SCS Home > From the Director's Corner
Other Posts from the Director's Corner:
SCDSB Focuses on Wellness (Feb. 2018)
Mind, Body and Spirit (Jan. 2018)
We are Blessed to be a Community of Faith (Dec. 2017)
Stregthening our Faith-based, Inlcusive and Equitable Community (Nov. 2017)
Innovation and a Growth Mindset (Oct. 2017)
Welcome to the Director's Corner (Sept. 2017)

Joanne Bénard
Director of Education

We are Called to Advance Leadership and Learning for All
March 2018

It's Holy Week, that sacred time from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday when we commemorate and remember the last week of Jesus' life on this earth. We remember His actions, reflect on His messages, and recommit to living as His disciples in the world today. As we celebrate Easter, we also welcome Spring.  Soon the snow will melt and our school yards will be filled with vibrant colours and the sun will warm our faces. Spring brings with it a renewed energy and enthusiasm.  For the fifty days of the Easter season, let us radiate this joy as we embrace our calling as His disciples, for we are His hands and His feet, sharing Jesus’ eternal love with the world.

This month I want to focus on our third Strategic Pathway:  We are Called to advance Leadership and Learning for All with a particular focus on Mathematics.  As many of you are aware, throughout the year, our schools have turned to a variety of methods that focus on improving our math and numeracy skills and increase student engagement and overall confidence! Our staff is very dedicated to continuously reviewing and improving their practice.  Their energy and commitment to student learning creates positive environments that support our students and helps them to be successful.  I extend my thanks to all of them for all that they do each and every day. 

Looking into our elementary schools

Our elementary schools have a Math Leadership Network which includes a Principal or Vice Principal, SERT (Special Education Resource Teacher), the school’s facilitator and all Grade 3 and Grade 6 teachers. Participating teachers and educators are given access to online professional development tools and resources to support math learning and teaching within the classroom. Throughout the year, educators have also participated in a variety of learning opportunities, job-embedded learning and school-based learning.

Collecting and unpacking student work helps us notice the progress our students are making as they learn strategies, models and big ideas. Here are how our elementary schools have been tackling the math curriculum in unique ways!

Pius XII receives achievement award from EQAO!

We were excited and very proud to hear about the recognition that Pius XII Catholic Elementary School received last month from EQAO.  The school is a recipient of this year’s Dr. Bette M. Stephenson Recognition of Achievement Award. Each year, EQAO recognizes schools in Ontario that have demonstrated significant improvement in student achievement. This year, EQAO has chosen to highlight schools that have worked to strengthen their strategies surrounding achievement for students with special needs.

As a recipient of this award, Pius XII has shown incredible dedication to improving the levels of success for all of their students over the last several years. Through ongoing monitoring and data collection, collaboration, targeted accommodations, and building a safe and caring school environment, the staff at Pius XII has seen a significant increase in both measurable results and overall student achievement. 

“This recognition award means a great deal to all of our staff. It gives us an opportunity to celebrate the success of our students, which is also our own success. We know that all students can learn and achieve high levels given the right supports over time. This achievement award motivates us to continue setting targets and goals that help every student reach their full potential”, said Laurie Zahra, Principal at Pius XII School.

The team at Pius XII received an award from EQAO for their work in providing special education students with the strategies they need to succeed!


St. Charles Elementary school embraces a complete growth mindset!

Using the online course “Mathematical Mindsets’ by Stanford University Professor Jo Boaler as their inspiration, the staff at St. Charles school in Chelmsford have devoted themselves to improving their school community’s growth mindset and applying it to mathematics!

The course helps participants build a positive relationship with math and allows them to learn the strategies they need to find solutions and successfully help students develop a growth mindset. While the staff has worked through the course, the students have also completed growth mindset exercises. Working together in the school’s gymnasium, students watched videos and discussed their understanding of both growth mindsets and mathematics. Together, the staff and students develop solutions to solve Math problems. When the Olympics ran in February, the classes embraced this as well and used edits of the film ‘Cool Runnings’ to demonstrate the process of growth mindset. Since studying Growth Mindset as a school community, students have really demonstrated that they aren't afraid to make mistakes, that they will persevere with a problem and that they are anxious to 'grow their brain' by trying something new.  The school is looking forward to seeing how the students continue to improve their math skills throughout the Spring and beyond!  A growth mindset really sets the foundation for successful learning in all areas of the curriculum. 

Students engaged in STEM activities using their Growth Mindset. The classes worked together, persevering, learning from their mistakes and growing their brains by trying something new!

Students spend time with their parents during the Family Math Night held on March 22. The students were eager to show their families the  skills they have been working on!  

Holy Cross creates concrete maths solutions for their Kindergarten students!

To help their youngest learners better grasp the math curriculum, Kindergarten teachers Michelle and Jessica have incorporated concrete items into their lessons. Students work in small groups and move along the classroom to complete problems. Using items such as feathers, rocks and other familiar items, students are able to visually see the math problem and understand what needs to be done to reach the solution! This creative method has resulted in an exciting classroom filled with students eager to learn and solve math problems.   

The teachers were inspired by the White Buffalo Circles teachings that occur in our elementary schools. They use the colours and shapes from the Indigenous culture and infuse it into their math lessons.

“Our staff and students at Holy Cross are very inspired and supportive of the Indigenous education programming. We try to incorporate it as much as possible into our own lessons. The symbols have become very familiar to the students, and make it easy for them to work with when solving numeracy problems.” M. Thiessen, teacher at Holy Cross School.

Students work together in a fluid classroom setting, to count and subtract familiar items and symbols.  Math is fun!

Students and Educators at Immaculate Have Embraced the new Mathology Program

The new comprehensive and interactive Mathology program by Pearson enables educators to plan and implement meaningful, differentiated math learning experiences for all grade 1 students.   Through print and digital media, educators are delivering the lessons and activities by engaging students in various types of group work allowing for numerous accommodations and extensions to occur.  Mrs. Hayden, Mme Martin as well as other educators have noticed increased student engagement, self-confidence and perseverance.  The use of Mathology little books and classroom activity kits encourages Math conversations, the use of manipulatives and multi-step problem solving.  Other educators in the building are looking forward to the release of future Mathology kits.

