I am putting forward an agenda for discussion over the coming months, prior to the 2018 Municipal Elections in Ottawa. I hope the plan below will also serve as reference material for the new batch of OCDSB Trustees, starting later this year.
It is an agenda of change, renewal and hope for a better School District. It combines progressive elements (equity and quality of education for all) with a call for a more effective and efficient system.
OCDSB, as the largest school board in Ottawa, must rebuild trust with students, parents and communities. It must also demonstrate, in a proactive manner, that it seeks to engage and consult with the people it is supposed to serve.
Over the next four years, let’s create the schools and programs our children deserve. Here’s my Top 10 priorities for 2018-2022:
 Equity and quality of education for all; a system where student needs are more important than rigid guidelines and budgetary rules;
 Ongoing and meaningful consultations with students, parents and communities; and a user-friendly, easy-to navigate system;
 More authority for the Board to make decisions at the local level – as opposed to key decisions largely made by the Ministry of Education;
 Long-term and effective planning for schools and programs across the District; no more rushed and half-baked decisions;
 More accountability and better performance for school programs: if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it!
 More resources into the classroom and for extracurricular activities;
 Standardized textbooks and learning plans, across the district, so everyone (students, teachers, parents) can monitor progress;
 Better, more extensive professional development for teachers, with a focus on special education;
 Access to technology for teachers and students; licence to innovate in the classroom;
 Address declining math scores, which should be an area of immediate focus for the Board.
Dr. Dragos Popa