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

Hello OCDSB Students, 

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 Ontario Education Number (OEN) is required to access the report card: if you will need help identifying or using your OEN, 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.

School News: Merivale High School Students Experience Being “Mayor For a Day”

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 Mayor Jim Watson, the City of Ottawa, and Youth Ottawa. Read the story!

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. 

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.


Camille Williams-Taylor

Director of Education


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