There are various opportunities for Mme Martin to conference with her students while they are engaged in an activity.  This allows for educators to focus on students' next steps.

Mrs. Swiatek, Educational Assistant interacts with students daily as students explore different Mathematical problems and encourages them to show their thinking.  Students are given daily opportunities to share their thoughts with a partner or a group of students.

Looking into our Secondary Schools

Math teams at the Secondary School level have been working on collaborative projects to improve student learning and understanding. From vertical surface teaching to using assessment and observational tools, our students are benefitting from classroom settings that are innovative, hands-on and built to meet their needs!

Vertical classrooms transform learning environment at St. Charles College

To help improve participation and concentration in math, St. Charles College has incorporated the use of vertical classrooms. In a vertical classroom set up, students stand at white boards in groups of three and work through unfamiliar problems to come up with solutions. The students work together to brainstorm ideas and apply their knowledge of mathematics to the problem.

This method increases communication and critical thinking skills as all students within the classroom work and participate in a positive group setting!

“The students really love this concept. It allows them to work and ask questions without having to be embarrassed. I have seen the confidence of all students soar since the transformation of this classroom. It seems like every day I get requests to visit the vertical classroom!” B. Belanger teacher at SCC. We are very excited that by the Fall of 2018 all of our Grade 9 and 10 Mathematics classrooms will be transformed to promote collaboration and effective pedagogical practice. 

Using whiteboards as their work spaces, students discuss and collaborate on concepts and problems to find the appropriate solutions.

Bishop Alexander Carter teachers work together to improve student results


With an overall goal of improving results, Bishop Alexander Carter Secondary School created a co-teaching environment in their Grade 9 Applied Math classes. A co-teaching model can take many forms, so Bishop chose a method that would work best in their school community.

One teacher teaches and coordinates the main lesson at the front of the class with the second teacher circling the students to ensure they understand the material. The second teacher will also quietly answer questions throughout the lesson without distracting the other students. This teaching technique has allowed the teachers to truly see if students are grasping the material and to see where they might need extra help. For students, it allows them to ask questions and get the help they need in a one-on-one environment.

The teachers are eager to see how this technique will improve results and attitude toward math throughout the remainder of the year!

Get to know us – Krista Sarmatiuk

Krista Sarmatiuk is our Kindergarten to Grade 12 Math Facilitator. She leads our math teams and encourages our schools to continue to push the envelope and try new teaching methods and concepts. Krista is constantly working with our schools to see what methods are working and where the gaps in the classrooms are.

Krista believes that with the rise of technology, we must change the way we teach math to suit needs. Using things like Skype, iPads and programs such as online courses and screen share options allows both our staff and students to learn in a different way.

“People find math scary, so we try to help make it less scary. What I really like about working with the Board is that we are a community. We create positive relationships that focus on learning and growing. That’s very important to have when we’re talking about math and numeracy development,” K.Sarmatiuk.

Krista Sarmatiuk works with students at St. James School to discuss math and problem solving.

SCDSB Focuses on Wellness
February 2018

February marks a very important time in our liturgical calendar. On Ash Wednesday, our CEC staff and schools communities gathered together in prayer.  Ash Wednesday is one of the most important holy days in the liturgical calendar as it opens Lent, a season of fasting and prayer.

February also marks a new semester in our schools. As we move forward in the 2017-2018 school year, we must continue to strive to keep our body, mind and spirit nurtured. We emphasize the value of respect for ourselves and the community that surrounds us.  Our staff and students work together to provide support, resources and activities that help keep our spirits high and our hearts full throughout the year.

Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday

We celebrated both Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday this month in honour of the Lenten Season. Our staff and students across the Board worked hard to put together pancake breakfasts. I am reminded of the giving spirit and generosity that is present throughout our Catholic learning community!


Special thank you to Michael Bellmore, Chair of the Board who came out to make pancakes for the CEC staff. Pictured here with two other wonderful chefs – Joan Yawney-Matz and Krista Sarmatiuk. Marymount Academy staff and students joined the CEC staff for our Ash Wednesday celebration. It was a beautiful gathering.

Custodial Staff engages in wellness day

Our hardworking and dedicated custodial staff were able to participate in a day-long Professional Activity day focused on health and wellness! The breakout sessions included a wellness presentation by nursing student Julie, and team building exercises led by Operations Assistants Nancy Bellmore-Perron and John Jamieson! We thank our custodial and maintenance staff for keeping our schools and spaces clean and safe. The day was met with lots of laughs and participation from this fun-loving group. Way to encourage wellness in a big way team!

Nursing student Julie Menard and Wellness and Abilities Co-coordinator Patricia Beltrame complete wellness presentations focused on healthy eating, active living and sleep.
Custodial and Maintenance Staff work together to build a structure out of raw spaghetti, tape and a marshmallow. Looks like fun!

How CEC incorporates the ‘FISH philosophy’ into the workplace

At Sudbury Catholic Schools, we believe that we make the most impact when we build each other up! You may see a unique display of colourful fish at the reception area of the Catholic Education Centre. Through the “Fish Philosophy”, our wonderful staff expresses their gratitude and enthusiasm for other members of our Catholic community. Be it the way they were greeted at a meeting, or to thank one of our colleagues for their hard work on a project, there is always something to be grateful for! If you catch someone having fun, being present, making someone’s day, choosing a positive attitude ask for a fish the next time you’re visiting the CEC and continue to spread the good vibes!


Holy Trinity creates total growth mindset experience for students

In January of 2018, the Kindergarten classrooms at Holy Trinity School introduced the “growth mindset” concept. This model will help their young learners to better understand their own capabilities and encourage them to put forward their best effort when dealing with new classroom challenges.

The teachers have transformed their entire classroom environment, using phrases from key visuals, and reading encouraging stories such as ‘Giraffe’s can’t dance’, portraying themes such as self-esteem, teamwork and encouragement. Through this framework, students have already begun to make connections to things they had trouble completing at the beginning of the year to skills they can do now, such as writing their own name.

