Close to thirty thousand elementary and secondary students will be back in school on Tuesday, September 5th after a two-month summer hiatus.
Many of our students were able to enjoy camp experiences this summer – as campers and camp leaders – through Focus on Youth, a Ministry initiative that partners school boards with community agencies to provide learning, recreational and employment opportunities for children and youth in the community.
Other students took part in a three-week Summer Learning literacy and numeracy program at St. Michael in July and St. John the Baptist in August. The programs were designed to reduce the summer learning loss and give students a running start in September.
In our secondary schools, our new Grade 9 students had a chance to explore their new school surroundings through orientation sessions and meet-and-greet barbecues designed to familiarize them with the people and school services that will help them settle into their new routine.
Our teachers, principals and curriculum staff have also kept busy this summer preparing programs, activities and resources to support our students in their learning. This year, our board has invested in new Grade 5 Religious Education textbooks as well as new Grade 8 and 10 French as a Second Language Science textbooks, and resources and textbooks in support of Grade 9 and 10 applied English and the Grade 10 gap closing literacy course.
In technology, the HWCDSB will be investing in 1,000 additional mobile devices for the classroom and in a VOIP Solution that will enable teachers to use Skype for learning purposes. Robotics, too, will receive additional support to expand programming in elementary and secondary schools.
Several construction projects were underway this summer, including a replacement school for Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Elementary School, a childcare centre at St. Gabriel Catholic Elementary School, and a five-room expansion at St. Jean de Brébeuf Catholic Secondary School. These should be completed in the coming months. Work on an artificial turf sports field at Bishop Tonnos Catholic Secondary School is also nearing completion; it will be the fifth such field since a turf field was piloted at St. Thomas More in 2011. Over the next year, the HWCDSB will begin work on turf fields at its two remaining schools, St. Mary Catholic Secondary School and Cathedral High School, to provide a level playing field for students.
Finally, we look forward to working with our Catholic school councils, parents and parish communities to ensure that our students have an enriching, faith-filled and joyful school year.
It promises to be a good start to the new school.
To find out more about our different activities, we invite you to regularly visit our school and board websites, and consult our monthly school newsletters.
Thank you for your continued support of Catholic education. Together we are “believing, achieving, serving.”
School begins on Tuesday, September 5, 2017.