With September 5th just a few days away, it’s common for both parents and children to feel a myriad of emotions about the first day of school. Here are some tips to help you and your child calm those back-to-school butterflies! Keeping an open dialogue with your child will go a long way in helping your child feel great about their upcoming school year. Remember that your child’s teacher and school principal are also incredibly valuable resources in creating proactive solutions for your child’s success. The school-home partnership is key.
As the final preparations are being made to welcome over 40,000 students back into our schools for the first day of school, we are filled with an excitement and anticipation for the many triumphs that we will celebrate during the 2017-2018 school year! Student achievement is often a beautiful result of the teamwork between a student, their parents, and our excellent staff. How will you help our students set, achieve, and celebrate their goals this year?
Hundreds of OCSB student from Grades 4-6 who are involved in peacemaking or peer meditation at their schools recently attended the 23rd Annual Elementary Peace Festival. 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. It is also a way to highlight and celebrate the many practices used to build and maintain safe schools.
A number of OCSB students were honoured at this year’s Spirit of the Capital Youth Awards held on June 5th at Ottawa City Hall. Ashley Robitaille of St. Matthew High School was a recipient of the Service & Caring Award. She has raised over $5,000 for CHEO by creating and selling duct tape petal pens locally and in Walmarts. Notre Dame High School’s Samuel Hickey received the Max Keeping Award for Personal Courage. He is a role model and inspiration to everyone who meets him.
Over 200 OCSB students travelled to Europe in April to visit Vimy Ridge on the 100th anniversary of the historic battle. Along the way, they visited many European landmarks, learned a lot, and gained a deeper appreciation for our Canadian heritage. Read their story and see photos from their trip here.
A number of OCSB students were honoured at this year’s Spirit of the Capital Youth Awards held on June 5th at Ottawa City Hall. Ryan Coyte of All Saints High School was a recipient of the Academic Perseverance Award, while Ryan Rodrigs, also at All Saints, received the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Award.
Over 60 Grade 12 students from both the Ottawa Catholic School Board and Ottawa Carleton District School Board participated in The Learning Partnership’s first Annual Global Solutions Student Symposium last month. Global Solutions introduced students to a current global problem and provides them the background, tools, and guidance to propose innovative solutions, which they presented to a panel of experts at the Student Symposium.
On June 20, 2017, the Ottawa Catholic School Board of Trustees appointed Jeremy Wittet as the Trustee for Zone 7, Kitchissippi/Bay area. Justice of the Peace, Paulina Brecher officiated at the swearing in ceremony. Mr. Wittet has worked at Queen’s Park, Parliamentary offices, and now works for the City of Ottawa. He is a parishioner at Blessed Sacrament Parish. There were seven qualified candidates interviewed by the Board that replaces long-serving Trustee Betty-Ann Kealey who passed away in April.
A number of OCSB students were honoured at this year’s Spirit of the Capital Youth Awards held on June 5th at Ottawa City Hall. Rebecca Kahindo of Lester B. Pearson Catholic High School was a recipient of the Academic Perseverance Award. She is a dedicated student who works very hard to achieve her goals. Sacred Heart High School’s Tysen Lefebvre received the Max Keeping Award for Personal Courage. In 2012, after having his wish granted by the Make A Wish Foundation of Eastern Ontario, Tysen decided to give back, and started his Mission To A Million campaign to raise $1 million to grant the wishes of 100 kids.
While students all over the city were enjoying one of the last PD Days of the year, over 20 Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) employees took time out of their day on June 9, 2017 to save some lives. Administrative staff from the main Board office rolled up their sleeves to give a life-saving donation to Canadian Blood Services (CBS), who is currently struggling to maintain a strong national blood inventory.
Students from the Program for Gifted Learners (PGL) at St. Brother Andre School dazzled at Carleton University’s recent Let’s Talk Science Challenge. The competition aims to encourage students to get excited about STEM subjects: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The event involved a Quiz Show portion to test students’ knowledge in STEM subjects, along with an Engineering Design Challenge.
St. Benedict School teacher Julian Daher and his Grade 4 FSL Immersion class recently won the Learning Partnership’s Entrepreneurial Adventure Program Judge’s Choice Award for their inspiring Tiny Terry Bracelet Business to support the Terry Fox Foundation. Their year-long business journey began with a simple question posed by a student: “Can kids make a difference in the world?”
As part of a school-wide inquiry into what it means to be Canadian, the Grade 2 students at St. Jerome School decided to get involved with Project North, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children in Canada’s northern communities. They decided to tie it to their Lenten project, and began raising money for needy northern students. They organized a number of fundraisers and ended up with over $1000 to send north.
As Uplands Catholic School winds down its final school year before closing its doors for good, staff and students are leaving on a positive note. At a recent mass, Principal Elaine Phinney reflected on some the life lessons she learned at Uplands. “I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life. I’ve learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.”
Almost 400 students competed at the 16th annual OCSB Special Olympics Ontario Swim Meet on May 9th and 11th. Hosted by the OCSB Special Education and Student Services Department, this uplifting two-day event let our student athletes shine. Their spirit was evident in all areas of the pool.
