Welcome to our return to school issue. We're focusing on the unprecedented 2020 school year – as students, teachers, parents and policymakers around the world grapple with the impact of COVID-19 on education. Our first story brings you an exclusive session of perspectives from OISE faculty, education experts and special guests who recently convened to challenge Ontario’s plan to reopen schools this September. Watch here.
What's New at OISE

Prof. Rubén Gaztambide-Fernández joins CBC's The Current to discuss how the inequalities in our school systems are being exposed by the pandemic, and whether the choices facing parents will lead to a shift. Listen here.

A gentle return to school - go slow to go fast: In this new paper, Carol Campbell puts forward proactive suggestions for what the first few weeks of school should look like to ensure a safe and successful return to learning. Read more.

COVID-19 has brought issues of racism and inequality in our education systems into stark relief, says PhD student Neil Price. "We must now consider the role of colleges, universities in transforming Canada for the better after coronavirus." Read more.

In partnership with local teachers, Professor Shelley Stagg Peterson is leading a project to boost literacy skills in northern schools while incorporating Indigenous languages and cultural learning. Read more.

You know those cardboard partitions that sometimes separate kids taking a test? The ones meant to prevent cheating? A new study by an international team of researchers, including Professor Kang Lee, has found that pretend barriers also work. Read more.

Prof. Mary Reid says Ontario teachers have been tasked with figuring out a safe return to class amid COVID-19 while implementing a major math update. Reid outlines what's required for a successful curriculum roll-out. Read more.

Joanne Sallay's tutoring business Teachers on Call, founded by her mom in 1984, faced overnight extinction at the height of the pandemic. And then the school parents started calling. A business at risk of going under in March has since grown 20 per cent. Read more.

At OISE, we believe that one of the most powerful weapons in the fight against racism is education. That why we are launching the OISE Black Excellence Education Initiative. Funds from the initiative will help remove financial barriers to success for Black students at OISE and support students conducting anti-Black racism research. Learn more.

Every dollar donated to the fund to a maximum of $25,000 will be matched by OISE. Together, we will stand up to racism and bring about positive change.
Celebrating Our Own: Alumni Spotlight

'It's my life's work to help students access education': Cindy Gouveia (PhD) did not always know she would enter a career in college fundraising. From farmhand to foundation president, Cindy made it her life's work to help students defy barriers like she did to pursue their education, and she credits OISE as the confidence-builder she needed to reach her goals. Read more.

Robert Roopa (MEd) has two psychology practices and his own clinic where he focuses on advanced OCD and anxiety disorder treatments. But like many working in the field of mental health, he has had to treat his patients in new ways because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Read more.

Five exceptional faculty members have received new promotions. Among them are Anna Katyn Chmielewski, Angela Pyle, Sandra Styres and Marcelo Vieta, who were awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor, and Joseph Flessa, who has been promoted to professor. Read more. 

Black Canadians including OISE alumni and friends Afua Cooper, Sandy Hudson, OmiSoore Dryden, Dionne Brand and Beverley Bain have helped raise the volume on systemic racism this year. Meet our trailblazers. Read more.

Virtual Events & Webcasts
While the OISE Mentorship Program may operate a little differently this term, we're eagerly preparing to connect OISE students with alumni mentors — virtually! Expect the same commitment to inclusive, mutual learning and a connected community feel. Sign up by Friday, Sept. 11 at 11:59 p.m. EST! Learn more.

Join scholars, policymakers and practitioners from around the world in Toronto for the 12th Researching Work & Learning (RWL) Conference on July 14-16, 2021. Proposals and abstracts are due November 15, 2020. Learn more.

On Sept.17, join Natural Curiosity with Doug Anderson, co-author of Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition, and teacher Maria Vamvalis to explore the impact of COVID-19 on education through an Indigenous lens. Fee: $5-$25. Register here.

Prof. Charles Pascal answers questions and addresses concerns from parents and teachers about sending kids back to school, keeping them safe and the effects on their learning during COVID-19. Watch here.

Alum and Black Lives Matter Toronto founder, Sandy Hudson, discusses the realities of anti-Black police violence in Toronto and Canada, and why we must take a stand. The teach-in is moderated by PhD candidate Janelle Brady. Watch here.

Next on the OISE Stay At Home Club, learn about the culture, history and evolution of rap and hip hop. Then, try drawing your own traditional Islamic floral designs. Top it off with a read-along of the Indigenous book, The Water Walker. Watch here.
Alumni Giving Back
Alum Gina Valle is one face behind the new series, Strong & Free, which captures the challenges of immigration, raising kids, racism, fitting in, and the victories of citizenship, employment, finding community and encouraging the next generation. Watch here.
'I put my whole heart into my students': It was no surprise when alum Liliana Compagnone won OISE's Mentor of the Year Award in 2019. Liliana is a dedicated mentor to grad students in the OISE Mentorship Program. And this year, she's on the planning committee to share her mentor experiences with you. Join Liliana today.
Alumni Perks

Are you looking for virtual counselling and psychology services? The OISE Psychology Clinic provides telephone interventions. Find the support you and your family need, call 416-978-0678 to book a virtual appointment. Learn more.

We're partnered with Jobs in Education, a social enterprise that connects individuals like you with opportunities in education around the world, and provides candidates with free access to their job site and supporting resources. Learn more.

Hart House offers virtual classes that nurture your creative thinking and help you learn and live better in a virtual world - all from the comfort of your own home! And alumni get special discounts. Learn more.

Turn your profile into a recruiter magnet. This step-by-step online course (normally $130, free for U of T alumni) is packed with tips and tricks. Learn at your own pace. Expires June 2021. Learn more.
What to Read

Indigenous Meritah (African) wisdom educator Osholene Oshobugie's new children’s book, My Sleeping Dream: How I Learnt My Numbers is about African Indigenous peoples’ discovery of numbers as one of their many great contributions to humanity. Watch here.
We hope you enjoyed this edition of the OISE Alumni and Friends Newsletter. Until next time...stay connected! Come to a virtual event, join our OISE Alumni Facebook group, or follow us on social media.