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Celebrating Student Success
Expanding Pathways for our Students' Futures
March 2021
Exploring Pathways
Build A Dream Event
On February 9, 2021 students in Grades 7-12 participated in the virtual Build a Dream Career Expo. This event featured professional females discussing their career journeys in exciting fields such as the skilled trades, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), emergency response, entrepreneurship and leadership.

Education partners highlighted a variety of experiential learning opportunities for students in high school, such as the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP), Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) and post-secondary programs. In addition, local employers offered insight on what they look for in future hires. This event was engaging, interactive, and packed with resources to set young women up for success in the workforce. 
"Train the Trainer" Workshop
People working on welding project
Last week, six teachers from DCDSB attended a "Train the Trainer” workshop that was held at Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School. This workshop is part of the partnership between the CWB Welding Foundation, OPG, UA Canada, Black & McDonald and DCDSB.
The full article can be found on the CWB Welding Foundation’s website.
Experiential Learning
My Experience at Canadian Tire Service
Student holding car tire
My name is Jorden L. and I completed my co-op program at Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School on January 28,2021. I started my placement in November 2020 at the Canadian Tire Service Centre in Ajax. My experience at co-op was very educational and fun at the same time. All the technicians at the shop were welcoming and helped me a lot. I learned many new things such as basic maintenance and shop safety.

Challenges I overcame at co-op include getting the hang of dismounting tires. At first it was a very difficult task for me to perform. I kept forgetting the steps to complete the task and it was frustrating. I overcame this by always asking for assistance and eventually I got the hang of it. Another challenge for me was going up to technicians at the shop who I’ve never met and asking if they needed any help. I stepped out of my comfort zone and it helped in the long run as I started to acquaint myself with everyone in the shop.

This program was extremely beneficial to me as I now have hands-on experience in the auto service trade that will help to open more doors towards my future career. As well, I will be able to apply the things I learned from this placement to my own life such as performing oil changes on my own when I get a car. It also taught me how to use many new tools such as a torque wrench and how to use ratchets safely.

Some advice I have for future co-op/OYAP students considering a placement in the Automotive Service Trade, would be to take initiative by asking questions and get to know the other technicians in the shop. Be a team player and ask the technicians if they need any assistance or if you can observe them performing a job. It may be slow at the start as the only tasks you might be doing are cleaning the shop but as time goes on, you will begin different tasks and given more responsibility.
I would like to thank Mr. Rampat, the Service Manager at Canadian Tire Ajax for giving me this opportunity along with all the technicians at the shop for being such good teachers.

Duties at my Co-op Placement Included:
  • Removing lug nuts off car with compact gun
  • Dismounting tires (taking the rim off a tire)
  • Mounting tires (putting rim on tire)
  • Balancing wheels to prevent vibrations when driving (shown in picture)
  • Bagging tires
  • Oil change service
  • Tire repair
  • Setting up the hoist
  • Cleaning shop
Designing My Future
Student with dog at veterinarian clinic
My name is Alexia S., and I am currently completing Grade 12 at Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School. I started my co-op placement in November at Harwood Pet Hospital. I originally came into co-op looking for a placement in an Accounting or Finance office, as that is the education and career path I am interested in pursuing. Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 pandemic many of those placements were not taking any co-op students and I was very fortunate to receive the placement at Harwood Pet Hospital. I can definitely say that the 
experiences and knowledge I have gathered from my time there has been one of a kind and something I will never forget! 

I got to learn from a hands-on point of view how to properly handle dogs and cats, the benefits they receive from regular visits to the Vet, the importance of dental/overall hygiene and its impacts, and lastly the love and care that goes into every patient, from the smallest kitten to the largest dog.  

Being in a fast-paced clinic environment, there were many tasks and duties I completed each day. This included setting up the cleaning equipment and medical supplies each morning, counting and restocking medical inventory, cleaning and sterilizing the exam rooms after each patient, scanning and attaching patient files, entering bloodwork results from the lab into the clinic’s computer system, and probably the most fun part of it all was interacting and meeting all of the adorable puppies and kittens! Seeing as I have never personally owned any pets before, there were a few challenges I had to overcome while at my placement. I would say my two biggest challenges were being able to properly handle dogs and cats, and how to use the clinic’s computer system. I overcame these challenges by not being afraid to ask for help or for clarification. All of the staff at my placement were amazing and they only ever wanted me to succeed. They were patient and understanding whenever I asked a question and they were always happy to help. 

