Durham Catholic District School Board logo

Celebrating Student Success
Expanding Pathways for our Students' Futures
October 2019
Female student mixing as part of a demonstration at Farm Connection
Experiential Learning
Two female students holding Franco-Ontario flag with female Principal
Students and staff raising the Franco-Ontario flag
School community wearing white and green and waving
Celebrating Franco-Ontarian Day at our
Durham Catholic schools
On Wednesday, September 25, 2019, our Durham Catholic schools celebrated Franco-Ontarian Day by wearing green and white. Grade 3 and 4 students and staff at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic School, in Oshawa proudly raised the Franco-Ontario flag to recognize the vibrant culture of Francophones living in Ontario. The students sang our national anthem and the Francophone Ontarian song, while raising the flag.

Our board appreciates and acknowledges the diversity that the Francophone community brings to Ontario and the role that culture brings to language learning. Our students studying in all our French as a Second Language (FSL) programs, realize the vision of the FSL curriculum as they strive to learn about Canada, its two official languages and Francophone culture.
Secondary Students Explore Agriculture and Agri-Food Industry
More than 360 students at Archbishop Denis O’Connor Catholic High School rotated through stations to learn more about the Agriculture and Agri-Food Industry on Thursday, September 26, 2019. Durham Farm Connections provided the experiential learning event designed to enhance students’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation of agriculture.

One in eight jobs are in the agri-industry in Canada. Agriculture is also Durham Region's second largest sector contributing $200 million to the local economy.

The event provided students who aren't personally involved in farming with a better understanding about where our food comes from, while also focusing on:

  • Technology in Agriculture;
  •  Animal Care;
  • Crop Production & GMOs;
  • Soil and Aquatic Health;
  • Food Labeling;
  • Green Energy;
  • Organic Farming;
  • Enzyme Activity in Food Production;
  • Crop Protection; and
  • Job Opportunities in Agriculture.

"The highlight for me was learning about all the different careers available in farming," said Ariyah, a Grade 11 student at Archbishop Denis O'Connor Catholic High School. "It was interesting to learn the positive impacts that farming has on the community."

Grade 11 student, Carlos added, "I enjoyed learning all the new terminology associated with agriculture."

Female student learns how enzyme work in our food.
Two male adults talk about GMO and food production
Student learn how the watershed works and how fertilizer ends up in our water sources
Students standing in a church
Students standing outside by a lake
Role of Intermediate Guidance Teachers in Supporting Our Students
The role of the Intermediate Guidance Teacher aims to provide guidance for Grade 7 and 8 students adjusting to daily transitions within the elementary schools and to support Grade 8 students as they prepare to transition to high school. The Intermediate Guidance Teachers strive to support the development of Career Life Planning and to co-explore with students, potential career options that reflect individual interests and strengths.
The goal is for intermediate students to make informed decisions as they begin to develop a pathway plan and set goals for their future. The Intermediate Guidance Teacher collaborates with Grade 8 students and the intermediate classroom teacher to prepare for the transition to high school and acts as a liaison to build bridges between the elementary and secondary panel so that the transition to Grade 9 is as seamless as possible.  
Additional Intermediate Guidance Teacher duties include:
  • Utilize the Career/Life planning questions as a framework through a Catholic lens to support student critical thinking around career planning;

  • Co-plan and facilitate initiatives with the classroom teacher that help students explore areas or study and careers;

  • Collaborate with all stakeholders involved in transition planning for students;

  • Build relationships with students and gain insights around their strengths and interests;

  • Engage students in experiential learning and career exploration opportunities;

  • Encourage students to set goals and identify strengths;

  • Highlight the vast opportunities in the trades;

  • Support mental health and well-being initiatives; and

  • Emphasizing that there is an honorable pathway for everyone that is centred around the skill set, needs, strengths and interests of each student.
Students Harvest Vegetables while Earning a Dual Credit
In July, Durham Catholic students completed a Dual Credit course in “Propagation of Vegetables for Field and Urban Agriculture” at Durham College's Centre for Food, in Whitby. Dual Credit courses are an opportunity for eligible students to earn both a high school and college credit.

