Our Faith 2Our Faith 1

We know that our Catholic schools are distinct and that we are blessed with the privilege of providing faith-filled learning to our students. Our curriculum and all our endeavours are based on the teachings of Jesus Christ and infused with Gospel values. To strengthen our identity,we began a consultative process, which brought staff together to articulate our values as a Catholic organization – those distinct traits, qualities and Gospel values that make our learning and working environment so unique. Along with our mission and vision statements, and the Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations, we believe our values will continue to define who we are as an organization, what we expect our students to become, and what we value as a Catholic community.

We have undertaken extensive consultation on our Catholic values to ensure they reflect the input of all key partners of our schools. Once this process is complete, we look forward to sharing our Catholic values throughout our school communities.

Please visit the Faith Focused Learning section of our web site for more information.

Affirming Our Faith with the Community
Faith in Our Classrooms - Religious Education and Family Life
Faith Formation for Staff

Affirming Our Faith with the Community

More than 350 members of our Catholic school communities, including students, parents, staff, parish priests, trustees and other partners, came together last spring for our Board’s first Catholic Education Symposium.
This group gathered to think about and discuss just what our Catholic schools mean to us, and what we think their future should be. Our efforts were part of a larger, province-wide awareness and engagement strategy to deepen and broaden the level of support for Catholic schools.

The discussion at the symposium had two purposes. First, it provided a structured opportunity for conversation about the essence and value of Ontario’s Catholic schools, the challenges they face, and our hopes for their future. Second, the dialogue sparked by the discussion was used to generate messages about Catholic education and Catholic values that were later shared with the broader community.

Faith in Our Classrooms - Religious Education and Family Life

Our Religious Education and Family Life programs are important parts of the distinct education students in our Catholic schools benefit from. These programs are seamlessly integrated into subject matter across all subjects, providing students with a faith-filled approach to learning. Our teachers had a number of opportunities to participate in workshops to continue to deepen their understanding of teaching and learning in both Religious Education and Family Life programs.

In particular, Kindergarten and Grade One teachers gathered to share their teaching practices. They also had the opportunity to continue to discover ways in which technology, literacy, student assessment and other curriculum areas can be integrated in the Religious Education and Family Life programs.

This year, new Religious Education curriculum guidelines were introduced in all secondary schools. Teachers new to teaching Religion attended a workshop to broaden their understanding of their role in the faith formation of our students.

The Family Life program, Fully Alive, is currently being updated for Grades One and 2 and we expect that it will be ready next year. Teachers will gather to review the updated program and to share ways in which this program can support the goals of Catholic education.

Faith Formation for Staff

The ongoing faith journey of our staff is also key to our distinctness as a Catholic learning community. Each year, staff gathers in schools to celebrate Faith Day. Last year, they reflected on the theme, And God Saw That it Was Good. This theme provided the context for many activities that took place throughout the 2006 – 2007 school year.

We also provided a number of opportunities during the year for staff to participate in a retreat program called Courage to Serve. Many teachers from all of our schools also attended the annual When Faith Meets Pedagogy conference, a wonderful professional development conference for Catholic teachers. Our staff showed leadership skills by heading anumber of the workshops offered at this conference.

The expertise of our staff is recognized provincially, as many were invited to participate in the development and implementation of Catholic Education Week resources for all Ontario Catholic schools. Some of our staff showed their creative side by writing and producing a song based on the theme, And God Saw That it Was Good. The song was played throughout the Board and shared with other Catholic boards across the province.

Collectively,we always take special time to celebrate our faith and distinctness during Catholic Education Week, which is held every year in late April and early May. This year we are celebrating the theme, We are Called.

To bring the faith formation of our staff truly alive in our schools and Board offices, a new position called Adult Faith Animator was created.The position will focus on engaging and guiding staff on its collectivemission of living according to our Gospel values. As part of this role, the Adult Faith Animator is developing an Adult Faith Ambassador Program that will see staff in all our schools and locations take a leadership role in faith development.