Celebrating Student Success
Expanding Pathways for Every Student's Future
December 2017
Green wreath with three purple candles and one pink candle
Advent Message
As we prepare for the coming of Christ during this Advent season, let us take time to reflect on all that is good around us and help others in need. Our Durham Catholic students and staff are busy helping our local communities by donating toys, gifts and food for Christmas baskets. 

Join us in spreading joy this Christmas season and remember the best gift we can give others is our full attention.
Year of Service
This year, we asked our Student Senators to share what service means to their secondary schools as we celebrate the Year of Service. Each month, we will feature a new article written by students that highlight how our school communities are called to serve.
DCDSB’s Student Trustees participate in World Day of the Poor

On Tuesday, November 7, 2017, Durham Catholic District School Board’s Student Trustees, Maggie Malkin and Aaron Paul participated in the inaugural World Day of the Poor in downtown Toronto.

“Let us love, not in words but with deeds” was the theme for the day-long event organized by the Archdiocese of Toronto which invited participants to make and distribute meals to Toronto’s homeless. “Our Holy Father, Pope Francis calls us to do this every day; to show people that we are Christians by our love, not just by word,” said Aaron Paul, Student Trustee. “That is exactly what we did - We made over 100 lunches and walked around downtown Toronto distributing lunches to the homeless who were suffering in the cold.” 

Service to those less fortunate is a cornerstone of Catholic education, and is one of the most meaningful ways that we can demonstrate our gospel values to the world. “As we celebrate the Year of Service, it’s time for us to reflect on how we can be more kind and generous everyday by providing small acts of kindness such as meals or blankets for the homeless, or helping our brothers and sisters when they need a hand,” said Reverend Doctor Dominic Pullano, Adult Faith Animator at the Durham Catholic District School Board.

Student Trustee, Maggie Malkin added, “This was a life changing experience for us. We were so inspired by the day that we are trying to organize a similar event in Durham Region involving our fellow Durham Catholic students.”

The day-long event, offered our Student Trustees plenty of insight and they are looking forward to working with ShareLife to carry out our moral obligation that our leader, Jesus wished us to do. “Little children, let us not love in word or speech, but in deed and in truth” - 1 John 3:18 .

Two student trustees standing with Vice Principal, Adult Faith Animator and Representative from the Archdiocese of Toronto.
Trustee Aaron Paul packing lunches
Student Trustees Aaron Paula and Maggie Malkin outside walking in Toronto
Students wearing bubble costumes in a gym
Grade 8 students sitting on bleachers in a gym
Student wearing a bubble costume and playing soccer
Grade 8 Students discover a Day in the Life of a Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School Student
On November 1, 2017, Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School welcomed students in Grade 8 from feeder schools for a tour and demonstration to find out what it is like to be in high school for a day. 

In the morning, students rallied in the auditorium for a brief presentation from Notre Dame's students and staff on different opportunities the Grade 8 students will have when they reach high school. 

The President of the Student Athletic Association and members of Student Council and Senate took the floor with a small discussion about their roles in the school community. It was a great way to engage the audience, while promoting opportunities available for students to do in high school.
Afterwards, groups of Grade 8 students were led by Notre Dame's Student Ambassadors to various workshops around the school. They travelled throughout the school to see and experience what a high school student's life is like. 

The workshops informed students of the various elective courses available to them to and mandatory classes they'll be selecting when making their course selections for their first year of high school. Each workshop lasted fifteen minutes and included: 
  • Music
  • Math
  • Science Lab
  • Art
  • Business  
  • Technology

Another workshop highlighted the school's Learning Commons with an introduction to our newly improved library and policies. A video entitled "The Day in the Life of a Grade 9 Student" was viewed, followed by a short game based on the video.
The day ended with Notre Dame's Leadership Class organizing activities for the Grade 8 students to participate in. The students and teachers collected in the gym and participated in games like bubble soccer or tug of war. The day left a lasting impression on Grade 8 students and provided Notre Dame's leadership team with feedback to apply to our Board's initiatives on Service and Inclusion.

Samantha Lazo, Student Senator
Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School 
Mental Health and Wellness
Stomping Out Stigma logo
Students and staff from St. Mary Catholic Secondary School at the TAMI Summit
Students from All Saints Catholic Secondary School attend the TAMI Mental Health Summit
DCDSB Secondary Students Participate in Talking About
Mental Illness (TAMI) “Stomping Out Stigma” Summit
On Tuesday, November 28, 2017, delegates from DCDSB Secondary schools participated in the 14 th annual Durham TAMI Secondary Summit titled Wellness - What’s in Your Toolbox?      