Co-op is beneficial whether or not I pursue this particular career field. The transferable skills I have developed while at co-op are universal skills that I can apply from one job to another, in almost any career field, regardless the type of work. I have been able to experience what it is like working as a team and how much more you can all accomplish when you properly communicate and work together. I have also been taught valuable lessons when it comes to prioritizing, organizing and managing your work, in order to efficiently and effectively complete it on time.

To future students who are considering co-op, do it. You will learn so much from your placement that will prepare for you future education, job, or both. You will also complete many certifications with your SHSM, which will make you stand out. There is nothing to lose when it comes to being a co-op and SHSM student! 
Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School's Outreach Team Raises $5,000 for the Refuge Youth Outreach Centre
Community feels like an increasingly challenging entity to achieve during the COVID-19 pandemic, however on Saturday, February 20, 2021, students and staff from Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School were able to achieve an overwhelming sense of community.
Promoted by Dwyer’s Outreach Team, a Social Justice & Mental Health Wellness group, the Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) event proved a wonderful 
opportunity to connect in an exercise of empathy and charity. Canadians from
across the country engaged in this fundraiser to help community members in need. Proceeds raised support The Refuge Youth Outreach Centre, a local Christian organization that seeks to work with at-risk youth in Durham Region.

This annual fundraising event began in 2011 and has gained steady momentum since then. Its purpose is to raise awareness and funds for those experiencing homelessness, hurt and hunger, especially during the winter months. It is a glimpse, however brief, into what too many people – even youth – experience all too often. The hope is that with greater community outreach, fewer youth will be forced to live this way.  
The Dwyer Saints Outreach team set a goal of raising $5,000, and we well surpassed that goal. In total, over 140 sponsors donated to this cause! We raised a total of $5049 which exceeded our goal. Our team placed 8 overall out of 52 teams. I'd like to give a special shoutout to Ava S., Ms. St. Pierre, Kaiden M., Matt D., Ms. McCloskey, Ms. Sorbilli, Noah S., Brianna C., and Mr. Dubowits, who all raised over $200 each for this cause! To everyone who participated, raised any amount of money - thank you, thank you, thank you! The Refuge crushed their $80,000 goal by receiving over $138,000 in total donations, which is their biggest amount ever raised through this event.

We are so proud of our Dwyer students who embraced the cold night and stepped up when they were needed.  

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another”. - Charles Dickens 
Screenshot from Zoom
Two students
Two students
Indigenous Education
Students from Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School Involved in OYAP Partnership to Learn About Plants, Land, Cuisine and the Trades
Dogwood bark in jars
Beedahbin harvesting dogwood
Grade 7 and 8 students at Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School have been participating in an Indigenous Education partnership with OYAP. Students will be involved in ongoing learning about the land, plants, the trades and entrepreneurship in collaboration with community partners.

On March 22, 2021 students began their learning with Beedahbin Peltier, who is originally from Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory. Beedahbin shared his knowledge of traditional plants with students by bringing in tamarack saplings to their class where they were taught how to strip the bark, and provided instructions on how to make tea with the bark at home. On March 29, 2021 Beedahbin returned to visit with the same classes to discuss how to make tea and medicine from dogwood bark. Beedahbin stressed the importance of respecting the land, and showed students how to take care of the plants and earth when harvesting these resources.
In April and May, students will continue their learning by working with James De Jong, a Port Perry-based business owner and carpenter, and Keri-Ann Peacock, owner and chef of Indigenish Catering. Students will continue to add to their plant knowledge by learning how to use plants and other resources in Indigenous cuisine, and will discuss future pathways available in the trades and being an entrepreneur. Students will work with the community partners involved in this collaboration to decide on a culminating task where they will choose to work on a project to build. James De Jong will work with the students to build their desired project, and help bring their ideas to life!
Student Voice
Black Mental Health Day Event
March 1, 2021 marked the second annual Black Mental Health Day, recognized by communities across Ontario. On Black Mental Health Day, we are called to recognize the ongoing impact on mental health that results from experiences of anti-black racism. It is also a day to raise awareness of the specific mental health needs of Black communities across Ontario. 

