Durham Catholic District School Board 50th anniversary logo

Celebrating Student Success
Expanding Pathways for our Students' Futures
May 2019
Male and female student learn how to introduce themselves to the native hand drum
Catholic Education Week May 5 to 10, 2019 Living as Joyful Disciples
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)

All Saints Catholic Secondary School performs The Sound of Music to Sold Out Crowds

All Saints Catholic Secondary School’s new theatre was alive with the Sound of Music on April 25, 2019. More than 100 All Saints students in Grades 7 to 12 and staff brought the beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein classic story to life on stage to sold out audiences. The production sold out fifteen shows over a span of five days.

The Sound of Music is the first musical theatre production to be performed at the board’s new Regional Arts and Media program. Students involved in the production have been working very hard for five months practicing after school and on weekends, resulting in an outstanding performance.

Curriculum chair of the Regional Arts & Media program and Director, Mr. Soln added, “All the favourite songs, including Favourite Things, Do, Re, Mi and So Long Farewell are part of the production.”

“The cast, crew, and orchestra have done a fantastic job” said Mr. Soln. “We could not be prouder of the work our students have done on this show.”

The production was also performed with live music under the direction of Mr. Paglia, with vocals organized by Ms. Calvert and choreography done by Mrs. Laing.

Congratulations to the dedicated team of students and staff for showcasing the great talent at the Durham Catholic District School Board.

Written by: Senator Austin Dychiao
All Saints Catholic Secondary School

Make a Joyful noise to the Lord all the earth
Female student performing Maria and seven male and female students acting as children
Female and male students huddled on stage
Eleven female students dressed as nuns singing on stage
Mental Health and Wellness
Children's Mental Health Week May 5-11, 2019
Five way to well being - Connect, be active, keep learning, take notice and give
May 5 to 11 is Children's Mental Health Week
Children’s Mental Health Week is celebrated across Ontario from May 5 to 11, 2019. This week provides an opportunity to bring awareness to mental health issues in children and youth, decrease stigma, and promote positive mental health. 

This year, the Children’s Mental Health Week campaign at Durham Catholic District School Board focuses on “Five Ways to Well-being.” Staff and students are being encouraged to incorporate these five simple steps into their daily lives to maintain or enhance their own well-being:

1.     Connect: It’s important to spend time nurturing our relationships with God and the people around us. Positive relationships are important to our mental well-being.

2.     Be Active: Staying active is great for our physical health and can also improve our mental health.

3.     Take Notice : Paying attention to the present moment and reflecting on our experiences, in silent contemplation or through prayer, can help us appreciate what matters to us.

4.     Keep Learning : Learning new skills and developing our interests and hobbies can make us feel more confident, as well as being fun to do.

5.     Give: Finding ways to give back to our community can improve our mental well-being, create connections and help build new social networks.

Visit: https://www.dcdsb.ca/en/programs-services/Mental-Health.aspx?_mid_=100106 for further information on mental health initiatives at DCDSB, and to access the “Together for Mental Health” Strategic Plan. 

By: Diane Mullane, C.Pysch.Assoc. ,
DCDSB Mental Health Leader
Experiential Learning
Indigenous Education, We Walk the Path Together, path in a forest
male adult telling a story to students about Indigenous Education
Students learning Ojibwe language
Male and female members of the Student Indigenous Education Advisory Circle
Male and female students passing the ball in lacrosse
Student Summit on Indigenous Education a Huge Success
Over 100 students from Durham Catholic secondary schools gathered on Tuesday, April 23 for the first annual Indigenous Education Student Summit. The day was organized by the student members of the Indigenous Education Advisory Circle (IEAC) for their fellow students.

“Our goal was to share our Indigenous culture with our fellow students,” said Noah Clouthier, Student IEAC representative from All Saints Catholic Secondary School. “The more we learn about First Nations’ history, the more we can understand the struggles and help in the path to reconciliation.”

The day began with a prayer and smudging, followed by an opportunity for students to listen and learn how Indigenous People share their history through storytelling told by Robert Cutting. Students also participated in hands-on workshops focused on:

  • Beading with Tammy Bird. Students created handmade medicine wheels and learnt the importance of the medicine wheel and the four directions.

  • Lacrosse with Tom Hoggarth and Doug Luey. Students tried their hands at Lacrosse.

  • Ojibwe Language with Karli Robertson. Students participated in a scavenger hunt outside finding key items and how to say the items in Ojibwe.

