Durham Catholic District School Board 50th anniversary logo

Celebrating Student Success
Expanding Pathways for our Students' Futures
April 2019
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Year of Joy
"Our Catholic schools help form joyful disciples as hearts and minds are opened to the transforming love of God and to the flame of faith in action. On a daily basis, Catholic schools demonstrate the joy of believing and witness the Good News to the communities they serve." (Renewing the Promise, page 13)

Dwyer Reaches for the Top

On Friday March 22, the Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School's Reach Team competed in the Reach for the Top finals. Pitted against the top teams in Durham Region, the Dwyer team struggled for the morning half of the day, ending up right in the middle of the pack after the round robin.  

The team made an amazing comeback beating out Donald A. Wilson SS in a very close match, during the quarter finals. Team member Mateo Costantino said, “The game against Wilson was tough, but we knew moving forward the rounds were going to get even tougher”. Despite this the team pulled out a giant victory over Father Leo J. Austin CSS, winning by 100 points.

After that win, the Dwyer team had just one round left. “We were totally expecting to lose” Mateo stated, “the Pickering High School team had beaten us many times before”. Once again, the team played the game with a positive attitude and tried their best. They played a very close game losing by just 40 points.

This loss, however, was still a victory for the team as the quiz master informed them that both teams would be moving on to the next round.

The Dwyer Reach team made history this year, becoming the first team from Dwyer to qualify for the provincial round in 25 years.

The players want to thank their coaches for helping them get this far and are looking forward to the next round.

Written by: Rhiannon Szewczyk
Student Senator
Monsignor Paul Dwyer CHS

Make a Joyful noise to the Lord all the earth
Group of male students with two male teachers
Mental Health and Wellness
Flyer promoting Mental Health event for parents
Parents and Caregivers invited to a Mental Health Event hosted by TAMI Coalition
The Durham Talking About Mental Illness (TAMI) Coalition is a community collaborative that has been committed to stomping out stigma in Durham Region schools and communities since 2002. Organizations involved on the TAMI Coalition include: three school boards, two local hospitals, Public Health, mental health agencies and community supports servicing children, youth and families in Durham Region.

The four goals of the TAMI coalition are to:

  1. Reduce the stigma associated with mental illness;
  2. Increase knowledge of mental health and mental illness;
  3. Encourage youth to initiate change; and
  4. Increase awareness of community resources – where to get support. 

The key ingredient to the TAMI model is contact-based education, where students have the opportunity to learn from individuals with lived experience of mental illness. In addition to the classroom program, which runs all year in both Intermediate and Secondary classrooms, the TAMI Coalition also hosts three student Summits each year, where students from three school boards come together for a full day of learning. 

Young people have often expressed that they wish their parents had an opportunity to hear the TAMI speaker stories and learn more about mental health and mental illness. In response to this, the TAMI Coalition is hosting a parent/caregiver event on May 7, 2019 featuring Dr. Kofi Belfon, Clinical Psychologist and Val, one of the TAMI Speakers . There will also be an opportunity to visit community displays and to learn more about TAMI, and our work with students. This event is open to all Durham Region parents and community members. Please refer to the accompanying flyer for additional details about the event.   Registration link: https://tami4parents.eventbrite.ca

Diane Mullane,
DCDSB Mental Health Leader
Experiential Learning
Male and female students eating cookies
Female student blindfolded mixing cookie dough, while another female student communicates what needs to happen.
A male student talking his female partner through how to make cookies blindfolded in a kitchen
Business SHSM Students Complete Certification Event in Teamwork and Leadership Skills
Students in the Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) Program focus their education on an economic sector that is of interest to them. The Durham Catholic District School Board has 27 programs that cover the following economic sectors:
  • Arts and Culture,
  • Business,
  • Construction,
  • Hospitality and Tourism,
  • Health and Wellness,
  • Transportation,
  • Sports and
  • Non-Profit. 

As part of the program, students earn certifications related to their economic sector.
Students in the Business SHSM program at Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School recently completed a certification event in Teamwork and Leadership Skills. As part of the training, students were put into groups and given a cookie recipe. 
In stage one, students had to measure and mix ingredients with one of the partners blindfolded. In the second stage, both partners had one hand tied behind their back. It highlighted to the students the importance of working together to achieve a goal. The event ended with a discussion on the importance of being effective leaders and team players. As you can imagine, the discussion took place while the students enjoyed the cookies.

“Give it Up for the Earth”
On March 6, 2019, keynote speaker Luke Stocking from Development and Peace attended St. Mary Catholic Secondary School’s Ash Wednesday liturgy and spoke to students about climate change. Mr. Stocking challenged the students to “Create a Climate of Change” as part of their Lenten journey.

“Give it up for the Earth,” said Mr. Stocking. “One small change in the way we choose to live can make a huge impact on our environment.” 

Earlier this year, the Outdoor Education students at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School built micro green houses in order to grow their own vegetables year round. While the school’s Grade 11 and 12 retreat leaders are working on the opening of a Thrift Store within their school to encourage students to donate clothing and purchase second hand items in order to help fight climate change.

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change congratulated the St. Mary Catholic Secondary School community for their commitment to change. "Reusing clothing and shopping at thrift stores is a great way that you can make a difference for our planet," noted Minister McKenna. “We have one planet; let’s give up something that will benefit our Earth this Lent.”

