May 27, 2022 - OCDSB Schools Open for Charging Devices, Changes to the OCDSB’s Mandatory Masking Policy, and more.

May 27, 2022 - OCDSB Schools Open for Charging Devices, Changes to the OCDSB’s Mandatory Masking Policy, and more.
Posted on 05/27/2022

Dear OCDSB Families, 

Thank you again for your patience as our staff worked to respond and adapt to the various power and internet outages affecting our community. 

It has been a hard week. We would like to extend our sincere condolences to those in our community who are grieving the loss of loved ones at this time. We know the impact of this storm continues to challenge many who are experiencing power loss, financial hardship and considerable stress.

At the same time, we are deeply saddened by the tragic events at Robb Elementary School in Texas. Our thoughts are with the victims, their families, and the community. Our sincere condolences go out to the loved ones of each victim and the communities grieving in the wake of this horrific act.

In a year that has been challenging for so many families, facing yet another significant stressor has been difficult to comprehend, especially as we also continue to navigate our way through even more stories of pain and loss we hear in the news.

How you and your child react to these events will vary from person to person. This can look like worry, fear, or even irritability or anger. Here are a few reminders from the OCDSB’s mental health team, of ways to keep our own and our children’s mental health a priority throughout this time:

  • Remember that during challenging times, the reaction of adults will set the tone for children. Ensure you have your own network of support as needed.
  • Check in with your child and provide reassurance that they are safe
  • Hear and validate their thoughts, feelings and emotions including uncomfortable ones such as fear, anger and frustration
  • Maintain regular and predictable routines whenever possible
  • Consider the impact of media exposure on your own and your child’s well being and limit exposure as much as possible
  • Focus on stories of the community coming together and talk about how best to contribute as a family 
  • Know your limits and reach out for support as needed.

If you have concerns about your child and would like to explore possible resources, please reach out to your school administrator. For a list of other helpful resources, please visit Ottawa Public Health’s website or our mental health resource page. You can also find various programs and services through Ontario 211.

Reminder: Four OCDSB Schools Open for Charging Devices from 4:00 - 9:00 p.m.

The OCDSB is opening Canterbury High School, Roberta Bondar Public School, Woodroffe High School, and Carleton Heights Public School from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. today, Friday, May 27, to allow the public in impacted areas to charge devices. Learn more on our website

Changes to the OCDSB’s Mandatory Masking Policy  

Effective Monday, May 30, 2022, the OCDSB will shift its policy on the wearing of masks from “mandatory” to “strongly encouraged”. The mandatory mask mandate has been in place by Board motion, since April.  The motion indicated that mask use would continue until such time as Ottawa Public Health (OPH) may explicitly advise otherwise. On May 20th, 2022, Ottawa Public Health communicated the following data to Ottawa-area school boards: 

  • Wastewater viral levels are decreasing, bringing them to less than half of what they were earlier this spring and lower than the January 2022 peak;
  • Testing percent positivity is moderate and levels are decreasing; 
  • New hospital admissions are low and decreasing; and
  • New confirmed outbreaks are low and decreasing. 

The trends in these monitoring indicators suggest that COVID-19 transmission in Ottawa continues to decrease at a steady pace, which is consistent with data reported by the Ontario Science Table. Both the local and provincial data show a steady decrease, indicating that we have reached the point to adjust our practice. We continue to strongly encourage the wearing of masks and will respect decision-making made by students, families, and staff based on personal risk factors.

Reminder: Election Day is Thursday, June 2nd 

A reminder that the provincial election will be held on Thursday, June 2, 2022. There are many ways to vote - please read Elections Ontario’s voter’s guide to learn more.

Community Recognition Awards: Announcing our Nominees

On Monday, we are looking forward to announcing this year’s nominees for the Community Recognition Awards. The Community Recognition Awards provide a wonderful opportunity to recognize our outstanding volunteers for the impact they have had on their school community or throughout the OCDSB. Thank you to all who submitted a nomination, and thank you to all our volunteers for your hard work and dedication in support of students, families, and staff members.

Student Technology Survey for Students in Grades 7-12

The OCDSB is conducting a short survey for students in Grades 7-12. The purpose of this survey is to gather feedback from students about their experiences using technology to support their learning over the past few years, in order to help inform the planning and development of the new district Technology Plan. The short, anonymous survey will be distributed via email directly to students’ OCDSB accounts, and will be open from Monday May 30, 2022 to Wednesday June 8, 2022. For your reference, the current plan, “Transforming How We Learn and Work (2019-2022)” can be found on our website

Upcoming Events 

May 30th: Committee of the Whole Budget Meeting, 7:30 p.m.

The Committee of the Whole Budget Meeting originally scheduled for Wednesday, May 25th has been rescheduled to Monday, May 30th at 7:30 p.m. Watch the livestream at this link and view the agenda on our website.

May 31st: OCDSB Board Meeting, 7:00 p.m. 

The Board Meeting scheduled for May 24th has been rescheduled to Tuesday, May 31st at 7:00 p.m. You can watch the livestream at this link, and view the agenda on our website. 

National Indigenous History Month 

June is National Indigenous History Month, a time to learn about and celebrate the beauty and brilliance of First Nations, Inuit and Métis People. Throughout the month, we will be sharing information and resources on our website and social media to help students, staff, and families learn and celebrate National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21st. For further learning resources, please feel welcome to reach out to the Indigenous Education Learning Team.

Pride Month 

Throughout the month of June, the OCDSB will be celebrating Pride Month. Pride Month is an opportunity for all to celebrate diversity while learning about the contributions, achievements, histories of 2SLGBTQ+ individuals and communities. We will be sharing more on our website and social media channels about opportunities to celebrate and participate in Pride Month in the coming weeks. 

June 3rd: Elementary PA Day 

A reminder that Friday, June 3 will be a PA Day for elementary students. There will be no classes held on this date. 

June 9th: Emotion-Focused Parenting Webinar with Dr. Adele Lafrance, 6:30 p.m. 

On Thursday, June 9th, the OCDSB Speaker Series presents “What to Say When Nothing Seems to Work: Communication through Connection”, a webinar with Dr. Adele Lafrance. This evidence-based workshop will provide parents and guardians with concrete strategies to encourage cooperation, support transitions, and respond to difficult emotions like worry, anger, hopelessness, and boredom, all while ensuring the relationships remains at the forefront. Please register here

Important Dates 

Next week, both National AccessAbility Week and Bike to School Week are recognized in Canada. The month of June is also Portuguese Heritage Month, Italian Heritage Month, and Brain Injury Awareness Month. June 1st is also recognized as Intergenerational Day and International Day of Parents. Please visit our website and follow us on social media to learn more about various dates throughout the year. 

In case you missed it…

Google Hangouts for Students during Jewish Heritage Month: There will be one more Google Hangout this month for Jewish students in grades 7-12, taking place on Monday, May 30th. Students can ask their student success teacher, principal, or vice principal for the nickname.

Summer School Registration: Summer school registration is open for students in grades 6-8 and in grades 9-12. Both in-person and virtual options are available. Visit our website to learn more and register. 

Thank you, 

Camille Williams-Taylor 

Director of Education

 

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