From The Boardroom – February 28, 2012

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Feb 20, 2014 in Rat News | Subscribe

At the Regular Board Meeting held on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 7:00 p.m., the Trustees:


  • A presentation from Jonathan Bibby, Superintendent of Schools and Learning Support Services; and Jonathan Berlingeri, Student Achievement Consultant – Learning Support Services, regarding eLearning. Jonathan Bibby introduced the concept of elearning as a different way for students to access materials for secondary school credits, and explained the purpose and benefits of the program. Jonathan Berlingeri outlined his role as the Student Achievement Consultant for elearning. His role is funded by a grant from the Ministry of Education and in the role he provides leadership and co-ordination for the elearning program including elearning, homework help for students, blended learning, reporting to Ministry, training teachers, creating accounts for teachers and students, and registering students for elearning. Jonathan showed how students access the site, what information students access in each course, and then demonstrated how students access the textbooks, receive assignments and receive instructions. He gave statistics regarding the number of students in each course and their credit achieving success, and commented on the future plans for the program.
  • A presentation from Michael Moriarty, Family Life and Religious Education Consultant, regarding Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Michael spoke about his recent trip to the Holy Land and outlined plans for a future trip for Board employees and friends. Costs and deadline dates for committing to the trip were identified.
  • A report on recent In-service Training for Board staff including Training for Elementary School Secretaries, Special Education Principal Learning, Custodial Training, and Equity and Diversity Training for the Catholic Education Centre staff.
  • Rationale from Greg Reeves, Director of Education regarding the new Social Networking Awareness – Parent Tip Sheet. Greg indicated that this was a pro-active strategy to alert parents to some of the issues with the new technology that students are using. The flyer will be included in elementary school newsletters and mailed out to secondary school parents.


  • The Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School, Courtice, trip to Findlay, Ohio, from September 6 to 8, 2012.
  • The following recommendation from the Governance Committee:
  • that the proposed 2012-2013 School Year Calendars be sent to the Ministry of Education for approval.
  • That the Board approve By-law #123 to authorize a loan from the Ontario Financing Authority in the principal amount of $7,952,322 pursuant to a loan agreement under Section 7 of Ontario Regulation 41/10 “Board Borrowing, Investing and Other Financial Matters”.
  • That the Director of Education and the Chair of the Board be authorized to execute the necessary documents on behalf of the Board.


  • With regret, the resignations of Peter Crane, Family Life Religious Education Consultant, Catholic Education Centre; and Janet Johnstone, Library Support Specialist, Catholic Education Centre, effective June 30, 2012.
  • With regret, the resignation of Dr. George Dimitroff, Board Psychologist, Catholic Education Centre, effective August 31, 2012.


The following highlights of system achievements:

St. Dominic Catholic Elementary School – Lindsay

On Tuesday, February 28, 2012, at 1:00 p.m., students and staff from St. Dominic Catholic Elementary School in Lindsay joined other schools throughout the province to celebrate Paralympic Schools Week. Paralympic Schools Week is designed to raise awareness and understanding about parasport, including the ways in which all Canadians can get involved in the Parasport Movement, whether as a participant, coach or volunteer.

Guest speaker for the event at St. Dominic was three time Sledge Hockey Paralympian and Torino Gold Medalist, Paul Rosen. Paul was a promising 15 year old Midget AAA hockey player when he broke his leg in 14 places during a hockey tournament. For two years he endured countless surgeries to try and repair his leg. In 1997, his leg snapped again – this time, for the last time. Paul had to choose between life without his leg or three months to live. In 1997 Paul’s right leg was cut off above the knee. Inspired by the words of 12 year old triple amputee Shane Smith during a tough rehab session, Paul went on to master the game of Sledge Hockey. He went on to play for Team Canada at the 2002 Salt Lake City Paralympics and remains an integral and inspirational leader of the top-ranked Canadian National Sledge Hockey Team. He is currently ranked number 1 Sledge Hockey goaltender in the world. Principal Mark Byrne said that Paul Rosen motivated, educated and entertained as he delivered a story of courage and determination, and both students and staff enjoyed the event.

Sacred Heart of Peterborough

Congratulations to Bishop Nicola De Angelis and all involved in the Sacred Heart of Peterborough Inaugural Convocation on Friday, February 3, 2012 at Sacred Heart of Peterborough. Thomas Symons, Chair of the Board of Trustees, and who received the Knight of the Order of St. Sylvester, and Bishop Nicola De Angelis hosted the event with over 500 people in attendance. Included at the event was the Installation of its first Officers: Chancellor, Principal, Dean of Studies and Registrar. Participants gathered to witness and celebrate the creation of Peterborough’s newest institution of higher learning and acknowledge the first graduates.

