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St. Conrad Catholic School Newsletter – February 2019


5 Exbury Road, North York, Ontario M3M 0A8

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TRUSTEE: Maria Rizzo –
SUPERINTENDENT: Michael Caccamo –
PRINCIPAL: Gary Swain –
CSPC CO-CHAIRS: Cristina Nati and Susie DiPetta –
February is the month of love and appreciation; a time to show each other how much we care for one another and appreciate all that is done for us. Despite the cold and snow, it’s one of the warmest times of the year. Let’s celebrate the wonderful community we have built at St. Conrad – our wonderful supportive parents and community members, our dedicated teaching and support staff, and our faithful and committed priest and brothers at St. Philip Neri Church. Take some time during Valentine’s Day and the Family Day holidays to show your love and appreciation.
February is also African Heritage/Black History month. Throughout the month, we will be celebrating the contributions of our Black community to our city, province, and country.  Individual classrooms will be celebrating the month with different curricular foci and, as a school, we’ll be welcoming in speakers and presenters.
Winter can be a difficult time to follow through on routines and good practices easily completed in gentler weather.  We certainly appreciate your efforts at using the appropriate entry points to the school, parking in only designated parent areas around the school, and dropping and picking up students in the assigned spots both before and at the end of the day. Let’s all continue to work together to keep our children safe while at school.
School Attendance REALLY Matters!
Researchers have identified a clear and significant link between school attendance and student achievement. School attendance REALLY does matter!  Missing only 2 days each month during a school year can put a child at risk.  Absences for more than a  “mere” 10% of the school year (or 2 days per month) is putting a child at risk of chronic absenteeism.  Children who miss school generally perform poorer in mathematics and in literacy when compared to students with good attendance.  Our own school statistics support the strong relationship between absenteeism and school achievement. Often, students achieving a close, but not clear Level 3 on the annual EQAO assessment are hampered in their success by poor attendance. Simply, more school attendance equals more learning. It seems like a simple, and common sense, calculation.
Poor school attendance, and tardiness, don’t just impact students who are late or absent.  Research indicates that when a child is late or absent, it can affect the class as a whole.  Teachers are required to follow up with students who miss lessons which distracts them from their planned activities with individual students or the class as a whole. Tardiness can interrupt the learning or preparation for learning of the entire class.
The school and its support team have a responsibility to monitor school attendance. Your children's teachers are equally concerned about the attendance of the students in their classes. We not only monitor their daily work, unit assessments, and other standardized forms of assessment, but measure their success in these areas in relation to their attendance at school.  Your child’s teacher, in consultation with their grade partners, want you to be aware of any attendance issue so we can work together to provide the best instruction for your child each day.
There is a lot of information on the internet you can access regarding the importance of school attendance.  First, here’s a short video of particular interest to our Kindergarten and primary students. Attendance in these early years can predict whether or not students stay in school to complete high school.
See it here: (please copy and paste in browser if link fails)
A comprehensive resource of research and positive practices to increase good attendance at school for parents, schools, and districts is also provided.  Although the website is American, the themes are common to Canadian schools, families, and students.
Your school staff, including your child’s teacher, will be speaking to you about your child’s attendance during our upcoming Parent-Teacher conferences.  It’s a good time to celebrate good attendance and make a commitment to improve attendance should that be required for your child. Let’s all work together to provide the best for our students at St. Conrad.
Education Funding Cuts: What’s Next?
Your local Trustee, Maria Rizzo, invites you to join her and TDSB Trustee Alexander Brown to learn how education cuts could impact your child and your school.  The meeting is tomorrow, January 31 at 7:00 p.m. at Earl Haig Secondary School. RSVP to Trustee Alexander Brown at
Please see the attached for more information: Cuts to Education 
Parent-Teacher Interviews – Evenings of February 13 and 14
Parent teacher evenings for the coming term report period will be on Wednesday, February 13 and Thursday, February 14th from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  Once again, we are booking Parent-Teacher interviews online beginning on February 8th.  An email reminder will be sent on this date to parents. In order to book an appointment online go to the webpage: Enter the password conrad18.  After filling in your own information, click on the teacher (or teachers) you wish to request an appointment with, click on an “available” time, and you are done.
