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Edmonton Catholic Schools
August 14
August 14, 2018

Welcome Back: Edmonton Catholic Schools is proud to begin our 130th year of providing an excellent Catholic education to the students of Edmonton. We have grown from one school with 23 students in 1888 to a District of 96 schools with over 43,000 students in 2018!

The first day of class for our 3 year-round schools (St. Alphonsus, St. Catherine, and St. Teresa of Calcutta) was Monday, August 13. I was so delighted to visit each of these schools on that day and to witness the joy of those communities as they shared stories of their summer adventures and eagerly began their journeys of learning.

Our regular calendar schools will begin classes on Tuesday, September 4.

Walking Together in God’s Love: Our theme for this year, Walking Together in God’s Love, is a beautiful expression of the journey that happens each day in our schools and sites; it is the journey of membership in a community of faith that is committed to loving God and loving each other. Our scripture passage, Micah 6:8, tells us what God asks of us: to act justly, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with Him. This is a sure path to a life that rich with the joy that comes from knowing that God is with you always. This is the path that our students and staff walk together every day as we live out our mission to provide a Catholic education that inspires students to learn and that prepares them to live fully and to serve God in one another.

June 25
June 25, 2018

Hockey Helps Kids:  We are absolutely delighted that Sister Annata Brockman School was successful in their bid to be one of the four Edmonton schools chosen to participate in the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation’s Hockey Helps Kids!  Each year, the winning school receives $25,000 for their chosen charity and each of the runner-up teams receive a participation award of $10,000 for their charity.  The school will announce their charity of choice in the fall.  They will also find out which Oiler will be their team captain.  We will share all the details as soon as we know so that you can support their efforts with your votes!

One World…One Centre assists newly arrived families to Canada to register over the summer:  Although our schools are closed over the summer, our One World…One Centre remains open to serve newly arrived families to Canada who would like to register their students with Edmonton Catholic Schools for the fall.  It is so important for families to have access to this incredible support as they establish roots in this wonderful city!  Families can phone 780 944-2001 for more information and to book an appointment.

Year-Round Schools Calendar:  Our year-round schools, St. Catherine, St. Teresa of Calcutta, and St. Alphonsus, also begin their summer break on June 29.  Staff in these schools return on August 10, and the first day of class for their students is August 13, 2018.  These schools balance their instructional days into four terms with vacation breaks between each of the terms.  The number of instructional days for students is the same for both the year-round calendar and the traditional calendar.  

A blogging hiatus:  I will be taking a summer break from blogging and will start writing again in late August.  Have a wonderful summer vacation!

June 14
June 14th, 2018

Cappies:  June 10th, 2018 was the 11th annual Cappies Gala which celebrates achievements by high school writers, actors, and theatre technicians. Held at the Citadel Theatre, this year there were over 200 nominees across 21 are high schools including many from ECSD! Here are some of the highlights including best play!

Best Play — A Few Good Men, Austin O'Brien High School

Top Grade 10 Critic- Emily Mahon, Archbishop MacDonald.

Lead Actor in a Play — Sam Free, Austin O'Brien High School, A Few Good Men

Featured Actor in a Play — Luke Bergeron, Austin O'Brien High School, A Few Good Men

Comic Actress in a Play — Shyia Gray, St. Joseph High School, The Visit

Male Vocalist — James Velasco, Archbishop MacDonald High School, Heathers: The Musical (High School Edition

Supporting Actress in a Musical — Katelyn Cabalo, Blessed Oscar Romero High School, Addams Family The Musical

Costumes — Alex Durrschnabel and Fashion Students, Blessed Oscar Romero High School, Addams Family

Hair and Makeup — Hannah Calapre, Theresa Cayanan, Samantha Durrschnabel, Blessed Oscar Romero High School, Addams Family The Musical


We wish to express thanks and recognition to all of our schools for an inspiring theatre season and congratulate all who were nominated and who received awards. These are wonderful accomplishments and we are so proud of your dedication, passion, and commitment to the theatre arts!