“Listening to the students say ‘I can’t do it … yet’ as opposed to ‘I can’t do it’ is very encouraging. A sense of confidence has really started to take hold in our class. This is reinforced by the understanding that mistakes will be made. We work together creating a more positive outcome.” Kindergarten teacher D. Yasko and Early Childhood Educator D. Vicedomini explain.

The classes will next learn to focus on goal setting! We can’t wait to see how these growing leaders tackle their next project.

Holy Trinity has embraced growth mindsets, transforming their Kindergarten classrooms into a positive learning hub for confidence building. The Kindergarten students have begun altering their learning process, transforming the ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can’t do it… yet!”

Students at St. Albert take time for self-care

The PEACE Program students at the St. Albert Adult Learning Centre practice mindfulness on a regular basis by engaging in yoga and meditation. Trisha, a teacher with the PEACE program has noticed a difference in the students’ overall wellness since incorporating mindfulness activities into their daily routine.

"Our students come in each day carrying with them their entire experience. Their thoughts and actions are more influenced by their own state of mind than by anything else. By incorporating a short mind-body practice into our program, students shift to a state of calm and self-awareness that is necessary for emotional and academic success,” T. Teale.

Students in the PEACE program start each day with yoga and meditation to improve their wellness in and out of the classroom.

Wellness Resources – get in the know!

Living a healthy, balanced life can be difficult. We can all get so busy with our work and responsibilities that we forget to look after ourselves. Part of our mission as a Board is to nurture not only the mind and body, but the spirit of every individual. Check out this collection of apps that will assist us on our journeys to better health.

Get to know us!

The Sudbury Catholic District School Board Wellness Committee’s mission is to improve the overall health of our workplace and subsequently the wellness of all employees by developing, implementing and evaluating an inclusive workplace wellness plan, to support and nurture the mind, body and spirit of all staff. 

Our committee includes representation from our Senior Management, Principals, members from the Joint Health and Safety Committee, Human Resources, unionized and non-unionized employee representatives and our mental health lead.  The Committee works to improve our surroundings by liaising with the community, often working with resource specialists to gain advice and input on specific programs, goals and initiatives.

The Wellness Committee at Sudbury Catholic District School Board meets every month to improve our health and wellness strategy. Your Wellness Committee representatives are: Joanne Bénard, Suzanne Dubien, Patti Beltrame, Laura Kuzenko, Chantal Rancourt, Maurizio Depoli, Diana Salvador, Heather Geverding, Jean-Marc Joanisse, Kim Taylor-Horeck and Melissa Anderson. 

The Sudbury Catholic District School Board community thanks Patti Beltrame for her leadership and dedication to health and wellness. Patti served as the Chair of the Wellness Committee since its inception.

Sudbury Catholic District School Board employees work with members of the Wellness Committee to brainstorm different ways we can improve our wellness strategy!

Mind, Body and Spirit
January 2018

A new year is upon us and with this comes an opportunity to reflect upon what has been achieved and to look forward to what might come.

In this month’s blog, you will find evidence of how we are living out our new mission:  To realize each student’s potential within our inclusive Catholic learning community by nurturing and developing their mind, body and spirit; with a particular focus on how we are supporting the ‘body’. 

Developing the mind, body and spirit are key to a balanced and healthy life.   As a Catholic system, educating the mind and feeding the spirit is part of what we celebrate every day.  This January, we also want to honour those educators who have spent countless hours and energy supporting and promoting good health in our classrooms and in our schools.

The stories below motivate me to look at my own activity level and what I can do to improve my own health.  I invite you to do the same, as we know that in order to be productive, healthy individuals, we need to pay attention to our activity levels and the food choices we make.    Let today be the day that we make time for healthy choices, as we know a healthy body promotes better mental health and is the building block to learning. 

Thank you to all our staff for making conscious choices every day to promote health and wellness in our classrooms, helping our students invest in a lifestyle where they will thrive.

Breakfast program continues to be a big hit at St. Charles College  

Many of our schools offer breakfast/healthy snack programs to promote good nutrition. The breakfast program at St. Charles College is sponsored by the Breakfast Clubs of Canada and the Human League.  The school also receives fruits and vegetables from the Sudbury and District Health Unit.  On a daily basis over 1,000 students are served.  Students in the Lifeskills program at SCC prepare the food under the supervision of the food preparation teacher. These students have learned how to disinfect, match orders, read order slips and prepare food. Staff come in early each day to prepare the bins and two students from each homeroom pick up a bin and then return it before heading to first period.  This allows students to start their day with full stomachs, ready to learn!

Attendance in the program has improved each year. The program not only provides nutrition to our students, but also prepares them for life and builds community within the school.

Lifeskills students help prepare food for the breakfast program, which runs each day at SCC.

St. Francis community fully embraces the Northern Fruit and Vegetable Program!  

Beginning each January, our elementary schools benefit from the Northern Fruit and Vegetable Program in partnership with the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association and the Sudbury and District Health Unit. The program helps to educate our students on the value of healthy eating by providing opportunities to explore a variety of fruit and vegetables.

At St. Francis Catholic Elementary School, the program thrives with the support of staff, students and parents! Once a week, two different fruit and veggie options are delivered to the school. With the help of the EA’s and ECE’s, Grade 6 students distribute the fruit and vegetables to their fellow peers.

The program is well loved in this close-knit Catholic learning community. Lise Malette, teacher at St. Francis, says the program is an essential part of their day, helping to teach all students the importance of filling their bodies with healthy foods!

“It is so important to teach the students how to eat healthy at a young age. The program provides our students with so many opportunities to try different foods that they normally wouldn’t be able to try, or wouldn’t try themselves! Parents also love that we are encouraging the kids to get out of their comfort zone and try new things alongside their friends!” L. Malette

St. Francis students love being able to try new fruits and veggies and snack on their favourites! Students participate in the program on Tuesdays and Thursdays from January to June each school year.

Our elementary schools shake up gym class!

Through daily physical activities, all of our elementary schools have the opportunity to participate in innovative and creative programs to keep our students healthy and energized. Take a look at some of the programs that are currently running at Sudbury Catholic Schools!

