Have a wonderful summer! What a wonderful year of teaching and learning that we have had in Edmonton Catholic Schools. I have heard countless examples of #ECSDawesome in our school communities that range from learning experiences to social justice projects to celebrations. As we say our final farewells to our students of this year, it is an excellent time to pause and remember those first days of September so that we can reflect on all the growth that has happened over these past 10 months.
Have a restful and rejuvenating summer!
Our year-round schools' first day of class is August 14, and our regular calendar schools' first day of class is September 5.
School Opening Mass for staff is August 31; see you then!
Cappies: Congratulations to all our staff and students for an excellent theatre season! The amazing productions from our high schools only happen because of an unbelievable commitment on behalf of the staff and students involved. The season culminated with the Cappies Gala at the Citadel Theatre last weekend. Those receiving special recognition at the gala were as follows:
Costumes — Fashion Studies Students of Blessed Oscar Romero High School for Village of Idiots
Ensemble in a Musical — Flotsam and Jetsam of St. Joseph High School for The Little Mermaid
Female Vocalist — Glynnis McCrostie of Archbishop MacDonald High School for Kiss Me Kate
Male Vocalist — Navneet Chand of Archbishop MacDonald High School for Kiss Me Kate
Lead Actor in a Play — Max Hanic of J.H. Picard High School for Othello
Grade 10 Top Critic — Beylul Ariay-Dirrar of Archbishop MacDonald High School
Grade 11 Top Critic — Madeline Newman of Archbishop MacDonald High School and Mary Frank of J.H. Picard High School
Top Critic Team — Archbishop MacDonald High School
National Aboriginal Day, June 21: In 2009, June was declared National Aboriginal History Month, following the passing of a unanimous motion in the House of Commons. This provides an opportunity to recognize not only the historic contributions of Aboriginal peoples to the development of Canada, but also the strength of present-day Aboriginal communities and their promise for the future. Here are some of the events you will see happening across our District on this important day:
- Edmonton Catholic Schools, APTN, and others, in partnership with the City of Edmonton, will host 2017 National Aboriginal Day at Victoria Park on June 21, 2017. Visit http://aboriginaldaylive.ca/edmonton/performers/ for the schedule and performers.
ECSD has 10 schools participating in the event on the 21st of June and one school at a special event on the 23rd at Victoria Park.
- St. Thomas More will host their first Pipe Ceremony on June 21st . The host Elder will be Francis Alexis.
- High School teachers are participating in a partnership Social studies PD session hosted by LSE and LSI on the 20th.
The Catholic Dimension: The Alberta Catholic School Trustees Association (ACSTA) works hard to ensure that they are doing their utmost to celebrate, preserve, promote and enhance Catholic education in Alberta, Northwest Territories and Yukon. They are very excited to share their summer 2017 edition of The Catholic Dimension.
As their main publication to their stakeholder base, as well as the public and Catholic community, The Catholic Dimension (a twice-yearly publication) gives a good insight into the on goings of member boards, as well as what the ACSTA executive team and staff are up to. You can access the publication at
School Fees: We are now in the midst of reporting our proposed school fees to the Ministry of Education. Once those fees have been approved, parents can expect to see fees schedules posted on school websites. We will have more information to share as the government process unfolds.
Reconciliation in Education Day: The work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has highlighted the importance that all Canadians understand the implications of the historical oppression of our indigenous peoples. It is through this building of understanding that Canadian society will be able to have true reconciliation with our indigenous peoples and move forward in creating stronger relationships for a better Canada. ECSD has partnered with the City of Edmonton and others to support the many activities that have taken place across the city this past week as part of Reconciliation Week. June 2 is Reconciliation in Education Day, and Edmonton Catholic Schools' Indigenous Learning Services is proud to host the Métis Nation of Alberta's President Audrey Poitras to deliver a keynote address to students reflecting on the experiences of Métis people during the Residential Schools era. You can find more information at https://www.edmonton.ca/attractions_events/schedule_festivals_events/trc-closing-events.aspx .
The Governor General of Canada's Sovereign Medal: Congratulations to Dan Alba, Assistant Principal at St. Martha. Dan was nominated for this prestigious award by a student for going above and beyond supporting him while he was ill, and Dan received this award from Hon. Lois Mitchell at a ceremony this week. In the words of the student's family, "It's time we tell everyone how wonderful he is." Dan is the first teacher to ever receive this award. Well, done, Dan. You are #ECSDawesome!
