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OCSB Schools Raise Over $25,000 for OK Clean Water

The OCSB is celebrating another successful year of partnership with OK Clean Water, as 28 of our schools brought in an impressive $25,443.84 to support sustainable clean water projects in Kumbo, Cameroon. Both students and staff participated in a wide variety of creative fundraising efforts: walk-a-thons, read-a-thons, spirit days, coin lines, bake sales, chores at home, and many more. One group of students put together a presentation for their classmates. Some staff even volunteered to shave their heads if fundraising goals were met - let's just say their heads have been chillier than normal recently!

Currently, thanks to OK Clean Water, 43 villages have access to clean water, and more villagers are waiting in hope. In addition to providing the materials and planning for the village projects, the Cameroonian engineer, Edwin Visi, provides workshops for the villagers to ensure the sustainability of their clean water projects. An Advisory Committee has also recently been established to oversee the projects in each village and to make suggestions whenever needed.

During the 2015-2016 school year, the following schools took part in fundraising efforts for this worthy and important cause:

Dr. F.J. McDonald, Good Shepherd, Holy Family, Holy Redeemer, Holy Spirit, Holy Trinity, Monsignor Paul Baxter, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Our Lady of Victory, St. Anne, St. Augustine, St. Bernard, St. Brigid, St. Daniel, St. Emily, St. Francis Xavier, St. Gemma, St. George, St. Jerome, St. John the Apostle, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, St. Luke, St. Michael (Corkery), St. Michael (Fitzroy), St. Michael (Ottawa), St. Rita, Thomas D'Arcy McGee Catholic, and Uplands Catholic.


​October is Outstanding Principal month!

Did you ever have a principal who motivated you to do your best? Who helped you before and after school with some needed extra help? Who was the very best sports coach ever?

Well now's your chance to nominate your own child's outstanding principal!

After a rushed start-up to a new school year, October is a fitting month to sit back, smell the roses, as they say, and celebrate outstanding principals from across Canada.

The Learning Partnership is asking people to recognize and nominate the leaders of their children's school for Canada's Most Outstanding Principal.

President and CEO of The Learning Partnership, Akela Peoples, likens principals as the "linchpins of their schools. They are educators, managers and leaders in their communities, and we recognize their indispensable contributions in building and leading teams of great teachers and positively impacting student achievement and success."

We encourage all parents to share your stories online with photos, videos and tributes to principals who are making such a marked difference in your children's lives by using the #OutstandingPrincipals hashtag.

You can also visit http://cop.thelearningpartnership.ca and submit your nomination for a principal who you feel deserves this special recognition.

Don't be shy! But please hurry!

Nominations must be completed and submitted by midnight, October 31.


Sent to be the Good News

We are excited to begin the school year with a new and profound Board spiritual theme – Sent to be the Good News.

This two-year theme represents a natural progression for the Board, as it provides a way for our staff, students and community to dig deeper in the Gospel to make real and meaningful connections.

This theme is inspired by the following passage:

Gospel of Luke, 4:14-20

"The spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour."

This passage calls for us to bring the Good News to all learners and their families, and to rediscover and deepen our commitment to the gift of faith in our lives.

Stay tuned to this webpage and individual school sites as we witness these words in action.


Spotlight: Board Meeting Highlights - Sept 27, 2016

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

  • Program for Gifted Learners (PGL): Cubes in Space 
  • 2015-2016 EQAO results 
  • Supporting First Nation, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) Student Success: Engaging all learners 
  • Success Indicators - Grades 9-12
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Recent Comments
Guest — GeoffreyBurrows
I am glad to see two girl participants in the PGL piece. When my daughter was in PGL a few years ago, she was one of only four in... Read More
Tuesday, 04 October 2016 4:04 PM
Guest — MardideKemp
Hello Geoffrey, If you are interested in the numbers of students in PGL currently, how many girls, how many boys etc, why not emai... Read More
Tuesday, 04 October 2016 5:05 PM

Mother Teresa Holds Canonization Mass

On Tuesday, Mother Teresa High School hosted an open air mass to celebrate the Catholic Church's canonization of Mother Teresa. Students, staff, and special guests gathered in the back courtyard for the celebration, which was presided over by Archbishop Terence Prendergast. Opening remarks were made by Mother Teresa Principal Gerard Stephenson, OCSB Chairperson Elaine McMahon, and Director of Education Denise Andre. The school also presented Elaine McMahon with a framed picture of Mother Teresa to commemorate the special day. After the mass, a special reflection was read by the head of Mother Teresa's English Department Mrs. Jennifer Simpson, followed by doves being released. It was a truly beautiful and moving ceremony. Check out our Facebook album for more photos of the event.