  • Métis Drumming with Cecile Wagar and company. Students learnt how to introduce themselves to the drums and how to treat the drums with care and respect before playing the drums and spoons together as a group.

“I really enjoyed the Ojibwe language station,” noted Sharika, a Grade 11 student from Archbishop Denis O’Connor Catholic Secondary School and member of the Student Indigenous Education Advisory Circle. “Learning Ojibwe is a great way for students to make a connection to our First Nation’s culture.”

A special thank you to the Student Indigenous Education Advisory Circle and DCDSB's Indigenous Education Advisory Circle for their help organizing this event and running the workshops for students.

Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School Students inspired by Holocaust Survivor, Elly Gotz
On Tuesday, April 9, 2019 the students at Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School had the privilege of listening to Mr. Elly Gotz, a Holocaust Survivor speak about his life. Born in Kovno, Lithuania in 1928, Mr. Gotz and his family hid in an underground bunker in the Kovno ghetto, in Lithuania for three years during the Second World War.

In the summer of 1944, there was no escaping the Nazis invasion of the ghetto and his family surrendered. Mr. Gotz and his father were separated from the rest of his family and sent to the notorious Dachau concentration camp.

After the war, this family moved to Norway, then Zimbabwe before Mr. Gotz settled in Toronto in 1964. His motivation and entrepreneurial spirit, together with his determination to succeed helped him regain his youth, missed years of education and achieve success.

Two male adults standing beside each other on stage
One male adult on a stage and one male adult standing on the floor by the stage
Two male students talking to two female adults
Two female adults talking with male adult over refreshments
St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School welcomes Seniors to a French Café
On Thursday, April 4, 2019, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School hosted guests from the Oshawa Senior Citizens Centre. Seniors from the Centre, who are currently enrolled in French Language lessons, attended the school’s café to practice their emerging language skills with our students who have been learning French for many years.
The Grade 8 students warmly welcomed their Senior Citizen neighbours and invited them to enjoy delicious snacks and refreshments, while conversing together in French. The theme for the conversation was ‘Joy’ and what brings us joy, in keeping with the Durham Catholic District School Board’s theme of “Living as Joyful Disciples”.
A great big thank you to Mrs. Caputo, Teaching and Learning Consultant for French as a Second Language, Ms. Janel Langstaff-Mullet and M. Cavaliere for giving our students a wonderful and fulfilling opportunity.
Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School Students Win the Epic Mac N’ Cheese Competition
On Saturday, April 6, students from the Hospitality and Tourism SHSM program at Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School competed in the Epic Mac N' Cheese competition at Durham College. This competition has run annually for the past five years and it challenges student teams to prepare an outstanding Mac N' Cheese dish using a selection of ingredients provided by the college.
Each team had a mentor from the Durham College culinary program. Durham College also offered students a chance to qualify for a bursary towards a culinary program at Durham College. 
Congratulations to Kyra Maldonado and Lucas Cabrera Fong for winning first place in the competition. The team of Hazel Lambinicio and Carlos Ayao placed second. Congratulations to these two groups for achieving such great success. 
The Hospitality and Tourism SHSM program at Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School is led by Mrs. Georgiana Hamilton. This SHSM program has been supporting students interested in the culinary field for the past eight years. In addition to offering an SHSM program, Mrs. Hamilton offers a dual credit with the Grade 11 Hospitality and Tourism course. We thank her for all her efforts offering students such an excellent program.

Two female students holding their first place win certificates
Male and female students holding their second place certificate
Students sit in an auditorium
Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School SHSM Students visit the LHEARN Centre at Lakeridge Health
Medical terminology can be confusing to even those who work in the health care field. Students from the Health and Wellness SHSM program at Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School learned how these terms are derived during a visit to the LHEARN lab at Lakeridge Health Oshawa. 

Students began the day with an interactive session led by Dr. Suhair Clarke on medical terminology. Each term has a root and possibly a prefix or suffix. As the session went on, students were breaking down complicated terms and confidently explaining what the medical terms meant. Following this session, students spent time in the medical simulation labs learning how respond to a variety of medical situations. We are grateful to the staff at Lakeridge Health for providing such meaningful experiences to our students.
Expanding Pathways
Discovering an Engineering Pathway at OntarioTech University’s Automotive Centre of Excellence
Grade 8 students at Father Joseph Venini Catholic School toured OntarioTech University’s Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE) on Wednesday, April 17, 2019. The tour was an opportunity for students to discover an Engineering pathway and speak to three university students about their love of Science and hands-on learning.

