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Jan
19

Spotlight: Board Meeting Highlights - Jan 12

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

  • Modification of 2015-2016 School Year Calendar 
  • The Discovery Block at St. Emily School 
  • Robotics Grant Project 
  • Specialist High Skills Major Programs 
  • Year of Mercy - A moment of connection with our faith and spreading the Good News 
  • Environmental Initiatives in our Schools
  • Kindergarten Registration 2016
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Jan
19

An evening of art at the OCSB

Kristen Charles and Katie Lewis-Prieur organized this year's Artistic Fusion event at the Catholic Education Centre
Beautiful artwork created by an OCSB staff member.
Another impressive art piece created by a member of the OCSB staff.

On January 11th, Ottawa Catholic School Board staff and art students gathered together for a fun, inspiring and educating night. Organized by Katie Lewis-Prieur and Kristen Charles, Artistic Fusion is an annual event that celebrates and showcases the many talents of OCSB employees, art teachers and students. Denise Andre, OCSB Director of Education, was on hand to host the event and congratulate participants.

This year, over 30 participants from various departments and schools came out to display their work. The evening event was held in the Boardroom of the Catholic Education Centre. The art took many forms: sculptures, photographs, stained glass, water paintings, jewelry, acrylic on canvas, stained and painted pottery.

The event also featured a gallery style showcase of the incredible student artwork from OCSB high schools entitled "Art Days." The students worked with professional artist Colin White to create comic strips that relate to mental health and well-being. OCSB's Head Social Worker, Mary Gallagher also worked with the students by leading them through a mental well-being workshop to explore positive mental well-being strategies. The comic strips were very powerful, reflective, and educational.  

All in all it was an evening filled with beautiful art and a chance for artists and admirers to gather and appreciate art in all its forms. See the pictures from the event in our Facebook Album and join us next year! 

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Jan
11

Spotlight: Board Meeting Highlights - Dec 15

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

  • Governor General Award Winner: ASHS teacher Caroline Pignat 
  • Board Innovation Plan for Student Achievement and Well-Being 2015-2016 (BIPSAW) 
  • Consultation to begin for proposed elementary attendance boundary - CFB Rockcliffe Redevelopment 
  • Refugee support 
  • Vice-Principal appointments and assignments 
  • Preschool Retrofit Program - expenditure completion report 
  • Policies and Procedures - Revised, rescinded and new
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Dec
21

St. Pat's Grade 12 Immersion wins french class contest

St. Patrick's High School's Grade 12 French Immersion video has been selected winner of the 2015 edition of La meilleure classe de français en Ontario! Bravo!

According to the judges, the evaluation was not easy. The judges looked at specific aspects of the class: bilingualism, leadership and community engagement. They also considered elements such as respect for the theme, quality of the written and oral French, choices of images, soundtrack and originality. Each student in the class will receive a $2000 scholarship to a French Immersion Program at the University of Ottawa. Congratulations!

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Dec
21

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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Dec
06

Spotlight: OCSB Annual General Meeting - Dec 1

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

  • Annual General Meeting - Board returns Chair and Vice-Chair 
  • Director's Annual Report
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Dec
06

Spotlight: Board Meeting Highlights - Nov 24

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

  • Program profile: Social Emotional Learning (SEL) 
  • 2014 - 2015 Board and School-by-School EQAO results 
  • Annual Energy Management Report - 2014/15 
  • Board approves 2015-2016 Facility Renewal work 
  • Labour update (CUPE): Board ratifies central agreement 
  • Planning & Facilities - Capital allocations and appointment of architects 
  • Audited Consolidated Financial Statements
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Nov
26

St. Patrick's High School student uses art to spread joy

Israel Ozonwanji is a grade 12 student from St. Patrick's High School who loves using his artistic talents to bring joy and happiness to others. He's accumulated over 50 community service hours drawing portraits of St. Patrick's Retirement Home residents. Israel has already completed three portraits and hopes to do as many as he can before he graduates.

"It has been a very rewarding experience for me," he says. "While working on these drawings, I have had the opportunity to interact with some of the seniors as they casually walk by and ask me questions about my work." The home has even asked Israel to showcase his drawings of the residents along with some of his own artwork at their upcoming gallery night.

Israel, one of many talented artists at St. Patrick's High School, is a great example of someone who lives out the Catholic Graduate Expectations. Well done, Israel!

