September 26, 2017
Trustees Approve Recommended Name of New St. Martin Catholic Elementary Chapel
Trustees have approved naming the chapel at the new St. Martin Catholic Elementary School after the school’s namesake, St. Martin of Tours. The decision was made at the September 26 Board Meeting.
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.
Learn more about St. Martin of Tours here.
New Members Appointed to Niagara Catholic Parent Involvement Committee
Niagara Catholic’s Parent Involvement Committee (NCPIC) is comprised of more than just parent representatives. Community members also provide valuable insight and advice to the Committee. On September 26, the Board of Trustees endorsed the membership of Leone Strilec and Shelley Gilbert as 201-2018 members of NCPIC. Mrs. Strilec represents the St. Catharines Diocesan Council for Development and Peace, and Mrs. Gilbert represents the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
Niagara Catholic 2016-2017 System Priorities Achievement Report
As part of Niagara Catholic’s Vision 2020 Strategic Plan, each spring, members of Senior Administrative Council set the Enabling Strategies which will guide the Board in achieving the Ministry of Education goals of achieving excellence, ensuring equity, promoting well-being and enhancing public confidence, and the Board’s System Priorities to build strong Catholic identity to nurture the distinctiveness of Catholic education, and to advance student achievement for all in the coming academic year.
A Mid-Year Progress Report is issued to the Board of Trustees at the Board Meeting each January, and a System Achievement Report is presented to the Board each September, which provides Trustees with a clear image of the Board’s success in the prior year.
Trustees received the 2016-2017 Achievement Report during the September 26 Board Meeting. The report is also available here.
Celebrating School Excellence: Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Elementary School, Grimsby
On September 26, the spotlight was on Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Elementary School in Grimsby. Joseph Cino, a student Senator at Our Lady of Fatima led the delegation to the Board, sharing what makes his school so important to the Grimsby community.
The School Excellence presentation began with a prayer to Our Lady, who appeared to children with a message of peace in 1917. Throughout centennial year of the apparitions, students have felt an especially strong bond with Our Lady and deepened their faith and understanding of Her message. Kindergarten students have learned the Hail Mary, and other grades have re-enacted the sightings, collaborating on classroom research assignments and making real and living rosaries. It has been an excellent opportunity to strengthen the home-school-parish connection.
This year, Our Lady of Fatima students and staff will have another reason to celebrate, as the school will mark 50 years in Grimsby. In 2010, a new building replaced the old one, and an expansion and renovation is under way to meet growing demand. This addition, scheduled to be completed in 2018, will have two floors, three daycare classrooms will six additional classrooms, bringing the total number of classrooms to 34, clearing the schoolyard of portables, leaving much more room for fun.
Staff at Our Lady of Fatima strive to provide opportunities for the holistic development of each student – spiritually, physically, intellectually, socially and emotionally.
Students have access to the most up-to-date technology, with interactive whiteboards and SMART TVs in most classrooms, and access to iPads, Chromebooks and laptops.
Students participate in a number of co-curricular activities such as clubs and sports. They are outstanding stewards of the Earth through a number of initiatives, including a solar energy project that has generated more than 730,000 kilowatts of energy since 2012 (275kw a day), and saved more than 173,000 pounds of carbon dioxide in the same period, 3,000 pounds a day. It’s an almost entirely paperless school, with 92 per cent of families signed up for electronic communication.
In addition to the annual fundraising done for local, national and global projects, each year, the students and staff participate in a STREAM fundraiser, with the money raised from science, technology, religion, engineering, the arts and mathematics-based activities. The money has been used in the past to purchase computers, electronics, science equipment and, this year, will purchase two 3-D printers; one of only 400 schools in the world to receive them!
Principal Brian Palujanskas spoke to the many ways staff work to ensure students reach their full academic potential, and their commitment to each student being able to achieve their personal best every day.
Niagara Catholic Students Continue to Achieve on EQAO Assessments
During the September 26 Board Meeting, Trustees were provided with information regarding Niagara Catholic’s results in the provincial assessments on primary and junior reading, writing and mathematics, Grade 9 mathematics and the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test.
The full details can be found in the report to the Board (section C2 in the agenda), and comments from the Board Chair and Director of Education are available in the media release issued September 20.
Well, it’s hard to believe the first month of school has come and gone already, but wow, what a month it’s been! Check out our Good News section for more details on the stories you may have missed. And if you haven’t read it already, go to our In the News section (accessed through the main page of this site) to see a fantastic story about Niagara Catholic/Denis Morris alumnus Riley Sheahan and other good news.
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