50th anniversary logo for the Durham Catholic District School Board

Celebrating Student Success
Expanding Pathways for our Students' Futures
October 2019
Female student scans a code using an iPad and app to facilitate learning.
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)

This year, our Student Senators will submit articles that highlight their school communities, while exploring the true meaning of joy and recognizing joy as a gift/fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Year of Joy image - Make a joyful noise to the Lord all the earth
Mental Health and Wellness
Mental Health model
The Aligned and Integrated Model (AIM) for School Mental Health and Well-Being
Developing positive mental health is the foundation to student academic achievement and overall well-being. The school environment has an important impact on a student’s sense of belonging and overall mental health and there are many ways that educators can, and do, contribute to creating and sustaining a welcoming and inclusive school climate. The Aligned and Integrated Model (AIM) for School Mental Health and Well-Being demonstrates the tiered support model that aligns with other key Ministry of Education initiatives. 

On the bottom tier, when schools WELCOME, INCLUDE, UNDERSTAND, PROMOTE and PARTNER, they create conditions that enable learning and well-being for ALL students. On the second tier, by noticing and through early identification, educators can take action to PREVENT, SUPPORT and BOLSTER the skills of SOME students who may be experiencing difficulty with their mental health. Finally, at the top tier, school and mental health professionals can collaborate to INTERVENE for the FEW students who require more intensive supports.

The “PARTNER” triangle on the bottom tier emphasizes the importance of home, school and community partnerships. This includes educators working together with families to support learning and well-being, recognizing the expertise of the parent/guardian; providing opportunities for ongoing dialogue to discuss the child’s progress, to support mental health, and reduce stigma about mental illness; partnering to develop a consistent classroom and home plan of support when students are struggling with learning or mental well-being; and knowing how to support families to access mental health services within the school or community.
The AIM model was developed by School Mental Health ASSIST, the provincial mental health leadership team which supports Ontario school boards in promoting student mental health and well-being. For more information on SMH-ASSIST and to access tools, resources and on-line learning, please visit: www.smh-assist.ca .

Diane Mullane,
DCDSB Mental Health Leader
Experiential Learning
Durham Catholic Students Teach the Teachers with Classroom Apps
On September 18, 2018 students from St. Theresa and St. Matthew the Evangelist Catholic Schools taught teachers from across the Durham Catholic School Board how to use classroom apps like Padlet, Clips, Flipgrid and Brightspace. The event highlighted the latest technology being used in classrooms by students.

The students learned how to use the apps last year, when their class was involved in a learning project created by Teacher Loretta Traynor from St. Theresa Catholic School and Patriza Bortoluzzi, Librarian at St. Matthew the Evangelist Catholic School.

The teachers received a learning grant that allowed them to purchase iPads and connect with students from Marjorie Mills Public School in Longlac, Ontario - a community where more than 80% of its students are Indigenous. "It was a great opportunity for the students in the three schools to learn, while using technology to share their ideas," said Loretta Traynor.

Matteo Nawrocki, a Grade 4 student at St. Matthew the Evangelist Catholic School demonstrated how to use the Padlet app to write to his pen pal in Longlac. Padlet lets students share their writing, drawing, photos and records their message to share with classmates.

Other apps such as Flipgrid allows students a video discussion forum, while Clips is used to make videos with text and special effects. Finally, Brightspace is a digital portfolio app for documenting a student's work.

"The apps have created equity among students," added Loretta Traynor. "For students who are shy or not comfortable talking in front of others, they can record their voice or share their writing via an app."
Two male students demonstrating how to use an app to three female teachers
Two female student showing two female teachers how to use an app
Three female students making a short video with an app
Raising the Franco-Ontarian Flag is a school gym
Group of students on the stage with adults standing up front with Franco-Ontarian flag on the side.
Students proudly waving mini handmade Franco-Ontarian flags while the choir sang.
Celebrating Franco-Ontarian Day at the Durham Catholic District School Board
Our schools across the region celebrated Franco-Ontarian Day on Tuesday, September 25, 2018 in recognition of the contributions that Ontario’s Francophone community have provided the province. “Students and staff are wearing green and white to celebrate the Francophone culture, history and language in Ontario,” said Carol Caputo, Teaching and Learning Consultant for French as a Second Language at the Durham Catholic District School Board.

