Government of Ontario, Canada
School Business Support Branch

Branch Initiatives

Operational Review Refresh

Since the Operational Reviews, there have been many leadership changes in the sector, most notably among SBOs and Directors. To ensure continuous learning, leveraging of best practices and lessons learned, the Ministry is moving forward with an Operational Review Refresh Initiative which will be conducted in two Waves during the 2014-15 school year.

The Refresh initiative will encourage new SBOs and Directors of Education to reference their Operational Review findings to support operational management decisions and continuous improvement; identify new leading practices and strengthened expectations since their board’s Operational Review; and build awareness of the numerous tools that have been developed to support school boards.

Student Transportation

In 2006-07, the Ministry introduced a Student Transportation Reform Strategy intended to build capacity to deliver safe, effective and efficient student transportation services and achieve equity in funding allocations, thus, allowing school boards to focus on student learning and achievement.

The transportation reform strategy focuses on three key areas:

  • Requirements for Consortia delivery of student transportation services
  • Effectiveness and Efficiency (E & E) Reviews of transportation consortia
  • Cost benchmark study for 72 school buses

Operational Reviews

Subsequently, the Ministry launched Operational Reviews of all 72 District School Boards in the Fall 2007. The reviews focus on key business functions of local school boards. External consultants and Ministry staff review the board's activities in governance, financial management, human resource management, school operations and facilities management against leading business practices, and report on opportunities for improvement.

By building management capacity in all school boards, encouraging good stewardship of public resources, leveraging and sharing best practices, and identifying opportunities for cost savings and continual improvement, the public can be confident that school boards are aligned administratively and operationally to support the government’s highest priority of Student Achievement.

Greening Ontario Schools

The Ministry is committed to developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy that will reduce the carbon footprint of every school in Ontario. The strategy focuses on key areas such as Energy Conservation, Green Schools and Green Clean (PDF 55 KB). The Ministry will launch the Energy Conservation Initiative in Fall 2008, our strategic plan for energy management, procurement and conservation.

A key element of the Energy Conservation Initiative is to provide school boards with technical advice and support to assist them with energy management.

A sector resource expert will provide services to interested school boards such as general consultation, best practices, database, benchmarks, technical advice on incentive programs, conservation, procurement, alternative renewable energy, and project management.

COSBO E & E Advisory Committee

The Ministry has provided the Council of School Business Officials (COSBO) with $3 million in the last two years to identify projects that would result in cost savings and cost containment and assist the sector to operate more effectively and efficiently.

Currently, COSBO E & E Advisory Committee has approved the funding to support an extensive portfolio of projects. The Ministry continuously support and provide project management leadership for E & E projects.