- Celebrating Fifty
- Board of Trustees
- Community Use of Schools
- Assessment Department
- Board Improvement Plan
Student Travel Advisory
Dear Parents and Guardians,
With the rising COVID-19 cases across the province and within our city, we are taking additional precautionary measures to protect our students, staff and families.
In accordance with our staff travel advisory memo that was released last week, we are also advising our students to avoid all travel. Students who have travelled outside of the Northwestern Ontario region are not permitted to enter any of our school sites.
Students must stay home for 14 days, be symptom free and follow the guidance of the Thunder Bay District Health Unit before returning to school. The school will provide a return to school date to parents/guardians as per the recommendation of the Health Unit.
The Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board recognizes some students may have to travel for essential reasons such as medical care or other reasons protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code. If you believe that your child may have such extenuating circumstances, you are encouraged to reach out to your school Principal or Vice-Principal.
If your child has travelled, please follow this process:
- Do not send your child to school.
- Contact your school Principal to let them know that your child has travelled.
- Discuss a work plan for your child with your school Principal.
- If you or your child are displaying any symptoms, please contact the Thunder Bay District Health Unit for further guidance.
This advisory is to ensure that we all remain safe. The health and safety of our students, staff, families and community are of utmost importance. We must all ensure we do our part to flatten the curve.
LIFTED | Hold and Secure - St. Pius X
Hold and Secure has been Lifted for St. Pius X.
2020 Christmas Card Contest
Hello creative friends, are you ready to make the world a little bit merrier?
Let's get started with our 2020 Christmas Card Contest!
This year we will have five winning categories:
Year One and Year 2 Kindergarten. Primary. Junior and High School!
ENTRIES MUST be received by December 10th, 2020.
Rules and Regulations:
- Must be a student of TBCDSB
- All artwork must be submitted on an unfolded 8.5x11 sheet or emailed (scanned) to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Entries may be landscape or portrait format
- Entries can be digital artwork
- All entries must include: student’s name, school and grade on the back of the submission
- Each winner’s first and last name, grade and school will appear on our Board website and social media channels with their entry.
- To be considered, submissions must be delivered (emailed) to the Director’s Office on time.
- Be creative, be fun and let the magic of Christmas inspire you!
• Preference will be given to designs that reflect our Catholic beliefs
School Climate Survey
Dear Parents and Guardians,
We have an upcoming school climate survey called Our School Survey for students in grades 4-12. The survey will ask respondents to comment on matters about bullying, equity, inclusivity, and harassment at school in accordance with the Ministry of Education policy #144 “Safe Schools”.
Students in grades 4-6 are asked to complete the Our School Elementary Survey while grades 7-12 students complete the Our School Secondary Survey. The survey will be open to respondents between November 30 to December 18, 2020. Students will complete surveys in class. Student participation is voluntary, however all students are encouraged to participate. All responses to the Our School Student Survey will be anonymous. Students enrolled in Learn@Home (Virtual School) will not complete the survey.
Parents and Guardians are encouraged to complete a school climate survey called the TBCDSB Parent/Guardian Survey.
Safe School Teams at each school will review and utilize the data from the Our School Survey and the Parent/Guardian Survey to promote and enhance an environment of respect, safety and belonging for all students.
Jerry Izydorczak, our Technology Enabled Teaching and Learning contact will act as our Board’s district contact for the school climate survey.
If you have any questions, please contact him at 625.1512.
Thank you for your cooperation and assistance in this initiative.
Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week
Bullying is a serious issue that can affect students’ learning, sense of safety and overall well-being. Cyberbullying is a form of bullying; and bullying in any form is never okay.
Bullying Prevention and Awareness Week Ontario has designated the week beginning on the third Sunday of November as Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week to help promote safe schools and a positive learning environment.
During Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week – November 15-21, 2020 – Ontario
students, school staff and parents are encouraged to learn more about bullying, including
cyberbullying, and its effect on student learning and well-being.
Attached below is a parent guide from the Ministry of Education.
Positive COVID-19 Cases - St. Margaret School
Please see the latest update from the Health Unit regarding St. Margaret School.
Please click here to see the attached message from The Thunder Bay District Health Unit regarding positive COVID-19 cases at St. Margaret School.
Our thoughts and prayers are extended to all individuals and families affected.
Kindergarten to Grade 3 Face Shields
Kindergarten to Grade 3 Face Shields
A letter was recently sent home with your child, along with a face shield.
The Ministry of Education provided one face shielf per student, as an additional precaution, they are not mandatory to wear in Kindergarten to grade 3.
If you choose to have your child wear a face shield, they are fairly easy to wear. To ensure your child is protected while wearing one, the panel of the shield should extend well past the chin and curve around the sides of their face, without gaps.
Face Shields will need to be cleaned after every use, each day.
You can submerge the protective panel in warm, soapy water and gently clean the surface with a soft sponge or cloth. Rinse and gently dry your face shield with a soft towel (cotton or microfiber). You can clean the headpiece separately.
For additional protection, you can pair your child’s face shield with a cloth mask, neither precaution is mandatory in these grade levels.
New Screening Tool
Dear Parents and Guardians,
There have been updates to the COVID-19 School Screening Tool.
As of October 1, the government has made updates to their testing guidelines for children.
The main update is a two-tiered approach to symptom management which determines if a student should stay home or receive a Covid-19 test.
Please utilize this screening tool each morning prior to your child attending school or childcare.
Learn at Home
Dear Parents, Guardians and Students,
Thank you for your continued patience as we work through our Learn at Home setup and virtual instruction.
Please note, many of you have already been contacted, while others are still awaiting further instruction. Please be patient as we are working our way through phone calls, emails and continuing to make contact with each learner. This process is time consuming as it allows both parents/guardians and students to speak directly with their educator and determine needs and requirements.
