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Toronto Catholic District School Board

 

About Us

Stella Maris Catholic School is dedicated to nurturing all students academically, physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually.  It is located in an urban Toronto community, with a population of approximately 420 students in a K – 8 program. The school hosts an area program for students who have multiple exceptionalities and is also an extended day school where students receive instruction in the Portuguese or the Italian international languages. 

New to Stella Maris Catholic School in September, 2010 are two programs:

  • The Early Learning Full Day Kindergarten program for four and five year olds.  Within this environment teachers and early childhood educators work together to provide an engaging and stimulating play-based educational program.  
  • The Empower Reading program is designed to teach struggling readers a set of effective word identification skills and decoding strategies. The program enables students to read independently for meaning, information and pleasure.

In addition Stella Maris Catholic School offers the following programs:

  • French as a Second Language  - Grades 1 – 8
  • English as a Second Language -  Grades 4 – 8
  • Special Education Support  - for students identified exceptional
  • Junior Literacy – Reading Intervention program – Grades  4 – 5
  • Vocal Music  - Kindergarten – Grade 6
  • Instrumental Music  - Grades 7 & 8
  • International Languages – Italian or Portuguese - Kindergarten – Grade 8
  • Variety of extra and co-curricular activities in the areas of the:
    • Arts
    • Athletics
    • Student Leadership through the Me to We initiative
  • Morning Meal Program

How We Meet the Diverse Needs of Our Students

Each school day starts with the national anthem, readings from scripture, or special prayers and announcements. All students and staff, and on occasion special guests/visitors and/or parents participate in the opening exercises.

St. Clare Church is the new parish church for Stella Maris School. Prior to the change, the school was linked with St. Nicholas of Bari Church. Monthly masses are celebrated at our parish, with students being the major participants through the choir, readings and the presentation of the offertory gifts. At each mass grades 1 to 8 are present with all staff and a significant number of parents and grandparents.

The pastor visits the school as frequently as possible to assist the staff in preparing the students for the sacraments - especially the Eucharist, reconciliation and confirmation and for liturgical and classroom celebrations as time permits.

The Toronto Catholic District School Board strives to create school communities where a sense of belonging, of ownership and of caring for one another within a Catholic Christian community prevails. The policies of the TCDSB and the Ministry of Education governing violence prevention are followed and enforced in determining the school code of behaviour and safety for all students. We have an extremely effective peer mediator/peace education program which trains student leaders in conflict resolution and assisting other students in finding positive solutions to problems or conflicts that they may encounter. Last year this program and the student leaders and staff of the school were recognized by Humber College and the Toronto Police Department for their outstanding leadership in this area of conflict resolution.

Stella Maris School with the assistance of parent volunteers conducts a safe arrival program for students. Parents who do not contact the school before 9:00 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. on the day of a child's absence are called at home or work to verify the reason why the student is not in school.

In addition to regular programs form junior kindergarten to grade 8, the school provides English as a second language programs, and programs for special education, learning disabilities, language impaired and multiple exceptionality students. All exceptional students are integrated into the regular programs where program modifications occur to meet their educational needs in a fully inclusive environment. Stella Maris School was recognized by the Ministry of Education for the Province of Ontario and the TCDSB as an exemplary practice school for the work accomplished by the school staff in developing an putting into actual practice a school wide program that includes all students in regular classroom programming.

Additional programs include French as a second language--grades 1 to 8, vocal music, and instrumental music for grades 7 and 8 students. We also celebrate our Canadian roots and recognize our various cultural and ethnic origins as well as striving to:

  • make children aware of another culture that hasn't been studied in this school, but has long been a presence in Canadian society.
  • teach children the value of knowing their own personal history and to be proud of their background and to build an appreciation for their traditions, values culture and stories passed over time;
  • realize that we are a multicultural society and that we must make an effort to learn about other cultures, to appreciate others and to understand each other;
  • children tend to fear the unknown therefore, it is our responsibility as adults to teach children about the contributions that all cultures have made to this country.

Special note must also be made for our festival of the arts and our young author festivals.

In addition to the above a very comprehensive range of extra-curricular programs such as; baseball, soccer, volleyball, basketball, cross country running and track and field, with the last two activities involving over 100 students at a time. We also provide an opportunity for computer literacy in each classroom, with two multi-media CD-ROM units in the learning resource centre. Stella Maris School provides instruction during the school day in either Italian or Portuguese for those students whose parents request it. For those students who wish instruction in Spanish Saturday morning classes are now available at Stella Maris School.

For those students who do not take part in one of the above international languages during the school day we enroll them in our peer-assisted learning program where they learn to assist other students in reinforcing reading numeracy and literacy skill.

In recognition of the fact the approximately 80% of the students who enter our junior kindergarten program have had limited exposure to a group experience as well as the English language, a very successful totally parent run and organized early school literacy program is available two mornings a week at Stella Maris. This is a very unique and highly successful community run program at Stella Maris. Beginning in September 1995, the Faculty of Education at the University of Toronto has 60 student teacher candidates who receive all of their programming here at Stella Maris. This delivery of a teacher education program is unique to Stella Maris. These student teacher candidates will be involved in the daily activities of the school such as coaching teams, running house league activities, providing an enriched program to all of our students in problem solving activities.