It has been a busy fall at Our Lady of Grace Catholic School in Westmeath, notes Acting Principal Terrence O’Grady.
“We have been focusing on healthy eating habits and SIP Smart for our appropriate beverage choices. We have also been working on number talks and having our students explore mathematics through a new lens,” adds O’Grady.
Events at Our Lady of Grace include the first fundraising campaign with Little Caesar pizza kits. On Wednesday November 8 from 4:30–6:30 the school will host its annual spaghetti dinner at the Whitewater Community Hall—a great community event with everyone welcome.
Primary students attended Hugli’s Blueberry Ranch for an outdoor fall learning day, while Grades 3–7 attended the Pembroke Lumber Kings school game day. Students will begin a skating program every Friday starting on November 3, supported by the Whitewater Township and Westmeath District Recreation Association.
Our Lady of Grace is in the process of having an outdoor library built for a small book exchange program for students and the community as part of the Ontario 150 grant program. Preparations have begun for a community Remembrance Day ceremony on Nov 10. “Staff and students will be taking on many of the lead roles this day,” says O’Grady.
Meanwhile, Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School staff and students are off to a spectacular start for the 2017–2018 school year, states Principal Karen Keels.
“We were blessed to start the school year off with a beautiful opening mass celebrated with Father Holly and Father Do at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Renfrew,” noted Keels.
The beginning of the school year at OLF has been marked with many other exciting events: an open house/Scholastic Book Fair, the annual Terry Fox Run, the Milk Run Cross Country meet at Ma-te-way Park, flag football game with local firefighters, the Kindergarten trip to Hugli’s Blueberry Ranch, and the school choir visits around the community are among the highlights!
Staff and students were also involved in showing support for Indigenous People on Orange Shirt Day, and the safety of children on Purple Shirt Day!
In the classroom, students are hard at work learning inquiry-based and collaborative learning environments, developing effective reading strategies supported by the Empower Reading Program, and number sense through Math Number Talks. Staff is participating in Professional Development to support learning in math, effective use of success criteria, as well as Zones of Regulation training with board system leaders Sandy Brannan and Rebecca Paulsen. Teachers are also exploring new ways to use technology to support student learning!
Upcoming events and extra-curricular activities will include the Halloween Sock Hop and Spirit Day, the Christmas Musical, the Adopt-a-Grandparent program, Grade 7 volleyball, Guitar Club, School Choir, visits from the Love Ladies, Student Council Elections, the Coffee House visit to St. Joe’s High School, and Destination Imagination, notes Keels.
At St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School, Mrs. Halk and the Grade seven students from the Social Justice Club paid a visit to the local foodbank. They took with them some of the items collected by the students at St. Thomas and helped to put together packages and stock shelves. “The students are learning that we live our faith according to the virtues of love and charity by being actively involved with organizations such as the foodbank,” says Principal Rory Donohue.
Students were very fortunate to have Chris Oxley from Family and Children’s Services come into the Grade 4-7 classrooms on October 24 to explain Purple Shirt Day—a day that is promoted by Family & Children’s Services in support of victims of child abuse. “Chris’s message was that it not only takes a village to raise a child, but also to keep a child safe. We learned that we need to break the silence if we are to end abuse in its many forms,” says Donohue.
A Thanksgiving food drive was a huge success. The goal established by Mr. Lance’s Grade 3 class for the Thanksgiving food drive was 8oo items. “We far surpassed that total in collecting 1,196 items, so five lucky teachers were the recipients of some whipped cream rewards,” shares Donohue.
The STA Thunder Flag Football team captured the Championship Banner for the RCEIAA East Division Grade Seven Flag Football tournament.
The Social Justice Club has also been collecting socks for their “Socktober” event. So far, almost 500 pair of socks have been collected to be distributed through the Food Bank to people in need.
October 30, 2017
For further information, please contact:
Jaimie Perry, Director of Education
Renfrew County Catholic District School Board
499 Pembroke Street West
Pembroke, ON K8A 5P1
Phone: 613-735-1031 or 1-800-267-0191