Pius XII ‘Activates their Recess’

Pius XII continues to run the 'Activate Your Recess Program' to promote physical activity and fitness. This program was introduced in partnership with the Sudbury and District Health Unit and a local firm called Healthy Living Inc. Health related physical activities are promoted during recess breaks. Students are guided by staff to join teams and practice ball skills, foot coordination, and visual-motor integrity. Recess is never boring and it is a great way to increase fitness while having fun!

Pius XII students enjoy an active and fun recess.

Holy Cross Elementary adds exciting new sports team!

Starting this year, Holy Cross Elementary is hosting a curling team. The students have had a ton of fun learning about the sport and working as a team! The group even completed their very first Curling Bonspiel this past month, holding their own against some tough competitors. Congrats on such an important accomplishment Cubs!

Holy Cross students have enjoyed participating in the first season of their curling team!

Secondary Schools excel in fitness and sports programs!

Our Secondary Schools are constantly exploring innovative ways to integrate fitness and physical activity everyday – giving students the tools they need to lead a healthy lifestyle in and out of school. All of our secondary schools offer a wide array of sports options in which they excel.  Each school also offers excellent facilities including newly renovated fitness/weight rooms which are used daily by students and staff.  We are very proud that we were able to invest in ensuring the best facilities for our students.

Here are just some examples of how our secondary schools are pushing the envelope on fitness!

Bishop Alexander Carter Catholic Secondary School

BAC is home to a unique program which started in 2014. The BEST (Bishop Elite Sports Training) program helps students achieve success in academics, leadership, sports and fitness. Students benefit from the program by seeing direct improvements of both their overall fitness routines as well as their studies.  During the 2016-2017 school year, the school went one step further and assessed the effectiveness of the program with a group of Grade 9 students. The Grade 9 students rotated between three different fitness routines. They then made their way to math class with a focused mind and overall improved mood! Throughout this project, students reported feeling more organized and confident in their school work, and participation in their math classes increased! By the end of the pilot project, 77% of participating students exclaimed that they looked forward to coming to school each day! Way to stay committed Gators!

BAC students participate in the BEST program which is proven to help improve academics and increase fitness confidence. Pictured is the Bishop Alexander Carter fitness and weight room.

Marymount Academy

From their success on the football field, to their ventures into wrestling, Regals prove time and time again that their passion for fitness and team sports propels them to new heights! At Marymount Academy, the girls help direct sport related activities through the Girls’ Athletics Association. The Athletics Association helps promote various sports teams and fitness activities occurring in the school. The group has also put together diverse spirit weeks that have proven to be a big success! The girls always look for ways to increase student morale and school spirit.

MMA students work out in the Marymount Academy fitness room. The Marymount Academy Girls’ Athletic Association aims to put a smile on everyone’s face!

St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School

St Benedict students look for innovative ways to improve their overall mental and physical health. This month, the school was proud to offer yoga sessions for staff and students at lunchtime. Yoga has proven to be an exercise that benefits both as a physical fitness routine and helps improve mental health and strength. Staff and students were thrilled to participate in the program, returning to their classes with an improved focused and overall mood!

St. Benedict students participated in a weekly lunchtime yoga session throughout the month of January. Pictured is the St. Benedict fitness and weight room.

St. Charles College

St. Charles College is home to two programs geared toward fitness. Both the Health and Wellness program and the Sports and Recreation program are offered to Grade 11 and Grade 12 students. Students take part in various certifications and training that go toward their credit. They also have the opportunity to participate in reach ahead activities, taking take part in field trips to fitness training facilities, professional sporting events and tour health and wellness programs locally!  This year, the groups were able to take part in Laurentian University’s Future Leaders program, providing them with the tools they need to succeed in leadership!

The Health and Wellness and Sports and Recreation programs are increasing in popularity each year. Pictured is the St. Charles College weight room.

Get to know us!

When Chantal Dagostino isn’t busy teaching the students at St. Charles College, she is running the highly successful FitSpirit program at Sudbury Catholic Schools! FitSpirit is a program that promotes young girls to be more engaged in physical activities in their schools and communities.

At Sudbury Catholic, Chantal has been running the FitSpirit program for the past few years, seeing many of our schools succeed! The first year the program ran in Greater Sudbury, 6 out of the 10 participating schools featured Sudbury Catholic students. Since then, hundreds of students have flourished in the program with six schools currently signed up for 2018.

Chantal believes the program paves the way for young girls to make a difference in their fitness journeys and to try out new activities.

"The Sudbury Catholic District School Board’s mission is to the nurture the body, mind and spirit, creating a healthy lifestyle for all students. FitSpirit provides an inclusive classroom environment where everyone’s success is part of the journey! Each participant works toward their own potential at their own pace.”

Chantal Dagostino, middle, strongly believes in allowing everyone the opportunity to be active. Immaculate Conception students always have fun in the FitSpirit program - even in the rain!

We are Blessed to be a Community of Faith
December 2017

I can hardly believe that December is already here and that we are about to embark on another year! 2017 has been a year of transformation and growth.  We have launched our Multi-Year Strategic Plan, paving a new path and a new mission, vision and set of priorities to focus on. Many of our schools and classrooms are being transformed, creating more collaborative and innovative learning spaces for our students.  But one thing that has not changed, is how blessed we are to be a community of faith. Our faith is central to everything we do and we can truly celebrate this liturgical season of Advent During this season, we prepare ourselves to welcome Jesus.  We light our Advent wreath as a reminder that we are called to be light to the world in our words and in our actions.  I am so pleased to be able to highlight in this blog how our schools are shining a light on our community through their many acts of kindness and charity.  As we move through these final days of preparing our hearts and our homes, I wish you all a very blessed Christmas season.  Thank you for all that you do.   

Inaugural Board Meeting

Our month began with our Inaugural meeting held on December 5. We are thrilled to have both Michael Bellmore and Ray Desjardins retain their roles as Chair of the Board and Vice-Chair respectively! Our meeting began with a beautiful Mass presided over by Father Sam D’Angelo.

Our Board of Trustees with Father Sam D’Angelo. Pictured are Ray Desjardins and Michael Bellmore.