The TAMI Summit is a full day student action conference on mental health and stigma that includes an opportunity for students to learn from professionals as well as individuals with lived experience, to meet with others to share ideas and enthusiasm, to participate in experiential learning activities, and to receive resources and ideas to assist them in completing a follow-up action plan within their school communities.
Students who attended the Summit indicated a desire to foster an atmosphere of acceptance and change, and a willingness to take action on mental health awareness and reducing stigma. Also represented at the Summit were youth experiencing their own mental health challenges, who want to have a voice for change.
Since 2002, Durham TAMI has provided contact-based mental health education to 61515* students, teachers and other professionals in Durham and beyond. The TAMI program includes both the Summit and the Classroom Curriculum, for both Intermediate and Secondary Students. The four goals of the TAMI program are to:
  1. To reduce the stigma associated with mental illness;
  2. To increase knowledge of mental health and mental illness;
  3. To encourage youth to initiate change in their lives and in their school communities; and
  4. To increase youth knowledge of community resources and how to access support.  

This year, the Intermediate Summit dates are: January 23, 2018 and April 18, 2018.

*Note: numbers current as of June 2017.

The Durham TAM I Coalition is a collaboration between Durham Catholic District School Board, Durham District School Board, Kawartha Pineridge District School Board, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)-Durham, Carea Community Health Centre, Durham Childrens Aid Society, Durham Mental Health Services, Durham Region Health Department, Frontenac Youth Services, Lakeridge Health - Child, Youth & Family Program, Murray McKinnon Foundation, Pinewood Centre of Lakeridge Health, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, Resources for Exceptional Children & Youth-Durham Region and the TAMI Speaker Group. 

Diane Mullane
DCDSB Mental Health Leader
Experiential Learning
Cooperative Education students from Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School facilitate Literacy, Numeracy and STEM activities with St. John Bosco Catholic School Students
Cooperative Education students at Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School enthusiastically utilized their CBL Day on October 24, 2017 to prepare Literacy, Numeracy and STEM activities for Kindergarten students at St. John Bosco Catholic School.

Pereyma students were challenged to use materials provided (Lego, Magformers & craft supplies) to create a numeracy activity, as well as either a literacy or craft activity (for the winter season) that could be facilitated by high school students in a Kindergarten classroom.

On November 23, Monsignor John Pereyma CSS's cooperative education students travelled to St. John Bosco Catholic School to facilitate the activities that they planned and prepared for our community partner. Pereyma students enjoyed a tour of the school and spent some time speaking to Chief Custodian, Mr. Scott about his experience working with the DCDSB Maintenance Department. We truly appreciated Mr. Scott taking some time to speak to us about the importance of meaningful and positive interactions in the workplace and larger community.

The student led activity centers were enjoyed and appreciated by all of the students in Mrs. Aldorasi’s classroom and it was a wonderful day of collaborative learning and community partnership. Although our focus was to teach the Kindergarten students about numeracy, the high school students learned quite a lot from our Kindergarten students too. Monsignor John Pereyma students were invited to observe the creativity and imaginative play of the St. John Bosco students, and the Kindergarten students even led the high school students in some dancing and movement exercises during DPA. The morning visit ended with the Kindergarten students singing their prayer “Thank you God.” 
Students from Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School planning numeracy, literacy and craft lessons for Kindergarten students
Monsignor John Pereyma Cooperative Education students in a Kindergarten classroom at St. John Bosco Catholic School
Director of Education and a male teacher stand with four male students in lobby with statue of Jesus behind them.
Take Our Kids to Work Day at the Durham Catholic District School Board
On Wednesday, November 1, 2017, Grade 9 students discovered the many career options available to them at the Durham Catholic District School Board as part of Take Our Kids to Work Day. Experiencing a “day in the life” of a professional within a workplace allows students to explore the world of work and helps them make informed educational decisions.

This annual program allows students to spend the day in the workplace with a parent, relative, friend or volunteer experiencing and learning about the world of work.
Students showcase their Robotics Skills at Expo
French Immersion students in Grades 1 to 6 from St. John the Evangelist and St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Schools gathered on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 to showcase their coding and robotics skills. The event featured work from over 100 French Immersion students who created robotic models to demonstrate what they have learned in Science, Math, French and Art.

