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St. Anthony Celebrates Opening of Brand New School Yard

On October 14, St. Anthony School celebrated the opening of their brand new school yard. Their (much greener) new yard is thanks to their grassroots campaign that led to them winning the 2015 Asphalt to Oasis Aviva Community Fund of $100,000. In going from brown to green and from asphalt to oasis, St. Anthony's new school yard now features an outdoor amphitheatre/classroom and an abundance of trees. Mayor Jim Watson, OCSB Chair Elaine McMahon, OCSB Associate Director of Education Tom D'Amico, and OCSB Superintendent of Continuing and Community Education Peter Atkinson all attended the event, along with many others. It was truly an occasion for celebration - the new school yard will be a learning oasis for generations of students to come.

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OCSB Celebrates 22nd Annual Elementary Peace Festival

This year, over 1,200 elementary students in grades 4, 5 and 6 who are involved in peacemaking or peer mediation at their schools attended the Ottawa Catholic School Board's 22nd Annual Elementary Peace Festival held at St. Paul High School. An event that highlights and celebrates the positive roles of our students in junior grades, the Peace Festival also showcases the many practices used to build and maintain safe and inclusive school environments.

​The goal of the conference is to challenge students to recognize the power they have to make their schools into communities where all students feel welcome. The festival has helped many students view conflict as an opportunity for positive change. Students shared ideas and affirmed each other in their commitment to making their world a safer and more just place. In addition to playing co-operative games and having a lot of fun, student participants at the festival were celebrated for their outreach programs and examples in leadership.

The day is developed and run by the Leadership Program students at St. Joseph High School and made possible by the ongoing support of MADD Ottawa.

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Celebrating Excellence at the OCSB

St. Paul High School played host to the annual OCSB event, Celebrating Excellence. This heartwarming event celebrates and recognizes the strengths, talents and contributions of some of the OCSB's most exceptional students. One student from each school who benefits from special education programs and services was recognized for their outstanding contribution to their school community. The students are chosen to receive the award because they exemplify one or more of the Gospel values: Faith, Hope, Love, Community, Justice, Dignity of Persons, Excellence and Stewardship of Creation.

Sky Keyes shows her bright, friendly, and infectious smile at the annual OCSB Celebrates Event
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Luca Matricardi poses with his family right before accepting his award.

Sky Keyes, a Grade 3 student from St. Martin de Porres School was chosen as the recipient from her school this year. She is well known as one of the friendliest students in the school and was honoured for the Gospel value of Love. Her good nature and enthusiasm are infectious, and many find it hard not to smile when Sky is around.

The winner from St. Stephen School was Luca Matricardi, a bright young student selected for modelling the Gospel value of Faith. He is known and loved by staff and students alike and loves to share stories. He regularly offers support to his classmates when needed and enjoys helping younger students in the school.

Every OCSB school participates in the Celebrating Excellence event which has been taking place since before 2000. It's a great opportunity to celebrate the talents and contributions these outstanding students make to our school communities.

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St. Thomas More School wins national contest

The St. Thomas More grade 1 teaching team (Left to Right): Linda Bouzanis, Shannon Riley, Tammy Doyle, Natalie MacDonald, and Principal, Denise Gotell.

It is with great pleasure that I announce St. Thomas More School was named one of three winners from across Canada in the 8th annual Classroom of the Future Challenge. The contest, run by MindShare Learning, challenged Canadian teachers to capture innovative teaching and learning practices and upload a digital portfolio that demonstrates the role technology plays in engaging and motivating students in their classroom. We had a total of five of our schools participate in this contest this year, demonstrating the breadth and depth of innovation present here at the OCSB.

The grade 1 teaching team from St. Thomas More claimed one of three Makerspace prize packages for their school valued at over $10,000. I am very proud of the the many passionate educators here at the Ottawa Catholic School Board who use innovative teaching and learning practices to inspire others on a daily basis. With their cutting edge integration of technology and digital tools to enhance learning, they truly make 21st Century Learning fun! 

