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Catholic education in Canada

  • “A True Gathering”: 2017 CCSTA AGM a Success

    students AGMThis year’s CCSTA Annual General Meeting and Convention integrated a never-before-done partnership: a French and English school board came together to co-host the three-day event.

    With the AFOCSC, CSC Mon Avenir and NCDSB coming together, the hundreds of delegates attending the meeting in Niagara Falls, Ontario experienced the energy behind collaboration.

    “The AGM was an overwhelming success. The speakers and workshops were excellent and the social activities, which are a great way to network, were enjoyed by all. A huge thank to the organizing committee,” says CCSTA Executive Director Julian Hanlon.

    The AGM saw delegates arrive from across the country, and the dialogue surrounding cross-Canada relations amongst the trustees remained a key focus, particularly in relation to the Theodore Case.

    “The 2017 AGM and Conference was a true gathering of Catholic Trustees and administrators coming together to learn from each other,” says CCSTA President Marino Gazzola. “We share the common goal of protecting and promoting Catholic education in Canada. The AGM provided enthusiastic and passionate thought provoking speakers, informative workshops as well as enjoyable and entertaining events. “

    A number of bishops were present and four past CCSTA presidents attended the gala: Mike St. Amand, Shirley McParland, Bon Fagan and Gerald Bernakevitch.

  • “Very Positive”: CCSTA Connects with newly elected MPs on Parliament Hill

    With many newly elected Members of Parliament serving federal ridings across the country, CCSTA took the opportunity to connect with and showcase Catholic education’s impact in Canada.Lobby Day Kurek

    On Feb. 4, 2020, CCSTA Board of Directors and staff hosted individual meetings on Parliament Hill with MPs from across the country, many of whom are new to the position.

    The day-long Lobby Day was an opportunity to connect with politicians at the federal level.

    “The Lobby Day is a key area of focus for us, even though education is under provincial jurisdiction,” explains CCSTA Executive Director Julian Hanlon. “We feel it’s very important for federal politicians to be aware of the impact Catholic Education has across Canada, including the number of students attending Catholic Schools.”

  • « Une vraie réunion » : L’AGA de l’ACCEC 2017 remporte un grand succès


    students AGM

    Le congrès / assemblée générale annuelle de l’ACCEC de cette année a vu le jour grâce à un partenariat inédit entre deux conseils francophone et un anglophone.

    L’énergie générée par la collaboration entre l’AFOSCSC, le CSC Mon Avenir et le NCDSB a attiré des centaines de participants à Niagara Falls, en Ontario.

    «  L’AGA a connu un succès retentissant. Les conférenciers et les ateliers étaient excellents, et tous ont profité des  activités sociales, un excellent moyen  de faire du réseautage, » dit Julian Hanlon, directeur général.

    Le congrès a réuni des participants de partout au pays, et les conversations sur les liens pan-canadiens sont restées à l’avant-plan, surtout dans le contexte de l’affaire Theodore.

    « Le congrès / AGA 2017 était une véritable réunion de conseillers scolaires catholiques et d’administrateurs venus pour apprendre les uns des autres, » dit Marino Gazola, président de l’ACCEC.  « Nous partageons le but commun de protéger et promouvoir l’éducation catholique au Canada. Le congrès  nous a présenté des conférenciers qui ont suscité la réflexion, des ateliers instructifs et des activités fort divertissantes. »

    Plusieurs evêques étaient sur place et quatre anciens présidents ont assisté au gala : Mike St. Amand, Shirley McParland, Bon Fagan et Gerald Bernakevitch.

  • A Q&A with the Canadian Forum on Theology and Education Coordinator

    A faith-based professional development workshop once launched in the 1970s has transformed into a widely popular annual conference that welcomes attendees from across the country.

    The Canadian Forum on Theology and Education is set to take place from March 31 to April 1, 2017 in Oakville, Ontario. Last year, more than 450 people attended the conference, and it’s expected to bring in large numbers again this year.

    CCSTA chatted with organizer, John Quinn, who gave us a history lesson behind the forum as well as what it offers to its participants today.