If you have not yet heard from your school, please do not panic, you will be contacted.
We are building a virtual school from the ground up, and we appreciate your kindness and patience throughout this process.
Everything for Return to School
As we head back to school, please familiarize yourself with our Return to School webpage and resources.
Please remember to complete the daily screening tool with your child(ren).
August 26 - Letter from the Minister of Education
We are committed to ensuring the return to school is safe for students, teachers and staff. Our comprehensive plan for reopening schools leads the country in robust public health protocols and per-pupil funding. Money will be going towards personal protective equipment (PPE), enhanced cleaning of our schools and buses, improving ventilation, and hiring more cleaning and teaching staff. We are also adopting additional public health protocols for our schools, such as the hiring of up to 500 public health nurses, an aggressive mandatory masking policy for grades 4-12, and a surveillance testing strategy on our secondary school students.
We believe these measures are essential to ensure a successful return to our classrooms. Earlier today, our government announced the details of how we will prevent and minimize COVID-19 outbreaks in our schools and keep our kids safe. This document has been informed by advice from leading medical and scientific experts — including the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Read the full letter here:
Changes to Secondary Plan
Dear Parents and Guardians,
This year looks entirely different than any other year due to the added safety precautions being put in place. High school in particular is not going to look the same as before with many changes recently made.
As a result of further feedback from the Ministry of Education regarding reducing the risk of exposure to Covid-19, (specifically the requirements of 100 student indirect and direct contacts), changes to the original plan are necessary. Given the large size of our high schools, this schedule allows the school to be compliant with Ministry requirements. The plan includes a hybrid or blended approach to instruction. This change to the plan significantly minimizes the size of student groups thereby minimizing the number of students who would need to isolate in the case of an outbreak. This reduces the risk to the greater community and is part of the community strategy to manage outbreaks.
Student direct and indirect contacts must be limited to 100 students. A day of in-class learning that includes two courses, (despite reduced class movement and physical distancing) would exceed 100 students. With this being said, we cannot offer full day face-to-face learning at St. Ignatius and St. Patrick without significantly limiting course options for many students. In order to maintain previously selected courses by students all courses will include in person and online instruction.
With these health regulations, we have amended the quadmester model. All courses will include in person and online instruction, with students attending every morning and then learning from home every afternoon. Morning and afternoon sessions will alternate weekly.
This is how High School will look in 2020-2021:
- For both the Conventional and Learn at Home models, the school year will be divided in quarters or approximately 44 days each called a quadmester.
- At the end of each quadmester, students will write a final exam. Students will receive a report card after each quadmester once final marks have been determined.
- Quadmesters will stay in place regardless of the delivery model (conventional, adaptive, or remote).
- Students will complete 2 courses per quadmester working on 1 course in a morning session and 1 course in an afternoon session. Each session will be 150 mins.
- Courses will switch in a two week rotation:
Example: Students enrolled in French and Science in week 1 would receive instruction from the French teacher in-class (morning) and Science (afternoon) virtually online. In week 2, they would switch, with Science being taught in-class (morning) and French online (afternoon).
- The school day will start at 8:40 a.m. and end at 2:50 p.m.
- Courses will be delivered with approximately 50% in person and 50% virtually. The timetable will alternate each week in order to provide both in person and virtual instruction.
- Students will attend in-person in the morning, return home over lunch and then attend their afternoon classes online from home.
- Students in the Life Skills and Transition Programs will attend full-day classes in person at their school every week.
Full-time Learn at Home is still available, should students choose this option, they can opt-in here.
Thank you for everyone’s patience and understanding. The safety of our students and staff is our priority. We will continue to provide information as it is made available to us.
Return to School
Today, the Government announced a return to school protocol for all publicly funded Ontario schools.
For Thunder Bay Catholic, this announcement provides further clarification and detail on the Minister’s selection of the Conventional (5 Day) Model for return to school on Tuesday, September 8th. As stated throughout the pandemic, the safety of our students and staff is paramount and after careful consideration, we are opting for a student staggered entry to occur from September 8th to September 11th. This allows all of us, additional time to refine our plan and prepare further.
Throughout the pandemic, we have diligently been preparing for various return to school models (conventional, adaptive and remote learning). The details announced today will assist us to prepare even further, for the upcoming conventional school year model. The Conventional Model will consist of a normal school week (5 days) with some instructional adaptations and enhanced safety protocols. It has always been our priority to keep our students, staff and families safe. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure health and safety precautions are adhered to, with the assistance of the additional Ministry resources provided.
We will continue to communicate to our TBCDSB family of our reopening plans, with transparency being of utmost importance. We will have more information in the near future as we work with the information provided today.
The Ministry recommends pre-registration, the limitation of visitors within schools/sites and cohorting.
* For those who have completed our Return to School Survey, please know your responses can be amended. Further details regarding today’s announcement are as follows:
- Students in Kindergarten through Grade 8 will attend school 5 days per week, with one cohort for the full day, including recess and lunch.
- High Schools will be permitted to open with daily attendance by students with cohorting in place to limit the number of student-to-student contacts. Distancing measures will be in place in all elementary and secondary schools.
- Parents will make decisions regarding in-person attendance for their children for this school year. They will also have the option of remote learning, delivered by TBCDSB.
- Our Board will be ready to implement adapted and remote learning models, should they be required.
- Students in Grades 4 to12 will be required to wear non-medical or cloth masks while in school.
- Students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 will be encouraged but not required to wear masks in common spaces.
- Medical masks will be provided for teachers and Board Staff.
- Reasonable exceptions to the requirement will be put in place by our Board.