Denise Gotell and the St. Thomas More team have truly embraced deep learning and will definitely put the prize package to good use. View their full submission.

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Spotlight: Board Meeting Highlights - Jan 26

The Boardroom Spotlight provides a summary of what took place at each Board meeting. This issue covers the following topics:

  • Principal announced for new school 
  • Principal wins national award 
  • Summer programs for 2016 
  • Professional journal articles authored by Board staff 
  • Board committee composition 
  • New Board procedural by-law
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Lynne Charette appointed principal for new school

Lynne Charette appointed principal for new school in Half Moon Bay

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Lynne Charette as principal of the new Half Moon Bay Elementary School which is scheduled to open September 2016. This will allow Lynne the opportunity to coordinate the tasks of organizing, purchasing, and staffing the new school for the upcoming fall opening. This appointment was received at the January 26th Board meeting.

Lynne is an excellent educator who will provide quality Catholic education for our students and dynamic leadership in her new role. She is currently the principal at St. Monica School with system responsibilities. 

Follow the building progress of this new school on our Facebook page.

Congratulations, Lynne and best of luck on this new adventure!

Lynne Charette, current principal at St. Monica School interacting with students
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Guest — DaveCorbishley
Congratulations Lynne. Half Moon Bay is off to a good start!
Thursday, 28 January 2016 9:09 PM
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A meaningful Advent at St. John Paul II School

The staff and students at St. John Paul II School recognize that many people have a difficult time getting through the Christmas season, including families in their own school community. That's why they've been working hard throughout the season of Advent to make this season a meaningful time for everyone in their community through acts of kindness and mercy.

St. John Paul II School gathered for a Christmas meal to celebrate the birth of baby Jesus on Wednesday, December 16th. "We've been organizing this event for about six years now," said Office Administrator Helen Featherston. "For some of our students, this is their Christmas dinner, so it's a very special time for our community."

The school gym was decorated to the nines featuring a beautiful Nativity scene created by grade 1/2 teacher Rebecca Pereira that included a garland of stars decorated by every student in the school and a life-sized manger with strips of hay made out of construction paper.

The students kicked off the Jubilee year of Mercy, declared by Pope Francis on December 8th, by demonstrating the mercy of God to others in simple and effective ways. "During the season of Advent, students were encouraged to perform acts of kindness and mercy to others and write down what they did on these strips of hay" said Pereira. "The strips of hay were meant to soften baby Jesus' bed with kindness and mercy."

With kindness and mercy in the air, the mood was set for a Christmas feast! Moments after Principal, Sean Crookshank made the announcement for students to come down to the gym, the halls were buzzing with joyful students eager to share a delicious meal with their classmates. It was a truly heart-warming event as the kindergarten students led the whole school in saying grace. Special guests and volunteers including City Councillor Tim Tierney and OCSB Director of Education Denise Andre were on hand to serve the students their Christmas meal. It was a truly wonderful event as the whole community gathered to share in the blessing of a delicious Christmas feast.

View more photos on the Ottawa Catholic School Board Facebook page.

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New school in Kanata, addition for St. Francis Xavier High, reno for Holy Family

Director of Education Denise Andre (middle) with Minister of Education Liz Sandals (left) and MPP John Fraser (right).

Minister of Education Liz Sandals and MPP John Fraser recently announced that Ontario is investing in a number of new school building projects. This includes construction of Marchwood Lakeside Catholic Elementary School in Kanata, near the southwest corner of Second Line Road and Terry Fox Road. The new 507-pupil elementary school for Kindergarten to Grade 6 students will also include two new licensed child care rooms and 39 new child care spaces and likely open in 2018. 

St. Francis Xavier High School will be getting a 436-pupil place addition in Gloucester that will result in the replacement of temporary classrooms with a permanent addition and likely open in 2017. 

Holy Family School will be getting an extensive refurbishment to their existing school building, starting in 2016 and finishing in 2017. Holy Family will receive the students from Uplands Catholic School when the army base closes in 2017.

