Welcome, March. And welcome spring!
Niagara Catholic began March by marking the beginning of our Lenten season on March 1. Across the System, our students and staff received the ashes that are symbolic of the ashes we rose from and the ashes to which we will one day return.
On March 2, secondary school students across Niagara Catholic students participated in the Baking and Culinary Arts competitions at the Canadian Food and Wine Institute at Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake campus. Students participating in 22 other technology categories will compete at the 14th Annual Technology Skills Competition at the Scotiabank Convention Centre on March 8, and awards will be presented on March 9.
Also on March 2, students studying French, Italian and Spanish were invited to participate in the Board’s annual French, Italian and Spanish Public Speaking Competition at Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School.
March Break takes place from Monday, March 13-Friday, March 17. Whether you are staying at home or going to enjoy some late winter skiing or early summer sun and surf, have a safe and enjoyable March Break.
Tickets are now available for the Bishop’s Gala! Click on the Bishop’s Gala flyer on the main page for ticket information. This year, we’re excited to have The Madhatters perform live for guests. The evening will also include a fabulous antipasto bar and meal at Club Roma, a silent auction and the Niagara Catholic Education Award of Distinction. Nominations for the Award of Distinction close on February 24. Click here for the nomination criteria and a link to the nomination form.
We’d like to remind families who have not yet chosen a school for their child for September 2017 that registration is available throughout the school year at all Catholic elementary and secondary schools. If you’re not sure which school your child will attend, click here and enter your address to find out about your home school and transportation availability.
Parents interested in registering their child for Kindergarten or any grade in a Catholic elementary school can click here for information about our Catholic elementary schools, the registration process and the documents required to complete registration. Families interested in registering a child in one of our Catholic secondary schools can find information about the registration process here. If you have specific questions, please call your neighbourhood Catholic elementary school or secondary school for assistance, or call 905.735.0240 ext. 297.
Finally, we’d like to remind parents and guardians that even though this has been a mild winter with relatively little snow, the weather can change in Niagara very quickly. Parents should ensure that students are dressed for the elements when they come to school, with warm tuques, gloves, boots, coats and snow pants. Gloves, coats and boots should be waterproof, and a change of clothes should be available just in case. Students are sent outside most days, unless Niagara Region Public Health issues an Extreme Cold Weather Alert. Given the diverse nature of Niagara’s climate, some schools may experience inclement weather while others do not, so outdoor recesses and lunches are at the discretion of the principal on days when an Extreme Cold Weather Alert is not in effect.
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.
April 25, 2017
Committee of the Whole Approves Policies
During the April 25 Board Meeting, Trustees approved one revised Policy.
The Trustee Honorarium Policy (100.11) is available in the Policies section of the Board website for public review.
Shining the Spotlight on St. Mark Catholic Elementary School
St. Mark Catholic Elementary School opened its doors in 2001 to serve a growing need for Catholic education in West Niagara; specifically in Beamsville. Today, 631 students are proud to be “St. Mark Mountain Lions.”
During the April 25 Board Meeting, Principal Steven Ward attended the meeting to share why St. Mark is such a vital part of its community. It was especially fitting that the meeting fell on the day dedicated to the Feast of St. Mark!
In his presentation, Principal Ward talked extensively about the climate of the school; about how faith is truly lived in the classrooms, the schoolyard and in the offices and staff areas. The presentation showcased the many faith-based events at the school each year, including special Advent and Easter family Masses, the Catholic Choir, Rosary Club, Stations of the Cross and participation in the Annual Pilgrimage with Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary School.
Principal Ward was joined by Vice-Principal Joseph Romeo, Educational Resource Teacher Emmanuel Roussos and Noah Seca, co-chair of Student Council. Their presentation also focused on the many events and activities designed to bring together home, school and parish, including family movie nights, fun fairs and evenings funded through Parents Reaching Out (PRO) grants.
The school’s EcoTeam is very active. Comprised of the Junior Student Council, the EcoTeam conducts site audits and energy checks, schoolyard cleanup and plants the front garden in the spring. There are also many sports teams and other clubs for students with a wide range of interests to enjoy.
Students say they feel very connected to the school and to Blessed Trinity, as past students frequently return to St. Mark to act as role models for younger students. Students say they leave St. Mark ready for the last stage of their formal education, as students at Blessed Trinity.
To ensure the school’s goals for student achievement are met, all club meetings and activities are scheduled at recess or before or after school. Language and math are taught in uninterrupted blocks of time and there is a commitment to differentiated instruction through engaging student activities. Students and staff also use a diverse range of 21st century technology and teaching tools to ensure that students have all the tools they need to succeed in classrooms and workplaces well into the 21st century.
Trustees Support Name of New Technology Centre
Niagara Catholic has leased the former Target store inside Seaway Mall, to use as a technology centre for students.
During the April 25 Board Meeting, Trustees approved naming the new centre Niagara Launch Centre – Powered by Niagara Catholic District School Board. The name was selected by an Ad Hoc committee comprised of Superintendent of Education Mark Lefebvre, Administrator of Alternative Programs and Community Partnerships Marco Magazzeni, Co-ordinator of Student Success Jennifer Pirosko, Ivana Galante, Consultant-Technological Education/SHSM/OYAP, Construction Technology teacher Joe Sciarra, Manufacturing Technology teacher Mike Stevenson, and students Eric Goss and Jacob Boughton.
In accordance with Policy 100.15, Naming of a Board Facility, Designated Area or Chapel, the committee consulted with a myriad of stakeholders, including local trustees and Chair of the Board, Director of Education John Crocco, the Vice-President of Finance and Administration at Brock University, the Manager of Student Recruitment and Info Centres at Niagara College, the Executive Director of the Niagara Workforce Planning Board, the Business Consultant Organizational Performance Team of Niagara Region, the President of Seaway Mall (Doral Holdings) and staff of the Niagara Launch Centre.
Niagara Launch Centre – Powered by Niagara Catholic District School Board is a facility where students will be engaged in the development of 21st century skills and competencies. Students will be connected with stimulating possibilities presented through technological education, robotics and related activities, which will lead to opportunities for the development of interactive, collaborative, entrepreneurial and problem-solving skills, which will ultimately launch them into promising and lucrative careers.
Monsignor Clancy/St. Charles Catholic Elementary Schools Accommodation Review
On February 28, Niagara Catholic’s Board of Trustees approved the initiation of a Modified Pupil Accommodation Review for Monsignor Clancy and St. Charles Catholic Elementary Schools.
As part of Niagara Catholic’s open and transparent process, the school community was informed of this process on March 1 via a SchoolConnects message, and the Thorold community was advised by a notice in local newspapers. A presentation was made to the joint Catholic School Councils on March 28 to introduce the process, and a public meeting to discuss the amalgamation of the two schools took place on April 20, 2017. The public may view the presentation and the minutes from the March 28 meeting in section C2 of the the April 25 agenda.
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, including our blog from Vimy. There’s also some great stories on the In the News section of our website, accessible through the home page. Don’t forget our monthly Director’s Video is also available on the main page of this website.
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.