|Home > What's New|
What's New 2012-2013
Edmonton, AB – The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (ESO) has embarked upon an extraordinary joint partnership with the Edmonton Catholic School District, the Rotary Clubs of Edmonton Riverview and Sherwood Park, and the Inner City Children’s Program (ICCP) whose work together will inspire a sense of community and empower Edmonton’s underserved youth through music education outreach.
YONA-Sistema (Youth Orchestra of Northern Alberta) will begin as a three-year pilot outreach program launching in September 2013. Approximately 20 students enrolled at Mother Teresa Elementary School located in Edmonton’s city centre will begin participating in an intensive after-school orchestra program.
For three hours, five days per week, grade two and three students will receive group violin instruction in a safe and caring environment led by qualified teaching artists at no monetary cost to their families. Staff members from the Inner City Children’s Program, already well-known to the students, will provide additional after school care support. The free program encompasses nutrition and academic support and incorporates physical activity into free play time.
The conception of YONA-Sistema was inspired by the distinguished El Sistema program model developed over 35 years ago in some of the poorest regions of Venezuela. The program’s framework does not train students for musical excellence, but rather focuses on the promotion of positive social change through daily engagement in an activity that builds self-confidence and responsibility—learning to play an instrument. The program’s goals are simple: build stronger communities and provide the tools to create better futures for the children who participate.
“Our goal is to help youth see beyond the limitations they may believe about themselves in school or life,” says Annemarie Petrov, Executive Director for the ESO and Winspear Centre. “The transformative power of the program will enable students to develop a deep-seated confidence, help them cultivate a resilient self-worth, and learn how to incorporate the value of commitment into their lives. It has been proven in Venezuela, in the United States, and now in Canada—This program can change the trajectory of a child’s life. And with each child, these positive effects ripple out to families, friends, teachers and schools, and ultimately the whole community.”
“We are extremely pleased to be in partnership with the ESO and Rotary Clubs to provide children at Mother Teresa Catholic Elementary with the unique opportunity of learning to play a violin at school,” said Joan Carr, Superintendent of Edmonton Catholic Schools. “Learning to play the violin will add another dimension to a child’s life and instill a passion that they will have for a lifetime,” Joan Carr added.
“We at the ICCP are extremely excited with regards to this very serendipitous opportunity and are grateful to all the parties involved to make this happen,” says Karim Mouait, President of the Board of Directors for Inner City Children’s Program. “We believe the program will dramatically enrich the lives of the children and further impact the greater community.”
By the end of the three-year pilot, YONA-Sistema will expand to two schools, reach a wider age-group and offer a broader range of instrument instruction. As participants continue to build on their training, the older students will become peer mentors to younger and newer participants, helping to build a larger ensemble. By 2017, YONA-Sistema looks forward to the debut of the Youth Orchestra of Northern Alberta (YONA) for its first public performance.
The generous contributions from the Rotary Clubs of Edmonton Riverview and Sherwood Park and the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation have enabled YONA-Sistema to get off the ground. Community partnerships will be instrumental to long-term program sustainability, along with funding support from foundations, government investment, and private and in-kind contributions.
“The Rotary Clubs of Edmonton Riverview and Sherwood Park are pleased to be founding partners of the YONA-Sistema Program,” says Carl Simonson. “Research shows that music stimulates so many types of learning and improves language as well as motor and other cognitive skills. As a result, our Clubs believe that this unique musical program for underserved youth will benefit not only those youth, but their families, the school, and the community.”
“The two Rotary Clubs will be providing financial support to assist in the establishment and sustainability of this program and we will continue to engage in fundraising activities for YONA-Sistema, both through granting agencies and private donors, in the future,” Simonson added.
El Sistema’s founding father José Antonio Abreu asserts “music is an agent of social development because it transmits (our society’s) highest values -solidarity, harmony and mutual compassion.” For over 35 years, students and graduates from Sistema-based programs around the world have been impacted by this powerful philosophy and have experienced the immense power and joy of being part of something larger through musical collaboration.
On behalf of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (ESO), Francis Winspear Centre for Music, Edmonton Catholic School District, Inner City Children’s Program, and the Rotary Clubs of Edmonton Riverview and Sherwood Park, I invite you to join us for an upcoming media event on May 16. We will be making an exciting announcement about a new program we are launching. Together with our founding partners, we are building a program that will empower Edmonton’s underserved youth through music educational outreach and inspire a sense of community.
Date: Thursday, May 16, 2013
We look forward to seeing you there!
To work on goal setting, the Grade 2 students at Our Lady of Victories Catholic Elementary set a reading goal at spring break. The goal was for the class to read 250 books in two months which is approximately two books per week. The students demolished this goal with some students reading 5-8 books/week. The class goal was reached in 6 weeks!