The course was taught by a high school teacher who delivered the secondary course curriculum and a college instructor delivered the college curriculum. "Dual Credit courses is a good way for students to transition from secondary school to College," said Stephen Hughes, Student Success Coordinator at the Durham Catholic District School Board.

Students benefit from a Dual Credit Program in a number of ways:

  • students experience a college course, while still in high school;

  • increased awareness of the various college and apprenticeship programs available;

  • students visit the college in order to tour the campus and learn about opportunities in college;

  • students experience a positive transition to college life, should they pursue this pathway, as they gain first-hand knowledge and understanding of post-secondary expectations; and

  • students' costs for textbooks and bus transportation are covered by the program.
Students are picking garlic in a farm field
Students in a farm field picking garlic
Expanding Pathways
Male student working in a wood working shop
Exploring Careers in the Skilled Trades through Cooperative Education
Meet Kurtis Kraupa, a Cooperative Education student from Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School. This semester, Kurtis is working at Lake Scugog Lumber, in Port Perry learning more about a career in the carpentry trade.

Lake Scugog Lumber has a rich, 88 year history in Durham Region supplying businesses with their building needs. Kurtis is gaining practical skills and learning how to build roof trusses in a growing industry.
Removing Barriers to Employment following Graduation
In June 2019, St. Mary Catholic Secondary School hosted Kevin Wilson from VPI Working Solutions to present an information session to Grade 12 graduating students. Over 15 students, that self-identified as taking a gap year or being workplace bound, attended the session in the chapel and learned about Employment Ontario's Youth Job Connection workshop. 

Youth Job Connection (YJC) serves youth between the ages of 15-29 years of age, who are not enrolled in school and may have barriers to employment. The program offers 60 hours of paid pre-employment training and matches youth to meaningful part time or full time employment opportunities. 

The students listened attentively to Kevin as he explained details about the program and asked questions about the program and local community employment partners. Students were flattered to be invited to the session and are eager to follow up with VPI after final exams and graduation. Many students shared that the Youth Job Connection program could help bridge the gap from high school to the world of work and were excited to meet a community partner that could assist this transition. 

Submitted by: Melissa Wilson-Clark
Co-operative Education Teacher
St. Mary C.S.S. 
Male adult presenting to a room of students
A presentation slide that addresses hiring, learning and training
Student Voice
How is Your School building a Community of Hope and Student Engagement?

The 2019-2020 school year is the Year of Hope at the Durham Catholic District School Board. During the Year of Hope, our board remains committed to student engagement and increasing student voice, by listening to and learning from our students.

To encourage more student voice, this newsletter will be featuring an article written by a Durham Catholic student every month. If you are interested in writing an article that highlights how your school is building a community of hope and engagement, please speak to your school's Student Senator or your Principal to submit an article and photos.

Submissions can be emailed to communications@dcdsb.ca .

Year of Hope. We are Hope for the World
Upcoming Events
Are you Interested in a Career in Policing?
The Durham Regional Police Services (DRPS) welcome aspiring individuals to a Diversity Recruiting Symposium to gain exposure towards a policing career. The symposium is an opportunity to meet members of DRPS’s organization including the Recruiting Unit to learn about the hiring process and what it takes to become a member of the Durham Regional Police Service.
What exposure you will receive from the DRPS Diversity Recruiting Symposium:
  • Panel discussion with members on how policing has affected their lives
  • Police Information Session on the current hiring process
  • Participate in mock interviews
  • Use of Force Demonstration
  • Learn why Durham Regional Police Service is best for you!

The symposium takes place on Saturday, October 26, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Pine Ridge Secondary School, 2155 Liverpool Road, Pickering. Space is limited and registration is required. Click here to register .
Durham Regional Police Services logo
Ontario Power Generation Open House flyer
Tree with roots and working Rooted in Faith
Durham Catholic District School Board
650 Rossland Road West,
Oshawa, ON
Phone: 905-576-6150 | Visit us at dcdsb.ca