- Students with special education needs will attend school 5 days per week with the same supports students have been accustomed to.
- Transportation (busing) will have enhanced health and safety protocols implemented
- A new school health monitoring system will be established through a partnership between the ministries of Health and Education. TBCDSB and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit will monitor and respond to reports of COVID-19 symptoms.
- Board Staff will receive training on required processes and procedures on three Professional Development days to begin the school year.
- The Ministries of Education and Health are working together to provide testing capacity to keep schools safe and treat any affected student or teacher/staff member.
Thank you to everyone for your continued patience, support and understanding during these unprecedented times. Please remember, for those who have completed our Return to School Survey, please know your responses can be amended. More information will be forthcoming.
Please read the Minister's Message to parents, here:
Summer Updates - Survey and School Calendar
Dear parents and guardians,
We know this year has been a challenge, and the unknown has been daunting.
Not only have you had to navigate through a pandemic, you’ve had to wear multiple hats as both parent and teacher. You’ve had to keep your children safe, occupied and engaged… all while trying to balance your own workload while attempting to keep things “normal”. We value you, your efforts and your continued positivity throughout these times - it has not gone unnoticed.
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for all you have done and continue to do for your children.
Return to School Survey
It is important your voices are heard and we request all families to complete our Return to School survey. The survey pertains to the possible re-opening scenarios (Conventional *regular*, Adaptive and Remote Learning) and Student Transportation (busing). Your feedback matters and is NEEDED.
Important changes to the 2020-21 School Year Calendar
During a special Board meeting held on Wednesday, July 15, our Board of Trustees approved a modified 2020-21 School Year Calendar. The 2020-21 School year will now begin on Tuesday, September 8th. As stated throughout the pandemic, the safety of our students and staff is paramount and after careful consideration, we are opting for a student staggered entry to occur from September 8th to September 11th. This allows all of us, additional time to refine our plan and prepare further. Educators and Support Staff will be in schools on Monday, August 31st, until Wednesday, September 2nd. These days will be used for Professional Learning and finalizing school health and safety measures. Please see the revised Elementary and Secondary School Calendars.
Preparations for Fall
There are many questions from staff, students and parents about what next year may look like.
Further guidance from the Ministry of Education will continue to be released throughout the summer. Our Board is currently working on plans to be ready for the fall. Our return to school plan will address 7 key areas for a safe return for staff and students.
- Staff/Parent Consultation
- Thunder Bay Health Unit Consultation
- School Site Preparation
- Staff Preparation
- Student Preparation
- School Operations
- Hygiene and Cleaning
As always, we will continue to keep you informed as we receive further information. We will work to find creative solutions designed to safeguard the health and well-being of our students, staff and families.
Take care of yourself, and have a wonderful and well-deserved summer.
We’re looking forward to seeing you and your children in September.
A Message from the Minister
I write to you as we are just a couple weeks away from the official end to the 2019-2020
school year. Despite the challenges that we have all faced in responding to the COVID-19
outbreak, I have been inspired by your determination and spirit.
Item Return & Drop-off
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Please check your school’s social media pages and website for further information this week regarding item drop-off.
Note: not all schools will have the same procedures and dates.
Please be patient and please maintain all social distancing practices. Although we are happy although we are happy to see one another, we have to ensure we make this day as efficient as possible, please keep this in mind while you are at the school.
Assessment, Evaluation & Reporting Update
Dear Student, Parent or Guardian,
On May 27th, the Ministry of Education provided further clarification to Boards regarding Assessment and Evaluation standards for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, with all students receiving a final report card by mail.
This letter serves the purpose of providing clarification to students, parents, and guardians regarding final evaluations and reporting. Schools will continue to use the document titled: Growing Success: Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting in Ontario Schools, 2010 and Growing Success – The Kindergarten Addendum: Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting in Ontario Schools, 2016.
Recognizing the exceptional circumstances at present, schools have made assessment and evaluation practices flexible by way of extending timelines, changing tasks and tailoring instruction for a Learn at Home environment.
The Kindergarten Communication of Learning will be based on observations of key learning and growth from the beginning of Term 2 to March 13th, in each of the Four Frames. Teachers may choose to include comments on growth in learning demonstrated during the school closure period when it is to the child’s benefit.
For grades 1 to 8, final letter grades/marks will reflect work completed by March 13th, as well as any work completed after the March Break that serves to improve the student’s final mark. Teachers will consider that evidence of learning carries greater weight than other evidence, for example; some performance tasks are richer and reveal more about students’ skills and knowledge than others. Teachers will weigh all evidence of student achievement in light of these considerations and will use their professional judgement to determine the student’s report card grade. In some cases there may be insufficient evidence of learning in a particular subject or strand (including math strands), and the code “I” (An “I” denotes insufficient information to determine a grade/mark.) may be used on a student’s report card. Teachers will use their professional judgement to determine when the use of “I” is appropriate ,when it is in the best interest of the student.
Reporting of Learning Skills and Work Habits will reflect information gathered prior to March 13th. Teachers may choose to include comments on growth in Learning Skills and Work Habits demonstrated during the school closure period when it is to the student’s benefit.
For student’s on an Individualized Education Program (IEP), where an alternative format is being used, (that is not based on expectations from the Ontario curriculum for Grades 1 to 8), an alternative report will accompany the Provincial Report Card.
If you have any other questions please contact your school Principal.
Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board
Assessment, Evaluation & Reporting Update
Dear Student, Parent or Guardian,
On May 27th, the Ministry of Education provided further clarification to Boards regarding Assessment and Evaluation standards for the remainder of the 2020 school year. This letter serves the purpose of providing clarification to students, parents, and guardians regarding final evaluations and reporting. Schools will continue to use the document titled: Growing Success: Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting in Ontario Schools, 2010.
