YEAR-IN-REVIEW 2016-2017

Our Mission Statement

The Ontario Federation of Home and School Associations, a province-wide
network of dedicated members, is committed to informed and proactive
involvement in our homes, our schools and our communities, to obtain
“The Best for Each Student”
OFHSA is:
 An independent voice of parents actively supporting public education at the
school, school board, and provincial level.
 An organization of volunteers committed to ensuring that the education, health,
safety and social well-being of children and youth are a priority for all.
 A network of members providing support, training, resources and advice developed
over a long history of involvement.

Our Mandate
 OFHSA speaks for members across Ontario. Input and concerns are communicated
by individual Home & School Associations and Home & School Councils to the board
of directors for action.
 Resolutions are presented by members at the Annual Meeting of the Federation.
Upon adoption, these resolutions become OFHSA policy. Federation responses
represent the collective voice of members.
Board of Managers for 2016-2017
 Eugema Ings - 1st Executive Vice-President
Advocacy has been an important factor within Eugema’s
professional career. Though her children are young adults,
she continues to volunteer her time knowing that in order
for change to occur, you need people to step forward and
President volunteer. Eugema, as the former Policy Workgroup Leader,
is most proud of the advocacy work undertaken by OFHSA on
behalf of its members, through policy resolutions and active
 Sandra Binns has been involved with OFHSA since joining participation as a provincially recognized parent group.
her first association almost 20 years ago. She is passionate
about the organization and wants to advocate in the
community to help others get the same feeling for OFHSA
that she has. Between being a domestic goddess and her  Arlene Morell - 2nd Executive Vice-President
full-time volunteer work for OFHSA, she encourages all
parents and caregivers to learn about the education When Arlene started on her path toward educational
system, help students grow within it and share with others advocacy as a parent of young children, she might never
what they know. have guessed she would still be serving years after her
children had graduated from the public education system
 As OFHSA President the past two years, Sandra continued and even started families of their own. Nevertheless, she
to provide leadership: this included representing OFHSA at
the Ontario Ministry of Education Partnership Table; remains committed to connecting with parents
attending the Public Policy Forum and participating with
consultations on education and social policy.
 She has learned many things over the years from her  Teresa Blum – Past-President
involvement with OFHSA, from as simple as how to take
the bus into Toronto for meetings to using the 24-hour With over 20 years serving OFHSA, Teresa, had the role of
reply rule. Ask her about her experiences the next time Past-President, bringing her wisdom and leadership to the
you see her. She loves to share. Federation. Teresa can always be counted on to share her
insights and experience on any topic, from governance to
 One thing she wants you to know is that you are your strategic planning, finance and policy.
child’s advocate, the greatest gift will be to help them to
be one for themselves.
2016 - 2017 BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 President:  Member-at-Large:  Leadership Workgroup:
Sandra Binns, Hamilton Karen Berlet, Heidelberg Veronica Coombs, Hamilton
 1st Executive Vice-President:  CHSF Representative:  Governance Workgroup: open
Eugema Ings, Murillo Arlene Morell, Strathroy
 Membership Workgroup:
 2nd Executive Vice-President:  Awards Workgroup: Robin Harvey, London
Arlene Morell, Strathroy Gene Myers, Windsor
 Policy Workgroup:
 Past-President:  Centennial Workgroup: Eugema Ings, Murillo
Teresa Blum, London Corinne Wolsey, Kincardine
 Strategic Planning Workgroup:
 Hamilton-Wentworth Council  Communications Workgroup: Board of Managers
President: Interim Representative, Robin Harvey, London
Hamilton  Education Advocacy
 Conference Workgroup: Workgroup: open
 Thames Valley Council President: Arlene Morell, Strathroy
Sheena Davis, London  OFHSA Bulletin Editor:
 Finance Workgroup: Anna Davey, Hamilton
Karen Robb, Brantford

Federation Meetings
The OFHSA Executive Committee met five times during the year and the OFHSA Board of Directors met four times. Throughout this year,
the OFHSA Board of Directors meetings were held not only at the federation office but at the HWDSB and the TVDSB. Executive
Committee and Board of Directors meetings held prior to Conference 2017 were held at the Best Western Plus Stoneridge Inn in London.
Directors utilized conference calling and video meetings to allow more flexibility for participation by those directors who live in more
remote areas.
YEAR-IN-REVIEW
2016-2017
Year of  Letter to the Minister of Education regarding

