Boardroom Newsbrief - January 28, 2020

The Newsbrief is meant to provide the highlights of the decisions made at the Board meeting for the benefit of our community. The notes do not serve as the official record of the meeting. Please refer to Board or Committee minutes.

For full agenda package prepared ahead of this meeting, visit this link.

Presentation to Erica Braunovan

Camille, Erica, Lynn - Presentation to Erica Braunovan

A presentation was made to former trustee Erica Braunovan to thank you for her service to the OCDSB.

Said Trustee Lynn Scott, “When I say thank you, Erica, for your service to this board and your community, I know I am speaking not just personally, but for all the trustees and staff of the OCDSB, and for all of the children and families whose lives you touched during your tenure as trustee. We wish you and your family all the best in your future endeavours, and hope we will see you continue your community activism and political involvement. You have made us better, and you have made us proud to have enjoyed the privilege of working with you.”

Presentation on Evidence of Practice – Culture of Innovation and Culture of Social Responsibility

Presentation on Evidence of Practice – Culture of Innovation and Culture of Social ResponsibilityStudents from John McCrae Secondary School presented to the Board.

In February 2019, JMSS initiated a program that saw students enrol in both TOJ4C (Child Development and Gerontology) and IDC4O (Interdisciplinary Studies). The courses were run consecutively each afternoon.

The students engaged in project-based learning that focused on a particular area of interest connected to the learning expectations and big ideas in each course. Students were asked to answer the following questions:

  • Which issue would you like to help solve?
  • Are you passionate about the issue?
  • Will you acquire new skills as you work on it?
  • How are you connecting the project to the learning expectations in the


This model of learning engages students’ voice as they learn about topics and problems they are passionate about and empowered to make a difference in the lives of others.

Students in the program also participated in different community activities through pre-arranged co-operative learning and work experience placements. These placements were connected to the particular learning experiences associated with the course.

Briefing from the Chair of the Board

Novel Coronavirus

Health authorities in Canada and around the world are monitoring the situation regarding the Novel Coronavirus. We appreciate that parents and guardians may have questions about how this will be managed in schools.

The OCDSB takes guidance regarding health matters from federal and provincial health authorities and Ottawa Public Health. Parents are asked to follow these official sources for the latest updates on the Novel Coronavirus.

As this is also flu season, at school, we continue to remind students daily to follow proper handwashing techniques. Signs are also around schools as reminders for students, staff and visitors as well.

According to Ottawa Public Health, the risk is still low for Canada, and Canadian travellers. We have posted further information on our website.

Speaker Series – Vaping

Parents are invited to attend our free Speaker Series event with Ottawa Public Health on the topic of vaping.

The session will provide parents with facts on vaping, vape products, health effects and actions we are taking in schools.

It will be take place on Thursday, February 6th at 7pm at Sir Robert Borden High School.

Bell Let’s Talk Day

January 29th is Bell Let’s Talk Day, which provides an opportunity to reflect on mental health issues.

Building a culture of caring comes with an understanding that mental health and well-being are fundamental to student success and supporting our staff.

We encourage students, staff and community members to take advantage of mental health resources available to you in your school, workplace or throughout the city.

Let’s work together to end the stigma against mental health.

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Monday, January 27th, marked not only Holocaust Remembrance Day but also the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

It is a reminder of one of the darkest chapters in human history.

It is also a reminder to us all of the importance of standing united against antisemitism, bigotry and hatred.

Briefing from the Director

Labour Update – ETFO Strike Action

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario announced that unless an agreement is reached, it will further escalate strike action.

Effective February 3rd, members will no longer participate in any extracurricular activities.

ETFO members will also be holding a series of rotating strikes.

Full-day walkouts are currently planned on both Wednesday, February 5th and Thursday, February 6th.

If this takes place, all OCDSB elementary schools will be closed to students on these days. This includes students in grade 7 and 8 attending 7-12 schools. Parents of elementary students should make plans for childcare for both strike days.

Secondary schools will remain open. Students in grades 9 to 12 are expected to go to school.

Labour Update – Report Cards

Last week, we advised parents that as a result of the current labour action, Term One Elementary Report Cards will not be issued to students in Kindergarten to Grade 8.

Students in grades 9-12 will continue to receive report cards as scheduled. The report cards will include marks but no comments, as the provision of comments is struck work by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF).

If parents have any questions regarding their child’s progress, they can contact the school.

Black History Month

February is Black History Month. It is a time to celebrate Black culture and reflect on the significant contributions Black Canadians have made to build Canada.

The OCDSB is committed to promoting equity and inclusion. We believe that honouring the rich cultural diversity within our communities will help to dispel harmful biases and enlighten our understanding of each other. 

Across our district, we will be focusing on Black History Month. Schools will be hosting speakers and holding events. In the classroom, students will also be discussing Black history, culture, race and equity.

OTIP Teaching Awards

Nominations are now open for the 2020 OTIP Teaching Awards. These awards recognize teacher excellence in publicly funded education. Anyone can submit a nomination. To learn more and nominate a teacher, visit:

OPSBA President’s Award

Last week, the OPSBA honoured Trustee Scott with its President’s Award, which recognizes 25 years of service in public education.

Congratulations on this worthy achievement and thank you for your dedication to serving our district.

Public Motions

Trustees approved the following:

  • Confirmation of Board Minutes – 17 December 2019 (Board) and 07 January 2020 (Special Board)
  • Consultation Plan for Draft Policy P,142.SCO, Child Sexual Abuse Prevention (as amended)
  • Facilities Renewal Program and School Condition Improvement 2019- 2020 Project Plan
  • Updates to Policy P.137.SCO Concussion Management
  • Minor Revision to Policy P.121.GOV Accessibility (As amended)
  • Establishment of a selection committee for an Integrity Commissioner
    •  Trustee Boothby and Trustee Blackburn were appointed to this committee
  • OCDSB response to Ontario 2020 Budget Consultation

Meeting ended at 9:10 pm

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