Recognizing the exceptional circumstances at present, schools have made assessment and evaluation practices flexible by way of extending timelines, changing tasks and tailoring instruction for a Learn at Home environment. For all grades, final grades will reflect work completed by March 13th, as well as any work completed after the March Break that serves to improve the student’s final mark. Teachers will consider that some evidence of learning carries greater weight than other evidence, for example; some performance tasks are richer and reveal more about students’ skills and knowledge than others.
Teachers will assign learning tasks, projects and culminating activities for both formative and summative purposes. Teachers will communicate the results of these marked assignments to students. Results will be used by teachers to determine students’ final course marks.
The March 13th Mark / Mid-term mark for Grade 12s and Calculating a Final Mark
By June 4th, teachers will inform students of their mark as of March 13th. Grade 12 Teachers will use the Mid-term mark. Once this mark is sent to students, it will establish the lowest mark the student shall achieve. Teachers will then calculate a mark based on assessments until the end of the year. If this mark is higher than the March 13th mark / Mid-term mark, this new mark will be used in the final report. If it is lower than the March 13th / Mid-term mark, then the March 13th/ Mid-term mark stands as the final mark.
Careers and Civics Courses
For students enrolled in Civics and Careers (half-credit courses in the second semester), their final mark for these courses at the time of school closures, will be based on work completed as of March 13th. For the second half-credit in Civics or Careers, there is an expectation that some demonstration of learning will be provided by students in order to successfully complete the course. When the student does not provide sufficient evidence of learning, the student will be assigned an "I" designation, and will not receive the half-credit for that course.
What an “I” means on a Report Card
An “I” reported as a final mark denotes insufficient information to determine a grade/mark. Students receiving an “I” as a final mark will not receive the credit.
Alternative Report Cards
For student’s utilizing alternative programming (grades 9-12) where an alternative format is being used, (that is not based on expectations from the Ontario curriculum), an alternative report will accompany the Provincial Report Card.
Specialist High Skills Major Courses
The SHSM program has an override request process already in place for school boards. Graduating students in the SHSM program unable to complete class requirements (due to extenuating circumstances, including the impacts from COVID-19), will be supported through the override request process.
College Dual Credits
The college instructor or professor is responsible for the assessment and evaluation of student achievement.
If you have any other questions please contact your school Principal.
Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board
Dear Parents and Guardians,
You will be hearing from your school this week regarding item pickup.
Note: not all schools will have the same procedures and dates, so please check your school’s social media pages and website for further information.
We understand this will be a challenge for all involved.
Please be patient and please maintain all social distancing practices. Although we are happy to see one another, we have to ensure we make this day as efficient as possible, please keep this in mind while you are at the school.
Dear Parents & Guardians
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Yesterday, Premier Doug Ford, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, announced schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year. It was a priority of the Ministry of Education to close schools, ensuring the safety of our students, families and Board Staff. Schooling will continue online and report cards will be issued to complete the year. The government is planning the reopening of schools for the 2020-2021 school year, the gradual reopening of child-care and the opening of summer day camps subject to the continuing progress of key public health indicators. Further information is detailed in the Ministry’s news release, here.
What does this mean for you and your children?
We will continue to operate as we have. Online learning will continue with your assistance and guidance. We are aware of how much work you have on your plate, and we thank you for your continuous efforts in all you do, each and everyday.
High school graduation and year end elementary and senior elementary school activities will look differently this year, however, we will ensure that they are memorable. Our educators have been working diligently planning and preparing to try and do things virtually for your children. Although this is not ideal, they are trying to make the best out of the current situation. We’re all in this together and we appreciate your patience and understanding these last few months.
What about items within the schools?
Together with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, we have been exploring ways to safely retrieve items out of our schools for staff, students and families. This process will be a huge undertaking, as we must ensure all social distancing precautions are adhered to and areas remain disinfected. Coordination of device, textbook and school belongings to be returned may be done simultaneously. Further communication with more information will be forthcoming.
What is next?
Before the end of June, additional information will be available on how September will look within our school environments (social distancing measures, etc.). The Minister of Education will also be providing more information on Summer Programming.
At this time, we are working on our next steps and will relay information as it becomes available. Thank you for your continued patience as we navigate these uncharted waters, together. It has been incredibly helpful and humbling to have a TBCDSB parent/guardian community such as yourselves. Your perseverance and ability to adapt have been commendable. Thank you.
Please see the Minister of Education's message to parents here:
Cycling for a Cause
Our very own St. Bernard Elementary School Flame is cycling throughout quarantine for a cause!
Michael is kicking off Catholic Education week in a big way! He has decided to bike at least 1,000 kilometres to help raise money for the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation.
This is a family affair; along with the support of his friends, his family is beside him every kilometre of the way! Micheal wants to give back to the community, and this is his way of helping!
From his Principals, Mme Strickland and Mme Pascuzzo:
Michael, you have embarked on quite an adventure! Fundraising for our local Health Sciences Foundation is such a wonderful act of charity. This week is Catholic Education Week and our theme this year is 'Igniting Hope'. Michael, you are not only igniting hope for the Foundation but for the future of our youth. You will be an inspiration to many. Good luck, Michael!
Largest Canadian STEM Scholarship!
THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO, April 27, 2020 --- Kiara Bergagnini has been selected to receive an $80,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship to study Science at Dalhousie University. A graduate of St. Ignatius High School in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Bergagnini will be entering the Bachelor of Science program this Fall. Bergagnini was selected by her school team for her outstanding Academic achievements. This is the 2nd Nominee to win a Schulich Leader Scholarship at St. Ignatius High School.