Advocating 
OFHSA policies that support Community Hubs
Letter to Editor, Middlesex Banner, recount
inconsistencies in story on H&S fundraising

Correspondence  Letter to the Premier regarding Child Care
and Early Years Act (CCEYA), Phase I

 With TDSB for support of H&S in that  Letter to the Minister of Education regarding
District OFHSA policy addition re Indian Residential
Schools (IRS)
 Feedback on Candidate Profile for the
new Chief Executive Officer of EQAO  Letter to the Minister of Education
proclaiming April as Parent Engagement Month
 Feedback on Experiential Learning
document  Letter to the Minister of Finance requesting
financial support for integration of Nurses in
 Thanks to the McConnell Family
Schools Policy (2015)
Foundation for providing funding that
allowed OFHSA the opportunity to attend  Letter to the Minister of Education meeting
Ontario Healthy Schools Coalition 2017 request
annual conference, Towards Well-being
for All.  Letter to the Premier regarding Child Care
and Early Years Act (CCEYA), Phase II
A Federation representative attended:
Representing the Voice of  Minister of Education meeting – highlighting Community
OFHSA Members Hubs / Nurses in Schools
 Ministry of Education Fall Provincial Education Event
All Home and School members are  Ministry of Education consultation – Education Funding
encouraged to participate in
committees as representatives of  Ministry of Education - Input on Strengthening Rural
OFHSA. Education

Representatives explore the many  Interview on Automated External Defibrillator (AED)
policy – London Free Press
avenues where it is possible to
experience the inside workings of the  AED policy advocate interest Darryl Wilton, Provincial
Ministry or school board, to meet new Vice-President, Ontario Paramedic Association
and interesting people and to make a  Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services -
contribution to the education system. Roundtable on the Strategic Priorities for Middle Years
At the provincial level , invitations to Strategy
collaborate with education partners  Parent Involvement Committee Symposiums in four cities
provides an opportunity to represent
the voice of OFHSA members.  Materials at the Ontario Public School Boards' Association
(OPSBA) conference
Education Partner Committees:  Ontario Healthy Schools Coalition (OHSC) Conference
• The Minister’s Partnership Table
• EQAO Advisory Committee  OFHSA was a displayer at Showcase Your Organization
• Student Achievement Division Working Table event
• Healthy Schools Working Table
 Ministry working sessions on Community Hubs / Rural
Strategy
Membership

 3762 Members
 120 Associations

Alumni members Bluewater Grand Erie Halton
Hamilton-Wentworth Lakehead Lambton-Kent Lone Associations
Thames Valley Toronto Windsor
Promoting Parents
OFHSA's Parent Engagement Month included sharing information every day in April to
promote parents as partners in education -- from the Ontario Ministry of Education
and other educational partners, as well as OFHSA resources.
OFHSA shared federation publications with our Partners in Education, including
updated OFHSA brochures and documents, and external written communications.
OFHSA Directors correspond with members and visit associations to provide guidance
and support. The Leadership Workgroup continues to guide extension and
development in communities and also continues to compile ideas for webinars and
resources that support member needs and align with OFHSA’s strategic goals.
The OFHSA Bulletin is published three times each year: September, January and
May. Members contributed articles to the Bulletin from events happening at
Associations.
Virtually Yours, the OFHSA electronic newsletter, was issued to over 4000
subscribers five times this year.
Welcome to the Federation!
Every year OFHSA engages more parents and families across
Ontario. Once an Association forms, we support the community
and provide leadership in advocating for “The Best for Each
Student.” In 2016-2017 we had four new Associations form:
Ancaster Senior Public School, Hamilton-Wentworth DSB
Rousseau Elementary School, Hamilton-Wentworth DSB
Southside Public School, Thames Valley DSB
Victoria Public School, Thames Valley DSB
Our Digital Presence
The Membership Workgroup has been connecting Home and School members from across
the province using multiple communications tools, including e-mail and social media, while
sharing the work of the Federation and bringing awareness of the efforts of members at all
levels of the organization: Association, Council and Federation.

