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OCSB News from the Boardroom

Board Meetings are held on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month during the regular school year, from September to June, with the exception of December. In December, the Annual General Meeting will be held the first Tuesday and the Regular Board Meeting on the third Tuesday. All meetings are open to the public, and take place in the Boardroom of the Catholic Education Centre (CEC) at 570 West Hunt Club Road in Nepean. After each meeting, our Communications Department produces a blog post summarizing major Board decisions (formerly known as Spotlight).

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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News From the Boardroom (January 9, 2018): Holy Trinity’s Sarah Becker is a student entrepreneur

Grade 10 Holy Trinity High School student Sarah Becker has been awarded a Community Safety Award from Crime Prevention Ottawa for her work on a safety backpack for cyclists. Accompanied by Holy Trinity High School, Lisa Cameron, and Teacher Brigitte Bernier, Sarah demonstrated the features of her entrepreneurial endeavour to the Board of Trustees.

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News From the Boardroom (December 19, 2017): Lester B. Pearson students find deep meaning in our spiritual theme

Lester B. Pearson Catholic High School has many examples of our Board’s spiritual theme, Sent to be the Good News, in action. With a high population of newcomers to Canada and English language learners, the students in this school community have worked hard to interpret and make meaning of the spiritual theme and put thought into action in different ways.

Thanks to a donation from Divine Infant Parish, the school created a Stations of the Cross experience outside on school grounds to benefit both the student population and the greater community. Shop class students built weather-proof cases for the artifacts which were installed in an area of the school property surrounding their vegetable garden, which is regularly harvested to help supply food for families in need.

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News from the Boardroom (December 5, 2017): OCSB returns Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson

The Ottawa Catholic School Board has returned Trustee Elaine McMahon as Chairperson for a fourth term, as voted by the Board of Trustees at the OCSB Annual General meeting on Tuesday, December 5, 2017. Elaine McMahon is the Trustee for Zone 6, Knoxdale-Merivale/College, and has served as an OCSB Trustee since 2014. The Board also returned Trustee Joanne MacEwan as Vice-Chairperson for a second term. Joanne MacEwan is the Trustee for Zone 5, Beacon Hill-Cyrville/Innes and has served as an OCSB Trustee since 2012.

The Most Rev. Christian Riesbeck, CC, V.G. presided over a Mass with co-celebrant Board Chaplain Peter Sanders before the Annual General Meeting. The Board of Trustees was joined by the OCSB Executive, as well as many special guests from the OCSB community. Parents and family members of 75 students were also present to enjoy a beautiful and moving performance by the OCSB’s Children’s Choir to commemorate the special annual meeting.

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News from the Boardroom (November 28, 2017): Fun and friendship for Inclusive Rugby participants

Students from five OCSB high schools were fortunate to participate in an Inclusive Rugby Initiative on October 19, 2017, led by LeeAnn Napiorkowski, Inclusion Teacher at St. Peter High School. LeeAnn coordinated the support of Rugby Canada, who donated the use of an inflatable field, and Carleton University, who donated the use of their field to hold the special event. Over 80 students with various needs got to experience the joy of playing rugby in a safe and inclusive environment, guided by over 25 volunteer athletes.

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News from the Boardroom (November 21, 2017): Introducing Milo to students with ASD

The OCSB has acquired two Milo robots to use as learning tools for students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Milo is a humanoid, social skills robot with a full range of facial expressions designed to improve social behaviour and communication skills in students on the spectrum. The robot is intended to help students develop the capacity to connect with fellow students and prepare them for social interaction outside the classroom.

Milo involves the use of a curriculum program, Robots4Autism, which integrates a variety of practices shown to improve social skills, packaged together in a systematic way, and delivered using Milo the robot. There are numerous proven benefits of using Milo with children with ASD since they often struggle with the development of social skills. The robot offers lessons in a non-threatening way, helping children overcome the fears or discomfort they often exhibit when attempting to interact with human therapists. With over 26 tiny motors in his face, Milo is able to display the same realistic expression every time he displays a given emotion, making it easier for children to associate a visual experience to an emotion.

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News from the Boardroom (October 24, 2017): Inspiring students to be leaders in Faith

OCSB Faith Mentors come together each Fall to share ideas and resources on how to enhance the Catholic culture in our schools. Every OCSB elementary school has a Faith Mentor who helps animate learning and faith formation in partnership with their school principal. Any school staff member can volunteer for this position. Our Faith Mentors help plan liturgies, masses, prayers and other faith activities throughout the year, helping to strengthen their school’s relationship with their parish. They collaborate on how to best serve our students and families through creating ministry initiatives with students such as altar serving, music ministry, and Catholic social teaching projects. The Good News speaks to the lives of all children, and our school communities are thriving thanks in part to the good will that our Faith Mentors promote.

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News from the Boardroom (October 10, 2017): Fostering digital citizenship

The Ottawa Catholic School Board is committed to teaching the responsible use of technology to students. The Samaritans on the Digital Road resource was created five years ago, and has recently undergone a review to refresh the content. It continues to serve as an excellent resource for teachers to promote the Board’s priorities and ensure students become responsible digital citizens. In addition to updating the lessons, the resource now includes more information for school leaders regarding the process for implementing the lessons, and expanded information for parents. The additional information provided to schools enables Board staff to ensure that the lessons are being delivered with direct links to the grade appropriate Religion curriculum.

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News From the Boardroom (September 26, 2017): Professional development opportunities for OCSB staff

During two weeks this past August, over 31 professional development sessions were led by OCSB staff members. More than 700 staff members throughout the district participated in this year’s program. All sessions were directly linked to one or more of the Deep Learning elements, and participants learned tangible skills related to their jobs. “The impact of these sessions has influenced my professional growth and helped me take risks in the classroom,” said Jackie Mason, Teacher at St. Emily School and session participant. The September 26, 2017 Board meeting also offered a preview into the upcoming 2017-2018 Leading and Learning Leading and Learning Journey. This program has been coordinated by OCSB volunteers for the past 20 years, and has been provincially recognized for its success in offering staff, including non-teaching staff, with professional development and personal growth opportunities.

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News From the Boardroom (September 12, 2017): Swearing-in of two new Student Trustees

Two new Student Trustees for the Ottawa Catholic School Board were invested at the first Board meeting of the year on September 12. Sam Henriques of St. Peter High School and Grace Evans of St. Mark High School were elected by their peers for a one-year term to represent the student voice of over 40,000 OCSB students at the Boardroom table. The Board looks forward to their perspective and insight on how the Board can best meet the needs of students.

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