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Photo: OCSB Trustees and Senior Administration with students Serena Iyoha and Jasmine Adibe (holding the plaque) and Moses Pratt, Global Community Alliance (front centre, right).

 

Our Declaration for the International Decade for People of African Descent

Shelley Montgomery, Superintendent of Leading and Learning

The United Nations (UN) has declared 2015-2024 an International Decade for People of African Descent to strengthen national, regional and international cooperation in relation to the full enjoyment of economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights by people of African descent, and their full and equal participation in all aspects of society.

Consistent with Catholic teachings, the OCSB provides a loving and positive environment which respects and promotes the dignity of all people. Respecting the UN’s International Decade for People of African Descent Declaration, a committee was formed with the mandate to develop and support an OCSB Declaration for People of African Descent as well as to create tangible commitments that will be included in our Equity Action Plan. The committee membership consisted of OCSB staff and representatives from the Ottawa community.

Deborah Kealey, Principal of St. Peter High School, Serena Iyoha and Jasmine Adibe, students from St. Mother Teresa High School, Moses Pratt, community representative from Global Community Alliance, and Shelley Montgomery, Superintendent of Leading and Learning, presented the declaration to the Board of Trustees.

“I am very proud to have been part of the OCSB for 29 years and look forward to the Board continuing its commitment to the International Decade long after 2024.”

Moses Pratt, Global Community Alliance

The following are tangible commitments included in the OCSB’s Equity Action Plan:

  • We commit to incorporating the histories of people of African descent into the curricula from Kindergarten to Grade 12, beginning with, but not limited to: Religion, Language Arts, Social Science and Humanities.
  • We commit to incorporating an Equity Walk in all working and learning environments by December 20, 2019, with the purpose of building greater recognition and awareness in our symbols, structures and environments.
  • We commit to increasing representation of diverse employees and leaders in the board, and providing professional learning on diversity and anti-bias training for staff.
  • We commit to embedding Equity and Diversity professional learning within the New Teacher Induction Program.
  • We commit to establishing a subcommittee in May 2019 specifically focusing on Black History events and initiatives planned in partnership with students, staff, parents and community members.
  • We commit to continuing to explore ways in which the OCSB can honour and support our diverse and vibrant community.

Photo (from left to right): Back row: Ben Vallati, Superintendent of Continuing and Community Education; Michael Keeler, Principal; Jane O’Regan, Resource Teacher; Mark D. Mullan, Chairperson; and Jeremy Wittet, Vice-Chairperson. Front row: Students Nathan Donivan-Beauregard, Elvin Charles, Richard McCormick, and Patrick Kennedy.

 

Building skills in young readers with Empower™

Ben Vallati, Superintendent of Continuing and Community Education

Our Lady of Fatima School shared their experiences in using the Empower Reading Program™ which offers a comprehensive approach to teaching reading, which includes the skills needed to decode words, analyze text, and successfully learn to read and gain knowledge from written materials.

“Empower is the most effective teaching and learning resource I have ever used. It helps instill pride in students who have struggled with reading. They make wonderful gains on reading fluency and comprehension skills.”

Jane O’Regan, Resource Teacher, Our Lady of Fatima School

“Before during quiet reading time I used to pretend to read, now I really can read during quiet time.”

Patrick, Student, Our Lady of Fatima School

Reading intervention programs in all elementary schools

Debbie Frendo, Superintendent of Student Success, Intermediate/Secondary

Empower and Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI), both reading intervention programs, have been in use in the majority (56/65) of OCSB elementary schools this school year. Schools are reporting great success with these programs — data shows students gaining 4 to 5 reading levels after 3 to 5 months.

In 2019-2020 school year, every elementary school will have one or the other program: Empower or LLI. Continued success of the programs depends on a whole school team approach, protecting the time of the contact educator, and supportive leadership from administrators and the Board to support the extensive professional development time and resources needed for both programs.

