OSSTF has announced a possible one-day province wide walk-out on December 4th if a settlement has not been reached at the central table. At the OCDSB, this includes employees in elementary and secondary schools. While we remain hopeful that a settlement will be reached, the following scenarios are possible:
  • an agreement is reached and there is no withdrawal of services;
  • an agreement is reached with education workers, and the withdrawal of services is limited to secondary teachers and occasional teachers; or
  • no agreement is reached and there is a full withdrawal of services affecting elementary and secondary schools.
All parents and guardians will receive an email today with information about the labour action. We are continuing to monitor the central bargaining process and will keep the community informed as information becomes available.

Parents should have contingency plans in place for Wednesday, December 4th in the event that schools need to be closed to students. This could impact elementary and secondary schools, extended day programs, childcare programs, after school programs and clubs, and community use permits.
Watch for updates by email, website, media and social media.

We apologize for the uncertainty and disruption that this situation can create for families. We remain hopeful that a settlement will be reached at the central bargaining table. Thank you for your patience and support.
Important Information
We have recently launched the 2019 Student Survey . The response so far has been very positive! If you have already completed the survey with the link you received in the email on November 26th, your information has been received and we would like to thank you for participating.

For parents with more than one child:

Following the initial launch we made adjustments to the survey to make it easier for parents with multiple children to complete the survey. To do that, the survey was temporarily taken offline for a few hours. An updated link was then emailed to all parents. 

If you have more than one child in the district in Grades K-6, you will receive one email for each child. Please ensure you use the survey link in each email as each link is unique to a particular student. If you attempt to use the same link, the system will generate a message that says the survey has been completed and the results are saved. If this is not the problem, please try the following:
  • when viewing the second or third email, select the option to fully expand the email prior to opening the link so that you are not viewing a cached version of the email message;
  • try opening the second or third survey link in an incognito or private browsing window; and/or
  • clear your browser's cache and cookies.

Students from Grades 7-12 will complete their own survey.

Should you have further issues completing the survey please email valuingvoices@ocdsb.ca . In order to make it easier for parents with multiple children to complete the survey, updated links were distributed to parents on November 27th. Please use the new link to access the survey; the original link has been deactivated.
This year, the Ministry of Education made some changes to the Parents Reaching Out (PRO) Grants . The school council PRO grant application program has been discontinued and, instead, the OCDSB received $40,521 in PRO grant funding for 2019-2020. The Ministry has set expectations about how the funds can be used, which can be read here . All funds must be spent by June 30th, 2020 and reports must be filed by July 15th, 2020.

The District, in collaboration with its Parent Involvement Committee (PIC), is seeking your input about how to allocate those funds. We invite you to submit your thoughts by Monday, December 2nd, 2019. 

The Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) had a preliminary discussion about this at its November 20th, 2019 meeting. Some of the ideas we heard include:
  • Allocating an amount for each school council based on the number of students enrolled in the school;
  • Offering Speaker Series by family or group of schools across the District;
  • Administering a grant application process for school councils with a limited number of recipients and bigger grant amounts;
  • Distributing a fixed amount to school councils based on needs (RAISE index); 
  • Focusing on projects that align with one of the goals of the Board and School Improvement Plans; and
  • Using the funds to develop a parent engagement activity/module for school councils to use.

You may have other ideas and we would like to hear them. For more information, please refer to this report .
The Ontario Secondary Schools Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) has announced that its members will conduct a full-day withdrawal of service on Wednesday, December 4th, if a new agreement is not reached before then. The OCDSB remains hopeful that a settlement will be reached. Learn more .
From December 9th to 15th, the OCDSB will once again be celebrating coding activities during this year’s Hour of Code. The Hour of Code has become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts.
All children attending school between ages 4 to 17 need to be immunized according to   Ontario's Immunization Schedule Learn more .
To enhance our existing absence-check procedure, we are introducing a new, more efficient student absence reporting system called  SchoolMessenger SafeArrival .
Come out and support of the Education Foundation o n Saturday, December 7th, at Greenfield's Gastro Public House, join The Lads for a night of great music and fun.
Come join the Ottawa Carleton Choristers for their Christmas Concert “Pearls of the Season” on Dec 14th at Woodroffe United Church. Freewill offering, dessert reception to follow.
School Council Information
Video Licensing Agreement 2019-2020
In order for schools and schools councils to show copyright protected movies, the OCDSB has renewed their video licensing agreements with Criterion Pictures, and Audio Cine Films Inc. for the 2019-2020 school year,
effective until September 1st, 2020.

School Councils 101 - Quorum and Voting
A quorum is required to convene a school council meeting. To form a quorum, the majority of the current members of the school council must be present, and the majority of the members present must be parent/guardian members.
Once quorum is attained, your council can make decisions either by consensus or by a vote. If your council chooses to reach decisions by a majority vote, everyone on the council should be well informed and the council as a group should discuss all of the implications before a vote is called by the chair. A simple majority vote is 50% plus one of members present. Remember, all council members, except the principal, have voting rights. In the absence of a quorum, present members could meet for purposes of discussions if
they agreed to proceed.

School Councils 101 – Chairing a Meeting
Here are some tips to help in chairing your school council meetings:
  • Think of the topics on your agenda that might be contentious and have some language ready to recognize the value of everyone’s input, and alternatives to try to bring your council to consensus.
  • Keep on hand a copy of your constitution and your agenda. This will help you enforce protocols and follow the agreed upon items and timelines.
  • Refer to the minutes and confirm that issues are closed when attempts are made to reopen an item.
  • Always defer to the rest of the council if someone is hijacking a discussion.
  • When a person is speaking negatively about an issue, ask for possible solutions (make it positive) and poll the rest of the group.

School Councils 101 – Taking Minutes
Here are some tips to help in taking minutes of your council meetings:
  • The minutes should have the names of the members who are present, the date and the time of the meeting, decisions taken, and the time the meeting was adjourned.
  • You don’t need to record verbatim every opinion communicated; just record the decisions or actions.
  • Minutes should include any advice provided to the District staff and the reply to such advice.
  • Feel free to interrupt if you need clarification on what was said.

After you finish transcribing your minutes, mark it as draft and share it with the Chair for approval and sharing with the rest of the members. Remember, your minutes should be retained on your website for the current school year, plus 5 years.

Further School Council information can be found on our website .

Other Resources:

Board and Committee of the Whole Meetings
The next public Committee of the Whole meeting will be held on December 10th, 2019, in the boardroom at 133 Greenbank Road at 7:30 p.m.

 Watch the meeting  live here .

Upcoming Committee Meetings: 

For a summary of our board meetings, read our Boardroom Newsbriefs here .
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