To congratulate the class, this Friday, May 17th at 1 p.m., Grade 2 students will have a visit from Edmonton race car driver Roy Wallace! Roy accredits reading as a main contributing factor to his success and he will be sharing his life experiences with the class. He will be bringing his car onto the school field and the students will be able to sit in the driver seat and ask him questions.
Wednesday, May 15th from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., 65 First Nations, Métis and Inuit Grade 12 Grads will be recognized by our District’s Aboriginal Learning Services for their academic accomplishments. Area First Nations Chief and Councils will be at the event for special presentations to the graduates and Chief Tony Alexis from the Alexis First Nation is this year’s Keynote Speaker.
On behalf of the Government of Alberta, I am pleased to cordially invite you to attend the launch of an initiative to support student success through engaging and hands-on learning experiences. The announcement will take place on Monday, May 6th, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. at St. Joseph High School, 10830 - 109 Street, in Edmonton.
This initiative is being supported through the ministries of Education, Enterprise and Advanced Education, and Human Services. It will enable high school students to build on their areas of interest while introducing them to post-secondary programs and workplace opportunities. Following the formal speaking program, there will also be an opportunity to meet with students and learn more about related learning opportunities offered at St. Joseph High School.
This morning, the Provincial Government announced new schools for Edmonton and area. Of the three new schools scheduled for construction in Edmonton, the District received funding for a Kindergarten to Grade 9 school in Lewis Farms.
The school should be opening in September 2016.
To view the Alberta Government News Release click here
Monday, April 29th, from 9 a.m. until 11:20 a.m., St. Richard Catholic Elementary will be holding the "We are Bucketfillers" event and it stems from the We Day event that students attended in October. There will be a number of speakers, including a young lady who created a local organization called "Love Notes for Strangers.” I’ve attached the schedule for the morning.The Grade 6 students have organized this event and created many different ways to teach and inspire the rest of the school about making a change in the world. Your contact is Grade 6 teacher/organizer Amber Nicholson. St. Richard is located in Mill Woods at 5704 Mill Woods Road South
This week the St. Martin Ukrainian Bilingual Program Elementary students have all been writing traditional Ukrainian Easter Eggs – Pysanky! Please drop by the school tomorrow, Friday, April 26th if you’d like some footage of the Grade 4 and 5 students preparing for the Julian Calendar Easter.
This year Easter on the Julian Calendar is five weeks after the regular (Gregorian calendar) Easter. For the Julian Calendar Palm Sunday is April 28 and Easter is on May 5. Here is tomorrow’s schedule:
Friday, April 26 - 8:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. - Grade 5
Friday, April 26th from 8:45 a.m. until 11:45 a.m., St. Cecilia Junior High will be transformed into a mini WE Day and Mayor Mandel will be one of the speakers (from 9:10 until 9:25 a.m.). The school’s Student Leadership Team attended WE Day in Calgary in the fall where they learned about helping others both locally and globally. All students in the school are trying to leave their footprint by taking action as agents of social change in our world today. The school has adopted the idea of ME to WE, by creating change as a whole rather than an individual.
People are in need around the world of fresh water as they do not have access to it. St. Cecilia students are going to be a part of the biggest penny collection in Canada and are encouraging everyone in the school to collect as many pennies as possible before they are out of circulation. The kick off for the penny collection began April 2nd. There will be numerous other fundraisers such as bake sales, etc. to raise funds for this project.
Here is a little bit about the ‘We Create Change’ campaign:
This year, in recognition of the global water crisis and the effect that events like last year’s East African drought have on developing countries, Free the Children has set a goal of providing 100,000 people with clean water for life. Free The Children’s We Create Change campaign, made possible by RBC, is one of Canada’s largest penny drives. Coinciding with the penny going out of circulation, students are challenging the school and community to donate their pennies to this truly important cause - water.
This Saturday, April 27th from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., St. Mary Elementary will be holding their second annual Health and Wellness student conference. I’ve attached the program and there are a number of interesting speakers and the Keynote Speaker is Susan Agrios, former International elite athlete and now CEO of Training by Agrios.
April 21st to 27th is National Volunteer Week when over 12.5 million volunteers across the nation are recognized for their contributions.
Thank God for all of you! (1 Thessalonians Chapter 1 Verses 1-5)
This Wednesday, April 24th, from 11:30-1:00 PM, close to 200 of our students will be involved in the 6th Annual Invention Convention. The event at St. Joseph High School is basically like a science fair only students have 'invented' something to make their lives easier; think ‘Dragon's Den’ for students in Grades 7 and 8.
