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All schools in Ottawa closed, more cancellations roll in as winter storm arrives

The OCSB, OCDSB, French Catholic and French public school boards are all closing their doors, as well as most local post-secondary institutions.
School Bus Snow

Closures are already being called, leading up to what is expected to be an intense snow storm in the capital region.

Algonquin College President Cheryl Jensen sent out a statement Tuesday afternoon.

"In consultation with the Algonquin College Executive Team, I want to let you know that we have decided to suspend classes at the College's campuses in Ottawa, Perth and Pembroke as of 5 p.m. today, Tuesday, February 12," she wrote. "Algonquin College will be closed, with the exception of essential services, until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 13."

At the University of Ottawa, classes were cancelled starting at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. All other uOttawa operations were still running. The school said classes will resume at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

All classes and academic related activities at Carleton University are cancelled effective 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, until 5:30 p.m., Wednesday. Scheduled classes will resume at that time.

Here are statments from local school boards:

Ottawa Carleton District School Board

Due to a significant combination of heavy snow and strong winds forecast for this evening and overnight, all OCDSB schools and administrative offices will be closed Wednesday, February 13, 2019. This includes all extended day programs, third-party on-site childcare services, community use permits, after-school programs, night school, and committee meetings. Parents are asked to make alternate childcare arrangements as there will be no school bus service and school buildings will not be open to students.  

The closure of schools and buildings is an unusual step and has been made for the safety of students, staff and the community.  The school district has been monitoring weather forecasts and has been in communication with the City of Ottawa, Ottawa Police, OSTA and our coterminous school boards over the course of the day.  Given the large accumulation of snow and concerns about road safety, we recognize that travel during peak hours could be hazardous and should be limited.

All schools and administration sites are expected to resume regular operations on Thursday, February 14, 2019.  Our Facilities staff will begin preparations tomorrow to ensure that walkways and access to schools and buildings are safe for the students and staff to return on Thursday.

Ottawa Catholic School Board

The Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) is closing all schools and administration offices including the Catholic Education Centre on Wednesday, February 13. There will be no before or after school care/activities, after hours classes, or afterschool/evening activities including community use of schools. Child care run by the Ottawa Catholic School Board and the Ottawa Catholic Child Care Corporation will not operate.

This decision was made in consultation with the City’s Emergency Preparedness Office, and our education partners, including the Ottawa School Transportation Authority (OSTA). We expect schools to re-open Thursday, February 14. If this changes for any reason, we will notify families, staff, and media.

The OCSB has cancelled all community use of school permits for school uses after 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 12. This includes all evening classes including Adult English as a Second Language (ESL). The OCSB Meeting of the Board of Trustees is proceeding with its scheduled time, Tuesday, February 12 at 7:30 p.m.

Le Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est

All CECCE schools and child care centers will be closed Wednesday, February 13, due to the forecast storm. The safety, well-being of students and staff are priorities for the CECCE. Operations will be back to normal on Thursday.

Ottawa CEPEO

Schools, custody services and head office will be closed, Wednesday, February 13, due to weather conditions. We are following the situation closely and will keep you informed. The return to normal is scheduled for Thursday, February 14.

Meanwhile, the City of Ottawa has cancelled Wednesday's City Council meeting. All items listed on the council agenda for February 13 will be considered at the next council meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, February 27.

A parking ban is also in place city-wide. 

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Mike Vlasveld

About the Author: Mike Vlasveld

Mike Vlasveld, Digital Editor, CityNews Ottawa & the Valley
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