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A fond farewell to outgoing OCSB Chairperson Elaine McMahon

November 27, 2018 marked the last Board meeting as Chairperson for Trustee Elaine McMahon after four years leading the OCSB Board of Trustees. Best known for living fearlessly through her heart, Trustee McMahon gained unrelenting support from the OCSB community during her tenure.

Trustee McMahon has spent her entire professional career committed to Catholic education. Prior to being elected as Board Chairperson, she was a well respected as a long-time teacher with the OCSB and the former President of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA)-Ottawa. She was elected as OCSB Trustee in 2014 and became Chairperson in her first year as Trustee. Over her past four years as Board Chairperson, she has been extremely active — fully committed to being present for her constituents and the greater community.

The Board also expressed gratitude for outgoing Trustee Regan Preszcator. In her short time as Trustee, she fulfilled her duties with great talent and commitment. The OCSB would like to thank Trustees McMahon and Preszcator for their service and involvement.

Chairperson McMahon serves Zone 6 (Knoxdale-Merivale/College). Trustee Preszcator serves Zone 9 (Ward 16 River, Ward 17 Capital). Both remain active Trustees until the Inaugural Meeting on December 4, 2018 when two newly elected Trustees will be sworn in to the OCSB Board of Trustees.

Photo above (from left to right): Trustees John Curry; Mark. D. Mullan; Sandra Moore; Spencer Warren, PMP; Brian Coburn; Elaine McMahon; Regan Preszcator; Vice-Chair Joanne MacEwan; Jeremy Wittet; with Student Trustees Nate Waddell and Caleb Reid.

“As Trustee, and Chair of the OCSB, Elaine has worked tirelessly to ensure that our students and staff flourish in supportive and vibrant communities, where each person is valued for their inherent dignity and value.”

Denise Andre

Director of Education, OCSB

Kindergarten Registration Week January 14 to 18

Mary Donaghy, Superintendent of Student Success, Elementary

It’s official! Kindergarten Registration Week for the 2019-2020 school year will be the week of January 14 to 18, 2019.

Children who will be 4 years old by December 31, 2019 are ready to start Kindergarten in September 2019. As always, schools are open to register students at all times. However, this week is scheduled to register as many families as early as possible. This has proven to be reassuring for families in planning for this important step in their child’s journey.

Many plans are in place to raise awareness for this week and to support this important transition. This includes:

  • Kindergarten Information Evening in partnership with Children Integration Support Services, to be held on Thursday, January 10, 2019 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm in the OCSB Boardroom
  • Welcome to Kindergarten Evenings – these are held at each school, in the Spring
  • Family Welcome Centre – ongoing registration for families, throughout the calendar year
  • Summer Registration Centre – registration for families in July and August.

We look forward to this exciting time in welcoming new families and children to the Ottawa Catholic School Board.

Visit for more information.

Improving elementary attitudes towards reading

Board Improvement Plan, Be innovative: Literacy Goal

Debbie Frendo, Superintendent of Student Success, Intermediate/Secondary

The OCSB’s Board Improvement Plan Literacy Goal was developed by a team of educators from six Board departments. The focus of the literacy goal this year is to support educators in providing precise and personalized literacy interventions and supports to students who are not meeting programming expectations.

To achieve this goal, we have put in place five targeted strategies have been put into place this year to achieve this goal. The targeted strategies are:

  • Reading Intervention Programs in Elementary Schools: Levelled Literacy Intervention (LLI) and Empower
  • Oral language intervention in the seven Special Education System Class Assessment Programs and JK-SK classed in the same school (Hanen method)
  • Grade one early literacy initiatives being piloted in 6 schools (focus on phonological awareness)
  • AAA network for Grade 7 teachers (Assessment, Accommodations, Accountability)
  • LDLL network for Grade 8 & teachers (Leveraging Digital for Literacy Learning)

The Board is witnessing measurable success with this literacy initiatives, as evidenced by parent and student testimonials. There has been a significant improvement in attitudes towards reading. The Board looks forward to receiving more updates on these literacy goal initiatives. View the presentation.

“I read the signs on the billboards when I’m in the car with my parents.”


OCSB student

“I read the message in my fortune cookie at my friend’s birthday party!


OCSB student

Working towards improvement in applied math

Board Improvement Plan, Be Innovative – Numeracy Goal

Mary Donaghy, Superintendent of Student Success, Elementary

Our strategic commitment to “Be Innovative” guides us to foster innovation to inspire deep learning so that all can realize their full potential. It includes both literacy and numeracy.

Our EQAO data, although consistently higher than provincial scores, indicate that we need to improve in Grade 3, 6 & 9 applied math results. The numeracy goals are guided by our strategic goal to transform learning through the Deep Learning framework to equip every student to flourish in today’s interconnected world, and support a responsive culture of critical thinking and creativity. The Board received an update on the targeted strategies being used to achieve our numeracy goals. View the presentation.

School renewal budgets and recommended work

Fred Chrystal, Superintendent of Planning & Facilities  The Board of Trustees approved recommended capital renewal expenditures in 2018-2019. The following areas were addressed:

  • Recommendations for Board approval for proposed projects funded from the annual Facilities Renewal Program (FRP) ($7,046,390) and School Condition Improvement (SCI) ($13,654,080) grants.
  • Recommendations for expenditures of $1,590,000 on the Catholic Education Centre (CEC).
  • Comment on the expenditure status of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds, the Community Hubs and Pre-School additional allocations, and the Ministry’s Temporary Accommodation (portables) fund.

View full details in the Board agenda.

Boardroom Summary

This November 27, 2018 blog post covers the following topics:


  • Fond farewell to outgoing Chairperson Elaine McMahon
  • Kindergarten Registration Week is January 14 to 18, 2019
  • Improving elementary attitudes towards reading
  • Working towards improvement in applied math
  • School renewal budgets and recommended work
  • OCSB consultation on education reform
  • Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) update
  • Audit Committee annual reports and legal fees
  • Audited Consolidated Financial Statements

Briefs from the Boardroom


OCSB consultation on education reform

As a follow-up to our discussion at the Board meeting on November 13, 2018, Trustees were invited to provide feedback on the submission to the Provincial Government Consultation on Education Reform. View the submission.


Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) update

The Board received an update on OSTA’s progress towards its goals and objectives.


Audit Committee annual reports and legal fees

The Board received reports in accordance with the requirements of Board policy entitled “Financial Reporting” and/or the approved annual Schedule of Financial Reports to the Board. The Audit Committee Annual Report was received as well as a summary of legal fees (by category) incurred for the period September 1, 2018 to October 31, 2018.

Audited Consolidated Financial Statements

In accordance with Section 252(2)1. of the Education Act, Consolidated Financial Statements and Independent Auditor’s Report of the Ottawa Catholic School Board for the year ended August 31, 2018 is now available for viewing at webpage contains documents such as:

  • Management’s Report
  • Independent Auditor’s Report
  • Consolidated statement of financial position
  • Consolidated statement of operations
  • Consolidated statement of changes in net debt
  • Consolidated statement of cash flow
  • Notes to the consolidated financial statements
  • Director’s Annual Report (available December 4, 2018)
  • Public sector salary disclosure information

Copies of the above-noted reports may also be obtained either by writing to the Finance Department, Ottawa Catholic School Board, 570 West Hunt Club Road, Nepean, Ontario, K2G 3R4, by phone 613-224-2222 ext. 2281 or by email at

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