A Catholic environment is created by various means. Prayers are used to start each day both at a class and school level. Various religious artifacts such as pictures of saints and wall hangings are to be found around the school. School masses and paraliturgical celebrations are held approximately once per month on days of liturgical significance. Family life and the religious education program are shared with the family through means of parent booklets.
A major concern is that the school be a safe and welcoming environment. To this end, a discipline code is in place. All situations are dealt with on an individual basis. Parents are encouraged to make use of our safe arrival program by telephoning our answering machine or the secretary to report absences.
Each student is discussed at least two times per year during an SBST process. The purpose is to monitor student progress. Those students who are found to be exceptional are then closely monitored and in most cases, will receive additional small group instruction. Students whose first language is other than English are helped in our English as a second language program.
Students who require extra help or ESL help are for the most part fully integrated into the regular classroom. They go to the special education and ESL teachers in small groups of varying amounts of time depending upon their needs. Students who require emotional and social guidance are helped by the school guidance teacher, and in more severe cases by the school social worker. Other more specialized needs are referred to home care and Toronto Catholic District School Board support services.
St. Mark Catholic School has always had a strong extra-curricular program which includes basketball, volleyball, track and field, and cross-country. Indoor soccer, table tennis and house leagues are also part of these activities. W5H is a popular activity among teachers and students. Science and technology fairs and young authors' programs round out a balanced program. Choirs and instrumental music along with art and craft activities add to the cultural milieu of the school and provide the students with many experiences necessary for their development. Our paraliturgies and monthly masses on days of liturgical significance add to our Catholic dimension.