We celebrate our community by giving back!

The holiday season is not only a time to celebrate with friends and family, it is also a time to be grateful for all that we have and pay it forward so that our community as a whole can experience joy.

Our schools participate in holiday campaigns, gathering toys and donations, and spreading holiday cheer wherever they go! Here are just a few examples of our schools shining a light on our community! We have so much to be proud of.

TD Canada Trust ToyBank

Several of our schools participated in the annual TD Canada Trust ToyBank which supports the Salvation Army.

The staff and students at Holy Trinity were able to team up with Q92 Rock for a day of fun as they collected toys on December 1. This is the second year in a row that the school has been able to take part in the campaign.

Throughout the two-year campaign, the Holy Trinity school community has donated over 500 toys and $400 to help support those in need during the holiday season!

Holy Trinity students with the Q92 team during their Toy Drive on December 1.

St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School also partnered with TD Canada Trust to participate in this campaign, providing many families across our community with joy! This is the fifth year in a row that St. Benedict school has contributed. Since they have started, the school has become the largest single contributor to the toy drive, providing the Salvation Army with 5400 toys since 2012! This year, the group managed to raise over 1500 toys and $300 for the cause.

Rob Pappin, Chaplain at the school believes that it is the students who are the biggest contributors to the campaign! “In collaboration with the Salvation Army, we are able to increase the impact of our donations.  It is really the students who encourage everyone to donate toys as a gesture of following the gospel message and living out the Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations.” R. Pappin.

Fill-a-Crib Campaign

The “All We Need for Christmas” campaign helps support the Infant Food Bank, and many of our schools have chosen to help the young families in our community over the years. Holy Cross Catholic Elementary School has been donating to the campaign for the last few years. The community has contributed enough items to fill up two mini vans full of diapers, onesies, formulas and other necessities.

“This campaign is important to our school because the donations go directly to the children in our city. I think that it is important that our students see that, and understand that basic life necessities such as diapers, warm clothing and food sources are not always made available. We need to step up as community and support each other.” P. Stefanuto.

Marymount students work together to provide a happy Christmas for all

The Catholic Charities Council at Marymount Academy knows that the best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing loud for the world to hear!

The students spent the morning of December 13 carolling through the halls of the CEC, making us all feel merry and bright! While the girls visited, they also sought donations for St. David Elementary school so that all students would have a happy and joyful Christmas! Throughout the day, the girls raised $305!

Abby Tullio, President of the Catholic Charities Council, said that it was a wonderful way to bring people together and support each other! “It was such a simple idea, but it truly affected so many people in such a positive way. By going around singing and having fun, we were able to bring joy to the students, teachers, and quite a few staff from the Catholic Education Centre. And on top of that, we were also able to support the students at St. David’s, so that hopefully they will all enjoy this Christmas season.” A. Tullio.

The Catholic Charities Council at Marymount carolled through the halls at the Catholic Education Centre to raise funds for St. David School.

Spreading Holiday Cheer

Sudbury Catholic students designed the artwork for our Board Christmas cards! We thank all of the students for sharing their wonderful talent. This year’s selections are below.

Life skills students Brandon S, Jade M, Autumn K, Jordan B at St. Benedict created the snowflakes, supported by school staff. Brittany T, Grade 11 student at Marymount Academy created this beautiful water colour painting.


Get to know us!

At Sudbury Catholic, Joan Yawney-Matz is our Religious Education and Faith Development Consultant, K - 12. Joan works closely with Board staff, administrators, teachers, students and our religious leaders to assist Sudbury Catholic in providing quality, faith based education. Together, we ensure that the Gospel values of Jesus Christ permeate every aspect of our daily school life including curriculum, assessment, instructional approaches and teacher and student resources.

“Our homes, schools and parishes are interconnected. Together we support our children on their faith journeys. We live our vocation every day by striving to provide the best learning for each child to reach her/his potential. It is wonderful to be a part of a system who recognizes the uniqueness of the individual as they are created in the image of God.” J. Yawney-Matz.

As we seek to improve the way we live out and give expression to our Catholic identity, I would encourage all members of our community to reach out to Joan to support you in your work.

Pictured with students is Joan Yawney-Matz, our Religious Education and Faith Development Consultant.


Strengthening our Faith-based, Inclusive and Equitable Community
November 2017

It’s the middle of the month of November already. The leaves have fallen and the cool air is with us once again. We are in our 3rd month of school and so much has already been accomplished. As I have with previous blogs, I struggle with what to focus in on, as there is always so much to be proud of both inside and outside of our classrooms – from the cleanliness of our schools to the caring individuals that make up the Sudbury Catholic District School Board Community. This month, I am going to focus on evidence to demonstrate how we are living out the strategic pathway of –We are called to strengthen our faith-based, inclusive and equitable community. You will see below some of the amazing things happening in our schools every day.  Our students and staff make many contributions to their schools, the community of Greater Sudbury and beyond.  I will also feature James Suchoplas, a special education teacher who is making a difference in the Care and Development classroom at St. Charles College. As you read this blog I urge you to think about the amazing power we have to make a difference.  “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things” (Mother Theresa).

November 17th PA Day

This month, we were so fortunate to be able to come together as a whole Board community at the November 17th Professional activity Day to reflect on the importance of “WHY” we do what we do every day. The day began with a Eucharistic celebration with celebrant Bishop Damphousse and our Priests and Deacons where we were able to express our gratitude and give thanks. The day provided many opportunities for our entire community to come together, show appreciation and thankfulness for each other. We also unveiled our new branding for our new mission, vision, values and strategic pathways. We are very proud of the direction that we are taking as a School Board, and we now have a beautiful new logo to match. Our new logo represents the mind, body and spirit, making up the complete student. 

Our new logo and branding was proudly displayed in many ways as we gathered together.

Angela Maiers spent 2 days with Sudbury Catholic, speaking to  students, parents and staff.

What is the Sudbury Catholic Community thankful for?

St. Charles College Raises over 175,000 cans in Annual Fundraiser!

