June 17, 2022 - Denouncing Antisemitism and Acts of Division in the OCDSB, Report Cards, and more.

June 17, 2022 - Denouncing Antisemitism and Acts of Division in the OCDSB, Report Cards, and more.
Posted on 06/17/2022

Dear OCDSB Families, 

June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day, an opportunity to celebrate the beauty and brilliance of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples. This is a day that Indigenous students and staff may decide to engage in activities with family and community at home or at events. We also encourage all families and students to take the opportunity to learn more and celebrate, or to join in a community activity. Our work in this area is led by the OCDSB's fantastic Indigenous Education Team.

Denouncing Antisemitism and Acts of Division in the OCDSB

This school year, we have spent a lot of time acting on human rights, equity and antiracism. Our community of educators, students, families and the public have shared many thoughts about about the right to work and learn without discrimination because of ancestry, race, colour, ethnicity, nationality, ability, age, religion, language, gender, or who we love. With their help, we were able to adopt our first Human Rights Policy - a really important part of our commitment to respecting the dignity of every person.

With this work comes many challenging conversations, and most recently these have been centered on Jewish and Palestinian identities. While we understand that political realities at home and overseas heighten tensions, our sphere of influence is with our students and families and this is where we work to build bridges and foster safe environments for everyone in the OCDSB.

Building bridges means acknowledging the complexity of issues, lived experiences, fear and hurt that comes from antisemitismracismand Islamophobiaall of which we have actively denounced. These are real and current issues felt by students, staff and community members in Ottawa and in our district. We acknowledge and denounce explicit and implicit acts of hate that isolate and divide our communities.

Many people wonder why these issues surface in schools. We must all work to ensure that schools are safe places for conversation, debate and exploration, even when difficult.  Perhaps this was best addressed by the Honorable Murray Sinclair who described the sacred responsibility of educators to ensure that all their children, regardless of their heritage, are able to think about four key questions throughout their education: where do I come from, where am I going, why am I here, and most importantly, who am I? Education systems matter to us as humans, and should be designed to give a child answers to these very basic, yet profound, questions.”

Report Cards 

A reminder that parents, guardians and eligible students (grades 7-12) will soon be receiving report cards via email. Your child’s Ontario Education Number (OEN) is required to access the report card. If you will need help identifying or using your child’s OEN, we ask that you please contact your school now, as there will be limited capacity for schools to respond to queries once the school year ends. Learn more on our website.

OCDSB 2022-2023 Budget Approved 

 At a Special Board meeting on June 14, 2022, Trustees approved the OCDSB 2022-23 operating budget of $1.056 billion and capital budget of $124.5 million. For 2022-2023, the staff-recommended budget is focused on maintaining supports for students while continuing to manage the additional costs of measures designed to maintain safe and healthy schools and working environments. Read more on our website

Call for Community Representatives - Special Education Advisory Committee

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board is seeking to appoint up to three community representatives, who have an interest in issues related to exceptional children, to sit on the Board’s Special Education Advisory Committee. The Special Education Advisory Committee meets monthly to consider and make recommendations to the Board on special education programs and services to exceptional children. Learn more on our website, and complete the online application form by July 8th at 4:00 p.m. if you are interested in serving on the Committee. 

Upcoming Events 

June 20th: Final Board Meeting  

The last Board Meeting of the 2022-2023 school year will take place on Monday, June 20th. View the agenda on our website and save this link to watch the livestream. 

June 21 & 23 - Job & Employment Skills Workshop (6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.)

OCDSB, in partnership with the World Skills Employment Centre and the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, is organizing an in-person workshop to support newcomer parents and guardians in their journey to employment. The workshop will highlight various programs offered by the World Skills Employment Centre such as job preparation, workplace communication skills and employer engagement opportunities. Click here for registration and more information.

Important Dates 

Tomorrow is OSTA’s Driver Appreciation Day, which recognizes our school bus and van drivers, and walking school bus leaders. June 19 is Father’s Day, and June 20 is World Refugee Day. June 23 is the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism. Please follow us on social media and visit our website to learn more about dates of significance that occur throughout the year. 

School News

Last month, two Merivale High School students were awarded the opportunity to experience a day as mayor of Ottawa. Dayna and Sam won the Mayor For A Day contest hosted by Youth Ottawa, Mayor Jim Watson, and the City of Ottawa. Read the story.

Grade 8 students at Queen Elizabeth Public School became budding architects and urban designers, as they collaborated on a sustainable design project inspired by a space in their local community. Check out their work!

We’ll be sharing more stories next week. Here’s a look back at some of the other School News we’ve shared this year:

In case you missed it…

Summer Learning Programs for Indigenous, Black and 2SLGBTQ+ youth: Please visit our website to learn more about or register for Indigenous Summer Learning, the Sankofa Academy for Black Youth, and the 2SLGBTQ+ Voices: Building Bridges Program. These programs provide a great opportunity for in-person learning over the summer, and free transportation is available.

Sincerely, 

Camille Williams-Taylor

Director of Education 

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