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Toronto Catholic District School Board

Principal`s Message
 
 
The staff, Fr. Phillip Smith and I take pleasure in welcoming those new to our school community and those who are returning. We look forward to working with you on making the 2017-2018 academic year rewarding and exciting for the students at St.Roch.
 
Our Board and school initiatives remain focused on improving student learning and achievement in the areas of literacy and numeracy. EQAO results for this year will be placed in the October newsletter and teachers will share these results with you during curriculum night.
 
The Daily 5 will be adopted to support Comprehensive Literacy as a framework for literacy instruction in primary classrooms.
 
Comprehensive Literacy builds on the strong foundation of Balanced Literacy to provide an updated framework for primary teachers that is grounded in the most current research and informed by successful practice in our schools and classrooms. It supports the revised Language Arts curriculum and aligns with the core provincial guidelines. Junior and Intermediate teachers will use Reaching Readers Quick Comprehension Assessment (QCA) and OAC (Ontario Comprehension Assessment) a means of, for and as assessment of student learning. These assessments help us to align instruction with specific curriculum expectations using pre-assessments, moderated marking of these results and focused teaching of identified areas of weakness. This process is called a teaching learning cycle.
 
We offer intensive reading programs for our primary and junior students (Junior Literacy Intervention) who meet the criteria. In addition, we offer EmpowerTM Reading, which is an intensive reading program developed by researchers at the Hospital for Sick Children.  The program is based on more than 25 years of reading research.
 
EmpowerTM Reading provides struggling readers with the skills necessary to become successful readers by teaching them various word identification skills and decoding strategies. We are also able to support students’ development of phonological skills using the Reading Reflex program; our Educational Assistants have been trained on the use of this program and work with primary students.
 
To further broaden and enrich the learning that occurs in the classroom students will continue to participate in outdoor excursions. We have implemented a Student Leadership Program whereby intermediate students have an opportunity to participate in one of six committees: Ecoschools, Spirit Squad, Social Justice & Peer Mentoring,
 
Athletic Committee, Media and Technology, Arts & Drama. To further promote student leaders in our school, our grade 7 students participate in Camp Olympia and the criteria for selection requires serving the school community by acting as door monitors, office helpers, DPA leaders, lunch supervisors, serving on one or more committees, etc.
Our grade 4 students will again participate in the swim to survive program; information will be sent when details are known. Our skating schedule begins in the Fall at the Gord & Irene Risk Community Centre.
 
St. Roch continues to boast a fine athletic reputation, our students are known for their sportsmanlike conduct and it is this quality that makes them champions at tournaments. Safe and health schools are an important board and school focus. We offer a nutrition & milk program which provides students with healthy snacks five times/week. Pizza that meet the new provincial nutrition guidelines is also available on Fridays.
 
With respect to school safety, we have revised our school code of conduct to reflect the amendments to the Education Act. These are noted in the school agenda. We use a progressive approach to discipline and focus on an educative rather than punitive response to behaviour. We hope that parents have an opportunity to review these pages. We will be having our Lockdown practices in the months of October and May to ensure our students and staff are prepared for an emergency situation. I would also like to thank all parents who help us by following school procedures and report to the office and refrain from entering the teaching sections of the school. This helps us to monitor the adults in the building.
 
In the area of spiritual formation, Fr. Phil works closely with teachers throughout the year to make the liturgy a meaningful experience. He is particularly involved with the preparation of students for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Holy Eucharist and Confirmation. Contact the school or parish office for specific dates. We thank Fr. Smith for his frequent, supportive presence in our school and community.
 
Student, parent and staff representatives from across the Toronto Catholic DistrictSchool Board were invited to join in celebrating the launch of “Nurturing Our CatholicCommunity through Word, Worship and Witness.” This special event launched a three-year initiative focusing on enriching the faith experience of students, parents and staff in the TCDSB schools and workplaces. Archbishop Thomas Collins, delivered a keynote address reflecting on“Nurturing Our Catholic Community Through Word, Worship and Witness”. This year our focus will be on Worship which will be reflected in our theme for Catholic Education Week.
 
The numerous and wonderful events that happen in this school are due to the energy, commitment and dedication of staff. And we are fortunate to have a very fine staff at St. Roch.
We are also indebted to parents who give generously of their time to provide the many extras that make this school special. We welcome parent participation and involvement; please contact our CSAC Chair or the school office if you wish to take an active role. 
 
In closing, I’d like to acknowledge that parents play an important role in their child’s learning and development. From the large things to those that are small to seem insignificant, parents who are present and supportive of their child’s efforts make the difference. We acknowledge how vital you are as partners in your child’s education. I wish each of you a rewarding year and thank you for your continued support and faith in Catholic Education.
 
We strive to create a vibrant, Christ-centered learning environment for all students and our commitment to excellence is our promise to you and our expectation of every student.
 
Thank you!