October 20, 2023 - Caring Community, Muslim Students Group in Celebration of Islamic Heritage Month, October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and more.

October 20, 2023 - Caring Community, Muslim Students Group in Celebration of Islamic Heritage Month, October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and more.
Posted on 10/20/2023

Hello Students,

Caring Community

We appreciate the very thoughtful feedback from many members of the community, sharing perspectives, concerns, and fears about the ongoing crisis in the Middle East and how we are responding. We recognize the tremendous impact and hurt being experienced by so many in our community. As educators, we know that in moments of crisis and heightened stress, the familiar structure and routine of the school day is important to student learning and well-being. In our schools, classrooms, and offices, we are focusing on learning and on building a culture of care. We encourage students and staff to support each other and act with compassion and kindness.

Unfortunately, international conflicts can generate an increase in acts of hate locally. We take these matters very seriously, and encourage reporting of any concerns.

Muslim Students Group in Celebration of Islamic Heritage Month 

In celebration of Islamic Heritage Month, which takes place each October, Muslim students in grades 7-12 are invited to join a virtual weekly Google Hangout (OCDSB student login required). Meets will take place from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. every Monday until October 30th. For more details, email [email protected]

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month

Cyber Security Awareness Month shares simple steps that everyone can take to learn about staying safe online and protecting their devices. Explore resources from Cyber Security Ontario to learn about social media safety, privacy, cyber scams, misinformation, cyberbullying, and more.

Calendars and Planning for Important Dates

Please consult the OCDSB’s Elementary and Secondary calendars for PA Days, holidays, exam dates, and more during the 2023-2024 School Year. In addition, schools avoid scheduling activities like evaluations and field trips on certain religious/creed-based days of significanceAdditional dates of significance can be found in our MultiFaith calendar and on our website

October 24th is Dussehra (Vijayadashami) which celebrates the victory of good over evil, following the nine-day celebration of Navaratri (nine nights) and Durga Puja (worship). Wishing a Happy Dussehra to everyone celebrating! 

Student Transportation Update

The Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) Board of Directors empathizes with parents and students affected by the current school bus driver shortage and sincerely apologizes for the inconvenience caused by the ongoing cancellations. Over the last two weeks, OSTA has been able to reduce the number of cancelled runs by 16%. There are now 33 drivers in training, primarily due to the OSTA's DriveYellow recruitment campaign which is being renewed and amplified to increase driver applications further and decrease the number of driver vacancies. OSTA will be holding a Public Governance Meeting on Monday, November 6, 2023, at 5:30 p.m. via Google Meet. Please fill out the registration form if you are interested in attending.

ETFO Collective Bargaining Update

Earlier this week, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) announced that its teacher and occasional teacher members voted 95% in favour of central strike action. This strike mandate does not necessarily mean that ETFO members will be engaging in work-to-rule strike action or heading to picket lines at this time. Negotiations will continue. Learn more about labour negotiations on our website.

Media Literacy Week: October 23 to 27

Media Literacy Week is a chance to learn more about how to stay safe online, analyze what we see in the media, evaluate sources of information, be responsible digital citizens, and more. Learn more about digital media literacy through MediaSmarts’ videos, games, and resources.

Upcoming Board and Advisory Committee Meetings

October 23rd, 7:00 p.m. - Advisory Committee on the Arts
October 23rd, 7:00 p.m. - Alternative Schools Advisory Committee
October 25th, 7:00 p.m. - Audit Committee
October 26th, 6:00 p.m. - Advisory Committee on Equity

Agendas, locations, minutes, livestreams and recordings of meetings are available for public viewing using the Board and Advisory Committees' meeting calendar

November 22: International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme Virtual Open House

Grade 8 & 9 students are invited to join us on Wednesday, November 22, 2023, 6:15 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., for the IB Programme Virtual Open House. Learn more about the IB Programme and the application procedures for the 2024-25 school year. For the participation link and more details, visit ocdsb.ca/ib.

In case you missed it: 

Initial Learning Updates (Progress Reports)

The Initial Learning Updates (ILU) (formerly known as Progress Reports) were emailed to parents/guardians and eligible students on October 17, 2023. Visit ocdsb.ca/reportcards for details. Please note: This does not apply to students in the IB program and non-semestered schools. 

November 1st: Arts Canterbury Open House (In-person)

Canterbury High School will be hosting an Arts Open House on Wednesday, November 1st from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Grade 8 students and their families are invited to attend this in-person event to learn more about the OCDSB's specialized arts programming, and about application procedures for the 2024-25 school year. 

November 1st: Post-Secondary Pathway and Career Exploration Day

We invite all OCDSB secondary students to participate in the Post-Secondary Pathways and Career Exploration Day on Wednesday, November 1, 2023. Grade 9 students can explore career options through Take Our Kids to Work Day while Launch 2023 - a one-day virtual pathways and career exploration conference is a great opportunity for students in grades 10-12. 

November 4th: OCDSB Family Conference: Don’t miss it!  

Join us for the OCDSB Family Conference on Saturday, November 4, 2023, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Brookfield High School. This event will feature Ontario’s first Poet Laureate, noted author, and community leader Randell Adjei as our inspiring keynote speaker. You can attend a variety of educational workshops with some offered in multiple languages and with sign language support. Register now and select the workshops that you would like to attend.

Grade 12 Students: Ontario Universities Virtual Information Sessions 

Register to join the virtual information session on November 22nd, 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. 

Helpful Links

Thank you, 

Pino Buffone
Director of Education 


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