All City Music Performances: Our All City Junior and Senior Bands, as well as our All City Choir are in the midst of spring concert season. Congratulations to all our students for their commitment and dedication to this music enrichment opportunity. Special thanks go out to all our staff who have dedicated their time and talent to providing this exceptional opportunity to our students! Visit our website to learn more and to see the performance schedule. All are welcome! https://www.ecsd.net/parentsstudents/studentresources/pages/ecsd-all-city-band.aspx
Board Retirement Function: Tonight, our Board of Trustees will celebrate the 75 staff members who are retiring from service to the students and families of Edmonton Catholic Schools at their 6th Annual Retirement Gala. Please join me in offering our deepest gratitude to our retirees for their commitment and contributions to ensuring that our students are nurtured and experience an education deeply rooted in Christ!
Metro Athletics All-Star Awards: The following ECSD students and staff were recognized at the Metro Athletics All-Star Luncheon for their outstanding contributions to school athletics in the 2016-17 school year:
Metro Athletics Girls Volleyball
Marina Culo - J.H. Picard
Jenae Eisler – St. Francis Xavier
Natasha Nguyen – Louis St. Laurent
Metro Athletics Boys Volleyball
Ryan Kortbeek – Archbishop MacDonald
Jared McFadyen – J. H. Picard
Ituriel Mora-Aguilar – Blessed Oscar Romero
Coach of the year for Division 3 – Rose-Marie McGee – Blessed Oscar Romero
Metro Athletics Football
Peter Adonri – Holy Trinity
Avery Aloneissi – Archbishop O'Leary
Jared Cleave – St. Francis Xavier
Coach of the year Gilfillan division – Matt Wojcicki – Holy Trinity
Metro Athletics Girls Basketball
Mataya Baldwin- Holy Trinity
Abby Bruyer – Louis St. Laurent
Ashton Wentland – Austin O'Brien
Metro Athletics Boys Basketball
Peter Adonri – Holy Trinity
Adrian Dario – Archishop O'Leary
Geoffrey James – St. Francis Xavier
Quinn Rossman – J.H. Picard
Coach of the year Division 3 – Marianne Darlet – J.H. Picard
Congratulations to all recipients and to their teammates for a great year. We also wish to acknowledge and thank our many coaches, staff sponsors, admin teams, Metro Athletics Office staff, and Metro Athletics executive, who provide and support these great athletic opportunities for our students throughout the year. Your efforts are deeply appreciated.
Superintendent's Awards of Excellence and God Is Love Awards: I had the privilege of hosting the 28th Annual Superintendent's Awards of Excellence, which included the 3rd annual conferring of the God is Love Awards, last night. Our students were honored for such things as their dedication, perseverance, service, and commitment to evangelization. As always, it is inspiring and uplifting to see the truly humble way that these amazing students make this world a better place! Thank you to all of the staff who have played a role in the nurturing of all of our students, and special thanks to those staff members who nominated students to receive these awards.
Canadian Association of Principals Distinguished Principal Award: Please join me in congratulating Terry Volk, Principal of Bishop David Motiuk Catholic Elementary/Junior High School. Terry has been named the recipient of the Canadian Association of Principals Distinguished Principal Award. Terry is being honored for her demonstrated commitment to creating experiences that benefit students and teachers, her dedication to her own professional growth and that of others, her service to the community, and her philosophy of learning which has translated into innovative programming.
We are proud that Terry's ongoing pursuit of excellence has led to this well-deserved national recognition.
ATA Council for School Leadership 2016-2017 Distinguished Leadership Award.: Please join me in offering congratulations to Wendy Robinson, Kyle Porter, Dale Astill, Tisa Haesch, Eugenia Kowalczyk, Elana Simington, Brad Koshka, and Jennifer De Stefanis-Dimas for being recognized as among the most forward thinking and innovative leaders in the province! The Council for School Leadership shares that "these individuals are considered role models in a vibrant network of educational leaders with the confidence and capabilities to lead innovative change for 21st century learning." Their exceptional leadership is greatly appreciated not only by their schools, but by our District as well!
Education Week: May 1-5 is Education Week. This celebration of the role that education plays in our communities was established by the teaching profession over 75 years ago. The theme for this year is Learning is a Journey. You can learn more about Education Week and find resources and activities on the ATA website: https://www.teachers.ab.ca/News%20Room/IssuesandCampaigns/Pages/Education-Week.aspx
Hats on for Mental Health: One of the simplest acts that we can do for someone who is faced with a challenge is to stand in solidarity with them. Hats on For Mental Health Day, May 3 this year, provides us with the opportunity to foster a culture that helps to end the stigma that people who live with mental illness are faced with. It is estimated that 60% of people with mental illness will not seek help because of this stigma. For more information and resources, visit canwetalk.ca.