For more information about the gala please see the following link:

Blessing of resources for the new grade 5 Religion program:  We are very excited about the implementation of the new grade 5 Religion program in the fall.  Our resources have all arrived, and before they are sent out to schools, we had a beautiful ceremony on June 11 with Archbishop Smith to bless them.  You can see picture of this lovely event on Twitter at and

Public Meeting of the Board on June 19, 2018:  Our Public Meeting of the Board on June 19 has been rescheduled to begin at 1 pm. Once the business of the regular meeting has taken place, the Board of Trustees will hold its Organizational Meeting for the 2018-19 school year.  At this time, they will vote for the position of Chair, Vice-Chair, and the committees which each Trustee will lead and/or belong to.  As always, the meeting will be livestreamed for your convenience at:



May 30
May 30, 2018

Grace for the Heart and Soul Webinar:  Sandy Prather led us in a wonderful webinar experience, Open Your Eyes!: Developing a Spirituality of Gift, Grace and Gratitudefor our staff faith formation afternoon on May 24.  Staff may view the webinar in our portal by clicking here, or by visiting Catholic Identity in the Office of the Superintendent site. 

Film Fest:  Our 8th Annual Film Fest was held on May 28.  This incredible exhibition of student talent in the film arts is truly wondrous.  Visit view the 2018 finalists and winners.  Congratulations to all of our student participants for their tremendous work, and to the staff who support them daily in their creative endeavors! 

Pope Francis’ New Apostolic Exhortation:  Pope Francis has released a new Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad) on the call to holiness in today’s world.  We look forward to focusing on this work in the fall through our parent newsletters and work with our staff and students! 

Budget:  Our Board of Trustees unanimously passed our Budget 2018-2019 at the Public Board Meeting on May 29.  You can read that document on our public website by clicking here. 

May 7
May 7th, 2018

Catholic Education Week: This week people around the world will be celebrating the gift of Catholic education.  They will be celebrating that our children and youth have the opportunity to learn and grow as they nurture a deeper relationship with our God and explore the majesty of his Creation.

Catholic education week provides us with a special occasion to have conversations about the importance of this gift, to pray and give thanks for it, and to advocate for its significance in our world. I encourage you all to take time this week to reflect upon and share the many special blessings that Catholic education has brought to your own lives and continues to bring to the lives of your students.

On Thursday, May 10 – World Catholic Education Day – I invite you all to wear blue as an outward sign of your celebration and support of Catholic education!

Watch our social media this week for many special stories and representations of the richness and beauty to be found in Catholic education with Edmonton Catholic Schools!

Emergency Alert Test: A message from the Government of Alberta:

Albertans can now receive messages about life-threatening emergencies, such as a tornado, wildfire, flood or Amber Alert, directly to their cellphones. Wireless public alerting is a national system that will send life-saving emergency alert messages directly to compatible smart phones connected to an LTE network within an area affected by a disaster or emergency.

On May 9, 2018 at 1:55 p.m., the wireless public alerting system will send out a test alert across Alberta. During the test, an alert sound will go off on compatible cellphones with a message letting the cellphone user know that the sound is part of a test, and there is no need for concern. If the cellphone is switched off or on silent mode, there will be no sound, but a banner will be displayed, and the phone may vibrate even if the phone is in silent mode. To hear what sound to expect during the test, visit and click on the box at the bottom of the page that says – "play alert tone."

37th Annual Ben Calf Robe Annual Traditional Pow Wow: This amazing experience of Indigenous culture will take place from 1-10 pm on Saturday, May 12 at the Commonwealth Community Recreation Centre. The Pow Wow will feature a variety of dancers, drummers, artisans and food vendors.  Admission is free, and it is a great family event! Grand Entries will be held at 1 pm and 6 pm.

Grace for the Heart and Soul: One of the most highly anticipated events for the staff of Edmonton Catholic Schools is our annual Grace for the Heart and Soul-Care for Creation Staff Faith Formation Afternoon.  The intent of the afternoon is to provide staff with a broad range of sessions to choose from that allow them to develop their faith in matters that speaks to their heart.  Sessions include areas such as spirituality, service opportunities, theological learning, and interfaith/intercultural experiences.  Staff can access the registration page from the Faith Formation banner on myECSD. We are pleased to report that we have 2,235 registrants in the first week of registration!


May 1
May 1st, 2018

Gratitude on the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker

At the workbench where he plied his trade together with Jesus, Joseph brought human work closer to the mystery of the Redemption…"St. Joseph is the model of those humble ones that Christianity raises up to great destinies...he is the proof that in order to be a good and genuine follower of Christ, there is no need of great things-it is enough to have the common, simple and human virtues, but they need to be true and authentic."

(Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Custos, 22, 24)

May 1 is the feast day of St. Joseph the Worker.  As Pope John Paul II highlighted in his Apostolic Exhortation, Redemptoris Custos, we learn from Joseph that the humble act of carrying out our work in loving ministry to those in our care plays a role in Salvation.

This picture of St. Joseph, working alongside Jesus to teach him the trade of carpentry, is one that is mirrored each day in our schools and our sites as we join together as a community to carry out the work that is necessary to nurture our children in safe, clean, welcoming environments and to bring them into closer relationship with God.

Thank you all for the work that you do each day in service to our children, just as St, Joseph did for Jesus.  This expression of love is at the foundation of our work in Catholic education, and your commitment to that work helps to build a hopeful future for our children and our world!


April 19
April 19th, 2018

Long Service Recognition: Edmonton Catholic Schools had the honor of celebrating 449 staff members in our Long Service Recognition Ceremony on April 16.  Our staff are the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus for our students and families and for each other as they live out their vocations in our schools and sites each day.  Their commitment to nurturing our students and helping them to reach their fullest potential is truly remarkable.

Please join me in celebrating the staff who have marked these special milestones of service! 

Years of                Number

Service                 of Staff   

10                           173

15                           85

20                           93

25                           55

30                           24

35                           16

40                           3

Staff can visit our April 2 edition of the Spotlight for the complete listing of staff names at

I would also like to thank our team in Human Resource Services for their incredible work in making sure that this was such a special celebration to truly honor our staff members!

April 5
April 5th, 2018

A Beautiful Tribute:    The staff and students of Archbishop Joseph MacNeil Catholic School put together a beautiful video to celebrate his life.  You can view the video and submit your own memories and photos of him at

Celebrating Outstanding First Year Teachers:  Each year, the Alberta School Boards Association invites school districts to nominate outstanding first year teachers for the Edwin Parr Award.  Please join me in celebrating our nominees for this year!


Confessions of a Catholic Educator:  The Board of Trustees is pleased to host an evening with Father Richard Leonard for our community on April 24.  All are welcome, and supper and childcare will be provided.  The presentation is on What Catholic Education Can Do for Your Child & What You Can Do for Catholic Education. Visit to register!


Catholic News in Your Inbox:  The Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton launched an online news service late last year.  You can get their top stories delivered directly to your inbox.  Just visit and click on the Subscribe tab, and we'll add you to the list! News Editor Andrew Ehrkamp sends the newsletter each Thursday.

March 9
March 9th, 2018

Numeracy Week is Coming:   Each year, in conjunction with International Pi Day (3/14), our focus turns to the important role of numeracy in all aspects of our lives during Numeracy Week. In addition to exploring the wonderful world of Pi, students can explore numeracy through various activities such as numeracy and art, language arts, literature, social studies, and, of course, money. Our Learning Services Innovation team has created a wonderful Numeracy resource site for staff in our portal.  Visit to explore!

Daylight Savings:  Don't forget to set your clocks ahead one hour when you go to bed on Saturday night.  There is nothing more disconcerting that being out of sync when the time changes!

Time to Shine:  With the first rays of Spring on the horizon, we know that there begins a flurry of events that showcase and enhance student learning. In the past few weeks, our students have had the opportunity to shine through Band Share Day and the JFLA International Women's Day Luncheon. You can enjoy our Spring Into Art gallery of student works at Enterprise Square until March 18.  Our performing arts students will have opportunities to shine and our annual Heart of Glee show on March 15.  You can always learn more about these events at .


February 22
February 21st, 2018

Great news!  I am so pleased to share that Edmonton Catholic Schools has once again been named one of Alberta’s Top 70 Employers!  This annual competition, which is held by Postmedia Network Inc. and Mediacorp Canada Inc., takes a comprehensive, comparative look at various aspects of operations and human resources practices to determine which organizations have the most progressive and forward-thinking programs.  We are compared to other applicants in the field of education in eight domains:  physical workplace, work atmosphere and communications, financial benefits and, compensation, health and family friendly benefits, vacation and personal time off, employee engagement and performance, training and skills development, and community involvement.  This is the third consecutive year that we have earned the designation, and we are proud to be one of the leaders in our field in creating exceptional conditions for our employees!

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Welcome to the Superintendent’s area. Please visit often to see what's new in Edmonton Catholic Schools!