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Nov
15

Spotlight: Board Meeting Highlights - Nov 10

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

  • Bullying Awareness & Prevention Week 
  • Parent and Family Literacy Centres 
  • Grade 12 Exit Survey Results - Creating Pathways 
  • First Nations, Métis & Inuit (FNMI) Initiatives for 2015 - 2016 
  • The Power of Hapara 
  • Vice-Principal Leading & Learning Opportunities
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Nov
13

Bullying Awareness & Prevention Week 2015

St. Francis Xavier Grade 7-8 anti-bullying campaign door designs.

Next week is Bullying Awareness & Prevention Week at the Ottawa Catholic School Board. OCSB schools participate to prevent bullying at our schools and to heighten awareness about bullying. Activities and programs include Restorative Practices, WITS (Walk Away, Ignore, Talk it Out, Seek Help), our Samaritans on a Digital Road curriculum, and many other activities, presentations and anti-bullying pledges and commitments.

Here are some OCSB highlights coming up next week:

  • Barbaro Coloroso, an international bestselling author and recognized speaker on teaching, bullying, nonviolent conflict resolution and many other subjects, will be doing a presentation at Frank Ryan Catholic Intermediate School, with 8 other school communities invited to attend.
  • On November 19, St. Pius X High School is having a random acts of kindness day. Students & staff will be tweeting to @stpius with the hashtag #piuscares to share the random acts of kindness they've done and had done to them.
  • St. Patrick's Intermediate School will have a photo booth set up all week so students can take pictures with their friends and add their picture and signature to the anti-bullying pledge wall.


That's just a sample of the many things the OCSB has planned for Bullying Awareness & Prevention Week. Together we can put an end to bullying!

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Nov
12

We Day 2015

On November 10, thousands of young people gathered at the Canadian Tire Centre to celebrate We Day. It was a day filled with inspiring speeches, lessons and stories from people within Ottawa and around the world. The event was capped off by a surprise guest appearance from Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire - their first public appearance since Trudeau was sworn into office.

The OCSB was represented by about 1,700 students from 68 different schools. Students were chosen at their schools for being involved in local and global social justice initiatives.

St. Gabriel School teacher Rola Tibshirani was even invited onstage to speak about the amazing social justice work that they do!


Sacred Heart High School student Tysen Lefebvre, whose Mission to a Million charity is helping to raise $1 million for Make-A-Wish® Eastern Ontario, even got to meet Marc Kielburger, co-founder of Free the Children, Me to We and We Day with his brother Craig!

The event was a joyous occasion to celebrate the amazing work young people are already doing to help people locally and around the globe, and to look forward at how they can change the world in the future. It was truly a day of going from Me to We!

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Nov
05

Immaculata's 23rd Annual Terry Fox Run/Walk

On Thursday, September 24, Immaculata High School staff and students participated in their 23rd annual Terry Fox Run/Walk. Their fundraising goal was $14,000 – over $800 more than they have raised in the past few years. Last year Immaculata was recognized as the 19th highest fundraising high school in Ontario. The Immaculata community not only met their goal, but exceeded it by raising $15,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation and cancer research. That brings Immaculata's 23-year total to almost $250,000! And they even added to it later on, with the proceeds from an optional dress down day on October 14th also going to charity. Way to go Immaculata!

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Nov
04

Message from the Director

It is hard to believe that two months of the school year have come and gone. October was a busy month in our Board. I will highlight one event, and that is our annual PD day where all our employees come together at our Christian Community Day. On October 9th, we heard testimonials from the perspective of staff, students and parents about how our Spiritual Theme "Restore One Another in a Spirit of Gentleness" has come to life in our community. The day ended with a beautiful mass presided over by Archbishop Prendergast. We are so blessed to work in caring communities that support the dignity of all persons, and to witness our faith in action each and every day.

As Veterans' Week approaches, let us remember all who have sacrificed their lives and all those who serve our country to promote peace and justice in the world. Our schools and main office always commemorate Remembrance Day in a special way. If you would like to join one of our ceremonies on November 11th, feel free to call your local school or our Board office to get more information. We welcome the members of our community who wish to join us during this solemn day of remembrance.