Three OCSB high schools were among the top 20 fundraisers in Ontario for the 2016 Terry Fox School Run. Holy Trinity Catholic High School, St. Pius X High School, and Immaculata High School went above and beyond to raise over $70,000 combined for cancer research. All of our schools raised a combined $180,689 last year, and our running total is $2,466,902. The dedication, enthusiasm, and selflessness shown by our school communities to support such a worthy cause is an inspiration for the entire OCSB family.
Earlier this month, 43 Computer Science and Business students from St. Paul High School were treated to a VIP tour of Shopify’s Ottawa offices. They enjoyed their visit to the impressive facility, which included robotic go-karts, a slide, and many themed work spaces. Two St. Paul alumni who now work at Shopify prepared a motivational presentation for the visiting students.
Students in the Program for Gifted Learners (PGL) at St. Brother Andre School recently earned the right to send one of their experiments into outer space by qualifying for the Cubes in Space program for the second year in a row. Thousands of students aged 11 to 18 from around the world sent in scientific proposals, hoping to get their experiment a spot on either a NASA sounding rocket, or a high-altitude scientific balloon. Our hardworking students from the Ottawa Catholic School Board collaborated over several weeks to create an experiment that looks at the effects of radiation and weightlessness on teeth in space.
On April 28th, three outstanding members of the OCSB family were among those awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, which recognizes the exceptional volunteer achievements of Canadians from across the country. OCSB Trustee John Curry, St. Jerome School teacher Tracey Nesrallah, and Sacred Heart High School student Tysen Lefebvre were all honoured at the special event at City Hall. Mayor Jim Watson, Her Excellency Sharon Johnston, and many city councillors were on hand to congratulate the worthy volunteers.
To close out this year’s Catholic Education Week, choirs from several OCSB schools gathered to participate in our annual Choral Celebrations held at Notre Dame High School and St. Paul High School. The talented students gave a beautiful singing performance in front of their peers and parents. To end the celebration, the choirs got creative, putting all of their parents up on stage while the students performed for them from the seats. It was a moving scene, and a great way to end another successful Catholic Education Week.
Every year during Catholic Education Week, several schools from across the OCSB come together for a three-day event to celebrate their shared love of dance. This year’s dance showcase theme was “Broadway Bound: Start Spreading the Good News.” Students from both elementary and high schools performed brilliantly choreographed dance routines in a wide variety of styles and genres, including hip hop, fusion, salsa, jazz, tap, broadway, and many more.
Our annual Catholic Education Week Mass was held on Tuesday, May 2nd, hosted at the Notre Dame Cathedral in downtown Ottawa. The Ottawa Catholic School Board Chamber Choir performed and Monsignor Daniel Berniquez presided over the Celebration of the Eucharist. Following the Mass was the presentation of the Director of Education Commendation Awards, presented to outstanding role models in the Ottawa Catholic School Board.
The Catholic Principals’ Council of Ontario (CPCO) has honoured St. Stephen School’s Bob Santos as Principal of the Year. Bob started his career as a teacher in Northern Quebec, then moved to Calgary, before settling in the Ottawa area where he has worked for close to three decades. Bob exemplifies gospel values in his daily actions and personifies leadership by his commitment to self-improvement. He teaches classes, supervises students, and coaches within his school’s extracurricular activities.
Devoted, enthusiastic, and committed – three words used to describe the Ottawa Catholic School Board’s Kelly McKibbin as she was recently honoured with a United Way Community Builder Award. On Wednesday, April 26th, Laurence Wall from CBC Radio comically interrupted a staff meeting held in a packed OCSB boardroom to present Kelly with her well-earned award. Appropriately presented during National Volunteer Week, Kelly was celebrated for the many ways she serves to make her community a brighter and better place.
Students from across the Ottawa Catholic School Board recently gathered at the annual Keep the Promise Student Summit to work together to bring an end to child poverty in Canada. Over 65 OCSB students from Grade 5 to Grade 10 brainstormed ways they could make a difference in the lives of impoverished children.
Over 1500 OCSB students from 27 schools recently got to experience the Man of the Shroud exhibit held at St. Isidore Church in Kanata. The exhibit included a life-sized authentic recreation of the Shroud of Turin as well as more than 30 display panels outlining historic, scientific, and theological information about the shroud.
Canada Topflight Academy (CTA), which operates out of Notre Dame High School, has won the inaugural National Preparatory Association (NPA) league tournament. The NPA is a new league for elite-level prep basketball teams from across the country. It currently includes nine teams.
Ali Witol, a student at St. Anne School, was recently among the OCSB students recognized at the annual Celebrating Excellence event. This annual event celebrates and recognizes one exceptional student from each of our schools. Students are chosen by their peers for exemplifying one or more of the gospel values.
Simone Oliver, OCSB Superintendent of Student Success (Elementary), was recently awarded the OCSOA-CASSA EXL Award at the Ontario Catholic Supervisory Officers’ Association Annual General Meeting. The annual award is given to an administrator who is dedicated to improving children’s educational experiences, increasing the scope and quality of school programs, and creating environments that foster positive attitudes towards learning.
St. Elizabeth School recently applied for and won the MusiCounts Band Aid Program grand prize of $10,000 to go towards musical instruments for their school. The school community provided MusiCounts with a wish list of instruments and the program purchased them. The instruments were unveiled at the announcement assembly by the Spouse of the Prime Minister of Canada, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, and Juno Award winning artist Ruth B.