Well, that’s the first month of 2018 official in the record books – and what a month it was! ICYMI, be sure to check out our In the News section of this website (the tab directly to the right of this one), and our Good News blog, which is loaded with great news about students from across Niagara Catholic. We picked up an impressive number of new followers on our social media sites last month – helped along by the snow on January 30 and Bell Let’s Talk Day on January 31 – but we’re determined to keep those new followers active and engaged and to continue to grow our base of followers. If you haven’t joined us on social media, visit us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and if you like what we’re doing on there, be sure to tell others to join the conversation to get news and updates from across our system. 

As always, be sure to check our social media channels and this website for information about bus delays, cancellations or school closures as we work our way through Winter 2018. Hopefully the worst of it is behind us, but the only thing you can predict about the weather when you are between two Great Lakes is that it will be unpredictable. Ensure your child(ren) are dressed to go outside most days, with warm and waterproof clothing, especially jackets, snowpants, boots and gloves/mittens, as well as a hat and scarf to protect them against the wind and cold. And since water finds a way to find its way through waterproof gear, especially on kiddos, have a backup bag of clothing at the school, just in case someone gets soggy. Niagara Catholic follows Niagara Region Public Health’s initiative on Extreme Cold Alerts. Students are kept inside when an Extreme Cold Alert is in place, but please keep in mind principals have discretion to keep students inside based on the conditions at their school, even when an alert is not in effect. If you have questions about the decision to keep students indoors in the winter, please ask the principal. 

sneezeCould it be the flu? This year’s flu is especially nasty. Since flu season began, there have been 17 flu outbreaks across the Region, with five still in effect as of February 1. If your child has flu-like symptoms or a confirmed case of the flu, please keep them at home until they are flu-free. it’s not too late to get a flu shot. Click here  for a list of flu shot clinics in Niagara.

Aaaand, speaking of shots, many families across Niagara have received notices of suspension from school under the Immunization of School Pupils Act. If you received a notice from Niagara Region Public Health regarding your child’s immunization record, and believe they have current vaccinations, please check with your doctor and Public Health to clear up any discrepancy. If your child requires updated immunizations, either visit your family doctor or one of the General Immunization Clinics hosted by Niagara Region Public Health. A list of clinic dates, times and locations is here.

And now, on to February’s events! The shortest month of the year is one of the busiest across Niagara Catholic! We have lots of things going on, so be sure to check your child’s school calendar for a list of events and activities taking place in their schools.

February 1 is the final day of Semester 1 exams in our Catholic secondary schools. February 2 is a secondary P.A. Day, and Semester Two begins on Monday, February 5.

Niagara Catholic student artwork is available for auction at Seaway Mall February 1-7. Giving from the HeART is a fundraiser for the United Way. Stop by, check out the art, and place your bid to support programs and services in the community.




Niagara Catholic will host a special event for students to learn more about 21st century careers on February 6. The Pathways Speaker Series: Truths Revealed, held in partnership with Brock University, Niagara College and the Niagara Workforce Planning Board, will provide valuable information to students and their parents about the way traditional careers in the trades have evolved over the years, and about new and emerging careers for students to explore. This is a free event at Club Roma in St. Catharines, beginning at 6:30 p.m. It’s ideally suited for students in Grades 6-10, however any interested students outside of that age range or their parents are encouraged and welcome to attend. No need to pre-register, just come by to learn more.




Kids Helping Kids Week begins on February 11, a week when elementary students from across Niagara Catholic participate in a number of fun activities to raise money for the Niagara Children’s Centre.  This year will be the 20th year for Kids Helping Kids. Last year’s event raised $30,770 for programs and services at the Centre.

We will also begin our Lenten journey during that week. February 13 is Shrove Tuesday, the final day to enjoy treats (especially ones with fat in it, which explains the term Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday in French). This year, Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine’s Day. As Ash Wednesday is a day reserved for penance and repentance and is the official beginning of Lent, please note that our schools will hold Valentine’s Day events on February 13 instead. The distribution of ashes will take place in schools and at parishes on February 14. Learn more about Ash Wednesday and Lent here

Heading into the Family Day long weekend, remember that both elementary and secondary school students will get an extra long weekend, as February 16 is a Professional Activity Day. All schools and sites are closed on Monday, February 19 for Family Day.


Kindergarten We will conclude February with our Winter/Spring Kindergarten Open House and Registration Day on February 28, from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.  If you haven’t already registered your child for September 2018 at one of our Catholic elementary schools, be sure to attend the Open House at your neighbourhood Catholic elementary school. If you know someone with a child who will turn four in 2018, invite them to bring their child to the open house to discover the joy and wonder of a Catholic education. Online registration is also available through the slide on the front page of this website. 



To find out more about the events and activities happening in your child’s school, be sure to check their monthly newsletter or calendar.




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.

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March 6, 2018

 SpeakOut! Showcase at Committee of the Whole



For the past two months, elementary students from across Niagara Catholic have been hard at work researching, crafting and refining their SpeakOut! speeches.