All of our schools participate in fundraisers throughout the school year and contribute to our community and beyond.  This month I want to highlight the wonderful work in supporting our local food bank.  The students of St. Charles College with the help of St. David, St. John, St. Paul, Pius XII and Holy Trinity contributed to this great cause raising an amazing 175,533 cans and $25,000 for this year’s food drive for the Sudbury Food Bank! Our students visited various homes and businesses in our community to canvass for the annual fundraiser. We extend our appreciation to the staff, students, parents and our community for their tremendous support. 

Principal Patty Mardero is very proud of her school for their ongoing commitment to the community! “Each year we set an expectation for the food drive and I am always so impressed when these students rise to the challenge to both meet and exceed that goal.  It really shows us that our students believe in the power of working towards a cause for the greater good of our community and to making positive contributions to our society.  This all truly is a part of our school motto of ‘teach me Goodness, Discipline and Knowledge’.” P. Mardero

Congratulations Cards on another successful campaign!

Since the mid 80’s, St. Charles College has been canvassing for the Sudbury Food Bank. Through the help of feeder schools, the students were able to collect 175,000 cans to go towards the cause.

Marymount students continue work with Blue Door Soup Kitchen

For the past 8 years, students at Marymount Academy have been completing volunteer work for the Blue Door Soup Kitchen on a monthly basis.

Every 3 weeks, Chaplaincy Lead Jennifer Geddes takes a group of six Grade 9 students to volunteer their time at the soup kitchen. By the end of the year, the entire grade gets to participate in the experience. It is an opportunity to learn about one of Greater Sudbury’s most used community services. The students prep the lunch, serve to the clients, wash and clean-up. The experience provides the girls with an opportunity to learn about homelessness and how to help others.

The students always walk away feeling proud of their involvement, with a better understanding about the importance of volunteers who contribute to organizations each and every day. Students even continue to volunteer with the organization long after their initial experience.

“We are so thankful to the Blue Door Soup Kitchen for giving our students this opportunity to volunteer. It gives our students a chance to meet some of the people facing homelessness and poverty right here in our city. Students often go to the soup kitchen feeling apprehensive, but invariably leave feeling less fearful, more accepting, and asking when they can come back to volunteer again!” J Geddes

Because of their long relationship with the Blue Door Soup kitchen, the girls also wanted to give back to the organization, who celebrated its 35th anniversary this past year! Art students created a beautiful mural to celebrate the organization and all of contributions they have made to Greater Sudbury!

Keep up the great work, Regals!

A group of Grade 9 students volunteer with Blue Door Soup Kitchen every month. Art students at Marymount Academy created a mural to celebrate Blue Door Soup Kitchen’s 25th Anniversary

Care and Development Classroom makes positive impact at Pius XII!

The Care and Development program at Pius XII helps to support various students within our Catholic school community.

The Care and Development classroom has recently been renovated, now better built to suit their needs. The room is equipped with various touch and sensory devices, including quiet corner spaces and SMART Board technology to engage the students. Across the hall is the brand-new physiotherapy room. Every day, the hard-working educator teams  help the students learn to bare their own weight, helping  to develop strength.

This year, the group is focusing on communication. The ‘Snoozlen room’ is a multi-sensory room which focuses on interacting with the student’s senses and cues. Whether it is by watching coloured lights and bubbles in the bubble tube, feeling the various materials or listening to the sounds, the goal is to have the students understand and react to the cues.

As with any great program, the Care and Development program has had its fair share of successes. Laurie Oliver, an Educational Assistant in the classroom describes a story that truly impacted her!

“Sometimes, it can take a while for the students to reach a milestone or goal. And when they do, it’s always really rewarding. We had a couple of students who have learned how to pedal their bikes. Every day, our students pedal their bikes throughout the hallways at Pius. At first, we just pull them around the hallway so they can get a feel for it. In some cases, we might just do that for several years with a particular student. Then we start to encourage them to start to learn to pedal on their own. And one day they will just get it! And all of a sudden they’re pedaling up and down the hallways, steering, changing speeds. To watch them progress and achieve those key goals is so rewarding for everyone involved!”

Welcome to our newly added physioptheapy room!
Laurie Oliver assists student as they complete their morning cycle around the school. Pictured is the newly renovated Care and Development classroom.
The snoozlen room is located right next to the physiotherapy room. Noreen Pellatt works with a student.
Christina Pierobon, Noreen Pellatt, Jade Qiao, and Laurie Olivier work in the Care and Development classroom at Pius XXII.

White Buffalo Circles Program Instills Self-Respect and Self-Confidence in Classrooms

Fostering positive learning relationships and honouring Indigenous identity is one way our Board is responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action. Joel Agowissa, our Elementary Indigenous Support Worker, directs the White Buffalo Circles program, teaching both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students and teachers about the history, beliefs and cultural traditions of Canadian Indigenous peoples.  Using the Anishinaabe cultural teachings as a foundation, this program gives all participating learners an insight into Anishinaabe culture. Joel has visited many of our classrooms this past month, instilling the belief that young people who have self-respect and self-confidence are better prepared to cope with negative influences and peer pressure.  

Joel Agowissa sits with the FDK classroom at St. Francis to teach them about the Original 7 Clans of the Ojibwa people. Holy Trinity attends classes on Indigenous teachings with Joel Agowissa.

Mental Health Space at St. Benedict creating more hopeful and happy students

Clinician Holly Graham working in the chapel which is currently the mental health space at St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School.

At Sudbury Catholic, we have been working very hard to provide services for our students that will enhance their mental health and well-being.  Our focus is trying to provide students with easy access to supports offered in a very warm and non-threatening environment.  One such program is our Mental Health walk-in clinic offered both at St. Benedict Secondary School and St. Charles College. The mental health space is currently under renovation at St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School in Sudbury, but Clinician Holly Graham says regardless of the location, the students need the support on a weekly basis.

Graham is the on-site Clinician at St. Benedict.  She says more than seventy-five students have been serviced since May 2016. Melissa Anderson, the Associate Director of Clinical Services with Child and Family Services says the organization was approached by the Sudbury Catholic District School Board in 2016 in an effort to explore projects that would support mental health services in the school setting.  

