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schools blessedmargherita blessedmargherita 1176FC6C-A07B-445F-AC02-CD910BBBFCF9 5827
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Toronto Catholic District School Board

About Us
 
How We Meet the Diverse Needs of Our Students
 
Our students, like all young people, vary in interests, learning needs and learning styles, social maturity, self-confidence, and readiness for learning. Most of our students are from European (Italian) and some are from South American (Spanish) heritage.  Although our students speak English, they understand their heritage language. At Blessed Margherita we aim to create a school environment where all students can mature in academic and interpersonal skills, supported by staff and each other. We aim to do this by:
 
Creating a community of prayer, reflection and service
 
Teachers work to create a community where students grow in their personal spirituality and understanding of their Catholic faith by: Religious education and family life programs, active participation in liturgies, service projects and curriculum objectives to heighten awareness of the interdependence of all peoples at a community and global level and their responsibility to live Gospel values.
 
Since 1991, the school hosts an Annual Seniors Christmas Luncheon in December inviting seniors from the Arleta Old Age Home situated within the community.  
 
Creating a safe and welcoming environment
 
Staff and parents, through the Catholic School Advisory Council, work together to develop policies and practices to ensure that students feel affirmed and valued while maturing in their relationships with others including: development of a discipline code, implementation of security routines, providing effective communication programs and modeling of positive conflict resolution skills by staff.  Parents are involved in the life of the school and are knowledgeable about the needs of their children.   The active Catholic School Advisory Committee (CSAC) provides many activities and supports the various initiatives in the school. 
 
Creating programs and activities to develop personal self-esteem and individual talents
 
Staff provide a variety of curricular and co-curricular programs including: school choir, band, boys’ and girls’ school teams for soccer, volleyball, baseball and basketball, W5H teams, Young Authors, math fair, multi-media presentations which use visual and performing arts to share and celebrate new learning and curriculum activities which demonstrate the contributions of women and men of varied cultural backgrounds to Canadian and global society.
 
Creating a supportive learning environment for students with diverse needs
 
Blessed Margherita Catholic School welcomes and supports students of varied needs and talents. Support is provided by: an early identification program in junior or senior kindergarten, a School-Based Support Team (SBST) to assist teachers in programming for individual students and an interdisciplinary team (Psychology Associate, Assessment and Programming Teacher, Speech and Language Pathologist and Social Worker) to provide individual assessments and make recommendations for placement, identification and programming suggestions. 
 
In 2004, Blessed Margherita of Città di Castello became a Learning Opportunities Grant (LOG) school.   Blessed Margherita has a full day Kindergarten class.  Some of the Kindergarten students are bussed from St. Bernard.   The Kindergarten Special Services team (Social Worker, Psychology associate and Speech and Language pathologist) provide direct support to the class.   As a LOG school, there is also a Fifth Block Program providing reading support for grades one and two students and a Junior Literacy Program providing Literacy intervention to grades five and six students.   Students in these two programs are provided with one hour daily intensive literacy reinforcement within a small group of 6 to 8 students learning environment for seventeen weeks.   Students receiving these programmes are monitored very closely and parents are invited to participate in the admission and demission meetings.  
 
There are two Special Education classes, a Multi-Exceptionalities class and a Developmental Delay class in the school.   As the students in the Multi-Exceptionalities and Developmental Delay classes are from other schools in the area, many buses bring our students to and from school.  In addition, ten educational assistants are required to assist the students in these two classes.  Both of these classes required a washroom where students may be changed in privacy.  The Developmental Delay class has an air conditioner due to the needs of a medically fragile student.  Our school is equipped with a chair lift to ensure accessibility to our physically challenged students.   Currently, one student in a wheelchair and another in a walker use the chair lift.  Our school accommodates the needs of many exceptional children.  Some of our exceptional children are fully integrated in regular classes with the support of an Educational Assistant.   Five Educational Assistants provide support for our students within the regular classrooms.  
 
Two Special Education programs within the school, placement in the St. Francis de Sales gifted centre for identified students, an English as a second language program, a library resource centre program, vocal and instrumental music, visual arts, French as a Second Language and Italian, are all components of a rich and varied curriculum program that provides for the different needs and talents of our students. The use of varied instructional strategies to respond to different learning styles and the assistance of secondary and university students as volunteers also provide support to individual students.