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Spotlight: Board Meeting Highlights April 26, 2016

​​​​​The Boardroom Spotlight provides a summary of what took place at each Board meeting. This issue covers the following topics:

  • Shepherds of Good Hope
  • Multicultural Liaison Officers (MLO) 
  • School Profile: "Classroom of the Future" winners
  • Circulation of surplus properties
  • School trips
  • Transportation consortium update
  • Preliminary Budget Information for 2016-2017

Shepherds of Good Hope

From left to right: Denise Andre; Deirdre Freiheit; and Elaine McMahon.

The Board welcomed Deirdre Freiheit, President and CEO of Shepherds of Good Hope, to speak about the ten year partnership between the non-profit organization and the OCSB. Ms. Freiheit thanked the Board for its commitment to encouraging the spirit of philanthropy in students at such a young age. The Board presented Ms. Freiheit with a cheque in the amount of $9,165, representing the proceeds of the Board's Second Annual Jeans Day Campaign held in February 2016. The Board will continue its close relationship with this partner in order to help the most vulnerable people in the city of Ottawa.

Multicultural Liaison Officers (MLO)

The Board’s four current MLOs, as photographed here, will soon welcome one more.

After demonstrating considerable growth in the number of newcomers to our Board since 2006, the Board has qualified for increased funding under the Immigration Settlement and Adaptation Program (ISAP) to hire an additional Multicultural Liaison Officer (MLO). These invaluable liaisons are provided by the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISCO). They work with schools to support newcomer families in establishing respectful relationships that ensure successful school experiences.

Halimah Shaw, the Board's only Arabic speaking MLO, reflected on the experiences she has had in recent months with families new to Canada. Joined by Nicki Dunlop, ESL/ELD Intake and Assessment/Resource Teacher, Ben Vallati, Principal, and Manon Seguin, Superintendent of Student Success Intermediate/Secondary, the group further attested to the valued and critical services this partnership affords our newcomers. Read more about the MLO program on pages 17-20 of the Board Agenda.

School Profile: "Classroom of the Future" winners

From left to right (back row): Thomas D’Amico; Shannon Riley; Natalie MacDonald; Denise Gotell; Renee St. John; Tammy Doyle;, Cindy Owens; Mark D. Mullan; and Elaine McMahon. Front row: St. Thomas More students Mya, Gabriel, and Shaelyn.

Four teachers at St. Thomas More School were recently selected as the Central Canada winners of MindShare Learning Technology's "Classroom of the Future" contest. The contest challenged teachers across the country to create a short video, podcast or digital portfolio showing how they engaged and motivated students using technology. The teacher-winners, Linda Bouzanis, Tammy Doyle, Shannon Riley and Natalie MacDonald, won a Makerspace Kit that includes furniture, a 3D printer, computers, robots and software valued at over $10,000. Principal Denise Gotell shared the winning video with the Board, and three St. Thomas More students were given the opportunity to speak about their personal experiences. The young students, Mya, Gabriel, and Shaelyn, were extremely well articulated and delightful. Read more and watch the winning video.

Circulation of surplus properties

The Board invited new and existing agencies to a Public Meeting for Community Planning and Partnerships on April 27 to discuss the leasing of the former Jean Vanier Intermediate School (closed February 2009) and St. Mary Elementary School (closed May 2008), currently St. Ambrose Training Centre.. Due to new Ministry guidelines, the Board is required to formally circulate these surplus properties to listed public agencies before agreeing to lease terms. For more information about the expanded list of stakeholders, view pages 23-24 of the Board Agenda.

School trips

School trips and excursions give students and staff an opportunity to enhance their understanding of historical events and experience life in different cultures. The Board approved St. Joseph High School to travel to London, Paris and Rome in October 2016. Prior to the trip, the students will read a range of literary works in order to deepen their appreciation of francophone culture.

Transportation consortium update

Superintendent of Finance and Administration, David Leach, updated the Board on the progress of the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority's (OSTA) goals and objectives. The update affirmed the ongoing success of OSTA's effort to acquire a desirable rating with the Ministry of Education for the Efficiency and Effectiveness Review. The Board of Trustees commended Mr. Leach and his fellow OCSB contributors for the success achieved through their collaborative efforts with OSTA. For more information, view pages 34-36 of the Board Agenda.

Preliminary Budget Information for 2016-2017

Superintendent of Finance and Administration, David Leach, presented an instalment to the 2016-2017 preliminary budget. The remaining sections of the board's budget, including options for balancing the budget, will be provided as part of the agenda materials for the upcoming May 10, May 24 and June 14, 2016 Board meetings at which the budget will continue to be deliberated upon.


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