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Students from UCC and St. Agnes Join Students from Around the World to Participate in 'Hour of Code' Program 

UCC students from Jennifer Torrance's Grade 10 computer science class recently used their knowledge to help students at St. Agnes Catholic School participate in the world-wide 'Hour of Code' program.

"We are hoping to have all of our elementary partner schools in Chatham-Kent participate in the 'Hour of Code,'" says Ms. Torrance.  "Many schools will be participating during Computer Science Education Week in December.  That's very exciting!"

Coding is developing commands or instructions to create executable actions within a computer system.  It teaches students what it takes to produce the programs and apps they use every day on their devices.

The 'Hour of Code' initiative is designed to get more kids involved in computer science.  The program has partnered with important people in the industry, such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg to help get young people interested.

Ms. Torrance says students in her class have really enjoyed sharing their knowledge with other students. 

"It is also a great way for our secondary school students to connect with our elementary partner schools."

In the photo, students from Ursuline College help St. Agnes Catholic School students participate in the 'Hour of Code' program.

Dec 15, 2017

John Van Heck Acclaimed Chair of the Board; Michelle Parks Acclaimed Vice Chair 

At tonight’s Initial Meeting of the Board of Trustees, John Van Heck was acclaimed to the position of Chair of the St. Clair Catholic District School Board for a third straight term.  Trustee Michelle Parks was acclaimed Vice Chair, a position she has previously held for the past three years.

Mr. Van Heck has been a Catholic trustee since 2006.  In accepting the position of Chair, he thanked his fellow trustees for their support and paid tribute to retiring Director of Education Dan Parr.

“Our multi-year strategic plan, which focuses on living our faith and student achievement; and our new Chatham schools will be your legacy,” says Mr. Van Heck.  “But I know that you are not about legacy; rather, you are about building God’s Kingdom through our schools.  Thank you for all that you have taught us.”

Michelle Parks is now in her twelfth year as a Catholic trustee.  In her remarks to the Board tonight, she also expressed support for her colleagues and for the Board's senior administration.

Elections for the positions of Chair and Vice Chair are held annually at the Board’s December meeting. 

The evening began with Mass, which was celebrated in the chapel of the Ursuline Boardroom, with Father Chris Gillespie, Pastor of Holy Redeemer Parish Cluster, as celebrant. 

In the photo above (L-R) Michelle Parks, Vice Chair of the Board; John Van Heck, Chair of the Board; Retiring Director of Education Dan Parr, presenting the gavel to the newly-acclaimed Chair; and Deb Crawford, Director of Education Designate. 

Dec 06, 2017

St. Patrick's Catholic High School 'Irish Miracle' Set to Go Saturday, December 2nd! 

St. Patrick's Catholic High School will hold its 34th Annual Irish Miracle on Saturday, December 2nd.

About 500 students, staff and volunteers are expected to participate in the annual city-wide door-to-door non-perishable food campaign, which collects upwards of 6,000 grocery bags of food.  The food is donated each year to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, to help the organization fill its Christmas hampers.

"Our volunteers are ready to go," says Joseph Palko, St. Patrick's Chaplaincy Leader.  "There is tremendous support for this event every year from across our school community."

A pep rally was held at the school earlier this week to encourage participation from staff and students.  The program included greetings from Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey and Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley.  There were also testimonials from Irish Miracle beneficiaries and multi-media presentations that celebrated the long legacy of Irish Miracle.

Volunteers will go door-to-door between 8:30 a.m. and noon.  Their goal is to canvass every home in Sarnia, Bright's Grove and Point Edward.

Residents who will be away, but still want to contribute, are asked to leave their donations outside, with a sign marking them as Irish Miracle donations.

 

Dec 01, 2017
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Chatham Elementary Schools Construction Project - Update #3 

Update #3 - December 13, 2017

St. Clair Catholic District School Board

Chatham Elementary Schools
Construction Projects

A First Exciting Look at the New North Chatham Elementary School!

North Chatham School

It may not be the final draft, but project architect Alison Hannay presented the Board of Trustees with a first visual rendering of what the new north Chatham elementary school could look like.  It is an exciting next step in the process!

The two-storey building on McNaughton Avenue, W. will feature a large atrium in the main foyer, which is open to the second floor. Designed to flood with natural light and displaying symbols of our faith, the atrium will be the main gathering space for school liturgies and celebrations. School offices, a double gym and a two-storey learning commons are all immediately adjacent to the main foyer.

North Chathem School

A child care centre, which features infant, toddler and pre-school rooms with kitchen space is also located on the main floor, along with an autism classroom, five FDK classrooms and four Grade 1-2 classrooms.

All other classrooms are located on the second floor, along with specially designed art and science rooms, with shared storage rooms.

Student lockers will also be located on the second floor, along with breakout spaces for out-of-the-classroom work space for students.

