Welcome, March. And welcome spring!
Niagara Catholic began March by marking the beginning of our Lenten season on March 1. Across the System, our students and staff received the ashes that are symbolic of the ashes we rose from and the ashes to which we will one day return.
On March 2, secondary school students across Niagara Catholic students participated in the Baking and Culinary Arts competitions at the Canadian Food and Wine Institute at Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake campus. Students participating in 22 other technology categories will compete at the 14th Annual Technology Skills Competition at the Scotiabank Convention Centre on March 8, and awards will be presented on March 9.
Also on March 2, students studying French, Italian and Spanish were invited to participate in the Board’s annual French, Italian and Spanish Public Speaking Competition at Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School.
March Break takes place from Monday, March 13-Friday, March 17. Whether you are staying at home or going to enjoy some late winter skiing or early summer sun and surf, have a safe and enjoyable March Break.
Tickets are now available for the Bishop’s Gala! Click on the Bishop’s Gala flyer on the main page for ticket information. This year, we’re excited to have The Madhatters perform live for guests. The evening will also include a fabulous antipasto bar and meal at Club Roma, a silent auction and the Niagara Catholic Education Award of Distinction. Nominations for the Award of Distinction close on February 24. Click here for the nomination criteria and a link to the nomination form.
We’d like to remind families who have not yet chosen a school for their child for September 2017 that registration is available throughout the school year at all Catholic elementary and secondary schools. If you’re not sure which school your child will attend, click here and enter your address to find out about your home school and transportation availability.
Parents interested in registering their child for Kindergarten or any grade in a Catholic elementary school can click here for information about our Catholic elementary schools, the registration process and the documents required to complete registration. Families interested in registering a child in one of our Catholic secondary schools can find information about the registration process here. If you have specific questions, please call your neighbourhood Catholic elementary school or secondary school for assistance, or call 905.735.0240 ext. 297.
Finally, we’d like to remind parents and guardians that even though this has been a mild winter with relatively little snow, the weather can change in Niagara very quickly. Parents should ensure that students are dressed for the elements when they come to school, with warm tuques, gloves, boots, coats and snow pants. Gloves, coats and boots should be waterproof, and a change of clothes should be available just in case. Students are sent outside most days, unless Niagara Region Public Health issues an Extreme Cold Weather Alert. Given the diverse nature of Niagara’s climate, some schools may experience inclement weather while others do not, so outdoor recesses and lunches are at the discretion of the principal on days when an Extreme Cold Weather Alert is not in effect.
The mission of the Diocese of St. Catharines is founded in the mission of Jesus Christ. In the Gospel of St. John, Jesus states that He came down from heaven, "not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me." (Jn6:38) Jesus' mission is doing the will of his Father. This is the will of the Father, "that all who see the Son and believe in him will have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day". (Jn 6:40)
The Diocese of St. Catharines' mission is rooted in doing the Father's will by proclaiming His son to the world so that all can know, love and serve Him. This mission is lived out on a daily basis in our parishes, schools and Catholic institutions. We find clergy, religious and laity committed to proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ by witnessing to His truth, justice, love and mercy. St. Catharines Diocese is where faith lives.
February 28, 2017
St. Charles Catholic Elementary School in the Spotlight at Board Meeting
Each month during the Board meeting, one Niagara Catholic school is invited to share the wonderful things that make their school the indispensable choice in their community for parents to choose for their child’s education. In February, St. Charles Catholic Elementary School was in the spotlight.
Niagara Catholic’s only primary school, St. Charles Catholic Elementary School in Thorold has a current enrolment of 285 students in Kindergarten through Grade 3. Principal Susy Walsh, who took over as administrator at the school in September, spoke about the feeling of community at St. Charles Catholic Elementary School, the tradition of excellence in Catholic education, and its close connection with Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Parish. Ms. Walsh was joined by students from her school, and from Monsignor Clancy Catholic Elementary School, where graduates from St. Charles attend from Grades 4 through 8, before moving on to Denis Morris Catholic High School to complete their Catholic education.
Their presentation, anchored by Grade 3 student Sophia Mullins, was presented as their morning “newscast,” the Penguin Pit Stop. Student Reece Matier gave students an overview of the history of the Pit Stop, and classmate Nikki Patterson spoke about the projects students and staff participate in to assist people in the developing world.
