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Messages and updates from the Director of Education of the Ottawa Catholic School Board.
May
09

Wrapping up another successful Education Week

Last week marked another successful Catholic Education Week here at the OCSB. I had the pleasure of attending many great events throughout the city and was reminded once again why it's such a privilege and honour to work in Catholic education.

Some of my highlights included our annual Catholic Education Mass, where 35 remarkable OCSB employees were recognized with Commendation Awards for their dedication and service to Catholic education. Our annual Dance Showcase and Choral Celebrations featured wonderful performances from dozens of our schools. We also celebrated the 50th Anniversary of St. Rose of Lima School, and held a farewell celebration for Uplands Catholic School who will be joining the Holy Family School community in the fall. The many open houses and special events in each school throughout the week showcased all of the wonderful learning opportunities and social justice initiatives anchored in our faith.

Catholic Education Week is about celebrating the great value and distinctiveness of each Catholic school in our community, and I would like to take a moment to congratulate and thank the staff and students in all of our schools who made last week possible.

See some highlights from social media on our #CathEdWeek Storify

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Apr
27

OCSB is a top employer for third year in a row

With great joy, I'm happy to announce we've been named a Top Employer in the National Capital Region for 2017 for the third year in a row! As we have in years past, I invite our entire OCSB community to celebrate with us by participating in our #OCSBcelebrates social media campaign. This special campaign allows us to pause, observe, and recognize the outstanding employees that make our school board such a wonderful community.

Last year, we received over 2000 nominations from members of our OCSB community. This year, we're already over 1000 nominations! The first 500 nominated employees received a special prize in the mail from me, and at the end of our campaign we will draw the names of 50 nominated employees to receive a large prize pack!

It only takes a few minutes to fill out the #OCSBcelebrates nomination form, but the impact of recognizing someone can truly brighten up their day for weeks! Remember, anyone in our community can submit a nomination whether you're a student, parent, staff, or someone connected to our board through one of our many partner organizations.

Thank you in advance for your participation in this exciting activity, and congratulations to the employees of the Ottawa Catholic School Board for this outstanding accomplishment. Let's celebrate!

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Apr
20

Remembering Trustee Betty-Ann Kealey

Trustee Betty-Ann Kealey faithfully served families and students in her community for over 30 years

On Monday April 17, with heavy hearts, we said goodbye to a champion of Catholic education, and a dear friend, Trustee Betty-Ann Kealey. She was a tireless supporter of families and students in her community serving for over 30 years, representing the Kitchissippi and Bay area (Zone 9).

Trustee Betty-Ann Kealey was first elected to the Ottawa Roman Catholic Separate School Board in 1984, serving as trustee until 1994. During that time, she was Vice-Chairperson in 1990 and Chairperson for three years after that. She then served as trustee with the amalgamated Ottawa Catholic School Board from 2000 until 2017. She was Chairperson in 2004, and Vice-Chairperson in 2002, 2003, 2014 and 2015.

Betty-Ann possessed a wide range of knowledge on local and provincial education issues and was devoted to supporting the schools in her area, rarely missing a meeting or event. Warm and genuine, she will be missed by all.

Family and friends are invited to visit at the West Chapel of Hulse, Playfair & McGarry, 150 Woodroffe Avenue (at Richmond Rd) on Sunday, April 23 from 2-4 & 7-9pm. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church, 153 Woodroffe Avenue on Monday at 11am with Reception to follow at the funeral home. For those wishing, donations to the Catholic Education Foundation of Ottawa would be appreciated by the family.

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Dec
20

Deep Learning through a faith-filled lens

Over the last few years, we have been implementing Deep Learning practices in our classrooms so that our students can authentically connect their learning in the globally-connected world that we now live in. I see examples of Deep Learning in all of the schools I visit and follow on social media. In this blog post, I'd like to celebrate one school's initiative that highlights why this approach to learning can have such a transformative impact for all involved.

The inspiring story of St. Luke Nepean's "Little Free Pantry" shows how Deep Learning can come together to allow students to model the Catholic Graduate Expectations. This classroom with a big heart took a simple science project to the next level by creating an outdoor structure for their community to take what they need or give what they can.

St. Luke Nepean students put the finishing touches on their Little Free Pantry - a school project that will benefit their community for years to come.
The Pantry's logo incorporates this year's spiritual theme: Sent to be the Good News.

These students demonstrated the Global Competencies of Deep Learning. The students collaborated every step along the way, from creating blueprints to final construction. They communicated with each other to decide on what their project should be, the best way to go about it, and how to spread the word about it. They demonstrated citizenship, giving witness to Catholic social teaching, by choosing something that would benefit their entire community for many years to come. The students showed character, their God-given potential witnessed through hope and perseverance, as they saw their concept to completion. Their creativity shone through in the plans each student made, their ideas for raising money and gathering materials, and the creation of their pantry's logo. Critical thinking was evident in deciding which of their designs was best, planning the construction, and tackling any problems that came up along the way.

These inspiring young students and the staff who guided them are truly Sent to be the Good News – a fact that is evident by their pantry's logo, which incorporated the Board's spiritual theme. I am inspired by what so many of our students do every day - I see evidence that students can indeed be agents of change, helping humanity both near and far.

I wish you and your loved ones a wonderful Christmas and Blessed New Year.


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Sep
16

What is your hope for 2016-2017?

I recently watched an inspiring video on YouTube that I found fitting for the start of our school year at the Ottawa Catholic School Board. A school in the United States set up a chalkboard in front of the school asking students and staff what their "hope" was for the upcoming school year and the responses were both enlightening and challenging.

Whether you're a student, a parent, or staff in our OCSB family, there is great value in naming your "hope" for the 2016-2017 school year. Naming your "hope" just might give you something positive to look for, or work towards. Whether big or small, my hope is that your "hope" is something bright that not only comes to be a reality this year, but something that sparks hope all around you. Here's to a great 2016-2017 school year! Share your hope below in the comments, or on social media using #OCSBhope..

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@DeniseAndreOCSB