February 17, 2022 - COVID-19 Easing of Restrictions in Schools, Checking In with the Community, and more.

February 17, 2022 - COVID-19 Easing of Restrictions in Schools, Checking In with the Community, and more.
Posted on 02/17/2022

Dear OCDSB Families, 

Ottawa Police Service has advised citizens to expect an increased police presence in the downtown area due to the ongoing protests. Schools in the downtown core were open today with regular monitoring and contact with Ottawa Police Service. Our thanks to staff, students and families for their efforts to attend school and maintain a focus on learning. A reminder that all OCDSB schools and Extended Day programs are closed on Friday, February 18th for a PA Day and on Monday, February 21st for Family Day.

If you live in or must travel through the downtown core, please watch for updates from Ottawa Police Service. In the event of any new information affecting school operations, we will communicate with the families and staff of affected schools. 

COVID-19 Easing of Restrictions in Schools

On February 10, 2022 the Ministry of Education updated the COVID-19 guidance for schools. We continue to modify practices in schools to align with the new guidance and increase opportunities for students to resume certain practices. Masking, physical distancing and proper hand hygiene continue to be required inside the school. Students are not required to wear masks during outdoor play, but are encouraged to maintain physical distancing. Secondary extra-curricular activities are resuming as are intramural sports for grades 7 and 8, with appropriate safety measures. The indoor use of wind instruments for Music classes, band, and music extracurriculars is also resuming. Elementary and secondary schools are proceeding with arrangements for school photos. In the weeks ahead, we will continue to update school practices to align with changes in provincial direction.

Checking In with the Community 

As a community, we have been through a lot over the past two years. We are now starting to see the gradual lifting of federal and provincial COVID-19 safety restrictions. As we plan for these changeswe are interested in your thoughts about how we adjust and how we can best support you moving forward. Next week, we will launch our Community Check-In - a short survey that will include some survey questions and an open-ended question.   

You will be able to share your thoughts with us about things like:

  • Your experience learning throughout the pandemic;
  • Supports for health and well-being;
  • Engagement in your learning; 
  • Support from your teacher(s);
  • Learning online;
  • Using technology to learn (e.g., devices and internet); 
  • Schedules and timetables; 
  • Opportunities for social interaction;
  • Anything else you’d like to share with us.

Your feedback will help us as we all work through this transition and plan for the rest of this year and the 2022-2023 school year. Watch for an email with a link to the Community Check-In next week.

Toonie Tuesday is Tuesday, February 22nd 

Toonie Tuesday is almost here! On Tuesday, February 22nd, students are invited to bring $2 or more to school to help support the Education Foundation of Ottawa (EFO). EFO provides vulnerable OCDSB students with access to food, clothing, school supplies, healthcare supports, and opportunities for learning and recreation. You can send $2 or more to school with your child on or before Toonie Tuesday (please put it in a plastic bag for safe handling), donate online, or donate through your school cash account. Thank you for your support! 

Mandatory eLearning Graduation Requirement and Opt-out Information  

We were just made aware of new graduation requirements for students relating to e-learning. These were released by the Ministry of Education and are explained in (PPM 167). The purpose is to provide students with access to a wider variety of courses, increase digital fluency and gain transferable skills to support lifelong learning. 

What you need to know: 

  • Beginning with the cohort of students who entered Grade 9 in 2020-21 (current Grade 10 students), all students must earn a minimum of two e-learning credits in order to graduate with an OSSD. Students in certificate pathways are exempted from this requirement.
  • Students who were in Grade 9 in 2020-21 will receive one e-learning credit in recognition of their pandemic learning experiences. 
  • E-learning courses are delivered asynchronously and cannot include those earned through in-person learning (same e-learning course and same educator together), blended learning, or remote learning (includes part synchronous learning).
  • There will be a mechanism that allows students/families to opt out of the e-learning graduation requirement.
  • Adult learners entering in 2023-24 or later will be required to complete the e-learning requirement unless they opt out.

