Durham Catholic District School Board 50th anniversary logo

Celebrating Student Success
Expanding Pathways for our Students' Futures
January 2019
Female student building with wood in a classroom.
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)

Our students and staff were busy in December spreading joy to all those in need. There are countless stories of our schools gathering food for donation to local food banks, collecting hats, scarves and socks for the Refuge and putting Christmas hampers together for families to enjoy the holidays.

Grade 8 Students at St. Matthew the Evangelist Catholic School help Refugee Family

On Tuesday, December 11, 2018 the Grade 8 at St. Matthew the Evangelist Catholic School spread joy by presenting three brothers from Guiana with clothing, bedding, pillows, shoes/boots and toiletries in an effort to help the newcomers to Canada. The three brothers arrived in Toronto on November 27 and have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the families at Holy Family Parish and the students for all that they have done to make their transition a smooth one.

This journey to support a refugee family came after the Grade 8 students completed a novel study on a book entitled Refugee. Grade 8 teacher, Mr. Rudback then found out that Holy Family Parish was looking for donations to help support a Refugee family that they had sponsored. “The students jumped at an opportunity to help,” said Mr. Rudback. “The students organized a snack shack that sells food to all students at the school during lunch time with the money raised going towards the purchase of a microwave for the family.”

“This feels like a dream,” noted one of the brothers. “We are so thankful for all the support and generosity. Canadians are so kind and helpful. We are blessed to be here.”

The three brothers are hopeful that their remaining family members – their parents and three younger sisters will arrive in Canada in the next six months.

Make a Joyful noise to the Lord Durham Catholic District School Board
Male and female students holding their donations of household items for a Refugee family.
Mental Health and Wellness
Female student sitting in a library surrounded by books and hands holding her head.
Mental Health Fact Sheet for Parents and Caregivers Test Anxiety
Test Anxiety Tip Sheet for Students
Coping with Stress During Exam Time
Almost everyone feels nervous or experiences some stress when faced with a test or exam and this is perfectly natural. Stress can be positive when it motivates you to study; however, too much anxiety about a test to the point that it interferes with performance is commonly referred to as “test anxiety.” Test anxiety is a type of performance anxiety – a feeling someone might have in a situation where performance is very important or there is a great deal of pressure to do well.
While students may not all experience test anxiety in the same way, some of the common signs are stomach aches, nausea, tension headaches, racing heart, trouble sleeping or loss of appetite. Stressful emotions can also interfere with a student’s focus and concentration and the ability to demonstrate what they know on the test.

There are many things that parents/caregivers can do to support their teens, particularly as they approach exams. It’s important to let your teen know that stress is normal. It’s the body’s warning mechanism sending a signal that something important is about to happen. Help your teen develop good study habits and encourage them to ask for help at school if they’re unsure how to study or need extra support. Sleep and nutrition are extremely important during exam time and will help with memory recall and test performance. Finally, encourage your teen to start early and try to review a little bit everyday. No amount of cramming can take the place of the deeper level of learning that happens over time with regular review and the use of active learning strategies. Many students find that their stress is reduced when they study more efficiently and/or more regularly.

For additional information, please access the following fact sheet for parents and tip sheet for students:

Diane Mullane,
DCDSB Mental Health Leader
Experiential Learning
Students listening to a male adult speaking
Male adult introducing keynote speaker
Students from Monsignor John Pereyma and Paul Dwyer Catholic High Schools attend ‘Side Hustle Summit’ at Durham College
On December 18, 2018 one hundred Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) students and SHSM Leads from Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School and Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School attended the 2018 ‘Side Hustle Summit’ hosted by the Durham College Enactus Student Group.
Durham Catholic District School Board SHSM students enjoyed visiting the Centre for Collaborative Education at Durham College, Oshawa Campus, and learning about Enactus (an international nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring students to improve the world through entrepreneurial action). Students gained exposure to role models and positive initiatives, and also completed two of the required elective training courses for their SHSM Red Seal (customer service and leadership skills).