Students and staff at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic School celebrated by singing O Canada in French, listening to remarks from the Director of Education, Anne O’Brien and Chair of the Board, Tricia Chapman. Followed by the raising the Franco-Ontarian flag and students proudly waving mini-handmade Franco-Ontarian flags in the school’s gym.

The Durham Catholic District School Board offers French Immersion at 13 of our elementary schools and Extended French at three of our secondary schools. The Core French program is offered to all students beginning in Grade 4. Learn more about our French language programs and how they are opening doors to opportunities for our students, click here for video .
Easing the Transition to Secondary School for Grade 9 Students
For many Grade 9 students, the first day of high school can be a source of anxiety and stress. To ease the transition, the Durham Catholic District School Board piloted a Grade 9 orientation day in all of its secondary schools on Tuesday, September 4, 2018. 

“The first day is devoted to our Grade 9 students and helping them make the transition to secondary school,” said Mr. Gerry O’Reilly Superintendent of Education. “We want students to succeed and we know that little things like learning how to use a combination lock for the first time can be intimidating.”

The concept of a Grade 9 Orientation Day came after surveying Grade 9 students in December 2017 to find out how their transition to secondary school was and determine process improvements. “The feedback from students as part of the survey was clear - they wanted tours of the school, they wanted to put faces to the names of teachers, learn how to join schools’ clubs and teams and meet key staff members such as Guidance teachers and Chaplains which they don’t have access to in elementary school,” said Superintendent of Education, Mr. O'Reilly.
“Student well-being is important to us and offering a day were students can learn the basics without worrying is key to a student’s happiness and success.”

Grade 9 students at Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School started their day with a welcome assembly and liturgy, followed by a tour of the school and finding their lockers and classrooms. “Students had three opportunities throughout the day to try using their lockers,” noted Mrs. Kelly Denomme, Principal at Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School. “They also had an opportunity to learn about the different classes/subjects available to them in secondary school and how to join our schools’ clubs, sports teams and activities that make Austin special throughout the year.”

“I’m finding today extremely helpful,” said Carissa Armorer, Grade 9 student at Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School. “Staff are friendly; I’m making new friends, finding my classrooms and feel more comfortable about navigating the school.” Fellow Austin student, Lucas Greto added, “I feel pretty at ease and have already had an opportunity to find my locker and open my lock – it’s great to have one less thing to worry about.”
Female Grade 9 student standing with two  Grade 9 male students by a row of lockers
Female Principal helping female student open her combination lock for the first time.
Female and male students standing with a male and female adult beside the Indigenous Education banner We Walk the Path Together
Introducing the Student Representatives on the Indigenous Education Advisory Circle
In September 2018, student members of the Indigenous Education Advisory Circle met for the first time to learn about their role as student ambassadors for Indigenous Education at the Durham Catholic District School Board.

Congratulations to:
  • Emma and Sarah, from Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School; 

  • Lillian, from Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School;

  • Noah, from All Saints Catholic Secondary School;

  • Shilah and Shakira, from Archbishop Denis O'Connor Catholic High School; and

  • Oneida, from St. Mary Catholic Secondary School.
Expanding Pathways
Showcasing Co-operative Education at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School
As part of a student's co-operative education experience, the students at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School host a co-operative education fair. During this event, students present their co-op experiences, including placement details, skills gained through their placements and labour research about the occupation.

Grade 7 students from St. Elizabeth Seton and St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Schools visit the Co-op showcase and completed a scavenger hunt activity as they engaged in conversation with St. Mary students about co-op opportunities and career exploration. Students have an opportunity to ask questions about skilled trades, apprenticeship pathways and find information about local career opportunities in Pickering. 

This opportunity helps St. Mary students to refine their research skills and make connections to other essential skills and work habits they gain through their co-op experiences. They also enhanced their communication skills as they field questions from the Grade 7 students in a carousal format. 
Two female student stand beside their display boards created on their co-operative education experience.
Student talking to cooperative education students about their experience and learning about career options and pathways.
The Director of Education stands with four male students and a male teacher in front of a statue of Jesus
Take Our Kids to Work Day - Share your Experience!
We are a few short weeks away from  Take Our Kids to Work Day , occurring on Wednesday, November 14, 2018. All Grade 9 students will participate in this one day experiential learning opportunity and learn about career options.