On March 1, 2021, DCDSB hosted an evening event titled Blacked Out: Impacts of Race on Mental Health, featuring Asante Haughton, Mental Health Speaker and Advocate. The event was well-attended by staff, parents and students. The event prominently featured student talent from St. Mary and Notre Dame Catholic Secondary Schools. 

St. Mary Catholic Secondary School: 
  • Poem: "The Illness that Nobody Sees" - written and performed by Calyse F. (see video)
  • Prayer: recited by Faiven A.
  • Drawing: "Yara Shahidi in Black and White" - Damilola S.

Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School: 
  • Spoken Word Performances: Nya-Grace Y. & Victoria N.
  • Victoria's performance was a hybrid of American Sign Language and spoken word, while Nya-Grace's is in spoken word. Both students have also applied lyrical movement in their performance in the most professional and artistic manner.
  • Several students submitted artwork which was showcased during this event.

We want to thank all of the students who participated or shared their creative work during this event.
Reflecting on Catholic Graduate Expectations in 2020 -
St. Mary Catholic Secondary School Co-operative Education 
Student with puppy
Over the course of the last school year life has been very different which has given me the opportunity to develop new skills. For example, I have been able to grow as a Responsible Citizen by participating in online learning, wearing required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as a mask, [including at my veterinarian co-op placement], distancing myself from large groups of people to keep others around me safe. 

Another way I have developed as a person is being Reflective, Creative and Holistic Thinker. During this pandemic, especially during the lockdowns, I have had time to reflect on myself and how I am treating others which has helped me grow as a person.  

I have also found myself being creative during this time by trying new tasks to give me something to do, such as wakeboarding. Another way I have been creative during this time is by finding different ways, such as Zoom, to communicate with my friends for fun nights or to study and work on homework together. Overall, even though this last school year has been different I have had the time to grow as a person.
  • Emma I., Grade 11 student
Student at co-op placement
Catholic Graduate expectations are important skills that everyone should have. One skill that I feel I strongly possess and have improved over the past year is being a Self-Directed, Responsible, Lifelong Learner. Being in quarantine and having to do online school has taught me a lot about being self-directed, as if I lacked this skill while having no teacher to watch over me, I doubtfully would have completed any of my schoolwork. While in quarantine I've also stretched my skills of being a lifelong learner and picked up quite a few new skills during my free time to combat COVID-19 boredom. So far, I've taught myself how to knit, how to do French braids and even how to wood burn with a kit I received as a Christmas gift! It’s been a very interesting time.

Another way that I demonstrate being a Self-Directed, Responsible, Lifelong Learner, and that I've developed this skill more this year, is through my [veterinary] co-op placement. When I first started my co-op placement there were a lot of things that I didn't know about customer service and about all of the systems used in a vet clinic. Thanks to my experience, I learned how to talk to customers in a polite manner and how to use a new computer program. Despite being young and tech savvy already, there was quite a bit that was new to me and I learned more than I expected. I also learned quite a bit about how businesses are run, and how to use a new organizing system that makes work much smoother. Being a self-directed responsible lifelong learner will help me to grow as a person and always continue to better myself. This is a skill that I am very glad to have.
  • Emma D., Grade 12 student
Adult and Continuing Education
Archbishop Anthony Meagher Catholic Continuing Education Centre logo
Grade 6, 7 and 8 Summer School Programs – Archbishop Anthony Meagher Catholic Continuing Education Centre
Student working at desk
As warmer weather approaches, are you starting to think about plans for the summer? 
Archbishop Anthony Meagher Catholic Continuing Education Centre offers a number of summer courses and programs for students in elementary school. 

Students who are currently in Grade 8 and will be attending a DCDSB high school and wish to register for a Grade 9 summer credit can take an online high school credit through the Reach Ahead Program (July 5 – 28, 2021). Courses offered include Introduction to Business (BBI 1O), Exploring Family Studies – Transition to High School (HIF 1O) or Expressions of First Nations, Metis and Inuit Cultures (NAC 1O).  

