- Board of Trustees
Way to go Bishop Gallagher Gators!
Today staff and students stepped up by wearing Purple and selling purple persians to bring awareness to Child Abuse Prevention month. Step Up is an annual campaign held by Dilico Anishinabek Family Care and the Children’s Aid Society of the District of Thunder Bay in support of national Child Abuse Prevention Month.
In recognition and spreading awareness, purple persians were sold, with proceeds being distributed to Beendigen Anishinabe Women's Crisis Home & Family Healing Agency.
By wearing purple, students and staff show their readiness to Step Up and show children that they matter.
Telephone Town Hall
This is the first Ministry of Education consultation on the Health and Physical Education curriculum, Math curriculum and other important school issues.
To participate, you must register by 4:00 p.m. TODAY (Thursday) . Space is limited and will be filled on a first come first served basis.
If you are able to participate, you will be given connection instructions.
The next telephone town hall is scheduled for Wednesday, November 14 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Registration for this Town Hall will close on Tuesday, November 13.
Park & Stride
The walk, led by Mr. Kolic, began at Safeway where students along with parents, guardians, staff and Principal, Mr. Frank Lacaria walked to school together.
Special guests today included Director of Education, Pino Tassone, Chairman of the Board, Bob Hupka, Craig Murphy, Student Transportation Services of Thunder Bay, Councillor Shelby Ch'ng, & Mrs. Stasia Starr, Health Nurse and April Hadley, Health Promotion - Thunder Bay District Health Unit.
Students, along with parents and guardians are encouraged to walk to school throughout the month of October, promoting healthy and active lifestyles while being environmentally friendly. Walk to School Month is delivered by Walk Or Wheel Thunder Bay, through EcoSuperior. This project is made possible through financial support from Green Communities Canada and the Government of Ontario.
Thank you to everyone who came out today!
Student winners were surprised by Mr. Rusnak, who hand-delivered prizes to the winners, along with an assortment of prizes for the rest of the students.
One of the coolest things is...
These creations will be featured on cards and calendars - traveling worldwide.
⭐️ Winners Included ⭐️
Holy Cross Elementary School
Ms. Andreacchi’s / Mrs. Kartanson’s Senior Kindergarten class, with Ms. Janiec
Winner: Avery L.
St. Thomas Aquinas School
Mrs. Mallek/ Mrs. Barrett‘s Grade 1 class.
Winner: Oliver K.
St. Martin Elementary School
Mrs. Wright‘s and Mr. Labine‘s classes:
Winners: Keira B. - Grade 4 & Gabriela M. - Grade 1
Way to go everyone!
What a great way to end the school year. Thank you Don Rusnak Member of Parliament for traveling all over the city today to make this so personal!
Pass the Pizza
Through their outstanding generosity, St. Jude surpassed their fundraising goal, raising approximately $2,300. These funds will be put towards the purchase of iPads to assist residents to communicate with their families, play interactive games and be connected to news and events.
As a thank you, St. Joseph‘s Foundation treated the entire student population to a popcorn day at the school. Further, the top six fundraising students were invited to a pizza and ice cream party with the residents of Hogarth Riverview Manor today!
“St. Joseph‘s Foundation is overwhelmed with the generosity of the St. Jude students. The pizza party celebration is to recognize those individuals who did so much for our clients, and allow them to meet the residents personally that will be impacted by their efforts.“ says Katrina O‘Neill, Executive Director, St. Joseph‘s Foundation.
Thank you so much for the great lunch, and the great company to share it with!
Canadian Tire, Hero of Play
Schools across Canada participated in a challenge to show Canadian Tire how they get active for a chance to win an Ultimate Play Day, with a visit from an Olympian - who happened to be our very own, Haley Irwin!!
St. Francis enjoyed a day of fun in celebration of their success. The Hero of Play program was created to motivate and celebrate individuals who make physical activity a priority.
Thank you Canadian Tire and Haley Irwin for this amazing day.
