It’s hard to believe that May is (almost) upon us. The penultimate month of the school year is an exceptionally busy one. May is the Month of Mary, and it’s during this month that we celebrate Catholic Education Week (April 30-May 5). We also celebrate Mental Health Week (May 1-7) and Better Hearing and Speech Month. 

Here’s a list of what we have taking place in May:


On May 1, Niagara Catholic will celebrate the best in Catholic education during our annual Catch the Spirit Awards. This award celebrates one outstanding student from each of our Catholic elementary and secondary schools, and one student from our Continuing Education Program. Thank you to Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary School for hosting this year’s event. 


On May 3, Niagara Catholic will host a Spring Kindergarten Open House and Registration Day from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. If you have a child entering school for the first time this year and have not registered him or her for school, please drop by your neighbourhood Catholic elementary school to register them. If you are unsure which school your child will attend, check our school locator.  You can either fill in the elementary registration and application for direction of school support forms online and print them at home, or you can fill them in at the school; whichever is more convenient for you. Please remember to bring your child’s birth certificate, baptism record, proof of immunization, Ontario Health Card and proof of address.


On May 5, Niagara Catholic will celebrate five outstanding alumni during our 6th Annual Distinguished Alumni Awards during a luncheon at the Catholic Education Centre. This event, and Catch the Spirit, bookend a week dedicated to showcasing excellence in Catholic education throughout Niagara Catholic. Details on the 2017 recipients will be announced immediately prior to the celebration.


On May 11, Niagara Catholic will host its annual Student Symposium. This event brings together student leaders from across the system to discuss Catholic education, and to elect the 2017-2018 Student Trustees. Thank you to all students who have served as members of both our Elementary and Secondary Student Senates this year.


One week later, on May 18, Niagara Catholic will celebrate the 2,000 members of the Class of 2018 during the annual Graduation Celebration. This event, led by our Student Senate, is a time for us to bring together students from all eight of our Catholic secondary schools for a day of faith and fellowship. Later that evening, Niagara Catholic will bring together stakeholders for our annual Partners in Catholic Education dinner.


Don’t forget May 19 is an elementary and secondary Professional Activity Day, and May 22 is the Victoria Day holiday. Have a safe and fun extra-long weekend!


On May 25, you’re invited to Niagara Catholic’s Catholic Education Congress. This event will take place at Saint Michael Catholic High School, and will feature a student/priest soccer game, with our Honourary Board Chair Bishop Bergie and Father Paul MacNeil, Chair of the Board, serving as goalkeepers. Check the main page of the website for more details.


On May 29, Niagara Catholic will have a Special Board Meeting to receive public input and discussion regarding the Accommodation Review for Monsignor Clancy and St. Charles Catholic Elementary Schools. Members of the community are invited to provide input during this meeting.


Have a fantastic month, everyone!


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.


April 25, 2017

Committee of the Whole Approves Policies

During the April 25 Board Meeting, Trustees approved one revised Policy.

The Trustee Honorarium Policy (100.11) is available in the Policies section of the Board website for public review.


Shining the Spotlight on St. Mark Catholic Elementary School

St. Mark Catholic Elementary School opened its doors in 2001 to serve a growing need for Catholic education in West Niagara; specifically in Beamsville. Today, 631 students are proud to be “St. Mark Mountain Lions.”

During the April 25 Board Meeting, Principal Steven Ward attended the meeting to share why St. Mark is such a vital part of its community. It was especially fitting that the meeting fell on the day dedicated to the Feast of St. Mark!

In his presentation, Principal Ward talked extensively about the climate of the school; about how faith is truly lived in the classrooms, the schoolyard and in the offices and staff areas. The presentation showcased the many faith-based events at the school each year, including special Advent and Easter family Masses, the Catholic Choir, Rosary Club, Stations of the Cross and participation in the Annual Pilgrimage with Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary School.

Principal Ward was joined by Vice-Principal Joseph Romeo, Educational Resource Teacher Emmanuel Roussos and Noah Seca, co-chair of Student Council. Their presentation also focused on the many events and activities designed to bring together home, school and parish, including family movie nights, fun fairs and evenings funded through Parents Reaching Out (PRO) grants.

The school’s EcoTeam is very active. Comprised of the Junior Student Council, the EcoTeam conducts site audits and energy checks, schoolyard cleanup and plants the front garden in the spring. There are also many sports teams and other clubs for students with a wide range of interests to enjoy.

Students say they feel very connected to the school and to Blessed Trinity, as past students frequently return to St. Mark to act as role models for younger students. Students say they leave St. Mark ready for the last stage of their formal education, as students at Blessed Trinity.

To ensure the school’s goals for student achievement are met, all club meetings and activities are scheduled at recess or before or after school. Language and math are taught in uninterrupted blocks of time and there is a commitment to differentiated instruction through engaging student activities. Students and staff also use a diverse range of 21st century technology and teaching tools to ensure that students have all the tools they need to succeed in classrooms and workplaces well into the 21st century.


Trustees Support Name of New Technology Centre

Niagara Catholic has leased the former Target store inside Seaway Mall, to use as a technology centre for students.

During the April 25 Board Meeting, Trustees approved naming the new centre Niagara Launch Centre – Powered by Niagara Catholic District School Board. The name was selected by an Ad Hoc committee comprised of Superintendent of Education Mark Lefebvre, Administrator of Alternative Programs and Community Partnerships Marco Magazzeni, Co-ordinator of Student Success Jennifer Pirosko, Ivana Galante, Consultant-Technological Education/SHSM/OYAP, Construction Technology teacher Joe Sciarra, Manufacturing Technology teacher Mike Stevenson, and students Eric Goss and Jacob Boughton.

In accordance with Policy 100.15, Naming of a Board Facility, Designated Area or Chapel, the committee consulted with a myriad of stakeholders, including local trustees and Chair of the Board, Director of Education John Crocco, the Vice-President of Finance and Administration at Brock University, the Manager of Student Recruitment and Info Centres at Niagara College, the Executive Director of the Niagara Workforce Planning Board, the Business Consultant Organizational Performance Team of Niagara Region, the President of Seaway Mall (Doral Holdings) and staff of the Niagara Launch Centre.

Niagara Launch Centre – Powered by Niagara Catholic District School Board is a facility where students will be engaged in the development of 21st century skills and competencies. Students will be connected with stimulating possibilities presented through technological education, robotics and related activities, which will lead to opportunities for the development of interactive, collaborative, entrepreneurial and problem-solving skills, which will ultimately launch them into promising and lucrative careers.


Monsignor Clancy/St. Charles Catholic Elementary Schools Accommodation Review

On February 28, Niagara Catholic’s Board of Trustees approved the initiation of a Modified Pupil Accommodation Review for Monsignor Clancy and St. Charles Catholic Elementary Schools.

As part of Niagara Catholic’s open and transparent process, the school community was informed of this process on March 1 via a SchoolConnects message, and the Thorold community was advised by a notice in local newspapers. A presentation was made to the joint Catholic School Councils on March 28 to introduce the process, and a public meeting to discuss the amalgamation of the two schools took place on April 20, 2017. The public may view the presentation and the minutes from the March 28 meeting in section C2 of the the April 25 agenda.


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, including our blog from Vimy. 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.


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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.