School Council Update #3

October 23, 2020

School Council Information
With so much change this year, we know there are new questions and challenges facing school councils. We are here to help answer those questions. Please send your inquiries to

We will respond and will include a Q & A section in our newsletter, so that all members will be able to review the information.
School Council Resources:

Further School Council information and resources can be found on our website.
School Council Reporting

With school council elections mostly complete, it is time to update our school council contact lists. We also need school councils to complete their annual report on council activities for the past year. The requirements are outlined in Policy P.014.SCO.

The annual report is due 30 October 2020 and has to include information on 2019-2020 activities, and may include information on the goals and composition of the council and a note from the Chair or Co-Chairs. We have created one form which allows you to provide updated contact information and your annual report. If you have not done so already, please submit this form by completing the chair, vice/co-chair contact information, and uploading your annual report.

Personal information is collected for internal use purposes and will not be publicly shared.
Google Meet Tips for School Councils

With the move to School Council Meetings online, understanding the technology and etiquette for online meetings is more important than ever. The following tips are important to keep in mind when conducting a meeting in Google Meet:
  • Be present and pay attention.
  • Set up in a private and quiet space.
  • If possible, turn on your camera. It’s helpful to see each other when interacting.
  • Mute your microphone and only unmute when it’s your turn to speak
  • Don’t take pictures or screenshots of attendees

Council chairs should be using the school council GEM email address to set up meetings. If you do not know the password, the principal has to send an email to the CSC in order to reset it. 

For more information please review the Guide to Google Meet for School Councils.
Parent Involvement Committee Membership

We are currently seeking applications for membership to the OCDSB Parent Involvement Committee (PIC). The committee meets 6 times per year to advise on strategies to support and encourage parent engagement to support student achievement and well-being. 
The committee is comprised of parents as well as representation from the director of education, trustees, school administrators, and community members. Applications will be accepted until Friday, October 30th, 2020.
Learn more on the district website, and school websites.
Mental Health Supports and Resources

We know that these times are stressful, and it is normal to feel anxious while we deal with the ongoing pandemic. If you or someone you know is struggling, there are resources available on our website for students, staff, and families. Remember, no matter where you are or what you’re going through, you don’t have to go through it alone.
Parent-Teacher Interview Software

Due to ongoing restrictions related to COVID-19, Parent-Teacher Interviews cannot occur in person and must occur through virtual means. 

There is a new software application that some schools will be using to book interview times, however other schools have already scheduled and held parent teacher interviews without the use of this tool. Interviews for Secondary students are being held from October 21st to 27th. Interviews for Elementary students will be in November. Further information will be sent to parents.
OCASC 2020-2021 Meeting Schedule

The Ottawa-Carleton Assembly of School Councils (OCASC) has released their meeting dates for 2020-2021. Their first meeting will be held on October 15th, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. Further details including registration can be found on their website.

2020-2021 Dates
October 15th, 2020
November 19th, 2020
December 16th, 2020 - To be confirmed
January 21st, 2020
February 18th, 2020
March 18th, 2020 - To be confirmed
April 15th, 2020
May 20th, 2020

Ottawa Public Health has advised that Ottawa families do not participate in Halloween this year. A list of "Hallo-Wise" activities can be found on their website.

Schools will be celebrating Halloween, and ask that families adhere to the following guidelines:
  • Children are welcome to attend school in costume, however it's important to note that the costume will be worn all day and children will not be able to change. Accessories, props and makeup will not be allowed.
  • Costume masks are not allowed, and children should continue to follow OPH guidelines in terms of face masks.

Visit our website to learn more.
Cybersecurity Tips

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and the following guidelines are recommended to ensure safety while online:

  • Always check the source of a file before downloading it
  • Ensure that all passwords are both strong and easy to remember
  • Enable multi-factor authentication on all accounts
  • Avoid connecting to unsecured WiFi networks
  • Secure all devices
Back to School Survey - Preliminary Results

Thanks to everyone who completed our Back to School Survey! We received so much valuable feedback from over 20,000 staff members, parents and students. We are still compiling the results and look forward to sharing them next week. 
Loran Award

Attention parents of Grade 12 students - it is time to be thinking about scholarship applications. Applications for the 2021 Loran Award are open!

The Loran Award is a very prestigious scholarship, valued at $100,000 over four years, including mentorship, funding for summer internships and participation in an extensive network of past and present scholars.

High school and Cegep students who plan to attend university next fall are invited to apply.
Board and Committee of the Whole Meetings
The next public Board Meeting will be held on October 27th, 2020, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Watch the meeting live here.

Upcoming Committee Meetings: 

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