Track and Field Meet - Schedule
Check out this year's TBCIA 2018 Track and Field Meet Schedule, click here to download.
Students & staff from St. Francis School surprised their Principal, Mrs. Taylor.
Mrs. Taylor implemented many healthy initiatives throughout the school, including a brand new track in the school yard. St. Francis School has received a Gold standing in Ophea’s Healthy Schools Certification because of these wonderful healthy and active implementations.
In honour of her efforts, the students unveiled a plaque next to the track to Mrs. Taylor as a retirement surprise!
Happy Retirement Mrs. Taylor! We love that you began the story of your teaching career at St. Francis, and will finish the last chapter of your career as a Principal at this same school.
Social Media and Safety.
St. Thomas Aquinas hosted an amazing presentation by Constables, Grieve and Saunders from Thunder Bay Police Service on the importance of social media and safety.
This lunch and learn was awesome, as it brought grade six students and their parents to learn, together.
Key highlights included:
- Privacy Settings on SM Accounts
- Sharing information between parents and children (passwords and reviewing student activities on devices)
- "Not feeding the Trolls" aka, not responding to harassing comments, and messages. Learning to screenshot and block to avoid further issues.
- Avoiding friend requests from strangers
- Tools to stay safe on Xbox Live - especially while playing games like Fortnite (this game is 13+ btw)
- Knowing when to put the device down, and when to talk to a trusted adult if any harassment arises.
This presentation was relevant to everyone, students and parents. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and stories from a policing perspective.
This week Ontario is celebrating Policing and Community Partnerships! It's National Police Week.
Players from K-6 gathered at Our Lady of Charity to test their strategy and problem solving skills.
They also had the opportunity to connect with other students from TBCDSB, fostering community and friendship.
Way to go staff and students. What a great way to kick off the week!
The full day Professional Development Session at Our Lady of Charity School gave instruction on how to teach the fundamental skills of baseball/softball to one teacher from each Elementary School.
The Session is in conjunction with the Toronto Blue Jays and MLB. It is the Jays Care Foundation's mission to use baseball to teach life skills and create lasting social change for children and youth across Canada.
The Teachers hope to facilitate a Board level baseball/softball tournament in early October.
Renewing the Promise
Renewing the Promise: A Pastoral Letter for Catholic Education/ Renouveler la promesse Lettre pastorale.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Our Catholic schools offer an extraordinary contribution to the social and environmental fabric of our society and world. In partnership with parents, who bear the primary responsibility for the education of their children, all those who work in Catholic education are called upon to reflect, in a faithful and discerning fashion, God’s presence in this world.
Students from Holy Cross Elementary School participated in Project Smile, an initiative created by St. Ignatius High School Thunder Bay.
The grade 11 students in the Introduction to Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology class hosted an interactive day filled with activities to alleviate stressors, anxieties and overall pressures students are challenged with on a daily basis.
Project Smile aims to help young students combat and utilize coping strategies to assist in their daily lives.
Interlink Choir at St. Francis
St. Francis grade 3 students in Mrs. Lester’s class, along with their new friends, entertained us with their sweet harmony.
The students and the seniors from our community have come together, creating an Interlink Choir. The concert launched the school’s Catholic Education week celebrations.
Songs from Peter Pan and Sesame Street were performed, with proud parents, guardians and grandparents in attendance; not to mention the rest of the school population!
Fun Fact!: Ms. Joan Krisko is not only the Interlink Choir Conductor, she is also a former TBCDSB Teacher!
Walking the Path
Students celebrated the completion of the Walking the Path program, which includes Indigenous teachings, highlighting culture, history, traditions and beliefs.
Modules of Walking the Path included: Cultural Awareness, Seven Grandfather Teachings, Medicine Wheel teachings, history of Residential Schools, Reconciliation and Healing Circles.
The Feast was a celebration and graduation of the student’s understanding and knowledge of the program and its teachings. The Feast was a community gathering - Elders, Knowledge Keepers, Community Partners, Educators and Board Office Administration were in attendance.