Grade 9 students are encouraged to share their experience via social media #KidsToWork or send a student testimonial and photo to communications@dcdsb.ca for a story in December's issue of Celebrating Student Success newsletter. 
Prepare for Work or a Post-Secondary Program with Employment Preparation and Training programs at Archbishop Anthony Meagher CCEC.
Earning high school credits while training for new job opportunities, or while continuing to work at your current job, can be achieved with the help of educators at the Archbishop Anthony Meagher Catholic Continuing Education Centre .
The wide range of programs available includes employment preparation courses www.con-ed.ca/en/employment-preparation-training that offer high school credits, certifications and connections to employers, which allows learners 18 years of age or older to prepare for the workplace or post-secondary study. Employment preparation programs include child care assistant, customer service training, hospitality and tourism and personal support worker certification. A Work-4-Credits program allows adult learners to keep their current day job while earning high school credits in cooperative education.
A popular program is the child care assistant program, which begins January 31 st at both the Ajax campus (458 Fairall St., Unit 7) and Oshawa campus (850 King St. W., Unit 26).
“We did our labour market research and there are opportunities in Durham Region for child care placements,” says Vice Principal Stacey Ritchie, noting the education centre has formed partnerships with child care providers. “We’ve developed a program to meet the needs of the community and provide our students with on-the-job experience.”
The child care assistant course includes 10 weeks of classroom training and nine weeks of on-the-job training in a licensed child care facility. The program focuses on child development and is also valuable preparation for entry into the field as a child care assistant, or post-secondary study for those who want to continue on to a career as an Early Childhood Educator (ECE) or Child Development Practitioner.
There is no cost for tuition but certifications and materials costs $395, and the course includes CPR, first aid, WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) training, safe food handling and infection control.
“Previous participants have moved on to either work in the field or continue their education in college or through an apprenticeship,” says Jensen Andrews, child care assistant program instructor.
Child care assistant program applicants need to pass a literacy test, clear a criminal reference check, and have up-to-date immunizations. Those registering for the program will go through an interview first to ensure they meet the requirements to work in a registered child care facility.
The personal support worker program also includes classroom training and a co-op placement, with the majority of students finding jobs when they’ve completed the program. Tuition is free but there is a $900 materials fee, which includes textbooks, workshops and certifications.
Those who already hold a job and want to earn high school credits can check out the Work-4-Credits program, which allows adult students to earn co-op credits through their current job. They can also sign up for correspondence courses or e-learning courses to further their education.
“Students don’t have to quit their jobs, because we have flexible options,” notes Ms. Ritchie. “We support individualized programming for adults who may have work or family commitments.”
The customer service program begins January 7 th at the Oshawa campus, and emphasizes business and communication skills. Students earn high school credits and certifications, and participate in nine weeks of classroom training and a cooperative job placement. A fee of $195 includes certifications, textbooks and materials. 
Anyone aged 18 and older currently not enrolled in secondary school is welcome to register at the education centre, regardless of faith or which school system they attended in the past.
A course guide can be downloaded from the Archbishop Anthony Meagher Catholic Continuing Education Centre website www.con-ed.ca . Or call the Ajax campus at 905-683-7713, or the Oshawa campus at 905-438-0570.
Two female students practicing how to change an infant's diaper
Male student pushing a female patient in a wheelchair.
Student Achievement
Cheering on our two male students as the run the 50m race at the Special Olympics Ontario Schools Championship Durham Track and Field Qualifier.
Cheering on our Special Olympics Athletics
Students from across Durham Region gathered on September 20 at Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School to participate in the Special Olympics Ontario Schools Championship Durham Track and Field Qualifier.

Congratulations to all the students who participated and qualified to represent Durham Region at the Provincial Games.
2018 Darlington Refurbishment Open House
Considering a career in the trades or love science and technology? Then bring your friends and family to OPG's Darlington Energy Complex on Saturday, October 27 to learn about Canada’s largest clean energy project and the skilled professionals who are helping to power Ontario’s future.

More than 2,000 visitors attended last year's open house. This year they anticipate an even larger turnout as they mark the second anniversary since the start of the refurbishment on Darlington’s Unit 2 reactor. 

Saturday, October 27, 2018
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Darlington Energy Complex
1855 Energy Drive,
Courtice, ON L1E 0E7

Male adult showing two female students and their mother how to operate a nuclear reactor.
Durham Catholic District School Board
650 Rossland Road West,
Oshawa, ON
Phone: 905-576-6150 | Visit us at dcdsb.ca