October is Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month in Canada. It is a great opportunity to learn more about autism, raise awareness, and raise acceptance in our schools, workplace, and community. Please enjoy this short, 5-minute video entitled: Amazing Things Happen, created by Alex Amelines (independent animation director). The aim is to raise autism awareness among young audiences who do not have autism as well as to encourage understanding and acceptance in future generations.
September 4th was an exciting day for students in the city of Ottawa. Students and staff returned to our #ocsb schools throughout the nation’s capital. Here are some noteworthy highlights!
It’s that time of year again when we welcome back over 42,000 students into our OCSB classrooms. While there are many children who look forward to the start of school, others may be experiencing anxiety from 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. We’ve assembled some tips to help you and your child prepare for the start of another school year.
On the last day of school, me and my Grade 2 class made a “finger-knitting” rope that stretched around our whole school, St. Leonard’s. My friend Ethan showed Ms. White, my teacher, some of the finger-knitting he was doing, and Ms. White wanted for the class to work together to show each other how to do it. I watched a pair of two people and learned all on my own. Then, we had this great idea that we could try and make it around the whole school. It took from November until the last day of class. That’s almost the whole year! We all finger-knitted during our free time at school when we wanted to, and Ms. White let us do it on some Friday afternoons. Ms. White even had yarn in the prize bin in class.
This year, 35 students from the Ottawa Catholic School Board had the exciting experience of competing in the 2018 Skills Ontario Competition in Toronto. Supported by their proud teachers, these students were challenged to put their skilled trades and technology skills to use as they were presented with timed challenges that pushed their abilities to the limit.
Among these 35 dedicated students were Christopher Hearty and Heejo Suh from St. Mother Teresa High School. They were given a small time window to create a complex 3D character animation, utilizing skills they learned in Mario Francoeur’s technology class. With their versatile skill set in sketch modelling, animatics, character rigging, time management, and teamwork, they were able to take home a gold medal and move onto the Skills Canada National Competition.
Canadian Parents for French (Ontario) welcomed over 300 students from 22 school boards and 11 independent schools from across Ontario on May 5, 2018 for the 34th annual provincial French public-speaking event at York University’s Glendon College in Toronto.
Students presented an original speech before a panel of officials recruited by the Ontario Modern Language Teachers’ Association (OMLTA). Students in grades 9 to 12 participated in a competitive concours in both the traditional and impromptu divisions for cash prizes and partial scholarships to Glendon College and the University of Ottawa. For the impromptu category, students were given minimal time to prepare their ideas on a randomly selected topic before presenting their “speech” and answering questions on their selected topic.
Congratulations to Sebastian Nicoll, a St. Paul High School Grade 10 student, and Emma Jorge, a St. Pius X High School Grade 9 student, who placed first in the francophone and extended categories of the impromptu speech category, respectively.
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.
The OCSB community was hard at work during Catholic Education Week this year, as schools embraced opportunities to serve others. Over 1,000 students and 30 staff members from St. Mark High School participated in their annual “Massive Day of Service.” Students were rewarded with a great sense of pride while making sandwiches and collecting toiletries for the Shepherds of Good Hope and the Ottawa Mission. Others reached out to help the elderly in their community with yard work, or just to pay a warm visit.
Staff from St. Patrick’s High School wrapped up their Catholic Education Week by preparing and serving lunch for over 300 of Ottawa’s homeless population at the Shepherds of Good Hope. After chopping, peeling, and arranging, the staff had a prayer service led by their chaplaincy leader, Dr. Joe Rogers. Following prayer, the crew worked the front serving lines, loaded the dishwashers and took care of the cleaning.
The greater community thanks these selfless students and staff for taking the time to make a difference in the lives of their neighbours in the spirit of Catholic Education Week.
The Terry Fox Foundation has announced that three OCSB schools have placed in the “Top 50 Fundraisers of 2017” listing. These three schools, as well as the many other OCSB schools who raise funds for this worthy cause, are playing an important role in funding innovative cancer research by supporting the brightest researchers in Canada who are dedicated to a wide spectrum of projects including lung, brain, pancreatic, and children’s cancers. Congratulations Holy Trinity Catholic High School (#4), Immaculata High School (#8), and St. Pius X High School (#13).
In 1989, all three federal government parties promised to end child poverty by the year 2000. Today in Ottawa, 1 in 5 children live in poverty. This is unacceptable! After the Keep the Promise (KTP) National Summit in November 2014, I was so impacted by the commitment, determination and passion of young people that I felt compelled to keep this conversation going. With 20 Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) retiree volunteers ready, and the OCSB committed to host, the conversation continued … with some 50 schools and 250 students participating.