36th Annual Ben Calf Robe Traditional Pow Wow: Edmonton Catholic Schools is very proud of the amazing celebration of indigenous culture that takes place each year at the BCR Pow Wow. This year's event takes place on Saturday May 13 from 1-10 pm at the Commonwealth Community Recreation Centre, 11000 Stadium Road. All are welcome and admission is free, but bring your own chairs! For more information, contact Rhonda Metallic at 780-471-2360.
New Evangelization Summit: St. Anthony's Parish in Drayton Valley invites you to join them for the New Evangelization Summit on Friday-Saturday, May 12-13. Together they will join 26 host sites across North America and link into the main conference in Ottawa! Come and be inspired by top speakers from across North America including: Bishop Robert Barron, Sister Miriam James, Michael Dopp and many more.
To register visit https://www.newevangelization.ca/ . When you select your location, be sure to select "Drayton Valley, AB."
For more information or for help registering for the conference, contact Ashley at the parish office at 780-542-5254 or email Ashley.Rhyno@caedm.ca .
CWL Edmonton Diocesan Convention: I would like to offer my best wishes to the women of the Edmonton Diocesan CWL as they prepare for their annual convention this weekend. The CWL is a vital partner in Catholic education, and their support for our District as a whole and the schools in their parishes is greatly appreciated!
Newman Theological College Faith, Fitness and Fun Run/Walk: Another one of our valuable partners is NTC. They are play an integral role in the formation of our teachers through the Master of Religious Education program, as well as through the many Certificate courses they offer. You can have fun and support their good work by participating in their annual fun run!
You are invited to join us for the 12th Annual Faith, Fitness & Fun Run/Walk on Saturday, May 27, on the grounds of St. Joseph Seminary and Newman Theological College, 10012 - 84 Street. Enjoy scenic views of our river valley on your chip-timed 10K run, 5K run or 3K walk -- and support the seminary and college at the same time.
To register, please visit https://www.events.runningroom.com. Registration fee includes T-shirt, hospitality, prizes & fun, plus games and activities for children. For more information, visit http://caedm.ca/funrun or email FunRun@caedm.ca.
Summer Social Justice Curricular Workshop Opportunity: Development and Peace – Caritas Canada, in partnership with the Alberta Catholic Schools Trustees Association, invite you to apply to participate in a second workshop for the Development of Curricular Resources on Global Social Justice Issues. This workshop, facilitated by Development and Peace, will take place at St. Mary's University in Calgary from July 4-7th, 2017 to produce global resources that are faith based, aligned with Alberta Education curriculum, cross-curricular and accessible.
Development and Peace – Caritas Canada and the ACSTA invite you to apply for this opportunity if you are looking to learn about and support education on social justice issues, to contribute to the social justice ministry of the Canadian Catholic Church, and to access an opportunity for professional development alongside a team of like-minded individuals.
ACSTA_CCODP Curricular Workshop Opportunity.pdf
Red and White Day Poster Contest: In honour of Canada's 150th Birthday, Edmonton Catholic Schools is sponsoring a poster contest for our students. The winning posters will be printed and shared with all of our schools for Red and White Day, May 30, 2017, the 150th day of the year. Grand Prize winners will receive a ROOTS Canada sweater and a Canada 150 colouring book. Runners-up will receive a colouring book. Details on the poster contest can be viewed here https://ecsd.net/staff/canada-150/Pages/ECSD-Poster-Contest.aspx. The deadline for submissions is April 28th.
A Lenten Reflection: Sacred Heart Parish in Wetaskiwin invites you to join them for a special Musical Lenten Reflection on Palm Sunday, April 9, at 4 p.m. Enjoy inspirational music and reflective readings on the theme of peace. Music by the St. Nicholas Mandolin Ensemble and Guest Choir of Edmonton. Sacred Heart Church is located at 5113 - 49 Avenue, Wetaskiwin. Everyone is welcome; food bank donations gratefully accepted.
Outdoor Way of the Cross: The Outdoor Way of the Cross is an ecumenical prayer event commemorating the suffering and death of Jesus. It is a time to notice how the gospel values of Jesus are important to individual and social life today. People of all faith traditions are welcome. Participants should dress for weather conditions with good footwear, but the two-hour 1.5 kilometre walk is reasonable for most ages and levels of fitness and ability. Light refreshments are available after the final station. Free street parking all around start location. For more information please call 780.466.6327 (evenings) or 780.218.6989, or Facebook Event page "Good Friday Outdoor Way of the Cross" (https://www.facebook.com/events/263869870718322/ ).
