School news and announcements

Update on Return to School - July 9th, 2020

posted Jul 10, 2020, 3:31 AM by Caroline Girardin

There have been many media reports and speculation about what the fall will look like for schools.  Please know that our staff continue to prepare for a safe return to school for everyone in September.

Return to School – five days a week

The preference of the Ottawa Catholic School Board is for all students to return to regular instruction, five days a week, with enhanced cleaning and hygiene.  

The decision about whether schools return to regular five-day in-person instruction will be made by the Ministry of Education in consultation with the provincial Ministry of Health. The Minister of Education will make that decision in early August.  The good news is that the data in the province and the Ottawa area are trending in the right direction.  

We received many comments through our surveys to parents, staff and students regarding how the process could be better adapted to meet individual family circumstances. We know that a partial return to school in the fall will not work for many families trying to balance work commitments while supporting children at home.  If we are not permitted to have all students at school five days per week, then we are looking at a rotation that involves three days at school for one week, followed by two days at school the next week.  In this adapted model, half of each class attends school every Monday and Tuesday and alternate Wednesdays while the other half of the class attends school every Thursday and Friday and alternate Wednesdays. Students will be able to connect with educators for distance learning whenever they cannot attend school in-person.  The adapted model is not our preferred model given the negative impact on families and on children not having the routine of regular school.

School Year Calendar

The Board of Trustees approved a modified school year calendar at a special meeting of the Board on Thursday, July 9. The school year 2020-2021 will start on Thursday, September 3, 2020.

Educators and support staff will be in schools on Monday, August 31, to Wednesday, September 2. These days will be used for professional learning and finalizing school health and safety measures.

Preparation for a Safe Return of All Students

The guiding principles for our return to school include:

1. Keep students and staff safe and healthy;

2. Provide continuity of learning: in-person, or distance learning, or a hybrid combination;

3. Be flexible to address access and equity needs of each student.

Our framework for a safe return to school addresses six components:

1. Prepare each school site

2. Prepare our staff for a return to work in schools

3. Prepare for the return of students to schools

4. School Operations

5. Hygiene and Cleaning

6. Communications

The details of the plan can be found here.  The plan is subject to change based on Public Health and the Ministry of Education guidance.

Next Steps

Parents will be informed of the Ministry of Education’s decision in early August as to the format of return, whether that be five days per week for all students or an adapted model with the partial return.

We recognize that even with a full five-day return to learning with enhanced hygiene and cleaning, some parents may choose to not have their children return until a vaccine has been implemented.  To plan support for those students that are selecting full distance learning, we will be sending a separate questionnaire in the coming days. Any parent that is selecting full distance learning for the fall will be asked to complete this survey.  The Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) will also be surveying parents to see if they plan on accessing transportation in the fall or if they plan on providing their own arrangements during the COVID-19 environment.

Principals will provide an update to all parents and students two weeks before the start of the school year. They will outline school safety precautions and provide detailed information related to your child’s school.

We know we don’t have all of the answers. We remain committed to keeping you informed and will provide updates as they become available.

We hope you and your family remain healthy and safe over the summer months.

Denise Andre, Director of Education
Thomas D’Amico, In-coming Director of Education

Summer Holiday

posted Jun 26, 2020, 8:43 AM by Caroline Girardin

We wish all of our Good Shepherd a restful, peaceful, but especially healthy holiday. We look forward to seeing you all back in September.

Last Day of School

posted Jun 19, 2020, 7:11 AM by Caroline Girardin   [ updated Jun 26, 2020, 8:44 AM ]

Our last day of school will be on Thursday, June 25th, 2020. 

Leaving Ceremony

posted Jun 19, 2020, 7:09 AM by Caroline Girardin

Our virtual Leaving Ceremony will be on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020 at 1:00 pm. On Wednesday, June 24th, Grade 6 students will have the opportunity to come to the school to pick up their diploma. Congratulations, Grade 6! We wish you all the best next year.

Student Item Pick Up

posted Jun 8, 2020, 10:37 AM by Caroline Girardin   [ updated Jun 8, 2020, 10:38 AM ]

Dear Parents/Guardians;

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work together through this challenging time. The Ministry of Education has now given permission for parents/students to temporarily access school property to retrieve their personal belongings.

