Wow! Here it is – the final month of the school year, and what a year it’s been! Looking back, there have been so many wonderful learning experiences and opportunities for our students and our staff. We’ve celebrated our successes together and have come together to support each other when we needed it. As we begin June, we look back at the year that was, but also look ahead at the learning still to be done, the milestones to be marked and yes, two glorious months ahead we hope are filled with long, relaxing sunny days with family and friends. Here’s what the month of June has to offer here at Niagara Catholic:
Our annual Staff and Family Mass and Picnic will take place at the Catholic Education Centre on June 3 (weather permitting).
On June 5, Niagara Catholic will host the world premiere of Jungle Jamboree at Saint Michael Catholic High School. For the past several weeks, 10 students living with autism have been working with staff to bring the story of friendship, acceptance and self-discovery to life. The play was then recorded and will be shown to family and friends. Congratulations to everyone involved in this very unique program that has given students with autism an opportunity many do not receive – the chance to participate in co-curriculars with friends.
Our Young Artists Gala will take place at Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in downtown St. Catharines on June 6. The artwork will be on display throughout the month of June. Congratulations to the extremely talented young artists whose work has been selected to be displayed for the public to see.
June 8 is an Elementary Professional Activity Day. Enjoy the long weekend as teachers prepare final report cards.
Niagara Catholic’s annual Retirement and Service Recognition Celebration will take place on June 21. Congratulations to those who are on to new lives of leisure or filled with volunteering, looking after grandchildren or travel, and to those who are being recognized with 25 years of service to Catholic education in Niagara.
Semester Two exams will take place June 21-27 for our secondary school students. We wish all those writing exams – especially those writing their last set of high school exams – good luck. Study hard and we know you’ll do great!
Elementary graduation ceremonies will take place June 19 to 27, and secondary school graduations will take place June 26, 27 and 28. Congratulations to everyone who is moving on to a new adventure in life, whether it’s from Kindergarten to primary classes, into high school or from high school into an apprenticeship, college, university or the world of work.
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.
Trustees Approve Policies
During the June 12 Committee of the Whole Meeting, trustees approved six policies.
The updated Electronic Communications Systems (Students) Policy (301.5), Employee Code of Conduct & Ethics Policy (201.17), Employee Hiring and Selection (Teachers) Policy (203.1), Environmental Stewardship Policy (400.6), Bottled Water Policy (701.5) and Voluntary and Confidential Self-Identification for First Nation, Metis and Inuit Students Policy (301.9) are now available on the Board website for review.
2018-2019 School Year Calendar Approved
The Ministry of Education has approved Niagara Catholic’s 2018-2019 school year calendar, and the Board has approved the calendar with 2018-2019 meeting dates.
To assist families as they look to plan into the coming year, the calendar is available here.
Roof Repair Contract Awarded
Niagara Catholic trustees have authorized GRRC Roofing, the low compliant bidder in an open tender process, to complete roofing repairs to St. Denis Catholic Elementary School.
The project, which has an upset limit of $540,000, is being funded by the School Condition Improvement Grant received from the Ministry of Education.
Niagara Catholic Student Choir Introduced to Board
The Niagara Catholic Student Choir was formed in April 2017 as an opportunity for students from all Catholic elementary schools to participate in an Honour Choir, representing the Board at various events. School principals and Itinerant Arts teachers selected choir members and their first performance was at the widely attended Festival of Families event in May 2017.
The Choir resumed last September under the leadership of elementary teachers Dr. Christina LeRose and Maria Arlia. Choir members represent Cardinal Newman, Notre Dame, Sl Alfred, St. Anthony, St. Elizabeth, St. Mark, St. Peter, St. Theresa and St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Elementary Schools. They rehearse monthly, and recently performed at the Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast, Partners in Catholic Education Dinner and the Niagara Catholic Family Mass and Picnic.
During the June 19 Board Meeting, the choir performed two songs – Shout to the Lord and Let it Be.
