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Catch a glimpse of what’s buzzing in the OCSB community. Do you have an idea or story you’d like to pitch as a guest blogger? We’d love to hear it. Email your story or idea to

October 22, 2019 News From the Boardroom

Reaching out from Ottawa to Afghanistan

OCSB Trustees were delighted to welcome students from St. Patrick’s High School to hear about their participation in the global art project: The Memory Project. The Memory Project provided St. Patrick’s High School art students with the opportunity to brighten the lives of children living in a war-torn country. Each student received a picture of a child from Afghanistan. The high school student then drew the image of the child, creating a portrait that was sent to a child in Afghanistan.

Teacher Mirella Frost wanted her students to become global citizens, in word and in action. She described The Memory Project as Deep Learning at its finest. This project fostered a connection between students attending school at refugee camps in Afghanistan and the St. Patrick’s Art Club. The idea of reaching beyond the classroom was appealing to both the students and their teacher. Using the children’s photographs as a reference, the students carefully sketched the portraits of the children from Afghanistan. The drawings were then shipped overseas.

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October 8, 2019 News From the Boardroom

From St. Elizabeth to farm to table

It all began with a small seed. At least that is how the Farm to Table (Ferme Urbaine) story goes at St. Elizabeth School. The seeds, hydroponic tower, and veggie-pod may have been the tools the students used to grow their garden, but the story behind the story is so much more collaborative!

Two teachers — Mary Allan and Teresa Charbonneau — applied for an Innovation Fund Grant unbeknownst to each other. When both received the funds, they decided to turn two small projects into one fantastic student-focused, student-run business adventure!

Ferme Urbaine allowed students the opportunity to care and nurture their garden from seedling to end product. That in itself is a hands-on Deep Learning experience, but the students weren’t satisfied with just “growing” the project. They wanted to create an authentic farm to table experience for their peers and the greater school community. The learning that started in just two classrooms is now embraced by the entire school population and the greater community.

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September 24, 2019 News From the Boardroom

More than a summer job with Focus on Youth

Focus on Youth (FOY) is a Ministry of Education funded summer youth employment program. The goal is to provide at-risk students with the opportunity to earn money, gain marketable skills and complete health and safety training modules. It does do that and so much more.

At the September 24 Board meeting, the Board of Trustees met with participant Liam Connelly, a proud graduate of the FOY program in 2019. This summer, through FOY, his confidence grew, his abilities multiplied, and his belief in himself was restored. Liam expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to participate in the program. He believes it helped prepare him to enter the world of work and pursue his dream of working in the trades one day.

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October is Autism Awareness & Acceptance Month

Did you know that October is Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month in Canada? Did you know that it is estimated that 1 in 68 individuals have a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? Did you know that each person with ASD is unique and will have different set of abilities, strengths and challenges? Characteristics of autism vary, as some being very mild in one person and quite severe in another person.

This month is a great opportunity to learn more about autism, raise awareness, and raise acceptance in our schools, workplace, and community. Please enjoy this short, 5-minute video entitled: Amazing Things Happen, created by Alex Amelines (independent animation director). The video was released in April 2017 to coincide with the tenth annual World Autism Awareness Day (Sunday April 2nd, 2017). The aim is to raise autism awareness among young audiences who do not have autism as well as to encourage understanding and acceptance in future generations. It is primarily aimed at 7-11 year old children.

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September 10 2019 – News from the Boardroom

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.

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What is your #ocsbOneWord for 2019-2020?

As we embark on an exciting new school year, I invite you to think of the #ocsbOneWord that reflects how you want to experience this school year. For me, it’s all about the word “relationships.”

It’s exciting to think that we will be entering the third decade of the 21st century in this school year. I look forward with eagerness to our annual start-up as we welcome over 44,000 learners to our schools and get excited about the relationships that will be formed and strengthened throughout our Catholic school community.

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12 ways to help your child prepare for Kindergarten

12 ways to help your child prepare for Kindergarten

Heading to kindergarten for the first time can be pretty overwhelming. Many parents of a four year old experience excitement but apprehension about enrolling their child in kindergarten for the first time. With good reason; there are many decisions that have to be made when preparing a child for their first year of school. What about before and after school care? What types of French language programs are offered? Is their child ready to spend that length of time away from home?

For these and many other questions, the Ottawa Catholic School Board is here to help put your mind at east about your child’s upcoming journey. Check out our 12 ways to help prepare your child for kindergarten and give your child the best possible start.

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