OCVSS Welcome Grades 9-12

OCVSS Welcome (Grade 9-12)
Posted on 08/25/2022

Dear OCV Families,

Welcome to OCV Secondary School (High School Program, Grades 9-12). With the 2022-23 school year now in sight, we hope this email finds you and your family well. 


About our school
We are excited to be working with approximately 675 secondary students, their families, and 40 staff this year. The High School OCV program (Grades 9-12) will be aligned with the OCV Intermediate program (Grade 7-8) this year, similar to other Grade 7-12 secondary schools in the OCDSB. Where possible and desirable, some special events and activities may include staff and students from our Grade 7-8 program as well (260 students, 14 staff), giving students an opportunity to be part of a much larger school community. 

Classes at the Ottawa Carleton District School Board will be starting on Tuesday, September 6. We encourage you to visit the OCVSS Website throughout the year to learn more about our school and the activities we offer. We also recommend that you subscribe to the calendar so that you may stay current on upcoming events.


Preparing for the First Day
Grade 9-12 class schedules will be sent to students (via their @ocdsb.ca email account) Friday, September 2nd. More information about how to request any essential course changes or timetable updates will be provided when students are sent their timetables on September 2nd.

Semester 1 teachers will also be contacting students (and cc’ing parents & guardians) with information about their class, as well as how to access their Google Classroom/Meet. You and your child(ren) should receive this welcome email by 3pm on Friday, September 2nd. Students are encouraged to check their OCDSB email to ensure they are ready for classes to begin at 9am on Tuesday, September 6th.

For the Secondary program, the school day schedule is as follows:
Period 1: 9:00 - 10:15
10 minute break
Period 2: 10:25 - 11:40
Lunch: 11:40 - 12:30
Period 3: 12:30 - 1:45
10 minute break
Period 4: 1:55 - 3:10

Students will have a full 300 min/day of teacher facilitated instructional time. Although there are no defined “asynchronous” hours in the day, teachers will be employing a variety of instructional strategies throughout the week to vary the learning. At times, students may have independent work time, group work/projects, 1:1 conferencing with the teacher or peers, quiet reading, or whole class instruction. There will always be a teacher online in their Google Meet to guide and support them. Classes will also take occasional stretch breaks as needed, depending on the structure of that day’s lesson. 

Full participation in the synchronous class meetings is essential for students to get the most out of their learning. While not mandatory at all times, as much as possible and whenever appropriate, we encourage students to have webcams on and to use microphones to interact verbally. We know from our experience with virtual learning that active participation relates directly to an increased sense of connectedness and ability to demonstrate learning. Active participation is required via text/chat, audio (microphone), and, when appropriate, video/webcam, and is a key component to finding success in staying engaged during virtual learning.


When Video/Webcams are essential for learning:

  • Demonstrations of skill (e.g. physical education/daily physical activity)

  • Demonstration of techniques (e.g. arts, tech, etc)

  • Public speaking/performance (e.g. drama, language classes, etc)

  • Oral Communication curriculum strands (e.g. English, French, or other Second Language courses)

  • Community/togetherness/well-being: “check-ins” to build sense of connection and classroom community

Student Engagement
During the last 30 months of remote learning, we have heard from students about their desire to connect with peers, stay engaged in clubs and activities, and build a sense of community in our online schools. Within the first couple of weeks, OCVSS will be establishing a “Virtual Cafeteria” to help facilitate these kinds of connections. The virtual meeting space, supervised by OCVSS teachers and educational assistants, will provide a regular meeting place for students to be able to hang out with friends during the lunch break, play games, and allow for student-led clubs to naturally evolve. We will also be re-establishing our Student Council to ensure we have a strong student voice in our decision-making this year.

OCV Technology Distribution
OCVSS has a limited number of Chromebooks which we will be able to loan to OCV students who do not have access to a device for their learning. If your child(ren) is/are in need of a device, you may complete this form (one form per child). Submissions will be reviewed and, if approved, a device will be assigned to the student for the 2022-2023 school year (to be returned to the OCDSB in June 2023). Once you are notified that a device is ready for you, it can be picked up in-person at the OCVSS office (1645 Woodroffe Avenue).

Reporting Student Absences
Please let us know if your child will be absent by emailing: ocvsecondaryattendance@ocdsb.ca. With such a large school it is important that you provide your child’s first and last name, grade, date of absence, and reason for the absence. 

Our school office officially reopens on August 29th. The office hours are 8:30am to 3:30pm. Please feel free to contact us by phone at 613-596-8214, or by email at [email protected] if you have any questions. 

Please Note: The window for changing your decision regarding in-person vs. remote learning closed on June 1st. Going forward, requests for a change will be considered by Superintendents on a very limited, case-by-case basis, subject to extenuating circumstances, space in the mode of learning, and the unique needs of families. In all but the most exceptional cases (where a change is required by medical necessity), families should prepare for the 2022-23 school year based on the mode of learning (remote classes) they confirmed in the spring.

We are very much looking forward to this new school year, and we will be sharing additional updates over the next two weeks. As we learned last year, being flexible and adaptable to change has been a critical piece to finding our way through this pandemic. We appreciate the resilience families have shown and look forward to making the most of the coming school year for everyone. Stay well and stay safe.


Tim Hawes, Principal (grades 7-12),
Rita Lauricella, Vice-Principal (grades 9-12, last names A - J)
Kaarina Gagner, Vice-Principal (grades 9-12, last names K - Z)

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