St. Catherine Catholic Elementary School – Peterborough

Congratulations to the students at St. Catherine Catholic Elementary School in Peterborough who competed and placed first in the Skills Canada – Regional Elementary School Cardboard Boat Races in Sutton, Ontario on January 31, 2012. Twenty-nine teams from across the area had an opportunity to test their math and technology skills in this fun and competitive environment. Four other teams from the Board competed in the event. Immaculate Conception Catholic Elementary School placed 5th, St. Catherine Catholic Elementary School – Team 1 placed 9th, St. Teresa Catholic Elementary School – Team 2 placed 18th and St. Teresa Catholic Elementary School – Team 1 placed 28th. St. Catherine Catholic Elementary School – Team 2 advanced to the Skills Canada Elementary School Provincial Cardboard Boat Races which was held on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 in Waterloo, Ontario and, although they didn’t receive a medal, they placed in the top five teams. Well done, St. Catherine.

Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School – Peterborough

Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School in Peterborough is the very first secondary school in Canada to participate in the Youth Sports Concussion Program. Over 800 students participated in the launch of this important program on Thursday, February 9, 2012. Packages of information were distributed to students which included information to parents and permission forms for students to participate. As part of the program, free baseline screenings were administered to students at the school by the Youth Sports Concussion Program on Thursday, February 23, 2012. The assessment is an online eight minute Computerized Cognitive Assessment Tool (CCAT) and will create a baseline measurement which captures the students cognitive functioning when the brain is healthy. Repeating the same test after injury will assist healthcare providers in clinical diagnosis and treatment plans. Free baseline previews are available at

St. Peter and Holy Cross Catholic Secondary Schools – Peterborough

Congratulations to our two Catholic secondary schools in Peterborough who sent three players each to participate in the drug awareness hockey game at the Peterborough Memorial Centre. Representatives from both Catholic and public secondary schools played against a team of local police officers. A highlight for the student team was the coach – Marc Savard, former NHL super star. All students from the secondary schools were invited to attend the game and interactive activities were organized for students, and information was provided focusing on drugs and alcohol.

St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School – Cobourg

Students and staff at St. Joseph recently welcomed Tommy, Melanie and their 2 pet rats to the school for a visit. Tommy is nine years old and his sister Melanie is 11 years old. In senior kindergarten, Tommy came home one day and said he wanted to write a book. With the help of his mother, Tommy began to put stories together for his book. It took two years for Tommy to write this book and all of his stories seemed to include the same main ideas: a boy, a villain, a car crash, and a pet rat that saves the day. After a few stories he wanted to introduce a girl to the story. And so the book “Tommy and Melanie Have Two Pet Rats and One Syndrome” was born. In grade one, Tommy came home and said his friends were teasing his sister Melanie at school. So Tommy’s Mom decided to quickly self–publish the book hoping it would help Tommy’s friends understand Melanie’s Syndrome. Melanie has Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS), and has endured 13 operations. She has seen between 60-80 doctors and other specialists in one year. Only 100 people in Canada have been diagnosed with this syndrome. The book shows Tommy and Melanie having adventures and playing with their pet rats. The rats are present on almost every page. At the end of the book, there is information about the Syndrome and how it affects Melanie and, on the very last page, there is information about CdLS for doctors. During Tommy’s visit to the school, the students asked questions and he read from his book and showed a video about his rats doing tricks. Tommy has sold over 6,300 copies of his book to date. When asked “How do you get the rats to do all these tricks?” Tommy responds “with popcorn and apple jelly.” Tommy was asked, if there was a message he wanted to leave with everyone, what would this message be and what do want everyone here to remember? Tommy’s answer was, “IF you see someone who looks different smile and say HI.”

Congratulations Tommy. We are all proud of you and your sister Melanie.

St. Mary Catholic Secondary School – Cobourg

The 2011-12 school year has been a busy one for the Social Science/Canada World Studies department at St. Mary. The department placed a renewed focus on accessing resources via guest speakers, performers or museums to enhance student learning. Of particular interest, the grade 10 history students visited the Holocaust Education Centre in Toronto to hear and learn from a survivor of the Nazi death camp, Majdanek.

The school also had an actor perform a dramatic monologue based on the life and times of a WWI Canadian infantryman, which captivated the attention of the students.

A select group of students travelled to Peterborough as part of our Speaker’s Forum initiative to listen to the Honourable Justin Trudeau speak about the power of youth and their ability to affect positive change in the world. Students in both Native Studies and Anthropology (HSP3M) had the benefit of guest speakers and field trips as a means of enriching the curriculum.
As semester two begins, many of the same opportunities will be made available to students.