  • A Toonie at a Time: how Ontario’s Student Trustees are supporting other Canadian Catholic students

    CCSTA has a powerful new tool for its Toonies for Tuition fundraising campaign: student trustees.OSTA Student Trustees

    For this academic year, the Catholic Board Council within the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association are encouraging Ontario’s Catholic secondary schools to prioritize the Toonies for Tuition program as a key fundraising initiative.

    “Many student trustees were shocked to hear some provinces did not have publicly funded Catholic education and are eager to help support students across Canada,” explains Catholic Board Council Vice President Sofia Zamorano.

    When student trustees were told about Toonies for Tuition, the CCSTA initiative that raises money to help offset tuition costs for families attending Catholic school in provinces with limited or no funding for Catholic education, they quickly took action.

    With the help of tools and resources provided by the Catholic Board Council, student trustees mobilize their peers within their school boards.

    There have been various student-led initiatives, such as board wide non-uniform days and social events.

    Each year, CCSTA awards the highest contributing school board with a trophy in recognition of their efforts, but the emphasis is placed on participation, not competition.

    “There is no goal in particular,” explains Ms. Zamorano. “We are encouraging participation to the best of their ability.”

    Through these events, students both show solidarity with their peers across the country and also build advocacy skills.

  • ACSTA Celebrates 50 Years; raises thousands for Toonies for Tuition

    ACSTA 50Years logo CMYKThe Alberta Catholic Schools Trustees’ Association recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and hosted an evening gala to honour the milestone anniversary.

    The gala took place in November in conjunction with ACSTA’s AGM and Convention, and the guest list itself was remarkable as clergy, trustees, educators and children came together for the celebratory event.  “All the Catholic Bishops of Alberta and the Northwest Territories were in attendance as was the Minster of Education, David Eggen, who addressed the Gala attendees with a positive note on the great work of Catholic schools in Alberta,” says ACSTA President Adriana LaGrange.

    During the course of the evening, ACSTA honoured Trustees and friends of Catholic Education with ACSTA Awards for their dedication and commitment to Catholic education.

  • American Educator Releases New Podcast about Catholic Education

    Tim UhlDr. Tim Uhl has a tradition when he drives to and from work – he listens to podcasts.

    One day, when the Montana Catholic Schools Superintendent listened to one of his former high school student’s podcast, he had a realization.

    “Why not me?” he asked himself. “I knew a few people and also knew that no one seemed to be doing this. So I thought this would be a great way to spotlight innovation and best practices and have conversations with smart people about the best path forward. This sounds like jargon but it's really true. I like thinking, I like talking to smart people, and I like trying new things.”

    And so, this past September Dr. Uhl released his own podcast, Catholic Education Matters. Each week, he interviews thought leaders in Catholic education and discusses the future of Catholic schools in America.

    Dr. Uhl hopes to reach emerging leaders, including those who want to be Catholic school principals, current principals who want to improve, aspiring superintendents, or current superintendents searching for better ways. 

    He says he wanted to focus on Catholic education for a variety of reasons.

  • Catholic Education Week and Toonies for Tuition: A missed fundraising opportunity this year

    CEW 2020

    Catholic Education Week is upon us! Across the country, Catholic School Boards are highlighting the wonderful and important work happening within our Catholic education system.

    Naturally, with so many good things being celebrated within our classrooms, our attention turns to ensuring Catholic education is available to all Canadians, including those living in jurisdictions that have no or partial publicly funded Catholic education.

    Which is where the Toonies for Tuition Endowment Fund comes in.

    Traditionally, we at CCSTA see a surge in fundraisers for the Toonies for Tuition Endowment Fund during Catholic Education Week.

    With schools functioning remotely throughout the country, Catholic Education Week looks a little different than most years. With those changes comes an unexpected consequence: fewer local fundraisers are happening for Toonies for Tuition.

    As a result, there will be a potentially reduced funding for Toonies for Tuition this year. To curb the negative impact on the fund, CCTSA is asking our supporters, followers, stakeholders and fellow educators to consider donating to the fund.

    Upon hearing about the funds’ challenges this year, many administrators from across the country reached out to share stories that might inspire action. They shared stories of belonging, family ties and the benefits of faith-based education, and how the Toonies for Tuition program supported those experiences.

    “The Toonies for Tuition Endowment Program has afforded many children the opportunity to avail of Catholic education in a safe and caring environment which has enabled them to have a sense of belonging,” shares Elaine King, Principal of Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. “They have flourished in a faith based learning that is so important to them and their families.”