Given the unparalleled current disruption, there is a much greater need for students to get financial support in order to pursue their university education. This year, The Schulich Foundation has decided to award an additional 50 scholarships, for a total of 100.
“Schulich Leader Scholarships are the premiere STEM scholarship program in Canada and the world. With 100 outstanding students selected in Canada this year, it is all but guaranteed that this group will represent the best and brightest Canada has to offer. These future leaders will make great contributions to society, both on a national and global scale. With their university expenses covered, they can focus their time on their studies, research projects, extracurriculars, and entrepreneurial ventures. They are the next generation of technology innovators,” says Mr. Schulich.
When I found out I was selected as a Schulich Leader I was in shock and disbelief. Throughout high school, I have always tried to give a hundred percent to my studies with the philosophy that my future self would thank me later. Receiving this scholarship
has shown me that all of my hard work and dedication was worth the sacrifices I had to make along the way. I am extremely thankful to be recognized and provided with this generous scholarship which will allow me to pursue my passions and give back to the community without being weighed down by the financial burden created by university.
From St. Ignatius:
Having Kiara receive this prestigious award reinforces the importance in academics for our students. It also emphasizes the impact that our students can have on a national scale when they commit to their studies. Congratulations also goes out to the dedicated teachers and staff who worked with Kiara throughout her years in the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board and Holy Cross School, Bishop E.Q. Jennings Senior Elementary School and St. Ignatius High School.
About Schulich Leader Scholarships Canada
Recognizing the increasing importance and impact that STEM disciplines will have on the prosperity of future generations, businessman and philanthropist Seymour Schulich established this $100+ million scholarship fund in 2012 to encourage our best and brightest students to become Schulich Leader Scholars: the next generation of entrepreneurial-minded, technology innovators.
A letter from the Minister of Education
I sincerely hope that you, your children, and your families are staying safe and healthy during this unprecedented time. Over these past weeks, our government has been inspired by you and your children’s eagerness and flexibility in transitioning toward remote learning. We know that this has not been easy, especially with the profound impact COVID-19 has had on your lives and livelihood. The ability to keep our students engaged in their learning journey has been remarkable.
From the Desk of the Director
Dear Parents and Guardians,
The last few weeks have been surreal, for all of us. I pray everyone is well, and you and your families are taking the necessary precautions to remain safe during the COVID-19 closure.
It was a priority of the Ministry of Education to close schools, ensuring the safety of our students, families and Board Staff. School closures are vital in the fight to flatten the curve. Yesterday, the Minister of Education announced that the school closure will extend until May 4, 2020 and we are thankful for this decision of safety.
Our shared goal is to ensure the successful completion of the school year for all students, and to support students to advance to the next school year, earn credits and to graduate.
The Minister launched Phase II of the Learn at Home Initiative, indicating the following:
- Reconnecting students with teachers and other school staff, including mental health workers;
- Re-establishing teacher-led learning by grade groupings as follows:
- Kindergarten-Grade 3: five hours of work per student/week
(focus on literacy and math)
- Grades 4-6: five hours of work per student/week
(focus on literacy, math, science and social studies)
- Grades 7-8: 10 hours of work per student/week
(focus on math, literacy, science and social studies)
- Grades 9-12: three hours of work per course per week for semestered students; 1.5 hours of work per course per week for non-semestered students
(focus on achieving credits/completion/graduation)
- Leveraging digital resources and identifying alternative forms of teacher-student connectivity, such as phone and mail;
- Requiring final report cards for all students;
- Prioritizing and supporting students on track to graduate;
- Distributing laptops and/or devices from schools as needed, while observing public health direction;
The Minister touched upon Special Education and ways to utilize non traditional methods of delivery and assistance with additional benefits to these families and their children. We are awaiting further information and directives on this.
As a parent, I understand there are many unknowns, which can be daunting. Discussing the current situation with your children pose challenges, especially for younger minds. With this being said, we have created an online tool-kit with mental health resources to help bridge this gap. I hope these tools assist in the communication with your children and I encourage you to take a look at these resources located on our website in the navigation menu entitled: COVID-19.
Many of you have been trying to keep your children occupied, focused and engaged in a routine over the past few weeks. I’ve had many comments from parents about what they’re doing to keep their children learning while being at home. Many of you have been utilizing the Ministry’s Learn at Home resources, or various other assistive materials; some of you have even been creating your own lesson plans. For this, I applaud you. Important lessons can be learned at home, that do not necessarily involve a textbook or technology.
Over the past two and a half weeks, our Team has been working diligently, preparing for phase two of the Ministry Learn at Home directive. This continuation of learning will incorporate our educators, many who have already reached out to their students; checking in on their well being and even providing some instruction on their own initiative. I cannot thank our educators enough, these gestures further illustrate how much they care about their students and their love for their vocation, especially during this time of need.
What can you expect in the coming days regarding your child's education:
- Principals will be reaching out to you, regarding your child's devices and connectivity within your home.
- Educators will be checking-in.
- Educators will provide information on next steps for the continuation of learning. They may have some questions regarding the best way to communicate with your family.
- Instructional Videos will be located on our website to show students and parents how to connect to many of the resources we have available.
- Please know, we do not expect students to complete the same amount of work that they would complete during a typical day. We encourage students to continue to work on their academics, however we understand that some families are going through some difficult times. The Ministry has set out the hours of school expectations, as seen above, which are still necessary - as Educators will be grading and providing report cards. *For clarification the hours indicated by the Ministry, along with work provided by the Educators, are mandatory and must be completed by students.
I would like to say thank you, for your flexibility and understanding regarding your child’s education. Know we value your time and your desire to continue your child’s education from home. We’re all in this together, and I hope soon, we will be learning again inside our classrooms at Thunder Bay Catholic.