 

Celebrating employees with the #BeOCSB campaign

Denise Andre, Director of Education

The OCSB has launched a campaign which aims to shine a spotlight on outstanding employees who embody what it means to #BeOCSB. These are people who build community, model wellness, and foster innovation within the OCSB. We’ve invited members of our community to celebrate employees who make a difference in their workplace by nominating them in a simple on-line process. At the end of the project, the names of every nominated employee will go into a draw for some wonderful prizes. Please feel free to participate in this campaign and nominate a worthy OCSB employee by going to ocsb.ca/BeOCSB.

This Declaration will be reproduced and posted in all OCSB schools and departments. 

News from the Boardroom Summary

This April 23, 2019 blog post covers the following topics:

 

  • Our Declaration for the International Decade for People of African Descent
  • Building skills in young readers with Empower™
  • Reading intervention programs in all elementary schools
  • Celebrating employees with the #BeOCSB campaign
  • Be Innovative: Literacy goal update
  • Ontario Budget 2019: Education sector impacts
  • Extended Day Program (EDP) fees unchanged
  • St. Isabel School final summary of accounting
  • Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) update
  • Trustee kilometrage claims
  • 2019-2020 preliminary budget information

Be Innovative: Literacy goal update

Debbie Frendo, Superintendent of Student Success, Intermediate/Secondary

The focus of the Board Improvement Plan (BIP) 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. Five targeted strategies were put in place this year to achieve this goal, as follows: 

  1. Oral language intervention in the 7 Special Education System Class Assessment Programs and JK/SK classes in the same school (Hanen™)
  2. Grade one early literacy initiative in 6 schools (phonological awareness)
  3. Reading Intervention Programs in Elementary: LLI™ & Empower™
  4. AAA network for grade 7 teachers (Assessment, Accommodations, Accountability)
  5. LDLL network for grade 8 & 9 teachers (Leveraging Digital for Literacy Learning)

What is next?

  • JK/SK Oral language initiative and Grade 1 Literacy Initiative expanding to more classes next year
  • Empower and LLI: will have at least one program in every elementary school next year and Empower or LLI in at least 3 intermediate schools
  • AAA Grade 7 Network and LDLL Grade 8 and 9 Network:. All intermediate and secondary schools have participated in central PD, and all will have been involved in school-based visits by mid-May.

Ontario Budget 2019: Education sector impacts

Lisa Schimmens, Superintendent of Finance and Administration

The Board received a comprehensive report on the Ontario Budget 2019 education sector impacts, particularly as they relate to the OCSB. View pages 68-72 of the April 23, 2019 Board Agenda.

Main topics include:

  • multi year education spending forecast
  • Minister’s task force on school boards
  • legislative amendment for in-year deficits
  • complete listing of announced initiatives in the Ontario Budget Document
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Briefs from the Boardroom

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Extended Day Program (EDP) fees unchanged

Mary Donaghy, Superintendent of Student Success, Elementary

In keeping with the current situation in the City of Ottawa and Ministry of Education directive, the fees for the 2019-2020 school year will remain the same as the current year.

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St. Isabel School final summary of accounting

Lisa Schimmens, Superintendent of Finance and Administration

The Board received a final summary of accounting information for the completion of St. Isabel School. All of the deficiencies have been resolved, and there is no amount owing to the contractor.

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Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) update

Lisa Schimmens, Superintendent of Finance and Administration

The Board received an update regarding the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority’s (OSTA) progress towards its goals and objectives.

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Trustee kilometrage claims

Lisa Schimmens, Superintendent of Finance and Administration

The Board received the report summarizing kilometrage claims for the Board of Trustees for the period ending March 31, 2019.

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2019-2020 preliminary budget information

Lisa Schimmens, Superintendent of Finance and Administration

The Board received a presentation of preliminary budget information for the 2019-2020 school year, followed by a review and discussion. The remaining sections of the Board’s budget will be reviewed at subsequent Board meetings.


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