One student who took a Reach Ahead credit last summer shared that they “learned a lot about new things, like roadblocks to communication, the eight different types of smarts, consumerism, conflict styles, and much more. I think the course was well run and was very fun. I would definitely recommend it to other Grade 8's next year.”
The Literacy and Math including French Immersion for Grades 6, 7, & 8 online summer program is designed for students who would benefit from additional practice and assistance in literacy and/or math to ease their transition into the next grade. Students will participate in engaging lessons to meet their individual needs and learning styles. This program is non-credit and available July 5 – 16, 2021 and/or July 19 – 29, 2021.
When asked about their experience in the program last summer, one student who participated in the math program wrote that “I loved it! I learned so much about Algebra, Geometry and Everything! I also had lots of fun just being with other people” while another student in the literacy program said that “it really improved my language over the course of these 2 weeks”.
Interested in the arts? Then you will be want to register for the online Summer Clinic for the Arts and Media Program (C-AMP) Students can strengthen their literacy skills while experiencing areas of the Arts offered through the All Saints Catholic Secondary School’s Regional Arts and Media Program. Explore the genres of dance, elements of art or even learn how to play the ukulele. 

Here’s what Donna, a parent, had to say about the program: "The past three weeks flew by so quickly and my daughter had a fabulous time in all three of her weeks. What a great introduction to a brand new school for her! She was actually able to meet four teachers and all of them were fantastic and took her out of her comfort zone to gain a better appreciation for the other arts disciplines. Thank you to you and your team for providing such an inspiring three weeks for the students."

The OSSLT Preparation Program for Students in Grade 8 to Grade 11 is a new non-credit summer program offering. Students will engage in activities and practice questions to enhance their literacy skills and prepare for the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test. This program will run online on July 5 – 9, July 12 – 16 and July 19 – 23, 2021. Students can choose one or more weeks. 
Interested in learning another language? We offer free online summer Elementary International Language classes for students in Grade 1 to Grade 8. There are 23 different languages to choose from! The classes will run from July 5 – July 30, 2021.  
Are you a Grade 8 student starting high school in the fall? The Head Start Program is available to all Grade 8 students going into Grade 9 at one of our Durham Catholic District School Board high schools and will run August 23 - 26, 2021. The program involves a review of literacy and numeracy skills and provides students with a preview of the Grade 9 curriculum for Mathematics and English. Study Skills, Health and Well-Being are also integrated into the program. Students who took the program last year shared what they enjoyed most about the program:
“I like how well it prepared me for high school.”
“I liked how the teacher shared a lot of information about the school and classes”.
“The lessons on Study Skills was very useful.”
“The teachers were really friendly.”
Parents and students are asked to check out our summer school program offerings and registration details on the Archbishop Anthony Meagher Catholic Continuing Education website: Grade 6, 7, and 8 Summer School Programs.
Upcoming Events
Important Dates
March 30 - Skills Canada hosting Persons with Exceptionalities Conference
March 31 - Indigenous Languages Day
April 1 - Holy Thursday
April 2 - Good Friday
April 3 - Holy Saturday (Easter Vigil)
April 4 - Easter Sunday
April 5 - Easter Monday
April 6 - Special Education Advisory Committee Meeting
April 8 - Durham Catholic Parent Involvement Committee Meeting
April 9 - Quadmester 3 Ends at Secondary Schools
April 12-16 - Spring Break
April 18-24 - National Volunteer Week
April 19 - Quadmester 4 Starts at Secondary Schools
Durham Catholic Parent Involvement Committee (DCPIC) Lenten Craft Activities
February 17, 2021 marked the start of Lent with Ash Wednesday and this year, DCDSB's Faith department has created an online Lenten calendar for students and families to follow and complete daily activities.

To support this initiative, DCPIC is offering virtual Lenten craft nights using materials in your home. DCPIC will be creating short videos which will be posted to our website and to our Twitter page @DCPIC.

We welcome you to send a photo of your completed craft project each week to us at chair@dcpic.ca along with the name and age of your child. We also invite you to tag us on Twitter @DCPIC with photos of your finished crafts. Each week we will be doing a random draw from the submissions for e-gift cards.
Poster promoting Is It Ever Too Early To Start Planning?
Post-Secondary Life: Is it ever too early to start planning?
Grade 7-9 students and families are invited to join the DCDSB Student Services department for a virtual information session on what to do now to prepare for post-secondary life. This virtual information session takes place on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 6:30 - 7:45 p.m.

Meeting ID: 858 3787 8752
Password: Pathways20

For inquiries, please email Christine at christine.congrady@dcdsb.ca.
Rooted in Faith logo Excellence, Equity and Engagement
Durham Catholic District School Board
650 Rossland Road West,
Oshawa, ON
Phone: 905-576-6150 | Visit us at dcdsb.ca