Good Shepherd School will begin this process on Tuesday June 16, 2020. We will be allocating specific time frames for retrieval of student items based on alphabetical order of last names. These are the times that we have allocated for the retrieval of personal belongings.

Students with Last Names beginning with:

 A to D:   9 am to 10 am

D to K      10 am to 11 am

L to M     11 am  to 12 pm

N to Z       12 pm  to 1 pm

In an effort to minimize the risks and to enable social distancing, all of your child’s school things have been gathered and bagged by their teachers so there will be no need to enter the school. We have established five external pick-up locations for your to retrieve your child’s things:

  1. Kindergarten Area - 3 class doors off rooms
  2. Side door nearest the park play structure (Gr.1, Gr.1/2 Kassabri & DeLima)  (nearest students’ cloakroom)
  3. Back Yard Main Doors - Gr.2, Gr.3, Gr.2/3 (Gagnon, Rochon, Murphy)
  4. Gr.3/4 Ext.,Gr.4/5 Imm. - cloakroom side dismissal door (Cavar, Proulx)
  5. Main Front School Entrance (Gr.5Ex, Gr.6- MacKinnon, Girardin) Cloakroom & ASK (Chaudhry)


If you are unable to make the designated time that your family has been given please send an email to (prior to your retrieval date) and we will try to make alternative arrangements for the pick up of your child’s items.

Step by Step Guide to “Retrieval of Personal Belongings Process” at Good Shepherd School:

  1. Please park your car in our school parking lot before the beginning of your allotted time and bring and items that need to be returned to the school (e.g. library books).
  2. Proceed to the appropriate designated area (as listed above) and stand beside the designated pylon that represents the waiting line. (
  3. Please respect the 2 meter (6 feet) distance by standing apart from other parents and students waiting their turn. Wait for the teachers at the receiving desks to call you forward once they have located and presented your child’s bagged belongings.
  4. If you need your child to accompany you to identify their personal belongings then please bring them with you. You are asked to ensure that your child(ren) remains 2 metres (6 feet) from anyone that they may encounter during their time in the school.
  5. We are asking that you wear a mask if you have one. If you do not have a mask, then you can still come to the school, but be mindful to remain 2 metres (6 feet) away from anyone else in the school at all times.
  6. Place any Library Books you may have in the designated bins. If you come in contact with any surfaces, please use the hand sanitizer when you have completed this process)
  7. If you need to retrieve your child’s medication from the main office, let one of the teachers know and Mr. Chaplinsky or one of the staff will retrieve it for you.
  8. Please note that any material left behind after your allocated time will be donated or discarded.
  9. Once you’ve collected your child’s belongings, we ask that you avoid the temptation to linger and engage in chit-chat with other parents so that we can keep the designated points clear of congestion and minimize risk to all people involved.

If your child is registered in the extended day program their items will be placed in the front entrance to the side on a clearly marked table for pick up.

Please know that our entire staff is saddened by the events that have impacted our school year. We all look forward to time when we will all be able to return to a normal life. Our primary focus continues to be on your safety and the well-being of all students and staff.

Take care,

Richard Chaplinsky


Schools remain closed until the end of June

posted May 19, 2020, 11:35 AM by Caroline Girardin

The Premier and Minister of Education announced today all schools would remain closed for the rest of the school year in consultation with Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and the COVID-19 Command Table. We understand you might be disappointed with this news, but the decision was based on the best advice of health experts.

Distance learning continues

Although schools will not reopen until September, distance learning will continue until the end of the school year. Students in grades K-12 will continue to keep learning at home under the guidance of their educators. 

Staff access to school & Board office 

Many staff have asked when they can work at their school or at the Board office. At this point, the Ministry of Education has not permitted this to take place. The Ministry of Education has been asked to consider approving some staff to work in schools or at the Board office while ensuring physical distancing. Once this direction comes from the Ministry, we will notify the staff, and we will be as flexible as possible to accommodate individual circumstances.

Students/Parents retrieving items from school

We are waiting for approval from Ottawa Public Health on our submitted protocol for retrieving personal items from schools. We expect students and/or parents will be able to access schools sometime in June to retrieve their personal items. Principals are working on a plan that will permit controlled access once ready to implement. 

