March 15, 2018: OCSB Trustee’s Report; New support for outdoor learning.

March 15, 2018: OCSB Trustee’s Report;
New support for outdoor learning.

By Jeremy Wittet, OCSB Trustee, Zone 7.

Notre Dame High School Information Night.
On February 8, Notre Dame High School hosted their annual orientation night for new students. Parents and prospective students had the opportunity to view displays from various departments, learn about programming and meet the teachers. Notre Dame has experienced a steady increase in enrollment over the last couple of years and we look forward to seeing that number climb even higher.

Catholic Teachers’ Association Dinner:
The Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association hosted their annual Silver Celebration recognizing teachers who have achieved 25 years of teaching excellence in the Ottawa Catholic School Board. It was a privilege to join Fiona Fahey, teacher from St. George School who was recognized and who has been a tremendous asset to the St. George school community. Congratulations Ms. Fahey!

St. George School Council Meeting:
On February 20, St. George School held their monthly school council meeting. Whenever possible I try to attend school council meetings to listen to parents and better understand individual school needs. Topics at the meeting included, school fund raising initiatives, hot lunches and the need for more outdoor education items such as benches and gardens.

More Support For Outdoor Education:
At the regular board meeting of February 27, trustees discussed how to spend some surplus funds from previous budgets. The board looked at flexible classroom seating/lighting, playground equipment for schools in need and boosting technology for teachers in the classroom. One notable item that was missing was support for outdoor classrooms and educational experiences. After listening to school councils and principals, I put forward a motion, which the board of trustees unanimously passed, calling for a one-time expenditure of $200,000 toward outdoor classrooms. We look forward to seeing what creative ideas schools have to enhance outdoor learning experiences for students.

Contact Jeremy Wittet by telephone at (613) 721-2376, by e-mail at, and via Twitter @OCSBWittet.


February 15, 2018: OCSB Trustee’s Report; Catholic School News.

February 15, 2018: OCSB Trustee’s Report;
Catholic School News.

By Jeremy Wittet, OCSB Trustee, Zone 7.

“Questions arose about the amount of “screen time” kids were engaging in at school and also what types of new technologies were being used in the classroom.”

Artistic Fusion:
On January 15, our talented OCSB staff and student artists transformed the Catholic Education Centre Board Room into an art gallery for everyone to enjoy. This annual event saw dozens of participants from across the board display their artistic creations including, sculptures, photographs, stained glass, water paintings, jewelry, pottery and much more. We are truly lucky to have so many talented individuals working and learning at the OCSB.

Ontario Catholic School Trustees conference:
From January 18-20th, Catholic School Trustees from across Ontario gathered in Mississauga at the annual Catholic Trustees Seminar. It was a pleasure to connect with colleagues from each of Ontario’s 29 English Catholic school boards. Conference seminars included topics such as, improving constituent outreach, the 2018 municipal election and fostering the relationship between school and the parish, just to name a few. A key highlight was the provincial political panel, which featured representatives from all three of Ontario’s major political parties, including an address by the newly appointed Minister of Education. It was a privilege to represent Kitchissippi and Bay Catholic ratepayers and families on the provincial stage.

Catholic School Parents Association meeting:
The Catholic School Parents Association held its monthly meeting on January 24th at the Catholic Education Centre. The topic for discussion was the Deep Learning Framework. Parents representing their local school councils came from across the board and also joined in on-line. Our board superintendent for learning technologies, Brenda Wilson gave an overview of the board’s vision for deep learning and took questions from parents. Questions arose about the amount of “screen time” kids were engaging in at school and also what types of new technologies were being used in the classroom. Attending these meetings is an extremely valuable way to gather parental feedback and learn about what is happening in schools across the district. The next meeting will take place on Wednesday, February 28 at the Catholic Education Centre.

Chili and Trivia Night – St. Georges Parish:
On Saturday, January 27th, St. Georges Parish hosted their annual Chili and Trivia Night fundraiser. Nearly 20 teams signed up this year making it the largest turnout to date. Questions ranged from pop culture, religion, sports and music. Msgr. Hans Feichtinger was on hand to kick things off and share some of his time with the crowd. Thanks to the Knights of Columbus for their hard work organizing and running the event.

Ottawa Student Transportation Authority:
It is a privilege to have been elected by the OCSB Board of Trustees to be one of the directors on the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority. Safe and reliable transportation to and from school is an essential part of our education system. As a board of directors, it is our responsibility to ensure safety, professionalism and financial stewardship in student transportation. It is also an important area because we share bus routes and costs with our coterminous board, the Ottawa Carleton District School Board. Should families have concerns or questions about their child’s transportation needs, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Photo Caption: OCSB Trustee Jeremy Wittet Photo courtesy of OCSB.