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Toronto Catholic District School Board

School Newsletter - May 2018


Principal’s Message
April proved to be another busy month with many activities such as Junior Girl’s Volleyball Invitational, Junior Boy’s and Junior Girl’s indoor soccer tournaments, Junior Boy’s basketball tournaments and ME Bowling. On the academic and leadership sides, there was Math Olympics, Italian Junior Contemporary Film Festival, Gifted YLP and rocket building, 3 R’s Assembly, various class trips and Scientist In School. Of course on the spiritual side of things there was reconciliation, Palm Sunday Liturgy of the Word, Holy Thursday Liturgy of the Word, Holy Triduum, school Easter mass, a beautiful abstract display in the foyer of the stations of the cross and Sharelife fundraising. The Sacrament of Confirmation is fast approaching for the grade 7’s and they will soon be creating their tiled confirmation crosses with “Feeling Artsy”. This is a great token of such an important spiritual event in their lives! Last month also included some big wins! St. Conrad’s placed third in the chess team competition at St. Francis de Sales and will compete in the City Championship—the first time St. Conrad’s has gone on to the City’s as a chess team! Another big win was Olivia Mancini winning the Anne Cirillo award at the Math Olympics! This is the 4th year in a row a St Conrad student has won the Math Olympics. Lastly, but not least, is a big shout out to the Leadership Team and their moderators Ms. Iannozzi and Ms. Soda for all their tireless work, dedication, leadership and positivity in not only preparing for Camp Olympia but hosting the other schools from May 1-4! Hosting at Camp Olympia is only given to a select few schools and requires an enormous amount of work, organization and passion over months on behalf of the students and moderators. Thank you also to Ms. Di Santo for her help in preparing for the big 4 day event as well as the support from parents! This month we look forward to more activities and enriching opportunities such as the Living Rosary on May 17 (1:00-2:30) for the whole school, Visiting teachers from the Netherlands, Swim-to-Survive, Cat 4 testing for grades 2, 5, and 7 and EQAO for grade 3 and 6. The administration would like to wish you all a blessed Pentecost on Sunday May 20th!
Well-Being Corner
Tips for Supporting Children and Youth after a Crisis Event


Pray Together. Prayer for people who are suffering honours them and provides people an opportunity to help others in a tragic event. Prayer opens us to hear what God is calling us to do in tragic and unsettling times. Prayer is a way to find clarity in the chaos around us by turning to God when we feel pain and anxiety. Prayer grounds us in God’s mission and reminds us that God is active in the world.


Be reassuring. Children take their emotional cues from the significant adults in their lives. Your reactions are most important. Recognize that some children may be concerned about something bad happening to themselves, family or friends. Explain to them the safety measures in place and reassure them that you and other adults will take care of them.


Be a good listener and observer. Let children guide you to learn how concerned they are or how much information they need. If they are not focused on the tragedy, do not dwell on it. However, be available to answer their questions to the best of your ability. Young children may not be able to express themselves verbally. Pay attention to changes in their behavior or social interactions.


Monitor the news. Images of a disaster or crisis event can become overwhelming, especially if watched repetitively. Young children in particular may not be able to distinguish between images on television and their personal reality. Older children may choose to watch the news, but be available to discuss what they see and to help put it into perspective.


Emphasize people’s resiliency. Help children understand the ability of people to come through a tragic event and go on with their lives. Focus on children’s own competencies in terms of how they coped in daily life during difficult times. In age-appropriate terms, identify other crises from which people, communities, or countries have recovered.


Highlight people’s compassion and humanity. Large-scale tragedies often generate a tremendous outpouring of caring and support from around the country and world. Focus on the help and hopeful thoughts being offered to those affected by other people.


Maintain as much continuity and normalcy as possible. Allowing children to deal with their reactions is important but so is providing a sense of normalcy. Routine family activities, classes, after-school activities, and friends can help children feel more secure and better able to function
Spend family time. Being with family is always important in difficult or sad times. Even if your children are not significantly impacted by this tragedy, this may be a good opportunity to participate in and to appreciate family life. Doing things together reinforces children’s sense of stability and connectedness.