Holodomor Awareness: The Holodomor National Awareness Tour is a project to raise awareness of the Holodomor, the genocidal famine carried out in 1932-33 by the Soviet Union led by Joseph Stalin, which resulted in the deaths of millions of Ukrainians. The centerpiece is the Holodomor Mobile Classroom (HMC), a 40-foot RV customized to educate and engage students and the public about the Holodomor. The mobile classroom will be in Edmonton and area during the week of April 17-21. It will spend some time at the Legislature earlier in the week, and then will be at Austin O'Brien Catholic High School on April 20 and 21 where it will be used by the students of AOB and of St. Brendan to enhance their learning. Visit https://www.holodomortour.ca/ to learn more about this engaging program.
Alberta's Top 70 Employers:
Edmonton Catholic Schools is proud to announce that we have been chosen as one of Alberta's Top 70 Employers for 2017, our second year in a row!
The submission for this competition is very comprehensive, and we submit information in the following categories for the judging: Physical Workplace; Work Atmosphere & Social; Health, Financial & Family Benefits; Vacation and Time-Off; Employee Communications; Performance Management; Training & Skills Development; and Community Involvement. Please visit http://www.canadastop100.com/alberta/
and click on Edmonton Catholic Separate School District No. 7 for a detailed look at why we were selected as a winner in this competition. We know that when our staff have exceptional working conditions, they can focus on providing excellent learning experiences for our students. Our staff is what makes us #ECSDawesome!New Schools and Major Modernization Announced:
We were so pleased to receive news that the government will be funding a major modernization for Ben Calf Robe/St. Clare School and the planning stage of a new school in the south Edmonton neighborhood of The Orchards. Each year, we create a Capital Plan that lists our priorities for modernizations and new schools. Visit our website to view the Capital Plan which our Board of Trustees approved on March 21. https://www.ecsd.net/AboutUs/annual_reports/Pages/Capital-Plan-Archive.aspx Budget Update:
Now that the provincial budget has been tabled, our Core Budget Committee is hard at work developing the District Budget. You can view a summary of the budget with respect to education at https://www.ecsd.net/News/Pages/2017-Provincial-Budget-Summary.aspx
. The final District budget will be presented to the Board of Trustees at the May 30 Public Meeting.
International Women's Day: March 8 is International Women's Day (IWD). The theme for this year is #BeBoldForChange. There are lots of excellent resources and ideas to be found on the IWD website at https://www.internationalwomensday.com/Resources . I would like to give a special shout out to our Unifor 52A Women's Committee for organizing the t-shirt campaign for our staff. All proceeds are going to the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters.
Substitute Appreciation Week: The week of March 13-17 marks Substitute Teacher Appreciation Week. Substitute teachers are so vital for our schools' ability to be able to provide uninterrupted excellent learning experiences for our students. Please take the time this week to thank a substitute teacher for their flexibility, adaptability, and willingness to serve our students.
Numeracy Week: Edmonton Catholic Schools is thrilled to host our 3rd Annual Numeracy Week from March 13-17. As educators, we know the fundamental importance that literacy and numeracy have for all learning, and indeed to life itself. Numeracy Week is an opportunity to bring special awareness to the importance of numeracy skills in all subject areas, not just in math class! Teachers will receive daily emails, starting on March 6, which will contain innovative connections, activities, and ideas. Numeracy Week is so much more than everyone's favorite, Pi Day!
Kindergarten Calculator: Check out our neat new tool to help families determine when their children can start kindergarten. When you input a child's birthday, it gives you the year that they could start this program. It can be found at http://parent.ecsd.net/kindergarten/ .
Hockey Helps Kids: Congratulations to the students of Father Michael Troy Junior High School, captained by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, for winning the second annual Charity Cup Challenge. This amazing charity program is the brainchild of Chloe and Harrison Katz, and is funded by the Katz family. Because they received the most votes of support in this contest, Team Nugent-Hopkins was awarded $25,000 for the charity of their choice, Sport Central, which ensures that children have barrier free access to organized sports.
Congratulations as well to the students of St. Edmund Junior High, captained by Jordan Eberle, for their successful campaign. As runner-up, they are awarded $10,000 for their charity of choice, the Guardian Angels Fund through the Edmonton Catholic Schools Foundation, in support of student mental health. Visit the Hockey Helps Kids or NHL.com website to get the full story.
Pink Shirt Day: It is always uplifting to see the power that is generated when people join in solidarity. Pink Shirt Day is a perfect example of how a simple action, deciding to wear pink on February 22, indicates to everyone that our community supports healthy relationships and takes a stand against bullying. Schools across our District have made this day one to build awareness around how to prevent and how to respond to bullying. We were pleased to have Education Minister Eggen join our students at H.E. Beriault on this important day.
Day of Confessions: The Archdiocese of Edmonton is once again celebrating a Day of Confessions. The day will be held throughout the Archdiocese on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. Visit their website to find times in your parish. http://www.caedm.ca/PastoralParishServices/DivineWorship/DayofConfessions-Hours
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