It may be the shortest month, but February is an action-packed month at Niagara Catholic, with many activities and events taking place at schools and throughout the system in the month of love. Read on for a list of some of our key events taking place in February 2015:
Semester 2 begins in all of our Catholic secondary schools on Monday, February 2. It’s a new beginning for our students as they embark on a new set of classes, and a beginning and an end for our graduating students, marking their final semester of high school. Good luck to everyone as you begin your Semester 2 classes.
The Special Education Advisory Committee will meet at the Catholic Education Centre on Wednesday, February 4.
Kids Helping Kids Week begins at Niagara Catholic on Monday, February 9 and runs through Friday, February 13. This week is special across our system, as students in our Catholic elementary schools come together in a series of fun events to raise funds for the Niagara Children’s Centre. This has been an annual event since 1998, and has raised close to $640,000 for programs and services for students with communicative disorders in Niagara. If you’re sharing news or photos about Kids Helping Kids from your child’s school on your social media, please join the conversation by using hashtag #NCKidsHelpingKids.
Our elementary mid-year progress reports and secondary Semester 1 report cards will be sent home during the week of February 9. This information will also be available on elementary school calendars for February.
A reminder that Monday, February 16 is Family Day in Ontario. Our schools and sites will be closed. We hope you and your family will enjoy the day off to have fun together.
Whether you call it Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday or Mardi Gras, our students will partake in pancake breakfasts on Tuesday, February 17. We thank the many parent and community volunteers who make our Shrove Tuesday breakfasts in our elementary and secondary schools.
Wednesday, February 18 is Ash Wednesday. This very important day marks the beginning of the 40 days of Lent. If you are new to the Faith and have a child in one of our schools and want to learn more about Ash Wednesday and Lent, check out this quick video which explains it in plain and simple terms.
On February 19, our Celebrating Intermediate Artists Gala will take place at the Catholic Education Centre. This event celebrates the beautiful and creative artwork of our students in Grades 4, 5 and 6. Parents/guardians and family members of students whose artwork with be displayed in public areas of the Catholic Education Centre, as well as in our Chapel, are invited to attend the gala, which begins at 6:30 p.m.
Parent-student-teacher interviews in our Catholic elementary schools beginning February 17. Information regarding appointments will be sent home with students.
Three Niagara Catholic secondary schools will participate in the Sears Drama Festival, which runs February 23-27. This annual event is an excellent way for our students to showcase their dramatic skills. This year’s participating Niagara Catholic schools are: Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School, Lakeshore Catholic High School (two entries) and Notre Dame College School. Good luck to the students participating in this very prestigious event.
Be sure to check your child’s school newsletter or calendar for more events and activities at their school throughout February.
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.
Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary School Receives Premier’s Award for Accepting Schools.
Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary School has been recognized with a Premier’s Award for Accepting Schools from the Province. It is the fifth Niagara Catholic school to be recognized since the Award was first presented in 2011.
Blessed Trinity’s most significant challenge was to foster a safe and positive school environment that supported the mental health needs of students. Staff and students have worked diligently for the past several years to create a climate of acceptance, inclusion and support and the results are remarkable. Student suspensions have dropped from 52 in 2011-2012 to 19 in 2013-2014. A number of students, staff and parents have been trained in suicide awareness and prevention and students are now more aware of the mental health challenges facing youth today.
Niagara Catholic Teacher Receives Norah Morgan Memorial Award
Congratulations to Marty Umanetz, a teacher at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Elementary School in St. Catharines, who is the 2015 recipient of Carousel Players’ Norah Morgan Memorial Award. Mr. Umanetz was presented with his Award during the February 10 Committee of the Whole Meeting.
This Award celebrates the contributions and achievements of elementary school teachers who have made a strong contribution to the arts in Niagara. Mr. Umanetz has shared his expertise and love of the arts in his daily classroom activities by integrating art, dance, drama and music into all parts of the curriculum.
Mr. Umanetz is the fifth Niagara Catholic teacher to receive the Norah Morgan Memorial Award, which is alternated each year between Niagara Catholic and the public school board. Previous recipients include Barb Hennessy (2007), Anneliese Burke (2009), Laurie Crain-Anez (2011) and Paul Lukacs (2013).
Our Lady of Fatima students in ELKP through Grade 3 will be treated to a free performance of Peg and the Yeti by Carousel Players.
Special Needs Strategy for Children and Youth
Ontario’s Special Needs Strategy, which was announced in February 2014, aims to connect children and youth with special needs to the services they require as quickly as possible, and to improve the service experience of families in early identification of special needs children, co-ordinated service planning and integrated delivery of rehabilitation services for children, including physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy.
Niagara is one of 34 designated service areas in the province, and Niagara Catholic is one of many stakeholder groups involved in community planning tables to discuss co-ordinated service planning and integrated delivery of rehabilitation services.
Additional information about the Special Needs Strategy can be found at http://specialneedsstrategy.children.gov.on.ca/background/.
Holy Cross Student Wins Silver, Bronze at Speed Skating Event
Max Brant, a Grade 10 student at Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School, competed in the Canadian Age Class Long Track Speed Skating Championships in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, February 7-8. Max competed in the 14 year old boy’s age class and brought home Silver medals in the 100-metre and 300-metre events, and was part of the Ontario Team Pursuit, which brought home Bronze.
For those unfamiliar with speed skating, Team Pursuit involves a team of four skaters which start on one side of the oval, competing against another team, which begins on the other end. The skaters have to stay one behind the other throughout the whole race (although they switch up leading). As a team race, if one falls and does not get up, the whole team is out.
Max began speed skating 2009 and is looking forward to Racing in the Short Track Provincial Championships at the end of the month in Kingston, ON.
Niagara Catholic In the News
We’ve made the paper again! Here are a couple of news stories from early February for you to enjoy.
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.