The 12th Annual Bishop’s Cup, held on Wednesday, March 7 at the Cornwall Civic Complex drew a packed house again this year. The St. Joseph’s Secondary School (Cornwall, Ontario) Panthers beat out the Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School (Cornwall, Ontario) Falcons with an 6-3 final score.
The energy and school spirit was abundant and it was an exciting evening for everyone for a great cause! Donations for St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank were collected by the two participating high schools, as well as admission donations at the door.
CDSBEO has engaged in rigorous and purposeful Renewed Mathematics Strategy programming and learning for both students and staff over the past two years. This plan aligns with the Ministry of Education’s focus on increasing student achievement, increasing educator math knowledge, and building capacity in the area of mathematics.
Principal of Curriculum Dawn Finnegan, and Curriculum Consultant Patrick McLeod, presented details of the CDSBEO Renewed Math Strategy to the Board of Trustees. This is the second year of Ontario’s Renewed Math strategy (RMS) and the CDSBEO continues to take intensive and targeted steps to improve mathematics achievement across the Board.
“The Ministry of Education has clearly outlined the four main objectives of Ontario’s Renewed Mathematics Strategy. The first priority is focused on increasing student achievement, well-being and engagement in mathematics,” began Mrs. Finnegan. “We want our students to understand and have a growth mindset towards mathematical learning. Naturally, the second objective is to increase educator math knowledge and their pedagogical expertise; this priority will help teachers as they continue to enhance and engage their students in innovative approaches to learning mathematics.”
She continued, “The third area of focus is to increase leader knowledge of effective mathematics pedagogy which will continue to contribute to system improvement. Finally, the fourth objective is another fundamental piece of improving achievement in mathematics, which is increasing parent engagement in their children’s mathematical learning. Our presentation tonight will outline the many ways that the CDSBEO is ensuring that these key objectives are being fulfilled.”
The CDSBEO has created a Numeracy Learning Cycle that has been in place since 2017. There are a number of integral components that allow educators and school leaders to come together to collaborate and share best practices around mathematics education. These components include: the Principal Advisory Committee, a leadership steering committee unique to CDSBEO in Eastern Ontario; the Leaders in the Middle sessions, which brings together principals, special education teachers and mathematics leads from each school to provide guidance and resources to help school teams increase student achievement in mathematics; the Regional Math Sessions, a joint effort between the Curriculum and Special Education Departments that emphasizes both the mathematic curriculum expectations and essential strategies and supports for all students, as well as students with additional learning needs; and, the school-based Divisional Math Meetings, which take place three times per year, and give school teams an opportunity to examine the strategies discussed at the Regional Meetings, as well as the Leaders in the Middle sessions. These professional development opportunities are an excellent means to build teaching capacity, and to encourage educator collaboration and learning.
A number of mathematics resources have also been developed by the board to help ensure supportive math learning for students.
“The Curriculum Department’s Weekly Tips highlights resources that can be used in the classroom,” explained Curriculum Consultant Patrick McLeod. “Over the past two years, this weekly email has included a math puzzle of the week. The purpose of the puzzle is to have students think critically about mathematics and how they can use their knowledge of computation to solve the value of each puzzle piece. Amazingly, these puzzles have taken off, and students are now building their own puzzles to share with their peers.”
Students have described the puzzles as a fun and engaging way to learn mathematics and solve problems.
The Curriculum Department also released Olympic themed resources in the areas of numeracy, literacy, French as a second language, Indigenous studies and Kindergarten. The math team provided schools with math questions for every strand in the primary, junior and intermediate divisions. Teachers appreciated these resources as it demonstrated ways to make cross-curricular connections between mathematical concepts and an important global and cultural event.
Technology is also used across the Board to help engage students in math learning. Tools include Dreambox, Math is Visual, and Explain Everything. These tools help students to assess and learn math through varied means, including images, visuals, videos, spoken words, games, and other activities.
Other events and professional development opportunities have been provided for educators at all levels, including the Early Years Math Collaborative Inquiry, Junior Numeracy Skill Builder Sessions, the Grade 9 Numeracy Foundations Course, Senior Math Tournaments, and Parent Math Nights to help engage parents in math learning.
Watch how CDSBEO students are engaged in math learning through the Problem of the Week!