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Nov
01

Spotlight: Board Meeting Highlights - Oct 27

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

  • St. John the Apostle: Paying it forward 21C style
  • New Pedagogies for Deep Learning
  • Concussion resources update
  • Board choir celebrates its 25th anniversary
  • New school in Kanata, addition for St. Francis Xavier High, reno for Holy Family
  • Board approves school trips

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Oct
28

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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Oct
21

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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Oct
21

Spotlight: Board Meeting Highlights - Oct 13

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

  • Chapel Hill becomes OCSB's first Platinum EcoSchool
  • OCSB recognized for "Innovation that Sticks"
  • Digital resources for all: OCSB Staff and Student Portal
  • Trustee Honoraria for 2015-2026
  • Board approves school excursions

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Oct
15

Christian Community Day 2015

Director or Education Denise Andre addresses the crowd at Christian Community Day.

On October 9, the OCSB celebrated yet another inspiring Christian Community Day at a packed Shaw Centre. The highlight of the day was a beautiful mass presided over by Archbishop Terrence Prendergast. Director of Education Denise Andre's presentation was warm, thoughtful and inclusive, focusing on the Board's accomplishments and directions as well as kicking off this year's United Way Campaign. Associate Director of Education Tom D'Amico presented the 2015 Distinguished Catholic Alumni Award to Dr. David LeBrun.

The day was interspersed with the lovely music of the talented OCSB Choir under the direction of Theresa Clarke. Soloist Deanna MacDonald-Johns' voice soared throughout the room, filling everyone present with joy and wonder.

A number of inspiring witnesses also took the stage, reflecting on the day's themes: restoration, joy, mercy, and love. Nadine Logan shared her story of finding a place where people truly cared for and about her child at the OCSB. Jimmy Ruggerio, an EA at Sacred Heart High School, spoke about his spiritual journey and the power of prayer in the life of his son Luca, who now attends St. Luke School. Carl Nicholson from the Catholic Centre for Immigration told the crowd about all the incredible work they do there. The collections from the Mass went to the Catholic Near East Welfare Association and the Catholic Centre for Immigration.

All in all, it was a wonderful opportunity to bring our whole community together. See the pictures from the event in our Facebook album!

Recent comment in this post
Guest — ChristianMagazine
This is good to celebrate community days and share positive thoughts top motivate people to achieve goal of life.
Monday, 04 January 2016 6:06 AM
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Oct
14

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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Oct
13

2015 Distinguished Catholic Alumni Award

Dr. David LeBrun, recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Catholic Alumni Award.

This year's winner of the Distinguished Catholic Alumni Award is Dr. David LeBrun. Dr. LeBrun graduated from St. Pius X High School in 1978, where he was second in his class. He then went on to Queen's University to study biochemistry, and was accepted into their medical school after only two years. After completing his residency in Toronto, he lived in California from 1990 to 1993 while completing a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular oncology at Stanford University.

Highly sought after, Dr. LeBrun returned to Canada to be closer to his family and to embark on a career in cancer research. In 1994, he began an appointment in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine at Queen's, where he is currently a full professor and consultant in lymph node pathology.

David's list of accomplishments is lengthy. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He has published extensively, and his research has been supported by multiple agencies, including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCIC), the Ontario Institute of Cancer Research, and the Cancer Research Society. He is a member of the Correlative Science Tumour Biology Committee and Chair of the grant review panel at the NCIC. He is also a co-director of the Queen's Laboratory for Molecular Pathology. While these achievements are impressive, David's sister Anne Marie Lebrun, who nominated him for the award, said "his purpose has always been to work with people in order to help people."

David's lifelong learning is not limited to science. He is a voracious reader of everything. He loves Tolstoy, but will quote the latest Trailer Park Boys or Simpsons episode in the next breath. He loves music, traveling, highly respects the environment, and enjoys canoeing, hiking, and skiing.

Family has always been of utmost importance to David. In 1988, he married Mary-Ellen O'Connor, a fellow St. Pius X graduate. Together they have raised three great kids: Madeleine, Joey, and Lucie. They are active members at St. Mary's Parish in Kingston, and all three children attended and graduated from Regiopolis-Notre Dame High School in Kingston. David's Catholic faith has never wavered, and his humility and acknowledgement of the limitations of science make it easy for him to believe in a higher power.

Dr. LeBrun has chosen St. Elizabeth School as the recipient of the $5000 that comes with the award.
Dr. David LeBrun, centre, recipient of the Ottawa Catholic School Board’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Also pictured, members of Dr. LeBrun’s family with: Left to right – Elaine McMahon, Chairperson of OCSB (grey suit coat); Denise Andre, Director of Education (purple dress); and Tom D’Amico, Associate Director of Education (end, grey suit).
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