Update for Parents – June 5, 2020

Our Response to World Events

The Ottawa Catholic School Board acknowledges the incidents of violence that have occurred in the United States, Canada, and throughout the world in recent weeks and days. We recognize anti-Black racism is deeply rooted in our society and occurs in our community and schools. We acknowledge much work needs to be done to address this systemic racism. We pledge to be part of the solution. Read more

Supporting Your Child’s Mental Health and Well-Being

Our Mental Health Clinicians have developed tips to support your child during these stressful times to assist parents. 

Collecting and returning items from School

We know parents have been waiting to find out when and how they can collect their child’s personal items from their school. We received approval from Ottawa Public Health and can now share how to safely Collect and return items from school.

Continuity of Learning & Electronic Report Cards

Our staff continue to provide distance learning opportunities to all students.  Students can improve their marks right up until the end of June when report cards are distributed.  

We have received permission from the Ministry of Education to deliver report cards electronically this year. We are currently working with our vendors to ensure that the report cards can be delivered securely via email at the end of June.  Alternatives are being planned for those parents that do not have email addresses on file with their school.

Summer Learning

The OCSB offers a variety of summer programs for students. Information regarding our online high school Reach Ahead credit courses, as well as the registration link, is available on our board website. For students wishing to access Credit Recovery, an Upgrading Course (55hours) or the Skills Builder Program (students currently in grades 6,7 or 8), please contact your child’s school to inquire about their eligibility and registration process. Each of these programs will be offered online in July.

This summer, our elementary International Languages Program will also be available in a virtual learning format. Please see the website for additional information as well as registration details.

Summer Programming for Students with Special Education Needs and Mental Health Supports

In response to the Ministry of Education announcement shared recently, the OCSB is preparing a summer learning program that will be comprised of three components:

  1. A two-week virtual summer program to support students with special education needs during the first two weeks of July.  Eligible students will be contacted by their school principal before the end of June. Details are still being determined.
  2. Regulated mental health professionals will be available to provide on-going support to students who are currently receiving mental health support. In addition, a crisis helpline will be shared through school messaging, board website and social media for all OCSB students to access. 
  3. In-person programming focused on supporting transitions for students with special education needs and mental health concerns will be offered in the two weeks prior to schools opening in the fall. Eligible students will be contacted by OCSB staff. Our goal is to provide this support in person. Further decisions regarding what this will involve and what type of support we will be able to offer will be decided when the Ministry of Education and Ottawa Public Health share the specific protocols for a safe return to school for the 2020-2021 school year. 

As always, if you have concerns or questions about your child, please contact your child’s school. We continue to develop the details of the summer program. At this time, principals are not able to answer specific questions about the summer program because it is currently not finalized.

What School Will Look Like in September

We have already started work to welcome our students back to their schools in September.  The primary focus will be the health and safety of all students and staff.  Before the end of June, the Ministry of Education will provide a framework for returning to school.  Based on other jurisdictions that have returned to school, we anticipate that this may involve a combination of face to face and distance learning. To maintain physical distancing, other provinces have adopted a hybrid model of a smaller cohort of students attending class on alternate dates or alternate weeks in order to minimize the number of students in a class and in the school at the same time.  At this time, we cannot answer specific questions until we receive the Ministry of Education guidelines for the options available to schools and their communities. Based on Public Health advice, we anticipate a gradual approach to the return to face to face schooling.

Ottawa Public Health Update

As a Board, we continue to take direction from Ottawa Public Health to ensure that we keep our staff and students safe. Parents are encouraged to visit Ottawa Public Health for updated information. Please see the most recent information regarding COVID-19 testing.

Using Public Parks

The City of Ottawa has updated Guidelines on Using City Parks.

Thank you for your ongoing support

Our parents’ and students’ willingness to work and collaborate with us as we continue distance learning has been a source of inspiration and strength for all of our OCSB staff.  May God continue to keep you and your loved ones safe and well.

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