Jason Roberts, Curriculum Chair, says “It is important that students be exposed to these types of experiences because it allows them to make real-life connections to the curriculum that may otherwise be more difficult to truly comprehend.”
Great work St. Mary.

St. Paul Catholic Elementary School – Norwood

Congratulations goes out to the students and staff of St. Paul for being one of the 30 schools in Ontario to win $1,000 in the Recycling Council of Ontario’s waste free lunch challenge. Spearheaded by Maureen Kawzenuk, Integrated Literacy teacher, Carolynn Collins, grade five teacher, and Sue Cornish, grade one teacher, this event was designed to help students and staff reduce lunch waste. Over the course of one week, student and staff lunch waste went from 9.3 kilograms a day to almost zero grams by the last day of the week. The Eco-club members helped support the project by making announcements, recording what was being discarded in the classroom garbage, recycling and compost and encouraging the use of ‘rebound lunches’, where all waste from a student’s lunch went home to show parents the amount of waste that is being used in making and packing lunches. After being awarded a Green Apple School Grant from Metro, the Eco-club has decided to use the money to purchase students reusable sandwich containers and reusable shopping bags to help spread the message of waste reduction. Way to go St. Paul!

St. Paul Catholic Elementary School – Norwood

Congratulations to Mitchell McColl, a grade three student in Lisa Cossar’s grades 2/3 class at St. Paul Catholic Elementary School in Norwood, on his selection as the Easter Seals Ambassador for the second year in a row! Mitchell will be co-hosting the Easter Seals Telethon at the CHEX studios on Sunday, April 1 from noon until 6:00 p.m. Mitchell also attended and promoted the Carl Oake Swim-a-thon, which took place on the morning of February 24 at the YMCA, the Skate with the Petes for Easter Seals on Sunday, February 26 following the Petes game, the Easter Seals Telethon kick off and Sled-a-Rama in Buckhorn. Staff, students and the community are very proud of Mitchell and know his selection for the second year is a testament to his cheerful personality, his great smile, and his support of Easter Seals. Mitchell is no stranger to fund raising as he is an experienced and successful fund raiser (as he was the top student for the school-wide campaign last year). Ironically, Mitchell is the third student to be the Easter Seals Ambassador who attended St. Paul Catholic Elementary School. Faith Hamblin and Brittany Freeland, both graduates of St. Paul, are proud former Easter Seals Ambassadors. Congratulations Mitchell on your second selection in a row to be the Easter Seals Ambassador!

Schools – Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board

On February 29, many of our elementary and secondary schools will be celebrating “Pink Day.” “Pink Day” is held annually as a support of anti-bullying initiatives. This initiative started in Nova Scotia in 2007, when two secondary students organized a protest to wear pink; this was done in support of a grade nine student who was being bullied because he had worn a pink shirt to school one day. They took a stand against bullying by distributing pink shirts to all the boys in their school with the idea that they were standing up against bullying. Our schools are proud to be involved with many other schools across the country participating in “Pink Day!”

Pope John Paul II Catholic Elementary School – Lindsay

Students at Pope John Paul II are collecting milk bags (the large bags that hold the three small bags inside, not the actual bags that contain the milk) to make mats for the people of Haiti. The Social Justice Club is currently learning how to create yarn out of the bags and how to weave the bags into a useful sleeping mat. Normally, people of Haiti weave leaves into bed mats, but during tropical storms and tornadoes, these mats do not dry out properly and insects gather inside. The plastic bags are actually helpful in keeping the bugs away because biting insects and poisonous spiders don’t like the plastic. Another great benefit of this project is that, by sending large milk bags to school, everyone cuts down on garbage. Did you know that a regular plastic bag takes about 15 years to decompose in landfill sites. Special thanks to Mrs. Koetstra who is co-ordinating this project that will help make a difference to our planet and to our brothers and sisters on the other side of the world.

Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board – Catholic Education Centre

On Friday, February 24, 2012 members of the Catholic Education Centre ‘Dream Team’ will show their swimming skills at the Carl Oake Annual Swim-a-Thon for Easter Seals. Members will don costumes and swim lengths of the YMCA pool to show support for this worthy organization. Team members include:

  • Russell “Electric Eel” Emery
  • Brent “Bass” Baker
  • Karen “Swordfish” Stoker
  • Tracy “Ice-Fish” Irish
  • Dan “Walleye” Wingett
  • Cole “Sunfish” Lester
  • Nancy “Northern Pike” Sharpe

Good luck to all involved.

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