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Catholic Schools Across Sarnia-Lambton and Chatham-Kent Celebrate National Bus Driver Appreciation Day 

This week, students at St. Matthew Catholic School in Sarnia joined thousands throughout the school district and across Canada to say a special 'thank you' to the men and women who get them to school and back home again safely every day. 

October 18, 2017 was National Bus Driver Appreciation Day.

Students at St. Matthew presented their bus drivers with thank you cards, including specially made art work and Tim Horton's gift cards as a token of their appreciation.

"This annual national observance is a great opportunity for each of us to recognize the important work of our school bus drivers and operators," says Kent Orr, General Manager of CLASS, the consortium which oversees school bus transportation in Sarnia-Lambton and Chatham-Kent.  "We appreciate the work of these dedicated professionals who keep our children safe on the ride to and from school every day."

CLASS (Chatham-Kent Lambton Administrative School Services) provides transportation to more than 17,000 students of the St. Clair Catholic and Lambton Kent District School boards across the district.

In the photo above, a Grade 3 student at St. Matthew Catholic School presents a thank you card and gift certificate to her bus driver, Donna, of Hull Bus Lines.

Oct 20, 2017

St. John Fisher Students Join Thousands of Others Across Sarnia-Lambton and Chatham-Kent in Great Big Crunch 

Students at St. John Fisher Catholic School in Forest joined thousands of others across the district to participate in the Great Big Crunch for 2017.

"Our Student Wellness Team is determined more than ever this year to provide our students with activities that allow us to put into action our Catholic virtues, as well as healthy choices to strengthen our minds, bodies and faith," says Luana Sfalcin, Principal of St. John Fisher Catholic School.

"The team eagerly organized our school event this year and, as they distributed the apples, spoke to students in each classroom about why our school was taking part in the Great Big Crunch," says Mrs. Sfalcin.

The Great Big Crunch is a fun annual event that highlights the importance of eating healthy foods during the school day.  It's financially supported by the Ontario Student Nutrition Programs of Lambton County and Chatham-Kent; and also by the Healthy Kids Community Challenge in Sarnia-Lambton.

About 30 thousand apples were consumed in schools all across the district as part of the Great Big Crunch this year, making it one of the most successful events ever.

In the photo above, students at St. John Fisher take a giant bite out of their fresh Ontario apples as part of the 2017 Great Big Crunch.

Oct 20, 2017

St. Clair Catholic and Lambton Kent District School Boards to Share $25,000 from Noelle's Gift 

The Noelle’s Gift foundation will donate a total of $25,000 to the St. Clair Catholic and Lambton Kent district school boards to support students and families in need for the 2017-2018 school year.

“The Noelle’s Gift charity does so much to help children who are in need, not only in our schools, but right across the communities of Sarnia-Lambton and Chatham-Kent,” says Dan Parr, Director of Education for the St. Clair Catholic District School Board.  “We are grateful each year for the generous donation from Noelle’s Gift, and for the fitting way in which it honours the life of Noelle Paquette,” says Mr. Parr.

“We appreciate the generous contributions of the family of Noelle Paquette and Noelle’s Gift to support our students and families in need,” says Jim Costello, Director of Education for the Lambton Kent District School Board.  “This donation will enhance supports for students and promote student success and wellbeing.”

The $25,000 donation from the Noelle’s Gift charitable fund is shared among the two school boards to support students and their families who are in need.  The money is used to purchase eyeglasses, clothing, food, medicine and medical equipment – anything that is needed to help children and families in crisis.  The funds are dispersed independently through the two school boards.  Principals make application whenever a child is in need.  Requests are processed quickly, to get help to families as soon as possible.

The Noelle’s Gift charitable fund was established in memory of Noelle Paquette, a former Kindergarten teacher with St. Clair Catholic, who passed away in January 2013.

In the photo above are (L-R) Jim Costello, Director of Education, Lambton Kent District School Board; Sue Serratore and Lynn Paquette, Noelle's Gift; and Dan Parr, Director of Education, St. Clair Catholic District School Board.

Oct 20, 2017
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Register for Physical Activity and Healthy Emotional Development with Dr. Dean Kriellaars 

Please join Dr. Dean Kriellars and both the Lambton Kent District School Board and St. Clair Catholic District School Board on October 25 and October 26 from 6:30-8pm to learn about the ABCs of physical activity and how it can help young people (and adults) become physically and mentally healthier. 

