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Celebrating Student Success
Expanding Pathways for our Students' Futures
 November 2019
Students in a hospital simulation lab
Experiential Learning
Elder Tony Bomberry speaks to Students about Residential Schools
As part of Indigenous Education Awareness Month, Elder Tony Bomberry spoke to students in Grades 6, 7 and 8 at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School about his journey through residential school. At the age of six, Tony Bomberry was taken from him home to the Mohawk Institute Residential School, in Brantford where he lived for three years. Once released from the residential school, he was placed in foster care until he was 18 years old. 

He shared with the students his journey through residential school and what it was like, but also how important it is to heal. Elder Bomberry stressed that it’s important for students to recognize that all people are special and valued. “We all matter,” said Elder Bomberry. “Each one of you has a gift to give the world and we must embrace that gift and share with others.” 

The students were struck by Elder Bomberry’s living conditions at the residential school and how he was able to use humour to move forward from what must have been a terrible and scary experience for one so young.
Adult man speaking to a group of students
students sitting on a carpet listening to an Elder speak about Residential schools.
Three female students around two laptops
Female teacher speaking with her students
Female Students become Cyber Security Ambassadors
Female students from 18 Durham Catholic schools gathered at Ontario Tech University on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 to begin implementing a Cyber Security Girls Ambassador program at their individual schools. Most of the students had participated in the Cyber Girls Ambassador camp held at Ontario Tech University this past summer. The girls were eager to reconnect with one another and share their experiences with the teachers that will be working with them at their school.

The day-long event involved mentors from a Canadian Cyber Security Company called The Herjavec Group and Ontario Tech University’s Facility of Business and Information Technology and Faculty of Education. The female students in Grades 6, 7, and 8 explored the importance of protecting their personal information when using social media, online shopping, online banking, etc.

Part of the Cyber Girls Ambassador program is to share their learning back at their individual schools. The students brainstormed ideas to share information on coding and cyber security with their school communities by hosting themed events such as creating positive social media environments throughout the 2019-2020 school year.
Students from St. Patrick Catholic School, in Ajax talked about ideas and activities that they could incorporate into the Hour of Coding event taking place between December 9 to 13, 2019. 
Secondary Students Participate in Youth Engagement Opportunities Focused on Substance Use and Mental Health
During the third week of October, delegates from each of our secondary schools participated in two student action conferences.

On October 22, the 5 th annual Durham Youth Drug Awareness Committee (DYDAC) “The Leader in Me: Awareness to Action” student conference was held at the Board's Pope Francis Centre. Staff and students from four boards were represented at the event. Students engaged in learning about various substances, including alcohol, opiods, cannabis and vaping through workshops provided by community partners (Durham Region Health Department, Carea Community Health Centre and Pinewood Centre of Lakeridge Health). They also learned about the connection between mental health and substance use, and how to create an effective health promotion campaign. The conference culminated with a planning session with each school’s Public Health Nurse to begin the process of developing a health promotion campaign to run back at their schools.

On October 24, secondary students participated in the Durham Talking About Mental Illness (TAMI) Coalition “Stomping Out Stigma” Summit. Paul Ranger, keynote speaker and Distinguished Catholic Alumni, shared his journey through illness and recovery. Throughout the day, students also learned about stigma through engagement in various activities and speaker stories. In keeping with the theme of the day, “Attitude of Gratitude,” students were encouraged to express gratitude verbally and/or through other creative and outward ways.

Students were encouraged to start thinking about a plan to promote positive mental health and reduce stigma back at their schools.

Both conferences emphasized positive coping strategies and protective factors, including relationships and connections. The link between substance use and mental health was emphasized and students were asked to consider ways to reflect these intersections in their school planning.

DYDAC and TAMI are both community collaborations, with representation from Durham Catholic District School Board, other local school boards, and several community agencies.
Male adult presenting at a podium
Female adult present information to students
Male and female students playing with two therapy dogs
Four female students holding a certificate of completion with their female teacher
Discovering pathways
Student showing how he groups different learning styles and careers into different pathways
Intermediate Guidance Teachers talk about Learning Styles with Grade 7 and 8 Students
Our Intermediate Guidance Teachers continue to spend time building on Grade 7 and 8 students' understanding of strong learning skills and exploring students' individual learning styles.

The teachers have talked to students about:
  • How we like to learn;
  • How we learn best; and
  • How our learning style helps us to recognize the pathway that may be right for us. 