We know that there are many questions about this new initiative and we are working to get answers. Next week, we will share more information as well as a link to the E-learning Course Opt Out Form. Watch for more information about the e-learning course selection process. 

Report Cards

Secondary report cards were sent to families via email on February 10th. Elementary report cards were sent February 16th. If you have questions about opening and reviewing your child’s report card and are looking for guidance, we have helpful information on our website including  informative videos in both Arabic and Somali. Information in additional languages is also available on our website

Now Available: 2SLGBTQ+ Interfaith Panel Discussion and Black Excellence Series Recordings

Did you miss the chance to attend the OCDSB’s 2SLGBTQ+ Interfaith Panel Discussion on Gender, Sexuality, and Faith, or the third session in our Black Excellence Series? Recordings are now available, so you can enjoy them on your own time. Watch the 2SLGBTQ+ Interfaith Panel Discussion and The Journey to Achieving Black Excellence on our YouTube channel. 

DATES TO REMEMBER

Deadline Approaching: Register for OCV by February 22nd

A reminder that families wanting to register their child for Ottawa-Carleton Virtual (OCV) school for the 2022-2023 school year must do so by February 22, 2022. Register using this form and visit our website to learn more.

Upcoming OCDSB Committee of the Whole Meeting Continuation, Tuesday, February 22nd at 8:00 p.m.

OCDSB Trustees will meet on Tuesday as a Committee of the Whole for a continuation of the meeting from February 8th. Motions approved at Committee of the Whole meetings go to a Board of Trustees meeting for a final vote. View the agenda and bookmark this link to watch the meeting. Dates and times of all upcoming OCDSB committee meetings can be found on our calendar: https://ocdsb.ca/calendar.

Wednesday, February 23rd is Pink Shirt Day

With about 1 in 5 students being affected by bullying, Pink Shirt Day is a great opportunity for students, staff and families to come together to share the message that bullying is never okay. All are welcome to wear pink on Wednesday, February 23rd to stand together against bullying. Learn more on our website

March Break is March 14th - 18th, 2022 

A reminder March break will take place from Monday, March 14th to Friday, March 18th, 2022, this year. For more important dates, view our Elementary and Secondary school year calendars. 

Dates of Significance 

On February 20th we recognize World Day of Social Justice, and February 21st is International Mother Language Day. Heritage Day is recognized February 21st, with Heritage Week taking place from February 21st to February 27th. February 21st to February 27th is also NEDAwareness Week. Please remember to follow us on social media and visit our website for additional resources and to learn more about the important dates of significance we recognize throughout the year. We will be sharing more dates in our upcoming updates.

COVID-19 UPDATES AND PUBLIC HEALTH INFORMATION 

Vaccination Information for Children Ages 5-11

As COVID-19 continues to circulate in our community, we all need to keep working together to stay healthy, limit the spread of COVID-19 and make informed decisions about vaccination. Here are a few resources to help parents understand the benefits of vaccination: 

Expansion of Booster Dose Eligibility for Youth Ages 12-17

As of 8:00 a.m. on Friday, February 18, 2022, Ontario is expanding booster dose eligibility to youth aged 12 to 17. Appointments can be booked through the provincial booking system and the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre, as well as at select pharmacies administering the Pfizer vaccine. Appointments will be booked for approximately six months (168 days) after a second dose. To book an appointment online, individuals must be 12 years old at the time of appointment.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

Register for Technology and Trades: A Pathway for all Students: On Thursday, February 24th, the OCDSB invites Grade 7-12 students, parents and guardians, and staff to Technology and Trades: A Pathway for all Students. This virtual conference runs from 3:45 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. and features presenters and booth exhibitors who will share career pathways in skilled trades and technology. For registration and more information, visit the event page.

Wishing you all a safe and happy long weekend, 

Camille Williams-Taylor

Director of Education 

 

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