OCSB to Help Celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday!

The OCSB is proud to announce a new partnership with the Ottawa 2017 Bureau and Mayor Jim Watson in an effort to engage students across the city in Canada's 150th birthday celebrations! The partnership will see all four local school boards working together on a wide variety of programs: finding schools to pair with some of the 150 exchange groups Experiences Canada will be recruiting, gathering and sharing stories of immigration and how "home" is defined, launching a poetry contest, writing postcards inviting friends and family to come to Ottawa for the celebrations, and much more. OCSB Director of Education Denise Andre said that "the occasion of Canada's 150th birthday will be a wonderful learning opportunity for OCSB students, as well as a chance to engage their community and celebrate our heritage and history." Check out our Facebook album for more photos from the event!

Art students from St. Patrick's High School helped create this beautiful chalk mural.

OCSB Runs for the Troops!

Last weekend, approximately 100 OCSB students took part in the annual Canada Army Run! Each student ran for a soldier who died at the battle of Vimy Ridge. They have been raising money to offset the costs of a trip to Vimy next April, but they also managed to raise over $5000 for the Support our Troops charity! Many of the OCSB students and staff involved attended a ceremony last Friday to present the cheque to a military representative. Students from Notre Dame, Lester B. Pearson, St. Mark, St. Joseph, St. Pius X, Mother Teresa, St. Patrick's, St. Francis Xavier, All Saints, St. Matthew, and St. Paul high schools will be attending the trip to Vimy.

Behind the cheque, from the left to right: St. Mark High School teacher and Vimy trip coordinator Julian Hall; OCSB Director of Education Denise Andre; Canada Army Run Race Director Major Gus Garant.

Spotlight: Board Meeting Highlights - Sept 13, 2016

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

  • Investiture of Student Trustees 
  • Update on school start-up 
  • School profile - Summer Math Camp 
  • Principal and vice-principal appointments 
  • Summer Institute 
  • Summer Programs report 
  • Schools sparkle after a productive summer
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Recent Comments
Guest — JenniferHorrocks
What about summer learning for ECL students? Do they not count? Doesn't seem like equal access to education to me. Shame on you OC... Read More
Thursday, 06 October 2016 12:12 PM
Guest — MardideKemp
Maybe you can help me with ECL means, and I can better address your concern. mardi.dekemp@ocsb.caOr, feel free to call me at 613... Read More
Thursday, 06 October 2016 5:05 PM

What is your hope for 2016-2017?

I recently watched an inspiring video on YouTube that I found fitting for the start of our school year at the Ottawa Catholic School Board. A school in the United States set up a chalkboard in front of the school asking students and staff what their "hope" was for the upcoming school year and the responses were both enlightening and challenging.

Whether you're a student, a parent, or staff in our OCSB family, there is great value in naming your "hope" for the 2016-2017 school year. Naming your "hope" just might give you something positive to look for, or work towards. Whether big or small, my hope is that your "hope" is something bright that not only comes to be a reality this year, but something that sparks hope all around you. Here's to a great 2016-2017 school year! Share your hope below in the comments, or on social media using #OCSBhope..



On Tuesday, September 6th, the OCSB kicked off its 2016-17 school year. Students around the city, from JK all the way up to Grade 12, came together with OCSB staff to greet new students, reunite with old friends, and learn!

View the #OCSBFirstDay Storify here!


Spotlight: Board Meeting Highlights June 28, 2016

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

  • Year End Report by the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC)
  • Year End Report by the Catholic School Parents' Association (CSPA) and the Parent Involvement Committee (PIC)
  • Capital Plan Update - Recommended Priorities for 2019-2020
  • High school international excursions
  • Boardroom Briefs

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OCSB Student Wins Gold in Skills Ontario Competition

St. Francis Xavier High School student Matthew Boettcher won gold in the Skills Ontario provincial competition in cabinetmaking. The competition garnered him a spot on Team Ontario at the nationals held in Moncton, New Brunswick. The cabinetmaking competition featured a very complex cabinet with a variety of joinery and surface treatments that had to be completed in two days. While Matthew did not receive a medal at the nationals, he did extremely well in a tough competition field. The educational experience competing at the Skills Nationals is second to none. The competitors work with and make connections with top industry professionals from around the country.

Matthew will be graduating from St. Francis Xavier this year, and will be starting the Heritage Carpentry and Joinery Program at Algonquin College this fall. A program aimed at students who are interested in the preservation, renovation, and restoration of historical architecture in Canada.