OFHSA’s Website Redesign Social Media Strategy
 This communications resource is  The current social media tools used
updated frequently with by OFHSA to share information with
information, including: The OFHSA members and the public are:
Bulletin, Virtually Yours, electronic Facebook, Twitter, Google Groups
mailings and other resources and to round out our social media
available to members along with platform, the newest, Instagram.
Conference information.
Communication with H&S Members and the Public

OFHSA is Going

The Federation office will be supporting parent and member needs through
paperless communications to reduce our carbon footprint.
In an effort to increase communications with members at all levels, OFHSA is
supporting leadership and learning by making more resources available online.
Mailings are sent to associations approximately every six weeks. In order to
reduce mailing costs and become more environmentally friendly, OFHSA has been
switching over to electronic mailings and electronic communications whenever
possible.
OFHSA’s Centennial
As OFHSA’s Centennial comes to a close, we would like to thank
OFHSA’s Centennial Workgroup for their hard work highlighting the
changes and growth in our world and in OFHSA through the decades.
These aspects of our history can be found online on the OFHSA
Centennial website. www.ofhsa100.wixsite.com/100years
This past year, OFHSA continued to honour members at the local level
by presenting the OFHSA Centennial Honour to deserving recipients.
Congratulations to this years’ Centennial Honour recipients, who were
honoured at Conference 2017 for their valuable contributions to the
Home & School movement at the local level.

As part of the Centennial celebrations, the OFHSA Centennial Bell was
created and is awarded annually to the Association with the highest
number of delegates attending Conference. Adelaide Hoodless H&S
won the bell for a second year. Winning Associations also have their
name engraved on the Centennial plaque located at the Federation
office.
Responding to the Needs of H&S Members
The Communications Workgroup and Membership Workgroup were led jointly this past year to respond
to member needs by sharing both OFHSA and Association information in a timely manner, through
e-mail, Facebook posts, tweets and discussion topics in our Google Group. We encouraged members to
share their thoughts and experiences with other members.

Over the past year, the OFHSA Board of Directors has responded to the needs of
members with OFHSA Leadership and Learning sessions held in Hamilton and in
London. Orientation materials, training manuals and other resources were
distributed in hardcopy and electronically with the assistance of a PRO (Parents
Reaching Out) Grant from the Ministry of Education.
In response to a short survey by the Membership Workgroup to H&S Association
executives, OFHSA now offers a number of resources to our members
electronically through our Google Group and Dropbox.
In particular, Tools for H&S Executive along with OFHSA Procedure Guides and
the H&S Communications Binder/USB have the utmost importance to members
who are interested in learning more about stepping up into executive roles.
PARTNERS IN EDUCATION
OFHSA 2017 Conference and
Annual Meeting
Each year the Annual Meeting provides the opportunity for members to decide the direction of OFHSA’s advocacy work and the
needs of members. OFHSA actively advocates for policies on educational or non-educational issues: health, world issues,
environmental causes, and societal concerns on behalf of members, as our mandate is to improve the lives of children at home, at
school and in the community.

The 2017 Conference and Annual Meeting was held at the Best Western Plus, Stoneridge Inn and Conference Centre in London, Ontario. This year’s
theme was ‘Partners in Education’. The Friday evening began with a Displayers Marketplace where members could visit displayers and network with
other members while enjoying light refreshments. Saturday continued with a variety of interesting workshops and our keynote, Kate Jones &
Associates, “Great Parenting Skills for Navigating Your Kid’s Personality”. The Achievement Luncheon and the Awards Banquet were also held on
Saturday to honour recipients. Sunday continued with the OFHSA Annual Meeting. There was also a silent auction held on each of the three days.

At the 2017 Annual Meeting, Patrick Winters, Ontario College of Teachers (OCT), presented: The Investigations and Hearings Process. Members were
informed of the mandate of OCT and how the College investigates complaints made against teachers through the presentation and Q&A session.

Voting members adopted changes to OFHSA bylaws regarding length of terms of office at all levels and updated the Pupil-Teacher Ratio policy (1971,
2003) to reflect the RECE designation through the College of Early Childhood Educator’s registry and the Early Childhood Educator / Education Act.

Members also reaffirmed the action recommendation, as per the Comprehensive Eye Exam policy (2014), for OFHSA executive to petition the
Government of Ontario to increase public awareness of the need for good visual healthcare and the related impact on student achievement.

