Niagara Catholic District School Board

 October is a great month across Niagara Catholic! It’s a time when we give thanks for the many blessings we have here in Niagara and in Canada, and give back to those in need at home and around the world.

This month, Niagara Catholic students and staff will participate in a variety of events and celebrate several milestones. We hope you will enjoy reading about them on our Good News Blog and will join us for public events at our schools and in our communities. 


On October 2, students and staff from across Niagara Catholic will travel to Toronto to participate in We Day. This incredibly moving and exhilarating experience is a fantastic way for Niagara Catholic to begin a month focused on social justice. 





wtd-2013-3On October 5, Niagara Catholic will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of World Teachers’ Day. This special day, created by the United Nations, recognizes the work of all teachers around the world, especially those who risk their lives to impart education to children in dangerous places around the globe. Thank you to our very special teachers, who enrich the lives of the 24,000 Niagara Catholic students each and every day.


On October 9, Niagara Catholic will celebrate some of our most inspirational staff during the Second Annual Director of Education’s Inspiration Awards. Congratulations to our 17 winners. The recipients will be honoured with a celebration at St. Kevin Roman Catholic Church in Welland, following a Mass led by Bishop Gerard Bergie.


sf_happythanksgiving3_02October 10 is a Professional Development Day for all elementary and secondary schools. Enjoy the extra day of the long weekend. If you are a former student or staff member at Saint Michael Catholic High School, please stop by the school on Saturday, October 11 for the 25th Anniversary Reunion. A reminder that our schools are closed on Monday, October 13 for Thanksgiving. Please enjoy this time with your family and friends.


 Support Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School’s Arts Department on October 17, by playing Name That Tune. Tickets cost $10 per person. To reserve spots, or buy a table of 8 or 10, please call 905.937.6446.

 On October 25, eight Niagara Catholic students will be honoured alongside their peers from Catholic schools across Ontario at the annual Father Fogarty Awards. These awards recognize some of the best and brightest in Catholic education. Congratulations to Niagara Catholic’s eight winners.


dm1.3While our elementary students participate in Holy Childhood Walks throughout October, thousands of Niagara Catholic secondary students, parents, staff and alumni will participate in the Annual Pilgrimage on Sunday, October 26. Niagara Catholic has raised more than $6.4 million for a variety of social justice issues around the world since 1975. Thank you to all those who have generously supported our Pilgrimage!



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.


Spotlight Goes Digital!

We’re excited to launch our new digital edition of Spotlight on Niagara Catholic.  Our digital edition of Spotlight  will be produced at the end of each month and will feature news from our Board meetings, as well as highlights of special events throughout Niagara Catholic. We hope you will enjoy this new format.

Highlights from the Board Room

September 2014 Niagara Catholic Capital Project Update

Students from St. James and Michael J.  Brennan Catholic Elementary in St.  Catharines came together in June, to celebrate  the amalgamate the two schools beginning in  September 2014. The Saint Michael Catholic  High School community will celebrate its  expansion and renovation with a Blessing and  Celebration on November 4, 2014.

Students from St. James and Michael J. Brennan Catholic Elementary, St. Catharines celebrate the amalgamation of the two schools beginning in September 2014.

Throughout the summer, Niagara Catholic completed close to $33-million in renovations for schools, including major additions to St. James Catholic Elementary School in St. Catharines, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Elementary School in Niagara Falls, and the expansion and renovation of Saint Michael Catholic High School in Niagara Falls.

During the Committee of the Whole Meeting September 9, Trustees were provided with an update on these capital projects by Senior Staff.

To view the Capital Projects Update, please visit the September 9 Committee of the Whole agenda.

 Schools, Board Receive $46,000 in Parents Reaching Out Grants

Events such as St. Martin Catholic Elementary  School’s Pajamarama literacy evening in 2011  are excellent examples of programs  funded by Parents Reaching Out Grants.

St. Martin Catholic Elementary School’s Pajamarama literacy evening was funded by Parents Reaching Out Grants.

Twenty-five Niagara Catholic elementary and secondary schools have been approved for Parents Reaching Out (PRO) Grants for the 2014-2015 academic year.

The grants, which will be used for a number of programs focused on literacy, numeracy, science, social media awareness, anti-bullying, raising resilient children and parent engagement, total nearly $25,000.
In addition, Niagara Catholic was granted $21,600 to host a “Family Night Out,” an event which will focus on parent engagement and communication.

