On Thursday, November 3, 2016, the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board hosted the Catholic Parent Involvement Committee (CPIC) Commissioning Evening at St. Joan of Arc Catholic High School in Barrie. The event was an amazing success as CPIC and Catholic School Community Council (CSCC) members gathered to celebrate another year in Catholic education.
The night began with a beautiful mass led by Bishop Kirkpatrick and guest speakers, Board Chair Maria Hardie and Director of Education Brian Beal. Throughout mass, attendees were in awe of the St. Joan of Arc choir, who provided inspirational music for the event. At the end of mass, Bishop Kirkpatrick invited all CSCC members to stand as he commissioned them into their new role and they pledged to support and serve their Catholic school community in all aspects.
Following mass, CSCC members attended one of seven informative sessions run by board staff. Each session highlighted important information and programs in our board.
Dr. Patrick Carney, Senior Psychologist at the board, provided attendees with an insight into the the well-being of staff and students in a Catholic school using a comprehensive model of ‘Inclusion Mental Health & Wellness.’
Staff and CSCC members from St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic School, Graziano Vavala, Danuta Woloszynowicz, Danielle May and Brooke Roth presented ‘Volunteerism & School Council Best Practices.’ This workshop provided CSCC members with information about the mandate and operation of a community council including topics such as agendas, council meetings and fundraising.
Superintendent Stephen Charbonneau, and First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Education Manager Linda McGregor provided their attendees with an overview of the many First Nation, Métis and Inuit initiatives the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic DSB is engaged in, including a focus on promoting student wellbeing and achievement through Truth and Reconciliation.
Stephanie Maher, Religious Education and Chaplaincy Coordinator, explored the new religious curriculum for Grades 1 - 8 in Catholic schools across the province.
Superintendent Ab Falconi and Assistant Superintendent of Special Education Steve Morrow provided an overview of the board’s special education services and how it is applied in an inclusive Catholic school setting.
Superintendents Jane Dillon-Leitch and Lonnie Bolton, Curriculum Coordinator Jonathan Rajalingam and Curriculum Consultant Jeff Cole as well as Student Success Coordinator Andy Sendzik presented the Renewed Math Strategy for the elementary and secondary curriculum. With the many changing methods to learn and teach math, the team provided parental strategies for student success in math from Kindergarten to Grade 10.
Pauline Stevenson, Communications Manager, presented the ‘Transition from Elementary to Secondary and Board App’ workshop. She provided an overview of the variety of programs and options for today’s high school students, as well as an introduction to the board's new mobile app.
The evening was gratifying as CSCC members gathered valuable information that they could bring back to their own school communities. We would like to thank Bishop Kirkpatrick and the St. Joan of Arc choir for a wonderful service and to all board, CPIC and CSCC members who made the event such a success.