ABC Ottawa

ABC (Ottawa Region) is an all-volunteer organization, which draws its members from Ottawa, Nepean, Vanier, Kanata, Gloucester, Cumberland, Lanark County, West Carleton and Prescott-Russell. 

Working on both the local and provincial level with individuals, teachers, school boards and the Ministry of Education and Training, ABC seeks to increase the understanding of bright children at home, at school and in the community, and encourages the development of appropriate educational programs.

For information on our local programs & activities please visit:

You can also follow us on Facebook at:

Or if you have specific questions for the Ottawa chapter, please email us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


 Past activities

Spring 2015 Activities:

For example only - ABC Ottawa Take-off Enrichment Workshops (March 28 - May 9, 2015 (no class April 4).

Winter 2015 Activities:

Parents Helping Parents: Demystifying the Gifted Program (Tuesday, January 27, 2015 from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm)

Fall 2014 Activities:

ABC Ottawa Take-off Enrichment Workshops (October 25 - November 29, 2014, registration starts 2 October)

Parent Discussion Groups (September 24, October 22, and November 26, from 7:30 – 9 pm)

Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) Representatives

Ottawa Carleton District School Board (OCDSB)
Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB)
Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario (CEPEO)
Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario (CDSBEO)

Changes to Specialized Gifted Program entry at the OCDSB

February 9, 2015.  (An update.)  Report No. 15-015 Specialized Programs Criteria Sheet Update was brought forward at the Special Education Advisory Committee meeting of 21 January 2015.

The Association for Bright Children Ottawa is deeply concerned by the fundamental changes that the new criteria impose upon the OCDSB’s Specialized Gifted Program.  Some of our concerns were raised at SEAC, and Learning Support Services (LSS) has put forward the revised Report No. 15-029 Specialized Programs Criteria Sheet Update (Revised) for submission at the 17th February Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting.

In spite of the revisions Learning Support Services have made, many of the key concerns that ABC Ottawa has with the new Specialized Gifted Program criteria remain.  The creation of a lengthy FAQ to go with new criteria only points to the confusion created around the introduction of the new criteria.

ABC Ottawa has forwarded our concerns with the new Specialized Gifted Program criteria to Learning Support Services in the attached document, submitted on the evening of 4 February 2015.  

(ABC Ottawa—Key Concerns With the New Criteria for the Specialized Gifted Program, Report 15-015, January 21, 2015)

We are requesting, rather than amending the new criteria sheet, that LSS refrain from implementing the new Gifted criteria until appropriate consultation can take place, and the many questions and concerns the criteria give rise to are addressed.

The OCDSB has one of the largest, if not the largest, identified Gifted populations as a ratio of the student population in Ontario.  In the decades since it was established, the OCDSB’s Specialized Gifted Program has benefitted thousands of identified Gifted students in Ottawa.  We ask that programming for Gifted students in the OCDSB continue to be built around the best practices for Gifted students that this program represents.

January 22, 2015.  The Learning Support Services (LSS) of the Ottawa Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) has introduced new criteria for entry into the Board's Specialized Gifted Program classes.  The new entry criteria were included as part of the Specialized Programs Criteria Update report presented to the OCDSB Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) at their 21 January 2015 meeting.  The changes introduced, specifically to the Specialized Gifted Program, are a significant departure from the criteria that have been in place over the past ten years or more.  The report presented at SEAC implies that ABC Ottawa was consulted on the criteria sheet prior to the SEAC meeting.  Though ABC Ottawa representatives did meet with LSS staff, on 5 January 2015, at no time was the new criteria sheet presented.  ABC Ottawa is concerned about the nature of the changes as presented, and is reviewing the document in detail.

The entry criteria can be found on the OCDSB website as part of the 21 January 2015 SEAC agenda.

ABC Ottawa welcomes input from parents - you can reach us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Once ABC Ottawa has completed its review of the new entry criteria, it will put forward a report to the OCDSB with recommendations for their consideration.

ABC Ottawa Take-off!

Take-off | Course Listing | FAQ Take-off

Saturday Morning Enrichment Workshops for Kids Ages 6-14

(Frequently Asked Questions about Take-off!)

The ABC Take-off program, hosted by the ABC Ottawa, provides challenging extracurricular educational opportunities for bright and gifted students, ranging in age from 6 - 14 years on Saturday mornings for six weeks in the spring and fall only.



ABC Ottawa does not offer any summer programming.


The next session of ABC Take-off will be offered in Fall 2016.  Please check back here for more updates!


Spring 2015 brochure and course information available here as an example. 

Courses offered from session to session are based on instructor availability.

See the Course Listing page for course updates. 

ABC Take-off Spring 2015 Brochure



Parents Helping Parents:

Parents Helping Parents: Demystifying the Gifted Program

Confused about gifted education options in Ottawa Public schools?
Need more information to make informed decisions?
Want an opportunity to speak with other parents who have "been there"?

Join ABC Ottawa and parents from various OCDSB gifted centres for an information evening where you can find answers to your questions:

• What does "gifted identification" mean?
• What does "placement" mean?
• What is an IPRC and an IEP?
• What are my child's placement options?
• What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different options?

The event will include informative speakers followed by an opportunity to speak with parents of students enrolled in the gifted program at schools across the city.

Where: McNabb Recreation Centre - Main Hall
180 Percy Street, Ottawa

When: Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Parents Helping Parents is presented as a free community service by ABC Ottawa

ABC Ottawa Parent Discussion Group - Fall 2014

ABC Ottawa is offering another series of parent discussion groups this Fall. The groups will be facilitated by two long time ABC Ottawa members and volunteers. They have come up with a framework for the discussions, and we are sure parents will appreciate their experienced and personal perspectives on giftedness.

Three nights are planned: Wednesdays: September 24, October 22, and November 26, from 7:30 – 9 pm. The groups will meet in the Preschool Room at the McNabb Community Center 180 Percy St, Ottawa, ON K1R 6E5

Please RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you plan to attend.

September 24 – Navigating the identification of Giftedness

Subtopics: What does the term “Gifted” mean to me? Should I have my child assessed? Understanding the assessment report. How do I communicate the label to others? How do I advocate for my child’s educational needs? What do I do next?

October 22 – How does Giftedness “present” in my child(ren)?

Subtopics: What difficulties has my child encountered? Perfectionism, underachievement, intensity, sensitivity, social isolation and others. What do I say to my child about their giftedness? Social stigmas attached to gifted identification during the primary, middle and high school years.

November 26 – Gifted and relationships

Subtopics: How has giftedness affected my relationships with other? Spousal (ex-spousal) relationships, sibling relationship(s), grandparents, extended family, friends and colleagues. What difficulties have I encountered? Lack of support from parents, competitiveness among family members, generational differences in understanding "giftedness".

Please RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you plan to attend all or just one of the events.

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