Message from the School Board

posted Jan 2, 2021, 12:49 PM by Caroline Girardin

January 2, 2021

Dear OCSB Families,

School Starts Monday, January 4, 2021

We wanted to assure you even though our school buildings will be closed on January 4, 2021, due to a province-wide shutdown - learning continues at the Ottawa Catholic School Board. 

Elementary Students

Elementary students should begin Monday morning by reviewing how to join the Google Meet platform and familiarize themselves with accessing Hapara Workspace from the Student Portal. Please remind your child they will need to join the Google Meet using the OCSB Student Portal link to connect with their teacher and classmates on Monday afternoon. Regular classes start right after their usual school lunchtime. 

Secondary Students

Secondary Students also return to school on Monday, January 4, 2021. They will start their day by doing their morning course asynchronously using the Hapara Workspace. Their classroom teacher will send them a link for Google Meet for their afternoon class.  Cohorts A and Cohorts B will be working together every day while classes are offered only online.

Secondary Students’ Attendance and Assessment

Student assessments administered during the 3-week closure period will be included in determining the students' final course mark. Attendance during this online time-period is essential during the second quadmester. If a student is ill and cannot participate online, please ensure you have notified your school.  

Elementary Attendance

Parents of elementary school students should ensure they continue to notify the school if their child is absent.

Special Education System Classes

School staff will contact parents with children in system classes on January 4 to discuss remote learning for their child if that is a feasible option. Should this not be a workable solution, we will make in-person learning available where possible for students in system classes. We will provide transportation, and classes will resume on Tuesday, January 5, 2021, for those students. All other students with special needs will engage in online learning with their class and teacher until January 11 in our elementary schools and until January 25 in our secondary schools. Students will receive online EA or resource support if they are currently receiving similar support in-person.

We’re Here to Help - Readiness Checklist for Parents

For those parents new to remote learning, the OCSB Learning Technologies Department prepared a Readiness Checklist for Parents. This document will help you with everything from logging into the Chrome web browser to accessing the Hapara Workspace and so much more.

Parent Support Live Stream Sessions

If you are looking for more help, we will be hosting Parent Support Live Streaming Sessions.

January 4th 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

You can find out more about the basics of Hapara Workspace and Google Meet at Remote Learning: LT Parent Support Livestream Session 1

January 4th 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

The basics of Hapara Workspace and Google Meet will also be available in an evening session at Remote Learning: LT Parent Support Livestream Session 2

I Can't Make the Scheduled Workshop Times

Don't worry. We will post these webinars on our Youtube Parent Playlist.

I Have a Technology Question and Can't Find the Answer 

If you have questions regarding Google Meet and or Hapara Workspace, please fill out this form, and we will attempt to address those questions in the webinar. The form will be live and monitored throughout the live stream.  

Student Support

We also developed student videos. The goal of these videos is to help students (new to remote learning) better understand what remote learning is all about.

#ocsbHowTo use Google Meet for Students

#ocsbHowTo Troubleshoot Hapara Workspace for Students

Did You Know There is Government Support Available?

Coming this month, students aged 13 through Grade 12 are eligible for funding under an expanded Support for Learners program. Parents or guardians will receive a one-time payment of $200 per eligible student to help offset education expenses. Secondary school student applications will be open from January 11, 2021, to February 8, 2021.  

Deadline Extended for Elementary Students

The $200 Support for Learners application deadline for children or youth aged 0 to 12 and $250 for children or youth aged 0 to 21 with special needs is extended to February 8, 2021. You can find the application instructions on the Support for the Learners web page. This funding is an excellent opportunity to help offset the cost of a Chromebook.

Electronic Devices

We anticipate that most students have access to a device that they can use during the provincial lockdown; however, if you require a device, please contact your school via the school's email address

Home/School Relationships in Online Learning

Remote learning will be new to some of our students and their families. We all play a vital role in ensuring the learning environment is safe, private, respectful, inclusive and equitable.  Our goal is to work together in all learners' best interests as we comply with the Provincial Government's health and safety measures. During online instruction, parents/guardians should correspond with the classroom educators before or after the school day, not during the online classroom instruction. Families may wish to review our  Samaritans on the Digital Road as a guide to OCSB’s expectations for conduct and behaviour within online, community learning and hybrid learning environments.  

Happy New Year 

Thank you for your continued support of Catholic education. We wish you a healthy and happy New Year.

Communications Department

Ottawa Catholic School Board