  • CCSTA Announces Winners of the 2020 Toonies for Tuition Trophy Challenge

    CCSTA Announces Winners of the 2020 Toonies for Tuition Trophy Challenge

    KCDSBThe Canadian Catholic School Trustees’ Association is pleased to announce that Kenora Catholic District School Board has taken the top spot for school boards and Saskatchewan has reclaimed its provincial title in the Toonies for Tuition Trophy Challenge!

    Each year, a trophy is awarded to the individual school board or division in the fully-funded provinces that raises the most money per capita based on Full-time Enrolment. A second trophy is awarded to the province that raises the most money based on FTE.

    For Kenora CDSB, the Toonies for Tuition campaign is about much more than bragging rights.

    “The need for supporting this initiative became very apparent when attending the CCSTA AGM in Newfoundland several years ago. Since then, we have recognized the importance of this initiative,” explains KCDSB Trustee Frank Bastone. “I have travelled to other provinces and networked with fellow Catholic school trustees where provincial funding is either very limited or non-existent. Yet, we’ve heard the stories of the sacrifices that families have made to ensure that their children receive a Catholic education. These sacrifices made me all the more grateful for the funding of Catholic education in Ontario and aware of the need to assist those families that choose a Catholic education for their children.”

    To meet their fundraising goals, Kenora CDSB took a multi-pronged approach.

    They hosted a board-wide fundraiser in February for all staff and students. On top of that, the Board’s trustees collected a fee from all attendees at the Trustee Christmas party in December that was donated to the CCSTA’s Toonies for Tuition program. The school board also accepted donations from individual supporters such as Tom Shura who donated $2,095.72 as well as from other individuals, the Knights of Columbus and the Notre Dame Church Catholic Women's League.


  • CCSTA Applauds Government Decision to Keep Section 176 of Criminal Code

    NicholsonRob CPCCCSTA applauds the federal government’s plan to keep Section 176 of the Criminal Code in place, as it ensures the protection of religious officials and the freedom to worship peacefully without disturbance.

    This decision comes after the Liberal Government introduced Bill C-51, which would clean up wording or any redundant content existing within the Code. For instance, they plan to remove the provisions of setting off a stink bomb or duelling.

    Though, a widespread backlash arose when the government decided to repeal section 176 of the Criminal Code, which includes “obstructing or violence to or arrest of officiating clergyman disturbing religious worship or certain meetings.”

    This section protects religious freedoms and was used as a grounds to charge a woman earlier this year after she allegedly entered a Church in Ottawa screaming and damaged a statue.

    Last week, MPs voted to save the section, though with updated language so it more clearly captures all forms of religious and spiritual services.

    Last month, CCSTA Board of Directors met with Conservative Justice Shadow Minister and MP for Niagara Falls Rob Nicholson. He made a statement on Nov. 8 regarding the decision to keep it in place. He received hundreds of emails from Canadians pushing to keep it.

    “I am pleased that the Government has heard the calls of Canadians from across our nation and has agreed to keep section 176 in place,” Minister Nicholson said. “The disruption of a religious service is serious and should not be treated as a mere mischief charge. It is a fundamental right that greatly affects all Canadians regardless of whether or not you attend religious services. Today is a victory for all faith communities in Canada.”

    CCSTA also supports the government’s decision to maintain Section 176.

    “To give a judge the ability to refer to a section of the Criminal Code that allows for the protection of clergy is an important element to religious freedom in Canada,” says CCSTA Executive Director Julian Hanlon. “We applaud the government for ensuring the protective rights of Canadians.”

  • CCSTA Execs Meet with Saskatchewan Politicians, talk Theodore Case

    sask logoBack in June, CCSTA President Marino Gazzola and Executive Director Julian Hanlon travelled from Ontario to Saskatchewan to meet with federal politicians to discuss one thing: the Theodore Case.

    This comes after the Court ruled that the government must stop funding non-minority faith students to attend separate schools (read: CCSTA's Statement on the Ruling).

    As such, CCSTA wanted to demonstrate its support to the Saskatchewan Catholic School Board Association.

    So, they arranged to get in front of politicians to talk about the situation and what it means – and could mean – for Catholic education opportunities in the province.

