St. Mary Catholic Elementary School is a vibrant community dedicated to nurturing the physical, social, emotional, intellectual and spiritual growth of our students. The students of St. Mary have common needs and a variety of differences. They range from three-year-olds in junior kindergarten to fourteen year-olds in grade eight. The children reflect a full range of skills and abilities and all are maturing in their awareness of both their strengths and things that need to be worked on.
The mission of St. Mary is to educate each student. Every day can bring challenges and opportunities for all and ultimately the goal is to become a better person through these experiences.
Student achievement is the cornerstone of any school. The staff at St. Mary are committed to providing children with an education that both tests and inspires the learner to love learning.
The staff of St. Mary know it is a privilege, honour and great responsibility to be entrusted with the education and care of children. Witnessing development and success, through triumphs and setbacks, is a joy for all educators to behold.
Young people today face a myriad of choices and challenges that can leave some overwhelmed. It is the adults in the school community – in the home, school and parish - who are called to be beacons of hope, guidance, encouragement, correction and role-models of what it means to be a Catholic in the secular world.
In turn, students are encouraged to strive for excellence in their studies and to be role-models for one another. Working hard in the classroom and exemplifying good citizenship throughout the school day is the expectation for all students of St. Mary.
Accepting and learning from errors as part of an individual’s journey must also be embraced. A growth mindset supports all students on their individual pathway to growth and success and is the means by which our students will mature and gain confidence and humility to face the challenges of the 21st century and be flourishing witnesses to their Catholicity.
The parish of St. Mary Catholic School is a valued partner (and neighbour) of our school community. Prayer is an integral part of daily life in the school and under the spiritual leadership of our parish priest and his pastoral team, we celebrate Mass together throughout the school year.
Sacramental preparation is fully supported by the school, parents and the pastoral team. Our school community is dedicated to providing witness to Catholic social teaching through awareness campaigns and charitable endeavours.
Classroom teachers work in partnership with specialist teachers to create the most optimal programming for students. Accommodations and modifications are made for students with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) in order to meet specific student needs.
Student success at St. Mary School is promoted in the following ways:
We focus on learning goals, success criteria and descriptive feedback to promote student learning.
We emphasize and model appropriate behaviour including self-respect and respect for others.
We use positive reinforcement and maintain an affirming attitude.
We encourage students to take risks.
We promote student independence and responsibility.
We use agenda books to promote student organization.
We build routine and structure.
We use co-operative learning strategies.
We incorporate hands-on learning.
We encourage peer tutoring.
We conference with students.
We try to dialogue with parents regularly.
We invite parents to be actively involved in school activities.
The anti-bullying effort at our school is understood in the St. Mary Anti-Bullying Student Agreement:
I agree that I have the right to be respected.
I agree that I have the responsibility to respect others.
This Agreement means that I will:
Speak up instead of acting as a bystander.
Choose to participate in activities that don't involve teasing.
Forgive others if they make poor choices.
Model good behaviour.
Include others in group activities.
Accept others for their differences.
Talk to an adult when there is a problem I can't solve on my own.
I have the power to make a difference at my school!
We will also continue to encourage students to demonstrate the "I Care Rules":
We use "I care" language.
We listen to each other.
We care about each other's feelings.
Hands are for helping, not hurting.
We are responsible for what we say and do.
St. Mary Catholic School is one of the oldest parish schools in the City of Toronto. It was founded in 1854 by the Sisters of St. Joseph and the Christian Brothers. As the years passed, St. Mary flourished and outgrew its original home on Adelaide Street. In 1918, the present building was erected on Adelaide Street. In 1972, the addition was opened.
The school population has changed over the years from predominantly Irish-Canadian to Polish, then Ukrainian and by the 1960's to Portuguese. It was at this time that Adelaide Street was officially changed to Portugal Square. At present, the school population is comprised of Portuguese, South American, Filipino, West Indian, Asian and Central American students. St. Mary is truly a multicultural school.
The school is dedicated to Our Lady. With Her as our model, we strive to educate our students to their full potential spiritually, intellectually and socially.
The community of St. Mary is dedicated to academic excellence fostered in a Catholic environment. We are a lifelong learning community of diverse ethnic backgrounds blending together as one group in pursuit of Catholic values. In a positive setting, students are encouraged to maximize academic achievement while developing a deepening awareness of spirituality in themselves and others. Teachers strive to deliver the messages of the gospels through the curriculum and in every facet of student work or play. We are proud of our continued peacekeeping efforts as well.
St. Mary School is a wonderful place to learn. We invite parents to join us in maintaining a culture of caring, respect, inclusiveness and kindness in our entire school community.