September 23, 2022 - OCDSB Cares: An Anonymous Reporting Tool for Students, Rosh Hashanah, and more.

September 23, 2022 - OCDSB Cares: An Anonymous Reporting Tool for Students, Rosh Hashanah, and more.
Posted on 09/23/2022

Dear Families, 

OCDSB Cares: An Anonymous Reporting Tool for Students

The OCDSB is excited to launch OCDSB Cares - a new safety reporting tool. Students can always report concerns to the school, but OCDSB Cares also allows secondary students to electronically report concerns about the health, well-being and safety of themselves or others. When a message is sent by text (613-704-2628), the system receives an encrypted, scrambled number only. There is also an anonymous webchat option. The information received is monitored by an independent team which shares concerns with the school. Operators are available on school days between 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Please note, this is not intended for urgent or emergency situations and is not a crisis line or counseling service for your child. For more information, including  links to urgent supports, school supports, and community resources, visit:

Rosh Hashanah

Each fall, the Jewish community celebrates the new year, beginning with Rosh Hashanah (September 25-27, 2022) and closing with Yom Kippur (October 4-5, 2022). These ten days, known as the Days of Awe, are a time for reflection and rebuilding of relationships. Today, we are sharing an open letter to our Jewish students, staff members, and families, acknowledging that our relationship with the Jewish community is in need of repair. Over the past months, we have heard concerns from parents, staff, students, and community partners about the rise of antisemitism in schools, the need for more awareness and action by the school district, as well as more recent concern about our approach to professional learning. Please read the Open Letter, and Shanah Tovah to all who are celebrating. 

Religious/Creed-based Holy Days and Days of Observance and New MultiFaith Calendar

We are pleased to launch a new electronic multifaith calendar which provides dates and information about religious observances, occasions, and festivals important to a wide spectrum of cultural and faith communities. Visit our website to learn more. Additional dates of significance are also included on the OCDSB’s Board Calendar

Working Together to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19 

A reminder that it is important to continue following recommendations from Ottawa Public Health to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This includes daily screening for symptoms of COVID-19, staying home when sick, using Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) as needed, and ensuring children and youth are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. In addition, wearing a mask continues to be recommended when in indoor spaces.

Rowan’s Law Day

The last Wednesday of every September is designated as Rowan’s Law Day, which honours Rowan Stringer’s memory and raises awareness about concussion safety. Rowan Stringer was a competitive and keen athlete, and was captain of John McCrae Secondary School’s rugby team. She passed away tragically in May of 2013 at just 17 years old, as the result of head injuries she sustained while playing rugby. Visit our website to learn more about recognizing the symptoms of concussion and for additional resources. 

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day

Friday, September 30th is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day. Students will be engaging in learning activities to increase awareness and understanding of the lasting impact of Canada’s residential school system on Indigenous communities across Canada. This meaningful day signals a year-long, ongoing commitment to learning that centres the truth of the harmful effects of colonialism, including the residential schools system that caused the loss of Indigenous lives, languages, and traditions for generations.

On this date, Indigenous families may decide to keep their children home to engage in activities with family and community. Please note that Indigenous Self Identification is a confidential process and should not be understood as a requirement for students to observe the day with their families and community. September 30th is a day on which no assignments or assessments are to be scheduled. 

School Trustee Elections: Do you know your school trustee zone?

With municipal elections scheduled for October 24th, take a minute to confirm your electoral zone for school board trustee. The OCDSB has 12 school trustees who are elected to serve a four-year term. Each trustee represents one of our 12 electoral zones. Your trustee zone is based on your home address, not the address of the school your child attends.

The list of candidates running for OCDSB trustee can be found on the City of Ottawa’s certified candidate page (external site). On our website, you can find the links to the PDF map of each zone which includes the schools in the zone.

Flags at Half-mast in Honour of Police and Peace Officers’ National Memorial Day

Flags on all OCDSB buildings will be flown at half-mast from the end of the day on Friday, September 23rd until morning on Monday, September 26th in observance of Police and Peace Officers' National Memorial Day. 

Upcoming Board Meeting: September 28, 7:30 p.m.

The OCDSB Board of Trustees will meet on Wednesday, September 28th at 7:30 p.m. Save this link to watch the meeting.

In case you missed it…

Join our Parent Involvement Committee (PIC): Applications for the OCDSB’s Parent Involvement Committee are open until Friday, October 7th. 

Open Trails Day: MacSkimming is hosting an Open Trails Day this Saturday, September 24th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Thank you, 

Camille Williams-Taylor

Director of Education 


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