Some ideas that we can all do to create a climate of change are:

  • Simplify your life and start a 40 days donation bag;
  • Walk or ride your bike to school or work;
  • Use a reusable water bottle or bring your own mug;
  • Stop using plastic straws;
  • Grow your own vegetables;
  • Buy locally grown foods;
  • Eat less meat;
  • Consume less, waste less and enjoy life more; and
  • Share your story by encouraging others to “Give it Up for the Earth”.
Male adult talking to students
Female adult talking with students in a chapel
Female student giving ashes to another female student
Female adult talking to students
Expanding Pathways
Three male students wearing yellow hard hats working in a woodshop classroom
Male student working in a woodworking classroom
Now Accepting OYAP Level 1 Applications for 2020
The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) provides students with an opportunity to become registered apprentices and work towards becoming certified journeypersons in a skilled trade, while completing their Ontario Secondary School Diploma. The OYAP Level 1 program is available to Grade 12 students in their second semester and is considered an exit program, as students earn their last four credits needed to graduate during the semester.

Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School is home to the OYAP Level 1 General Carpentry program. The program starts in February and runs until the end of June. The Level 1 OYAP Carpentry students attend Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School and for several weeks throughout the semester students travel to the Carpenter's Union Local 27 in Woodbridge for their Level 1 training.
Throughout the semester, students have the opportunity to put their skills that they are learning in the classroom, into practice with an employer in the carpentry field. This gives students first-hand experience in the construction field and an advantage if they decide to pursue a career in the skilled trades.
If you are currently in Grade 11 and interested in applying for one of the OYAP Level 1 programs, please contact your Guidance Counsellor. A number of different opportunities exist in the automotive, welding, industrial millwright, construction, hair and cooking fields. Applications for all 2019 - 2020 OYAP Level 1 programs are due April 11, 2019 .
Grade 8 Students participate in Gold Collar Trades Learning
On Tuesday, March 5, 2019, Grade 8 students at Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary Students participated in the Gold Collar Trades Worker experiential learning sessions. The workshop was an opportunity to introduce students to careers in the skilled trades.

As the demand for skilled trades people increases, the board is offering students more opportunities to learn about the different careers available in the trades. “By 2025, it is expected that Canada’s skilled labour shortage will reach 1.2 million,” said Claudine Longo, Pathways Coordinator, OYAP, Guidance, Co-op and Experiential Learning at the Durham Catholic District School Board. "This workshop provides students a taste of the different trades available."

Students circulated through nine stations and completed hands-on activities related to the specific professions; stations included:

  • Horticulture;
  • Transportation;
  • Welding;
  • Carpentry;
  • Hospitality and Tourism;
  • Construction;
  • Stylist/Esthetician;
  • Electrician; and
  • Draftsperson.

“For many students, this is the first time they may have been exposed to the different trades,” said Tish Shepherd, Teaching and Learning Consultant. “Our goal is to spark an interest in students, who may then consider taking a technical course in high school or pursue a career in the trades.” 
Two male students wearing aprons and hair nets making candy kabobs
Male student supporting a female student who is trying to add a washer to a bolt wearing welding gloves and mask
Two male students trying their hand at arranging flowers
Male student standing in an industrial work placement
Male student cooking in kitchen.
Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School’s OYAP Students share their Experiences
For two Grade 12 students from Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School, their Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Programs (OYAP) are proving to be great hands-on learning experiences. Ben is in the Industrial Millwright Mechanical OYAP Level 1 program at Durham College and Justin is in the Cook OYAP Level 1 program at Durham College.

“Out placement supervisors and colleagues are friendly and great teachers of the trades,” noted Ben and Justin. “We are learning all the different steps required in our respective trades, the science behind our trades and most importantly, safety in the workplace.”
The benefits of completely an OYAP Level 1 are endless, as students learn new skills from masters in the trades, while acquiring hands-on learning and the chance to practice their new skills.
When asked if they would recommend OYAP to other students, they both responded yes. “OYAP is a tremendous learning and practical experience,” said Ben and Justin. “It is an incredible opportunity to get a possible apprenticeship in your desired trade.”
Did you know? 40% of all occupations in 2025 will be in the skilled trades.
Student Success
Alumni Share Their Success Stories

Former Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School Student shares his OYAP Success Story
Mr. Roy Campbell, a former student from Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School recently came back to his secondary school and shared his OYAP success story with students and staff.

Roy shared with students that the experiences he received while in high school; Cooperative Education in Grade 11 and OYAP in Grade 12 turned his life around and inspired him to follow his dream of becoming a Mechanic.

While in high school, Roy was enrolled in the OYAP Level 1 program. Although, he did not pass his Level 1 training he continued to work towards his dream. Roy is now a fully licensed 310S Mechanic employed full-time at Pearson International Airport as a De-Icing Truck Mechanic.

"Everyone needs to know their self-worth," said Mr. Campbell. "It's important to remember, that your failures will led to other avenues of success."

Roy is currently working toward getting a dual license as a Truck and Coach Mechanic and wants to own his own business one day.

If you are a Durham Catholic District School Board alumni and want to share your career pathway success story, we would love to hear from you. Please email student.success@dcdsb.ca or call 905-576-6150 ext. 22363.

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Male adult standing in front of an airplane engine
Airplanes being de-iced at an airport
Upcoming Events
We Walk the Path Together banner
Student Summit - Indigenous Education
Our board's Student Indigenous Education Advisory Circle are hosting a Student Summit on Indigenous Education on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at the Pope Francis Centre. Students in Grades 7-12 will be invited to attend and learn more about Indigenous culture through storytelling, language, beading, lacrosse and more.

Watch for a story highlighting this event in May's issue of Celebrating Student Success.
Durham Catholic District School Board
650 Rossland Road West,
Oshawa, ON
Phone: 905-576-6150 | Visit us at dcdsb.ca