Dr. Dean Kriellaars on Physical Literacy

Click Here to Register

Oct 11, 2017

WORLD TEACHERS’ DAY 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Board Logo

On behalf of our students, parents and parish partners,

and in recognition of

WORLD TEACHERS’ DAY

Thursday, October 5, 2017

the Trustees and Senior Administration of the

St. Clair Catholic District School Board extend our appreciation to all of our

Teachers and Support Staff Professionals.

Thank you for all that you do each and every day to help our students…

  • Achieve success in academics and extra curricular activities
  • Become caring and contributing members of society
  • Grow in their life of faith in Jesus Christ

You have our gratitude for your tireless commitment to excellence
and to nurturing the hearts and minds of our students. 
Again, we say… “Thank you!”

Dan Parr
Director of Education

  

John Van Heck
Chair of the Board

 

Oct 03, 2017

Fair Notice Communication Regarding Violence Threat Risk Assessment Protocol 

To Parents, Guardians and Caregivers of Students in the St. Clair Catholic District School Board

The St. Clair Catholic District School Board is committed to providing safe learning environments for all students, staff, school visitors and community members. When a student behaves inappropriately, principals will most often employ progressive discipline strategies to help a student take responsibility for their actions, learn from their mistakes and make better choices in the future.

In more extreme cases however, when a student’s behaviour poses a potential threat to their own or others’ well-being, the Community Violence Threat Risk Assessment Protocol (VTRA) supports principals in taking further steps to safeguard everyone.

The VTRA protocol outlines how a school responds immediately to threatening incidents including but not limited to:  possession of a weapon or replica weapon, bomb threat or plan, verbal or written (including electronic) threats to harm oneself or others, other threats of violence, and fire setting.

The initial response team is likely to include the Principal / Vice Principal, police and board staff.  Should conditions warrant, a Community Threat Assessment Team will be convened. This community team includes representatives of community agencies who work with schools and boards to keep our students and staff safe, such as local police and children’s mental health organizations.

Parents and guardians will be notified if their child will be discussed through the Community Violence Threat Risk Assessment Protocol.  If parents/guardians cannot be reached, or if they choose not to provide consent, but a concern for safety still exists due to threatening behaviour, the threat assessment may still proceed. Personal information shared throughout this process will respect and balance each individual’s right to privacy with the need to ensure the safety of all.

As always, student safety is our first priority. This notification is being provided via avenues such as school newsletters and school and board web sites as fair notice to parents and guardians of the existence of the VTRA Protocol and its application if situations warrant. If you have any questions regarding the St. Clair Catholic District School Board Community Violence Threat Risk Assessment Protocol, please contact your school principal as the first step.

Aug 29, 2017

Important Letter to Chatham Elementary School Parents/Guardians Regarding Good News Funding Announcement from the Ontario Government 

June 19, 2017

Dear Parents/Guardians,

As you may be aware, the Ontario Ministry of Education announced earlier today that it has approved the Board’s funding request for $26.7 million to build two new Catholic elementary schools in Chatham.  The funding also includes child care facilities at both locations.  This is tremendous news and we are very pleased that we are now able to begin moving forward with the recommendations of the Chatham Elementary Schools Pupil Accommodation Review Committee, which were approved by the Board of Trustees on March 28, 2017.

The funding announcement means that two new Catholic schools will be built in Chatham – one on the north side to replace St. Vincent, St. Agnes and Our Lady of Fatima; and one on the south side, to replace St. Joseph, St. Ursula and Georges P. Vanier.  The exact location of the new schools is still being finalized and will be announced in the coming weeks.

In addition, the Board will move forward with plans to renovate and refurbish the Our Lady of Fatima site, which will be the new home of the Chatham French Immersion program, replacing Monsignor Uyen.  We remain hopeful that all of this can be accomplished in time for the start of school in September 2019.

Of course, there is much work to do, as we move towards the September 2019 opening.  I am announcing today that I have appointed Superintendent of Education Deb Crawford, who led the public accommodation review, to lead the team of parents and school staff that will transition students from six schools to two; and our French Immersion students from Monsignor Uyen to their new home at the Our Lady of Fatima site.  More details about this will be announced in the fall.

