- Celebrating Fifty
- Board of Trustees
- Community Use of Schools
- Assessment Department
- Board Improvement Plan
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
2018 - 2019 Annual Director's Report
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!
Goodbye F. Scott Fitzgerald...
Our Saints were visited by reporter, Caroline Alphonso from The Globe and Mail during their Contemporary Aboriginal Voices class.
"In a city facing tough questions about racism and reconciliation, educators hope new authors in the curriculum can offer different answers."
Thank you to everyone involved who helped launch this curriculum. From Board to Classroom, it takes a true team to make programming like this possible!
*PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID JACKSON/THE GLOBE AND MAIL
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!