Congratulations to St. Michael Catholic High School Mustang Swimmers for a fantastic performance at the OFSAA Swimming Championships held in Windsor this past Tuesday and Wednesday. Grade 12 student, Keanna Jorgensen capped off her OFSAA swimming career, earning two twentieth place finishes in the senior girls 100m individual medley and 50m butterfly events. In his first appearance at the meet, Noah Penney swam to a thirty-first place finish in the junior boys 100m freestyle, equaling his best time. Kate Waytowich earned two top ten finishes, a first for any swimmer from St. Michael. On Tuesday, Kate placed 7th in the para-women’s 50m freestyle, and then followed that up with a 5th place finish in the 100m freestyle on Wednesday. Congratulations to all three competitors!
On Thursday, February 22, 2018, the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario gathered with members of the Catholic school community through the Catholic Education Coalition (CEC), to preserve, promote, and protect Catholic education.
Bishop Gerard Bergie of the Diocese of St. Catharines, joined the CEC at the event and offered words of inspiration in his keynote address. His Excellency spoke about the inspiration that exists through the history of Catholic education and the saints, and how hope for the future lives in the possibilities for Catholic education in the future.
The Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program lets students focus on a career path that matches their skills and interests while meeting the requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.
Leon Haughian, SHSM Pathways Consultant, presented a report to the Board regarding SHSM program enrolment, demographics and future expansion. “A SHSM program allows students in grades 11 and 12 to focus their learning on a specific economic sector,” explained Mr. Haughian. “They may obtain special certification (called Red Seal), gain co-operative education credits, sector recognized certifications, participate in experiential learning activities, and develop specialized knowledge and skills.”
The CDSBEO Specialist High Skills Major Program is now in its twelfth year, and offers 24 programs in nine economic sectors. There are currently 510 students enrolled in a SHSM program, with the most popular sectors being Health and Wellness (164), Hospitality and Tourism (121), and Construction (65).
For the 2016-2017 school year, 22 per cent of students in grade 11 and 12 were enrolled in a Specialist High Skills Major; this compares to 13 per cent provincially.
“Our Board does a great job in identifying learners with additional needs, and bringing these students into these programs to help them to graduate and attain their diploma,” noted Mr. Haughian.
Students in the program are able to access many opportunities to learn about career planning and entrepreneurial skills. Teachers support students throughout their program and ensure that they are on track to attain the necessary, and sometimes demanding requirements, particularly with regard to various certifications. In the Board last year, 67 per cent of the students in the SHSM program attained their Red Seal, which is a rigorous certification process. Provincially, this number stands at about 53 per cent.
“New this year, we started the Agriculture Program at Holy Trinity. It is a very exciting program, which teaches students how to grow crops,” noted Mr. Haughian. “We have a very passionate lead teacher there, Michael Smith. There are very few of these programs in Ontario, so we are pleased to be able to offer this unique opportunity to our students.”
Throughout the year, SHSM lead teachers have the opportunity to participate in various learning opportunities, including various in-services, conferences, and Ministry of Education sessions. On March 21, the Board will be hosting a SHSM Lead Teacher/Coop Teacher Professional Development Session. In addition, students from various SHSM programs participate each year, in a myriad of skills competitions including a Culinary Skills Competition, and the Eastern Ontario Skills Competition.
The Construction Program at Notre Dame Catholic High School is now in its eleventh year. In the past the school has participated in building camper cabins for the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, and now Tyler Soares, lead teacher, has developed a new community partnership with Valley Sheds in Carleton Place to create opportunities for the students to learn through hands-on projects.
“Carleton Place is a booming area, and the school was fortunate to have the opportunity to build three sheds for Valley Sheds this year. The sheds have a little less details for the interior finishing than the camper cabins, but the students built three units rather than one,” noted Mr. Soares.
“There was just enough time to complete the project during the semester. It really gives the students a sense of accomplishment seeing the end product, and they also have an opportunity to really develop the skills required to follow their pathway.”
Notre Dame CHS graduate Jesse Hilts completed the SHSM Construction Program as part of his high school diploma. “Doing the Specialist High Skills Major in high school really helped me, and gave me a positive learning experience, and the hands on learning that I needed. I did two coops at different companies, and through that I gained hours toward my apprenticeship.”
“I really had a head start on safety and how to use tools, making it easier to get jobs. The experience also made school at lot more interesting,” he continued.
“I think it’s great that when you visit the school the cabins are in plain view, and the community knows that this amazing learning is taking place at Notre Dame,” noted Trustee Nancy Kirby. “I have also been impressed, in past years, by the number of female students that participate in Construction Technology. That is a testament to the success of the program.”
