March 4, 2022 - Guidance for Families on Discussing the Situation in Ukraine, Right To Read Public Inquiry, and more.

March 4, 2022 - Guidance for Families on Discussing the Situation in Ukraine, Right To Read Public Inquiry, and more.
Posted on 03/04/2022

Dear OCDSB Families, 

Guidance for Families on Discussing the Situation in Ukraine 

In the past week, we have seen a dramatic increase in violence in Ukraine. These events may be deeply upsetting for many students, families, and staff members, particularly those who may have loved ones affected. Our thoughts are with all of those impacted at this time.

We recognize that our community includes members who may be from the various countries involved in this conflict or individuals with lived experience with war or conflict elsewhere. At the OCDSB, our schools and virtual learning environments are places for students and staff to receive support, a calm environment and a connection to caring adults or peers. 

We have provided guidance to staff to help them navigate conversations that may arise in class about this conflict, in an age-appropriate manner, with compassion and care. As always, we remain committed to ensuring a sense of belonging for all of our students and valuing the dignity of all of our communities. Please read more on our website, where we have included some information for parents and guardians on how to discuss these situations with children and youth. 

Spring Administration of the Diplôme d’études en langue française (DELF)

The Diplôme d’études en langue française (DELF) is an internationally-recognized test of French proficiency for persons whose first language is not French. Students eligible for the spring administration of the DELF will have received an invitation to register in their OCDSB email earlier this week. Learn more about the DELF, including eligibility, deadlines, and important dates, on our website. Please contact [email protected] if you have any questions. 

Right To Read Public Inquiry 

On February 28, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) released its report on its Right to Read public inquiry. This review started in October 2019 and it looked into human rights issues that affect students with reading disabilities in Ontario’s public education system. The OCDSB was one of the eight sample English-language school boards selected for the inquiry.

The Right to Read inquiry report highlights how learning to read is not a privilege but a basic and essential human right. The report includes 157 recommendations to the Ministry of Education, school boards and faculties of education on how to address systemic issues that affect the right to learn to read. The report combines research, human rights expertise and lived experience of students, parents and educators to provide recommendations on curriculum and instruction, early screening, reading interventions, accommodation, professional assessments and systemic issues. Learn more about the report and how we’re responding.

OSTA Transportation System Update 

The Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) has posted a new transportation update. Watch the video to learn more about how OSTA is continuing to address the driver shortage, for news about a new transportation confirmation procedure, and more. 

Bank of Canada Museum Award for Excellence in Teaching Economics: Applications Open

Do you know of an outstanding teacher bringing economic concepts into the classroom? Nominate them for the Bank of Canada Museum Award for Excellence in Teaching Economics. The award is open to teachers from grades 7 to 12 who have creatively explored economics concepts or topics in the classroom. Applications close April 10, 2022. Learn more.

Take a Virtual Tour of one of the OCDSB’s Kindergarten Classrooms! 

Will your child be attending Kindergarten soon? Take a virtual tour of one of our Kindergarten classrooms and get to know the space where our youngest students gather to explore, solve problems, learn, and make friends. Watch the video here


March 7th - Career Development Workshop Series for High School Students - “Applying Online”

The next session in the OCDSB’s Career Development Workshop Series for High School Students, “Applying Online”, will take place Tuesday, March 7th at 1:00 p.m. Please note, this event is considered a virtual field trip, allowing for student absences to participate in a sanctioned event. A participation consent form is required. Learn more on our website

March 7th - Student Led Virtual Town Hall on Poverty and Homelessness 

The Student Council at Lisgar Collegiate Institute is hosting a virtual town hall on poverty and homelessness on Monday, March 7th from 5:00 p.m to 6:15 p.m. The event will be live streamed, and all students, staff and parents are welcome to attend. The town hall aims to share information with the community not only about what they can do personally to help alleviate poverty and homelessness, but about how poverty and homelessness are social problems, related to inadequate political and economic policies, programs and institutions. Save this link to attend the livestream. 

March 8th - CRA Webinar - “Doing Your Taxes”

Parents and guardians are invited to a virtual information session where Canada Revenue Agency representatives will provide information about taxes, benefits, credits, and new tax measures surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Save this link to join the virtual information session. Learn more on our website.

March 8th - Committee of the Whole Meeting, 6:30 p.m.

OCDSB Trustees will meet on Tuesday, March 8th as a Committee of the Whole to ask questions of staff and debate items. Motions approved at Committee of the Whole meetings then go to a Board of Trustees meeting for a final vote. View the agenda and watch the meeting at this link. Dates and times of all upcoming OCDSB committee meetings can be found on our calendar:

March 9th - Transition Planning Workshop Series - Community/Day Programs

The OCDSB is hosting a virtual workshop series for families and caregivers of students with developmental disabilities, to share information about transitioning to life beyond high school. Join us Wednesday, March 9th at 7:00 p.m. for a discussion on day options and programs for individuals with a Developmental Disability/Autism. This session will discuss things to consider in order to find the best match, and will go over Ministry-funded and pay-for-service options as well as community-based options. Save this link to attend

March 24th - Speech and Language Expectations for Kindergarten Workshop

Join us for a virtual information session where parents, guardians and caregivers will learn how to identify their child’s speech and language developmental level. The session will highlight speech and language expectations for kindergarten students and provide some take-home strategies to build language and early literacy skills. There will be two workshops held on March 24th. Please use the links below to register for the time slot that works best for you:

Mar 24, 2022: 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Mar 24, 2022: 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Dates of Significance 

Events are being held leading up to Black Mental Health Day on March 7th, and Social Work Week will take place from March 7th to 13th. Every year on March 8th, communities around the world promote equality and women’s rights as part of International Women’s Day. In addition, the month of March is recognized as Francophonie Month and Engineering Month. Please note, we will be sharing more dates of significance that take place in March in future updates. Visit our website and follow us on social media to learn more about dates of significance.  


Rules for Mask Wearing

A reminder that masking requirements remain unchanged, and all students and staff must continue to wear masks while indoors. Students may opt to remove their mask outdoors but are encouraged to wear it if physical distancing cannot be maintained. 

New Guidelines and Requirements for International Travel

As of February 28th, 2022, new guidelines exist for travelers returning to Canada from an international destination. To review current requirements, visit the government of Canada’s website. Please note, international travel rules are still subject to change. The OCDSB is unable to provide specific guidance for families considering international travel, and any additional questions should be directed to federal authorities. 

Health Canada Safety Reminder about Rapid Antigen Tests 

Health Canada has determined that rapid antigen test kits are safe and effective when used as intended. However, they have also shared that many test kits include liquid solutions that may be poisonous if swallowed or absorbed through the skin. It is important to keep rapid antigen test kits and solutions out of the reach of children and pets, avoid eye and skin contact, do not swallow the solutions, and wash hands thoroughly after use. Read more on Health Canada’s website


OCDSB Community Check-In Surveys Close Sunday March 6th at 11:59 p.m. 

A reminder that the OCDSB Community Check-In surveys will close Sunday, March 6th at 11:59 p.m. Visit our website to learn more and complete the survey, and please remember to choose the survey that best reflects your child’s current learning situation (i.e in-person learning or OCV). 

Mandatory eLearning Graduation Requirement and Opt-out Information: A reminder that students currently in grade 10 and below are subject to a new mandatory eLearning graduation requirement. If your child would like to opt-out of this requirement, you can do so at any time during their high school years using this form. Additional information and frequently asked questions are available on our website.

Thank you, 

Camille Williams-Taylor 

Director of Education


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