You can print a complete list of your appointments by selecting “My Schedule”.  Should you wish to delete an appointment you have made, click on "Delete" button beside the meeting you wish to have removed from your schedule.  If you do not have access to the internet at home or in the workplace, please call parentInterview toll-free at 1-866-810-0076, and someone will be happy to make your appointments with you. We can also help you delete or make appointments from the school office.
Safety – Student Drop off and Pick Up 
Remember that the lane passing through the school from Roding Street to Exbury Road is not a through lane. Parents must drop off in the drop-off area on Parent Avenue. You cannot park in the drop off.  Parking is available on signed areas on Exbury Road, Parent Avenue, and Roding Street. Parents cannot park in the school parking lot. This is for staff only.
The safest option for all families in the morning is to drop off students and leave the school area immediately to make room for other parents dropping off their children.  Parking around the school and walking your children increases congestion around the school and does not promote the safest environment for our students. There are five staff on duty in the morning along with the principal and vice-principal on most mornings to keep you children safe as they enter our yard.
Finally, for those entering the school from the front, the Exbury Road entrance, ensure that you use the access from Roding Park.  Do not walk down the school lane near the trash and recycling bins.  There is a crosswalk that connects the school with the Roding Park.  Let’s all work together to keep our children safe.  
St.  Conrad—Allergen Aware School
As you are aware St. Conrad Catholic School is an allergen aware school. There are children in attendance who suffer from severe and life threatening allergies to certain foods, such as peanut butter and nut products. Exposure to the smallest quantities can cause severe, life threatening reactions. We at St. Conrad would appreciate the cooperation of the entire school community in NOT sending any lunches or snacks that contain peanuts or nuts, which could potentially harm a child.
In addition, please do NOT send WOW BUTTER products as a safety precaution for other children. It is not easily identifiable as peanut-free. Please make sure that all of your children’s caregivers are aware of food restrictions. We look forward to your cooperation in making this a safe year for all our students.
The Origin of St. Valentine
The origin of St. Valentine, and how many St. Valentines there were, remains a mystery. One opinion is that he was a Roman martyred for refusing to give up his Christian faith. Other historians hold that St. Valentine was a temple priest jailed for defiance during the reign of Claudius.
The first representation of Saint Valentine appeared in a The Nuremberg Chronicle, a great illustrated book printed in 1493. Alongside a woodcut portrait of St. Valentine, text states that Valentinus was a Roman priest martyred during the reign of Claudius the Goth [Claudius II]. Since he was caught marrying Christian couples and aiding any Christians who were being persecuted under Emperor Claudius in
Rome [when helping them was considered a crime], Valentinus was arrested and imprisoned. Claudius took a liking to this prisoner – until Valentinus made a strategic error: he tried to convert the Emperor –  whereupon this priest was condemned to death.
St. Valentine was a Priest, martyred in 269 at Rome and was buried on the Flaminian Way. He is the Patron Saint of affianced couples, bee keepers, engaged couples, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, plague, travellers, young people. He is represented in pictures with birds and roses.
Before and After School Care
PLASP Child Care Services is now accepting registrations for programs in our school for the 2019/2020 school year. Please visit for information or to register. The service is provided at St. Conrad Catholic School both before and after school.
North Region Basketball Registration Survey
The NRBA is looking for your feedback on their registration process.  Please feel free to complete this following survey:
Winter Weather Has Arrived
Don’t miss out on information relating to cancellations or delays in school bus service. Sign up to receive alerts through the TSTG parent portal or follow @TCDSB on Twitter for the latest updates.
February is…
TCDSB Is Hiring!
Join the dynamic team at the Toronto Catholic District School Board where academic success and well-being go hand in hand with nurturing Catholic faith and values.
TCDSB is currently seeking:
  • Supply Secretary
  • Supply Educational Assistant
  • Occasional Designated Early Childhood Educator
  • Occasional Library Technician (certified and uncertified)
  • Supply Caretaker
  • Occasional Teacher
  • Occasional French Teacher (certified and uncertified)
  • Occasional Music Teacher(certified and uncertified)
Interested in exploring a career with TCDSB? Visit or contact Applications are being received at
Director’s Annual Report 2017-2018
Check out some of the highlights of the past school year in the newly published edition of the Director’s Annual Report.