Before the Committee of the Whole Meeting, the winning presented their speeches at the SpeakOut! Showcase. Speeches have come a long way in the past decade, with many focusing on very topical issues of the day. The students delivered their speeches at the classroom, school and district level to be selected for the SpeakOut! Showcase.

The list of winners is below:

First Place:

  • Colter Naphin, Gr. 8, Monsignor Clancy Catholic Elementary School
  • Omar Khadr
  • Victoria Tudorache, Gr. 8, Loretto Catholic Elementary School
  • Today’s Innovators & Disruptors
  • Danny Langelaan, Gr. 7, St. Alexander Catholic Elementary School
  • Perspective

Second Place:

  • Ciara Wood, Gr. 7, Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Elementary School, Grimsby
  • #MeToo
  • Owen Yazaroglu, Gr. 8, Mary Ward Catholic Elementary School
  • The Challenges of Growing Up in 2018
  • Ella Robert, Gr. 8, St. Ann Catholic Elementary School, Fenwick
  • Leadership

Third Place:

  • Adrianne Rosete, Gr. 8, St. Denis Catholic Elementary School
  • Plastic Pollution
  • Nabaa Alzobedy, Gr. 7, Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Elementary School
  • Labels in Society
  • Bianca Lariccia, Gr. 8, St. Therese Catholic Elementary School
  • Appearance and Judgement

Committee of the Whole Recommends Policies to Board

During the March 6 Committee of the Whole Meeting, Trustees recommended two policies be sent to the Board for approval.

The Trustee Code of Conduct Policy (100.12) and Student Trustee Policy (100.4) will be considered at the March 20 Board Meeting


French as a Second Language Program – Update

All students in Ontario’s publicly funded English-language schools learn French as a Second Language, including students with special needs and students who are also learning English.

There are three options for students to study French in Niagara Catholic schools:

  • Core French, which students study as a subject, accumulating 600 hours of French instruction by the end of Grade 8;
  • Extended French, which students learn as a subject and where French is the language of instruction in at least one other subject, with at least 25 per cent of all classroom instruction provided in French at the elementary level. At the secondary level, students may take academic-level French in Grades 9 and 10, and then take the university preparation courses in Grades 11 and 12. In the Extended French program, students accumulate a total of seven credits in French – four FSL and the other three are the other subjects for which French was the language of instruction; and
  • French Immersion, where students learn French as a subject; and French is the language of instruction for two or more subjects. At the elementary level, 50 per cent of all instruction is provided in French. At the secondary level, applied and academic courses are offered for Grades 9 and 10, and university preparation and open courses are offered for Grades 11 and 12. In the French Immersion program, students accumulate 10 credits in French – four FSL credits and the remainder for the other subject which are taught in French.

Find out more about Niagara Catholic’s French as a Second Language Program by reading report C1 in the March 6 Committee of the Whole agenda, and by reviewing our French Immersion page.


Trustee Determination and Distribution for the 2018 Municipal Election

There are currently eight elected trustees from across the region, who govern the operations of the Niagara Catholic District School Board. During the March 6 meeting, Committee of the Whole has recommended a slight change to the boundaries for trustees heading into the 2018 Municipal Election in October.

Currently, there is one trustee who represents Fort Erie, Port Colborne and Wainfleet, one for Grimsbly, Lincoln, Pelham and West Lincoln, one for Thorold (including Merritton), one for Welland, and two trustees each for Niagara Falls/Niagara-on-the-Lake and St. Catharines.

If approved by the Board, the trustee elected to represent Grimsby/Lincoln and West Lincoln will no longer represent Pelham. The Pelham area will be represented by the Welland trustee.

This was made based on the Population of Electoral Group Reports. Review the details in the report, found in Section C2 of the March 6 Committee of the Whole agenda.


Attendance Area Reviews

During the March 6 Committee of the Whole Meeting, trustees recommended two reports which would align boundaries in St. Catharines and Welland.

If approved, the Attendance Area Review for the Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School and Saint Francis Catholic Secondary School families of schools would see see the entire St. James Catholic Elementary School boundary fall within the Saint Francis Catholic Elementary School boundary. It is currently shared between both Holy Cross and Saint Francis Catholic Secondary Schools.

In Welland, the recommendation is to align the boundary adjust capacity at both St. Alexander Catholic Elementary School in Pelham, and St. Kevin Catholic Elementary School in Welland, both of which are part of the Notre Dame College Family of Schools.

Review the complete reports in sections C3 and C5 of the March 6 Committee of the Whole agenda.


Good News!

It’s March – can you believe it! Don’t forget to check our Good News section of this website to see great stories on the programs and events taking place in our schools.  Check out the story from our annual Technology Skills Competition, and read about Aaron Parry, who recently won a very prestigious provincial award. While you’re there, check out our In the News section for YourTV Niagara’s coverage of our Technology Skills Competition. If you’re looking for good news, this is the place to go!


Follow us!

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.