Celebrating Student Success
Expanding Pathways for Every Student's Future
January 2018
Female student with female HGTV personality and tradewoman
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.
Archbishop Denis O'Connor Catholic High School Students make Positive Changes to Serve Others
Traditions are back at Archbishop Denis O'Connor Catholic High School! This year football made a return for the first time in six seasons. Coach Murray led a Junior team which made its debut back in September. To enhance the full football experience DO’Cs student council organized a tail gate in which students were invited to come out and watch the game! The night included a BBQ, tail gate games and music to cap off the second last game to our season!

Following DCDSB's initiative of Service, the different clubs at DO’C have supported several local charities in fundraising. A Thanksgiving food drive coordinated by our Social Justice club donated food and toiletry items to Joanne’s House; a place for homeless youth in Durham.

In addition, Student Council put together a few events for Halloween. We had a Halloween bake sale, where the members of the council generously made Halloween themed treats such as Oreo witch hats, Frankenstein rice crispy squares, mummy cupcakes and much more.

Student council also organized events with Red Wagon which is an annual Christmas initiative to raise money for family’s in the community who cannot afford Christmas gifts. Another example of how DO'C students service the community and give back to others.

Leading up to Christmas, DO'C organized a turkey dinner for students during lunch and held a Christmas lip sync battle with the teachers, non-uniform days, bingo and candy guesses in a jar. All which put everyone in the spirit of Christmas and helping those in the community.

The past few months have been fun and exciting. DO’C is exited for what is to come in the New Year and can’t wait to continue to make a positive change in the community. 
Students support the school's football team with a BBQ
Halloween events at high school
students dressed up for Halloween
Students stand in front of Christmas tree in front lobby of  school
Students wrapping boxes for Christmas baskets that are distributed to classrooms
Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School Students Bring Joy to Families with Annual Christmas Basket Campaign
Every year as the holidays approach, the Leadership Team at Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School organizes a Christmas outreach program to help those less fortunate at Christmas. 
In October, the student leaders approached the coordinator of the program and started planning the annual Christmas Basket outreach. The Rose of Durham later sent profiles of 10 families that could use support during the holidays. The Refuge also sent a list of items to fill back-packs for those in need.

The student leaders met to create posters for each of the families or a list of the back-pack items. The 10 profiles were distributed among the Grade 9,10 and 12 homerooms, and the back-pack items were distributed among the Grade 11 homerooms. Classes were encouraged to bring in as many items as possible to help others have a great Christmas.

The leadership students didn't stop there, they approached the school's play director to discuss raising money with a 50/50 draw during each show night. This idea raised approximately $300 dollars that was used to purchase gift cards for the families.

In addition, the students organized non-uniform days held on every Wednesday in December. The school community donated $2 for each non-uniform day with all the money directed towards the Christmas Baskets.

To create excitement, the student leaders communicated messages via morning announcements throughout the weeks leading up to Christmas. A Christmas tree was also set up to collect hats, mitts, scarves and socks for the Refuge. 
Bravo to the Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School community living our faith and serving others, while making Christmas special for families. 
Mental Health and Wellness
Calendar with January 31, 2018 marked as Bell Let's Talk Day
Promoting Awareness of Mental Health and Mental Illness at Durham Catholic Schools
Since 2010, Bell has donated $86,504,429 to mental health initiatives in Canada, well on their way to their goal of $100 million by 2020. In doing so, they have brought hundreds of thousands of people to the conversation, resulting in reduced stigma and an improved quality of life for people who are living with a mental illness. The money raised has gone to funding mental health projects nation-wide, including in remote communities.

This is a good time to acknowledge all of the DCDSB schools who are doing wonderful work bringing awareness to the topic of mental health and mental illness. Student-driven campaigns that promote positive mental health and focus on the reduction of stigma are becoming more and more common in both Secondary and Elementary schools.

This year, Bell Let’s Talk Day is being celebrated on January 31 st , 2018 .

