Select Page

Ready, set, swim at the 17th Annual OCSB Special Olympics Swim Meet

Over 400 students participated in the 17th annual OCSB/Special Olympics Swim Meet held by the OCSB Special Education and Student Services Department at the Nepean Sportsplex on May 8-9, 2018. The two day event offered the opportunity for students from all over the OCSB to be active and participate in a competition, persevere, and have fun! The focus of the meet was friendly companionship and competition. It was wonderful day for all, filled with student pride and many smiles.

Cannabis parent information sessions – April 26 & May 3

Do you have questions about cannabis and how it relates to your school-aged child?

Join me, Dr. Elizabeth Paquette, OCSB Chief Psychologist, as I present with staff from the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) and Ottawa Public Health (OPH) at two public information sessions for parents. Learn about cannabis, tackle the myths, what is known about the upcoming new laws, how to talk with your youth, protecting youth, and available services. Community partners like Rideauwood, Parents’ Lifelines of Eastern Ontario (PLEO), Ottawa Police Service (OPS), and Project Step will be accessible in a display area for questions from the public. OCSB staff will be available at both events for questions about curriculum and services available in schools. All are welcome.

Doors open at 6:30 pm for parents to browse the marketplace display area and chat with local experts. Presentations begin at 7:00 pm followed by the opportunity to ask the OCSB any questions you may have about how to navigate this new landscape.

Check out the live stream of the evening on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/parentinginottawa/

The social work of OCSB Social Workers

The work of OCSB School Social Workers make this possible by supporting the whole child and enabling them to access the curriculum, achieve academic success and grow as future citizens.

Achieving success at school can be hindered by various social and mental health challenges. School Social Workers have the expertise in mental health, social systems, and community resources to help overcome these barriers. They are concerned with the social determinants of health, and focus not only on the unique needs of each student, but also on the role of the wider social-economic context impacting our diverse communities.

Students may be referred for service from an OCSB Social Worker by school administrators and resource teachers, or requests may come directly from parents/guardians or the student. The involvement of a Social Worker may be an effective support to overcoming barriers to regular school attendance. They provide a variety of interventions and supports to students, parents, and school staff including such services as: counselling, clinical consultation, crisis response, professional development, and referrals to community support agencies, to name a few.

The work of our Social Workers support our Board’s mission to create the best possible conditions in which a child can develop and achieve their full social, emotional, spiritual, and academic potential.

Answering your questions at the Parent & Child Expo

The OCSB is pleased to be out and about in your community! Our friendly and knowledgeable educational staff hosted a booth at Kidfest in March to welcome and connect with parents. While your children were busy playing activities and learning on iPads at our booth at the EY Centre, we were there to answer your pressing questions about starting school in September.

Did you miss us at Kidfest? Don’t worry. If you are looking for something fun to do on April 21-22, 2018, come and visit us at the Parent & Child Expo taking place at the Nepean Sportsplex on Woodroffe Avenue. This expo offers one of the best values for family fun, learning and entertainment in Ottawa. With tons of free parking, and appearances by Dora and Bob the Builder, pack up the kids and make a day trip out of it.

Come speak with our dynamic Board staff in a kid-friendly environment. Stop by our booth to register your child (aged 0-4) for our new OCSB Birthday Club, so that we can send your little one a special card in the mail when that big day comes. Let your child experience the fun of receiving ‘real’ mail addressed to them! See you at the Parent and Child Expo this weekend! For details, visit parentandchildexpo.ca.

Easter Blessings from the Director of Education

Photo: St. Pius X High School students from the school’s Developmental Education (DE) class bless school staff with a thoughtful Easter gift of appreciation. @StPiusXOCSB #WeAllBelong #ocsbLent

When I think back to Easter as a young child, I remember with fondness Easter egg hunts, family gatherings, new Spring outfits (usually matching for me and my sisters), even little gifts like skipping ropes and marbles (no doubt to get us outside of the house for a while). It was the day that our Lenten observance came to an end, holy water reappeared in the font at the entrance to our church, the Alleluia was sung once again, and purple vestments and decor gave way to the white of Easter.

While we all have different memories of Easter, we remember what it means to be an Easter people. It’s more than Easter eggs and new Spring outfits, and goes beyond the symbols of our faith. We are called to care for one another, for those who are most in need, and for our planet. We do this daily in our schools. Let’s recommit ourselves, as we journey together in these last three months of the school year, to be God’s love and spirit at work in our world.

