By Editor

Mar 8, 2021

Upcoming Events

OCSTA Evening Speaker Series

Student Mental Health and Well-being During the Pandemic – Considerations for Catholic School Board Leaders

We all have a valuable role in supporting, promoting, and protecting student mental health during the pandemic. This presentation will focus on leadership in challenging times: raising the voices and actions of students, educators, school/system leaders, school mental health professionals, Trustees and many more who have made a positive difference in schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. This presentation will also focus on resources and tools to support Trustees in their roles during this time. We are, together, the helpers who contribute to the system of care wrapping around students through these challenging times.

Presented By:

Co-Director of School Mental Health Ontario and Supervisory Officer on Secondment from the Algonquin and Lakeshore CDSB, Theresa Kennedy Clinical Psychologist and Mental Health Lead from the Dufferin-Peel CDSB, Dr. Susan Sweet

Durham Catholic DSB student with the THRIVE-School Mental Health Student Reference Group, Mya




When: Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Time: 7:00 p.m. on ZOOM
Cost: No fee

This will be a live and interactive discussion on the  ZOOM Videoconferencing Platform

Click Here to Register



Accompanied by the Spirit


OCSTA Annual General Meeting

On Saturday, May 1, 2021 from 9:00am – 12:00 p.m. (EDT) OCSTA will convene virtually to  address items which are required elements of an Annual General Meeting.

A meeting invitation for the “virtual” Annual General Meeting will be distributed to all Catholic school Trustees and Directors of Education. Instructions and parameters for participating in the virtual AGM will be provided by OCSTA closer to the meeting date.

Election of Regional Directors – Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11

Members will be able to vote electronically. Rules, regulations and required parameters will be provided to all members in advance of the meeting.

Nomination form for election of Regional Director  – please download and complete. The deadline date for receipt of nominations (via email) is 9:00 a.m. (EDT) on April 7, 2021.

Please submit complete nomination forms to Connie Araujo-De Melo at

If no nominations are received by the deadline, nominations shall remain open for the region for which no nomination was received, until 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 1.


Due to the AGM being conducted by virtual means, eligible voters will have the option to assign a proxy during the AGM registration process, replacing the hardcopy proxy form.

Important Deadline Dates

Important deadline dates for receipt of Resolutions, Nominations and Proxies are as follows:

  • (Past) Deadline for Receipt of Resolutions – January 29, 2021 – 12:00pm (EST) (as per resolution memos distributed on Oct. 13, 2020 & Jan. 19, 2021)
  • Deadline for Receipt of Nominations – April 7, 2021 – 9:00am (EDT)
  • Deadline for Assignment of Proxies – April 29, 2021 – 9:00am (EDT)


March is Voter Registration Month

Accurate voters list continue to be a concern and advocacy focus for OCSTA and Catholic school boards across Ontario due to the municipal property assessment system’s default mechanism which assigns all new residents as public school supporters. As a result, Catholic voters are encouraged to check their voter registration to ensure that they are designated as separate school supporters.

We are pleased to note that March is Provincial Voter Registration Month (PVRM) in Ontario and this is an opportunity for the Catholic community to push for voter roll accuracy!  Catholic communities are encouraged to be prepared for the next provincial election, scheduled to be held on or before June 2, 2022, and to add, confirm or update information on the voters list using Elections Ontario’s online eRegistration tool.

Why register?
If registered, once a provincial election is called, you will receive information about when, where and how to vote in the mail.

Who can register?
You can confirm, add or update your information to eRegistration if you are:

  • 18 years of age of older;
  • A Canadian citizen; and
  • A resident of Ontario.

Have you recently moved?
If you may have already signed up on the voters list, but moved since the last election, remember to update your mailing address or you will not receive your voter information card in the mail.

What if I’m under 18?           
If you are 16 or 17 years old, a Canadian citizen and live in Ontario, you can sign up to be on the Ontario Register of Future Voters. Once registered, you will automatically be added to the voters list when you turn 18 and receive a voter information card when the next election is called. Get on the register early at

For more information: Call 1-888-668-8683 or email


Halton Catholic Hosts Successful Trustee PD Program 

The Halton Catholic District School Board produces a timely and engaging year-long professional development program for their board of trustees that we are pleased to share with OCSTA members. We hope you find this information helpful and invite you to contact OCSTA staff should you have any questions about potential speakers and topical experts. 