100 Per Cent EcoSchools Certification for 2017-2018
The Ontario EcoSchools program integrates environmental education, environmentally sound practices and environmentally responsible actions into a school or classroom setting. This creates a culture of conservation that is ingrained in students from their early years that they will practise at home and at school, and changes the habits of teaching and school staff. Niagara Catholic was the first school board in Ontario to receive 100 per cent EcoSchools certification in 2010, and is the only Board to have had nine years of consecutive Board-wide certification.
This year, Niagara Catholic doubled its number of Platinum certification with 10 schools achieving this outstanding rating, five schools received Platinum certification, 32 schools received Gold certification, 14 schools received Silver certification and one school received Bronze certification. This accomplishment was once again possible through the exceptional learning opportunities provided to students through our outstanding staff and community partnerships.
Father Paul MacNeil, Chair of the Board, offered his congratulations to students and staff for their ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship.
“Niagara Catholic students and staff have taken Pope Francis’s call to preserve the world God created for and entrusted to us to heart,” he said. “If we could harness the power of their energy and enthusiasm we could rival the power of Niagara Falls, and that energy and enthusiasm spreads to all those around them. On behalf of the Board, congratulations to everyone who worked so hard toward this very impressive result in 2017-2018, and thank you to all of those who supported them.”
Director Crocco said that this year’s results are evidence of the Board’s Green Niagara Catholic initiative. He praised students and staff for their commitment to environmental stewardship.
“Environmental stewardship is an integral extension of the culture of life that exists throughout Niagara Catholic,” he said. “I’m extremely proud of all students and staff, whose continued commitment to the EcoSchools program, as part of our Green Niagara Catholic initiative, and has resulted not only in 100 per cent certification for a precedent-setting ninth straight year, but in a 100 per cent increase in the number of Platinum certifications.”
Check the school standings here.
Celebrating Excellence at Saint Paul Catholic High School
At every Board meeting, Niagara Catholic showcases one school as part of the School Excellence Program.
Saint Paul Catholic High School was in the spotlight for the final Board meeting of the 2017-2018 school year.
Principal Brad Johnstone spoke about the school’s 36-year history, and its close relationship with sister-school Saint Michael Catholic High School across town. The school’s motto, In Hoc Signo Vincemus (In this sign we conquer), is a reminder to students and staff to do their best to walk in the footsteps of Jesus every day.
Principal Johnstone spoke about school’s tradition of academic, athletic and artistic excellence, and about the close tie between the school and the Ste. Croix de Milo School in Haiti, which Patriots support each year during the Annual Pilgrimage. He also spoke about the excitement among students and staff when the new turf field was blessed at the school in October.
Prior to the choir performing, Principal Johnstone spoke about the school’s focus on physical, mental and spiritual well-being, praised students who represented Saint Paul at the Skills Canada competition, and showed a short video depicting a day in the life of Saint Paul.
Kids Helping Kids Raises $29,000 for Niagara Children’s Centre
Every year since 1998, Niagara Catholic has raised funds to support the Niagara Children’s Centre. In its 20th year, students raised $29,287.69 through a variety of events and activities during the week of February 12-16, Kids Helping Kids Week.
Scott Canter, a Grade 6 student at St. Anthony Catholic Elementary School who has benefitted from the programs offered by the Centre, made the presentation to Oksana Fisher, Chief Executive Officer (left). Joining them in the photo are Superintendent of Education Pat Rocca, Director of Education John Crocco and Chair of the Board Father Paul MacNeil.
In addition to doing fun activities during Kids Helping Kids Week to raise funds, students also learned about the way the Centre assists many students in the Board.
If it’s been a while since you visited our Good News section of this website, be sure to check to see what you’ve missed! Check it out to learn about our students who represented the Board at the provincial level with their history projects, and about Gavin Gascon, a student from St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Elementary School, who recently won a city-wide logo contest. While you’re there, be sure to look through photos of some pretty adorable tiny teachers from the Roots of Empathy celebration and scenes from our Retirement and Service Recognition Celebration.
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, especially now that winter is here! If you like what you see online – tell your friends and have them like or follow Niagara Catholic, too!
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.