Students in our District are from four of our schools; Cardinal Leger, Louis St. Laurent, St. Nicholas and Our Lady of Mount Carmel. My favourite inventions are: a walker with a brush attachment so snow can be swept from in front to expose ice; a leak proof stopper for pop cans and window decals that are visible to birds but not to people! Students are encouraged to patent/copyright their intellectual property!
The event is hosted by The Learning Partnership’s I3 – Investigate! Invent! Innovate! The program is classroom-based and inspires students in Grades 7 and 8 to learn applied science, math and technology skills that will help them succeed at higher levels of education, and to think about pursuing a science and technology education and career. The program also instills an entrepreneurial spirit!
This Thursday, April 25 at 10:45am, Annunciation Catholic Elementary will be hosting the final playoff game to determine who will have the honour of winning the Troy Davies Stanley Cup!
The game officials will be:
The students at Annunciation Elementary have been having regular season hockey games for the last month at recess and lunch time on their table-top hockey game! In total there are 26 teams (52 players) and special referees to officiate the games from Grades 4-5-6.
Thursday, April 18th at 1 p.m. at the Woodcroft Library, 13420 114 Ave, a total of 25 students from St. Pius X Elementary will be taking part in ‘15 to Clean’ - a City of Edmonton awareness event about keeping our neighborhoods clean. The school’s social justice group (students in Grades 4,5 & 6 who attended We Day 2012 in Calgary and lead social justice events at St. Pius X) will listen to the book The Lorax as it is being read to them. There will also be a few speakers including Grade 3 teacher Helene Almon from St. Pius X, who is part of the social justice team.
The students will then head outside to clean up litter around the library for 15 minutes. Two Grade 6 students from St. Pius X will be available to speak with media.
If you are looking for a great picture or footage tonight, the third annual ‘Heart of Glee’ event is taking place beginning at 7 p.m. at the U of A Myer Horowitz Theatre. Edmonton Catholic Schools is presenting an evening of song, music and dance from students in ten junior high and senior high schools in the District.
This event is in support of our partnership with the Stollery Children’s Foundation and all funds raised will be supporting the Foundation. Last year $6,000 was raised for the Stollery and this year it’s hoped the event will raise the same amount!
St. Kevin Catholic Junior High school is pleased to welcome Free the Children spokesperson Spencer West to their school for a presentation on Wednesday, May 1. St. Kevin students have enthusiastically embraced the message Spencer delivered at WE Day, expanding their already tremendous Social Justice involvement! This year, students have raised $9000 for the Terry Fox Foundation in our annual campaign.
For more information - Click here
Congratulations to the eight semi-finalists for the 2013 Excellence in Teaching Award!
It will be an exciting morning this Wednesday, April 10th at Good Shepherd Catholic Elementary as one of the students won a contest to bring an NFL player to his school! Grade 6 student Dominik Ostrowski will be picked up Wednesday by NFL Detroit Lions player Ndamukong Suh in a limousine. Here is the schedule for the morning:
The 18 students in the Grade 1 class from St. Dominic Elementary has been invited to City Hall this Thursday, April 4th at 10:00 a.m. for the Donate A Ride wrap up ceremony.
For their class Social Justice Project, the students wanted to help people who don't own cars and have trouble getting their groceries and going to medical appointments. The class raised about $350 from their January popcorn sale for the Donate A Ride charity. St. Dominic is located in the north end at 5804 – 144 Avenue.
On Thursday April 4th the Board of Trustees is hosting District-Wide Community of School Councils’ Meeting at 7:00 p.m. in the Courtyard of St. Joseph High School.
Click here to view the Agenda for the COSC meeting
We are pleased to acknowledge 24 of our educators who have been nominated for the provincial 2013 Excellence in Teaching Award!
Since 1989 the Excellence in Teaching Awards Program has recognized the innovative and outstanding teaching that takes place every day in classrooms across Alberta.The Edmonton Catholic School District has 24 teachers and principals nominated this year! Semi-finalists will be announced early in April and recipients announced later that month. Congratulations to everyone nominated!
Statement From Board Chair Becky Kallal on Tentative Agreement with the Province and ATA - March 19th, 2013
This afternoon the Board of Trustees discussed the tentative four-year agreement with the province of Alberta and the Alberta Teachers’ Association. As a Board we support this tentative agreement and believe that labour peace is in the best interests of our students, staff and parents in the Edmonton Catholic School District. If the agreement is ratified, our District can remain focused on a number of priorities including 21st century learning, high school completion and early learning to name just a few. We are also pleased that possible pressure points in teacher workloads will be examined as part of the agreement.
St. Philip Elementary will be hosting a Digital Citizenship Day. From 10:30 to 11:30 and 12:30 to 1:30, one of our technology specialists will be making classroom presentations to students in K to 6 to enhance the students understanding and knowledge of their role as Digital Citizens.