For now, we are all extremely pleased that this project will move forward.  These new state-of-the-art facilities will provide improved educational opportunities for our Catholic families in Chatham for many generations of students to come.

I want to acknowledge again the members of the Pupil Accommodation Review Committee, both from the school communities and the parishes, who helped to shape this vision for the future.  And I especially want to thank the staff of the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, with whom we have an excellent and cooperative relationship.  Their assistance to us in this project has been extremely valuable.

On behalf of our senior administration and the Board of Trustees, let me wish you a safe, happy and healthy summer, filled with God’s blessings!

Sincerely,

Dan Parr

Director of Education

Jun 19, 2017

Important Information About Changes to Provincial Regulations Governing Drinking Water in Schools 

June 13, 2017

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I am writing today to make you aware of some changes to provincial regulations which govern drinking water in schools and child care centres.

Since 2007, the Ontario government has required that school boards flush water pipes in schools on a daily or weekly basis, sample and test drinking water, maintain logs and report drinking water test results of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.  This regulation has required boards only to sample and test water for lead annually at one location in the building.

Effective July 1, 2017 amendments to the regulation will require that all fixtures used for drinking water or in the preparation of food must be flushed for 10 seconds.  The amended regulation also makes it necessary for samples to be collected and tested at every drinking water fixture in the school.  For water fountains in child care centres and for students in JK to Grade 3, boards will have until January 1, 2020 to complete the scheduled testing; for fixtures available to students in Grades 4 through 12, boards will have until January 1, 2022.  Therefore, the Board will meet the 2020 deadline for all elementary schools; and the 2022 deadline for secondary.  Fixtures not used for drinking water, such as bathroom taps and hand sinks, are not required to be tested; however, they must be posted with signage indicating that the water is not to be consumed.

In the event that levels of lead exceed ministry guidelines in a flushed sample of water, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and local public health officials must be notified.  In such a case, the fixture would be bagged off and signage would be posted to indicate the fountain is out of service and will remain so until the matter is resolved.  This can take place through a variety of measures – increased flushing, installation of a new lead-free fixture, or installation of an SNS/ANSI certified filter, which extracts lead.

The St. Clair Catholic District School Board will be working over the summer months to install the new signage and develop plans to complete the flushing and testing protocols in keeping with the ministry’s timelines.  As always, the health and safety of our students, staff and visitors to our buildings are always our number one priority.  For further information, please refer to the Fact Sheet below from the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.  If you have any questions, please contact your principal.

Let me take this opportunity to wish you and your family a safe, relaxing and fun summer break, filled with God’s blessings! 

Sincerely,

Dan Parr

Director of Education

Fact Sheet for Parents

Ontario Regulation 243/07 (Schools, Private Schools and Child Care Centres)
Communications for Changes Effective July 1, 2017
Safe Drinking Water in Child Care Centres and Schools

Since 2007, the Ontario government has been requiring child care centres and schools to flush the plumbing in their facilities and test their drinking water for lead. New amendments to Ontario Regulation 243/07 that take effect July 1, 2017 will now require lead testing within these facilities for all fixtures used to provide drinking water and/or prepare food or drink for children under 18.

Why does the Ontario government require child care centres and schools to test drinking water for lead?

Young children are more vulnerable to the effects of lead because they absorb ingested lead more easily than adults, which can interfere with the development of their nervous systems. In population studies, exposure to lead has been associated with effects on learning capacity, intellectual development and behavior.

How will the new rules coming into effect in July 2017 better protect children in child care centres and schools?

Ontario is proactively strengthening its regulation to protect children’s health. Studies1 show that lead levels in drinking water from plumbing can vary substantially between individual taps or fountains. Only by testing each drinking water fixture can child care centres and schools be sure that they are not exposing children to lead through any of the plumbing within their facilities.

What is the drinking water quality standard for lead?

The Ontario drinking water quality standard for lead is 10 micrograms per litre. This standard is based on a national guideline set by Health Canada.

What happens if a child care centre or school finds it has lead in its drinking water above the standard for lead?

If a child care centre or school gets a drinking water test result that is above the standard for lead, the local Medical Officer of Health will assign corrective actions to the facility and it is the facility’s responsibility to ensure those actions are carried out. The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change will follow up with the facility operator and local Medical Officer of Health if necessary. These local processes have been in place since 2007 and are working well.