To view more photos, visit our Facebook Page.
Kindergarten Open Houses!
Join us!Tuesday, May 1st
- St. Francis School | 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 3rd
- Holy Cross School | 9:30 a.m.
Tuesday, May 8th
- St. Pius X | 9:30 a.m.
- Corpus Christi | 1:45 – 2:45 p.m.
Wednesday, May 9th
- Our Lady of Charity | 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
- St. Bernard School | 10:00 a.m.
- St. Margaret School | 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday, May 15th
- St. Jude School | 9:30 a.m.
Wednesday, May 16th
- St. Paul School | 1:45 p.m.
- St. Thomas Aquinas School | 2:00 p.m.
- St. Ann School | 2:00 p.m.
Thursday, May 17th
- St. Elizabeth School | 10:00 a.m.
Thursday, May 24th
- St. Vincent | 2:00 p.m.
Wednesday, May 30th
- St. Martin School | 1:30 p.m.
Tips for Supporting Children and Youth after a High Profile Tragic Event
Sudden tragic events involving children and youth who are connected to confirmed or suspected violence or suicide can impact a community greatly and receive wide attention. Social media and other types of media can bring forward information, rumours and suspicions that can complicate grief reactions, creating confusion and fear and alter our sense of safety and security. Below are a series of tips to assist parents and teachers to help children and youth cope with high profile tragic events and maintain a sense of security.
Be a good listener and observer. Let children guide you on what they need. If they are not focused on the tragedy, do not dwell on it. However, be available to answer their questions to the best of your ability. Young children may not be able to express themselves verbally. Pay attention to changes in their behaviour or social interactions.
Give simple, accurate information about what happened.Tell only what you know to be confirmed. Answer questions honestly with limiting details. Invite your child to talk about the death and ask questions. Answer as best you can, using age appropriate language. Recognize that it is normal to ask questions and receiving information helps lessen fears.
Normalize your child’s feelings and reactions and be reassuring.Denial, feelings of fear, guilt, anxiety, anger and sadness are all normal reactions to traumatic loss. Labelling feelings and reactions as normal is helpful. Children may be concerned about something bad happening to themselves, family or friends. Explain the safety measures that are in place (at home and/or school) and reassure them that you and other adults will take care of them. Take children’s concerns seriously andacknowledge their fears.
Monitor and limit exposure to adult news of the event.Adult discussions, social media accounts, news reports, and images of a crisis or tragic event can become overwhelming, especially if heard/read/watched repetitively. Do not allow young children to watch or listen to media coverage of high profile tragic events. Older children/youth may choose to watch or listen to the news or follow information on social media, but be available to discuss what they see/hear/read and help put it into perspective. Avoid fueling rumours.
Limit and monitor your child’s online activity. Think of the Internet as a physical space or world that your child enters. This world does not come equipped with adult supervision or adult controls and there are real dangers. The Internet offers graphic adult themed games, information, images or content that is disturbing and triggering to a young mind. Actively monitor, supervise and restrict your child’s travels on the Internet. A child’s brain cannot differentiate between what is real and what is not real as well as a responsible adult brain.
Invite questions to ease fears. Provide an atmosphere in which children can ask questions as needed and speak freely about their fears and reactions. This may mean being asked the same questions over and over again until the child is reassured. This is normal. Help normalize reactions that you see e.g., “it’s normal to feel scared and worry after you hear about a child dying”. This gives children permission to put their feelings into words and to talk about their own internal experience. It will not harm them to let them know that you experience fear at times as well.
Keep the lines of communication open. Despite your best efforts and the efforts of your child’s school, you may not be able to control what your child hears or sees. Be aware of what kind of information exchange is happening on social media or what rumors are circulating among your child’s friends and classmates so that you can be available to help put things in perspective. Make it okay for your child to share what they have heard with you.
