The Carlington Summit

The OCCSB has decided to close St. Joseph's Intermediate School by September 2003, with the students being directed to Notre Dame High School for grades 7-OAC.

“The School Area Review has been a difficult process, and there are still issues to be dealt with,” said Board Chairperson June Flynn-Turner. “But I'm confident the Board has conducted this review with the best interests of the students in mind. Our goal has always been to provide the best Catholic education possible for our students.”

“School consolidation is much more than simply generating funds for new school construction,” said Phil Rocco, Director of Education. “That's just one part of the equation. We have always provided quality programming for our students, and we intend to continue that, but we must make the best use of the Board's limited financial resources.”

History comes alive

Canada's military and pioneering history came alive in late May at the 11th annual Heritage Day at St. Joseph's Intermediate School. The event, called “To Stand on Guard for Thee,” a tribute to Canada's military and pioneering past from 1760-2000, featured a barbecue dinner, cultural activities and re-enactments, and military and pioneering displays and demonstrations.

The program included historical re-enactments in period costume and demonstrations of military hardware, including Second World War 40-mm anti-aircraft guns and other vehicles and weapons of the era.

A group of dedicated military re-enactors from the Perth Regiment 5th Division accurately portrayed members of the Canadian infantry fighting for the liberation of Holland. Chuck Chapman and Robert Gagnon, committed historians and historical re-enactors, demonstrated the way of life of the early frontiersman in North America. Gary Robson, curator of Canadian Forces Base Petawawa Museum and an expert on the First World War, brought to life those terrible times of our forefathers.

This annual event is the brainchild of St. Joseph's Intermediate teacher Gene Michaud. He has given presentations at the Canadian War Museum and his miniature model reproductions of Canadian battles have been proudly displayed in Petawawa and Ottawa.

St. Joseph's cheerleading team best in Ontario

The cheerleading team from St. Joseph's Intermediate School won the Ontario championships held during the first weekend in May at Brock University in St. Catharines.

Teachers raise funds for Habitat for Humanity

Teachers with the Board have launched an ambitious campaign to raise funds to build a home for a needy family in this community. Catholic Teachers in Action, a group of teachers who aremembers of the Ottawa-Carleton Unit of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA), has joined forces with Habitat for Humanity and has set a goal of building a home in the year 2001.

Donna Marie Kennedy, local OECTA president, said teachers have always been heavily involved, collectively and individually, in raising money for worthwhile causes. The Habitat for Humanity endeavour is one more example of the volunteer work teachers do for the community. Teacher Elizabeth Rock, who was one of the driving forces behind the move to get the Habitat for Humanity project off the ground, said the fundraising drive “sends a message to the community that we are a caring profession and are called to action.”

Teacher Margaret Labelle is Chairperson of the Habitat for Humanity fundraising committee. She said the committee must raise $50,000 by February of 2001 in order for the project to become a reality. “People can raise money as a group or as an individual,” said Ms. Labelle.

Habitat for Humanity provides an opportunity for the less fortunate to help themselves. Families are required to purchase the homes, but are provided interest-free loans. The families are also required to pay for the maintenance costs and taxes for the home and must contribute at least 500 hours of labour toward the home's construction. Single-parent families must contribute 250 hours of labour.

Project helps adult students set goals

A project being delivered by the Board's Continuing Education Department helps adult literacy and basic skills students set goals for their future.

The Board is presenting the “Pathways to Success” project in partnership with the Ottawa-Carleton Coalition for Literacy. It is a resource package that instructors can use to help students set their own short- and long-term goals and to plan how to reach them. The idea for the project came from within the Board. Maria Makrakis, Administrator for Continuing and Community Education, then applied for and received a grant from the Ontario government to implement the project. It has been highly successful, and the Board will be offering it to other school boards across the province. “Adult education is extremely important,” said Phil Rocco, Director of Education. “This is an outstanding program and is a credit to the staff of the department. This project is of great help to the Board in providing a well-rounded program.”

Board appoints replacement Trustee

The Ottawa-Carleton Catholic School Board has appointed Patricia Bowie as the new Trustee for Zone 8 (Southgate, Alta Vista/Canterbury). Mrs. Bowie was elected on the third ballot from a field of 10 candidates. She told the Board she is “deeply committed to Catholic education” and promised to work hard for her constituents.

A longtime resident of Ottawa (Zone 8), Mrs. Bowie was a Trustee with the former Ottawa Roman Catholic Separate School Board from 1980 to 1994. She served on all major Board committees and has actively participated on Parent Councils in the Alta Vista area of Ottawa.

Mrs. Bowie will serve until the current term ends on November 30, 2000. She fills a vacancy which recently occurred on the Board.

Board Chairperson June Flynn-Turner welcomed Mrs. Bowie, saying her experience makes her a valuable asset to the Board of Trustees. Meanwhile Jonathan Ng, of Holy Trinity CatholicHigh School, was introduced to the Board as the newly-elected student trustee for the 2000-2001 school year.

Mr. Ng was elected from a field of seven candidates. Two student council representatives from each of the Board's high schools voted for the candidate of their choice. Mr. Ng, who assumes his position in September, replaces Sean Borg.

Board choir takes top prize

The Ottawa-Carleton Catholic School Board's Children's Choir, directed by MaryAnn Dunn, placed first in their class at the Kiwanis Club Music Festival Folk Song Chorus Choir Competition, with marks of 88 and 90, and then won the Luella Barrigar Trophy.

“We are so pleased,” said Mrs. Dunn, “It is wonderful for the children to get a tangible reward for all their hard work.” Mrs. Dunn founded and has directed the choir since 1991. She is a former music teacher with the Board and now teaches Kindergarten at Our Lady of Peace School. The Chamber Choir, a more senior and smaller group, part of the OCCSB Choir, competed in the High School Junior category and came in second behind École secondaire de LaSalle, one of the two performing arts schools in Ottawa-Carleton.

“The choir is a credit to our Board,” said Phil Rocco, Director of Education. “The dedication of Mrs. Dunn and the commitment of the choir members have certainly paid off. We're all very proud of them.”

> The choir performs annually for the Festival of Carols at the National Gallery, has participated in a massed choral presentation with the NAC Orchestra at the National Arts Centre, the 50th Anniversary of Canadian Citizenship at the Supreme Court of Canada and the National Capital Kiwanis Festival. This year, the OCCSB Choir will be participating on Canada Day in UNISONG 2000, a musical extravaganza of 2000 voices from across Canada.

The choir presented their annual Spring Concert in the auditorium of the new Sacred Heart Catholic High School in Stittsville on June 14 at 7:30 pm.

School Profiles an exemplary practice

This year's edition of the Board's System and School Profiles have been distributed to the schools, parishes and municipal libraries.

The profiles have been publicly recognized by the Education Improvement Commission (EIC) for the way they “celebrate the individuality of each school, detailing the academic and extracurricular programming, school events and a summary of student progress and outstanding school and student achievements.”

The EIC, which conducted reviews of all Ontario school boards last year, credited the OCCSB for placing a high priority on student achievement and accountability.

“A lot of work and expertise went into developing these profiles,” said Mr. Rocco. “It's nice to see this effort recognized beyond our borders. It's an exemplary practice which is recognized by the EIC.”