February 18, 2021
Dear Parents & Guardians,
We hope you had an enjoyable Family Day weekend and were able to dig your way out after Tuesday’s snow fall. We have several important updates to share with you.
New OCSB Virtual Academy
Last Friday the school board sent a message to all parents regarding the establishment of permanent virtual schools (Feb 12th Message). Parents have been asked to identify whether they wish to register their child(ren) in the virtual option described. It is important to note that choosing this option is a year-long commitment. This is the time of year that students choose courses and pathways and we begin to schedule and staff for next year, based on the number of students projected to be attending Sacred Heart next year.
We know that, understandably, there may be some apprehension about making a commitment at this point in the school year. You know your child(ren) best and know if they would thrive in the virtual learning classroom. Many students have done very well learning virtually this year, while there are others who have struggled with the format. Many mental health experts have indicated that the positive social impacts of in-person learning need to be carefully weighed when determining whether or not to opt for online instruction. Each family’s circumstances are unique. We do want to ensure, however, that you are aware of a few key pieces of information.
Some things to consider:
The Board’s virtual academy is being established as a permanent option. It is here to stay, and will remain an option even after the COVID-related changes are phased out.
If you choose virtual learning your child will become a student at that school (counsellors there would help schedule courses, you would receive their newsletter, etc.). Your child would not be a Sacred Heart student for the 2021-22 school year. Of course, next year at this time you could opt to re-register for the 2022-23 school year at Sacred Heart.
If you select the virtual option for 2021-22 now, but change your mind at a later point (prior to or during the 2021-22 school year), you can request to come back to Sacred Heart. However, the request will be treated as a cross-boundary transfer request and could only be approved if space was available. There is a strong likelihood that space would not be available.
The virtual learning model for next year will be synchronous, as was the case this year. However, in high school the program will follow a semester system rather than the octomester system used this year. Students will take 4 courses each semester.
There will be a limited number of hands-on courses offered through the virtual academy.
If your child is entering Grade 12 next year and chooses to attend the virtual academy, they will graduate from the virtual academy school.
There are no system or inclusion classes being offered at the virtual academy.
There will be Resource support available through the virtual academy. The virtual academy will have its own dedicated Resource teachers.
If you do not fill out the form provided by the Board, it will be automatically assumed that you are returning to face-to-face learning at Sacred Heart next fall.
The deadline for completion of the virtual academy form is firm. It is February 25th. If you have questions or would like to speak to a staff member, please feel free to contact your child’s guidance counsellor or a member of the administration team.
Nick Brisson (A - Cor )
Eleanor Wallace (Cot - Gn )
Cindy Zwolak (Go - Mar)
Marie Burnett (Mas - Sco)
Andrew Bain (Se - Z)
Brent Hopkins, Principal
Alanna Vandewint, Vice-Principal (A-D)
Shawn MacEachern, Vice-Principal (E-K)
Angelina Glynn, Vice-Principal (L-P)
Mary Jane Gillier-Symes, Vice-Principal (Q-Z)
2021-22 Course Selection
Parent information video presentations are now available. Please visit SHH Course Selection Information to access the presentations. Presentations have also been shared with all students. Course selection is once again being completed through student’s myBlueprint accounts. The due date for course selection submission is Friday, March 5th.
Registration for New Students
Registration for 2021-22 is now open. Grade 6 students attending one of our feeder locations will be registered through their current school (Guardian Angels, St. Philip, St. Stephen and Holy Spirit). The families of students coming from any other schools are encouraged to register as soon as possible. Please visit: ocsb.ca/our-schools/register to begin the registration process.
7&8 Report Cards
Grade 7&8 Report Cards are now available for viewing on the Parent Portal. In order to access the Parent Portal, please use the following link: ocsb.ca/parents . It is recommended that you access the Parent Portal through a desktop, laptop or chromebook rather than a mobile device.
This reporting period reflects learning that has occurred during a unique year. Please read this important message from the Ottawa Catholic School Board’s Mental Health Lead:
In these different times we must recognize the efforts and resiliency that our children and youth have shown in the last few months. Their efforts should be commended through their ongoing capacity to adapt to unique situations in face to face and virtual learning. With demands of needing to stay at home and follow through with assigned tasks, our children and youth have demonstrated unparalleled efforts to alter and adapt. It is important that we recognize their abilities to have surmounted these unique societal obstacles and appreciate their efforts of persisting academically in a time of pandemic. "
~ Dr. Richard Bolduc, C.Psych., Mental Health Lead, OCSB
As always, ongoing communication with your child’s educators pertaining to their progress is encouraged. If you have questions about the report card, please contact your child’s teacher directly.
Grade 7&8 Parent-Teacher interviews will take place on Thursday, February 25th. Online booking will open today at approximately 3:30 pm. A message with booking details will be shared by email with parents.
Any quadmester 3 high school Letters of Intervention issued by teachers were emailed to parents yesterday. High School Parent-Teacher interviews will take place on Thursday, March 11. Online booking will open on March 4th - the same day that midterm marks are released.
The Province announced last week that March Break is being moved to the week of April 12th-16th. For high school students, this coincides with the transition from quadmester 3 to 4. Students will return to school after the April Break and begin their quadmester 4 courses. A reminder that a school calendar is available on our school website shh.ocsb.ca .
Thank you for your continued support.