We hope all staff, students and parents in the DCDSB will join the conversation. On January 31 st , for every text, call, tweet (#BellLetsTalk), Instagram post, Facebook video view and Snapchat geofilter used, Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives across Canada. Even if you're not a Bell subscriber, tweeting and sharing of Facebook images will still generate a donation. By having many of us engage in the conversation, we can all help end the stigma associated with mental illness.

Additionally, Bell Let’s Talk has created downloadable resources that can help you to lead or engage in a conversation about mental health, or to help you talk to someone you might be concerned about. This information is available to download for free on the Bell Let’s Talk webpage:  https://letstalk.bell.ca/en/toolkit.

Diane Mullane
DCDSB Mental Health Leader
Experiential Learning
Male student sharing one groups ideas to a problem with another group
Male adult listens to students brainstorm ideas on challenge
Male adult with walker brainstorms ideas with students for the umbrella holder for his walker
Automotive SHSM Students Design Solutions for Assistive Devices at ICE Day
On Thursday, December 21, 2017 Automotive SHSM students from St. Mary and Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary Schools attended an Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship ( ICE ) Day at the Durham Catholic District School Board’s Pope Francis Centre. Mr. Wayne Smith, from Tetra Society: Toronto Chapter, Mr. Kevin Brown, from Rider Tool & Manufacturing Co. and Mr. Paul Fraser, a retired DCDSB Technological Consultant spoke about their careers and presented students with three challenges they needed to brainstorm and develop possible solutions to help people with disabilities.

The three problems that students brainstormed included:
1.   Umbrella holder for a walker;
2.   A rear-view mirror for a motorized
wheel chair; and
3.   Laundry cart for someone with a lack of
upper body strength.

Students brainstormed all three ideas and redesigned each group’s work to find the best possible solution to the challenges. Students then presented their ideas to representatives from Tetra Society, Rider Tool & Manufacturing and Teachers for feedback.

Students were fully engaged generating one idea after another, collaborating and drawing solutions on paper. You could feel the innovation and creativity fill the room as one idea sparked another idea and students became excited by the process. 
Health and Wellness SHSM Students from Archbishop Denis O'Connor and Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary Schools visit LHEARN Centre.
On November 28, 2017 Archbishop Denis O'Connor Catholic High School and Monsignor Pereyma Catholic Secondary School sent 51 SHSM students to Lakeridge Health Oshawa's LHEARN Centre. 

The LHEARN Centre is the medical training lab with state-of-the-art simulators that allow health care professionals to review life-saving situations that occur in real-life.  The day started with a presentation on Medical Terminology which is a certification for the SHSM Health and Wellness sector. 

Students were then challenged to act as health care professionals and respond do different medical scenarios in the three simulation labs. We are thankful to the staff at Lakeridge Health Oshawa for offering our students such a meaningful day.  
Student work on a mannequin to simulate a medical emergency.
Medical professional demonstrates how to do an ultrasound
Student design for Santa's sleigh
Student's design for Santa's sleigh
For holiday designs created by students -Elf on the shelf, spray that wraps gifts, gun that shots CHristmas lights and Christmas tree guitar
Students’ Designs at St. John Paul II and St. Josephine Bakhita Catholic Schools Win Engineering Canada Contest
This year, Engineering Canada ran a contest entitled Engineering The Holidays. As part of the contest, students were encouraged to submit a drawing that demonstrated a new use of technology that was related to Christmas. Three winners would be selected to receive $150 towards STEAM initiatives at their school.

Through an inquiry based learning activity, students in several primary and junior classes, learned about the field of Engineering.  Lessons focused on what an engineer does and the problem-solving models that engineers typically use when presented with a problem. A STEM task was introduced that challenged them to create a more updated version of Santa's Sleigh. They were given a list of complaints that Santa has with his current sleigh and they had to create a new design that addressed his concerns. The students used the engineering problem solving model, Ask, Imagine, Create, and Improve to make their design.

Amazing enthusiasm, excellent problem-solving skills, and a high degree of creativity was demonstrated by all who were involved. One student was so excited about the project that he created a 3D model of his design to share with his classmates. Some teachers decided to extend the task into a writing activity through which students had to defend and explain their design choices.