How can I find out the lead test results for my child’s child care centre or school?

If you have questions about measures taken by your local child care centre or school to ensure the safety of drinking water, contact your local child care centre, school, or school board.

Why are child care centres and schools required to flush their plumbing?

Flushing has been shown to reduce lead levels in drinking water fixtures. By flushing plumbing and fixtures, water that may have come in contact with lead plumbing is replaced with fresh water. How often a facility has to flush their plumbing and fixtures depends on several factors including the age of the plumbing, previous lead test results or if a device that removes lead, such as a filter, has been installed on a fixture.

How are people exposed to lead?

Lead is a naturally occurring element. Lead has many industrial uses and has been found in water systems since the late 1800s. It is also present in soil, food and indoor dust. Over the past few decades, exposure to lead has significantly decreased due to restrictions in the use of lead in gasoline, paint and solder.

How does lead get into drinking water?

Ontario’s surface and groundwater generally does not contain lead. If lead does occur naturally, the concentrations are typically extremely low and below the drinking water standard for lead. Where there are concentrations of lead in drinking water above the standard, the likely cause is from the lead pipes servicing the premises, lead solder used in the plumbing or fixtures containing high percentages of lead.

Lead pipe service connections have been used to deliver water from distribution pipes since the late 1800s. Older buildings (generally those built before the mid-1950s) are more likely to have lead connections. By 1990, the amount of lead in solder that could be used in drinking water plumbing was substantially reduced.

The amount of lead leaching into drinking water from these components depends largely on the chemical characteristics of the water. In certain circumstances, extended contact between standing water and the components can cause the lead to be released from the pipes. When the tap is turned on, water that has been standing in the pipes may have accumulated lead levels higher than Ontario’s standard for lead.

How can I get the water in my home tested for lead?

If you suspect that you have lead service pipes or lead plumbing in your home, you may wish to have your tap water tested for lead. Some municipalities in Ontario have programs that help residents test their drinking water for lead. Contact your municipality for more information about your water service pipes and what is available in your community.

Alternatively, you can arrange your own drinking water lead test through a licensed laboratory. Visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/laboratories-licensed-test-lead to view a list of laboratories licensed by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to test for lead or call the ministry’s Public Information Centre at 1-800-565-4923.

For more information:

 

 

1 World Health Organization: Lead Poisoning and Blood. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs379/en/

 

Jun 13, 2017

St. Clair Catholic and LKDSB Host Experiential Learning Advisory Council Events Aimed at Strengthening the Future Workforce 

The St. Clair Catholic and Lambton Kent district school boards have partnered to host two Experiential Learning Advisory Council events focused on fostering partnerships between educators and the community to promote hands-on, inquiry-based learning for students and to support the development of a highly skilled workforce.

Local community partners have been invited to attend breakfast events held on June 7 at the Holiday Inn, Point Edward, and June 14 at the Links of Kent, Chatham, from 7:30-9:30 a.m. During these sessions, participants will learn about the benefits of providing experiential learning opportunities for students. From skill-building to mentorship, the event is aimed at broadening the experiential learning resources available to educators and encourage new partnerships between schools and industry.

"The demand for a highly skilled workforce challenges educators and industry professionals to work together to meet the future needs of our communities," said Jim Costello, Director of Education, Lambton Kent District School Board. "The Experiential Learning Advisory Council Breakfast is an opportunity to network with community partners to discuss opportunities for resource sharing, hands-on learning and mentorship of our students."

"Our Board is committed to expanding our students’ abilities to learn more about and to pursue the many exciting and rewarding careers in the skilled trades," says Dan Parr, Director of Education, St. Clair Catholic District School Board. "We thank our many community partners who are helping us to take important steps towards achieving that goal."

Community members interested in attending the event or partnering with the Lambton Kent and St. Clair Catholic district school boards in support of experiential learning opportunities are encouraged to contact Nicole Beuckelare at Nicole.Beuckelare@lkdsb.net or Warren Seton at Warren.Seton@st-clair.net.

Members of the media are welcome to attend.

