April 1, 2022 - April is World Autism Awareness Month, Upcoming Events, and more.

April 1, 2022 - April is World Autism Awareness Month, Upcoming Events, and more.
Posted on 04/01/2022

Dear OCDSB Families, 

April is World Autism Awareness Month 

Today is the first day of World Autism Awareness Month. We’d like to share a few words from our students and from Peter Symmonds, Superintendent of Learning Support Services at the OCDSB, as we begin this month of awareness and acceptance together. We encourage you to also visit our website to learn more about World Autism Awareness Month and to participate in one of our webinars or other activities. 

Reminder: Student Accommodations During Ramadan 

The month of Ramadan runs from the evening of April 2 to the evening of May 2, 2022, depending on the sighting of the moon. This is a period of fasting, observance, and alms giving. The OCDSB is committed to cultivating learning and working spaces where everyone feels belonging. We wish Ramadan Mubarak to students and families marking this month and would like to remind you of your right to request from your child’s teacher or principal, any accommodations your child may require to support prayer or fasting. Please remember to be mindful of those who are marking this time. 

Sharing Feedback on the OCDSB’s Draft Policy on Student Exclusions 

The OCDSB is seeking input on the proposed new Policy P.144.SCO on Student Exclusions. Members of the public are welcome to submit their feedback on the policy up until May 27th, 2022 by email. More information will be available on our website soon. 

Upcoming Events 

April 7th - Emotion Regulation Strategies in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder - 7:00 p.m.

Join guest speaker Lauren H. Kerstein on April 7th at 7:00 p.m. to learn how to identify characteristics of anxiety in your child or adolescent. Participants will receive concrete, practical strategies for increasing emotion regulation skills in individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Register here or watch the event livestream at this link.

April 12th - OCDSB International Learning Opportunities - International Certificate Program, Exchanges and Studying Abroad - 7:00 p.m.

On April 12th at 7:00 p.m. we will be holding a virtual information session for Grade 8-11 students and their parents and guardians to learn more about our International Certificate Program, international exchanges and studying abroad.

April 21st - Sensory Issues and Emotions: A Guide to Assisting Children and Adolescents with Self-Awareness and Strategy Development  - 7:00 p.m.

Join guest speaker Lauren H. Kerstein on April 21st at 7:00 p.m. to engage in an exploration of sensory issues and the impact they have on our emotions, mental health system, and self-regulation. Participants will be guided through developing a better understanding of sensory challenges and strategies that might assist a child with increasing their ability to understand and manage sensory issues. Register here or watch the event livestream at this link.

Dates of Significance 

This April we will celebrate Sikh Heritage Month. We will also recognize Genocide Awareness, Education, Condemnation and Prevention Month. April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day. April 7th is the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, and is also World Health Day. In our next update, we will share more dates of significance occurring in April. Please remember to visit our website and follow us on social media for more information about dates of significance.

COVID-19 Updates and Public Health Information 

A Message from Dr. Vera Etches 

Ottawa Public Health has shared a new message from Dr. Vera Etches about the current COVID-19 situation in Ottawa. Key indicators suggest COVID-19 cases in the community are increasing. Dr. Etches has provided a number of recommendations for individuals and families, including:  

  • Wearing a mask indoors in public spaces;
  • Getting vaccinated;
  • Staying home when sick.

Read the full message on Ottawa Public Health’s website.

Reminder: Vaccination 

Vaccination remains our strongest defense against COVID-19. Youth between the ages of 12 and 17 are eligible to receive their third dose once 168 days (approximately 6 months) have passed since their second dose. Drop-ins are available at any community clinic and appointments can be booked through the Provincial COVID-19 Vaccination Portal.

In case you missed it…

Nominate a Volunteer for the OCDSB’s Community Recognition Awards: Do you know a volunteer who deserves to be recognized for their hard work in support of students and staff? Visit our website to learn more about the six award categories and to nominate a volunteer. Nominations close Friday, April 22nd.

Student-Led Virtual Black Excellence Club and Hangout for Grades 7-12: Meetings will take place on Thursdays at 4:00 p.m., providing a culturally responsive and welcoming environment where African, Black and Caribbean (ABC) students can connect. To obtain the Google Meet code, students can reach out to Black Excellence Club staff leaders, Guidance Counsellors, Student Success Teachers (7-12), or their Principal/Vice Principal. 

For Students in JK to Grade 8: French and Spanish Summer Camps and Summer International Language Classes: Registration is now open for French and Spanish summer camps with the OCDSB, and for virtual summer international language classes. Learn more and register on our website.

Thank you, 

Camille Williams-Taylor 

Director of Education

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2022 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.