Our Shared Vision is reflected in everything that we've accomplished in the 2010-2011 school year by working together with our staff, students, parents, parishes and communities. Here are a just a few examples of our successful partnerships at work:
York Catholic school communities are known for their strong passion and dedication to helping others. The entire York Catholic family came together during the 2010-2011 school year, to show compassion for those affected by tragedies around the world. Staff, parents and students raised money for those in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Zealand and Japan, to help them rebuild their lives after a series of natural disasters. In total, York Catholic raised $93,232.43! Every year, York Catholic schools raise money for ShareLife and the Terry Fox Run. This year, staff and students raised in excess of $100,000 for ShareLife, and raised nearly $250,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation to support cancer research.
The student-led Leadership Links conference took place on February 18, 2011 at Jean Vanier CHS in Richmond Hill. The conference, co-hosted by high school leaders, focused on the theme, "A Voice, Not an Echo," and welcomed 300 elementary students and 100 student leaders from across the system. The elementary attendees had the chance to learn from the older students during interactive workshops. It was also an opportunity for participating elementary students to make new friends and enhance their leadership skills.
In April 2011, two York Catholic schools celebrated 25th anniversaries. Holy Cross Catholic Academy and St. Gregory the Great Catholic Elementary School, both in Woodbridge, held 25th anniversary celebrations in April that involved and united the students, parents and communities. St. Margaret Mary Catholic Elementary School in Woodbridge celebrated its 50th anniversary in October with their school community. During these celebrations, attendees had the chance to see student performances, meet past alumni, learn about the schools' current successes, and reconnect with old friends.
During the 2010-2011 school year, York Catholic officially blessed and opened three new elementary schools on the west side of York Region. Inspirational, unique and unforgettable ceremonies were held at St. Mary of the Angels CES, St. Raphael the Archangel CES and St. Cecilia CES. Staff and students worked tirelessly to put on memorable evenings for guests, featuring singing, dancing, musical instruments and refreshments. Through the collaboration of staff, students, parents and the local parishes, the blessings served as a unifying event for each school community.
In November 2010, York Catholic held its annual Catholic School Council Conference, for parents and members of Catholic School Councils at St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic High School in Aurora. Catholic School Council members learned about practical ways to improve engagement between home and school. The conference attendees also had the chance to attend small workshops and learn about different ways to become more engaged and involved in their child's school.
In support of York Catholic's Safe Schools Policy and the Equity and Inclusive Education Policy, climate surveys for students were introduced during the 2010-2011 school year. The surveys were created to obtain feedback from students in Grades 4, 7 and 10 regarding the factors that support a safe, caring and inclusive school environment. It was clear, from the data gathered from the surveys that our students valued the role of school liturgies, retreats, and prayer as essential to their sense of well-being and belonging. The data gave us points of reference for enhancing activities that promote peace, justice and a sense of belonging for all our students in order to continue to support student learning, achievement and well-being in all of our schools.
Faith Day on September 1, 2010 saw our staff members participating in family of schools faith-based activities. Local clergy, including Archbishop Collins, celebrated Masses at local parishes and schools. Various speakers and facilitators engaged teachers and other staff in inspirational sessions focusing on the unique nature of our vocation in Catholic Education.