Emphasize children’s resilience. It is normal for parents to want to limit talk about death and loss out of the belief that dwelling on the topic keeps painful memories alive and causes harm. It is also normal to want to keep your children close to you and limit independence after a tragic event. However, children are resilient when caring adults and caregivers actively help them cope and manage. Remind your child about his or her strength and ability to cope with difficult situations. Talking and dealing directly with death, loss and fears helps recovery from grief. Suppressing talk and feelings can lead to prolonged trauma reactions.
Highlight people’s compassion and humanity.High profile tragedies often generate a tremendous outpouring of care and support from around the community. Focus on the help and hopeful thoughts being offered from the community.
Maintain as much continuity and normalcy as possible. Allowing children to deal with their reactions is important but so is providing a sense of normalcy. Routine family activities, returning to school, after-school activities, and friends can help children feel more secure and better able to function.
Increase family time. Being with family is always important in difficult or sad times. Even if your children are not directly impacted, this may be a good opportunity to participate in and to appreciate family life. Doing things together reinforces children’s sense of stability and connectedness.
Ask for help if you or your children need it.Staying connected to your community is extremely helpful and reaching out for help when needed is good role modelling for children. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your own reactions or struggling with how to support your child, call a local community counselling agency and ask for written information or resources about adult and child grief reactions, coping tips and strategies to support your child. You can ask to talk to a counselor on the phone or ask to meet in person.
Communicate with your school.Tragic event teams made up of school and community counselling partners are available to support students in the event of a death within the school community. School plans focus on supporting student grief reactions while maintaining normal routines as much as possible. Parents and schools should work together to support children through grief reactions. As a parent, you can let the school know if your child is struggling and together, you and the school can plan the right supports.
Be aware of your own needs. Don’t ignore your own feelings of anxiety, grief, and anger. Talking to friends, family members, members of your faith community – whoever you identify as your “rocks” in life is important. It is important to let children know if you are impacted by a tragedy and what you are doing to take care of yourself. You will be better able to support your children if you can express your own emotions in a productive manner.
Resource Information for Parents and School Staff:
- The National Association of School Psychologists on-line resource database (www.nasponline.org):
- Death and Grief: Supporting Children and Youth: http://www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/...
- Managing Strong Emotional Reactions to Traumatic Events/ Tips for Parents and Teachers: http://www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/...
- Recommended Books for Children Coping with Loss or Trauma: http://www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/...
Locally, parenting information and support is available through: Children’s Centre Thunder Bay (343-5000), Thunder Bay Counselling Centre (684-1880) and Dilico Anishinabek Family Care (1-855-486-5036). After hours telephone support is available through the C.M.H.A. 24 hour Thunder Bay Crisis Response Service (346-8282).In a case of any emergency, call 911.
New Technology Rollout
Our IT Department has been busy
We are implementing our new 5 year Technology Plan. We'll continue to build on our technological strengths and address areas of need. Wave 1 of the plan has the following 6 schools receiving a technology refresh:
- St. Martin
- St. Elizabeth
- Corpus Christi
- St. Pius
- St. Bernard
- St. Vincent
The new technology, comprising of Google Chromebooks, Chromebases, and Apple iPads (for primary grades), will be supplied directly into the classrooms. Teachers and students will benefit from daily access to technology, rather than having to book technology in advance.
The remaining elementary schools will be completed (Wave 2) in the 2018-19 school year.
Wi-Fi improvements are also in the process, improving coverage and capacity in conjunction with the rollouts.
As a Board family, we honoured the memory of the fallen Broncos. We keep their family, friends and community in our prayers.
We showed our support by wearing green or a jersey. Thank you to all of our schools who participated in various activities and tributes.
Students Participate in Healing Circle
Grade five students in Ms. Dysievick’s class at Our Lady Of Charity Elementary School participated in a healing circle Monday afternoon.
Students were greeted by guest, Nicole Mckay from Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (Big Trout Lake). Nicole lives in Thunder Bay and is the Land Base Coordinator for Keewaytinook Okimakanak Secondary School Services.
