September 23, 2022 - OCDSB Cares - An Anonymous Reporting Tool for Students, Rosh Hashanah, and more.

September 23, 2022 - OCDSB Cares - An Anonymous Reporting Tool for Students, Rosh Hashanah, and more.
Posted on 09/23/2022

Hello OCDSB students, 

We hope you’ve been enjoying your first few weeks back at school. Here is some information we wanted to share with you for the week ahead.

OCDSB Cares - An Anonymous Reporting Tool for Students

Last week we launched OCDSB Cares, which helps students in our secondary schools to share concerns about the health, well-being and safety of themselves or others anonymously. OCDSB Cares is monitored by a live operator between 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on school days by a team that is completely independent from your school. You can text or share using the webchat. 

And yes, it is actually anonymous. And what you share is up to you. If you send a text message (613-704-2628), the system receives an encrypted, scrambled number only. There is also an anonymous webchat option too. If you want to learn more, visit ocdsb.ca/cares.

Rosh Hashanah

Each fall, the Jewish community celebrates the new year, beginning with Rosh Hashanah (September 25-27, 2022) and closing with Yom Kippur (October 4-5, 2022). These ten days, known as the Days of Awe, are a time for reflection and rebuilding of relationships. Today, we are sharing an open letter to our Jewish students, staff members, and families, acknowledging that our relationship with the Jewish community is in need of repair. Over the past months, we have heard concerns about the rise of antisemitism in schools, the need for more awareness and action by the school district, as well as more recent concern about our approach to professional learning. It is important that all students feel safe at school.  Please read the Open Letter, and Shanah Tovah to all who are celebrating. 

Religious/Creed-based Holy Days and Days of Observance and New MultiFaith Calendar

We are pleased to launch a new electronic multifaith calendar which provides dates and information about religious observances, occasions, and festivals important to a wide spectrum of cultural and faith communities.  Visit our website to learn more. Additional dates of significance are also included on the OCDSB’s Board Calendar.

Working Together to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19 

A reminder that it is important to continue following recommendations from Ottawa Public Health to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This includes remembering to screen for symptoms of COVID-19 each morning before school, staying home when sick, using Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) as needed, and staying up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines. In addition, wearing a mask continues to be recommended by Ottawa Public Health when in indoor spaces.

September 28th: Rowan’s Law Day

The last Wednesday of every September is designated as Rowan’s Law Day, which honours Rowan Stringer’s memory and raises awareness about concussion safety. Rowan Stringer was a competitive and keen athlete, and was captain of John McCrae Secondary School’s rugby team. She passed away tragically in May of 2013 at just 17 years old, as the result of head injuries she sustained while playing rugby. Visit our website to learn more about recognizing the symptoms of concussion and for additional resources. 

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day

Friday, September 30th is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day. This meaningful day signals a year-long, ongoing commitment to learning that centres the truth of the harmful effects of colonialism, including the residential schools system that caused the loss of Indigenous lives, languages, and traditions for generations. Students will be engaging in learning activities to increase awareness and understanding of the lasting impact of Canada’s residential school system on Indigenous communities across Canada. 

Indigenous families may decide to keep their children home to engage in activities with family and community. Please note that Indigenous Self Identification is a confidential process and should not be understood as a requirement for students to observe the day with their families and community. September 30th is a day on which no assignments or assessments are to be scheduled. 

Flags at Half-mast in Honour of Police and Peace Officers’ National Memorial Day

Flags at all OCDSB buildings will be flown at half-mast from the end of the day on Friday, September 23rd until morning on Monday, September 26th to mark this occasion.

Thank you, 

Camille Williams-Taylor

Director of Education 

 

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