Frank questions during the Annual Meeting, and key interests of the attending delegates, helps the Board of Directors to represent the voice of the
members accurately.
OFHSA Board of Managers
Elected Officers 2017-2018

President: Eugema Ings, Murillo
1 Executive Vice-President: Arlene Morell, Strathroy
st

2 Executive Vice-President: Gene Myers, Windsor
nd

Past-President: Sandra Binns
.....as elected by the OFHSA Board of Directors
Canadian Home and School Federation
OFHSA is a member of the Canadian Home and School Federation (CHSF) and, as such, is allowed to
send one representative to speak on its behalf to the CHSF mid-term and annual meetings. CHSF
advocates for the health, safety and education of children and youth at the national level.

The Canadian Home and School Federation is the national voice for our provincial parent associations. The need for this voice at the
national level is most evident when we meet with other like-minded organizations.

As the President, I have a seat on the Canadian Education Association (CEA) Council. This has allowed me to network with Education
Ministers, Deputy Ministers and representatives from other organizations. Each time we interact with outside organizations, the
profile of Home and School and the need for the parental voice gains a higher profile. I was also asked to sit on the editorial board for
CEA's Education Canada magazine. I was pleased to accept the invitation so we have parental input when topics for each issue are
discussed by this board.

We continue our partnership with the Copyright Consortium regarding an educational exemption for our schools and secondary
institutions. Discussions on fair dealing and the legislation on Copyrights are still ongoing so we need to be proactive for our students.

CHSF offered their endorsement to the Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations (QFHSA) regarding the Secondary III and IV
History Curriculum because we also recognize the complex and diverse society in Quebec as well as the Importance of Indigenous
history across our nation. In addition, policies of OFHSA that have federal implications can be taken to CHSF for adoption and action.

Funds permitting, we attend the Annual Meetings of our members from time to time. Organizations invite us to attend their
conferences as well, to mention a couple, we received invitations from the Canadian Association of School System Administrators
(CASSA) and Healthy School Communities National Forum being held this fall in Ottawa.

The CHSF Annual Meeting will be held in November 2017 in Halifax NS. We appreciate the support of our members and look forward to
continuing our work on behalf of our children.

Cynthia Richards, President CHSF
Conclusion
Ada Courtice saw “the Home and School” as a movement intended to educate parents for the betterment of children, of
education and, ultimately, for Canadian society as a whole. And so, for a century, OFHSA has played an important role in
the lives of students and public education across the province.

Over the last year, the OFHSA Board of Directors renewed strategic directions to focus on updated information systems at
the Federation office to centralize and strengthen information flow that modernizes communications by creating:
 An updated digital footprint in public domains including additional communication platforms for members
 Electronic member resources/mailings/files/storage/documentation allowing increased member access to resources
 more opportunity to participate in learning and leadership sessions
 Opportunities to strengthen partnerships through our modernized public domain presence

As leadership and times change, the Federation and its directors team together to consider ideas and discuss goals that
promote parent leadership and education advocacy while serving our member needs across the province. As costs continue
to rise, OFHSA is challenged with reducing operating expenses wherever possible while finding additional sources of revenue.
OFHSA must continue to work within the funding parameters of the Ministry Grants that we receive.

OFHSA promotes parents in a way that reinforces the deep-rooted importance of parent engagement. Directors continue
extension and development in communities, correspond with members and visit associations to provide guidance and
support, keeping what started as a reformist and innovative organization in a way that will lead to positive change
throughout the education system.

We applaud our members’ steadfast commitment to ensuring that the education, health, safety and well-being of children
and youth remain a priority for all in their local communities.
“ A heartfelt thank you to my OFHSA family
for honouring my distinguished services in
the promotion of the work of OFHSA by
presenting me with a Life Membership in
the Federation.

Representing the voice of members as the OFHSA President has been an honour and a

pleasure. It is my belief that the H&S movement makes a valuable contribution to the
education system by speaking out on public policy on behalf of its members, making
sure to keep students as the lens for the best outcomes of the next generation in our
society. I look forward to continuing my service to the Federation as a team member
at the Board of Directors table.

Sandra Binns
51 Stuart Street, Hamilton Ontario L8L 1B5
www.ofhsa.on.ca

For membership information please contact our office:
905-308-9563 info@ofhsa.on.ca

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