Close to thirty thousand elementary and secondary students will be back in school on Tuesday, September 4th after a two-month summer hiatus.
Many of our students were able to enjoy camp experiences this summer – as campers and camp leaders – through Focus on Youth, a Ministry initiative that partners school boards with community agencies to provide learning, recreational and employment opportunities for children and youth in the community.
Other students took part in a two-week Summer Learning literacy and numeracy program at St. Marguerite d’Youville, St. Martin of Tours and St. Michael this past July. The programs were designed to reduce the summer learning loss and give students a running start in September.
In our secondary schools, our new Grade 9 students had a chance to explore their new school surroundings through orientation sessions and meet-and-greet barbecues designed to familiarize them with the people and school services that will help them settle into their new routine.
Our teachers, principals, curriculum and other support staff have also kept busy this summer preparing programs, activities and resources to support our students in their learning. This year, our board has invested heavily in new technology, including a VOIP Solution that will enable teachers to use Skype for learning purposes. Robotics, too, will receive additional support to expand programming in elementary and secondary schools. Other enhancements include the addition of mental health workers in schools, guidance teacher support for Grade 7 & 8 students, a pilot program at St. Michael School for students with ASD, and continued physical literacy teacher training through a Hamilton Moves grant.
As a result of the tremendous work of our capital, renewal and plant department staff, several construction projects were completed this summer, including a childcare centre at St. Gabriel Catholic Elementary School and a five-room expansion at St. Jean de Brébeuf Catholic Secondary School. In addition, artificial turf sports fields were built at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School and Cathedral High School; these mark the final such fields since a turf field was piloted at St. Thomas More in 2011. We also want to recognize and thank our custodians, assistant custodians and maintenance staff for their work throughout the summer to ensure that our schools are clean and safe for the upcoming school year.
Finally, we look forward to working with our Catholic school councils, parents and parish communities to ensure that our students have an enriching, faith-filled and joyful school year.
It promises to be a good start to the new school.
To find out more about our different activities, we invite you to regularly visit our school and board websites, and consult our monthly school newsletters.
Thank you for your continued support of Catholic education. Together we are “believing, achieving, serving.”
School begins on Tuesday, September 4, 2018.