DONE THROUGH THE AWARDING OF THREE ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIPS TO ASSIST IN THE EDUCATION OF FUTURE TEACHERS.
Joseph W. Atkinson Scholarship for Excellence in Teacher Education Recipient — Taylor Crawford, teacher candidate in the concurrent education program at Queen's University.
Taylor Crawford has a reputation for being ambitious, dedicated, empathetic and highly motivated. People close to her say she is a first-rate scholar with superb communication and critical thinking skills. One professor describes Crawford as being in the top one per cent of students she has taught throughout her career at Trent University, in relation to overall ability.
Crawford has recently taken on intensive, challenging leadership and volunteer roles at Trent and in the Durham Region community. While she was Trent's Academic Mentoring Program co-ordinator, she expanded the program by recruiting and training dozens of new mentors who serve as role models and offer guidance to fellow students. Crawford was also the co-ordinator for the university's Penpal Program, which promotes literacy skills throughout Durham Region's elementary schools. As a volunteer with the local Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program, Crawford worked with at-risk girls and young teenagers in low-income schools — she was someone to talk to and share their experiences with.
When tutoring children with exceptionalities and volunteering at a treatment camp for children with psychological disorders, Crawford always thought outside the box and adjusted for different learning styles.
The recent Joseph W. Atkinson Scholarship recipient has fond memories of the teachers she has had over the years: "They respected and valued me as an important member of the classroom and school community, establishing within me a sense of belonging and importance at school — which all students deserve."
Crawford has received various awards during her scholastic career, including the Alumni Recognition Award, which is presented to a graduating student who has made a significant and continuous contribution to Trent University.
Ontario College of Teachers Scholarship — Primary/Junior or Junior/Intermediate Recipient: Sarah Salt, teacher candidate in the concurrent education program at Brock University.
Compassionate. Determined. Enthusiastic. A passionate leader with a heart of gold. This is how those who know Sarah Salt describe her. In recent years, she has been actively involved in recruitment for Brock University, as well as various events within the Niagara Region.
Salt has led the Trick or Eat initiative for which university students collect non-perishable items for food banks in the community. Each year this event collects over 4,000 pounds of food, which feeds many St. Catharines residents who are in need.
As an advocate for equity, inclusion and social justice, Salt volunteered for Big Brothers Big Sisters, as well as for events affiliated with the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Salt is such an active ambassador for the university that Mrs. Claus herself asked the teacher candidate to attend an event on her behalf at a school in a low socio-economic area of Thorold, Ont. Mrs. Claus was pleased with how Salt did.
The College scholarship recipient credits her high school guidance counsellor and her Grade 7/8 teacher, Rebecca Richardson, OCT, for encouraging her decision to pursue a career in teaching: "[Ms. Richardson] taught me the importance of working hard and always trying my best. She would always go the extra mile for her students and her dedication to teaching was always apparent."
This is not Salt's first award — she was a member of the Dean's Honour List for three consecutive years, as well as the recipient of Brock's Foundations in Leadership and Volunteers Plus Gold awards.
Ontario College of Teachers Scholarship — Intermediate/Senior Recipient: Luke Sawczak, teaching candidate in the consecutive education program at OISE/UT
One thing is clear about Luke Sawczak — he likes to mix things up. His passion and curiosity have afforded him a variety of experiences, including the role of linguistics facilitator, debating club training director, Sunday School volunteer, computer science teaching assistant and private tutor for students aged six to 60.
As well as being a hard worker, Sawczak has earned a reputation for being conscientious and patient — especially with children with learning difficulties. He aspires to nurture his future students as well as his religion teacher, John Terpstra, OCT, nurtured him. "He was always willing to spend more time, or even change his plans, to support students who, like myself, struggled to adapt and had difficulty with anything that was one-size-fits-all."
Sawczak is completing his master's degree in teaching, however, you will find him conducting research on issues within secondary education and translating poems written in Old French by medieval poet Marie de France in his free time. According to one of his professors, he does all of the above with quality and finesse — he is the type of student who takes a number of linguistic courses and aces them all.
For this teaching candidate, a good teacher pursues the most profound understanding of their content and does not let their knowledge become superficial or outdated. Why? Because they understand that the child is not learning a permanently fixed curriculum but real-world knowledge that develops as we progress as a society.
Over the years, Sawczak has received various awards and distinctions, including a number from the University of Toronto, such as Outstanding Performance — Language Studies, the Principal's Involvement Award and the Faculty Choice Award.
PHOTOS: DSG PHOTO (BOB COOPER); DENNI RUSSEL PHOTOGRAPHY (VINCENT RINALDO)
The Council welcomes new Council member Bob Cooper, OCT, who was appointed for a three-year term beginning December 12, 2018. Cooper is a mathematics teacher at Upper Canada College (UCC).
Since beginning his work at UCC in 2005, Cooper has developed a program that honours Canadian veterans (which includes pairing students with veterans), coached the UCC softball team, and directed school plays and musicals.
During his 20-year career in education, Cooper has also served as a supervisor/principal in the independent and supplementary school systems.
In addition to teaching, he has been the director of an overnight camp, worked as a theatre actor and vocalist, and is a project management professional who has served as the Board of Directors vice-chair of the Toronto Centre for the Arts — where he chaired the Main Stage Renovation project.
Certified to teach in Ontario in 1994, Cooper holds a BA in political science from Western University, an M.Ed. from OISE/UT and a certificate in advanced project management from Seneca College.
The Council welcomes new Council member Vincent Rinaldo, OCT, who was appointed for a three-year term beginning December 12, 2018. Rinaldo has been at Niagara University since 2002, where he was a member of the faculty and is now a member of the administration.
He holds the rank of Professor, has served as chair for the Department of Middle Childhood and Adolescence, and was appointed as doctoral faculty for Niagara's program in leadership and policy. In addition to his administrative duties, he has written university policy and chaired numerous college and university committees.
His scholarship includes journal publications in the areas of dispositions and the arts, as well as developing two music programs for Grades 1–8, one of which was adopted by a number of Ontario school districts and the other by the New York City Department of Education. He holds a bachelor's degree from McMaster University, a Master of Science in Education and an MBA from Niagara University, and a Master of Education and PhD in Curriculum from the University of Toronto.