Board and Ministry Communications
*New* May 29, 2020
*New* May 19, 2020
May 16, 2020
May 6, 2020
April 28, 2020
April 26, 2020
April 24, 2020
April 14, 2020, 4 p.m.
Earlier today, Premier Doug Ford announced that the Ontario government passed legislation that would allow the current State of Emergency in Ontario to be extended beyond the 14 days allowed by the Lt. Governor to 28 days, keeping the State of Emergency in effect until May 12.
As a result, schools will remain closed beyond May 4. We will make sure parents are aware when a new date is announced.
April 14, 2020
April 7, 2020
Niagara Catholic has launched an FAQ tab for students, parents and families, with answers to your most commonly asked questions. Scroll down for the tab.
April 6, 2020
As we embark on a new path in Catholic education at Niagara Catholic, Director of Education John Crocco has reached out to parents about this unprecedented time for students, staff and families. Read his letter here.
March 31, 2020
Following today's announcement that schools will remain closed until at least May 4, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce has provided a letter to families. Read the letter here.
March 27, 2020 - 4:30 p.m.
Director of Education John Crocco has updated families about steps being taken at the system level during this extended school closure.
March 27, 2020 - 12:00 p.m.
Niagara Region Public Health has confirmed that a staff member at Saint Francis Catholic Secondary School has tested positive for COVID-19, and is Niagara's first community-spread case of the illness.
March 24, 2020
Niagara Catholic is aware of Premier Doug Ford's comments on Monday, acknowledging the likelihood of the current school closure being extended beyond April 6. Contrary to many media reports, this does not mean that schools are closed indefinitely. Nor does it mean that 2019-2020 school year has been cancelled.
Premier Ford and many members of the Ontario cabinet will address the province at 1 p.m., and we will be watching. If an announcement is made at that time, we will advise all families.
We understand that the need to get outside and have some fresh air and exercise is important at this time, and that families have been visiting parks and playgrounds. We advise all families and the community that all Niagara Catholic playgrounds are closed, effective immediately, to stop the spread of COVID-19.Thank you for your cooperation.
March 23, 2020, 10:30 a.m. - A Message to Our Families
On behalf of the Bishop, Board of Trustees and Senior Staff, we continue to pray that you and your family are doing well, as we all adapt and follow the directions of the Medical Officers of Health and the Ministry of Education, during this unprecedented time in modern history.
COVID-19 impacts us all; our families, fellow citizens, communities, daily lives and social interactions, education, and the economy. We know that the brightest scientific minds are working on preventative measures until an effective vaccine is created. In the meantime, they continue to provide their best advice on how to avoid coming into contact with COVID-19.
Follow the instructions of our government leaders and medical experts to flatten the curve on the spread of this disease. Wash your hands often, practice cough and sneeze etiquette, clean and disinfect surfaces often and practice social distancing. If you went away for the March Break, federal and provincial public health leaders have recommended that all travellers from outside of Canada self-isolate for 14 days. These efforts will contribute to slow the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in Canada. Follow the steps provided by public health if you feel unwell during this period.
The only thing we can control in the midst of the rapidly changing news and information is how we react to the situation. Our response during this very stressful time may impact our own physical and mental health, and the physical and mental health of our families. We will get through this together by following the directions of medical professionals, taking the best care of ourselves and our families and by reaching out and supporting each other.
While we are inundated with coverage on the virus from the various sources, reliable and otherwise, consider taking a break to pray, read, maintain a healthy diet, exercise, sleep and stay connected with family and friends through emails, video chats and social media for your mental and physical health. There is much we do not know, but we do know that through our faith, prayers, compassion, cooperation, patience and self-care we will get through this together. If you or someone you know is struggling in the midst of this crisis, please take a break from consuming media, go outside for fresh air, or engage in an activity with your family. If that is not enough, please reach out to your doctor for support. Pathstone Mental Health is also available for children and youth. Find the information about seeking help from Pathstone Mental Health here.
It is our continued responsibility to ensure all families receive timely and accurate information as it becomes available, and as decisions are made at the federal, provincial and local level. Information will be provided directly to students and parents on here, our social media, through School Messenger and also through Niagara Catholic Virtual Learning Environment (NCVLE). Here is the most current information we can offer:
- With the current State of Emergency in Ontario and the importance of social distancing all Board buildings are closed. With the mandated social distancing, no access or activities are permitted in any school. We will communicate with parents if and when items left behind prior to the March Break can be safely picked up if the closure extends beyond April 6, 2020.
- Discussions about how student learning will continue during a pandemic are taking place locally, provincially, nationally and with UNESCO. We will inform all families about any decisions made by the province for the 2019-2020 school year.
- Amendments have been made to The Education Act, to permit virtual Board and committee meetings during a pandemic. To hear the Tuesday, March 24th Board Meeting, please call 1-647-484-1596 Access Code 644537931#.
- School Mental Health Ontario has prepared a flexible COVID-19 response plan to assist boards with resources and support related to student mental health during the closure and upon return. Packages of information are being sent to boards this week. We are currently discussing ways to share this with students.
- Grades 3, 6, 9 EQAO assessments and the Grade 10 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test provincial assessments have been cancelled for the remainder of this school year. The OSSLT will not be a graduation requirement for students who are otherwise able to graduate in June 2020. Decisions on the mandatory 40-hour community service requirement for graduates is still to be made, and will be shared once confirmed provincially.
- Discussions with colleges and university admissions are currently underway, regarding mark submission and applications for students who have applied to post-secondary education. Additional information to follow.
- Due to the nature and speed of the changes in Niagara and the province, we are reviewing system and school-based events scheduled for the remainder of the year. All international field trips between now and June 30th have been cancelled or rescheduled for next year. Events and activities scheduled to June 30th are being reviewed individually. We will communicate all cancellations or postponements as decisions are made.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all go through these unprecedented times together. Please pray, be well, look after each other.