Member Advisories

Waterloo Region Record ETFO-Waterloo Boycott

On Thursday, January 7, your ETFO Waterloo executive passed the motion:

“That the ETFO-WR Executive encourage members to boycott the Waterloo Region Record and approach the other local teacher federations about a boycott as well.”

As a result, we are advising our membership to boycott the Waterloo Region Record newspaper as a result of the ongoing teaching bashing by columnist Luisa D’Amato. Over the past year, many teachers in Waterloo Region have written letters to the editor, taken to social media, and spoken to friends and family about the one-sided reporting in our local paper. However, Ms. D’Amato continues to write scathing anti-teacher rhetoric.

Local newspapers are struggling to survive in the increasingly online news society. With over 2800 local elementary teachers, this boycott could have a tremendous impact on The Record’s bottom-line and will not go unnoticed. Additionally, many of our schools have subscribed to The Record’s “Newspapers in Education” program. The cost is between $60 – $150 for the school year.

Let’s send a message to Ms. D’Amato’s publisher and editors that this type of behaviour is unacceptable!

What are we being advised to do?

  1. Share this document and the attached “Luisa D’Amato’s Anti-Teacher Rhetoric” with your staff.
  2. Members who subscribe to The Record at home should consider cancelling their subscription and/or sending letters to the contacts in this memo.
  3. Our members who currently subscribe to the “Newspapers in Education” program are encouraged to not renew for the 2016-2017 school year and send a letter to the addresses in this memo explaining why they are not comfortable continuing with this program.
  4. Members of schools that subscribe to the “Newspapers in Education” program should encourage their school administrators or office managers to not renew for the 2016-2017 school year.
  5. Do not use The Record in your classroom and use other methods for teaching current events.

Do not participate in Ontario College of Teachers surveys

There are two surveys from the Ontario College of Teachers currently being conducted. Members of ETFO are advised not to participate in either survey.

Members’ Survey Regarding Coroner’s Jury Recommendation on Attestation

The Ontario College of Teachers has sent emails to some members with the subject line “Members’ Survey Regarding Coroner’s Jury Recommendation on Attestation.” The College is requesting participation in a survey related to the Coroner’s Jury Recommendation that the OCT consider having its members attest annually that they have reviewed materials issued by the College relating to their duty to report abuse and/or neglect of children and youth to a children’s aid society or child & family services agency pursuant to the Child and Family Services Act.

Please be advised that ETFO as well as OTF and the other affiliates have already been consulted by the College on this matter, and all are in agreement that it is not within the College’s mandate to have members provide an annual attestation to the College in this regard. As such, members of ETFO are advised not to participate in this College survey.

Professionally Speaking Reader Survey

The Ontario College of Teachers has circulated an intrusive marketing-type survey that asks personal questions which are well outside the role of the OCT (e.g., vacation habits, household income, number of cars, recreational activities).
Members of ETFO are advised not to participate in this College survey.

Fundraising / ETFO Position Statement 13.0

The policy defines fundraising activities that are no longer appropriate as those activities that support the purchase of essential (basic) classroom supplies. Fundraising to provide essential school supplies required to run instructional programs is unacceptable because this masks rather than reveals the underfunding of the Public Education System by the government. Ensuring adequate basic supplies is not the responsibility of teachers, but the government. Every time we fundraise for essential supplies we are helping facilitate government cuts.

To help local stakeholders get a better sense of what is and isn’t appropriate, we put together the following lists:

Items/Activities Where Fundraising Supports Enhancements Beyond Fundamental Basics And Are Acceptable:

  • Universal Playground Equipment
  • School Sports Uniforms
  • Busing for Off-Campus trips
  • Breakfast/Lunch Programs
  • School Naturalization Projects
  • Guest Speakers/Presenters (Drama Productions)
  • School Enhancements e.g. Display Cases, Murals, etc
  • Student Recognition Programs – Awards
  • School Lawn Signs
  • Gymnasium Scoreboards
  • Subsidizing Off-Campus Activities
  • Third Parties e.g. Charities
  • Book Fairs

Fundamental Basics Which Should Be Funded For All Schools, Considered Inappropriate For Fundraising Activities:

  • Purchasing Computers or Software
  • Purchasing Phys. Ed. Equipment
  • Purchasing Consumable Classroom Supplies
  • Purchasing Textbooks
  • Purchasing Manipulatives That Support Curriculum
  • Purchasing Library Books
  • School Equipment
  • Purchasing Teacher Resource Documents To Support Textbooks

Diagnostic Assessments

The government has issued Diagnostic Assessment Policy/Program Memorandum (PPM) 155 which provides direction to teachers, principals, and school board personnel about the use of diagnostic assessment.

PPM 155 signals a fundamental change in the focus of control on the use of diagnostic assessments from school boards and principals to individual teachers.

PPM 155 articulates the distinct roles that teachers, principals, and school boards play in the diagnostic assessment process.

The key component of the memorandum is the central role of teachers’ professional judgement in the selection, use, and timing of diagnostic assessments in their classrooms.

The key components of the PPM are:

  • Teachers must use diagnostic assessment during the school year to inform their instruction;
  • District School Boards will generate a list of approved diagnostic assessment tools;
  • Teachers will use their professional judgement to determine:- which diagnostic tool(s) from the board’s pre-approved list they will use;- which student(s) they will use the tool with; – how often they will use the diagnostic tool; and- when they will use the diagnostic tool.

PPM 155 does not apply to the administration of special education assessments which identify students with special needs or to provincially mandated assessments such as the Grade 3 and 6 EQAO. Teachers will continue to administer both of these types of assessments.

Administrators cannot direct members to perform diagnostic assessment in a manner that is contrary to the member’s professional judgement. Members cannot be directed to use a specific tool, to administer assessments to specific students, or to complete an assessment by a specific date. Should a member be directed by an administrator to conduct an assessment that is contrary to the member’s professional judgement the member should contact the ETFO local president immediately.

If school boards request teachers to conduct diagnostic testing to gather additional 'diagnostic data' for their Board Improvement Plan, it is ETFO’s position that teachers must be provided with release time during the instructional day to conduct the assessment and to complete all aspects of the marking and administration of such diagnostic assessment.


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