Halton CDSB 2020-21 Professional Development Program for Trustees:

Human Rights and Equity Training

As a Catholic school district, we are committed to building inclusive and Christ-centered learning environments where all students, families and staff feel welcomed, valued, and safe. At the board level, we are committed to building capacity and systemic change through inclusive policies and procedures. Affirming that a commitment to equity and inclusion must be modelled through leadership, Trustees have participated in the following Human Rights and Equity training sessions:

SESSION: Supporting LGBTQ Students from a Catholic Lens
PRESENTER: Michael Way-Skinner, Coordinator: Religion, Family Life and Equity – York Catholic DSB
DATE: Saturday, April 25, 2020

Michael Way Skinner presented on Equity and Inclusion in Catholic Schools. Michael quotes from Church documents and Catholic teaching to emphasize that Equity is a matter of Being “Catholic”! Referring to the Letters to the Bishops of Catholic Church, Michael spoke to the Church’s teachings on homosexuality, pastoral guidelines to assist students of same sex orientation and reminded participants that “In the eyes of the Church, every human person is a unique and irreplaceable gift created by our loving God and called to be his son or daughter. Created in the image and likeness of God and redeemed by the blood of Christ, every person possesses an intrinsic dignity which must always be respected.”

SESSION: Centering Human Rights & Equity in Educational Leadership
PRESENTER: Sita Jayaraman, Senior Manager- Human Rights and Equity – HCDSB
DATE: Saturday, May 9, 2020
LINK: Centering Human Rights & Equity in Educational Leadership​

​Sita Jayaraman presented on the interconnectedness of Catholic teaching, indigenous education, human rights and equity in supporting all students to Achieve, Believe and Belong. Discussions and activities focused on the importance of inclusive curriculum and disaggregated data analysis in addressing systemic inequities. Trustees engaged with the notion of equity as a leadership competency for good governance.

SESSION: Understanding the Impact of Anti-Black Racism in Education
PRESENTER: Kike Ojo, Principal Consultant – Kojo Institute
DATE: Saturday, June 13, 2020
LINK: Understanding the Impact of Anti-Black Racism in Education​​

Kike Ojo presented on the theoretical underpinnings of Anti-Black Racism as a framework for achieving equitable outcomes in education. Discussions focused on the impact of Anti-Black Racism in educational systems and on Black students. Trustees deepened their learning on the institutional response, policies, processes and people to dismantle Anti-Black Racism.

SESSION:Indigenous History and Contemporary Issues
PRESENTER: Sherry Saevil, Indigenous Education Advisor – HCDSB
DATE: Saturday, June 20, 2020
LINK:Indigenous History and Contemporary Issues​

​Sherry Saevil presented on the complex relationship between Indigenous peoples and settlers in Canada. She provided an overview of the institutional policies and legislation that were instrumental in dispossessing Indigenous communities of their lands, language and culture. Trustees deepened their learning on the Calls to Action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission with regard to the education sector.​​​

SESSION: The Ontario Human Rights Code: Your Rights and Responsibilities During Unprecedented Times
PRESENTER: Njeri Damali Sojourner-Campbell, Lawyer – Hicks Morley
DATE: Saturday, September 26, 2020
 The Ontario Human Rights Code: Your Rights and Responsibilities During Unprecedented Times​​

​Njeri Damali Sojourner-Campbell facilitated a training session on “The Ontario Human Rights Code: Your Rights and Responsibilities During Unprecedented Times” for Trustees. During this session, she focused on The Ontario Human Rights Code, Education Act and Municipal Law with reference to the role of school board Trustees. A high level overview of Constitutional provisions for Catholic School Boards was one of the areas for review. She concluded by addressing the interconnectedness of equity issues in education and human rights obligations for boards and Trustees.


#NurturingHope Campaign

boxes of bravery-nurturing hope dufferin-peel

As we approach Catholic Education Week, OCSTA is promoting the theme Nurturing Hope through an online social media campaign that celebrates the many ways in which Catholic Schools are Nurturing Hope through the Christian Service of students and staff.

We encourage you to view and share the campaign online with your networks.

Click here to learn more.

Read our first Nurturing Hope Story from Dufferin-Peel CDSB


Catholic Education Week Resources Available Now

The Catholic Education Week Committee has completed the exceptional contents for this year’s “Nurturing Hope” Catholic Education Week Resource packages for elementary and secondary schools.

We invite you to review the material which you can download here or visit


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1 Comment

  1. Blaine MacDougall

    Thanks Sharon.
    So much happening with your group. Lots of great things happening around diversity & equity. Great to see student involvement as well.

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