Students listened to keynote speaker and Durham College alumnus, Dan Cole who turned his passion for playing video games and all things Pokémon into a YouTube channel with over 150,000 subscribers and 20 million+ views. Dan shared with students how to turn something you love into a full time job that generates an income.
DCDSB Specialist High Skills Major students and staff are grateful for the efforts of Durham College Enactus student leaders and faculty members for planning and facilitating an engaging community-connected experiential learning opportunity. This training symposium provided our students with an opportunity to further explore and reflect on their God-given talents, 21 st Century Skills, and the importance of the education and career/life planning process.
Our students left the summit with a Side Hustle t-shirt, swag and the knowledge and tools to start a ‘side hustle’ business right away. Thank you to the leaders of the training sessions for teaching our students about Leadership Skills, Customer Service, Personal Development, Personal Branding, Social Media for Business, and the importance of Building a Business Websites. Thank you for connecting our students to community resources and programs including the BACD Summer Company Program and FastStart Durham College.
A very special thank you to Mr. Jay Fisher, Ms. Lindsey Jeremiah and the Durham College Enactus Student group for demonstrating your commitment “to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world.”  
Article by:
Janel Langstaff-Mullett
Experiential Learning Coordinator
All Saints Catholic Secondary School celebrate the Official Opening of the Regional Arts & Media Program
On Wednesday, December 19, 2018, the Durham Catholic District School Board (DCDSB) officially opened and blessed the new Regional Arts & Media Program’s facilities at All Saints Catholic Secondary School. The renovations to the school included instrumental and vocal music rooms, a new dance studio, music practice areas, a media arts lab and studio and a 325-seat theatre.
Over 300 students in Grades 7, 8 and 9 started classes at the Regional Arts & Media Program in September 2018. They travel from Uxbridge, Scugog, Pickering, Ajax, Oshawa and Whitby to attend classes.
“We are honoured to have students study their specialized arts or media program at All Saints Catholic Secondary School,” said John Rinella, Chair of the Durham Catholic District School Board. “We are extremely excited about this program and students from Grades 7 to 12 are demonstrating their talents and passion.”
Durham Catholic District School Board Trustees approved the Regional Arts & Media Program after months of study to address declining enrolment at Whitby’s two Catholic secondary schools. All Saints Catholic Secondary School has a capacity of 1,194 students, but had dropped to about 760 and was projected to fall below 700 by 2025 if action was not taken. The Regional Arts & Media Program was approved to address the declining enrolment.
“Enrolment is now at 1,100 students at All Saints Catholic Secondary School for the 2018-2019 school year,” noted Anne O’Brien, Director of Education at Durham Catholic District School Board. “The new facilities represent growth and our board’s commitment to community consultation, the development of innovative 21 st century learning and community partnership as this space will be used to showcase local events and activities through our Community Use of Schools program.”
All Saints Catholic Secondary School continues to offer a comprehensive program for students in Grades 9 to 12 who live within the school’s boundary. The evening included remarks from local dignitaries, performances by the Regional Arts & Media vocal choir, instrumental students and dance students. While Visual Arts students had their work on display and Drama students led tours of the school's new learning space.

Three female and one male dancer performing on stage
Guests walk the red carpet for the grand opening of the school's theatre
325 seat theatre
Students' paintings on display in a classroom
Vocal choir sing O'Canada in front of stage in theatre
Group of male and female students standing in front of huge Christmas tree in a mall
SHSM Students from Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School learn the Importance of Marketing and Merchandising
In December, students from Farther Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School's Business Specialist High Skills Major program participated in a trip to the Oshawa Centre where they learned about marketing and merchandising of retail stores. Students were challenged to analyze a business in the mall and look at the effectiveness of the store's layout, marketing and merchandising. From that, students developed a presentation that they presented to the group which lead to some excellent discussion about the do's and don't of retail business. 
This trip highlights one of the main goals of the SHSM program, which is to have students get into the community and apply their learning in a real-life setting. Thank you to Mrs. Ryan and Mrs. Dinn for arranging this trip for the students.
Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School Student participate in Life Skills Christmas Shopping Trip
Every year for the last 13 years the program support students of Notre Dame travel to the Pickering Town Center for a Life Skills Christmas Shopping Trip. They learn to shop from a list, on a budget, make change and use debit cards. This year one of the store employees approached one of our groups of students who were shopping for their family members and struck up a conversation. She smiled at us and said, “I was so happy to see your group again this year. I remember the first year you came as a group and I look for you every Christmas season. It is so wonderful to see how much work you put into helping students with their shopping and it is heartwarming to see how much the students get out of this trip. Yours was the first group I had ever met from a Secondary School. It really feels like Christmas when I see you all."
Our Educational Assistants understand how much this trip means to our students and it was nice to see that it is also recognized by members of the community. The students also had the opportunity to take a photo with Santa Claus. We make an appointment to take the students to see Santa every year and they provide each student with a free copy of their photo to take home with them. It is truly lovely.
Male and female students have their picture taken with Santa at the mall.
Wooden triangles built by students displayed on a table.
Female student using a saw to make her wooden triangle
Two male student making wooden boxes in class
Cardboard car with snowman on top of it
Female and male adult teacher showing their car made during teacher training
Building For The Future – Construction Technology and STEAM
Beginning in the fall, Durham Catholic District School Board elementary educators participated in teacher training to support STEAM learning opportunities. This learning was made possible through a grant offering in partnership with UOIT. Sheila Rhodes from UOIT provided Kidder Kits and maker-space tools such as mitre boxes, hand saws, clamps, glue guns, safety glasses, wood, and materials etc., along with lesson plans connected to a variety of curriculum including, but not limited to Science, Math and Literacy.
Approximately thirty educators received three half-day training sessions hosted in the construction technology space at Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School. Some highlights of teacher training included hands-on experiential learning challenges whereby educators worked in teams to problem-solve and apply their new learning in a variety of creative contexts.
Following this learning many educators returned to their classroom spaces to ignite new project-based and inquiry-based learning opportunities which promoted student engagement, well-being and achievement. In one instance students in Construction Technology at Monsignor John Pereyma CSS alongside their teacher Mr. Daminato, created wooden kits to be assembled by students in Mr. Labow’s classroom at St. Thomas Aquinas CS. The elementary students utilized their tools in the Kidder kit to create wooden gift boxes, as well as a French assembly manual companion. Some additional examples of teachers and students exhibiting joy through a hands-on learning pedagogical approach are included in the images below.    
Thank you to our community partner Sheila Rhodes from UOIT for sharing her expertise, Teaching and Learning Consultant Pat Costello for coordinating this opportunity, and Monsignor John Pereyma CSS for inviting us into their space. A special thank you to the teachers who participated and brought their fabulous new learning and excitement back to their students.  