 Niagara Catholic Teachers Teaching and Learning in China

Niagara Catholic teachers Krystin Lessard  (back left), Paulina Kociolek, Lena Miele and  Michael Goodwin are in China for a year,  teaching at the Country Garden School.

Niagara Catholic teachers Krystin Lessard (back left), Paulina Kociolek, Lena Miele and Michael Goodwin are in China for a year, teaching at the Country Garden School.

In early September, four Niagara Catholic teachers travelled to Guangzhu, China, for the experience of a lifetime.

The teachers will spend a full academic year living in China, working at the Country Garden School, with which Niagara Catholic has a partnership.

During the September 23 Board Meeting, the teachers joined the Board via Skype to share their experiences thus far, and to participate in a partnership agreement signing.

2013-2014 Strategic Directions System Priorities Achievement Report

System Priorities - Achievement Report - September 12During the September 23 Board Meeting, Trustees were provided with the 2013-2014 Strategic Directions System Priorities Final Report.

This document, released publicly to Trustees and made available to all stakeholders in Niagara Catholic, provides a detailed review of the progress in achieving the System Priorities within each Strategic Direction and Enabling Strategy of the Board’s Vision 2020 Strategic Plan.

Read the Niagara Catholic System Priorities 2013-2014 Achievement report.

Niagara Catholic Students Surpass Provincial Average on EQAO

Niagara Catholic students performed above the provincial average on EQAO  literacy and numeracy assessments.

Niagara Catholic students performed above the provincial average on EQAO literacy and numeracy assessments.

In May and June 2014, students in Grades 3 and 6 in Niagara Catholic elementary schools participated in the Educations Quality and Assessment Officer (EAQO) literacy and numeracy assessments.

On September 17, the results were released, and Niagara Catholic once again scored higher than the provincial average.

During the September 23 Board Meeting, Trustees were informed of the 2013-2014 results. Find the full report to the Board here.

Niagara Catholic K-12 Mathematics Strategy Shared with Trustees

Spotlight-September-2014-14Niagara Catholic continues to make student success in mathematics a priority.

In 2011, Niagara Catholic’s Program Department Numeracy Team began working in partnership with Brock University researchers to provide an outside analysis of the Board’s work.Based on those findings, in September 2013, the Board made K-2 classrooms a priority for mathematics learning.

Read Niagara Catholic’s Final Report to the Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat here.

What’s New

Welcome to What’s New?, the section of Spotlight on Niagara Catholic that catches you up on things you may have missed if you haven’t visited our Good News Blog regularly.

Gridiron Success for Gryphon Ryan Nieuwesteeg

Photo: Guelph Mercury

Photo: Guelph Mercury

Congratulations to Ryan Nieuwesteeg, a graduate of Saint Paul Catholic High School and a current student at the University of Guelph.

Ryan was recently named the Ontario University Athletics’ Football Special Teams Player of the Week. A punt and kick returner with the Guelph Gryphons, Ryan had a great week on the field, with 227 yards in kick returns, including a 62-yard touchdown on a punt return.

Ryan is the son of Niagara Catholic Trustee Ed Nieuwesteeg.

Photo credit: Guelph Mercury

Must-See TV on Niagara Catholic TV

niagara-catholic-tvHave you checked out Niagara Catholic TV? If you haven’t visited that section of our website, you’re missing some pretty great videos created by our students and staff.

Be sure to check out the different channels, including our Director’s Video Channel and one filled with our students and staff participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge in support of ALS Canada.

Remember to share the news about Niagara Catholic TV with family and friends! It’s a great way to see what’s happening in our schools.

Declare Your Support

Spotlight-September-2014-9Have you moved? Check your support so you can vote for an English Separate Trustee!

Your support of Catholic education is vitally important:

  • It is the basis of attendance rights for admission into Niagara Catholic elementary schools;
  • It is a public record of the extent of support for our Niagara Catholic schools, providing the government with an indication of the overall support and strength of a publicly funded Catholic school system.
  • It is used to determine the number of trustees to be elected to each board to represent the interests of parents and other ratepayers;
  • It supports board population projections, which affect funding for new pupil places.

Stay in the know about school and system events by visiting the Events section.


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.