The students had an opportunity to discover how various careers could be achieved through an Apprenticeship, University and/or College Program. 
Students learn How to be Stewards of Creation at St. Josephine Bakhita Catholic School
St. Josephine Bakhita Catholic School’s Eco Team has been busy in their gardens the last few weeks planting over 500 bulbs! Thanks to the organization Bulbs4Kids, students and staff have planted a variety of tulips, crocuses and grape hyacinths. The students have enjoyed being outside, designing the garden, digging in the dirt and learning about how bulbs grow. 

The school community worked together - with children from the primary, junior and intermediate grades all planting a bulb or two, while learning how to be Stewards of Creation. We are looking forward to a colourful spring at St. Josephine Bakhita Catholic School!
Tulip bulbs in students and staffs' hands
Students planting tulip bulbs in the school's garden
Expanding Pathways
Kate Campbell, Trades woman talking to female students about her career
Four female students plugging a tire in an auto shop with four adults watching
Female student working on a tire
Students Explore the Trades at Expand the Possibilities: Young Women in Science, Technology and Trades Event
On October 23, students in Grade 7 and 8 from Durham Catholic schools gathered at Durham College Whitby Campus for the annual Expand the Possibilities: Young Women in Science, Technology and Trades event. Students had an opportunity to discover careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) while participating in hands on workshops. They also listened to keynote speaker, Kate Campbell, Contractor, Entrepreneur and HGTV personality talk about her career in the Trades.

"This day was a wonderful opportunity for students to learn more about the skilled trades," said Claudine Longo, Pathways Coordinator at the Durham Catholic District School Board. "Students were encouraged to explore apprenticeship pathways by participating in secondary school Tech Courses and OYAP."

Grade 7 and 8 students from Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School experienced first-hand the steps needed to plug a tire, weld, or code a robot and more. Durham College's President, Don Lovisa together with the Honourable Ross Romano, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities offered the students some advice on how to fix the tire.

“My dad is a welder so I’m a little familiar with what’s involved in the trade, but I enjoyed learning more and now I have a better appreciation for what my dad does,” said Viduni, a Grade 7 student at Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School.

“I really enjoyed the hands-on learning involved in the plugging a tire activity,” said Lillian, also a Grade 7 student at Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School. “This event is great in that it allows students to explore careers in STEM and the Trades.”
Marketing Matters for Non-Profit Organizations
A non-profit organization doesn’t usually market products and services, instead it markets the work it does or the cause it supports. This message began a one-day workshop for SHSM students in the Non-Profit sector at Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School. Teresa Shaver from the Business Advisory Centre Durham delivered a presentation titled ‘Cause Marketing Matters’ to help students learn strategies that make fundraising successful for non-profit organizations.

Non-profit organizations face many challenges as they work to raise money so that they can offer services that help people in our community. Teresa’s workshop took students through important steps in the fundraising process. She stressed the importance of learning who your donor base is, clearly identifying the work the organization does and how it helps people and the community and designing a communications strategy that clearly states how money raised will help those in need. 

We wish to thank Teresa Shaver and the Business Advisory Centre Durham for offering this day and to Mrs. Cannon for bringing students from her Non-Profit SHSM program.   
Students sitting at round tables brainstorming
Students presenting their ideas for Lakeridge Health fundraising to hospital staff
Students presenting their ideas for a Lakeridge Health Summer DOC camp
Student presenting their schedule for a summer camp to hospital staff
Student presenting their marketing ideas for Summer DOC camp
Student presenting their ideas for the hospital foundation's Event in a Box kit
Lakeridge Health SHSM Student Conference
On October 16 and 22, Lakeridge Health hosted a special conference for 82 students from two of our high schools representing four different SHSM economic sectors. Lakeridge Health has been a strong supporter of DCDSB's Specialist High Skills Major program and has offered students a number of different unique learning opportunities over the past few years.

This two-day student conference began with students from Notre Dame and All Saints Catholic Secondary Schools spending time in the medical simulation labs under the direction of Dr. Suhair Clarke. Students participated in a number of simulations that are part of the regular training program for Lakeridge Health employees. After spending time in the simulation labs, students met staff from the LHEARN Centre and the Lakeridge Health Hospital Foundation and learned about some of the career pathways available in the healthcare field.

After lunch on day one, students were divided up into groups and presented a challenge they were to work on as a group. Five of the groups worked on a challenge from the Lakeridge Health Foundation. Their challenge was to design an ‘event-in-a-box’ resource for community groups to run third party events for the Foundation. While another five groups were asked by the LHEARN Centre to design a week long ‘Summer Doc’ day-camp program for senior high school students who were interested in pursuing careers in the medical field. 

