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OCSB Mental Health and Well-Being Strategy

Manon Séguin, Superintendent of Special Education and Student Services

The Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) is pleased to introduce the OCSB Mental Health and Well-Being Strategy 2018-2021, which is the first document produced aligning with our Board’s new Strategic Commitments. This resource reflects what we value and have accomplished and supports our work going forward.

At the centre of our new Strategic Commitments is Be Well, which states, “…honouring the dignity of every person, we care for and support the well-being of all.” This commitment begins with the fundamental belief that we are all created in the image and likeness of God, deserving of dignity and respect, of care for our mental, physical, and emotional well-being.

Our whole school approach to mental health resonates with the commitment to Be Community, ensuring that we create equitable and welcoming places for all. In our commitment to Be Innovative, our focus on Deep Learning and Social Emotional Learning invites us to further explore the mental health benefits of creating flexible learning environments, and continuing to develop partnerships with parents and community agencies, while infusing mental health and well-being into our curriculum and daily interactions.

Dr. Elizabeth Paquette, Mental Health Lead, presented an overview of the strategy and departmental priorities to the Board of Trustees at the October 9, 2018 Board meeting. The goal of the document is to:

  • provide clear guidelines to provide accurate information while reducing stigma around mental health;
  • ensure elements are put in place so each employee knows their role in supporting the mental health of each student; and
  • ensure all students know how and where to get help, while increasing awareness in the whole community about mental health and wellbeing.

Start-up success for the new St. Isabel School

Steve McCabe, Superintendent, Leading & Learning

St. Isabel School (JK-Grade 6) opened its doors for the first time this school year. Under the leadership of principal Heather MacPhee, the new school community promotes responsibility, respect, and academic excellence. A school-wide approach has been adopted to engage all members of the school community in developing procedures that will establish and sustain a safe and accepting learning environment that supports the diverse needs of all learners. View highlights of the first few weeks of school. 

Helping build capacity in math with MathUP

Mary Donaghy, Superintendent of Student Success, Elementary

Kim Lacelle, Coordinator of Student Success Elementary and Kelly McGee, Math Learning Partner, took the Board on a tour of the MathUP resources being piloted in 42 of our elementary schools this year. MathUP is a robust set of focused tools to help build capacity in teaching mathematics through professional learning for both teachers and administrators. MathUP empowers teachers and principals with the knowledge and processes to build a successful math learning environment and school math culture.

Photo (from left to right): Alex Belloni, Principal; Mike Bourguignon, Teacher; Kevin Iranzi, Student; Barb Arnold, Vice-Principal; and Elaine McMahon, Chairperson.

Students Taking A New Direction with STAND

Debbie Frendo, Superintendent of Student Success, Intermediate/Secondary

In 2017-2018, a team of educators at St. Pius X High School applied for a Ministry of Education Grant. The school team, comprised of the Principal and both Vice-Principals, as well as seven educators from various departments, developed a detailed proposal for an initiative that they called S.T.A.N.D. – Students Taking A New Direction.

The school received funding for their initiative, which focused on male students in Grades 9, 10 and 11. The STAND project was designed to provide students with the opportunity to participate in a number of activities throughout the school year with the objective of increasing student achievement, school engagement, and well-being. View the presentation. 

News from the Boardroom Summary

This October 9, 2018 blog post covers the following topics:

  • OCSB Mental Health & Well-Being Strategy 2018-2021
  • Start-up success for the new St. Isabel School
  • Helping build capacity in math with MathUP
  • Students Taking A New Direction with STAND
  • Innovative Learning Funds for OCSB educators
  • Trustee Honoraria 2018-2019

Briefs from the Boardroom


Trustee Honoraria 2018-2019

The Board approved a modest increase to the Trustee Honoraria for the period commencing December 1, 2018. These increases are compliant with provincial regulation and reflect the Board’s increase in enrolment. View the presentation.

  • Chairperson receives $20,189 up from $19,995 in 2017-2018
  • Vice-Chairperson receives $16,657 up from $16,449 in 2017-2018
  • other Trustees receive $13,125 up from $12,943 in 2017-2018

Innovative Learning Funds for OCSB educators

Steve McCabe, Superintendent, Leading & Learning

Last year, a creative project was developed to engage project-based professional learning opportunities for classroom teachers in our schools. Leading & Learning Department Coordinator Alison Kinahan invited teachers to submit innovative proposals that aligned with Deep Learning and global competencies. Seventy-five proposals were submitted from classroom teachers K-12. Thirty-eight inquiries were approved, involving 121 educators across 30 schools/sites. Tara Swords from the McHugh Education Centre, and Christelle Hanato from St. Francis of Assisi School, presented their individual projects and findings with the Board. View the presentation.