The expo was similar to a science fair with groups presenting their robotics models and accompanying posters. “Events such as this one are great opportunities for our students to communicate in French and share their knowledge and love of robotics while demonstrating curriculum in core subjects such as Science, Math and Art,” said Karlie Jeffery, Grade 2/3 teacher at St. John the Evangelist Catholic School .
Students share information on their Robotics project with a female teacher
Student stand beside their robotics project
Students share how Learning French is Opening Doors to Opportunities

"Mastering the skills and concepts connected with learning in the FSL curriculum requires ongoing practice, personal reflection, an effort to respond to feedback, and commitment from students. It also requires a willingness to try new activities, take risks in using French, and work respectfully with peers. ... Through reflection on their use of French, students will deepen their appreciation and understanding of the French language as well as of themselves and others."   (The Ontario Curriculum, FSL, p. 11, 2013)

Students in Core French, Extended French and French Immersion programs at both the elementary and secondary levels had the opportunity to reflect on their experiences studying French as part of a video produced by the Durham Catholic District School Board. Video messages from across the system were gathered as students shared their positive reflections on how studying French has opened doors to opportunities for them. As well, students from all of the French programs were able to share that learning French also helped to develop their academic and interpersonal skills. We are so proud of the inspirational messages that we are able to include in this video promoting French language learning. Check out the video and listen to students share in their own words how learning French has benefited them or will in the future.
Expanding Pathways
Construction Technology Students from Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School help build Habitat for Humanity Homes in Oshawa
On Friday, November 3, 2017 a group of twelve students in Grades 11 and 12 at Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic School attended a Habitat for Humanity build on Centre Street in Oshawa.

The students are enrolled in Dwyer’s Construction Technology courses and many are also part of the schools Specialist High Skilled Majors (SHSM) Construction program. The Dwyer students were extremely helpful in preparing two homes for drywall. The students were also able to make connections with local tradespeople and business owners.

The day was organized by Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School’s construction teacher Mr. John Rogers in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity. Mr. Rogers and his students were able to raise over $2000.00 in donations for Habitat for Humanity. Special thanks to Mr. Rogers and Habitat for Humanity for organizing this event.
Construction students from Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School hold a large cheque for $2000 for Habitat for Humanity
Male students help to drywall a home
Construction SHSM students at Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School share their ideas for promotions of the paint night on Nov.30, 2017
Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School's Construction SHSM Students participate in ICE DAY
Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School's Construction SHSM students participated in an Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) training day in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity Durham on November 21, 2017.

The ICE training provided an ideal platform to continue our work with community partner Habitat for Humanity Durham. After learning more about the importance of ICE training and gaining some insight into other examples of ICE training initiatives in our Board and Provincially, students were visited by Ms. Denise Walker from Habitat for Humanity who told us more about the organization and informed students about the various volunteer and cooperative education opportunities available with this organization.

Monsignor John Pereyma CSS's Construction SHSM students spent time working in small groups brainstorming ideas to plan and promote their school's paint night event on November 30, which is being held in conjunction with Pereyma’s Social Justice Christmas Extravaganza Event. SHSM students were presented with the following four challenges: Event Marketing and Promotion, Supplies and Set Up, Pricing Artwork, and Merchandise Demand (Staff Pre-orders).

Students showcased their essential and transferable skills by reporting their ideas and findings back to the larger group, and our afternoon consisted of cutting, sanding and painting wood in preparation for our paint night event in support of Habit for Humanity.

Student ideas that transpired from this day will be implemented for the planning and execution of this fundraising event. We look forward to showcasing the skills and God-given talents of our Construction SHSM students who will be leading the paint night on November 30, 2017.

On behalf of Monsignor John Pereyma CSS's SHSM Construction students and staff, we would like to recognize and thank Mr. Stephen Hughes for his support in this endeavor. Thanks to Mr. Hughes’ organization and efforts, our second Construction SHSM ICE Day was a huge success!
Let's Talk Trades!
People who choose the apprenticeship pathway and complete their apprenticeships have excellent employment outcomes, great earning potential, and report high levels of job satisfaction; yet, it’s still the path that fewest of our students consider pursuing after secondary school.

On Tuesday, November 14, female students in Grades 7-10, together with their parents, attended a ‘Let’s Talk Trades!’ evening to learn more about the opportunities through the skilled trades and apprenticeship pathway. 