​Congratulations Matthew! The OCSB is very proud of such a hard-working and dedicated student.


Spotlight: Board Meeting Highlights June 14, 2016

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

  • DEPARTMENT PROFILE Learning Partnership's Entrepreneurial Adventure Program
  • Student Trustees' Presentation
  • Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship Certification
  • Approval of 2016-2017 Budget
  • Boardroom Briefs

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Recent comment in this post
Guest — LatifHalim
I don't see any sign of Multicultutre in the pictures above
Tuesday, 02 May 2017 12:12 AM
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Heart Garden at the OCSB

For the first time, the OCSB has planted a heart garden in honour of survivors and their families of the residential school system in Canada. Students taking First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Studies courses created the hearts in Métis dot painting workshops at the Wabano Aboriginal Centre for Health. There are more than 300 hearts in the garden located at the OCSB board office.

The organization First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada that runs the program "Honouring Memories, Planting Dreams" invited individuals and organizations to join in reconciliation by planting heart gardens in their communities during the months of May and June. Heart gardens honour residential school survivors and their families, as well as the legacy of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Each heart represents the memory of a child lost to the residential school system, and the act of planting represents that individual's commitment to finding their place in reconciliation.


#OCSB10DAY Challenge

​OCSB staff took part in a 10 day Twitter challenge designed to help employees sharpen their Twitter skills. The challenge was led by the OCSB Learning Technologies department and included daily tasks for newbies and seasoned "tweeters".

OCSB staff enjoyed learning about Twitter and the various applications associated with it, such as Tweetdeck and Hootsuite. Challenge participants were eager to demonstrate their twitter skills and for more challenges.

The purpose of the challenge was to help OCSB colleagues collaborate and learn with each other using the popular social media tool. The tasks for new Twitter users varied from setting up their account, uploading a photo, updating their bios, "favouriting", "retweeting" and "quoting" tweets.

For seasoned tweeters, the tasks included recruiting colleagues to the OCSB twitter family, using hashtags, creating Twitter polls, using the Hootsuite application to organize tweets and joining a Twitter chat.

Along with completing the challenge, part of the incentive to participate was the possibility of winning the #OCSB10DAY contest. The prize would be to have the Director of Education, Denise Andre, act as an Occasional Teacher for your class! The winner of the random draw was Carina Quinn, teacher at Georges Vanier Elementary School. 

Congratulations to all who participated in the challenge!  


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.


OCSB Students Appointed to Minister's Student Advisory Council

Benjamin McLellan-Campbell, Hon. Liz Sandals Minister of Education, Dylan Sova and Gigi Huang.

On June 2nd, three students from the Ottawa Catholic School Board were appointed to the Minister's Student Advisory Council (MSAC). The students in the MSAC share ideas and provide advice to the minister on topics regarding Ontario's education system.

Out of 450 applicants, 60 were chosen to represent Ontario's cultural, social and geographic diversity. This year, the three OCSB students were selected and recognized for their leadership and initiative: Gigi Huang, Benjamin McLellan-Campbell, and Dylan Sova.

Gigi Huang, a student at Mother Teresa High School, has various certificates and experiences from her high school career. She has participated in the Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program, the Ontario Summer Company Program, Dual Credit Program, and a Co-op program at school.

Benjamin McLellan-Campbell, a student at St. Francis Xavier High School, currently serves as one of the two Student Trustees for the Ottawa Catholic School Board.

Dylan Sova, a student at St. Mark High School, has various roles within his school and community. He is a leader at leadership camp, has acted in school plays, is a member of headstrong (mental health awareness club) at school, and is a member of the Youth of Manotick Association. 

Congratulations to these remarkable students and good luck in your future endeavours!

2016 -2017 Minister's Student Advisory Council

OCSB Students Excel in French Contests

OCSB students excel at this year's provincials

Year after year, students from the Ottawa Catholic School Board have been excelling in French contests, and this year was no exception! From national video contest to public speaking competitions, our students have been rising to the challenge and we're very happy to celebrate their accomplishments.


The provincial competition in French public speaking is always very tough in Ontario. The annual competition organized by Canadian Parents for French was held this May at York University's bilingual campus, Glendon College. This year, only two Ottawa students were able to crack the top 3 in their categories, and both of them happened to be from OCSB high schools! St. Patrick's High School's Charlyse Katako claimed second place in the grade 12 Francophone category and took home a $250 cash prize. Grade 10 St. Francis Xavier High School student Kelsey McHugh claimed first place and a $500 cash prize in the grade 10 Immersion category for her speech "Qui blâmer au campus universitaire."

