How is it possible that the first month of school has come and gone so quickly! From celebrating a new era in Catholic education in Smithville, to the many elementary and secondary arts, athletic and other co-curriulars getting under way, September was a very busy month. And October? Well, that’s the month we focus on our blessings and give back to the communities we serve both at home and overseas. Here’s a list of some of the key events taking place throughout Niagara Catholic in September. Check your child’s school calendar or newsletter for events that are specific to their school.
October is a month dedicated to many causes, among them are Child Abuse Prevention and Autism Awareness. This month we also celebrate International Manufacturing Week and Mental Illness Awareness Week. We also had students and staff kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month by participating in local Run for the Cure events in their communities on October 1. As well, elementary students across the system will participate in Holy Childhood Walks in their neighbourhoods this month, raising money for the Holy Childhood Association to support projects in the developing world.
On October 5, Niagara Catholic will proudly showcase our innovative Niagara Launch Centre: Powered by Niagara Catholic. We’ll begin the day at the Catholic Education Centre at 9 a.m. for a flag raising and speeches, and will then make our way over to the former Target store at the Seaway Mall to see the incredible skills being learned by students in some of our technology programs. The Niagara Launch Centre is helping prepare our students for relevant, lucrative and fulfilling 21st century careers, and we are proud to showcase this cutting-edge program. Check the Good News section of our website after the event for pictures and videos.
October 5 is also World Teachers’ Day, as declared by the United Nations. If you have a chance, thank a teacher who left their mark on your life.
An extra-long weekend begins for our students on October 6, which is an elementary and secondary PA Day. On October 9, students and staff will have the day off to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.
On October 13, the Saint Paul Catholic High School community and the Niagara Falls Soccer Club will be on hand to officially open the new turf field at Saint Paul Catholic High School. This field is an excellent example of public and community partnerships! The celebration begins at 11:30 a.m. and more details will be announced as they become available.
On October 19, we will honour the 2017 recipients of the Director’s Inspiration Awards. We will announce the recipients shortly, and celebrate them at a Mass and Awards Reception at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church on St. Paul Street West in St. Catharines.
We end October as we always do with our Annual Pilgrimage. Pilgrimage Sunday is the final Sunday in October, and this year, that’s October 29. We hope this nice weather will extend into the latter part of the month so students don’t have to dodge snowflakes as they walk through the streets in their communities. This year’s Pilgrimage will be especially significant to places such as Haiti, Dominica and the Dominican Republic, which were devastated by hurricanes in September. If you feel compelled to donate to a cause supported by our Pilgrimage, contact your school of choice to make a contribution.
We wish everyone a wonderful second month of school!
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 Recommend Revisions to Three Policies
During the October 10 meeting of the Committee of the Whole, Trustees recommended the revisions to three policies which had recently been vetted by the community.
Complaint Resolution Policy (800.3), Education-Based Research Policy (800.5) and Student Fees Policy (300.11) will be considered at the October 24 Board Meeting.
Trustees Receive Annual Catholic School Council Reports
The Education Act requires that every school council in Ontario (known in Niagara Catholic as a Catholic School Council) submit a written summary of the committee’s activities for the previous year. The summary must include a report on how funding from the Province (through Parents Reaching Out Grants) or through fundraising is spent.
The summary report from each school is including in section A 6.3 of the October 10 Committee of the Whole Meeting agenda.
Following that discussion, Trustees reviewed the 2017-2018 Parent Reaching Out Grants allocated by the Province to Niagara Catholic schools.
A total of $28,175 was provided to 29 schools for a wide array of projects, including ones focused on financial literacy for youth, promoting a love of science, resiliency, family health and wellness, channeling stress into success, Indigenous awareness, social networking, internet safety, literacy, numeracy and bullying awareness and prevention.
These events will take place in schools throughout 2017-2018.
Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement and Well-Being Presented to Trustees
The 2017-2018 Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement and Well-Being (BIPSAW), which was designed to align with the Board’s Strategic Directions and Enabling Strategies, was presented to Committee of the Whole October 10.
The four pillars of Catholic Faith, Community and Culture, Literacy, Numeracy and Pathways form the foundation of the BIPSAW, focusing on outcomes.
The 2017-2018 BIPSAW is available in the Focus on Niagara Catholic section of the Board website.
Capital Projects Update
Construction of the addition to Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Elementary School in Grimsby is now under way.
When the $4.5-million addition is complete in December, the school will have an additional 15,000 square feet of space, including six classrooms and three child care rooms. The addition was designed by Svedas Architects Inc. and is being built by Brouwer Construction Ltd.
We’ve had an incredible first six weeks of the school year! If you haven’t done it yet, be sure to check our Good News section of this website to see great stories on the programs and events taking place in our schools. Then check out the In the News section for media coverage of many of these stories, which is accessed through the main page.
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.