Fall Is in the Air!
I do hope this message finds you, and those near and dear to you, safe and well in your surroundings as we continue to work through these unprecedented times. I am sure you will agree this has been a year that continues to evolve as we have never before seen in our lifetimes.
THANK YOU and virtual HUGS to all our members working in any facet of education. You are to be commended as HEROES, miracle workers actually, with the constant changes to contend with, and for the daily risks you have and continue to take in supporting the children and youth of our province. We, at the Ontario Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), respect all that you are doing at both work and home immensely, as we advocate on your behalf to our Ministry partners and offer support the best we can through our website and resource materials.
First and foremost, I want to acknowledge the hard decisions we have had to make in the last week:
- Our 2020 Annual Provincial Conference is being postponed to the fall of 2021, when we will celebrate our 65th year of bringing you professional educational opportunities for growth and support.
- Our 2020 Annual Provincial Awards Ceremony is also being postponed to the fall of 2021.
These decisions were made out of respect to you, our membership, our award recipients and their families, and our colleagues and partners in education during these unpredictable and highly stressful times.
Next, I would like to inform you that we will be holding the Annual General Meeting as follows:
- Annual General Meeting on Thursday, November 26, 2020 at 5pm
- As a Virtual Event – using Zoom Meetings as our platform
- A Formal Announcement will be sent out
- You will be asked to register for the meeting, to access the zoom link
- The Agenda, 2019 AGM Minutes, Nominations Slate, Proxy Form and other materials will be sent 30 days prior, as well as being posted on our website.
On behalf of the Ontario CEC Board of Directors, I invite you to participate in this meeting, as we review our 2020 activities and elect/approve new members to our Board. Should you not be able to attend, we would ask that you complete a proxy form, as we require quorum to carry out the business portion of our Annual General Meeting. The instructions will be on the proxy form – to be sent out and to be posted on the Ontario CEC website.
A couple of updates:
- The Council for Exceptional Children has re-formatted their website and the new address is exceptionalchildren.org. If you enter the old address, you will be automatically redirected to the new website.
- There are some wonderful new tools for website accessibility to use (lower left side of your screen) where you can set up your own personal profile
- Online support via the live chat feature found at the lower right side of your screen
- New ways of exploring for topics/materials of interest and loads of updated resources to review. For example, take a look at the Quick Takes – short videos regarding teaching online during this pandemic (under “Improving Your Practice” in the Resource Library – or just type “quick takes” into the search bar).
- Membership packages have changed – including access to training materials now, and packages for our student members, new and early career teachers, as well as group packages. Until December 31st there is a NEW MEMBER SPECIAL. New members can join as an Early Career Full Member or Professional Full Member for just $99 USD using codes EC99 (Early Career) or PRO99 (Professional). Check the website for more details.
- Do take a look at “My Communities” when you sign in, as there is a Canadian Community that we, as Canadian members, can use to network with our colleagues across the country (much like the CECommunity All-Members Forum).
- If you are having trouble signing in – one tip is that you may need to update your password to fulfill the new requirements.
- As CEC Headquarters has changed its website – so has our Ontario Council for Exceptional Children! We have been asked to be the first Unit to migrate over to their new platform. As we do so over the next couple of weeks, our website will also be changing. Keep a look out!! If you visit our former site, www.cecontario.ca, you will be redirected as the new site goes live. ontario.exceptionalchildren.org is our new online home. Please also take a look and feel free to post on our Facebook page, found at CECOntario.
- The Annual CEC Convention & Expo is now an online event during March 8-13, 2021, which includes access to view the sessions on-demand through May 31, 2021. This may be the year to attend as you can “visit” these awesome sessions and features from the comfort of home as your time permits.
As always, feel free to direct any questions or concerns to me. I look forward to your participation in our Annual General Meeting on November 26.
Amy Shannon, President
Ontario Council for Exceptional Children