Oh wow … we’re in the home stretch now! The sun has finally warmed up our frozen ground, and we’ve (hopefully) seen the last of the snowflakes until at least late November! May is the Month of Mary, and it’s the time we celebrate Catholic Education in a very special way. We have a long list of special events and activities throughout Catholic Education Week, and throughout May, as we celebrate the best in Catholic education in Niagara. Read on to find out what’s happening across Niagara Catholic this month!
Our Special Education Advisory Committee meets at the Catholic Education Centre in Welland on Wednesday, May 2. And on Thursday, May 3, the Niagara Catholic Parent Involvement Committee will meet at the CEC.
Catholic Education Week begins on Sunday, May 6. We’ll have students and staff in all of our parishes reading a special Catholic Education Week message for parishioners, and we will look forward to a new Pastoral Letter from the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario. The theme of Catholic Education Week is tied to the name of this Pastoral Letter – Renewing the Promise. We’ll make sure everyone has a copy of this letter in the days after it’s released by the ACBO.
On May 9, the very talented musicians from Niagara Catholic’s eight Catholic secondary schools will come together for a day of performance and learning during the Board’s Inaugural Music Festival at the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre. After a day of adjudication, a Niagara Catholic Concert Band and Jazz Band will be created, and students from all eight school bands will perform for parents and the community at the PAC on St. Paul Street in St. Catharines.
On May 7, Niagara Catholic will celebrate 58 very special individuals – one student from each of our Catholic elementary and secondary schools and one from our Continuing Education Centre – this year’s recipients of the Catch the Spirit Student Achievement Awards. This event will take place at Denis Morris Catholic High School in the evening. It’s a signature event for Catholic Education Week, and one-half of the system events that bookend Catholic Education Week and recognize excellence in Catholic education. Our Distinguished Alumni Luncheon celebrates graduates of our system, and a special luncheon will be held in honour of this year’s recipients at the Catholic Education Centre May 11. Stand by for details on the individuals being recognized in 2018!
Niagara Catholic welcomes Father Tony Ricard back to Niagara for the third time this year on May 17, to celebrate our graduating class at the 2018 Graduation Celebration at the Gale Centre. The Class of 2018 was the first Grade 7 class to participate in the Grade 7 Festival of Faith (led by Father Tony), so it brings things full-circle for the nearly 2,000 students who will graduate this year! Father Tony will also be the keynote speaker at the Partners in Catholic Education event for Catholic School Council members and parish priests that evening.
May 18 is a Professional Activity Day for our students in both Catholic elementary and secondary schools, and a faith formation day for staff, and May 21 is Canada’s first official long weekend of summer. Enjoy the extra long weekend for the Victoria Day holiday, as we wind down May and make our way into the final month of the school year.
We conclude May with the Official Blessing and Opening of the new St. Martin Catholic Elementary School in Smithville on May 29. This is going to be a very special event for all in attendance, as students and staff wind down an incredible first year in their home away from home! Have a great May, 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.
Policy Recommended to Board
During the May 8 Committee of the Whole Meeting, trustees recommended the Board’s Christian Community Service Policy (400.3) be presented to the Board for consideration at the May 22 Board meeting.
Notre Dame Family of Schools Attendance Area Review
At the March 20 Board Meeting, trustees approved the creation of the Notre Dame College Family of Schools Ad Hoc Attendance Area Review Committee. The Committee’s responsibility was to align student enrolment to facility capacity at St. Alexander and St. Kevin Catholic elementary schools by adjusting attendance area boundaries.
The Committee met April 12 and 24, and a public meeting took place April 18.
Denis Morris, Holy Cross and Saint Francis Families of Schools Attendance Area Review
At the March 20 Board Meeting, trustees approved the creation of the Denis Morris, Holy Cross and Saint Francis Family of Schools Ad Hoc Attendance Area Review Committee. The Committee’s responsibility was to align the secondary attendance boundary for Saint Francis Catholic Secondary School to include the entire St. James Catholic Elementary School boundary.
The Committee met April 10 and May 2, to discuss the matter.
The Ad Hoc Committee considered a number of factors before submitting its recommendation to Committee of the Whole. If approved, the new boundary will come into effect May 23, 2018.
Read the report in section A6.4 of the May 8 Committee of the Whole agenda.
Summer Camp 2018
Niagara Catholic Summer Camp 2018 is an integrated program offering students the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities based on life skills, pathways planning, active living and general interests. Each activity is infused with literacy and numeracy. Programs include Home Sweet Home, MasterChef, Nuts and Bolts, On the Move and Robotics, as well as YMCA camp activities, Healthy Kids Community Challenge Niagara activities, Links for Greener Learning Environment activities and French Immersion/English as a Second Language for appropriate students.
Summer camps will run from July 9 through August 3 at Our Lady of Victory and St. Kevin Catholic elementary schools, Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary School, Saint Michael Catholic High School, Lakeshore Catholic High School, Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School and Notre Dame College School.
Registration is ongoing through a link on the Board website. Parents can pay the $175 weekly fee online using PayPal.
For more information on the Summer Camp program, click the slide on the main page of the website.
The Ad Hoc Committee researched a number of factors which impact enrolment and capacity of each school, and recommended revisions to the attendance area boundary for each school, effective May 23, 2018.
Read the report in section A6.3 of the May 8 Committee of the Whole agenda.
System Priorities 2018-2019
During the May 8 Committee of the Whole Meeting, Trustees received Senior Staff’s recommended Strategic Directions Enabling Strategies for 2018-2019. Enhanced communication between home, school and parish, increasing parent and student voice in student achievement and the creation of a system-wide electronic platform to facilitate communication between staff and parents are among the 18 recommendations presented to Committee of the Whole.
Trustees will consider the recommendations at the May 22 Board Meeting. Read the Enabling Strategies in section C1 of the May 8 Committee of the Whole Agenda.
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 see scenes from our Bishop’s Gala, Grade 7 Festival of Faith, Youth Wellness Conference, Student Leadership Symposium and Distinguished Alumni Award luncheon.
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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.