On day two, students continued to work on their challenge with Lakeridge staff available for help. The highlight of the conference came in the afternoon when students presented their proposals to senior Lakeridge Health staff. Two winning groups were selected. Staff at Lakeridge Health were most impressed with the presentations and said that these presentations will be the building blocks for the new camp they plan to offer and a new resource the Foundation will be developing in its efforts to raise more money for the hospital.

Thank you to Lakeridge Health's staff for offering this two day conference which allowed 82 students to earn their SHSM Sector Partner Contextualized Experience. We are also grateful for the efforts of the SHSM lead teachers at Notre Dame and All Saints Catholic Secondary Schools for bringing their students to the conference.
Trades Day at the Kawartha Trades and Technology Centre
Intermediate students from Sir Albert Love Catholic School travelled to Fleming College, in Peterborough on Tuesday, October 22 and Friday, October 25 to participate in a Trades Day at the Kawartha Trades and Technology Centre.

Students participated in two hands on workshops:
  • Carpentry - where they made a chair to take home; and
  • Plumbing - where they made a coat rack out of PVC pipes.

Students learned about opportunities in the trades and courses available at the college. Students were encouraged to sign up for a Tech class and OYAP to explore the trades during high school. It was also reinforced to students that math is important when pursuing a career in the trades.
Students shared the following feedback with their teachers about the day:

"I enjoyed building the chair because I like to measure stuff and build things."

"I liked using the blow torch. Making the chair was really fun. It made me feel professional and it was a little bit challenging. The staff and adults were really nice. I would love to go again."

"I enjoyed seeing the college and everything inside of it."

"I really enjoyed doing carpentry. It was challenging and tiring but I still enjoyed it."
Students measuring in a trades classroom
Two male students in a carpentry classroom building
Student Voice
male and female student speaking
Male and female student with a video camera behind them
Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School Students Start an Education and Lifestyle Company
In December of 2018, Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School students, award-winning authors, partners and siblings Ra’eesa and Ali Baksh had the idea of starting a company that would blend their two individually written books, Make My World a Better Place and Teenagers Are Awesome . They wanted to create something that would give teenagers opportunities to have experiences that school may not provide, learn ways to expand their knowledge and be able to express how they feel.

In January, they launched their company APSOW, Awesome People Shaping Our World. APSOW is an education and lifestyle company that aims to teach youth about wealth, health and fame. To do this, Ra’eesa and Ali host conferences, programs, and Facebook live streams that cover the following topics:

  • Basic financial skills;
  • How to write a book;
  • Proper sleep routines;
  • Personal branding; and
  • Public Speaking.

On June 8, 2019, APSOW held a successful youth conference. Ra’eesa and Ali continue to go on Facebook live streams to further explain topics in their individual books and discuss important subjects with doctors and other guest speakers.

Going forward, APSOW is seeking to create more programs, conferences - online and live that will continue to spread their message of knowledge and empowerment.
Secondary Students share Highlights from their Cooperative Education Placements
Cooperative education students from Monsignor Paul Dwyer, Archbishop Denis O'Connor Catholic High Schools and St. Mary Catholic Secondary School share what they are enjoying about their placements. If you are interested in completing a cooperative education placement, please speak to your school's Guidance department or Cooperative Education teacher.
Female student with Ontario Tech Ridgeback Women's Hockey Team Equipment Manager.
What I love about my Cooperative Education Placement?
My name is Victoria and I'm a Grade 11 student at Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School completing a two-credit cooperative education placement with Ontario Tech Ridgeback Women's Hockey Team.

"I love how this program gives students an opportunity to try real-life employment situations, while being a part of an organization with a team of dedicated athletes and staff."
St. Mary Catholic Secondary School student, Aishani Gupta is completing her cooperative education placement at Sage Femmes Rouge Valley Midwives. The clinic is operated by trained healthcare professionals who help women prepare for childbirth and what to expect during labour, as well as post birth care.

"I am gaining experience working in the 'real' world, communicating with people, problem solving and making decision. I have gained a lot of knowledge in my placement and enjoy obtaining experience working with children."
Female student sitting at a desk at her coop placement
Male student working in a drug store pharmacy area
My name is Aidan and I am a cooperative education student from Archbishop Denis O'Connor Catholic High School. I am currently completing a placement at Shopper's Drug Mart and working in the pharmacy area of the store.

