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Toronto Catholic District School Board

School History and Tradition

 
St. Augustine School opened in 1969 to serve a community whose predominant ethnic heritage was Italian. Over the past years there has been a dramatic change in the ethnic and racial composition of our school. Many of our students speak a language other than English at home. Some of these include: Arabic, Assyrian, and Spanish. Our student body is culturally and ethnically diverse and is supported by ESL teachers and staff who speak the languages. We also have a  settlement worker who helps new Canadians get information on careers and employment, learning English, housing and education etc.
 

The staff of St. Augustine recognize that it is the whole child whom we are educating. Each child is unique and brings his/her own special gifts, abilities and interests as well as his/her specific needs and style of learning. Our school is formed by Catholic beliefs, traditions and teachings.

We begin with a strong focus on the core curriculum with much adjustment for individual needs Our greatest academic challenge has been and continues to be to address the literacy and numeracy skills of all of our students. Teaching is explicit, relevant, differentiated and respectful of all students.  Teachers use varied approaches and teaching strategies to reach the different learning styles of our students: teacher directed lessons, group project and individual work, and much use of manipulatives. Learning is scaffolded for our students with the gradual release of responsibility.  More specific needs are addressed through individualization of instruction or modification of work expectations, modified homework assignments, assistance interpreting and writing tests. We are also supported in our efforts with additional support in reading through our Empower, Fifth Block and Junior Literacy programs.

Many modifications result from ongoing colleague consultations as well as more formal program review by our school-based joint team. Where necessary more specialized needs may involve programming with our special education staff, guidance teacher or regional child development personnel.

Students are exposed to a wide variety of artistic experiences beyond the classroom by attending theatrical presentations both in the school and the community. They include plays, musical presentations and storytellers whose themes complement or are a continuation of the programs. Scientist in the School presentations enhance the Science and Technology curriculum.

There are a large variety of senior and junior school athletic teams. There is a Me to We committee drawn from grade 7 and 8. Students participate in community events such as non-perishable food drives and community and global service projects.

Our code of behaviour focuses on developing respect and concern for people and property, be it oneself or others. Staff and students seek to express this respect and concern in all we do and say. Our code emphasizes consequences that promote conflict resolution and dialogue with students, staff and parents with the primary intent to develop self discipline. We strive to provide a safe and welcoming learning environment.

We try to infuse all we do with a faith dimension. Our life and faith is a gift to be shared for the good of others. Careful attention is paid to the liturgical year with many opportunities to celebrate the church seasons both in the church and school celebrations. Pertinent prayers or reflections are often an integral part of the morning announcements especially during Advent and Lent.