At St. Mark Catholic School, we pride ourselves on the strong partnership that exists among the home, the school and the parish.
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 School-Based Support Team (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 (ESL) 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 on 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 (TCDSB) support services.
St. Mark Catholic School has always had a strong extracurricular 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.
St. Mark Catholic School is currently more than half a century old, having been built in 1957. It was part of the old Mimico Separate School Board until amalgamation in 1969. In 1991, St. Mark was part of a renovation process instituted by an agreement with the French Board, the Metropolitan Separate School Board (MSSB) - now the TCDSB - and the Ministry of Education. As a result, St. Mark received a beautiful brand new building on the same site as the original. The entire school spent two years on the buses to St. Justin Catholic School.
There has always been a close association between St. Mark Catholic School and St. Mark Church, as the pastors have all been eager to work with the school. The close proximity of both buildings helps in this regard.
The current population is predominantly of Polish extraction, but many other nationalities are currently represented. Initially the area projected a distinctly Maritime flavour which gave way to a South American influence, which in turn gave way to a Polish community. Throughout the various waves of immigration, an Anglo-Saxon presence has maintained itself. In short, St. Mark's population reflects a normal urban mix for the Toronto area.
Our school is named after St. Mark, one of the four evangelists, who was a contemporary of St. Peter and St. Paul. Mark and Barnabas preached the good news in Cyprus. The school and community celebrate his feast day on April 25, our special day.