Bi-Giwen: Coming Home – Truth telling from the Sixties

Bi-Giwen: Coming Home, Truth telling from the Sixties is an exhibit focused on the survivors of a time in our recent history where Indigenous children were taken from their families by child welfare services and fostered or adopted into non-Indigenous families. My Grade 11 History class was invited to attend the opening ceremony of the exhibit. Elaine Kicknosway, a Sixties Scoop survivor, introduced us to the exhibit by sharing her experiences. She spoke of the names given to her generation (“policy children” or “catalogue kids”) and how Indigenous families had been victims of “institutions” for decades. Her 14 year old son is the first in her family to live without institutional intervention.

Ms. Kicknosway’s words resonated with the students as they explored the exhibit. They read stories of losing identity and not knowing where to find it, and about the abuse that accompanied institutional living. These courageous stories were rendered life-size in the exhibit. Many of my students noticed that while the stories were all so different, in the end, survivors had a loss of identity and a lack of choice in their own history. Students commented on the fact that there are still people alive that experienced the Sixties Scoop and are not just dates in a history book. “They are still alive, this actually happened,” Logan Crawford said. Another student reminded us of the dark time in our past and how the exhibit cast a light on it to ensure something like this will not be repeated. We all agreed that we had been blessed to experience Bi-Giwen and we hope to aid in the reconciliation process by passing on the truth of the Sixties Scoop.

Fostering resilience to help prepare for tests and exams

As parents, we want what is best for our children. We want them to be happy and to grow up reaching their full academic and social-emotional potential. It is always difficult as a parent when we see our children experiencing challenges or difficulties that cause them feelings of stress, sadness, or fear. Our natural instinct is to want to rush in and to “save them” from this hardship. However, in reality we can not save our children from all the challenges they will face in life. How can we prepare them for those challenges that are an unavoidable part of life, like not making the sports team they wanted, not doing as well as expected on a test, or the loss of someone dear to them?

This is what resilience is all about — being able to bounce back from the challenges we face and to learn from them. Being resilient can help our children learn coping skills and find solutions to academic and social problems. It is a key factor in positive mental health and overall life success. Our high school students are busy studying for their first semester exams and our Grade 3 and Grade 6 students are preparing for EQAO evaluations. These are opportunities to help them develop healthy coping skills. Keeping an open dialogue with your child will go a long way in helping your child develop resilience. We’ve assembled some tips to help your child manage realistic pressures.

12 ways to help your child prepare for Kindergarten

Heading to kindergarten for the first time can be pretty overwhelming. Many parents of a four year old experience excitement but apprehension about enrolling their child in kindergarten for the first time. With good reason; there are many decisions that have to be made when preparing a child for their first year of school. What about before and after school care? What types of French language programs are offered? Is their child ready to spend that length of time away from home?

For these and many other questions, the Ottawa Catholic School Board is here to help put your mind at east about your child’s upcoming journey. Our Kindergarten Registration Week, January 15 to 19, is designated for you to visit your child’s new school to complete the registration process, while our friendly school staff are on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Registering in January gives parents and their children time to prepare for the journey together. Families often practice things like putting on shoes and coats, school bus and pedestrian safety, and how to recognize their first name in print. Practicing these skills can go a long way in terms of boosting a child’s confidence for their first day of school. So plan ahead together. Bring your little one with you at registration time in January, and give your child the best possible start.

Eight ways to make Advent meaningful

The season of Advent is upon us and as we wait in joyful hope to receive Jesus as if he is coming to us for the first time. Advent is expectant waiting, hopeful anticipation and joyful preparation to commemorate the birth of Jesus, welcoming God into our lives and readying ourselves for Christ’s second coming. We are reminded during this season that there is joy in waiting. This Advent, add some meaning to your waiting by committing to extra time in prayer, being patient with your family, speaking kindly to strangers, going to church and to sharing hope with those who need it most. We’ve outlined some traditions you can share with your family as you prepare your hearts for Jesus’ coming.

A blessed beginning for a new school

On November 22, 2017, the OCSB held a sod-turning ceremony to celebrate the construction of a new Catholic elementary school in Kanata North. Construction has begun in the Marchwood Lakeside Community of Kanata North. The state of the art school will sit on a 6.52 acre site and will have the capacity to accommodate 460 students.

The assembled crowd then watched as students from St. Gabriel Elementary School gripped shovels and participated in the sod turning for their new school. A special blessing was performed by Fr. Virgil Amirthakumar, Parish Priest, St. Isidore. Director of Education Denise Andre gave her closing remarks and thanked all in attendance, including staff, students and parents from St. Gabriel and architects and contractors who were present. After the ceremony, attendees were invited back to St. Gabriel Elementary for a tour and reception.