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2015 Child Care Festival

Two of the OCCCC's Corporation Directors and children from Holy Spirit School Age Program at the Festival

The annual Ottawa Catholic Child Care Corporation's Child Care Festival was a huge success this year. It took place at Mother Teresa High School at the end of August, and the just over 900 children that attended were about 150 more than the 2014 Festival. Staff did a wonderful job preparing and organizing the event and the day was very well received by attendees. The children donated school supplies which were passed along to the principals.

The gold, silver, and bronze awards for the Community Helper initiative, given to the centres where children have initiated and/or participated in events which benefit the community as a whole, were:

  • Gold: Jackson Trails Early Learning Centre
  • Silver: Chapman Mills School Age Program
  • Bronze: Strandherd School Age Program

The purpose of the Festival is to bring together the kindergarten and school-age children from the OCCCC's 18 programs for a day of community.

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Sod-turning ceremony for new Half Moon Bay school

Chairperson Elaine McMahon (left) and Director of Education Denise Andre (right) pose with the new school sign.

On October 8, the OCSB held a sod-turning ceremony to celebrate the construction of a new Catholic elementary school in Half Moon Bay in Barrhaven that's scheduled to open September 2016. Brenda Wilson, Superintendent of the St. Joseph Family of Schools which the new school will be a part of, welcomed everyone to the ceremony. That was followed by greetings from Chairperson Elaine McMahon, Trustee Spencer Warren and City Councillor Jan Harder. The assembled crowd then watched as students from St. Cecilia School and St. Joseph High School performed the blending of the soils - a tradition that involves taking soil from St. Cecilia and St. Joseph and mixing it in with soil from the new school site. Some students from St. Cecilia will be moving to the new school once it's complete, and students from the new school will be attending St. Joseph, so the act was symbolic of welcoming a new school community with open arms and hearts. After a heartwarming blessing from Fr. Frank Brewer, Director of Education Denise Andre gave her closing remarks. After the ceremony, attendees were invited back to St. Cecilia for a tour, along with snack and refreshments.

Those involved in the ceremony pose for a picture with the new school sign after the sod-turning.
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St. Jerome students celebrate iWALK Day

On October 7, Students and guests at St. Jerome School joined countless others around the globe in celebrating International Walk to School (iWALK) Day 2015. The day is part of a worldwide iWALK week, which promotes active school travel and physical activity for children. This is the first year that iWALK Week was officially recognized by the City of Ottawa. Mayor Jim Watson, OCSB Chairperson Elaine McMahon, and OCSB Trustees Spencer Warren and Sandra Moore were among the guests who joined the students in their walk to school.

Continue reading
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"Innovation that Sticks" at the OCSB

The Canadian Education Association recently selected the Ottawa Catholic School Board as the winning district in their "Innovation that Sticks" case study program. Out of 35 school boards across Canada, the OCSB was selected to participate in their project. 

As we reflect on our Board's journey over the last five years, the transformation has been incredible. In 2010, the main form of technology in our classrooms was an overhead projector and we had minimal and limited interaction outside our schools.

-Denise Gotell, Principal at St. Thomas More School
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Recent Comments
Guest — KellyMcKibbinocsbca
So much great coverage of this honour. Read more about it!Ottawa Citizen: Catholic school board studied as a model digital ecosys... Read More
Thursday, 01 October 2015 4:04 PM
Guest — Kelly
More sharing! The Catholic Register: http://www.catholicregister.org/item/21098-students-guided-by-samaritan-s-hand
Monday, 19 October 2015 4:04 PM
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Fred Fox continues his brother's message of hope

Fred Fox high-fiving students at St. Gregory School

Students at St. Gregory School were in for a treat on Friday when Terry Fox's older brother Fred came to speak to them about his brother's Marathon of Hope. Fred's message was simple and effective. He focused on the fact that Terry was just an average kid like them, yet able to do extraordinary things. Fred's message inspired kids by letting them know they can do similar things as Terry if they set goals and put a lot of effort into their dreams. 

Just like Terry, always set goals and never ever give up on your dreams.

by Fred Fox
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