ACE is home to the only Climatic Wind Tunnel in the world that features a dynamometer on a turntable, allowing vehicles to be tested in crosswind conditions under full power. The wind tunnel can produce category 4 hurricane winds, rain, freezing rain and snow, while temperatures can range from -40 0 C to +60 0 C.

As part of the tour, students broke out into two groups to build the tallest Lego tower. The towers were then put through the ultimate test on the shaking table to see if they could withstand an earthquake.
Students also visited the climate room where hot and cold testing takes place. Vehicles are often tested in this room before going into full production to determine if any changes are necessary to improve overall design. 

The tour left students and staff fascinated with the state-of-the-art facility and a better understanding of what’s involved in an Engineering pathway. The university students and guides for the tour stressed the importance of studying Math and Science throughout high school in order to keep your “doors open” to many possible career paths.

Student in the shaking room at the Automotive Excellence Centre at the local university
Students build towers to see which tower will withstand a category 4 earthquake
Students tour the climate control rooms at the university
Students wrap up their tour asking the university students questions
Male student holding a blizzard upside down and owner giving the thumbs up
Male student with female teacher
Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School's SHSM Students participate in Customer Service Training
As part of the Specialist High Skills Major Program, students are required to complete a number of industry related certifications. One certification is common to all 19 economic sectors in the SHSM program and that is Customer Service. Working well with the public is a skill that is critical for all students to learn.  
Students at Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School recently partnered with the staff at an Oshawa Dairy Queen restaurant to learn about customer service. The franchise owner spoke to the students about the importance of customer service in the restaurant industry and offered students insight into how an employee can offer exceptional service to the public. A highlight for the students was their time learning how to make the different products served by Dairy Queen. 
We wish to thank the staff at Dairy Queen as well as Mrs. Ryan and Mrs. Dinn at Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School for offering this day to students. 

Managing Well-Being while Completing a Cooperative Education Placement
Gurveen Virdi, is a Grade 11 Cooperative Education student at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School. Gurveen is completing a French Immersion placement at a local elementary school. As part of the class’s integration days, they recently reviewed well-being with students including discussing strategies for building resiliency and encouraging well-being in various aspects of life.
Gurveen's reflective journal captured the importance of work-life balance and how building resilience can effectively manage one's emotions, physical health and positive mental health.
Well-Being at Home and in the Community
One person that helps me maintain a balance at home is my sister. She and I talk about things that are bothering us and she guides me through any problems that I am having. She is also always available to talk with me. This helps me maintain balance because talking to her can get my mind off of school and help me focus more on things happening at home.

Well-Being at School
One resource that I find very helpful is the retreat leading program. Once a week “colour groups” will meet up and talk about things such as roses and thorns (good and bad things that happened in the week). This has helped me to talk to someone at school about anything bad that’s happened and things that are good in my life. We act as a support group for each other; the grade 12’s will also give their input which I find valuable because they’ve been through Grade 11 before.

Well-Being at Placement
One strategy that I apply is taking scheduled breaks. Everyone should get some time to take a break so that you don’t feel super bored or tired doing the tasks given. For me I can sometimes take a mini break when the kids are out for recess, during this time I will normally eat a snack. Not eating anything for a few hours will make me have headaches or feel grumpy so this time is important for me so I don’t feel sick throughout the day.

Another strategy I use is pacing myself. This is a good strategy to be using so you don’t feel burned out during the placement time. My placement is in the morning, so I also find it really important to pace myself otherwise I won't be able to do my real school work properly. This idea would also help other staff at my placement because they have to stay on their feet and teach for the whole day. If they didn’t pace themselves it would be really hard to teach all the classes. For students, I think it would help them learn because fitting too much into one class may be confusing or too fast paced for them too.

Connect and Reflect
Talking to people about anything that you have problems ifs really important so you can get some guidance or support in the things that are bothering you. This helps balance any personal problems you’re having. Talking to people in your school about school related things, and finding alone time is very important so you can relax and not feel overwhelmed with everything happening at school like assignments and tests etc. This helps to create some balance in school and social life. Taking breaks and pacing yourself prevents burning out, feeling tired and unmotivated which is important because it helps create stamina. Having balance in these three aspects makes sure that one aspect of your life doesn’t take over. All three of these parts of your life should be considered equally as important and should get the same amount of attention. 

