I am proud of how our staff and students addressed the many challenges of an entire school year during a global pandemic. Throughout the year, we relied on our strategic commitments of “Be Well,” “Be Innovative,” and “Be Community” as a guide to help us keep perspective, as this was a year unlike any other we have experienced in our community.
As a School Board, we lived out our focus on equity, wellbeing and mental health by listening to our students and embarking on actionable changes in our school system. Student voices helped shape several “firsts” for our Board.
The Board of Trustees approved the flying of the Pride or Progress flag at our schools as a sign that Catholic schools are inclusive and caring communities. We held our first-ever Black Student Forum to provide a space for students to share their ideas to address anti-black racism and promote Black excellence across the Board.
Our students and staff discussed the tragic discovery of unmarked graves at residential schools across Canada. All students across the Board took part in learning activities that focused on the history of residential schools and a focus on Truth and Reconciliation. We continued to learn from local Elders, Knowledge Keepers and Indigenous community partners.
The 2020-2021 school year saw students moving back and forth between in-person and remote learning. 25% of parents selected virtual learning for their children. Our board established our first-ever virtual schools to offer our families choice and flexibility in their children’s education.
Thanks to years of fiscally responsible oversight by our Board of Trustees, they were able to approve the use of reserves to assist with pandemic expenses, including health and safety measures, additional cleaning, additional staff, and upgrades to HVAC systems in our Board.
As a Catholic School Board community, we choose a spiritual theme every three years to help unite and guide us as a people of faith. 2020-2021 was the final year of our three-year spiritual theme, “Seek Justice, Love Kindness & Mercy, Walk Humbly with God.” The pandemic has challenged us, taught us lessons, and reminded us that we could accomplish much when we “walk humbly with God” together. We welcomed Archbishop Marcel Damphouse as the new Archbishop for the diocese of Ottawa-Cornwall and look forward to his guidance and support in Catholic Education.
Thank you to our Board of Trustees for their unwavering support of Catholic Education in partnership with the Catholic Archdiocese of Ottawa, parishes, families, and schools.
Thank you to everyone for another successful year of support to Catholic education.