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.

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June 13, 2017

Outstanding Graduation Rate for the Class of 2016

InstagramFor the third, consecutive year, Niagara Catholic’s graduation rates placed second out of the 57 English speaking school Boards in the Province of Ontario. For the third year in a row, Niagara Catholic’s graduation rates continued to increase, this time, by nearly a full percentage point, to 92.1 per cent for students graduating in four years, and to 94 per cent for students who took five years to graduate.

This once again places Niagara Catholic second in the province among Ontario’s 57 publicly funded English-language school boards for four-year graduation rates, and tied for third among all 72 publicly funded school boards in Ontario in five-year graduation rates. Niagara Catholic’s four-year rate is 12.5 per cent higher than the provincial average (79.6%) and 7.5 per cent higher than the provincial average (86.5%) for students who took five years to complete their Ontario Secondary School Graduation Diploma.

Niagara Catholic’s graduation rates fulfill a strategy laid out in the Board’s Vision 2020 Strategic Plan to consistently exceed the Ministry of Education’s goal of a province-wide, five-year graduation rate of 85 per cent; a goal that was first achieved throughout Ontario in 2015.

During the June 13 Committee of the Whole Meeting, Senior Staff shared with Trustees some of the many ways in which staff support student achievement in our elementary and secondary schools. Read the report in the June 13 Committee of the Whole Agenda and read the media release here.

Students Recognized for Excellence

Each year during the final Committee of the Whole Meeting for the school year, Trustees recognize students who have achieved excellence in academics, the arts and athletics throughout the school year with pins in recognition of their accomplishments. This year, 14 teams, groups and individuals were recognized with Niagara Catholic Excellence in Academics, Excellence in Arts and Excellence in Athletics pins during the June 13 Committee of the Whole Meeting.

Click here to see some photos and for a link to the list of recipients.

Capital Projects Update

Groundbreak soilTrustees were provided with an update on capital projects in progress during the June 13 Committee of the Whole Meeting. The parking lot at the new St. Martin Catholic Elementary School in Smithville is due to be completed this month and much of the millwork has been installed inside the school. Flooring and lighting installation is underway and locker installation will begin soon.

Students will occupy the new St. Martin Catholic Elementary School in September.

Although work has already commenced on the addition and renovation to Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Elementary School in Grimsby, a groundbreaking celebration took place at the school on June 6. When it is completed, Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Elementary School will have an additional six classrooms and three early-learning rooms, with space for 540 students all under one roof.

Niagara Catholic 2017-2018 Budget Presented to Trustees

During the June 13 Committee of the Whole Meeting, Trustees were presented with a review of the proposed 2017-2018 Annual Budget.

The Annual Budget, which includes operating expenditures amounting to approximately $268,000,000, is balanced without the transfer of funds from reserves.

Review the report to the Committee of the Whole in section C3 of the June 13 Committee of the Whole Agenda.


Introducing the 2017-2018 Student Trustees

Trustees were introduced to the 2017-2018 Student Senate Co-Chairs and Student Trustees during the June 13 Committee of the Whole Meeting.

Hannah Tummillo, a Grade 11 student at Lakeshore Catholic High School, will replace Kira Petriello as a Student Trustee. Nico Tripodi will return for a final term as Student Trustee in 2017-2018. Director of Education John Crocco and Board Chair Father Paul MacNeil thanked Kira and Nico for their tremendous energy and enthusiasm throughout this school year, and wished Kira well on her new journey, as a part of the Class of 2021 at Queen’s University in September.


Trustees Recommend Policies

During the June 13 Committee of the Whole Meeting, Trustees recommended two policies for approval by the Board: Educational Field Trip Policy (400.2) and Privacy Policy (New). The policies will be considered during the June 20 Board Meeting.

All Niagara Catholic policies are available to the public on our website.

Larkin Estate Awards

In 1969, the Board received a bequest from the estate of Maria Eveleen Larkin and Aimee Theresa Larkin to provide funding for students entering the field of nursing or a social service program.

The Larkin Estate Admission Awards are administered by the Board of Trustees of the Niagara Catholic District School Board. During the June 13 Committee of the Whole Meeting, Trustees recommended providing $1,125 to five new applicants entering nursing and social work programs, and $2,025 to nine students who are continuing on in their post-secondary education nursing programs.

Trustees will consider the motion at the June 20 Board Meeting.

2016-2017 Research Collaborations

Each year, Niagara Catholic is asked to participate in a number of research projects both locally and throughout Ontario.

During the June 13 Committee of the Whole Meeting, Trustees were advised of the 19 projects Niagara Catholic collaborated on throughout this academic year. Among them were programs focusing on literacy and numeracy, drug use and health, recess experiences for students, the partnership between teachers and early childhood educators, ways to use the visual arts to understand the Truth and Reconciliation and one with Brock University’s Face Perception Lab which looked at the way children recognize familiar people and how they take their social cues from others.

The full list of projects is available in section A6.7 in the June 13 Committee of the Whole Meeting Agenda.

Final Report on the Proposed Amalgamation of Monsignor Clancy and St. Charles Catholic Elementary Schools

In February, Niagara Catholic began the process of a Modified Pupil Accommodation Review for Monsignor Clancy and St. Charles Catholic Elementary Schools in Thorold.

A number of meetings took place over the following months, and on June 13, Trustees received a report from staff recommending the amalgamation of the two schools at the Monsignor Clancy site, once a renovation and possible addition (if funded by the Province) are completed.

A final decision has yet to be made, and stakeholders may still make a delegation to the Board at the June 20 meeting, following the guidelines through the Modified Pupil Accommodation Review slide on the front page of this website.

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. For example, did you know one of our Principals received a Principal of the Year Award? Or did you see the photos from our Festival of Families and our participation in the Canadian Catholic School Trustees’ Association National Convention? Don’t forget our monthly Director’s Video is also available on the main page of this website.

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.







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.