Ottawa school board apologizes for 12:30 a.m. robocall

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) says it's sorry for the disruption it caused when it called every parent in its system at 12:30 a.m. to let them know its schools were closing Wednesday for a one-day high school teacher strike.

Ottawa's English public board, which looks after about 72,000 students, had said in the days before a major education worker strike it would notify parents by email, phone, social media and online as soon as it knew what was happening.

That news came through around midnight.

At about 12:30 a.m., the OCDSB's automated call went out.

"All OCDSB elementary and secondary schools will be closed to students and all school bus transportation will be cancelled Wed., Dec. 4, 2019," the message begins, going on to give information about specific programs and extracurriculars.

Many who got the message said they didn't appreciate the timing.

Others said they appreciated the update.

Later this morning, the OCDSB apologized for the disruption, saying it got some backlash.

"We were aware how important this message was for many families, and wanted to maintain our commitment to notify the community as quickly as possible after OSSTF made its decision known," a spokesperson said in an email.

"This was an unusual circumstance and we will take the feedback into consideration for future planning."

All public schools in Ottawa and all French schools in eastern Ontario are closed because of the one-day strike by Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) members.