Not only is Nicole an Activity Coordinator, she is also a Drum Carrier. Today she shared songs and stories with the students as part of Walking the Path. Students shared their masks they had painted on a previous day, explaining the colours, symbolism and thought behind their creations. The student's masks are a reflection of who they are and where they come from.
The St. Paul Gallery
The Year Two Kindergarten students at St. Paul School held an Art Exhibit in the Library!
This artwork is extremely special, as it will be delivered to Gifu Japan.
Teacher Laura Sutton and Early Childhood Educator Riley Speziale, along with their students have been working diligently in preparation for an international art exchange. Kindergarten Artwork will be exchanged with the Kaguya Second Kindergarten Students in Gifu.
Both St. Paul School and Kaguya School will be exhibiting each other’s art as part of their international friendship and sister city connection.
Way to go St. Paul School, we absolutely loved your art exhibit!
St. Ignatius 50th Anniversary!
St. Ignatius High School has announced their upcoming 50th anniversary celebrations!
This morning, CKPR’s Morning show hosts Laura Zaina and Danny Foresta made the surprise announcement live from the School Atrium. Organizers of the anniversary found it extremely poignant to have Zaina and Foresta broadcast live for this occasion, as Foresta is a St. Ignatius Graduate.
Former St. Ignatius Principal and Director of Education, Pino Tassone is excited to celebrate:
“St. Ignatius will always have a special place in my heart. As a teacher and Principal I enjoyed my time at St. Ignatius with my students, and my staff. I am proud to have worked with so many great people, and to see so many of our students go on to do wonderful things and good works within our community and beyond. I would like to invite all of our fellow falcons to return to the nest, and celebrate with us.”
Anniversary committee organizers have an exciting evening planned with a barbeque, school tours with memorabilia on display, an alumni soccer game on the new turf and a social to follow at Tony and Adams.
“This is a chance for current students and staff, alumni, retirees and anyone who was part of the St. Ignatius family to come together and celebrate. We’re looking forward to hearing people’s stories, sharing memories and enjoying the celebrations together.” Say teachers and organizers, Laura Nigro and Caterina Tolone.
The Anniversary will take place at St. Ignatius High School on Friday, May 25th beginning at 5:00 p.m.
Community Use of Schools
Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board believes that schools are the hub of communities. The Community Use of Schools Program offers an effective use of taxpayer investment, by providing citizens and groups with a place to come together, to volunteer, build skills, access programs, become physically active and develop strong and healthy communities.
To learn more, and access the Community Use of Schools Expression of Interest Form, click here.
St. Martin Recognized by EQAO
Within the last four years, St. Martin Catholic Elementary School has raised the bar and increased their literacy scores for students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
This year, the school has been recognized by the Education Quality and Accountability Office, as a recipient of the Dr. Bette M. Stephenson Recognition of Achievement Award.
EQAO results from recent years identified various schools that demonstrated continuously improving percentages of students with IEPs meeting the provincial literacy standard, with St. Martin being one.
Principals and Educators at St. Martin have successfully utilized data to foster a culture in which students receive the support they need to succeed. Together they continue to work with their students, assisting them in areas of reading and writing – an overall emphasis on literacy.
Principals Letizia Tremonti and Alma Provenzano along with Teachers Michelle Lemmetty, Maggie Redfern Pucci, Christine Traer and Michelle Gale have been invited to the EQAO Forum this week in Toronto, where they will receive their award. They will also have the opportunity to join interactive workshops and presentations, which further their understanding of utilizing data to advise constructive change for students across the country.
Director's Annual Report
Our Director's Report is available now! Click here to view.
Please read the December edition of In Touch. An update from the Board Leadership team.December 2017 In Touch
Why choose a Thunder Bay Catholic School?