Please take care, be safe and God Bless.
Director of Education
Letter from the Minister (March 31)
I am writing to you today exactly two weeks since our government declared a State of Emergency in the province. I know this period has not been easy for you or your children, especially as the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak begin to have increasing effects on your day-to-day lives and livelihoods...
Please read more:
Learn at Home Education Portal
Today Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Education Minister Stephen Lecce made an announcement this afternoon indicating next steps in regards to Ontario Education. Together, they emphasized that it is critical to not spread this virus, we all need to do our part by staying home to flatten the curve. Social distancing, hand washing and remaining home is needed to ensure more people stay safe and healthy.
Today, they have introduced phase one of the Learn at Home Education Portal. This online tool will support families throughout this challenging time.
This is a support resource to help families immediately. If the April 6, 2020 return to school timeline were to be extended, the Ministry will provide more information on the education plan in Ontario.
It was also made clear that no student will have their graduation compromised because of COVID-19. This online learning tool will help mitigate learning loss. It was also declared that EQAO and OSSLT will be cancelled for this year, which is one less stress on our students and staff during this time.
Please read the attached Media Release, directly from the Premier’s Office.
As we continue to receive information from the Ministry regarding Ontario Education, we will share further details and resources via our website and social media channels.
Thank you for your continued patience and understanding during this time.
We hope you and your loved ones are well.
Frequently Asked Questions.
ALL TBCDSB SITES WILL BE CLOSED (MARCH 14 - APRIL 5)
- I am travelling out of the country with my family outside of the week of the March Break, do we need to self-isolate ?
Yes. If you are planning a trip outside of the week of March Break, Canadians are advised by the Ministry of Health to self-isolate. This would be 14 days of isolation upon your date of arrival home. This is a preventative measure to stop the spread of this virus. To learn more, please visit the Thunder Bay District Health Unit site, for more information. Signs will be posted outside of our buildings indicating this procedure as well.
- Will my son or daughter still receive Social Work Services?
Yes. School Social workers will be working throughout the closure and reaching out to youth/families via phone support and scheduling appointments at Children’s Centre Thunder Bay.
- Will Daycares within schools and Before and After school programs be running?
No. Closure of all Daycares and before and after school programming within our schools is a preventative measure to stop the spread of this virus among our TBCDSB Family and community.
- Will Community Use of Schools still be running?
No. All community programming within our schools will not be running. This is a preventative measure to stop the spread of this virus among our TBCDSB Family and community.
- Will Home Instruction still be administered?
No. All home instruction programming will be cancelled. This again is a preventative measure to stop the spread of this virus among our TBCDSB Family and community.
- Will Co-Op/OYAP and Dual Credit programming still be running?
No. All programming within our schools will not be running. This again is a preventative measure to stop the spread of this virus among our TBCDSB Family and community.
- Will Extracurriculars (sporting events etc.) still be running?
No. All extracurriculars have been cancelled until further notice. This again is a preventative measure to stop the spread of this virus among our TBCDSB Family and community.
- Will the After School Skills Development Program be running?
The next session is scheduled to begin on April 6th however, the start date will be delayed. Once program staff have more information, they will communicate it to parents.
- What is Deep Cleaning?
In addition to our rigorous cleaning practices, disinfecting will take place with focus on high-touch surfaces.
- Who can I contact during the closure?
Please connect with us online. Schools can be contacted via email through their school website. For Board Office contact, please email email@example.com
- Will my student be provided with assignments and work over the closure?
No. With the shock of the province-wide shutdown, educators have not had adequate time to prepare to provide any homework/assignments, nor would this be expected of them at this time. We are awaiting Ministry directives on this, continue to check the Ministry of Education website for details pertaining to further educational initiatives during the closure period.
OECTA (Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association), the union representing our Elementary, Secondary and Occasional Teachers have reached a tentative agreement at the provincial table. This has been a challenging year for all in labour negotiations and we are pleased that a tentative agreement has been reached.
Details of the tentative agreement will be shared following ratification. We are appreciative of the efforts of our bargaining team and Crown partners, and the representatives of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association.
Thunder Bay Catholic
Thunder Bay Police Celebrate Family Literacy Day!
Watch the Video, below!
Wuhan novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
As you will likely know, on January 25, 2020, Ontario identified its first presumptive confirmed case for the Wuhan novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Today, January 27,
2020, Ontario has confirmed that the wife of the first case has tested positive for the virus at Ontario's public health laboratory.
Please see the attached letter(s) forward from the Deputy Minister of Education, on behalf of Dr. David Williams the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health regarding the coronavirus.
New Chair & Vice-Chair
Trustee, Francis Veneruz has been elected as Chair of the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board, and Trustee, Loretta Fonso was elected as Vice-Chair.
Both bring a variety of experience and knowledge as retired teachers from our Board, with Mr. Veneruz retiring as a Principal from St. Patrick high school.
The election was held Monday evening, following the Trustee & Senior Administration annual mass and commissioning service.
How a Thunder Bay satellite kindergarten class...
Every weekday morning, in a scene that might play out in classrooms across the country, Kimberly John leads her four- and five-year-olds in a song about the weather and helps them count out loud and answer questions about how they are feeling that day.
Read more from Caroline Alphonso's Article in the Globe and Mail, highlighting our amazing Kindergarten class at Fort William First Nation!
No Bully Zone!
Draft an Athlete!
This morning, St. Francis School welcomed guests Warren, and Special Olympic Athlete, Nicole to their school.
Nicole had the opportunity to tell students about her skills and favourite sports to compete in, while also talking about the upcoming Special Olympics Winter Games.