“We haven’t yet looked at building materials or a colour scheme yet, as these drawings are still preliminary,” says Alison Hannay, project architect from Cornerstone Architecture Incorporated. “But I can promise you, it definitely won’t be gray!”

Next steps will be for Board facilities staff to meet with a cost consultant to ensure the design falls within Ministry funding limits.

A Celebration — Blessing of the Ground on McNaughton Ave., W.

Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.’    
Acts 7:33

We are planning a very special ceremony to ask for God’s blessing of the ground at the site of the north Chatham elementary school, at 801 McNaughton Avenue, W. Student and staff representatives of Our Lady of Fatima, St. Agnes and St. Vincent Catholic school communities will be attending, along with parents, parish members and local dignitaries. Following a brief ceremony at the site, we will move to the warmth of the St. Clair College campus for a reception with hot chocolate, coffee, tea and cake!

The blessing ceremony will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018. If you would like to join us, please RSVP to your principal. Parking is available at St. Clair College.

In the meantime, work continues to secure a location for the south Chatham elementary school. An announcement is expected early in the New Year. Stay tuned for more exciting details!

Click Here for PDF Version

Dec 13, 2017

Kindergarten Registration for September 2018 

kinderSTARt is a one day event to register your child for Full Day Kindergarten, with classes beginning in September 2018.  Meet the staff, engage in fun activities and learn more about FDK.  Find out about community services and resources available to help support your child's positive transition to school.

For more information about kinderSTARt, click on the links below:

Sarnia-Lambton Family of Schools          Chatham-Kent Family of Schools

Dec 07, 2017

Chatham Elementary Schools Construction Project - Update #2 

Update #2 - November 14, 2017

St. Clair Catholic District School Board

Chatham Elementary Schools
Construction Projects

User Committee Provides Input into Design of New Elementary Schools

The last of five scheduled meetings of the Chatham Elementary Schools User Committee will be held November 20.  The committee, which is made of up teachers, support staff and representatives of Curriculum, Special Education, Information Technology and Facility Services, has been meeting to provide input to assist the architect in building design concepts.  Also included in the discussions, was all relevant information that was brought forward by members of the Pupil Accommodation Review Committee (PARC) during the accommodation review process.

The information gathered from the User Committee will be built into the design plans for both the north and south Chatham elementary schools.  

At the Regular Board Meeting of November 28, project architect, Alison Hannay, will present to the Board of Trustees a schematic design of the north elementary school.  Although it may not be in its final form, it will be the first visual rendering of the building - an exciting step in the process!

The Board wishes to express its tremendous appreciation to the members of the Chatham Elementary Schools User Committee for their time and great expertise.  They are:  Brenda Corchis, Janet Boyle, Sara Vadovic, Heather Griffioen, Paul Amato, Cathy Bechard, Cathy Stuart, Deb McCabe, John Davis, Marcie Myers, Tony Montanino, Lisa Demers, Amy Janssens and Deb Crawford.  The committee was chaired by Alison Hannay, Cornerstone Architecture Incorporated.

Next Steps in the Process - North, South and OLOF Site

North Elementary School Update

  • Soil sampling will be completed in the near future at the construction site, 801 McNaughton Avenue, W., Chatham
  • In addition to the presentation of the schematic design, the results of a traffic study will be presented at the November 28 Regular Board Meeting.  Following a review by Trustees, the results of the study will be forwarded to the Municipality of Chatham-Kent.

South Elementary School Update

  • As indicated in the last update, property selection in the north was relatively straight forward, as the Board owned the McNaughton, W. property.  However in south Chatham, property acquisition has been more challenging.
  • Administration is actively engaged in discussions regarding a suitable site for the school.  As it takes two full years from property acquisition to project completion, the opening of the south Chatham school will not meet the original target of September 2019.

Our Lady of Fatima Site Update

  • A study is underway to determine future needs of the school’s mechanical and electrical systems.  Any upgrades will need to be completed at the time of building renovation.  The building’s structure is also under review.
  • Wilson Dias Architects Inc. has been selected to lead the project and a staff User Committee will be established in the near future to provide input regarding design concepts, similar to the north and south school projects.
  • The architect will begin to develop a schematic design and when completed a public meeting will be held, sometime early in the New Year, to share details about the design and the scope of the renovations with the school community.

Establishment of Transition Committees - January 2018

Although it may seem early in the process, the time is approaching for us to develop Transition Committees, made up of principals, staff, parish partners, parents and senior students, who will help guide the process of bringing six schools together into two brand new school communities; and for Monsignor Uyen to transition to the newly renovated school at the OLOF site. 

We will begin a call for members and setting the terms and mandates for the committees in the New Year; however, the scope of the work is likely to include establishing school colours and mascots, names for the new schools, events to bring students together in the new school communities and planning opening and blessing celebrations.  Additional responsibilities may be added once the committees begin their work.   Stay tuned for more details about these important committees in January!

Click Here for PDF Version 

Nov 14, 2017

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.

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May 02, 2017
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