Durham Catholic District School Board 50th anniversary logo

Celebrating Student Success
Expanding Pathways for our Students' Futures
March 2019
Male secondary student supporting two male students as they assemble a wooden box.
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)

Celebrating Diversity at Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School

Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School celebrated its inaugural youth summit on "Identity and Culture", called Pereyma’s 60-40-30 event. The numbers represented stand for 60 years since the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, 40 years since the International Year of the Child, and 30 years for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. During the event students experienced different and exciting activities challenging how they perceive identity and culture ranging from puzzles to trivia. Students in Grades 7 and 12 were invited to participate and support the event.

Several different organizations supported the event. Agencies included:
  • Black Physicians of Tomorrow;
  • Durham Region Public Health Department;
  • Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work;
  • Settlement Workers in Schools;
  • Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child and Family Services (Indigenous CAS);
  • AIDS Committee of Durham Region;
  • Ontario Shores – BIG WHITEWALL; and
  • Violence Prevention Coordinating Council of Durham.

In addition, the student body set up tables on topics important to their identity - for example - Body image, learning mandarin, mental health, and more. During the event, each student was given a bracelet with the name “Pereyma’s 60 40 30”.
Written by: Zeighnan Fitzpatrick
Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School

Make a Joyful noise to the Lord all the earth
Ontario flag with Pereyma bracelets laying on it and three pictures of groups of students
Mental Health and Wellness
Black female student giving the peace sign and a male black student smiling
Mental Health and Black History Month
During Black History Month, it’s important to acknowledge the many African-Americans who made significant contributions to the field of mental health. These are only a few of the people who paved the way for more equitable physical and mental health care:
  • Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller, one of the first known black psychiatrists, who worked alongside Dr. Alois Alzheimer and made significant contributions to the study of Alzheimer's disease.

  • Dr. Mamie Phipps Clark, who was the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate degree in psychology from Columbia University. To address the shortage of psychological services available for minorities, Dr. Clark opened her own agency to provide services specifically to minority children and families. Her groundbreaking research on the impact of race on child development helped end segregation.

  • Dr. Paul Cornely was the first African-American elected as President of the American Public Health Association in 1968. His professional work focused on the development of public health initiatives aimed at reducing healthcare disparities among the chronically underserved.

Experiences of mental illness vary across cultures, with stigma and misunder-standing about mental illness preventing many from seeking professional help. In fact, many cultures are more likely to seek help through their primary care doctor, or within their own family, religious or social communities. Increased sensitivity to cultural differences and to unique views of mental illness can improve treatment experiences and increase utilization of mental health care services.

While general mental health services are inclusive of all individuals regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation, some individuals may choose to seek services that are specific to their context. In addition to private practitioners that specialize in offering therapeutic services to black Canadians, here are some agencies that we’ve learned about:
Caribbean African Canadian Social Services http://cafcan.org/
Provide culturally appropriate social services that promote the overall well-being of the Caribbean, African and Diaspora communities in the GTA. Services include: youth outreach, newcomer settlement and parenting support, including counselling and crisis intervention to individuals and families.
TAIBU Community Health Centre http://www.taibuchc.ca/
A multidisciplinary, not-for-profit, community led organization established to serve the Black Community across the GTA as its priority population. Their counselling services address a wide variety of issues spanning from trauma, depression, mental health, anxiety, low self-esteem and/or societal stressors.

Diane Mullane,
DCDSB Mental Health Leader
Experiential Learning
Male priest looking on as students assemble wooden boxes
Two male students learning to braid hair
Female student sewing a heart shape pillow.
Grade 7 and 8 Students at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic School participate in Experiential Learning Opportunities
On February 28, Denise Walker, Business Development Manager at Habitat for Humanity provided Grade 7 and 8 students at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic School with a presentation about Habitat for Humanity Durham and the Centre Street build site, in Oshawa.
Following the presentation, students cycled through three centers and gain exposure to construction pathway opportunities by assembling a wooden centerpiece box, sewing a small pillow, and spent time investigating careers in the trades through hands-on learning activities.
Grade 11 and 12 Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) students from Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School were on-site to provide the Grade 7 and 8 students with support, guidance and assistance with the wooden boxes construction and sewing pillows. The SHSM students also answered any questions that the students had about high school and courses available to them.
A special thanks to the construction students at Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School for creating the box kits and pre-drilling the holes, so students could assemble the wooden boxes. A huge thank you to Teacher Librarian Brenda MacLean who kindly co-planned and helped facilitate this opportunity in partnership with our community partner.
Following this event, the wooden centerpiece boxes that the students constructed will be donated to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, where customers can see how the boxes can be used in their homes to organize items, create centerpieces and room décor items. 

“Love Yourself” Wellness Fair at St. James Catholic School
Students in Grades 1 to 8 at St. James Catholic School enjoyed Valentine’s Day by circulating room to room as part of the “Love Yourself” Wellness Fair. Sixteen stations were established covering everything from physical health, nutrition, sun safety, oral health, growth mindset, praying in colour and more.