Engineering Canada was so impressed with the designs that they awarded $150 to St. John Paul II and St. Josephine Bakhita Catholic Schools. They will also feature some of the designs in an upcoming video that promotes engineering tasks in the classroom! The students will now be given an opportunity to discuss and make suggestions for how the money could be spent to improve our robotics collection in the Learning Commons.  
SHSM Students from Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School learn the Importance of Customer Service
On December 11, 2018 students from Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School's Business, Arts and Culture and Transportation Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program spent the morning at the Dairy Queen location on Simcoe Street North, in Oshawa to learn first-hand about customer service. As part of the SHSM program, students are required to earn a number of certifications related to the economic sector they are specializing in.

The Ministry of Education encourages SHSM lead teachers to take students into the community, when possible, to complete these certifications as it allows them to learn in a practical setting. It also helps build partnerships between the school SHSM program and its sector partners. Donna Ryan, Business SHSM lead teacher at Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School has worked with Dairy Queen over the years in a partnership that allows students to learn customer service skills in an industry whose success relies on excellent customer service.

Thanks to Mrs. Ryan and Dairy Queen for bringing this great learning experience to the SHSM students at Fr. Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School.
Group picture of students with owners at Dairy Queen
Students learn how to make a blizzard at Dairy Queen
Students sitting in the restaurant at Dairy Queen
Expanding Pathways
Inspiring Hands-On Learners at the OYAP Symposium
Do you consider yourself creative? Do you enjoy working with your hands? Do you know you don’t want a career behind a desk? These were some of the questions asked of students from the Durham Catholic District School Board and Durham District School Board who gathered on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 for the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) Symposium.

Keynote speaker, Kate Campbell from HGTV shared her personal story of determination, resilience and passion for a career in the skilled trades after realizing that the university path wasn’t for her. “It’s important that you find something that you love to do,” said Kate Campbell as she spoke to students. “A career in the trades is a lot of hard work, challenging, offers opportunities to travel around the world and most importantly rewarding as you see your accomplishments everyday as a project begins to move along towards completion.”

For Grade 12 student, Kierstyn Williams from Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School the OYAP symposium validate her decision to peruse a career in the trades. “Listening to Kate’s story solidified my decision to pursue a career,” said Kierstyn. “I’m excited to start my Electrical OYAP next semester and welcome an opportunity to learn and work with an employer who has lots to offer.”
Kierstyn discovered her passion for the trades after completing a Grade 10 Automotive class at Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School. “When we got to the electrical competent of the class, I realized that this is what I love and started taking more tech classes, a SHSM and now an OYAP,” added Kierstyn. 

If you are interested in learning more about cooperative education, Specialist High Skills Majors (SHMS) and/or Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) speak to your Guidance Councillor, Teacher or student in one of these programs for more details. Visit https://www.dcdsb.ca/en/programs-services/Secondary-Education-and-Pathway-Programs.aspx.

Female student standing with female HGTV personality and tradeswoman
Male students work on building paper cars
Slide promoting careers in Construction
Male adult speaks to cooperative education students
Female teacher introducing male adult guest speaker
Building your Professional Portfolio in Cooperative Education
In December 2017, Taylor Konkle, an OPP Officer and graduate of All Saints Catholic Secondary School spoke to a group of Grade 10, 11, and 12 Career Studies and Cooperative Education students at Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School about his high school cooperative placement and how it helped him build his professional portfolio.

Seven years ago, Mr. Konkle was a cooperative education student who obtained a placement at the Whitby Fire Department. “I know I wanted a career as a First Responder,” said Mr. Konkle. “I also knew it was a very competitive field to obtain a career in.” His experience in cooperative education taught him the importance of building his professional portfolio – one that he continues to build today.

Determined to succeed, Mr. Konkle attended St. Lawrence College in Kingston, worked in the summer for the OPP Marine Unit, completed another diploma at Durham College, volunteered to gain work experience, achieved certificates in First Aid, Mental Health First Aid, and obtain different driver’s license so he can drive trucks with air breaks to motorcycles. “I was one of the youngest Brinks employees to carry a firearm,” said Mr. Konkle. “It’s important to give yourself a competitive edge - Continuing to look for ways to set yourself apart from others may be the difference between you landing your dream job or not.”