"I enjoy getting work experience and school credits at the same time. I also enjoy learning more about prescription medications and how a business is run."
Archbishop Denis O'Connor Catholic High School students, Matthew Heldsinger and Mateo Livoti are completing their placement at Sobey's in the bakery department.

"I like stacking the bread. I got to do a scavenger hunt to find where things are in the store. I enjoy it," said Matthew.

Mateo added, "I like coop because it is good experience for me so that when I get a job I have good skills. It is fun to work in the bakery section."
Two male students working in a bakery area of a grocery store
male student working on a car in an auto shop
Cooperative Education student, Tyler Whittingham is completing a placement at VanDusen Chevrolet Buick GMC, in Ajax.

"My favourite part about coop is how the people take you on as a student and teach you. They are so accepting and helpful. Being able to get first hand experience in the working world really helps you decide if you want to do a job for the rest of your life."
Students explore myBlueprint
As part of the Durham Catholic District School Board’s (DCDSB) commitment to Student Success and supporting the Ministry of Education’s mandate for  Creating Pathways to Success , DCDSB schools are in the process of transitioning to a new web-based program called myBlueprint Education Planner.

This program allows students in Grades 7 to 12 to develop Individual Pathway Plans, complete self-assessments, explore occupations and post-secondary programs and complete secondary course selections. myBlueprint will replace Career Cruising which was previously used by students to plan career pathways. 

myBlueprint has been supporting Ontario school boards for 13+ years and partners with more than 70% of the province. This service supports teachers, empowers students, and engages parents/guardians with their child’s education, career and life planning.

"It's such a quick sign-on to myBlueprint! Same login as our school system," noted Keiara, a Grade 12 student from St. Mary Catholic Secondary School. "There are rewards for various tasks, so the more tasks you complete, the more points you get. A certain number of points allows you to enter draws to win prizes...I kept earning points, and before I knew it I was on there for 3 hours."

Keiara added, "There is also scholarship opportunities available - overall it's a great program!"
myBlueprint logo
Group of female and male students holding Refugees welcome here signs on Parliament Hill
Notre Dame and St. Mary Catholic Secondary School Students Remind MPs that Refugees are Welcome Here
Students of Notre Dame and St. Mary Catholic Secondary Schools traveled to Parliament Hill with alumni Luke Stocking from Development and Peace (D & P) to meet with Members of Parliament and walk in solidarity with those who are forced to flee their home. 

The D & P Share the Journey Lenten Campaign works to bring awareness to the 68.5 million forcibly displaced children, women and men around the world. Majority of them bare the consequences of armed conflict, climate change, development mega projects and persecution, forcing them to be displaced. 

As leaders of the campaign in their respective schools, students met with Hon. Mark Holland, MP of Ajax and Jennifer O'Connell MP of Pickering-Uxbridge to hand deliver signed postcards from throughout the board to send a clear message to the Prime Minister. Students reminded our MPs that their constituents believe Canada needs to do more to address the root causes of forced migration. Students spoke to the importance of providing humanitarian aid for refugees and their host countries and asked MPs to make a commitment to support grassroots organizations working for peace, democracy and human rights. 
Thank you to Mr. Valookaran, Chaplain at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School who sponsored the bus to Ottawa. We are very proud of our students who represented the DCDSB who not only bring our faith into action at the level of Parliament, but continue to act in community to show that loving our neighbour has global dimensions! 
Upcoming Events
November 5 - Pathways to the Future ...Looking Beyond Secondary School
Special Education students and parents are invited to attend a carousel with community agencies to look at opportunities available to students after secondary school. The event takes place on Tuesday, November 5, 2019 from 2:00 -4:00 p.m. and again at 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Durham Catholic District School Board's Pope Francis Centre (652 Rossland Road West, Oshawa). Visit dcdsb.ca for more information.
Flyer promoting the Pathways to the Future event on November 5, 2019
Take our Kids to Work Day
November 6 - Take Your Kids to Work Day
On Wednesday, November 6, 2019 Grade 9 students will join their parents and guardians at work to learn more about career pathways. Speak to your school's Guidance department to learn more about this event.

November 21 - Durham Region Film Industry Career Fair
Are you interested in a career in the film industry? Stop by the Archbishop Anthony Meagher Catholic Continuing Education Centre in Oshawa on Thursday, November 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to learn about career opportunities in the industry.

Career fair poster for Durham Region Film Industry
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