St. Gemma’s Catholic School Council (CSC) works in cooperation with the principal and school staff to ensure the best for our students.  Rules for our engagement are outlined in our constitution:  

St. Gemma Constitution   (revised May 2018)

The CSC is elected at the first meeting of the school year. We encourage you to reach out to the CSC Parent Members for 2017-18:

·  Chairperson – Edward Watts

·  Vice-Chairperson - Brent Dowdall

·  Treasurer - Marisa Fusaro

·  Secretary – Versna Zaremba

·  CSPA Representative – Meredith Tomas

·  Parish Representative – Kim Pinsonneault

·  Member at Large – Susheel Gupta

·  Member at Large – Michelle O’Brien


Helping hearts and hands are always needed!  If you would like to offer suggestions, volunteer for an event, or get involved in other ways, please come to our next CSC meeting or contact us by email:


Expenses incurred on behalf of the CSC may be reimbursed using the following template:

Expense Form

(submit completed form to the CSC Treasurer)


Further details regarding the work of CSC is defined in Ontario Regulation 612/00 under the Education Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E.2

Events & Projects Supported by CSC

Thanks to your kind help and generosity, a number of events and projects have been organized at St. Gemma over the past school year.  Here are some of the highlights:

·     Hot Lunch Program – Each Friday, students who are registered to the program receive a main course (rotation of pita sandwiches, pizza or hotdogs) and popcorn. 

·     Monster Mash – Picture it: witches, ghosts, and spooooky creatures!  The children wore costumes, danced in the dark, and enjoyed a variety of Halloween games and activities.  Thanks to all the volunteers who helped set up, run, and clean up after this frightening fun event!

·     Movie Night – Another big turn-out this past November! Everyone came with their pyjamas and blankets, watched “The Lego Movie”, and enjoyed refreshments from the canteen.

·     Christmas Craft Night – We celebrated the season with family and friends by making crafts, listening to holiday music, decorating cookies, and drinking hot chocolate (yum!).  Thanks to everyone who brought non-perishable items for the Ottawa Food Bank.

·     Skate Night - Weston Park was packed and weather conditions were near perfect!  We skated around the outdoor rink while listening to music, played shinny hockey, and enjoyed refreshments in the field house.

·     Shrove Tuesday Pancake Breakfast - Students marked the beginning of Lent by eating pancakes in their pyjamas!  Thanks to all the volunteers who showed up with their griddles to help with this annual tradition - the children really enjoyed it.

·         Parent Workshop – There was a great turn-out for this year’s PIC-PRO event entitled “Helping Your Child Succeed with Technology”.  Thank you to our key-note speaker, Kelly Rasmussen for providing valuable information about the applications, extensions and websites supported by the Ottawa Catholic School Board.


Thank you parents, guardians, and staff for making St. Gemma the best learning, social, and spiritual environment for our children.

News & Upcoming Events 

Annual Family BBQ

Fri. June 22, 2018 | 5:00-7:30pm, *Rain or Shine*

St. Gemma Catholic School, 1760 McMaster Street 


To celebrate another successful school year, School Council would be very pleased if you could join us for our annual family BBQ.  There will be plenty to see and do, so feel free to invite extended family members and friends.  Parents and guardians are encouraged to wear their community service uniforms. Hope to see you there don’t forget to bring your folding chair or picnic blanket!


·         The deadline for ordering burgers and hotdogs was June 12, 2018.  Drinks $1, snacks $1, candy $1-$2, and frozen treats $4-$5.50 will be available for purchase at the BBQ.  Alternatively, Mandy’s Café and Cedar’s Food Company are located within walking distance from the school (1791 and 1793 Kilborne Avenue). 


·         Check out all the fun, free entertainment and activities we have planned:  Jump in a bouncy castle * Race in an obstacle course * Meet firefighters from Station 35 * Visit the balloon artist * Make a new friend at the petting zoo * Take a picture with one of our special guests * Listen to the band from Immaculata High School * Get your face painted * Watch a performance by St. Gemma’s Gr. 6 Dance Troupe * Learn about the importance of recycling and clean water * Make something creative at the craft table *


·         Try your luck at three games of chance:

(1) LOLLIPOP-A-PALOOZA: $1/try; 1 in 4 chance of winning; Grand Prize: Air Hogs Sonic Rocket $30 (sponsored by Spin Master Toys)

(2) PUNCH-A-PRIZE: $2/try; 1 in 3 chance of winning; Grand Prize: Lego Classic Large Creative Brick Box $60 (sponsored by Mastermind Toys)

(3) TREASURE CHEST: $5/try; 7 in 100 chance of winning; Prizes: (1) Spin Master Toys Air Hogs Drone, $40 value; (2) World Burger Gift Card, $50 value; (3) Cozi GOLD Family Organizer 3-year subscription, $60 value (4) Spin Master Toys Hatchimals Glittering Garden, $80 value (5) Park Omega Pass, $100 value (6) Samsung Galaxy Tab E Lite, $100 value (7) Monkey Around 1-year membership for 2 kids, $230 value


·         Buy tickets (1 for $2, 3 for $5, or 7 for $10) for a chance to win one of the prizes in the themed gift basket raffle:  SUMMER FUN ($35 value); SPORTS FAN ($35 value); MOVIE NIGHT ($75 value); GAMES NIGHT ($75 value); LUX PACKAGE ($200 value); and MT. TREMBLANT WEEKEND GET-A-WAY ($400 value).


