September? Already?! How can it be? Summer barely seems to have started and it’s come to an end. We know those slightly shorter (and cooler) days can be a bit of a disappointment, but look on the bright side – school’s back and there are a TON of great things that will happen at Niagara Catholic this year. So, let’s start with September ….
The first day of school is Tuesday, September 5. If you still haven’t registered your son or daughter for school, and want to join our Niagara Catholic family, simply stop by your neighbourhood Catholic elementary or secondary school to complete the registration. Staff there will be happy to assist you. It’s an extra-special day for the students and staff at St. Martin Catholic Elementary School in Smithville, who finally move into their new classrooms. There will be lots of excitement in the new school this year, including a special blessing and celebration later this fall.
On September 12, the Niagara Catholic Board of Trustees will take the Committee of the Whole Meeting on the road, to the new Niagara Launch Centre. This Centre, located inside the former Target store at the Seaway Mall, is a hive of activity throughout the school year, as students in various technology programs learn new skills and innovative new career options for the 21st century from our extremely talented staff. As always, this meeting is open to the public and the meeting time will remain the same, at 7 p.m.
On September 17, Niagara Catholic students and staff will join their friends and families in communities across Niagara to participate in the annual Terry Fox Run. Others will participate in the School Run Day at their schools on September 28.
The 16th Annual Charity Golf Classic, in support of the Niagara Foundation for Catholic Education, will take place at the beautiful Legends on the Niagara golf course on September 20. If you’d like to golf, sponsor a hole or donate a prize, please contact Jim Marino here.
On September 23, Niagara Catholic students and staff will march through the streets of downtown St. Catharines in the annual Niagara Grape and Wine Festival Grande Parade. Students from each of our Catholic elementary schools are joined by floats and bands from many of our Catholic secondary schools to celebrate our grape harvest, and to showcase Catholic education.
And going back to September 28, students from our Catholic elementary and secondary schools will travel to Toronto to be inspired by WE Day.
Check the calendar on your child’s school website to find out more about important school-based events, such as welcome barbecues, picture days and fall outings. Make sure you sign up for the School Cash Online program to pay for things such as hot lunches and field trips, and the Safe Arrival system, to report your child’s absence from school. This can be done by phone, by computer or by downloading the Safe Arrival app, which works on both Android phones and iPhones. Let’s have an amazing 2017-2018 school year!
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.
Committee of the Whole Takes to the Road to Niagara Launch Centre
Trustees and Senior Staff took to the road for the first Committee of the Whole Meeting of the 2017-2018 school year.
The September meeting took place at the Board’s state-of-the-art technology training hub, the Niagara Launch Centre – Powered by Niagara Catholic District School Board, which is located inside the former Target store at the Seaway Mall.
The 12,000 square foot facility is home to a number of innovative new programs, including automotive service and repair and a variety of construction technologies. It came to life after many years of Niagara Catholic utilizing space in public locations in Welland, including the former Canadian Tire store on Niagara Street, and unoccupied storefronts in Seaway Mall. The Niagara Launch Centre is the culmination of these experiences, as well as consultation with students, staff, parents, the community, local industry and the Ministry of Education.
The Board was praised for its commitment to providing students with the most current, relevant and innovative career paths by those in the know, including Niagara Workforce Planning Board CEO Mario DeDivitas, Kevin Hart, National Sales Manager for In-House Solutions, a technology software provider, Steve Hett, the Ontario Technology Training Manager for Bell Canada, and Nick Ciccone, Training Director for the Labourers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA), Local 837. Mr. Ciccone also presented a $10,000 cheque to Director of Education John Crocco and Board Chair Father Paul MacNeil to help fund the Launch Centre.
Following the presentation of the report to Committee of the Whole, trustees and senior staff were able to view the students in action, as they showed off their skills in their respective areas of study.
Trustees Approve Recommended Name of New St. Martin Catholic Elementary Chapel
On September 5, the St. Martin Catholic Elementary School community celebrated the opening of their long-awaited brand-new school. A week later, Niagara Catholic trustees recommended that the Board approve naming the new school’s chapel after the school’s namesake, St. Martin of Tours, during the Committee of the Whole Meeting. The name recommendation was endorsed by Bishop Bergie.
St. Martin of Tours was born in Sabaria (modern-day Hungary) in 316 to non-Christian parents, and was raised in Italy. During his mandatory military service, Martin encountered a beggar in France, shivering in the cold. With no money to offer, Martin took off his cloak, tore it in two and shared it with the beggar before going on his way. That night, he had a vision of Christ wearing his cloak, saying, “Martin, a mere catechumen (a person training to convert to Christianity), has clothed me.”
Martin was so moved by the vision he resolved to be baptized. After completing his studies, Martin was baptized, began his ministry of preaching and was later made Bishop of Tours. Firmly rooted in his faith and a life devoted to the service of Christ, St. Martin of Tours is an excellent model and witness to the faith we share and the life of service we are called to by Christ.
Trustees will consider the motion during the September 26 Board Meeting.
Learn more about St. Martin of Tours here.
2017 Summer Camp Program Hailed as a Success
Niagara Catholic’s first-ever summer camp program drew 275 elementary students to six sites over five weeks this summer.
The 2017 summer camp program was an integrated program that consisted of the Summer Learning Program for students with high literacy and numeracy needs, and a traditional summer camp. Students participated in a variety of activities themed around life skills, pathways planning, active living and general interests, all of which were infused with literacy and numeracy.
Modules in the 2017 summer camp program included Home Sweet Home (reading and following instructions, basic assembly, fixing and maintenance, budgeting, sewing and crafts); Master Chef (preparing nutritious and popular meals and snacks, with the emphasis on reading instructions, measuring/proportions and counting, as well as on the importance of using local produce, nutrition, health and wellness, gardening and safe food handling); Nuts and Bolts (woodworking and tool basics, which allowed students to learn to read blueprints and diagrams to learn measurement, scale, angles and calculation, building hand-eye co-ordination as they created their own projects); On the Move (focusing on common and alternative modes of transportation and energy forces, as well as calculating distance, speed and time, fuel consumption and power); and Robotics (by building a robot through the VEX program). The camps took place at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Elementary School in Fort Erie, Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary School in Grimsby, Saint Michael Catholic High School in Niagara Falls, Lakeshore Catholic High School in Port Colborne and Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School in St. Catharines.
Have you seen the excellent coverage of the opening of St. Martin Catholic Elementary School? Or our first day of school video gallery of happy faces? If you haven’t, be sure to check our Good News section of this website, and the In the News section, 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.