General FAQs

Why should I participate?

By sharing your ideas, you get to help set the direction for our schools for the next 4 years. In 2014, over 13,500 people participated in a Thoughtexchange conversation to develop our current strategic plan. That feedback resulted in the development of our current strategic plan which has five priority areas – Learning, Equity, Well-Being, Engagement, and Stewardship.  In 2014, we heard very positive feedback about the quality of our staff, We also heard about the need for investment in our schools and facilities. Since that time, we have invested over $300M in school renewal, renovations, expansions and new construction. You can learn more about the progress we have made on our current plan in this  report.

Who participates in the exchange?

There will be separate conversations:  parents and community members; staff; and students.  The conversations will also be separated by elementary and secondary panels.  This will allow people with common interest and experiences to be involved in the conversation. To facilitate the size of the conversations, the exchanges will be structured as follows:


(3 exchanges - approx 10,000 invitees)


(9 exchanges - approx 70,000 invitees)


(2 exchanges - approximately 25,000 invitees)

Staff will participate in either an: elementary,

secondary or

central conversation.

All staff in employee groups in that panel will participate in one exchange. Staff who are centrally assigned will participate in a third exchange.

Parents/Guardians will participate in an elementary and/or a secondary conversation.

To make the size manageable, each of those will be sub-divided into 4 conversations -

Elementary 1, 2, 3, 4 and Secondary 1, 2, 3, 4.  

These are organized alphabetically by school name (A-C, D-I, J-Q, R-Z).

Elementary – 1

Elementary – 2

Elementary – 3

Elementary – 4

Secondary - 1

Secondary - 2

Secondary - 3

Secondary - 4

Community Members

Community members will participate in a separate conversation.

Students will participate in one of two student conversations:

Students - Grade 7-8

Students - Grade 9-12

Are my answers about the school or the district?

All results will be about the district level and will inform our future plans.  Your answers should be based on your experience and use examples where possible.

How specific can I/should I be?

You can be as specific or as general as you want. Keep in mind we are trying to set future priorities while your examples may be specific, the thought should identify a broader issue.

Does my opinion really matter?                   

Absolutely! We believe that by understanding the experiences and priorities of students, staff, parents/guardians and community partners, we will be able to improve our education system and better serve the needs of our students.

Why students in grades 7-12?

We selected students in Grades 7-12 to participate in the process because of their age and ability to contribute to the online consultation process using their OCDSB email account.

Can I share my invitation with others?

Absolutely! Although you or someone you know may have received the invitation, anyone who is involved or impacted by the topic is invited to share their thoughts. Feel free to share the link with friends, family members, colleagues, or anyone else who should join the conversation. Everyone’s voice matters!

I received two invitations, one as a community partner and one as a parent.  Do I complete both?

If you are a member of a District committee, have subscribed to our agenda subscription service, work for a local agency or organization or business which has an ongoing relationship with the school District, you would have received an invitation as a community partner.  If you are also a parent or employee, you would have received an invitation from the school. You may respond separately to each invitation.

I am interested in participating in more than one exchange, can I participate in an additional exchange?

Yes. You can join additional conversations from the Buildingbrighterfuturestogether webpage.

How can staff participate in a different staff conversation if they feel their input is better suited there?

Staff can join additional conversations from the Buildingbrighterfuturestogether webpage.

Is all staff invited to participate?

Yes, all staff will be sent an invitation to participate. If you do not receive an invitation, you can visit the OCDSB website. From there, you will see a link to the self-registration process.

I am a principal, do I respond?

Yes, administrators are a very important stakeholder and we want to hear your thoughts.

What if I am a parent and an employee?

If you are a parent and a District employee, you will be able to participate twice. You will receive an invitation to participate in the consultation process from the school that you work at and from the school that your child/children attend.   

I don’t have children in school, can I participate?

Yes, anyone can participate in the consultation. You can visit the OCDSB website where you can self-register for the exchange.

I have more than one child; can I participate more than once?  

If you have children enrolled in two schools, you can participate once for each school.  If you have two or more children in one school, you only have to respond once, but your response should relate to your experiences with each of your children.

Can my partner and I both submit a response?

Yes, everyone is invited to share their thoughts.  As a family, you can respond once with all of your thoughts or each partner can respond individually.


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