September 10 2019 – News from the Boardroom

New School Year – New Student Trustees

“Student Voice” is valued and respected at the OCSB. Student Trustees Sagni Kuma from St. Joseph High School and Carols Sanchez from St. Mark High School were officially sworn in at the September 10, 2019 Board Meeting. 

The grade 12 students are renowned for their ability to take an idea from concept to completion. As Student Trustees, their goals are to build a sense of community between OCSB schools and students; encourage students to care for and support their well-being and; promote embracing innovation in and out of the classroom. 

Director’s School Start-up Update



Close to 45,000 students returned to class on Tuesday, September 3, kicking off the 2019-2020 school year. That’s an increase of 1420 students in the K to 12 panels. Five-hundred-twenty-eight adult students also decided to join our board.

Summer Registration

Well over 800 students and their families visited the Catholic Education Centre (CEC) this summer. Laughter could be heard throughout the building as parents and guardians signed their children up for school. 

International Students

In just five years, our international program has seen a growth of 300%. There are presently 150 international students attending OCSB schools.


New Hires

To date, 237 new employees have joined the board – 137 teachers and 100 administration and support staff. That number is expected to climb in the coming weeks as enrolment exceeded projections. Administrators will be addressing class sizes, and additional employees will be hired where needed.



Ottawa Student Transportation Authority(OSTA) transported over 70,000 students on 18,556 runs during the first week of school. Remarkably only 262 delays were posted and most attributed to construction, traffic and boarding issues. More parents and guardians are turning to the OSTA website for up-to-date busing information. Resulting in a 14% usage increase! Families are encouraged to visit their website for cancellation and delay notices.

What is your #ocsbOneWord for 2019-2020?

The new school year had Director of Education, Denise Andre asking students and staff, “What their #ocsbOneWord was?” The idea is to think of one word that will guide your thoughts and actions as you begin the new school year. It’s not as easy as it sounds! For Director Andre, her word is “relationships.” What’s yours?

Summer Institute 2019

If you spent Summer 2019 in Ottawa – you know it was hot and humid! But that did not deter over 700 OCSB teaching and non-teaching staff from participating in the Ninth Annual Summer Institute.  Participants chose from 39 different workshops. The workshops focused on Deep Learning Global Competencies. 

2019 Continuing and Community Education Summer Programs

School was not “out for the summer” for more than 2200 students in our board. High school Reach Ahead classes were offered onsite and online. But the programming did not end there. Students were also able to participate in a variety of summer co-op opportunities, summer camps, and adult ESL/ LINC non-credit programs. 

2019-2020 Capital Priorities

The Ministry of Education directed Boards to submit their Capital Priorities Business Case submissions by September 30. These projects (new schools and additions) if approved would open in the school year 2023-2024.

Staff will submit all six projects that were identified in the 2019 Capital Plan short-term priorities, including:

1. New JK-6 Findlay Creek / Leitrim Elementary School
2. New JK-6 Fernbank (Kanata South) Elementary School
3. Replacement School / Consolidation of St. Rita and St. Augustine Elementary Schools at McGregor Easson site (Dynes Rd) – Prioritization of this proposal is subject to receipt of the new Ministry Guidelines on School Area Reviews and the attending review process.
4. Boundary Change St. Anne and St. James Elementary Schools, and 6-classroom addition to St. James Elementary School.
5. New JK-6 School Barrhaven South (Cedarview South of Jock River) Elementary School.
6. 10-classroom addition to St. Philip Elementary School.

St. Joseph High School Announces Major Expansion

The Ministry of Education is investing $17.6 million to add a 30 room addition to St. Joseph High School in Barrhaven/South Nepean to open in January 2021. This project will create additional space for 650 students and include classrooms and special purpose rooms.

The energy management of the addition will exceed the National Energy Code performance standards by 20%. Ottawa firm McDonald Brothers Construction submitted the successful tender for this construction project.

Update on Summer Activities – Planning and Facilities

Planning and facilities staff were busy from the last day of school to the first day of school to get ready for the return of students and staff. In addition to significant capital and renewal projects caretaking and trades, staff were involved in system-wide cleaning, repair and replacement projects.

Registration for Kindergarten!

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