Catholic schools are a successful part of publicly funded education in Ontario. Our schools and school boards consistently meet or exceed provincial expectations in student achievement, program delivery, class size and character development. Our curriculum is purposely designed to produce graduates with good moral character who are responsible citizens, caring family members and collaborative contributors to the common good of Ontario's society. These are values that we celebrate and share with all Ontarians.Learn More
They say it takes a village to raise a child. In this case, it is taking the efforts of an entire region to address a very serious issue in our schools. Eight district school boards in the Thunder Bay Region are working together to address a problem that is having a profound effect on student achievement – persistent student absenteeism. The “HERE” attendance campaign was launched at the Spring meeting of the Northern Ontario Education Leaders (NOEL) on Tuesday, May 9. The campaign was designed to build awareness around the attendance issue in Northwestern Ontario and to provide communications support tools to Boards and schools to help improve attendance.
According to data collected in the 2013-14 school year, students in the Thunder Bay Region (from Kenora to Manitouwadge) had the highest rates of persistent absenteeism in the province. Students are considered persistently absent if they miss 10% of the days they were expected to be in school. In the Thunder Bay Region, the rate of persistent absenteeism was 21.6%. A recent study, Every School Day Counts: Persistent Absenteeism in Ontario, 2016, indicates students who miss an average of two days per month in elementary school stand a 60% chance of dropping out in grade nine, potentially impacting their opportunities for success in the future.
“While the reasons for student absences are diverse and varied across the region, the issue of persistent absenteeism is creating significant consequences for both students and schools,” says David Tamblyn, Director of Education for Superior Greenstone District School Board and NOEL Representative. “If the absenteeism trend is allowed to continue, this issue will greatly impact students and their ability to achieve and prepare for their futures. The time to act is now. “
The reasons for persistent absenteeism across the region are diverse and varied and can include:
- Mental health issues
- Poverty issues
- Sporting events
- Medical appointments
- Family travel
- Family commitments
Persistent absenteeism is a multi-faceted issue that affects diverse groups of students and families. In order for solutions to be effective, they must be focused towards sparking action amongst key influencers including students, parents, school, staff and the community at large.
“Fortunately, the eight district school boards are HERE for our students and their families,” says Tamblyn. “We recognize that there is a not a one size fits all solution to solve the issue of persistent absenteeism and we have worked collaboratively to develop a campaign with communications resources that can be used in all parts of the region.”
The HERE campaign is supported by the development of the HERE website – heretoolkit.com. School board and school staff will be able to log into the site and access the following resources to support their efforts to address attendance issues within in their Boards and schools:
- Print ad templates
- Digital ad templates
- Social Media ad templates
- Radio ad template
- Roll up displays and Banner
- Toolkit newsletter template
- Presentation Template
The HERE website will also provide background information on the issue of persistent absenteeism, guidance on how to use the resources, a section for school staff to share best practices on improving attendance and a section where school staff can receive answers to questions about the HERE campaign. In addition, each NOEL Board will receive a special Here Toolkit Box containing posters, buttons, jump drives loaded with resources including the video and special HERE lanyards.
“The efforts to address persistent absenteeism does not start and end with the HERE attendance campaign,” says Colleen Kappel, Lakehead Public Schools Superintendent of Education and HERE Campaign Team Member. “Through the Managing Information for Student Achievement (MISA) initiative, we have also started a persistent absenteeism research project with a Lakehead University Researcher to take an in-depth look at the issue and the related causes and effects. It is anticipated that the findings will provide the basis for further opportunities to address the issue.”
For more details please check out this video
Keewatin-Patricia District School Board
Kenora Catholic District School Board
Lakehead District School Board
The Northwest Catholic District School Board
Rainy River District School Board
Superior-Greenstone District School Board
Superior North Catholic District School Board
Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board
Board Improvement Plan
Catholic education addresses the search for meaning and the desire of the person to understand human life as an integration of body, mind and spirit. Rooted in this vision, Catholic education fosters the search for meaning as a lifelong spiritual and academic quest.
We are committed to building equitable, inclusive and engaging environments in which all students have the opportunity to learn. In classrooms, this is expressed through the inclusion of every learner, using differentiated instruction and student voice as well as culturally sensitive models of pedagogy and assessment for learning.See Our Plan