Statement from CPCO – August 20, 2020
The Catholic Principals Council of Ontario (CPCO) represents over 2,000 Catholic administrators throughout the province and we have shared an excellent relationship with our affiliate associations – the Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC) and Association des directions et directions adjointes des écoles franco-ontariennes (ADFO).
Over the past several years, the three Principals’ Associations (CPCO, ADFO and OPC) have worked diligently through their Presidents, Executive Directors, Executive Council members and various members of our respective Professional Staff to build a collaborative and co-operative relationship which respects our denominational and linguistic perspectives and rights.
As well, the Presidents and Executive Directors have met at least once a week during the past several months to discuss a variety of issues of mutual concern as well as participating in other numerous weekly and bi-weekly meetings with Ministry of Education officials. CPCO along with OPC and ADFO have jointly recommended delaying the start of the school year until September 14 which will afford all Principals, Vice-Principals and staff to better prepare for the start of the new school year. Most importantly, this time frame will allow for training on matters that include proper protocols in the use of PPE, entry into schools, tracing, and a host of other concerns that all administrators are working through with their respective boards.
We have advocated for a delayed start to the school year in order to ensure a safe re-opening to schools with clearly understood and communicated protocols allowing for the training of staff and the education of students. Therefore, the concept of a staggered start to the school year during the week of September 14-18 with a smaller number of students arriving each day is, we believe, a much safer method of re-opening, and is also aligned with the most recent announcement by the Minister of Education who is in full support of this idea. We know that students have been away from their schools since March 13and, given the concerns surrounding COVID-19, we believe that this would be a calmer and more welcoming approach to the start of a new school year.
CPCO not only is in full agreement with the recommendations outlined by OPC, but has actively participated in the discussions and meetings that helped shape them.
We will continue to advocate as frequently as possible with all of our partners to ensure the safe return to school for all of our members in the best interest of the students and communities that we serve.
Blaine MacDougall Joseph Geiser
President Executive Director