Summer learning

The province also unveiled an expanded summer learning plan for students to continue learning through the summer months. Plans are underway for summer school credit recovery and reach ahead credit courses. At this time, the format for this learning (face-to-face, online or hybrid) will depend on guidance from Public Health. 

Child care and day camps

The government plans to gradually reopen child care, open summer day camps as long as there continues to be progress in trends of key public health indicators. We expect this to begin when the Province is ready to transition to Stage 2 and will include safety protocols. 

Return to school plan 2020-2021

By the end of June, the government will announce reopening plans and safety protocols to enable students and staff to return to in-class instruction for the school year 2020-2021. In addition to the Ministry of Education’s guidelines, we are working with Ottawa Public Health (OPH), our staff, our local employee groups, our Catholic School Parent Association and Parent Involvement Committee (CSPA/PIC), and our Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) to develop a safe, comprehensive education plan for return to school in September. 

Staff can feel confident that our new plan for the fall will include appropriate physical distancing measures, disinfecting requirements, and where advised by OPH, the provision of staff personal protective equipment. Your school principal or department manager will continue to be your primary contact as this information becomes available.

Thank you 

I am thankful for your dedication and commitment to our school system. We will continue to be innovative while addressing the unique needs of this situation in the coming weeks.


Communications Department

Ottawa Catholic School Board

Victoria Day

posted May 15, 2020, 3:43 AM by Caroline Girardin

Monday, May 18th, is Victoria Day.


posted May 13, 2020, 4:15 PM by Caroline Girardin   [ updated May 15, 2020, 8:13 AM ]

Good Shepherd School 2019-2020 Yearbooks Are Coming!

Our School Council is delighted to be able to offer 2019-2020 yearbooks to our Good Shepherd students.  These popular yearbooks have a glossy softcover and are packed with great photos of life at school (and at home) this year.

Council has offered to purchase one yearbook per household in order to assist all families who are unable to budget for yearbooks at this time.  Additional yearbooks can be ordered at the regular cost of $16.75 each.

ALL yearbook orders (including the free yearbook) must be placed by May 27th through School Cash Online.  Cash or cheque are also accepted; please contact Patti Linn (Council Chair) at for details.

If you would like to contribute towards the cost of your free yearbook in order to conserve Council funds for next year's projects, you may do so through School Cash Online.

In the meantime, we ask that if you have photos of your child(ren) learning and playing at home, to please send them to Pictures of Google Hangout sessions would also be appreciated. All pictures to be submitted no later than Sunday, May 31st, 2020.

SchoolCash Online Refunds

posted May 11, 2020, 10:00 AM by Caroline Girardin

SchoolCash Online refunds were processed today for Milk, Pizza and Popcorn.   The refund is for the balance purchased in SchoolCash Online for after March Break.  

We know many of our school families are struggling right now, we hope these refunds will help a little bit.


Parent Council would like to suggest that if this money was not expected and not needed at this time, you could donate to CEFO

Catholic Education Foundation of Ottawa: Donate today and have an immediate impact on the life of a child

In these uncertain times, it is even more critical we come together as a Catholic community to help mitigate the effects of poverty in our students’ homes. The Catholic Education Foundation of Ottawa (CEFO) is a registered charity whose main focus is to raise funds to help alleviate poverty for students in the Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB).

The need is great in our community. Since March 23, the foundation has provided over $45,000 in emergency donations to 150 OCSB families who required food, shelter and medicine, among other things. While some members of our school community are in need of support, others may be in a position to provide support. We encourage you if you are able to donate directly to the Catholic Education Foundation of Ottawa (CEFO). It takes only a few minutes to donate. 

Other than credit card processing fees, we do not charge an administrative fee. The foundation is run completely by volunteers. Your donation will go directly to the students and families who need it the most, with only a 4% admin fee for credit card donations made through CanadaHelps. 

No amount is too small to help a child who needs it. Thank you for being the light and making a difference in the lives of many families in our community.


Happy Mother's Day

posted May 8, 2020, 7:23 AM by Caroline Girardin   [ updated May 8, 2020, 7:24 AM ]

Sunday, May 10th, is Mother's Day. The staff of Good Shepherd School would like to wish a very happy Mother's Day to all the mothers in our school community. 

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