This year, our amazing city is hosting the Special Olympics Winter Games (February 25-29). St. Francis, along with the rest of our schools in our Board, are raising funds to draft an athlete!
- What’s Draft an Athlete? -
Draft an Athlete is a program that allows supporters of the movement to fund a Special Olympics athlete’s journey to a regional, provincial, national or world competition. The cost of sending athletes to competitions is high. Through the Draft an Athlete program, more athletes are able to attend a competition through direct support.
Thank you Warren and Nicole for visiting, taking the time to let these lions know some more information about the Special Olympics and the Draft and Athlete Campaign!
Tbaytel for Good - WINNER!
Students at St. Martin were shocked this morning, when they learned they were winners in the Tbaytel for Good contest!
Tbaytel surprised the entire student body, and presented all winners with their awards this morning in the school gymnasium.
The students in Mme Auger’s grade six class submitted the idea to build a Blessings Cupboard. With the help from Mme Redfern-Pucci, a video was submitted to Tbaytel, outlining the need for the cupboard and the items it will contain. Necessities such as: winter clothing, hygiene products, and other items will be made available to any student who may need it.
The school received $1,500 through the program and the students cannot wait to get started to help others, especially their classmates in need.
Way to go Mustangs! We are so proud of you. Thank you to EVERYONE who voted, and continued to vote on daily basis!
Nolan Connelly, is a former Pope John Paul II School Community French immersion student from Mme Antaki’s class.
Last summer, Nolan experienced an accident this past summer leaving him a paraplegic. Nolan was an active 21 year old student at Lakehead university studying kinesiology, when in a flash, his life changed forever.
Pope John Paul’s student council, known as JCC, decided to raise money to assist Nolan in his recovery process. The students wanted Nolan to know that they are thinking of him and wish him well as he rebuilds his life.
JCC held a hat day, sold cookies and candy bags, organized a trivia lunch game and hosted a dance. Through the students we were able to raise $2,200.00 dollars for Nolan and his family!
Nolan is presently in Toronto undergoing physical therapy but will be visiting the school in the new year to show his appreciation. The students are excited and looking forward to meeting Nolan and will find inspiration in his touching story.
We are praying for you Nolan! thank you to these amazing students at PJP for their selflessness, in order to help one of their alumni.
Today, Mrs. Halushak's class from St. Pius X School joined hundreds of others at the Port Arthur Cenotaph for the Remembrance Day Ceremonies. Two of her students had the honour of laying a wreath.
Students across our Board participated in Remembrance Day ceremonies today, and have been engaged in various activities - from prayer services to crafts and history projects for Remembrance Week.
We ran into several alumni, two of these faces you may recognize in particular - Sgt Billy McElroy and WO Jon O'Connor, who helped us with our Remembrance Day video. We also caught up with many of our alumni from Thunder Bay Police Service and the LSSR who attended St. Ignatius High School Thunder Bay and @StPatrickhigh
We recognize the courage and sacrifice of those who served and who continue to serve. Thank you.
Lest we Forget.
Grade 10 History students in Ms. Etienne & Ms. Papich's classes St. Ignatius High School Thunder Bay participated in a ceremonial tulip planting service at Current River Park in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Holland.
The tulips were planted in pots on site, and will eventually be transplanted into the St. Ignatius Outdoor classroom area.
The new monument was embraced as an outdoor classroom. Here, the classes had the opportunity to discuss local World War I history and have a prayer service, honouring those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
They also discussed the relationship between Canada and the Netherlands since World War II. The Canadian forces led the liberation of the Netherlands, and provided sanctuary for the Dutch Royal Family while their country was under Nazi occupation.
Tulips are a symbol of the enduring friendship between Canada and the Netherlands because of Canada’s selfless actions to assist. Thank you for inviting us! It was a great addition to Remembrance Week services.
Each student wrote down the meaning of peace to them, and learned about Remembrance Day, the Cenotaph, the Armoury and why it's important to remember.
The peace sign images will be used in Remembrance Day ceremonies at their schools, taking place tomorrow.
Safe Drinking Water in our Schools
Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board works collaboratively with the Government of Ontario to uphold current provincial regulations for safe drinking water and schools.
We work diligently with our Engineering Consultants to ensure our drinking water is safe for all. To learn more about policies, procedures and test results, click here.
2019 Results will be posted within the next month.
Sean, Doug and Richard, Architects from Brook McIlroy, along with Dan, from Dan Pradal Construction, were on site to teach the students all about investigating strong and stable structures!
This deep learning project became even more fun and engaging with the help of marshmallows, Swedish Berries and toothpicks to create their very own mini stable structures.
Students had the opportunity to put their lesson to work in creating different shapes - such as triangles, to create a solid foundation for their structure.
Thank you to Sean, Doug, Richard and Dan for taking time out of your day to help the Students with their Deep Learning project. It's always great to have local professionals come into the classroom!
Thank you Mrs. Meo for inviting us!
Kindergarten Inquiry Excursion!
This week, we were invited by Ms. Turco and Ms. Aube from St. Bernard School to tag along on their Kindergarten Inquiry Excursion!
Even more fun, we had Ms. Lenardon and Ms. Grann's class with us, along with our guides/educators from the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority!
These amazing classes have been involved in a fall inquiry focus on the natural environment trees, leaves and animals. Exploring the Cascades together was a lot of fun, especially when you have parent, grandparent and canine helpers!
Thanks for the inquisitive morning!
- Treaties Week - Birchbark Canoe
This week honours the importance of treaties and helps students and residents of Ontario learn more about treaty rights and relationships.
Mr. Angus visited several classrooms and schools, and has been active in sharing his knowledge and songs with students.
