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Religious Education

The Department of Religious and Family Life Education department works diligently to provide ongoing opportunities and resources to enhance faith formation for students and staff so that we can all increase our ability to be witnesses to our faith. This is accomplished through a variety of initiatives:

 

Programming

The Department of Religious and Family Life Education is committed to providing quality programming and resources  in the areas of Religious and Family Life Education, as well as Catholic Character Curriculum. We provide ongoing support to implement our unique Religious and Family Life Education Programs from the Canadian and Ontario Conferences of Catholic Bishops. The Department:

  • supports the implementation of Religious and Family Life Education programs across the Board, K – 12;
  • develops and distributes resources to school communities to support the development of the designated Board theme within the broader context of Catholic Character Development Curriculum;
  • provides essential resources on an ongoing basis each year, to assist school communities to fully explore and bring to life the seasons of the liturgical year and special events (i.e. canonizations, Year of Faith);
  • provides financial assistance to schools to purchase new and/or revised resources, to ensure that program materials are current, and provides teacher in-service  in a timely fashion for all new Curriculum programs;
  • supports school communities on an ongoing basis in the delivery of programs which complement the Religious and Family Life Curriculum, such as Care For Kids, a healthy sexuality and sexual abuse awareness program for Kindergarten students;
  • develops and facilitates school-based CPLCs (Catholic Professional Learning Communities) focusing on Religious and Family Life Education (planning, instruction, assessment and evaluation);
  • collects and interprets data from school-level assessments for Religious and Family Life Education.

 

Service in Faith

The Department of Religious and Family Life Education is committed to providing service that is designed to assist students and staff deepen their understanding of the tenets of our Catholic faith.  The Department:

  • supports school communities in many ways – assisting with sacramental preparation, assisting in organizing and facilitating retreats for students and staff, and providing crisis response support as needed;
  • liaises regularly with faith ambassadors and chaplaincy leaders (each elementary school has a designated faith ambassador, and each secondary school a chaplain or chaplaincy leader), these key partners are supported on an ongoing basis in terms of resources, supporting financially their membership in relevant organizations, and opportunities for professional development;
  • develops and distributes monthly newsletters to faith ambassadors, chaplaincy leaders, consultants, school administrators and the Board’s senior administration;
  • develops and facilitates grade-level retreats, based on the Catholic virtues, for elementary grades;
  • supports professional growth of our adult faith community at large by providing financial assistance for Board staff to attend provincial conferences, including When Faith Meets Pedagogy, as well as the EOCCC Mid-Year Institute and annual Curriculum Conference;
  • provides OECTA/OCSTA additional qualification courses in Religious Education (Parts 1, 11, and Specialist) on a cyclical basis, when possible;
  • promotes the work of the CDSBEO Social Justice Committee which is made up of concerned educators from across the Board (this committee organizes the annual Just-Us Youth Symposium in November of each year for Grade 10 students);
  • provides ongoing guidance, expertise and resources in the area of Religious and Family Life Education to beginning teachers through the New Teacher Induction Program (NTIP);
  • initiates and manages special responsive fundraising initiatives as needed globally (i.e. Development and Peace West Africa Appeal).

 

Inclusive Environments Which Support Student Achievement

The Department of Religious and Family Life Education strives to create, through purposeful strategies, inclusive environments in our school and Board communities to support student learning and achievement.  The Department:

  • acts as the conduit through which information surrounding the Ministry of Education’s Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy, and the Board’s Equity Policy and Religious Accommodations Guideline is shared with school communities;
  • Provides ongoing training for school administrators in the area of Equity and Inclusive Education to create school environments that are welcoming and provide a sense of belonging;
  • assists with the development and implementation of high-yield instructional strategies to improve student achievement, including FROG, HAWK, and STOMP and the work of the Realization Network;
  • Supports, in partnership with the Special Education Department, the Restorative Practices project in the CDSBEO. This approach to dealing with conflict complements many other initiatives in the Board such as our revised Safe Schools policies, and is closely linked to our Catholic Graduate Expectations and Virtues Education (Catholic Character Development Initiative).

 

Partnerships

The Department of Religious and Family Life Education is committed to building and maintaining relationships with all of our partners in Catholic Education, within and beyond the CDSBEO, to enhance learning opportunities for students. The Department:

  • supports the CDSBEO Catholic Education Coalition and Parent Involvement Committees on an ongoing basis;
  •  liaises regularly and supports special projects and initiatives with parishes throughout the eight counties and within the three dioceses of our Board;
  • contributes actively as a member of the Eastern Ontario Catholic Curriculum Cooperative;
  • promotes, organizes, and supports the annual Canadian Catholic School Trustees’ Association’s “Toonies for Tuition” campaign, which raises funds to assist students with their tuition in provinces where Catholic schools have limited or no public funding;
  • promotes and supports initiatives of key Catholic charitable organizations including Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, Holy Childhood Association, and Scarboro Missions;
  • liaises regularly with the Institute for Catholic Education (ICE), and the Catholic Association of Religious and Family Life Educators of Ontario (CARFLEO) on provincial issues and initiatives;
  • maintains a close partnership with the Ryan’s Well Foundation;
  • promotes, supports, and assists in the organization of international exposure trips for students and staff to global south destinations including Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Guatemala.