Students enjoyed the building a health snack station the best. Students had an opportunity to create their own yogurt parfait – promoting healthy alternatives to sugary snacks.

Principal Michelin led students through the Praying in Colour station. Students in Grade 1 and 2 drew pictures quietly with our Lord at the center – a great reminder that we can pray and create beautiful messages or pictures.

Another important feature to the event was physical activity. Students were reminded that physical activity fosters normal growth and development, can reduce the risk of various chronic diseases, and can make people feel better, function better, and sleep better. Students had an opportunity to run and play games in the gym, while others did some mindful stretching.

A huge thank you to the Town of Ajax, Durham Region Health Department, Student Services and St. James’ staff and parents for their help in organizing an awesome day.

Male and female students participating in physical activity in a school gym to stay healthy
Three male students making their own healthy yogurt snack
Four female students stretching in a classroom
Female student drawing a heart and writing a message to God
Female and male students give a thumbs up to the Lego Robotics projects.
Mission to the Moon Lego Robotics booklets with lego display and projects in background
Lego project on display on a table
St. Joseph Catholic School hosts First Lego Robotics Showcase
On Friday, February 8, 2019, Grade 3 students at St. Joseph Catholic School, in Oshawa participated in the school’s First Lego Robotics Mission to the Moon Expo. For months leading up to the event, through a partnership with Youth Fusion Programming, UOIT Engineering students visited the classrooms and taught the Grade 3 students how to program. This led to the students working in teams to create a “Mission to the Moon” project that featured a programmed robotic element. Students were eager to present their projects to the panel of judges.

The experiential learning opportunity taught the students the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM). Robotics teams from Archbishop Denis O’Connor and Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High Schools were on hand to demonstrate how you can continue learning about robotics and programming in high school.

Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School’s Sports SHSM Students tour Lakeridge Health’s LHEARN Centre
Students from Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School had a chance to do some medical training at Lakeridge Health's LHEARN Centre on February 20, 2019. The LHEARN Centre is the hospital's hub for training, education and research. It is used by the many students who are studying at college and university in the healthcare field. The LHEARN Centre is also used by Lakeridge Health staff to keep up-to-date on the latest medical advances and prepare for the many situations that they encounter each day.
The Notre Dame students who attended the event were part of the Sports SHSM program. As part of the SHSM program, students earn certifications related to their economic sector. On this day, the group had a special presentation on Medical Terminology. 

From there, the Clinical Leader of the LHEARN Centre took students to the medical simulation lab and guided students through a number of simulations that reflect some of the situations that occur in the hospital. 

It was an excellent day of learning for the students and special thanks to Mrs. Tonna and Mrs. Booker for bringing the students to the hospital. We are also thankful to Rebecca Lickiss and Dr. Suhair Clarke from Lakeridge Health for making this day possible.
A group of female student looking on as a female adult examples what is happening in the medical simulation room at the hospital.
Expanding Pathways
Health and Safety Training for Level 1 OYAP Students
In February, Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) Level 1 students in the following programs – electrical, plumbing, industrial mechanical millwright, cook and welder participated in a Health and Safety Training Day.
Students from the five participating school boards gathered to learn the importance of safety, while on the job.
Presenters, Rick Parsons and Adam Melnick provided students with information on topics such as:
  • What are their rights as a worker?
  • Good and bad attitudes about work, what that looks like from an employer perspective;
  • What work hazards should they watch for?
  • What would their first day at work look like?
Students tested their knowledge by participating in games at the end of the day to win OYAP swag.

Students sitting in a conference room listening to a presentation
Students wearing safety harnesses for safety training
Student Achievement
Female student holding certificate and basketball
St. John Bosco Catholic School Student Shoots Her Way to the Top of the Knights of Columbus Free Throw Competition
Congratulations to Gabby A., a Grade 6 student at St. John Bosco Catholic School, for becoming the Free Throw District Champion in her age group.  Each year, the Knights of Columbus organize the basketball skills contest to promote healthy competition in and among Catholic schools.  

Gabby will go on to compete in Markham at the Regional Championships. Best of luck!
Upcoming Events
Registration for Summer Camp and Summer School Courses Opens on March 27, 2019
Get a jump on summer by planning your summer camp or summer school course options now. Registration for summer programs opens on March 27, 2019

Archbishop Anthony Meagher Catholic Continuing Education Centre provides a wide selection of summer courses for students and adults including:

Elementary Summer Programs (Non-Credit):

For questions about elementary summer programs, call our Ajax Campus at (905) 683-7713. To register online, please click on the links above and download a registration form.
High School Courses (for Credit)

The links below will take you to course lists and outline registration details: 

For questions about high school credit classes, call the Oshawa Campus (905) 438-0570 or visit us online at www.con-ed.dcdsb.ca  
Two male students programming a robot in a computer lab
Six female students picking herbs and wearing aprons and hats
Students working out in a gym
Female adults teaching elementary student another language in a classroom
Female student on a laptop outside in a backyard
Durham Catholic District School Board
650 Rossland Road West,
Oshawa, ON
Phone: 905-576-6150 | Visit us at dcdsb.ca