Keynote speaker, Jamie McMillan, Ironworker and Boilermaker, shared her career journey over dinner. As a female in the skilled trades where there is a huge under-representation of women, Jamie spoke about her passion and love for her work. She talked about how trades in the construction, automotive, and industrial sectors require workers with a strong foundation in reading, math and science, and workers who are creative, dexterous, and possess good hand-eye coordination. Students and parents also had the opportunity to learn about various programs that are available to secondary school students to help them explore the skilled trade and apprenticeship pathway. 
Students in Continuing Education talk with a representative from Durham College.
Three female adults talking to representatives from Home Instead company about job opportunities.
Post-Secondary Pathways Event at Archbishop Anthony Meagher Catholic Continuing Education Centre
On Thursday, November 23, students and staff from Father Donald MacLellan Catholic Secondary School and Archbishop Anthony Meagher Catholic Continuing Education Centre participated in a pathways event at both the Ajax and Oshawa locations.  Students had the opportunity to meet with college, university, and employment service provider representatives to ask questions, gather resources, explore opportunities, and help them develop their individual pathways plan.  

In conjunction with the pathways event, students in the Personal Support Worker Program participated in an employment fair where they had the opportunity to make connections with a number of community care service providers.  
Student Achievement
St. Monica Catholic School wins the Tree Bee Competition
On November 17, 2017, the 65th annual Tree Bee Competition took place at Cardinal Newman High School, in Scarborough. More than 56 teams from Scarborough and Durham Region participated in this tree identification and conservation competition.

Congratulations to the St. Monica Catholic School team of Sasha, Lily and Lexi winning first place and the team of Solange, Aurora and Nicole winning second place at the competition, while Alexander, Owen, Natasha, Anjolina, Valentina, Edyth and Ava contributed to the school also winning the Team Trophy.

In 65 years, only three schools have won both first place and the Team Trophy in the same year. BRAVO to the St. Monica Tree Bee team, including Jake who couldn't attend, for all your hard work and success. Special thanks to the coaches and assistant coaches and volunteers.
Male and female students hold the Tree Bee plaque and trophy
Students, parents and principal from St. Joseph Catholic School in Uxbridge accept an award for their Conservation Work
St. Joseph Catholic School in Uxbridge receives Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority Award
At its 36th annual Conservation Awards ceremony held on the evening of Thursday, November 2, 2017, Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) paid tribute to 20 individuals, businesses and groups who are working selflessly to better our environment.
During his remarks, Aurora Mayor and LSRCA Board Chair Geoffrey Dawe spoke to the outstanding achievements of the award winners. “Each and every one of our recipients has made a positive impact on the health of our watershed," said Chair Dawe. “We thank them, we honour them and we hope they inspire many more to take action for a healthier natural environment."​
Emceed by Jennifer Anderson of Rogers TV's That's My Story and former Media Recognition Award winner, the gala evening took place at Madsen's Greenhouse and Garden in Newmarket. Jen shared winning entry highlights, touching on the passion of ​the people behind the projects.
Each award recipient is committed to positive environmental actions that contribute to a more sustainable and healthier watershed. They do it for no other reason than they care about the world they live in. They are champions in the true sense of the word. 

After constructing an outdoor classroom, new running track and soccer fields, St Joseph Catholic School, with help from LSRCA and other corporate, private and individual supporters, constructed a bioswale to collect storm water runoff and to filter ground water, which in turn helps protect the local watershed. A bridge was also added so that students can crossover the bioswale. The school also continues to work on plans to further naturalize the area with native vegetation.

This project was made possible by school Principal Phyllis Pereira, school parents, through fundraising efforts, Evergreen, three private consultants and contractors, LSRCA, and the Lake Simcoe Conservation Foundation.
Links and Resources
Parents learn how OSAP can help with Funding Children's Post-Secondary Education

Parents, guardians and Grade 11 and 12 students gathered on November 2 for a presentation on changes to the new Ontario Student Financial Aid Program (OSAP) at the Pope Francis Conference Centre.

A representative from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development presented key changes to the new program, how students can apply and answered parents' questions.

To view the presentation, click here .

A crowd of parents and students in a room to hear a presentation on Ontario's Student Aid Program (OSAP)
Presenter talking to the OSAP slides
Upcoming Events
Ad promoting online applications and audition dates for the new Regional Arts and Media Program
Online Applications now Open for Regional Arts and Media Program
Students currently in Grades 6, 7, and 8 are encouraged to apply to the new Regional Arts & Media Program opening at All Saints Catholic Secondary School in September 2018.

Online applications are now being accepted and will close on Wednesday, December 20, 2017. To register, click here .

For more information about the program visit dcdsb.ca/amp .
Durham Catholic District School Board
650 Rossland Road West,
Oshawa, ON
Phone: 905-576-6150 | Visit us at dcdsb.ca