Developing a career portfolio is part of a student’s year end assignment in cooperative education which includes a student’s resume, certificates achieved, letters of appreciation for volunteer work, work experience, school transcripts, diplomas and more. “My first portfolio was small, but over the years it has grown as I continue to add new achievements and certificates to my resume – never stop building your portfolio,” said Mr. Konkle. “Make sure to look for opportunities such as volunteering that offer you great work experience and most importantly help you develop relationships with people who can one day be a reference for you.”

Building relationships is another essential tool to have in your portfolio. “Remember to stay in touch with teachers, supervisors and friends,” added Mr. Konkle. “You never know when you need one of them to be an employment or character reference for you. I touch base with old teachers and let them know how they helped me and what I’m doing now. It’s a win-win for everyone!”

Here's a video of OPP Officer, Konkle in action rescuing a deer on Hwy 401 just before Christmas. Click here to view video .
Cooperative Education Offers St. Mary Catholic Secondary School Student Transferable Skills
My name is Julia Rondinone and I'm a cooperative education student at
St. Mary Catholic Secondary School. I was fortunate to have performed my cooperative placement at Pickering/ Uxbridge Member of Parliament Jennifer O’Connell’s Office.

My placement offered me the opportunity to meet new people, gain new skills, and acquire work experience. I learned many transferable skills, such as learning how to use Microsoft Excel. Excel is a spreadsheet organizer that is used by many people at work. I never learned how to use Excel until my placement, where I learned all about the program and how beneficial it can be to many work places.

Another skill I learned was to always double check. For a couple of days throughout my placement, I was assigned to look over work that an employee had completed. I was told to look over the charts that were made of all the people who called or walked into the office to make sure there were no grammatical errors, and to make sure the spacing was correct on each sheet. This showed me that no matter who the person is, everyone makes mistakes, and that it's important to always double check the work, whether it is yours or someone else’s. This will help to prevent errors from occurring

The third skill that I learned was sentence construction. When making scrolls in the office, you must work with the information you receive about someone or a business. You must create a small paragraph that is formal and grammatically correct for a person or business you might have no idea about. Speaking about something you do not know well can be hard, but with practice and creativity, I was able to learn a lot about sentence construction. This will allow me to write formally and intelligently for future careers later on in life.

The last skill I learned while at my placement was teamwork. There was another co-op student at my placement who constantly worked with me to perform assigned tasks. Without this student at my placement, I would have had some trouble performing certain responsibilities. This student taught me how to better use teamwork while in the workplace, as everyday we would work together to efficiently get all the work done.

My placement has allowed me to learn many skills that will be required for me to know once I enter my post-secondary stage in life. During those years, I will need the skills I have already learned in this placement, plus many more. This will give me a head start into the workforce, which some people may not have. 

By: Julia Rondinone
Students holding a banner for MPP Jennifer O'Connell during a Santa Claus parade
Upcoming Events
Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program logo
Semester 2 OYAP Students
Level 1 Registration Evenings
If you are a DCDSB student who is taking OYAP in Semester 2, you must attend the upcoming registration meeting for your apprenticeship.

This is a mandatory event for students and a parent must attend if the student is under 18. 

OYAP Level 1 Registration Evenings

Date:  Thursday, January 11, 2018
Location:  Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School
OYAP Level 1:  Apprenticeship in the following profession:
  • General Carpenter
Time : 6:00 -8:00 p.m.

Date:   Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Location:  Durham College - Whitby Trade Skills Campus
OYAP Level 1:  Apprenticeships in the following professions:
  • Automotive Service Technician,
  • Plumber,
  • Welder,
  • Industrial Mechanic Millwright, 
  • Child Development Practitioner, 
  • Cook, or
  • Electrician
Time:  5:15 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. (NOTE: Start and end times vary depending on the program)
Durham Catholic District School Board
650 Rossland Road West,
Oshawa, ON
Phone: 905-576-6150 | Visit us at dcdsb.ca