Article Submitted by:
Teaching and Learning Consultants Tish Sheppard and Janel Langstaff-Mullett

Sharing Indigenous Heroes with Students at All Saints Catholic Secondary School
All Saints Catholic Secondary School Student, Noah Clouthier has made it his mission to increase awareness of Indigenous figures and heroes at his secondary school. Noah is a member of the Board's Student Indigenous Education Advisory Group created a bulletin board that features First Nations people throughout the school year.

"Every two or three weeks there will be a new Indigenous Figure or Hero profiled on this board," said Noah.

In December, the board featured Sacagawea, a Shosone woman who acted as a guide and navigator for American travelers Lewis and Clark. She carried her newborn baby along on the journey and connected Indigenous peoples and knowledge with a growing America.

Noah added, "The artwork of Sacagawea featured on the right was completed by a fellow All Saints student, who has agreed to draw all the Indigenous heroes."
Male student taking a picture of the Indigenous Education bulletin board.
Drawing of an Indigenous woman and hero
Five female student presenting on the benefits of keeping our bodies healthy
Female student wearing googles to simulate driving impaired and trying to walk on a curved road
Durham Catholic Elementary Students participate in Racing to a Healthy Life
In December, Grade 5 students from St. Jude, St. Francis de Sales and St. Patrick Catholic Schools attending Racing to a Healthy Life (formerly known as Racing Against Drugs Durham – RADD).

Students participated in fun, educational pit stops based on a racing theme covering a wide range of health and personal safety themes. Local community partners were in attendance to share information and host pit stops – some partners included: Ajax, Fire Department, Durham Region Public Health Department, Lakeridge Health, Parent Action on Drugs, Epilepsy Durham and many more.
Expanding Pathways
Cooperative Education Students from Archbishop Denis O'Connor Catholic High School share their Experiences
Three cooperative education students from Archbishop Denis O'Connor Catholic High School share their placement experience and what they have learned from a work placement.

Erik Rusak is in Grade 12 at Archbishop Denis O'Connor CHS and is completing a two-credit placement at Lifemark Physiotherapy. He has an interest in pursuing a career in Personal Training and is learning a great deal about Kinesiology and Biomechanics at his placement. He is particularly interested in learning about exercises for sports injuries.
While Megan, a Special Needs students is completing a retail placement at Winners. Her organizational skills are being put to use keeping product orderly and accounted for, creating ease for customers and store administration. She is developing employability skills that will contribute to success in the job hunt once she is finished high school. Megan's placement is teaching her how to work independently.

Finally, Grade 11 student Daryn is completing a placement with Amy Butland in a Grade 1/2 classroom at St. James Catholic School. She is assisting in all aspects of the classroom, including reading readiness, small group art activities and is creating lesson plans which she presents to the entire class. Daryn is particularly proud of learning how to find the right 'voice' for a primary classroom!

If you are interested in learning more about cooperative education, please speak to a member of your school's guidance department for more information.
Male student working at a physiotherapy placement
Female student wearing her school uniform and organizing shoes at a retail store.
Female high school student helping a male elementary school at her cooperative education placement in a classroom.
Student Achievement
Female student holding her holiday LBCO bag design in front of Christmas tree
St. John Bosco Catholic School Finalist in Think of Me LCBO Holiday Bag Campaign
Congratulations to Lauren Fishwick, a Grade 7 student at St. John Bosco Catholic School for being named a finalist in the LCBO's holiday bag design campaign. Over 46,000 students submitted entries for the LCBO “Think of Me” holiday bag campaign in Durham Region and Lauren’s design tied for first place. She will now represent Durham Region in the Provincial Finals.  Good luck Lauren!

St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic School Student Wins Remembrance Day Poster Contest for Whitby
Congratulations to Gabi Baccellier, a student from St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic School. Gabi won the Remembrance Day poster contest for Whitby from the Royal Canadian Legion.

In December 2018, Gabi was presented with a certificate from the Legion for her winning poster design. Her poster will now be judged at the provincial level and winners at the provincial level will travel to Ottawa to be declared national winners. Wishing Gabi best of luck on the next level of the contest. 
Student's award winning artwork of a soldier in a field filled with crosses at sunset.
Durham Catholic District School Board
650 Rossland Road West,
Oshawa, ON
Phone: 905-576-6150 | Visit us at dcdsb.ca