The presentations will be as follows: K to 3 from 9:30 to 10AM
As a District, we have a Digital Citizenship Policy and here is some information about Digital Citizenship:
Digital Citizenship is a concept which helps teachers, technology leaders and parents to understand what students/children/technology users should know to use technology appropriately. Digital Citizenship is more than just a teaching tool; it is a way to prepare students/technology users for a society full of technology.
You can also visit http://digitalcitizenship.net/ for more information.
The District’s annual Band Share Day will be held this Monday, March 18th from 9 a.m. until almost 9 p.m. A total of 24 schools and 28 performances will take place at the Winspear Centre and I’ve attached the draft program. This annual event gives students the opportunity to perform in a world-class facility! This Edmonton Catholic tradition began in 1989!
A Grade 1 student at St. Lucy Elementary School began collecting new pairs of socks to bring to the school’s Family Dance ‘Sock’ (Sharing Our Compassion through Kindness) Hop’ in February. The socks would be donated to an organization that would help the needy. Benjamin Fehr hadn’t quite met his goal of 100 pairs of socks before the fundraiser (he had about 70 pairs) so he continued to collect new socks. His birthday was around the same time so he asked everyone to give him socks, instead of presents, for his birthday! He has now collected 240 pairs of new socks for the homeless!
On Friday morning (March 15th) at 9:30 a.m., Peter Ouellette, Regional President of St. Vincent DePaul Society, will be coming to the speak to the Grade 1 class, thank Ben and collect the socks. The socks were in tubs but are now in the library, laid out in a counting graph with 10 in each row!
Friday seems like the appropriate day to have the socks picked up because it is also ‘Crazy Sock Day’ at the school and everyone is asked to wear their craziest and most fun, pair of socks!
St. Nicholas Junior High will be holding a mini WE Day! WE Day is a movement of young people leading local and global change. Since the beginning of the school year, students have raised approximately $1500 for Christmas Hampers that go out to the school community. Since January, students have been fundraising through Free the Children to provide clean water to a village in Kenya. Clean water not only prevents disease, it also frees the women and girls from having to get water so they can attend school. Mini WE Day will consist of many speakers and performers who have donated their time to help inspire our students to go and make a difference in the world.
The Edmonton Catholic School District is pleased to announce a one-of-a-kind partnership with the Canadian Welding Association (CWA) and the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) to enhance the District’s new Career Skills Centre. The Career Skills Centre is situated at St. Joseph High School and offers career training programs to students such as Automotive Services, Cosmetology, Health Care Aide and Welding. The Canadian Welding Association and the Christian Labour Association of Canada are providing state-of-the-art equipment for the Welding program.
A recent survey of Alberta children and youth found that 50 per cent had been bullied since the start of the school year and 36 per cent admitted to engaging in this form of harassment at least once during the year. The Redford government recognizes that the only way to address bullying in our schools and communities is for students, parents, teachers, administrators, trustees and community partners to come together to create and support environments where bullying is less likely to occur.
Pink Shirt Day began in Nova Scotia when a Grade 9 student was bullied because he wore a pink shirt to school. In response to the event, several students organized themselves, purchased pink shirts and distributed them to other students. The following morning, the school foyer was awash with students wearing pink. You can see the whole story at www.iccrevalcore.net/Sito_Polo/Agio%20e%20Benessere/story_of_pink_shirt_day.pdf.
Since that time, a number of schools, communities and organizations have participated in Pink Shirt Day by encouraging people to wear something pink as both a proactive message of support for youth who have experienced bullying and as a way for people to show their commitment to refrain from bullying behaviours.
I encourage the schools in your jurisdiction to participate in Pink Shirt Day on February 27, 2013. Information and strategies for bullying prevention can be found at www.education.alberta.ca/teachers/safeschools/bullying-prevention.aspx.
We all want to stop bullying in Alberta’s schools and communities. We can do it—if we work together. Participation in Pink Shirt Day is one way to raise awareness that everyone has a role to play in preventing bullying and creating welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments for all students.
The Board of Trustees for both Edmonton Catholic and Edmonton Public unanimously approved a feasibility study on student transportation late this afternoon at their respective Board meetings.
February 4th Parent Session: Cancelled
We regret to inform everyone that due to an unexpected matter, Sister Anne Smollin will not be able to come to Edmonton to present her session for parents and staff on Monday night at St. Joseph High School. We are cancelling the Monday night session.
Sister Annata Brockman teacher travels to Norway to demonstrate innovative teaching techniques with Norwegian schools.
Dance Academy students from St. Nicholas welcome