On February 28, 2018, we encourage everyone to practice kindness and wear pink to symbolize that you do not tolerate bullying. In addition, the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Champlain East in partnership with STEO, UCDSB, CDSBEO and Kids Help Phone have joined forces to launch a poster campaign in all school buses operated by Student Transportation of Eastern Ontario. The poster launch is expected on Pink Shirt Day as a reminder to students that Kids Help Phone is always open, whenever and wherever, and in any moment of crisis or need.
The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario Curriculum Department continues to build capacity with both teachers and students to implement Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as well as Coding initiatives system-wide. The Board has been on a journey over the past few years to move from traditional ways of using technology in instruction and learning, to leveraging 21st century tools. Coding requires computational thinking, which is embedded throughout the Ontario Curriculum. Because of this, educators can incorporate code into learning for all curriculum areas.
Andrew Lovett, Technology Enabled Learning and Teaching Consultant, presented information to the Board about CDSBEO’s STEM initiatives, and how technology enabled learning is assisting teachers to explore and learn various ways to implement Coding/STEM into classroom learning.
“The Ministry of Education is currently focused on students developing Michael Fullan’s six “C’s” of education: character, citizenship, communication, critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration and creativity,” began Mr. Lovett. “Cloud based learning and coding, or computational thinking, provides an amazing opportunity for students to develop 21st century skills, and CDSBEO has introduced an amazing capacity building series that will bring Coding and STEM to all of our elementary classrooms.”
CDSBEO teachers are focused on developing rich lessons for students. Technology is embedded throughout the learning journey, where it can enhance or enable learning, foster student engagement, and equip students with 21st century competencies. The Coding/STEM initiatives promote student collaboration, learning, technological thinking, and exciting learning opportunities for the students.
“The CDSBEO Curriculum Department has devised a comprehensive Technology Enabled Learning and Teaching Strategic Plan that builds on the past four years of work in this area. The plan will place Coding/STEM at the forefront of our system-wide capacity building initiatives this year,” continued Mr. Lovett.
The Board will host three days of capacity building and learning around Coding/STEM where two teachers from each elementary school will participate in a full day of learning. The initiative is designed to enable innovators and early adopters to infuse these initiatives into their classroom learning experiences. The teachers who participate will then share these new strategies with other teachers and students at their respective schools.
In December, 15 teachers attended a special day of professional learning around these tools, and as a result, several school communities throughout the Board are embracing new learning opportunities through STEM and Coding. Teachers in several schools have begun to design learning tasks for students using Minecraft EDU, Scratch, Makey Makey and the Microbit.
The Board will host the Board-wide elementary professional development opportunities for teachers in March. STEM kits will be provided to each school at the sessions, which include ten Microbit programmable computers.
“This presentation has certainly provided examples of some very exciting learning opportunities that are taking place within our schools, and we really look forward to seeing these initiatives grow,” noted Chair Todd Lalonde.
In the spring of 2015, the Board approved the implementation of an International Education program for the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario, to begin in the fall of 2015. The program accepts students from across the world to enjoy the benefits of the first class Catholic education system available through the CDSBEO. As well, it provides our own students with the opportunity to benefit from daily interactions with International students.
Principal of Hanley Hall School of Alternative and Continuing Education, Dave Chaplin, presented information on the continued growth of the program to the Board of Trustees.
Mr. Chaplin began, “The program has experienced a lot of growth over the three years, and we are pleased with its overall success. I am happy to be here this evening to share the details of International Education in the CDSBEO.”
“The International program is an opportunity for students from across the globe to enjoy the benefits of a first class Catholic education system. The program also provides our own students with the opportunity to benefit from daily interactions with international students. It is our hope that this learning opportunity will bring a global perspective into the classroom, and help promote diversity and foster cultural awareness in CDSBEO schools.”
Staff and students are very excited to welcome international students to their schools and communities. During the 2017-2018 school year, 93 students from nine countries will attend CDSBEO schools. This number is up from 71 students in 2016-2017.
Principals and staff have played an important role in welcoming the students and ensuring their wellbeing, and the experience has been extremely positive.
“We have had more students asking about international exchange opportunities, and it has helped to open their minds about globalization and a larger world. Both parties are learning, from one another,” continued Mr. Chaplin. “We’ve formed great relationships with other international schools and organizations, and we are finding that there are a lot of options for program expansion.”
International students coming into the Board have the opportunity to enhance their language skills, and experience the richness of Canadian culture. Moving forward, the Board will continue to support current partners, and will expand and develop new partnerships in South East Asia (Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand), South America (Brazil, Columbia, Chile), and Europe (Germany, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Italy).
Student Ana Paula Juarez Mendoza from Monterey, north of Mexico City, spoke to the Board about her most memorable moments.