The project at St. Benedict started as an eight-week trial and has grown to two full days of support per week. 

Graham says the clients need help with anxiety, school, social and home challenges and she says “sometimes getting their problems off their chest makes them happier and more hopeful allowing them to turn their week around.”

Principal Laura Kuzenko has noticed the changes in the students in a short time. Kuzenko says “some mornings the students are waiting for the help due to something happening in their lives” and she is grateful for the support. 


Sudbury Catholic Schools welcome 2 new French interns!

Both St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School and St. Charles College are hosting teachers from France, who are assisting with teaching the French Immersion students at both schools. Elisa Genevet and Morgan Flinois have been selected to promote French language and culture to enrich the Immersion experience for our students. It is very important to us that our students are exposed to a variety of French models to further develop their proficiency in both French and English. 

Elisa has been working with students at St. Benedict Secondary while also enjoying the many wonderful sights that Greater Sudbury has to offer. Morgan arrived earlier this month from Lille, France and is excited to work with the French Immersion students at St. Charles College. We welcome them both to the Sudbury Catholic Community. 

Elisa Genevet at St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School.

Morgan Flinois works with students at St. Charles College.

Get to know us!

This month, I am happy to feature James Suchoplas Special Education and ESL Teacher at St. Charles College. James works in the Care and Development classroom at SCC, where he ensures all of the students meet their unique developmental, physical and educational goals. The goal of the Care and Development program is to assist the students to move into a post-secondary program. James works with the other Educational Assistants in the classroom as well the physiotherapists and occupational therapists to develop curriculum goals on a daily and weekly basis. Having been a part of the program at Pius XII, James has seen notable success in the students as they move on to the SCC program. We thank James and all of our Care and Development teams for the difference they make each and every day!

“The Care and Development program here at St. Charles College is a vital component for our most vulnerable students. I work with a team of dynamic and passionate educational assistants and therapists to develop and implement a program and learning environment that meets the individual complex medical, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, sensory and academic needs of each of our students.  I am very blessed to be given the opportunity to work with a dedicated team and to know that our work positively impacts the quality of life for our students." J Suchoplas. Thanks James!

James Suchoplas with a student from the Care and Development program at SCC.

Innovation and a Growth Mindset
October 2017

The air is changing, the leaves are falling and our staff and students are working hard to accomplish new goals this month! As our year begins to take shape, I encourage everyone to think about the many blessings that we have.  One of those blessings is the opportunity to work in an amazing system which promotes and supports innovation and a growth mindset.  As I think about what to write in this month’s blog I am presented with a wonderful problem to try and decide what to highlight among the many amazing practices and activities.  That being said, this month I am going to focus on evidence to demonstrate how we are living out the strategic pathway of – We are called to promote innovation. This month I will also feature a new member of our SCDSB team, Alan Levesque, Manager of Facilities.  As always, if you have suggestions for future blogs let me know!

Leadership Day

Our school year began with a system Leadership Day! Senior Administration, Principals, Vice-Principals, Teachers and System Staff gathered together to analyze student data, identify our strengths and our needs and to plan how we can improve teaching and learning to make the 2017-2018 our best school year yet! It was amazing to be part of a collaborative learning opportunity with staff that is highly motivated, engaged, open to learning and creative in their approach. We had so much fun discussing with each other how to best meet the needs of our learners, and how each member of our well-rounded team helps to contribute to our goals every day.

Our day began by discussing what we were grateful for in and out of the classroom.  Pictured standing is Nicole Bédard, sharing with the team the importance of triangulating data.  Her passion for student learning was contagious.


Learning Commons

All four of our secondary schools now have amazing renovated library spaces called Learning Commons. Transforming the traditional library, each Learning Common is equipped with the latest technology including Green Screens, Ipads, laptops, GoPRO cameras, robotics such as Sphere-O bots and Ozobots and 3D Printers. The Learning Common promotes student collaboration, providing ample meeting spaces and outlets so that students may plug-in electronics as needed. The spaces are designed to accommodate both quiet and active spaces to meet the varying needs of students. Students can be found discussing, creating, studying, writing, drawing, building, meeting etc. Since completing our renovations and enhancing the programing, our learning commons are filled with students bringing a new vitality to our traditional libraries.  They have become the heart of the school – the place to be! I encourage staff and students alike to take advantage of the wonderful new Learning Hubs located at Bishop Alexander Carter, St. Benedict, St. Charles College and Marymount Academy!

Learning Common at Marymount Academy
Learning Common at St. Charles College

Learning Common at Bishop Alexander Carter

Learning Common at St. Benedict

Transforming our Classroom Spaces

It is so exciting to be part of a school board that is always looking to enhance our learning spaces to meet the needs of the 21st century student.  With a focus on flexible learning spaces that promote collaboration, flexibility and sociability, we are setting out to renovate our classroom spaces.  In our classrooms, you will find a variety of different desks and chairs, including flow desks, stand-up desks and various technologies.  Below, are some examples of our newly renovated spaces. 

Immaculate Conception Renovation
Immaculate Conception has undergone major renovations, completely altering the look and feel of the interior of the building. 7 classrooms went through major transformations. Each classroom now has flow desks. These desks are different from the traditional student desks as they fit into each other to create a collaborative and flexible learning environment!
Kindergarten Classrooms
Over the summer, St. Paul Catholic School had their Kindergarten classroom renovated. The construction improved the space to be more innovative and hands-on for our youngest learners! St. Paul is just one of our many elementary schools who have received renovated Kindergarten classrooms. Our Kindergarten classrooms  are bright and playful spaces that encourage an inquiry approach allowing for learning and growth for all!

Innovation Fund

During the last school year our Board initiated the Learning Innovation Project Proposal (LIPP), an opportunity for our staff to further develop the skills necessary in order to bring innovation for deeper learning and to create sustainable practices that align with the board’s mission, vision and strategic priorities. Through this program staff are invited to submit project proposals that encourage the development of the skills necessary to transform teaching and learning. We were thrilled at all of the proposals that came forward and were able to fund many of the projects last year and look forward to supporting other submissions this year.

