By joining OFHSA, member associations gain:
- the right to join the OFHSA network, connecting and sharing with other members locally, across the province and across the country
- the right and the confidence to speak on behalf of the parent members in their school, at the school, the school board and the provincial level
- the right to have their input included in feedback to provincial partners
- the right to determine policy for the Federation
- the right to have their own separate bank account and signing authorities
- the right to be covered by liability insurance, both inside the school and at outside venues
- the right to set their own agendas and plan their own activities
- the right to attend OFHSA workshops
- the right to use OFHSA resources produced by members for members
- the opportunity to be informed about health, safety, education and social well-being issues regarding children and youth
Parents & Guardians
With OFHSA Membership Parents Receive:
Opportunities to influence public policy
- OFHSA representatives are invited to many policy-setting and decision-making tables
- Members meet with government ministers and partner organizations
- Through membership in the Canadian Home and School Federation, members attend national conferences, meet with members from other provinces and influence federal policy
- OFHSA can offer its members phone, e-mail and on-site support to deal with difficulties or concerns that arise
- Members receive registration and accommodation at special rates for the Annual Meeting and Conference, held in different locations around the province each year, to set policy and direction for the Federation. Voting rights are assigned based on the total number of members at the Association whose membership fees have been received in the OFHSA office as of December 31st.
- Training workshops and access to resources developed to support members in their volunteer jobs
- Sent to each association and H&S Council, containing information, helpful resources, timelines for activities and access to the work going on outside of the school
Recognition Award Programs
- Citizenship Awards to students from each of grades 5-12
- OFHSA Educator Award
- Col. R. S. McLaughlin Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to OFHSA
- Recognition in the form of Past-Presidents’ pins, Life Memberships in Associations, Home & School Councils, and the Federation
- Trillium Award for work with the OFHSA Board of Directors
- Ada Courtice Certificate of Leadership and Learning for completion of the Volunteer Skills Portfolio, a self-tracking resource designed to encourage leadership development and recognition of volunteer efforts
Who Can Be A Member?
- Membership is open to all persons, 18 years of age and over, who are interested in the welfare of children and youth, and who subscribe to the purposes, beliefs and objectives of OFHSA.
- Teachers, community members and family members who support the purposes, beliefs and objectives of OFHSA are welcome to join
- Every member who joins an association shall automatically be a member of the Ontario Federation and the Canadian Home and School Federation
- All members active in the Federation at every level are currently either members of a Home & School association, or are Alumni members of the Federation
- Family membership shall be assumed to include two eligible individuals residing at the same address.
Why Is There A Fee?
Membership fees allow OFHSA to:
- remain an independent voice for members
- identify who supports OFHSA’s purposes, beliefs, objectives and policies
- speak as a credible voice for parents, supported by an identifiable membership
- develop new policies from a grassroots base of members
- set our own agenda for activities and advocacy
- support parent involvement at the school, school board and provincial levels
- carry the voice of members to educators and government ministers
- remain accountable for all activity to the members
Membership fees cover:
- the expenses of the organization (communications including this website; maintaining an office, one paid staff person, meeting expenses, office expenses, membership in and representation to CHSF)
- member liability insurance
- provision of member resources and training
Membership fees are $20 a year, per individual or family. This amount is determined by the Board of Directors and ratified by the members at the OFHSA Annual Meeting.
OFHSA membership fees are non-refundable.
How Can I Join?
Forming a Home & School Association at your school is quite simple:
- Call or e-mail the OFHSA office (at 905-308-9563 or firstname.lastname@example.org) to have an information package sent to you.
- Read through the material and, when you are ready, call to set up a meeting with an experienced Home & School member in your area to meet with parents (and the school principal if she or he is available) in your school.
- A minimum of 6 paid memberships is required to form a new Home & School association.
Once you have decided to join:
- Set up an organizational meeting with an OFHSA volunteer.
- Sign up your charter members.
- Set bylaws for your association (we will provide a template that has worked for many other associations).
- Collect your first annual membership fees.
- Send your list of charter members and their fees to the OFHSA office.
- You will receive copies of the OFHSA Constitution and Bylaws, the policy document, association and president’s guidelines, an executive skills handbook and your charter to post in your school.
Individuals who have previously belonged to a Home & School Association but are no longer involved at the school level, or no longer have access to an association are eligible to purchase an Alumni Membership in the Federation. Alumni Memberships are available from the OFHSA office. An application form is printed on the Alumni Membership brochure.
Individual Associate Memberships at the Federation level are also available for individuals who have not been members of OFHSA, are not involved at a school with an association and wish to join and support OFHSA. Please contact the OFHSA office for details and a membership application form.