​Charlyse Katako from St. Patrick's High School claimed second prize in the Francophone category at this year's Ontario French Public Speaking Competition.

Kelsey McHugh (holding plaque) from St. Francis Xavier High School took first place in the grade 10 French Immersion category at this year's Ontario French Public Speaking Competition.

"Overall, this was an amazing experience. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to express information regarding a topic I am passionate about: sexual assault on university campuses. My speech, entitled "Qui blâmer au campus universitaire" explored the rising trend in sexual assaults on Canadian university campuses, and the negative consequences that severely impact the victims and the campus community. It discussed the lack of defense policies present in these post secondary establishments, and how the media provokes various social stigmas to arise, concerning how assault victims are perceived and treated. I was inspired by an American documentary, named "The Hunting Ground", that pushed me to research the issue present on Canadian campuses. It baffles me that this issue is concealed, almost as if it did not exist at all. I hope to continue creating awareness about this heinous crime, especially to a teenage audience, for a campus will likely become our daily environment in the next coming years.
I would like to thank my French teacher for mentoring me throughout this process, and my parents for supporting me at the competitions. I hope to participate in the Concours next year, giving me the opportunity to engage myself further into the French language."

- Kelsey McHugh, grade 10 French Immersion student from St. Francis Xavier High School
Winner of Ontario French Public Speaking Contest
Four OCSB students win $4,000 scholarships through national French video contest


L'Association canadienne des professeurs d'immersion française held a contest for grade 9-12 students called "Immersion clip" and four of our students were recognized with $4,000 scholarship to be used at Ottawa, St. Paul, Sudbury or St. Anne universities. The challenge was to create a 30-90 second video on the topic of "social media and my virtual identity." Congratulations to the following winners:

Congratulations and "félicitations" to all of our students who represented the Ottawa Catholic School Board so well in various French competitions throughout this academic year.​


Vive Les Arts (Appreciation Event)

Kristen Charles and Katie Lewis-Prieur holding their portrait drawn by a caricaturist.

Ottawa Catholic School Board staff gathered together on May 30th to celebrate an arts appreciation event. The theme was Springtime in Paris, Vive Les Arts!

The event was held from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. at the Catholic Education Centre and was organized by Katie Lewis-Prieur and Kristen Charles, Creative Arts Consultants at the OCSB. The main focus of the event was to celebrate and honour the hard work and countless volunteer hours of teachers within the board who support the arts.

The evening included remarks from Elaine McMahon, OCSB Chair and Denise Andre, OCSB Director of Education. Along with Jazz music provided by Pierre Monfils, former teacher at St. Peter high school and Neil Bateman, teacher at Holy Trinity high school. The evening also included specially designed t-shirts by teacher Fadi El-Saikali, and a caricaturist drawing portraits of staff.

All in all, a wonderful evening dedicated to the hardworking and motivating art educators at the OCSB.

Congratulations to award recipients:

Susan Davis Award

  • Thomas Pakenham - St. Peter High School

Sharon Hiscott Award

  • Helen Featherston - St. John Paul II Elementary School
Specially designed t-shirts by Fadi El-Saikali

OCSB Banquet and Awards

Left to right - Chris Milburn, Immaculata High School; Bill Paynter and Mrs. Ann Sloan (award sponsors); Marc Belanger, St James School; Jennifer Idone, Dr. F.J. McDonald; Trustee Mark Mullan; Richard Starcevic, Frank Ryan Intermediate; Ghislaine Lafelche-Trepanier, Good Shepherd; Denise Andre, Director of Education; and Rene Riopel, St. Matthew HS.

On Thursday, May 26, 2016, the Elementary and Intermediate Athletic Association hosted a banquet and awards ceremony at the Centurion Center to celebrate and give awards to JK-Grade 8 educators who support inclusive athletics in our schools. The ceremony commenced with an awards reception and was followed by cocktails and dinner. The event concluded with a social/dance.

Congratulations to this year's award recipients:

Daniel Patrick Kelly Award

  • Marc Bélanger, St. James School
  • Ghislaine Laflèche-Trépanier, Good Shepherd School

Bill Paynter Award

  • Chris Milburn, Immaculata High School
  • René Riopel, St. Matthew High School

Delacy J. Sloan Award

  • Jennifer Idone, Dr. F.J. McDonald School
  • Richard Starcevic, Frank Ryan Intermediate School

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