Special Board Meeting - Nov 22

An Open Letter to the Community: OCDSB Special Board Meeting Scheduled for Tuesday, November 22
Posted on 11/17/2022

Dear OCDSB Families, 


As Chair and Vice-Chair of the OCDSB’s Board of Trustees, we are writing to you today about the urgent need for our community to work together to address the impact of the  increased spread of the flu, respiratory illnesses, and COVID-19 in our community. Last week, the OCDSB, joined with CHEO and Ottawa Public Health in strongly encouraging the wearing of masks indoors, including in schools. Mask wearing helps to stop the spread of airborne viruses which helps to keep students healthy and in school.


The OCDSB has scheduled a Special Board Meeting on Tuesday, November 22, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the adoption of a temporary mask mandate for students and staff at all OCDSB schools. The meeting will be held in-person at 133 Greenbank Road with options for participants to join remotely and watch a livestream. 


Why This Action?

In recent weeks, we have been listening carefully to information and guidance from local and provincial public health authorities and hospitals. We have heard that the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) is experiencing an unprecedented surge in viral illness among children and youth, including COVID-19, the flu, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). We know that CHEO has opened a second Pediatric ICU to address the current overflow of critically ill babies and young children. We have also heard both Ottawa Public Health and Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore, urge the public to wear masks in all indoor spaces and crowded outdoor spaces in order to slow the transmission of respiratory illness. 


These are the reasons why we feel this special Board Meeting is urgently needed. The Board of Trustees cares greatly about this community. It is our responsibility to work together and engage in any discussion that can impact student wellbeing, no matter how difficult. 


Participation in the Meeting

If you wish to appear as a delegation at this meeting, please complete this delegation registration form as soon as possible. There will be 20 minutes allocated for oral delegations and an unlimited number of written delegations. To ensure equitable access for all, the time allocation for delegations will be capped at two minutes per delegation. And, the 20-minute allocation will be equally divided between those in support and those opposed to the motion. In addition, priority will be given to those individuals who have yet to appear before the Board or the Committee of the Whole as a delegation in the previous year.


If you have questions, you can contact your area Trustee. Please take a moment to look at the list of trustees as there were several changes in the recent election. Learn more and contact your Trustee at any time with questions or concerns. 


Sincerely, 


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Lyra Evans Justine Bell

Chair Vice-Chair
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