Advocacy is important!
Advocacy is as simple as an active citizen helping to support and improve the education, health, safety and well-being of all students and families in their school community!
Here is how an Association in Windsor is advocating for the health of all students!
For over 100 years, OFHSA has been advocating for students in public education and supporting parent engagement in schools to obtain “The Best for Each Student”. Ours is a unique volunteer organization that provides a credible voice for members at the school, school board and provincial levels because of the long history of parent involvement, experience and commitment to the support of student achievement, equity and well-being of our children and youth in the education system.
OFHSA members have been advocating for ‘…. child-based indoor air quality standards in Ontario schools’ since 1989. Parents recognize and value the efforts taken to reopen schools across the province, instituting new cleaning and disinfecting protocols to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and in public spaces during the pandemic, but are concerned that heightened cleaning & disinfecting procedures affect air quality with the use of chemicals known to contain respiratory irritants.
As declared by the Ministry, policy PPM161, ensuring the health and safety of students with medical conditions is essential to promoting well-being, and requires a partnership among families, members of the school community and community partners, including health care professionals to develop and put in place policies and procedures Supporting Children and Students with Prevalent Medical Conditions (Anaphylaxis, Asthma, Diabetes, and/or Epilepsy) in Schools.
OFHSA members from The Hugh Beaton Home and School Association presented important information concerning Virex II 256 SDS – a disinfectant identified as an asthmagen by the Association of Occupational & Environmental Clinics and under review by the Government of Canada Chemicals Management Plan – at the GECDSB Board Meeting, November 17, 2020. OFHSA applauds dedicated members for their informed and proactive identification of the known and potential risks of the use of quaternary ammonium compound (quat) based disinfectants in current disinfecting protocols associated with COVID-19 protective measures.
The Hugh Beaton Home and School Association members are encouraged their voice has been heard in the call to halt the use of quat-based disinfectants when safer options are available. The January 19th GECDSB notice of motion, “That administration provide a report on non-quat cleaning products approved in our schools, and the cost. Also to be included in the report, the identity of other Ontario school boards that do not use quats and identify the cleaning products they do use and, if possible the reasons they switched.” considers the possible chemical sensitivities of staff and student risks of long term exposure.
In recognition of asthma as the most common chronic childhood disease, OFHSA members urge GECDSB to make an evidence-based change to cleaning products currently used in pandemic heightened disinfecting procedures to ensure healthy and safe learning and working environments.
The Ontario Federation of Home and School Associations (OFHSA) is a province-wide parent group, advocating for students in public education. Our members believe that parents are willing and active partners with those responsible for administering programs, delivering services, and making decisions which affect children and youth. A not-for-profit organization, OFHSA is made up of volunteers who give their time and efforts to support thousands of students who attend public education facilities in Ontario.
Digital Intelligence- OFHSA Parent Webinars
Wed, Nov 25, 2020 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM (EST)
Building Relationships OFHSA Webinar
Watch the presentation here!
OFHSA Parent Webinars
Thank you to everyone that attended our event
October 7th, 2020 at 7.p.m.
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- OFHSA response letter to Transformation Steering Committee
- OFHSA response letter to ETFO’s Education Funding Model
- OFHSA response to Ontario’s Plan to Strengthen Rural and Northern Education
- Advocacy Letter- Public Health Nurses
- Back to School letter from Minister of Education
- Thank you letter from the Minister of Education
- Minister of Education- High School Graduation Rate 2016
- OFHSA Welcomes New Minister of Education
- Advocacy Letter – History of Residential Schools
- Advocacy Letter – Livelihood Skills and Curriculum
- Advocacy Letter – Public Health Nurses
- Advocacy Letter – Phase I, Child Care and Early Years Act
- EQAO October 24th, 2016
- Ministry of Education – Curriculum Branch