Prior to the 2010 eletction, OPEN invited all OCDSB trustee candidates to share their views via this questionnaire. 
Please click on the linked names below to read the candidates' views.

Zone 1
Todd Johnson
Lynn Scott

Zone 2
Christine Boothby
Cathy Curry

Zone 3
Donna Blackburn
Allan Halfper
Ismail Mohamed

Zone 4
Theresa Kavanagh
Doug Lloyd
Michael Pastien

Zone 5
Kimberly Brown
Pam FitzGerald

Zone 6
Mohamoud Abdulle
Bronwyn Funiciello
John Marshall
Zone 7
Dave Byron
Mark Fisher
Pam Morse

Zone 8
Lale Eskicioglu
John Shea

Zone 9
Rob Campbell
Helen Gruber
Julian Kirby
Lorne Rachlis
Daniel Rogers
Zone 10
Megan Carroll
Jennifer McKenzie

Zone 11
Shirley Seward (acclaimed)

Zone 12
Chris Ellis
Katie Holtzhauer

OPEN's Questions to Trustees:
Section 1 - Accountability
1. In your opinion, what is the role of parents in the Board's decision-making process?

2. If you are elected, how do you see your role as a trustee in the decision-making process? 

3. Do you believe that trustees should serve as intermediaries between parents and the Board and/or their school (when all other avenues have been exhausted)? Please explain.

4. Do you believe the Board's decision-making process could be more transparent?  If yes, what measures would you propose to improve the Board's transparency and accountability?

5. What do you believe should have greater weight in the decisions made by trustees: the advice of educational professionals or the input of parents and communities? Please explain.

6. This past year has seen an increase in in-camera (closed-door) committee and Board meetings. As a trustee, would you undertake to ensure that in-camera meetings are held only when necessary to protect the privacy of individuals?
7. Last year, the Board reviewed its Alternative Schools program and its Secondary Gifted program. Despite strong stakeholder support for these programs, Board staff recommended that they either be closed or eventually phased out. As a trustee, what kind of information would you seek and what kind of questions would you ask in order to come to a decision when staff recommendations are opposed to the views of the community? 

8. Good decision-making requires good and comprehensive data which is shared with all public education stakeholders. What will you do as a trustee to ensure that Board reports are released to the public in a timely fashion and contain accurate information?
9. Teachers and support staff who work in the classroom every day with students are well-acquainted with student needs, yet are not permitted to contribute to the public discussion when changes to programs and services are under consideration. Do you believe that the experience and knowledge of the professionals in the classroom should be better represented in the Board's decision-making process?
Section 2 - Educational Issues
10. Given the chronic under-funding of education, what new ideas would you bring to the table to address the Board's ongoing financial challenges?
11. It can be a challenge to meet the demand for French Immersion while maintaining a strong, viable English program. How important do you think it is for the Board to respond to the ever-increasing demand for French Immersion in this region? 

12. Do you favour the Board's revised student transfer policy that restricts students' ability to transfer from their neighbourhood school to the school of their choice? Please explain.

13. While the Ontario Ministry of Education is encouraging school boards to integrate students with special learning needs into the regular classroom whenever appropriate, it recognizes specialized classes as one of a range of options for exceptional students. At present, the OCDSB provides specialized classes for students with autism, Asperger's syndrome, developmental disabilities, giftedness and a number of other exceptionalities. Do you support the continued provision of specialized classes for students with these and other special educational needs?

  • 13. a) If yes, what would you do to reduce waiting lists and improve student access to these classes? 
  • 13. b) If you answered no, how would you ensure that both exceptional students and their peers without special learning needs receive the support they need in order to learn and thrive in the regular classroom? 
  • 13. c) When changes are proposed to special programs, would you agree that any proposed changes should first be evaluated through pilot programs with well-defined, measurable outcomes?

14. Recent changes to program delivery at this Board have reduced access to specialist teachers in the arts, science, physical education, and other subjects, especially at the intermediate level. Do you believe that students are receiving enough subject specialist education in the elementary/intermediate years?  Please explain.

15. At the same time as students have less access to outdoor education centres, research is showing that children need experiences in the natural world for improved learning, for their well-being, and to be informed citizens about the environment. Would you increase the role of outdoor education centres in our students’ education? If yes, how?

16. The Alternative Schools program was reviewed this past year and found by the Board to have many benefits for students. As a trustee, would you ensure this program is continued and is extended to zones where it’s not currently available?   If yes, what are your ideas to make this happen?

17. Ottawa receives more refugees than any other city in Ontario, has the second largest immigrant population in the province, and the first language of approximately one third of Ottawa residents is neither English nor French. Do you believe that the OCDSB is doing as well as it could to serve the needs of students and families that are new to Canada? 
If no, what changes would you propose? 

Section 3 - Philosophy
18. Current trustees: Please give an example of something you did last year to further public education. Other candidates: Please name a specific effort you would promote if you were elected. 

19. What is your vision of education and its role in our community?