Faith In Action
ShareLife School Campaign
Throughout the year Ms. Palma and her student helpers have fundraised for ShareLife. This has included a pyjama civvies day, Soup for the Soul Staff fundraiser and sales of Kernels Popcorn, which together brought in more funds than last year’s initiatives—A total of $3,419.00!!!.
April was Autism Month
Our sincere gratitude to all students who participated in the Blue Slushies/Just Dance for Autism Event during the month of April.  As a result, over $1000.00 was raised, and a cheque sent to Autism Ontario on behalf of the St. Conrad School community! Well done everyone!!
Catholic Education Week
As we begin Catholic Education Week May 6th-12th we are reminded that publicly-funded Catholic education is a call to service. Regardless of our position or our responsibilities within Catholic education, our role is a call, birthed in our Baptism, to bring the saving message of Jesus Christ into the lives of those students whom it is our privilege to serve. This reality elevates our duties and responsibilities to another plane. Left to our own strengths and abilities, the task seems and is very challenging, but we are not alone in this task. Jesus promised us the abiding strength of the Holy Spirit to be with us always – not just for a century or two at the church’s beginning, but always. But the promise is predicated on our faithful and faith-filled response to that call to service following the example of Jesus who said, “I am in the midst of you as one who serves.” (Luke 22:27) This year’s Catholic Education Week theme is “Renewing the Promise”. May we all celebrate , be grateful for, cherish and fight for Catholic Education!
Respect for Life Week
From May 14th-19th the TCDSB will celebrate respect for life at all ages and in all circumstances. The policies and practices of the Toronto Catholic District School Board, affirm the sacred character of human life. Respect for Life week is an annual opportunity to celebrate this. We are called to be supportive of life. Respect for life means that all human beings have value and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect from the eldest to the youngest; from those who are strong and healthy to those who are vulnerable because of illness or disabilities; and from those who can speak for themselves to those who cannot. As a Catholic community, every week is Respect for Life Week as we work together to nurture and empower our students and one another to stand up for those who are most vulnerable: the unborn, the elderly, the sick, those with mental health issues, those who suffer poverty, injustice, violence, abuse and who are marginalized in other ways. All life is sacred, and we are called to serve and to love one another.
Month of Mary
The month of May is a special time for us to celebrate and pay homage to our Blessed Mother Mary. Perhaps keep I nyour prayers not only your supplications and thanksgiving but also the weeks of celebrations of Respect For Life and Catholic Education.
A Child’s Prayer to Mary
Holy Mary, mother fair, filled with love for God, pray for us in all our needs. Pray for us today. Amen
Math Olympics
Over 150 “mathletes” from TCDSB and the TDSB took part in the event and they enjoyed the day immensely! It gave each student an opportunity to put their math skills to work. They participated in different activities which involved working in partners, groups and individually. Both Olivia Mancini and Dean Skye Torralo participated from St. Conrad’s. For the fourth year in a row St. Conrad has been victorious.  Olivia Mancini won the Anne Cirillo Award which is presented to the student who best demonstrates exceptional achievement and excellence in collaborative problem solving and leadership throughout the Math Olympics. Congratulations to both students for the time and effort they put forth preparing for this experience and for representing St. Conrad at the TEAMS Math Olympic. 


Eco News


In our sixth year as an Eco school, we have achieved a great deal.  Our Eco team have been involved in a number of initiatives including small garden projects, Hatching Chicks and Butterflies, Plastic Bag Grab Challenge, expanding our vermicular bin (worm composting), and collecting Pop Tabs for Wheelchairs.  Many thanks to those who have been collecting pop tabs.  One of our students, Gabriella O’Neill in grade 1 (Mrs. Romanin), brought in 34,900 pop tabs!  That is simply amazing!  During the month of May, our Eco team will be busy planting herbs, vegetables, and a few new wild flowers.  We are excited to start gardening after such a long winter.  Once the herbs and vegetables are planted, we ask that we continue to take great care of the garden as a community.  Please refrain from digging in the planters, and picking at new shoots/seedlings that are growing.  Thank you to our enthusiastic Eco parent committee members who were instrumental in expanding and taking care of our garden.  We sincerely thank you for your ongoing enthusiasm, devotion and support. We would like to start a volunteer list for parents and staff who are willing to water our garden during the summer.  If you are available and are willing to water our garden on rotation during the summer weeks, please contact Ms. Paiva. We will be starting assign up sheet in room 107 for all volunteers.  Join the fun, get into the Green Scene!     

Polish Heritage Day


The Toronto Catholic District School Board is pleased to proclaim May 3, 2018 as Polish Heritage Day in our schools, as we join together with members of the Polish community in Canada and around the world to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Poland’s Independence.
Parent and Community Consultations
Parent and community feedback is being sought on a number of important Board policies and issues, including annual initiatives such as development of the TCDSB budget for 2018-2019. Supporting student achievement is a key pillar of the Board’s Multi-Year Strategic Plan (MYSP). Your voice is important to us. We encourage you to visit regularly and check out the new one stop shop for all TCDSB-wide community consultations.


School Drop Off/Pick Up Safety
Over the past couple of weeks, we have been  having a safety “BLITZ” in our school lane.  A number of community members have been using the lane as a drop off and pick up area or as a through lane between Roding and Exbury.  Additionally, pedestrians from the front of the school have been using the lane rather than the walkway through the park to access the school yard (via the crosswalk on the school lane). We have been redirecting these walkers and drivers in order to limit the number of pedestrians and vehicles using the school lane. Remember that the school lane is for school staff and school busses only.  We will continue to monitor this lane both in the morning and during our afternoon pick up. Please follow these safety rules and directions.


New ONLINE School Absence System
Beginning Monday, May 7th, we will be using an automated system for student attendance.  This system allows you to report a student absence through a phone app, through a website, or via phone service.  If you do not report your child’s absence, you will receive a phone call, text, and/or email for you to respond to the school regarding your child’s absence for the day.  If you do not respond to these messages, our secretaries will call your contact numbers.  Please assist us by ensuring that you call in or respond to these messages as soon as possible.  You can also book absences for appointments in the future. There is a complete explanation of the new system accompanying this newsletter as well as a fridge magnet with the contact information for the system.