Welcome to 2020! Hopefully you enjoyed a lovely holiday. Our first week has brought lots of news and unfortunately, sad news as we learned about the tragic plane crash in Iran. We offer our sincere condolences to the family, friends, colleagues and classmates of those who were directly affected by this tragedy. The OCDSB lowered flags on all buildings as a sign of our respect and support. A reminder that our parent tip sheet offers some ideas that can help during difficult times.

There is quite a bit happening in public education. Please be sure to read through this newsletter carefully. There is an important labour relations update - all OCDSB schools will be closed on Wednesday, January 15th. There are also a number of other important updates and opportunities for you to provide input or to get involved. Thanks for taking an interest!
Important Information
Labour action is escalating and this will have an impact at both the elementary and secondary schools. OSSTF has a announced a one-day strike on Wednesday, January 15th. As a result, all elementary and secondary OCDSB schools will be closed to students on that day. Elementary teachers will also increase strike sanctions and have advised that rotating strikes may be possible starting Monday, January 20. A letter with more details has been sent from the OCDSB to all parents. Learn more.
The OCDSB is busy preparing for our 2020-2021 school year and we need your help.

Parents and students are invited to complete a short survey about the next school year
Topics include:
  • When should the Winter Break take place?
  • Should we add two Board holidays?

Please note, as Labour Day falls later than usual on September 7th, 2020, the start of the 2020-2021 school year will begin the week before, on Monday, August 31st, 2020.

The survey will remain open until January 26th, 2020 .
The OCDSB invites eligible candidates to apply for the position of Public School Trustee, to represent Zone 10 (Somerset/Kitchissippi) in the City of Ottawa.

In order to be eligible, candidates must be:
  • at least 18 years of age
  • a Canadian citizen
  • a resident in the city of Ottawa
  • a designated public school (English) elector
  • not disqualified by any legislation from holding the office of trustee

Visit our website for further details and apply here . Signed applications must be received no later than 12 noon on January 31st, 2020 .
Our 2019 Student Survey is going well - over 20,000 students and parents have responded.The surveys take about 20 minutes to complete. Additional information and FAQs can be found   on our website . Deadline to complete the survey is January 19th, 2020 .
I f your child will be 4 years old before December 31st, 2020, then they are ready to start kindergarten in September 2020. Give your child the best possible start! Call or stop by your child’s new school to pick up a registration package, or  register online ! Have questions? Come out to our Information Nights .
Please join Trustee Wendy Hough (OCDSB Zone 4 - Bay), Trustee Rob Campbell (OCDSB Zone 5 - College), and OCDSB Finance staff to discuss budget priorities for the 2020-2021 academic year. This invitation is open to anyone in our school community who would like to learn more about how spending decisions are made, or who would like to share their ideas about directions the Board might consider moving in the next academic year and beyond. Light refreshments will be served.

Date: Wednesday, January 15th, 2020
Location: Woodroffe High School - 210 Georgina Drive, Cafeteria or Library
Time: 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (registration opens at 6:45 pm)
For more information, contact:
As part of its Right to Read inquiry, the Ontario Human Rights Commission has launched a survey for students with reading disabilities and their parents and guardians.
is looking for caring homestay families to host international students from around the world coming to study in Ottawa for short and long-term stays. Make the decision to welcome an international student and make a lasting contribution to your family, your community, and the student. Learn more .
Interested in becoming a School Bus Driver? A new  School Bus Driver Preparatory Course  has been developed by the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSAT) in response to a schools bus driver shortage in Ottawa.
Check out the interactive Continuing Education Newsletter  for December 2019/January 2020, and have a look at what's taking place this Winter.
To enhance our existing absence-check procedure, we have introduced a new student absence reporting system in select schools called  SchoolMessenger SafeArrival .
All students attending school in Ontario are required to be vaccinated against nine (9) diseases or have a valid exemption. Parents are required to report all immunizations done at the doctor's office to Ottawa Public Health . OPH has the authority to suspend students who have not provided a record of immunization from attending school. Learn more .
School Council Information
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.
  • Key documents reviewed at the meeting, such as a financial statement, should be summarized in the minutes or attached as an appendix.

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.

Additional School Council information can be found on our website .

Board and Committee of the Whole Meetings
The next public Committee of the Whole meeting will be held on January 21st, 2020, 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 .
Stay Connected
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About the Newsletter
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