Carter Hall talked about the way students are encouraged to monitor their feelings and behaviour through the Zones of Regulation Program. Cameron Mullins, a graduate of St. Charles, spoke about the close connection between St. Charles and Monsignor Clancy Catholic Elementary School. Wrapping up the presentation were Sophie Timmins, who spoke about participating in the Roots of Empathy Program, and Kindergarten student Mikayla Stonham-Toneri, who talked about her experience being Principal of the Day.
Modified Pupil Accommodation Review for St. Charles and Monsignor Clancy Catholic Elementary Schools
Niagara Catholic, like other school boards across Ontario, continue to experience declining enrolment. The need to effectively balance costs with pupil spaces is critically important, in order to ensure that we continue to maintain our high academic standards and the ability to nurture the spiritual well-being of our students.
In 2012, the Board made the decision to consolidate St. Thomas More Catholic Elementary School with Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Elementary School. Two years later, Niagara Catholic closed Michael J. Brennan Catholic Elementary School and relocated students to St. James Catholic Elementary School.
Niagara Catholic is currently reviewing St. Charles Catholic Elementary School and Monsignor Clancy Catholic Elementary School for potential consolidation. As part of this open and transparent process, a Modified Accommodation Review is being commenced, which will allow families in the St. Charles and Monsignor Clancy school communities to provide their valuable input to the Board. A public meeting will take place on April 20 at Monsignor Clancy Catholic Elementary School, beginning at 7 p.m.
Details about the Modified Accommodation Review can be found through the main page of this website.
Niagara Catholic regularly reviews its policies, to ensure that they continue to meet the needs of our System and comply with provincial requirements.
Niagara Catholic recently asked for community input for three policies, as part of our open and transparent vetting process. During the February 28 Board Meeting, Trustees endorsed a recommendation from Committee of the Whole to approve the following revised policies: Assessment, Evaluation, Reporting and Homework Policy (301.10), Student Suspension – Safe Schools Policy (302.6.4), and Student Expulsion Policy (302.6.5).
Niagara Catholic currently has five policies being vetted: Trustee Honorarium Policy (100.11), which closes March 9, 2017, and four which are being vetted through April 19, 2017: Monthly Financial Reports Policy (600.3), Employee Workplace Harassment Policy (201.7), Employee Workplace Violence Policy (201.11) and Occupational Health and Safety Policy (201.6).
The policies are available for review on the Board website by clicking here.
Board Approves 2017-2018 School Year Calendar
Niagara Catholic trustees have approved Niagara Catholic’s proposed 2017-2018 School Year Calendar. It will now be sent to the Ministry of Education for final approval.
Highlights of the draft 2017-2018 School Year Calendar include:
First day of School:
September 5, 2017
Monday, December 25, 2017 to Friday, January 8, 2018
March 12-16, 2018
Good Friday and Easter Monday:
Friday, March 30 and Monday, April 2, 2018
Elementary Professional Activity Days:
October 6 and November 17, 2017; January 19, February 16, May 18, June 8 and June 29 2018.
Secondary Professional Activity Days:
October 6 and November 17, 2017
February 2, February 16, May 18, June 28 and June 29, 2018.
Secondary school examinations:
First semester: January 26-February 1, 2018
Second semester: June 21-June 27, 2018
Once approved, a draft version of Niagara Catholic’s 2017-2018 School Year Calendar will be posted on this website, updated with the final version, once it is approved by the Ministry of Education.
Stay up to date with our Good News!
Have you checked out the Good News section of the Board website lately? If not, you’re missing some great stories and photos about our students. Be sure to check it out often to keep up to date on the fantastic things happening in our schools and across the system.There’s also some great stories on the In the News section of our website, accessible through the home page. Don’t forget our monthly Director’s Video is also available on the main page of this website.
To ensure you stay connected with Niagara Catholic news and events, please be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and check our website often for updates and breaking news. It’s the best way to stay in the know.
The Niagara Catholic District School Board, through the charisms of faith, social justice, support and leadership, nurtures an enriching Catholic learning community for all to reach their full potential and become living witnesses of Christ.