Welcome to February! The shortest month on the calendar is one of the busiest for Niagara Catholic.

Our Catholic secondary school students have completed their Semester 1 exams, and will begin Semester 2 on February 8.

ncc-logoThat is also the week that our annual Kids Helping Kids campaign will take place in our Catholic elementary schools. This initiative, which supports the Niagara Children’s Centre, began in 1998. To date, our students have raised more than $675,000 for programs and services for students with mobility and communicative challenges. Niagara Catholic’s 18th Annual Kids Helping Kids Week will take place February 8-12, 2016.


St. Anthony eat February 9 is Shrove Tuesday, which brings us into the Lenten season. Students in our schools will enjoy pancake breakfasts that day, prepared by parent and community volunteers.

Ash Wednesday is the official start to Lent. Our schools will all participate in Ash Wednesday services on February 10.






A reminder that the Family Day holiday is February 15. We hope you enjoy the long weekend.



The deadline to nominate an individual or group for the Niagara Catholic Award of Distinction is February 26. The nomination form and criteria can be found through the Award of Distinction slide on the front page of this website.




The mission of the Diocese of St. Catharines is founded in the mission of Jesus Christ. In the Gospel of St. John, Jesus states that He came down from heaven, "not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me." (Jn6:38) Jesus' mission is doing the will of his Father. This is the will of the Father, "that all who see the Son and believe in him will have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day". (Jn 6:40)

The Diocese of St. Catharines' mission is rooted in doing the Father's will by proclaiming His son to the world so that all can know, love and serve Him. This mission is lived out on a daily basis in our parishes, schools and Catholic institutions. We find clergy, religious and laity committed to proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ by witnessing to His truth, justice, love and mercy. St. Catharines Diocese is where faith lives.




March 8, 2016

Niagara Catholic Students Speak Out!


From left are students Alexander Nagy, Ellika Greaves, Mackenzie Littler, Faydra Altoft, Brianna Roussel, Rachel McGarr, Cora House and Milaina Wong; this year’s top public speakers in Niagara Catholic’s annual Speak Out! Public Speaking Competition. Stephanie Madden was unable to attend the Speak Out! Showcase, and presented by video.

For the past several months, Grade 7 and 8 students in our Catholic elementary schools have been involved in resarching, writing and presented speeches to their families, peers and teachers.

Students were selected at the classroom level to present at school events, and students selected at the school level represented their schools at district events, which took place in late February and early March.

From these very talened young people, judges had the challenging task of selecting first and second place winners, and Catholic Messenger Award recipients. These students were invited to present their speeches at the Speak Out! Showcase, immediately before the March 8 Committee of the Whole Meeting.

This year’s presenters were:

First Place

Milaina Wong, Mother Teresa Catholic Elementary School, Cultural Diversity

Brianna Roussel, St. Mary Catholic Elementary School, Niagara Falls, Fear

Cora House, Our Lady of Victory Catholic Elementary School, Celebrate Today

Second Place

Mackenzie Littler, Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Elementary School, Grimsby, Greek Mythology

Rachel McGarr, Cardinal Newman Catholic Elementary School, Dr. Seuss

Faydra Altoft, St. Mary Catholic Elementary School, Welland, Beauty Standards

Catholic Messenger

Ellika Graves, St. Denis Catholic Elementary School, Paying it Forward

Stephanie Madden, Father Hennepin Catholic Elementary School, Attitude Adjusting, Positive Change

Alexander Nagy, Holy Name Catholic Elementary School, Welcoming Syrian Refugees to Canada


English as a Second Language Delivery Model

Niagara Catholic has redesigned the way in which English as a Second Language (ESL) is being taught to newcomers to our communities.

In the past, ESL students would be removed from their classroom to receive one-on-one instruction from a qualified ESL teacher. Beginning in September 2015, ESL instruction has been redesigned to focus on our inclusiveness model, and is supported by collaboration from all stakeholders who take an active role of our English Language Learners (ELLs). Niagara Catholic is building Professional Catholic Learning Communities where ESL specialists, classroom teachers, educational resource teachers (ERTs) and administrators work together to provide the differentiated instruction that ELLs need and deserve.

Learn more about Niagara Catholic’s new ESL Delivery Model in our schools in the March 8, 2016 Committee of the Whole Agenda. 


Phase Two of Long-Term Accommodation Planning 

Principal Zanuttini takes a turn on the Bobcat during the groundbreaking for the new St. Martin Catholic Elementary School.

Principal Zanuttini takes a turn on the Bobcat during the groundbreaking for the new St. Martin Catholic Elementary School in Smithville last December.

March 2015, the Ministry of Education issued guidelines to school boards in Ontario, to support their efforts to effectively manage and the capital assets of school boards – our schools.

The Pupil Accommodation Review (PAR) Guidelines attempt to streamline and clarify the process school boards follow in order to close underutilized schools. The Community Planning and Partnership Guidelines were introduced to ensure that school boards regularly consult with community agencies to facilitate partnerships in underutilized schools.

Niagara Catholic’s Pupil Accommodation Review Policy (701.2) and Community Planning and Partnerships Policy (800.6) were approved at the January 26, 2016, Board Meeting. These revised policies reflect the spirit of the new Ministry guidelines, and comply with their respective requirements.

During the February 9 Committee of the Whole Meeting, Trustees received a report from Superintendent of Education Ted Farrell, Controller of Facilities Services Scott Whitwell and Manager of Facilities Services Kathy Levinski, which outlines the Board’s recent actions in long-term accommodation planning. This report is available as part of the February 9, 2016 Committee of the Whole Agenda.

During the March 8 Committee of the Whole Meeting, Trustees received a report from Superintendent of Education Ted Farrell, Controller of Facilities Services Scott Whitwell and Manager of Facilities Services Kathy Levinski, which explores Phase Two of Niagara Catholic’s Long-Term Accommodations Planning. This report provides enrolment data for individual schools and consolidated data for each Family of Schools and each of the lower-tier municipalities within the Region of Niagara. Details are available in the March 8, 2016 Committee of the Whole Agenda.

Phase Three of the Long-Term Accommodations Plan will be introduced at the April 12, 2016 Committee of the Whole Meeting.

2016 Bishop’s Gala

Tickets to the 2016 Bishop’s Gala are still available. Order yours online or call Sherry Morena at ext. 213 by March 24.


Catch Up With Our Good News!

If you haven’t checked out our Good News section in a while, be sure to take a look at some of the great stories we’ve had to share in December, including some pretty impressive musical performances by our students.



The Niagara Catholic District School Board, through the charisms of faith, social justice, support and leadership, nurtures an enriching Catholic learning community for all to reach their full potential and become living witnesses of Christ.