This week, Bishop Gallagher Senior Elementary School with the help of Mr. Ramage and Mr. Angus, created Birch Bark Canoes. This birch was all harvested from Mr. Angus' property. Thank you for this!
Last week, we visited Pope John Paul II School Community... and the word "busy" is quite the understatement!
This school is HUSTLING!
We learned all about Nolan's journey, and then discovered that Ms. Harrison, Ms. Racco, Mr. Dubeau, Mr. Erdman and Ms. Lamothe along with their students are weaving sleeping mats for the homeless. This is a TEDIOUS project! The plastic bags were collected, then the students have to flatten the bags, cut them into strips (to make "yarn") and crochet them together. We will check back on their progress!
We then dropped by class 73, where Mrs. Henderson's class are collecting socks and underwear for a local agency. IF you want to donate! Please drop off NEW socks and underwear to the office!
THEN... oh yes, there's a "then", we made our way to the culinary room, where the scent of garlic and cilantro greeted us! Mrs. Harrison's class was busy preparing their "Last Supper" - a final meal preparation for the semester.
Jaguars - keep up the amazing work, you're doing amazing things!
St. Martin's Mustangs' Blessing Cupboard
The school community will stock a Blessings Cupboard with food basics, personal care items, clothing and household essentials for students to access year round.
- You can vote as many times as you want until Friday, November 8th, 2019 at 4 p.m. ET, so vote now and vote often!
Did you receive a text this morning? Yes, that was us!
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Text messaging service is now available!
Our schools utilize the SchoolMessenger system to deliver text messages, straight to your mobile phone. Important information about events, school closures, safety alerts and more will be delivered to you, promptly.
Text “YES” to this number:
And you’re done!
You can also opt out of these messages at any time, simply in responding to one of our messages with the response: “stop”.
First Communion Welcome
Our Southside schools participated in a beautiful mass yesterday, at St. Agnes Church, Thunder Bay
These young grade two students are preparing for their first Holy Communion, and were welcomed, together with their families to a celebratory mass.
The First Communion team, including teachers Maureen Van Dyk and Kristen Veneziale, from St. Agnes Church, invited the students.
The mass was introduced to help build excitement and prepare the students for enrolling in First Reconciliation and Communion at their family parish.
Thank you to everyone who attended. It was a beautiful afternoon.
To learn more about First Communion, please contact your family Parish.
Friendship has no Age!
As part of their deep-learning initiatives, Mrs. Arthur's former grade 4 class wanted to do something special for fellow students.
Living in Thunder Bay is something many take for granted, especially when you are a student who was born and raised in the community. Holy Cross students took a great interest in learning more about students in northern communities, who must leave their homes in order to pursue their education in Thunder Bay.
Because of this transition, and introduction to a new city and new surroundings, the students wanted to make new DFC students feel welcome. As an extension of camaraderie, these new grade five students created welcome care packages with the help of many local businesses!
Thank you to the staff, students and Elders of DFC for making us feel so incredibly welcomed. The homemade bannock and cookies were delicious, and the students really enjoyed having a school tour while getting to meet "big kids".
St. Francis Day!
Did you know, October 4th is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi?
Did you know St. Francis is the Catholic Church’s patron saint of animals and the environment? AND during this day, it is a popular day for pets to be blessed.
Today, Father Jerin was at St. Francis School celebrating St. Francis of Assisi Day with a beautiful outdoor mass.
Students, Staff, families and furry friends were all invited to participate and many furry and fishy friends were blessed.
Thank you to everyone who participated. Shout out to Luna, the most patient and easy going cat we've ever met!
"I matter, you matter, we matter." - St. James Public School
Today we celebrated with our friends at Lakehead Public Schools, where Staples and The Kiwanis Club of Thunder Bay presented extremely generous donations to our students and their school communities.
International Walk to School Month!
Did you know that walking to and from school has so many wonderful benefits, which include: staying active, improving overall health, AND making sustainable transportation choices. Schools such as St. Margaret can even track their class’ trips, and the highest participating classes and schools win prizes!
The event is part of the WOW TBay project, which is co-led by the Thunder Bay District Health Unit and EcoSuperior. This project is made possible through financial support from Green Communities Canada and the Government of Ontario.
Terry Fox Run
Students, staff and their families at Holy Family School took to the street, and walked in honour of Terry Fox and their loved ones, battling cancer.
"It's got to keep going without me..." - Terry Fox
These amazing students are continuing his legacy, with a goal of raising funds for cancer research.
Within the last nine years, Holy Family School alone has raised over $26,000.
We're so proud of ALL of schools... and our entire Thunder Bay community who participate in this yearly event.
We all know how near and dear Terry is to our community, with his running journey sadly ending here in our city.
"Doctors in Thunder Bay confirmed that cancer had spread from his legs to his lungs. He phoned his parents who caught the first plane to Thunder Bay. Terry was so weak when he tried to walk across the street to a car so they could get a bite to eat outside the hospital, he collapsed. “The day before I’d run 26 miles and now I couldn’t even walk across the street,” he said." - Marathon of Hope website
Orange Shirt Day!
We kicked off the morning at St. Ann Elementary School and caught up with our students in their very best orange apparel!
We then headed over to St. Martin Elementary School where students in Mme Auger and Mme Wowchuk's classes showed us the attachment hearts they loving sewed.
Attachment hearts are used to support kinship, connection and relationships for Aboriginal children, youth, families and communities. They are filled with traditional Indigenous medicines *tobacco* and given to someone who is a friend, family member or caregiver to demonstrate your attachment to that person.
WE then headed to the gym, where we took a massive photo with all of the students and staff members wearing orange. Those who forgot to wear orange, helped us capture the perfect photo! Thanks Assistants!