-30-

For additional information please contact:

Jane Bryce, Chair of the Lambton Kent District School Board, 519-899-2619

Jim Costello, Director of Education, Lambton Kent District School Board, 519-336-1500, Ext 31297

John Van Heck, Chair, St. Clair Catholic District School Board, 519-627-2908

Dan Parr, Director of Education, St. Clair Catholic District School Board, 519-627-6762, Ext. 10241

For reference information contact:

Heather Hughes, Public Relations Officer, 519-336-1500, Ext. 31262

Todd Lozon, Supervisor – Communications and Community Relations, 519-627-6762, Ext. 10243

Jun 08, 2017

Integrated Delivery of Rehabilitation Services Special Needs Strategy 

Letter to Families

Dear Parents/Guardians:

As a family whose child may be receiving or waiting for rehabilitation services (speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy), we are writing to provide you with an update on upcoming improvements to the delivery of children’s rehabilitation services in your community. 

As you may know, in 2014 the government launched the Special Needs Strategy in response to feedback received from families to improve the timeliness, effectiveness and coordination of the services that children and youth with special needs require to fully participate at home, at school, in the community and to achieve goals for adulthood.

A key initiative of the Special Needs Strategy is the integrated delivery of rehabilitation services, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology, for children and youth from birth to school exit.

Over the past year, service providers – including community-based Preschool Speech and Language providers, District School Boards, Community Care Access Centres and Children’s Treatment Centres – in communities across the province have worked to develop locally integrated, family-centred ways to deliver children’s rehabilitation services to improve family service experiences and outcomes for children and youth with special needs. In doing so, service providers have engaged with families and youth in our communities to seek their input.

Click Here for More ...

May 02, 2017

Important Notice: All Outdoor School Space Rentals to be Processed Through Community Use of Schools 

Effective May 1, 2017, the St. Clair Catholic and Lambton Kent district school boards are transitioning the administration of all outdoor school space rentals to the Chatham-Kent Lambton Administrative School Services (CLASS). 

As you may already know, CLASS has been coordinating the indoor school space rentals for both boards since 2010 so this change creates operational efficiencies for all school space rentals by the community.  This centralized coordination approach will also ensure a consistent, transparent process for all applications and appropriate liability coverage for rental events.

With this transition, groups seeking to rent outdoor school space will follow the same online application process as currently in place for indoor rentals (found at http://www.communityuseofschools.ca/ ).   The Boards have also established a common set of rules and regulations pertaining to outdoor space rentals and have agreed not to introduce new rental charges for use of the outdoor space.  Groups seeking outdoor space rentals will be required to pay the nominal permit application processing fee (same as indoor space rentals) and furnish proof of insurance or obtain coverage through OSBIE.

From a rental approval process perspective, all outdoor space applications will follow the same established process as is used for indoor rental applications.  That collaborative process includes participation from school administrators, custodial supervisors and the CLASS Community Use of School offices in reaching an approval decision.  Permit applications for outdoor space will also be processed using the existing eBase software; minor modifications have been made to include outdoor spaces in the software and there is nothing further required of school administrators.

We anticipate this new outdoor space rental application process through CLASS will be an administrative resource to further support schools and the Boards in fulfilling the Ministry of Education’s vision for schools to be community hubs.

Both school boards are working with CLASS to transfer information regarding current rental agreements for outdoor facilities. However, to support this transition, we encourage you to contact the Community Use of Schools office as soon as possible, to ensure the rental of the outdoor facility for this spring/summer is processed in the rental software and appropriate details are addressed.  Should you have any questions about this, or any school rental matters, do not hesitate to contact Kris Davis or Kent Orr, phone 519-627-0835 or visit http://www.communityuseofschools.ca/

Apr 26, 2017

Update: Letter to Parents, Athletes and Coaches Regarding the 2017 Soccer Season from LKSSAA Coordinator James Clarke 

Soccer Update:

To: Coaches, Athletes and Parents

We are pleased to announce that Lambton Kent Secondary School Athletic Association (LKSSAA) has signed a two-year contract with the Ontario Soccer Association, which will be in place until the end of the 2017-2018 school year. With a contract in place, the LKSSAA soccer season will begin this week.

The convenor of the soccer league is currently drafting new schedules to meet the shortened season.  All games scheduled for Tuesday, April 25 have been removed from the schedule.  A new schedule for the 2017 season will be released on April 25.

Thanks for your patience and support during this process.

Sincerely

James Clarke

LKSSAA Coordinator

Apr 24, 2017
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