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Fostering resilience to help prepare for tests and exams

As parents, we want what is best for our children. We want them to be happy and to grow up reaching their full academic and social-emotional potential. It is always difficult as a parent when we see our children experiencing challenges or difficulties that cause them feelings of stress, sadness, or fear. Our natural instinct is to want to rush in and to “save them” from this hardship. However, in reality we can not save our children from all the challenges they will face in life. How can we prepare them for those challenges that are an unavoidable part of life, like not making the sports team they wanted, not doing as well as expected on a test, or the loss of someone dear to them?

Supporting our children during stressful times

In stressful times, it is important for families and schools to work together to foster supportive relationships for our students. Caring adults need to help children and youth understand their emotional reactions, to help them engage in positive coping behaviours and to be supportive of each other. Tragic incidents can alter a person’s sense of security thus the importance of offering reassurance to our children and youth. It is also important for adults to understand that experiencing stress and adversity can contribute to internal symptoms such as anxiety, fear or depression and behaviours such as aggression, reactivity or withdrawal.

Children and youth may not understand the context of recent world events and communications they have heard or seen through various media. Below are a few tips that may assist you while helping children and youth to feel safe. Please reach out to your school at any time should you or your children struggle.

How It Works, Why It Works at the OCSB: The Kindergarten Program

A Parent and School Board Partner Series

Today’s parents have information at their fingertips when it comes to seeking options about life’s larger parenting milestones, such as choosing their child’s first school. We’ve teamed up with parents to discuss how the two-year Kindergarten program works, and why it works for families with children in OCSB schools.

Parents play a key role in how children embrace school. It’s easier to try and be the best parents possible when parents are assured that their community OCSB school is offering their best educators in a a safe and welcome learning environment. When parents and educators work together, they give tomorrow’s children the best possible start.

Making Things Happen: Autism Awareness Month

October is Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month in Canada. It 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 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.

Back-to-school-tips for parents and students

It’s that time of year again when we welcome back over 42,000 students into our OCSB classrooms. While there are many children who look forward to the start of school, others may be experiencing anxiety from those back-to-school butterflies. Keeping an open dialogue with your child will go a long way in helping your child feel great about their upcoming school year. Remember that your child’s teacher and school principal are also incredibly valuable resources in creating proactive solutions for your child’s success. The school-home partnership is key. We’ve assembled some tips to help you and your child prepare for the start of another school year.

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.

Ready, set, swim at the 17th Annual OCSB Special Olympics Swim Meet

Over 400 students participated in the 17th annual OCSB/Special Olympics Swim Meet held by the OCSB Special Education and Student Services Department at the Nepean Sportsplex on May 8-9, 2018. The two day event offered the opportunity for students from all over the OCSB to be active and participate in a competition, persevere, and have fun! The focus of the meet was friendly companionship and competition. It was wonderful day for all, filled with student pride and many smiles.

Cannabis parent information sessions – April 26 & May 3

Do you have questions about cannabis and how it relates to your school-aged child?

Join me, Dr. Elizabeth Paquette, OCSB Chief Psychologist, as I present with staff from the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) and Ottawa Public Health (OPH) at two public information sessions for parents. Learn about cannabis, tackle the myths, what is known about the upcoming new laws, how to talk with your youth, protecting youth, and available services. Community partners like Rideauwood, Parents’ Lifelines of Eastern Ontario (PLEO), Ottawa Police Service (OPS), and Project Step will be accessible in a display area for questions from the public. OCSB staff will be available at both events for questions about curriculum and services available in schools. All are welcome.

Doors open at 6:30 pm for parents to browse the marketplace display area and chat with local experts. Presentations begin at 7:00 pm followed by the opportunity to ask the OCSB any questions you may have about how to navigate this new landscape.

Check out the live stream of the evening on Facebook at