“I wanted to study abroad because my older brother went to study in France, and he told me about his experiences. When he came back I noticed a change in him – he was more mature. I wanted a similar experience,” she explained. “In Mexico, there is no such thing as a locker, and I didn’t know how to open a lock! Since arriving here, I have become more independent, and my English has improved. The people at Notre Dame where I am studying are really nice, and I like that people are interested in learning about my culture and where I am from.”
Juan Demetrio Martinez Sandin from Madrid, Spain noted that he likes the way that students learn in Canada.
“In Spain we spend more time studying and listening, but here we speak more, and do more projects, and less exams and tests, so, I prefer that type of learning.”
Xiyan (Leo) Li from Beijing, China noted that his parents really wanted him to learn through experiences.
“My parents really wanted me to see more and to learn abroad. I really like the school in Canada because we go for a six hour school day, and in China we have a 16 hour school day! My teachers are friendly, and I really feel the sense of community at Notre Dame. I also really like my host family. It’s been a really, really great experience to meet all of these new friends here in Canada.”
He continued, “I do find that it’s really, really cold here – in Beijing -10 is just -10, it’s not -10 but feels like its -20! And also, I really don’t like the snow in Canada, but my favourite thing in Canada is snow days!”
“Thank you all, so much, for sharing your experiences with us. It has certainly been a pleasure hearing your stories,” noted Chair Lalonde.
St. Joseph Catholic Secondary School, Cornwall – Thursday, February 8, 2018 – 6:30 p.m.
St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic High School, Russell – Thursday, February 8, 2018 – 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
St. Francis Xavier Catholic High School, Hammond – Thursday, February 8 – 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
St. Matthew Catholic Secondary School, Cornwall – Tuesday, February 13 – 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Notre Dame Catholic High School, Carleton Place – Thursday, February 15 – 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
St. Michael Catholic High School, Kemptville – Thursday, February 15 – 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
St. Mary Catholic High School, Brockville – Wednesday, February 21 – 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
The Catholic school community of St. Francis Xavier CHS in Hammond was privileged to have the opportunity to venerate the relic of its patron saint, St. Francis Xavier, on Friday, February 2. The relic, which is the forearm of St. Francis Xavier, as well as his body, are incorrupt – they have not experienced natural decay since his death in 1552.
In a news release about the pilgrimage, Terrence Prendergast, SJ, Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Ottawa notes, “Saint Francis Xavier is one of the most revered saints of all time. He was a man of extraordinary courage and faith who shared the Gospel message of Jesus with thousands across southeast Asia, Goa and India.”
The relic pilgrimage began on Wednesday, January 3 in Quebec City, and made its way to 15 cities across Canada for veneration. The pilgrimage was organized by the Archdiocese of Ottawa, the Canadian Jesuits and Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO), a national university student movement, as a gift for the Church in Canada at the close of the 150th anniversary year.
The event was attended by students from St. Francis Xavier CHS, as well as students from nearby CDSBEO elementary schools including St. Jude, St. Patrick and Pope John Paul II. Members of the school community were also in attendance, along with CDSBEO trustees and administrators.
Angèle Regnier, Co-Founder of Catholic Christian Outreach, spoke to the students about the life of St. Francis Xavier, and how the pilgrimage of the relic is an extraordinary opportunity to experience God’s love, and a unique occasion to personally encounter the tender heart of Jesus.
“The bones of our saints are sacred, and they are an opportunity to get even closer to our saints. God chooses to work through people, and places – he chooses to raise up saints to do his work in the world. The hand of St. Francis Xavier is one that has baptized tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people across Asia. So when you come and venerate today, you need to know this is very, very special, because even if you were to go to India to see his body, it is only lowered for touching once per decade. If you were to go to see this arm in Rome, it would be 20 feet above you, high up on an altar. But today, you will be face to face with this relic. This is very, very special. This is an opportunity for you to have an encounter with God, and with his dear servant St. Francis Xavier.”
The CCO is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2018 – a milestone that was also the main catalyst of the visit.
“We could have never planned or foreseen such a gift for our 30th anniversary year,” said Angèle Regnier, in a December news release. “Saint Francis Xavier is one of our patron saints, so Archbishop Prendergast suggested we ask for the relic. Francis’ life resonates with young people who admire his story of conversion as a university student through his roommates.”
Each person in attendance was given an opportunity to venerate and offer written intentions. The relic will return to Rome on February 3.
Angèle Regnier addresses students at St. Francis Xavier CHS.
The relic of St. Francis Xavier. Photo courtesy of CCO.