With the beginning of the school year quickly approaching as I write this in the first days of September, ETFO is ever more mindful of how important it is to get school reopening right and to ensure health and safety of both educators and students.
Your Federation: Everyone Is Able Launch, New ETFO Resources, Provincial Health and Safety Task Force Report Released
Everyone Is Able Launch
Everyone Is Able, a new ETFO resource to increase awareness about abilities/disabilities, was officially launched at the ETFO office this fall at a screening and reception attended by Karen Shopsowitz, the filmmaker, and several of the people interviewed in the documentary. The resource, consisting of a DVD and a CD Guidebook, challenges assumptions, stereotypes and myths about disabilities and offers practical solutions for making classrooms inclusive for all. Samples of the lessons from the Guidebook appeared in the last issue of Voice. The entire resource is available for purchase at shopetfo.ca
New ETFO Resources
ETFO has released three new resources this fall to support classroom instruction. Excerpts from all three will be featured in upcoming issues of Voice and are available for purchase from shopetfo.ca.
A Learning in the Early Years resource package supports educators working in full-day Kindergarten classrooms. The resource package includes both print and audiovisual materials. A new Professional Learning in the Early Years website at etfopley.ca provides videos about mathematics in Kindergarten, observation and conversations about the early years, a photo gallery and classroom tours.
Revised ETFO Arts: Dance, Drama, Music and Visual Arts in the Junior/Intermediate Grades was revised from a 2007 document and includes practical ideas for teaching the arts in the junior and intermediate grades, including a new section using a Keith Haring painting as a source for exploration. Primary ETFO Arts was released by ETFO last year and uses ten picture books to support the integration of the arts in the primary classroom.
Aboriginal History and Realities in Canada: Grades 1-8 Teachers’ Resource provides thematic units that incorporate and embed the history of Canada’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. This resource includes primary, junior and intermediate books, as well as a historical timeline poster.
Provincial Health and Safety Task Force Report Released
In September 2014, the ETFO MOU Task Force on Health and Safety – Report and Recommendations was released. The report is a collaborative effort between the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and the Ontario Public Supervisory Officers’ Association (OPSOA), with technical advisors from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour. The report takes a whole-school approach to making our school communities healthier and safer places to work and learn. Six health and safety issues frame the 22 recommendations and include
- Workplace Violence and Serious Student Incidents
- Lockdown Procedures
- Environmental Concerns in School Communities
- Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) Effectiveness
- A Provincial-Level Structure for Working with Education Partners.
The task force was negotiated by ETFO as part of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed with the government in June 2013. The report is a powerful and practical blueprint for use by all education partners. You can read the task force report and recommendations at etfohealthandsafety.ca/
As elementary educators in Ontario you have embarked on an unprecedented year, returning to your classrooms after a historic shutdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.