August 29, 2022
Dear St. Monica Families,
I am absolutely thrilled to be joining St. Monica School as your new Principal this September and can’t wait to meet everyone! My priority is to foster a warm, safe and faith-filled learning environment where each and every member of the community knows they belong. Together, we will build on the traditions of the past and rise to meet the challenges of the future in new and exciting ways.
I want to start by welcoming you back to the 2022-2023 school year. I hope you have had an enjoyable summer full of wonderful family memories! Before school begins, I wanted to update you on a few things, including school construction, improvements in ventilation, COVID regulations, Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) and a reminder of our new bell times. I will be sending out our first newsletter this Friday, which will include details about our first week procedures.
School Construction Overview
The Superintendent of Planning and Facilities, Miro Vala, his team members and representatives leading the construction process are committed to keeping me up-to-date on the construction schedule at our school. I will share the information with you through our school newsletter as it becomes available.
The good news is that we will have a far superior school building once the work is finished than before the storm. Over the summer, the project began with Construction/Engineering Phase 1.
Engineering/Construction Phase 1:
We conducted further assessments of the damages to the areas to assist with the engineering redesign. The Board worked with engineers to redesign sections of our school and the City of Ottawa Building Department. The Board staff worked with construction teams to ensure our school will be safe and comfortable for staff and students when they arrive in September. We made arrangements to receive two new portables in the fall.
Construction Phase 2:
Construction will be underway on the gymnasium, corridor and classrooms 147 and 148 starting in September. As we move into October, the lobby, washrooms and classrooms 145 and 146 will also be affected. The new portables will arrive in October or the first week of November. The portables will help alleviate space needs in the school. The anticipated end date of Phase 2 is January 31, 2023.
Construction Phase 3:
Phase 3 work includes installing upgraded rooftop ventilation units, updated LED lighting throughout the remainder of the school and an upgraded fire alarm system. I recognize we will face disruptions in the coming year. However, I am confident the long-term benefits will be worth the inconvenience.
While the gym is closed, we will work with local partners, including the City of Ottawa, to offer our students access to alternate gym locations. We will also investigate unique and fun outdoor opportunities throughout the community. All these recreation activities will be free to our students, and the school board will provide transportation. I am confident our students will enjoy many innovative and fun learning opportunities this school year!
Masks will continue to be optional for staff and students as they were in June. Hand sanitizing, enhanced cleaning, and additional running times of HVAC systems will also continue. Cloth masks and testing kits will be available at our school should your child want or need them. Daily COVID screening continues to be encouraged by the Ministry of Education and Ottawa Public Health. Please do not send your child to school if they feel unwell.
Our school is safe. Over the summer, OCSB Planning and Facilities staff continued optimizing all ventilation systems, increasing fresh air exchanges and inspections. We also conducted air quality tests in our school to ensure our students and staff would work and learn in a safe environment. We will continue to perform these tests throughout the school year.
Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA)
Please regularly check the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority website for the most up-to-date information. Their parent portal will be updated as of today at 10am.
As communicated in the Spring, the school hours have shifted by 5 minutes. Our new school hours are from 9:20 am to 3:50 pm. All details can be found in this announcement
Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. I am confident that our educators, support staff and myself will create a safe, welcoming, innovative school environment full of joy for your children! If the storm and COVID taught us anything, it is that St. Monica’s is a resilient community that rises above!
I am here to support your family in any way that I can, so do not hesitate to email, or call the school at (613) 226-5174.
Have an excellent rest of the summer. We look forward to welcoming your family back on September 6, 2022.
Yours in Catholic Education,