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.


May 23, 2017

Niagara Catholic 2017-2018 System Priorities Approved by Trustees

During the May 9 Committee of the Whole Meeting, Trustees received a report which provided an overview of the recommended System Priorities for 2017-2018, as well as an overview of the four-month consultation process. The 2017-2018 System Priorities were approved during the May 23 Board Meeting.

Our two Strategic Directions remain the same: Build Strong Catholic Identity and Community and Nurture the Distinctiveness of Catholic Education and Advance Student Achievement for All.

Within these Strategic Directions are seven Enabling Strategies, which have specific goals within. For 2017-2018, these are:

Provide Student Supports for Success

  • Increase student engagement and student voice in student achievement, well-being and mental health awareness
  • Engage in a review of specific programs, pathways, services and supports provided for all students
  • Enhance global competencies and experiential learning for all students

Enhance Technology for Optimal Learning

  • Improve access and use of technology for all students and staff

Building Partnerships and Schools as Hubs

  • Create opportunities for meaningful dialogue, feedback and input from students, parents, staff, pastors and the community
  • Refine brand awareness and communication with stakeholders
  • Enhance and develop wrap-around partnerships with community services

Strengthen Human Resource Practices

  • Enhance professional development for all staff
  • Consolidate Board requirements for the health and safety of staff and students
  • Address regulations regarding data management

Create Equity and Accessibility of Resources

  • Conduct a review of the criteria used in allocation of resources to deliver approved programs, supports and services within Board and School Improvement Plans

Ensure Responsible Fiscal and Operational Management

  • Maintain financial stability through a balanced budget for 2017-2018
  • Achieve Ministry of Education compliance for Grants for Student Needs

Address Changing Demographics

  • Continue to optimize efficiency in capacity utilization in all Board facilities

The complete report is available in section A 6.1 in the May 23 Board Agenda.

Board Approves Policies

During the May 23 Board Meeting, Trustees approved four policies: Monthly Financial Reports Policy (600.3), Employee Workplace Harassment Policy (201.7), Employee Workplace Violence Policy (201.11) and Occupational Health and Safety Policy (201.6).

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


Shining the Spotlight on St. Anthony Catholic Elementary School


The St. Anthony Catholic Elementary School Choir was a part of the school’s School Excellence Presentation during the May 23 Board Meeting.

Each month during the Board meeting, one school is selected to make a presentation to Trustees about why their school is the indispensable choice in their community.

On May 23, St. Anthony Catholic Elementary School was in the spotlight, and students and staff were excited to share the good news about their school with Trustees.

The presentation was led by Student Senators Megan Edwards and Bianca Sestilli, who were joined by Principal Lori Spadafora, Vice-

Principal Jay Lennox and the Catholic School Council Chair to speak about what St. Anthony Catholic Elementary School means to the west St. Catharines community.

They spoke about the way in which St. Anthony staff work to fulfil the Board’s two Strategic Directions – Build a Strong Catholic Identity and Community to Nurture the Distinctiveness of Catholic Education, and Advance Student Achievement for All.

The school has a partnership with its local parish, St. Mary of the Assumption, which includes celebrating Mass together, preparing for Sacraments and participating in Youth Ministry at the school and parish level. The students and staff have an especially strong bond with their pastor, Father Matthew.

A large part of the presentation was a video that showcased life at St. Anthony, including interviews with students and staff, touching on topics such as the student council, what motivated staff to become teachers, academics, how teachers motivate students to be their best versions of themselves, sports, clubs and the way they celebrate the very special gifts and talents of students.

The presentation ended with a very special performance of A Whole New World by the school choir, adapted to reflect the school community by the school’s Music Director, Mrs. Candeloro.


The 2017-2018 School Calendar is Now Official

The 2017-2018 School Year Calendar is now official! Director of Education John Crocco was notified by the Ministry of Education earlier this month that the calendar approved by the Board has been approved by the Ministry of Education.


New Member Appointed to SEAC

Pina Palumbo, a member of Down Syndrome Caring Parents Niagara, has been approved as an alternate representative to Niagara Catholic’s Special Education Advisory Committee.

Trustees approved the request from the organization during the May 23 Board Meeting.


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 that, once again, Niagara Catholic is one of the top-performing school boards in all of Ontario? And did you see our coverage of our five outstanding Distinguished Alumni? Or that we have two students bound for the Ivy League (Harvard and Princeton) and other going to the University of Hawaii? 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.