Wow! It’s April! March came and went like a bit of a lion, so here’s hoping we have a little gentleness in April – think baby bunnies and little chicks – as we spring to life after a Very. Long. Winter.
We had an amazing March, and April is going to be buzzing with activity as well!
We will be off on Easter Monday April 2, which is also World Autism Day. With our focus on inclusive education, we will be proud to fly the Autism Ontario flag when classes resume on April 3, in recognition of this very special day.
Our Special Education Advisory Committee will meet on Wednesday, April 4, but there will be a change in venue. This meeting will take place at Denis Morris Catholic High School, so it can coincide with a special event being hosted by the Niagara Catholic Parent Involvement Committee at Denis Morris that evening. The first Well-Being, Learning and Achievement Fair will run from 5 p.m. through 7:30 p.m. and will include information for parents and activities for students. Register here.
Our Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast will take place on Monday, April 16, the start of Volunteer Week in Canada. Thank you to the many volunteers who bring their unique gifts and talents to our schools every day!
The week will end with the Bishop’s Gala on April 20. This year we are proud to honour two exceptional individuals who have shaped Catholic education in Niagara – former Director of Education and current President of the Niagara Foundation for Catholic Education Peter Ferren, and the late Eileen McCarthy, a teacher and counsellor at Notre Dame College School for more than 35 years. Read more about the recipients here, and get your tickets to the annual Bishop’s Gala here. Ticket sales wrap up April 13, so don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a fabulous meal, recognize our recipients and enjoy a hilarious comedy set by Niagara Catholic Distinguished Alumni recipient Joe Pillitteri.
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.
Our Lady of Fatima’s Chapel to get New Name
During the April 10 Committee of the Whole Meeting, trustees recommended that the Board approve a request to name the new chapel at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Elementary School, which was included as part of the expansion and renovation to the school in 2017.
If approved, the name of the new chapel will be Our Lady’s Chapel of the Apparitions. Trustees will consider the recommendation at the April 24 Board Meeting.
Mental Health and Addictions Strategy – 2018 Update
Niagara Catholic has made the mental health of students and staff a key priority through the enabling strategies created to support our Strategic Directions. This support is incorporated into our Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement and Well-Being (BIPSAW) and school improvement planning across the system.
During the April 10 Committee of the Whole Meeting, trustees heard a presentation by Board Mental Health Lead Andrea Bozza, and Superintendent of Education Lee Ann Forsyth-Sells, updating the Board’s Mental Health and Addictions Strategy and explaining the roles and responsibilities of those involved in mental health initiatives in schools.
Capping Class Sizes for Students Part of Grants for Student Needs
The Province will invest nearly $500 million more in publicly funded education in the 2018-2019 school year.
Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, class sizes for students in Full-Day Kindergarten will be capped at 29 students. At the same time, class sizes for students in Grades 4-8 will be reduced to 23.84 students in a class. By the 2022-2023 school year, that figure will drop to 22.85 students.
As well, the provincial government has committed $300 million to school boards over the next three years to address current waitlists for students with special education needs.
The report can be found in section C3 of the April 10 Committee of the Whole Agenda.
Jerseys for Humboldt
Niagara Catholic students and staff have joined Canadians – and people around the world – in mourning the loss of 15 people killed in the horrific accident in Humboldt, Saskatchewan April 6. In addition to flying our flags at half-staff and saying a system-wide prayer for those killed, the 14 injured, their families, friends and the community, we will participate in Jersey Day on April 12. Students and staff are encouraged to wear their favourite sports jersey or green shirt in support of the Humboldt Broncos. We have also placed hockey sticks outside the door of the Catholic Education Centre, and our chapel, as a symbolic gesture “for the boys who will need them to play in Heaven.”
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! forget to check our Good News section of this website to see great stories on the programs and events taking place in our schools. Read about our outstanding Learning, Well-Being and Achievement Fair, and about Nicholas Carobonara, a student at Denis Morris Catholic High School who will get the opportunity of a lifetime this summer.
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.