Last Spring, Kyley McHugh, gr 4/5 teacher at St. James School, applied for a special LIPP grant in order to transform her classroom into a Kinesthetic Classroom. Kyley was awarded a $10,000 grant and transformed her classroom and her timetable using the philosophy and program outlined in “The Kinesthetic Classroom” by Lengel and Kuczala as well as “Ready, Set, Go! The Kinesthetic Classroom 2.0” by Kuczala and Lengel.

Research (Lengel/Kuczala 2010) shows there is a meaningful increase in academic achievement following exercise or physical activity. It also shows that movement allows for students to refocus and strengthen their ability to pay attention. Kyley wanted to provide students with the opportunity to experience an innovative kinesthetic learning experience. They are engaged in different types of movement and exercise throughout the day to help them stay engaged and focused thus improving academic performance. She is gathering data on their academic achievement and physical health, and will be sharing her successes with her colleagues throughout the year. She has already noticed a positive difference in her students’ engagement and behaviour. “My classroom is a result of the board’s Learning Innovative Project Proposal (LIPP). I wanted to make a difference in the lives of my students and through reading a lot of pedagogical articles and research, I found out that exercise improves physical and mental health as well as student engagement, focus and achievement. I can already observe and say that my students seem to be happier and are on task. Every day, we start with a 40 minute of intensivephysical exercise. Some of the students have expressed that there is a difference on the days they haven’t started out with Physical Education, that they feel less motivated and engaged.” K. McHugh




Get to Know us!

This month, I would like to introduce you to one of the newest members of our team, Alan Levesque. Alan is our new Manager of Facility Services, having started the position at the end of August. As Manager of Facilities, Alan works to ensure that the operations in our many schools and buildings run smoothly. He also has been learning about the ins and outs of our various large capital projects and our future plans. Alan was lucky enough to come in toward the end of the summer, seeing projects such as the Immaculate Conception construction come to life. He has been enjoying the challenge of his new role, and has loved learning about the culture of Sudbury Catholic Schools to determine needs and next steps! We are thrilled to have him on our team.

“I am truly excited to have joined a Facilities Services Team that is committed to providing safe, functional and innovative environments for students and staff.  As a team, we will continue to focus on providing timely and effective service to all stakeholders,” Alan Levesque, Manager of Facilities.




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Welcome to the Director's Corner!
September 2017

I am very excited to share my first blog and thank all those who have contributed, especially Carlee Vendramin, our Communications Officer. We hope that you will find this blog helpful in staying connected with all of the exciting work taking place in our Sudbury Catholic Schools.

As we begin a new school year, I would like to take some time to reflect on all of the exciting developments that took place this past summer! So much took place but here is a snapshot…

2017 Summer Learning Program
The 2017 Summer Learning Program was a success, with six camps packed full of eager participants! The campers took part in one of three programs: the summer literacy program, the summer numeracy program and the Indigenous arts and literacy program, enhancing and improving their reading and math skills. The camps were infused with the latest technology and each day started with a session of Taekwondo!

Visit to Kunming Jinguo Kindergarten Summer Camp in China

Alice Desormeaux and Lina Reale, Kindergarten teachers at St. Anne Elementary and Holy Cross Elementary schools respectively, had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Kunming Jinguo Kindergarten Summer Camp in China this past August! While there, the teachers participated in the camps, engaging with children aged 3 to 10 years old. They also interacted with the teachers and staff at Jinguo, offering a learning opportunity for all on best practices in the classroom.

Students from Hangzhuo, China also joined students from Sudbury Catholic Schools in August to attend a week-long summer camp! Sudbury Catholic School teachers taught the students each day at Holy Cross Elementary School. The participants also completed daily outings to famous Sudbury attractions such as Dynamic Earth. The students thoroughly enjoyed learning more about each other's culture and traditions throughout the camp experience!

Pictured here is Lina Reale completing a physical activity with students. Pictured here is Alice Desormeaux and participating students.

School Readiness Program

To help prepare our youngest learners, we partnered with Jubilee Heritage Family Resources to offer a School Readiness Program! This was a week-long program aimed to introduce children entering Kindergarten to the school and to work on school readiness skills. This program also allowed parents to gain greater understanding about our schools and to support their child in the exciting transition to schools. These little ones are now settling into our Kindergarten classes surrounded by our caring Early Learning Support Teams.


Lynsie Royer
Intensive Support Facilitator

Get to Know Us!

In this month’s post, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Lynsie Royer, an Intensive Support Facilitator at St. David Catholic Elementary School. This is a job embedded professional learning position which is part of our Learning Support Services Department.

Intensive Support Facilitators learn from teachers, each other, and specialists in the field of education collaborating on ideas and teachings to assess students that will help guide teacher practices.  Intensive Support Facilitators also support the implementation of new resources and collaborate with teachers to help meet their professional learning goals, the school improvement goals and the varying needs of students to support student achievement. The overall goal of this position is to increase student achievement in an innovative learning environment.

“As a teacher, I’m always learning from my students. With this job though, teachers are teaching each other. This new way of learning and training has changed the teaching practice in general, and has made me a better educator,” Lynsie Royer Intensive Support Facilitator at St. David Catholic Elementary School.


New Mission, Vision and Values

I have no doubt that the 2017-2018 School Year will be full of opportunity and growth for all. Throughout the past two years, our Board has undergone an in-depth consultation process to develop our multi-year plan for 2017-2021.Through on-line questionnaires, face-to-face discussions and conversations with students, staff and parents alike, we have developed a new path for the Sudbury Catholic District School Board. We proudly present our new mission, vision and values as follows:

Mission: To realize each student’s potential within our inclusive Catholic learning community by nurturing and developing their mind, body and spirit.

Vision: Leaders in Learning and Faith

Values: Faith – Respect – Community – Innovation – Learning – Modelling Jesus in the world

Strategic Pathways:

  1. We are called to strengthen our faith-based, inclusive and equitable community
  2. We are called to promote innovation
  3. We are called to advance leadership and learning for all.

I wish all our staff and students a wonderful start to their next adventures in learning. I know that each of you will accomplish great things over the course of the school year.

Keep an eye out for my next blog post in October!

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