At the Catholic elementary schools in Douglas and Eganville, students have been honing their learning skills, and learning to appreciate courage. Their activities have ranged from community prayer service and a Christmas concert to preparations for broomball and music competitions.
The year-long school focus is exploring learning skills and work habits from a Catholic perspective at St. Michael’s Catholic School in Douglas. All staff use EOCCC’s Plant Seeds for Success document that aligns the learning skills and work habits from the report card to our Catholic school philosophy, notes Principal Mary Catherine Brisco. “Students are discovering how these learning skills and work habits translate into using our God-given gifts in actions within our school and classrooms to make us the greatest children of God that we can be,” says Brisco.
The school holds a community prayer service every Monday morning to pray and celebrate community. Once per month, each class, at their level, presents what they have learned about the learning skill/work habit that is the focus that month.
St. Michael’s also is a pilot school for flexible seating, shares Brisco. “With 21st century learning in mind, all classes have individual, group, pair and comfortable seating for all types of work and learning.”
Also, keeping 21st century learning in mind, primary teachers at St. Michael’s are participating in a Teacher Learning and Leadership Program (TLLP) on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). “This involves students in all primary classes having STEM time in their schedule,” explains Brisco.
There is also a STEM club at lunch time. Students work on various challenges, for example, designing a use for a full landfill site, making a camouflaged hiding place for deer hunting season, using food to build structures, etc.
The school is looking forward to hosting its second annual broomball tournament on February 9, with Grade 4-5 and 6-7 students from Our Lady of Fatima, St. James and St. Andrew’s coming together for some good old Ottawa Valley competition!
The school will gather together on Shrove Tuesday to share a pancake luncheon.
At St. James Catholic School in Eganville, students and staff worked very hard in December to prepare and present a meaningful and entertaining Christmas concert to a full house. Feedback from the show has been fantastic, says Principal Maureen McHale-Enright.
During the month of January, students and staff have been focusing on the virtue of courage. “We have seen courage demonstrated in many ways in our classrooms and on our school yard. Our students know that it takes courage to do what is right and to stand up for themselves and others,” says McHale-Enright.
A ‘compliments box’ was implemented as a way for students to recognize and appreciate the efforts of others and to help show appreciation for the ways in which other people impact our lives in positive ways, notes McHale-Enright.
St. James students have also been practicing for upcoming broomball tournaments, the Knights of Columbus Free Throw competition and the Kiwanis Music Festival that will be held in March. “This year we have entered the school choir category. We have a great number of students participating and they sound wonderful,” adds McHale-Enright.
St. James students have been working with Father O’Brien to prepare for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Eucharist.
January 29, 2018
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