Written by: Gurveen Virdi
Female student completing a cooperative education placement in a French classroom
Female student helping another female student in a classroom
Two male students try welding at the college
Yellow kit car built by students in the automotive trade at Durham College
Archbishop Denis O'Connor and Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary Students Participate in Taste of the Trades
On Thursday, April 25, students from Archbishop Denis O'Connor Catholic High School and Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School participated in the Durham College Taste of the Trades Day at the Whitby campus of Durham College. This full day event allows students to learn more about the skilled trades by participating in three different one hour workshops. The three hands-on workshops were in the areas of welding, electrical and carpentry. A Durham College instructor led each workshop and the goal was to have students learn more about each skilled trade and work on some of the equipment that the college students learn on.

Taste of the Trades is part of the Dual Credit program. The mandate of the Dual Credit program is to promote college pathway by providing direct programming with our local colleges thus aiding in the student's transition to post-secondary education. Thank you to Mr. Gibson and Mr. Jagoda for bringing students from their schools.
Student Success
Top 30 Students Compete at Durham Catholic Chess Championship
The top 30 Durham Catholic chess students competed in the 2 nd annual Chess Championship at the board’s Pope France Centre, on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. Students competed according to their grade category – Grades 3 and 4, Grades 5 and 6 and Grades 7 and 8.

The winners for each category where:

In the Grade 3/4 Division:
  • 1st -  Devinen from St. Mark the Evangelist CS
  • 2nd – Tristen from St. André Bessette CS
  • 3rd – Dominik from St. James CS
In the Grade 5/6 Division:
  • 1st – Daniel from St. Josephine Bakhita CS
  • 2nd – Evan from St. James CS
  • 3rd – Alfred from St. Mark the Evangelist CS
In the Grade 7/8 Division:
  • 1st – Cole from St. John Paul II CS
  • 2nd – Jadon from St. Mark the Evangelist CS
  • 3rd – Kenji from St. Catherine of Siena CS

Great comradery and sportsmanship were displayed as students competed in five matches throughout the evening. Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to the top 3 in each grade grouping.

Special thanks to Aaron D'Mello and his Grade 11 Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School crew that helped score and supervise these events. 
Two male students playing chess
Female student playing chess again a male student
Two male students playing chess
Two female students playing chess
Group of male and female students dressed in costumes on stage
Male students with three female students all dressed in costumes on stage
Male and female back crew students wearing black and smiling on stage
male and female chimney sweepers all dressed in black
female student dressed as the bird lady
Congratulations to the Cast and Crew of Mary Poppins Jr. at St. Josephine Bakhita Catholic School
In late April, audiences were treated to a school production of Mary Poppins Jr. at St. Josephine Bakhita Catholic School. Seventy students in Grades 4 to 8 rehearsed for the school's play since September and did an outstanding job.

The ‘practically perfect’ musical is based on the classic P. L. Travers story and Walt Disney film. Students performed multiple dance routines to original songs such as a Spoonful of Sugar and Feed the Birds which left members of the audience in tears.

“Being part of a school production offers students many benefits,” noted Lesley Nash, Teacher and one of the Directors of the School Production. “Students gain exposure to all aspects of a production such as set design, how to use microphones or technical equipment and lighting to performing dance numbers, singing and much more.”

Congratulations to the cast and crew at St. Josephine Bakhita Catholic School for bringing joy to audiences with their production of Mary Poppins Jr.

Upcoming Events
DCDSB's 50th Anniversary Family Picnic
In honour of our board’s 50th anniversary, past and present students, families, staff, retirees, and partners of the Durham Catholic District School Board are invited to attend our Family Picnic and Outdoor Mass on Sunday, June 2 at Lakeview Park Oshawa .

The fun-filled day begins at:
• 11:00 a.m. - Outdoor Mass
celebrated by Father Keith Wallace;
• 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. - Games,
activities, performances by students
and staff on the stage, a tearoom
and vendors/displays.

Food will be available for purchase from vendors at the park, or you can bring a picnic lunch. For planning purposes, we are asking guests to RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/dcdsb-50th-anniversary-picnic-registration-59170484512

We look forward to seeing you as we celebrate 50 years of Catholic Education.
Picnic flyer promoting activities happening on Sunday, June 2 for the board's 50th anniversary
Durham Catholic District School Board
650 Rossland Road West,
Oshawa, ON
Phone: 905-576-6150 | Visit us at dcdsb.ca