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Welcome to our OCSB Blog

Catch a glimpse of what’s buzzing in the OCSB community. Do you have an idea or story you’d like to pitch as a guest blogger? We’d love to hear it. Email your story or idea to connect@ocsb.ca.

Answering your questions at the Parent & Child Expo

Answering your questions at the Parent & Child Expo

The OCSB is pleased to be out and about in your community! Our friendly and knowledgeable educational staff hosted a booth at Kidfest in March to welcome and connect with parents. While your children were busy playing activities and learning on iPads at our booth at the EY Centre, we were there to answer your pressing questions about starting school in September.

Did you miss us at Kidfest? Don’t worry. If you are looking for something fun to do on April 21-22, 2018, come and visit us at the Parent & Child Expo taking place at the Nepean Sportsplex on Woodroffe Avenue. This expo offers one of the best values for family fun, learning and entertainment in Ottawa. With tons of free parking, and appearances by Dora and Bob the Builder, pack up the kids and make a day trip out of it.

Come speak with our dynamic Board staff in a kid-friendly environment. Stop by our booth to register your child (aged 0-4) for our new OCSB Birthday Club, so that we can send your little one a special card in the mail when that big day comes. Let your child experience the fun of receiving ‘real’ mail addressed to them! See you at the Parent and Child Expo this weekend! For details, visit parentandchildexpo.ca.

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Easter Blessings from the Director of Education

Easter Blessings from the Director of Education

Photo: St. Pius X High School students from the school’s Developmental Education (DE) class bless school staff with a thoughtful Easter gift of appreciation. @StPiusXOCSB #WeAllBelong #ocsbLent

When I think back to Easter as a young child, I remember with fondness Easter egg hunts, family gatherings, new Spring outfits (usually matching for me and my sisters), even little gifts like skipping ropes and marbles (no doubt to get us outside of the house for a while). It was the day that our Lenten observance came to an end, holy water reappeared in the font at the entrance to our church, the Alleluia was sung once again, and purple vestments and decor gave way to the white of Easter.

While we all have different memories of Easter, we remember what it means to be an Easter people. It’s more than Easter eggs and new Spring outfits, and goes beyond the symbols of our faith. We are called to care for one another, for those who are most in need, and for our planet. We do this daily in our schools. Let’s recommit ourselves, as we journey together in these last three months of the school year, to be God’s love and spirit at work in our world.

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News From the Boardroom (February 27, 2018): Proposed School Year Calendar Dates for 2018-2019

News From the Boardroom (February 27, 2018): Proposed School Year Calendar Dates for 2018-2019

The OCSB has submitted proposed school calendar dates for the 2018-2019 school year to the Ministry of Education. These dates are not to be considered final until the Ministry approves the proposed calendar sometime in May 2018.

The Ministry of Education stipulates that the school year calendar shall include a minimum of 194 school days, of which school boards are required to designate three mandatory Professional Activity (PA) days for provincial education priorities and may dedicate up to four additional PA days per school year, for a maximum total of seven PA days. The remaining school days shall be instructional days and a total of ten instructional days may be designated as examination days.

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Bi-Giwen: Coming Home – Truth telling from the Sixties

Bi-Giwen: Coming Home – Truth telling from the Sixties

Bi-Giwen: Coming Home, Truth telling from the Sixties is an exhibit focused on the survivors of a time in our recent history where Indigenous children were taken from their families by child welfare services and fostered or adopted into non-Indigenous families. My Grade 11 History class was invited to attend the opening ceremony of the exhibit. Elaine Kicknosway, a Sixties Scoop survivor, introduced us to the exhibit by sharing her experiences. She spoke of the names given to her generation (“policy children” or “catalogue kids”) and how Indigenous families had been victims of “institutions” for decades. Her 14 year old son is the first in her family to live without institutional intervention.

Ms. Kicknosway’s words resonated with the students as they explored the exhibit. They read stories of losing identity and not knowing where to find it, and about the abuse that accompanied institutional living. These courageous stories were rendered life-size in the exhibit. Many of my students noticed that while the stories were all so different, in the end, survivors had a loss of identity and a lack of choice in their own history. Students commented on the fact that there are still people alive that experienced the Sixties Scoop and are not just dates in a history book. “They are still alive, this actually happened,” Logan Crawford said. Another student reminded us of the dark time in our past and how the exhibit cast a light on it to ensure something like this will not be repeated. We all agreed that we had been blessed to experience Bi-Giwen and we hope to aid in the reconciliation process by passing on the truth of the Sixties Scoop.

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News from the Boardroom (February 13, 2018): Immaculata High partners up for new artificial turf field

News from the Boardroom (February 13, 2018): Immaculata High partners up for new artificial turf field

The OCSB is partnering with Ottawa Footy Sevens to improve the athletic facilities at Immaculata High School. Improvements include the installation of an artificial turf field, LED lighting, and improved fencing on the sports field. Footy Sevens is covering $2 million dollars in costs associated with the field improvements, including design, construction, and maintenance-related expenses.

As part of this project, the OCSB will also refurbish the existing walking/running track with a synthetic surface. Renovations are expected to begin in mid-April 2018, with an estimated completion date of August 2018.

As part of the agreement, Footy Sevens will have the opportunity to use the facility for their leagues and to rent the field out to community groups outside of regular school hours. Immaculata High School teams will benefit from the revitalized field for sports training and team games. The school will have exclusive use of the turf field on all school days until 6:00 pm, and the right to additional times on evenings and weekends where required for special functions.

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News From the Boardroom (January 23, 2018): St. Pius X Oaks Residence project helps raise awareness

News From the Boardroom (January 23, 2018): St. Pius X Oaks Residence project helps raise awareness

What began as a community outreach project for 38 students in Grades 10-12 from St. Pius X High School has turned into something that is being widely shared an embraced throughout both the school board and greater community. St. Pius’ School Resource Officer, Ottawa Police Service Constable Phong Le, challenged the students to make a difference by getting to know a part of their community that is often marginalized and misunderstood.

The students then undertook “The Oaks Residence Project” along with five OCSB teachers to reach out beyond their school community to collaborate with residents and staff of The Oaks, Shepherds of Good Hope supportive housing. The end result was a calendar which is being sold to raise awareness about The Oaks and raise funds to support it.

The were interested in communicating an important message: that all people are important and it is our responsibility to make sure everyone gets what they need, such as a safe place to live, food, clean water, access to medical care, and, most importantly, a sense of community.

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OCSB is a Top Employer for fourth year in a row

OCSB is a Top Employer for fourth year in a row

On Wednesday afternoon, I had the pleasure of attending an event at the Westin Hotel in downtown Ottawa, recognizing the top employers in the National Capital Region for 2018. It brings me great joy to share that the Ottawa Catholic School Board was recognized for the fourth year in a row as being a great place to work and learn.

As we have in years past, I invite our entire OCSB community to celebrate with us by participating in our #ocsbCelebrates social media campaign. This special campaign allows us to pause, observe, and recognize the outstanding employees that make our school board such a wonderful community.

Thank you in advance for your participation in this exciting activity, and congratulations to the employees of the Ottawa Catholic School Board for this outstanding accomplishment. Let’s celebrate!

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