·         To make the BBQ extra-special for 2018, each class at St. Gemma has created a wonderful art project for the silent auction – we hope you will bid on at least one.  Go to the online SILENT AUCTION ONLINE BIDDING SITE to view each of the 12 projects.  To allow us to recuperate costs, please note that we recommend that bidding starts at $25.  Good luck! ***The silent auction closes at 7:00pm on June 22, 2018; winning bids announced at 7:15pm***


·         We hope you will take advantage of our $$$ debit and credit card payment options$$$.   In addition to cash, you can now purchase items at the BBQ using our new tap-and-pay debit and credit card reader. For any transaction, simply hold your contactless credit card, debit card, or NFC-enabled smartphone/watch near the reader to trigger payment, or insert your credit card chip into the reader.


·         Volunteer parents, guardians, staff and students play an integral role in the success of St. Gemma’s Annual Family BBQ. School Council would really appreciate if you would consider helping out at this special event – pleaseconsider signing up for a volunteer shift before, during, or after the event or splitting it with someone else. Volunteer tasks may include setting up tables and games, welcoming guests, handing out food vouchers, selling drinks and snacks, serving hot food, selling tickets, handing out prizes, or cleaning up afterwards. ***Please sign up by June 15, 2018***  Go to the online VOLUNTEER SIGN-UP SITE or print out a VOLUNTEER SIGN-UP FORM and follow the instructions. 


·         Kindly note that all proceeds from the BBQ will go towards the purchase of a new play structure for the school.  Have questions?  Contact one of the event organizers: Michelle O’Brien (email or text 613-282-8270)


St. Gemma Playground Project: 

The school’s playground needs to be replaced over the next few years.  In order to pay for and install new equipment, we need to come up with approximately $50,000.  Please help us by volunteering your time and skills, making a donation, and telling others in the community about this major project.  A Playground Committee has been formed – to find out more and get involved, please come to our next CSC meeting or contact us by email:

 “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”   - Walt Disney


Fundraising Efforts

To raise money for a new playground structure, School Council will be selling jumbo freezies ($1), bottled water ($1), and sparkling beverages ($2) during Canterbury Soccer Club training and games (Monday-Thursday evenings, May 16 - June 21, 2018).  If you are a parent or guardian and can spare an hour or so a week to take care of the refreshment stand, please send a message to

2017-18 ‘No-Fuss’ Fundraiser - We are happy to announce that the total amount collected for our 2017-18 ‘No-Fuss’ Fundraiser was $3,360!  That’s amazing – great job everyone!  Thank you so very much for your continued support of all CSC projects and community-building events at St. Gemma.  The funds will be used for workshops, holiday events, Scientists in the School, bussing and other projects.


The CSC meets on the second Tuesday of every month in St. Gemma’s Learning Commons.  Meetings begin promptly at 6:30pm – adjournment is at 8 pm.

You do not need to be a member to attend - all parents/guardians are welcome – kids too!  We know that childcare and busy family schedules are sometimes a barrier to attending Council meetings. With that in mind, we encourage you to bring your school-age children, along with their homework, reading, colouring or another activity. Younger children will need to be cared for by the parent/guardian during the meeting, as there will be no formal childcare person to look after them.  

Why participate?

·   Connect with other parents.

·   Be the first to hear about important news and upcoming events at St. Gemma.

·   Have a voice in the activities and programs supported by CSC.

·   Learn how students, staff and parishes benefit from our work.

·   Volunteer your time to make a difference in our school community.

A record of past discussions and decisions can be found in approved minutes from each meeting:

September 19, 2017 Council Minutes

October 10, 2017 Council Minutes

November 14, 2017 Council Minutes

   December 12, 2017 (cancelled due to inclement weather)

January 16, 2018 Council Minutes

February 13, 2018 Council Minutes

March 20, 2018 Council Minutes

April 17, 2018 Council Minutes

May 8, 2018 Council Minutes

Other ways to get involved in your child’s education

The Ottawa Catholic School Board Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) is a provincially mandated committee made up of parents, a trustee, a principal and the Director of Education. The purpose of PIC is to support, encourage and enhance parent engagement at the school board level in order to improve student achievement and well-being.

Learn more at the OCSB PIC webpage.

The Catholic School Parents’ Association (CSPA) is a volunteer group representing the parents in our school board. We are a resource for school councils and the parent community for information on local and provincial education issues. Through our website, Twitter, and email newsletters we provide updates on education in Ottawa & Ontario; plus we share great tips, resources and information to help parents support their children in school. All parents are welcome and encouraged to join our e-mail list, follow us on Twitter, or attend CSPA monthly meetings.

Visit the CSPA website to learn more about CSPA and the work we do to support parents and their children in our schools.