    Working alongside Matt Triemstra from Ensight Canada, Mr. Gazzola and Mr. Hanlon had many meetings with individual MPs and caucus members from Saskatchewan.

    “We first provided them with information about CCSTA in general, and more specifically to inform them of the background and current status of the Theodore matter,” explains Mr. Gazzola. “We were successful on both counts.”

  • CCSTA Launches National Toonies for Tuition Campaign Materials

    The Toonies for Tuition Initiative is gaining some serious momentum across the country. Toonies social Eng 3

    To help support the schools, educators and students taking the lead on building Catholic education opportunities for all students across Canada, CCSTA collaborated with the Ottawa Catholic School Board to launch online marketing materials related to the cause.

    Toonies for Tuition is a CCSTA-based initiative that works to raise money in order to help offset tuition funds for families attending Catholic schools in provinces with limited or no funding to the private education system.

    And the CCSTA wanted to continue to build its momentum of support from across the country.

    “Last year, when the endowment fund committee convened to distribute the funds it was suggested that a short video could be a powerful tool to help school boards and schools promote their campaigns,” explains CCSTA Executive Director Julian Hanlon.

    That’s where Catherine Burnham comes in. She is the Atlantic Region Board member with the CCSTA, and she’s also the Director of Development with the Divine Mercy Catholic School in Saint John, NB

    She created a video that helped tell the Toonies for Tuition story.


  • CCSTA Lobby Day a Success

    Lobby Day 2After meeting with MPs from around the country across the span of two days, CCSTA is confident in its support from political representatives at the federal level.

    On Oct. 30 and 31, CCSTA Board of Directors scheduled meetings with MPs to discuss Catholic education in Canada and its long-serving role since the country’s earliest days.

    They met on Parliament Hill, followed by an open reception for networking.

    “In my view, overall, the day was a huge success,” says CCSTA President Marino Gazzola. “We were very well received and had many very positive comments.”

    The first meeting included a sit down with the Leader of the Opposition Party, Andrew Scheer. Scheer – who is a Catholic school graduate – reiterated his support to the system.

    “Mr. Scheer was unequivocal in his support,” says CCSTA Executive Director Julian Hanlon. “He said if we ever need his backing, don’t hesitate to call.”

    The following day, CCSTA hosted several meetings individually with MPs including Charlie Angus, Earl Dreeshen and Peter Fonseca.

  • CCSTA President Easter Message

    Easter Message CCSTA

    The Canadian Catholic School Trustees' Association wishes trustees, administrators, clergy, school staff and all students and their families across the country a peace-filled and blessed Easter.

    During these challenging times, we are reminded of Jesus’ steadfast love for us and his willingness to make his great sacrifice for our eternal salvation.  With the knowledge of what Jesus endured for us, we go forward with the confidence and strength we require to face our current challenges and to live out the values of peace, kindness and love for which he advocated.  

    May you feel the light of the Lord in your hearts and may it fill the hearts of your family and homes.

    Paula Scott, CCSTA President


  • CCSTA Welcomes Adriana LaGrange as Vice President

    Adriana LaGrangeAlberta’s Adriana LaGrange has been elected as the CCSTA Vice President and it couldn’t be a more fitting role.

    Following the passing of Vice President Tony Sykora in January, the CCSTA felt the void of Tony’s passion for education. Sykora, who hailed from Alberta, played a big role in Alberta’s Catholic education platform – as does LaGrange.

    “It’s such a meaningful fit to have Adriana accept the Vice President role to fill Tony’s spot,” says CCSTA Executive Director Julian Hanlon.

    Adriana LaGrange was first elected to the Board of Trustees of Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools in 2007 and has spent three of those years as Board Chair and Vice Chair for another two. She has long been involved in Catholic education and her community taking on numerous volunteer and committee opportunities. Adriana currently lives in rural Red Deer with her husband of 32+ years, is a mother of seven children and a grandmother of three. She holds an honours diploma in Rehabilitation and Disability Studies and also owns and operates a family farm in addition to managing the trucking of a large hog partnership.

    Adriana was elected to be the President of the Alberta Catholic Trustees' Association (ACSTA) in November 2015 and re-elected to the president's position in November 2016. This put her in to serve as the Alberta representative for the CCSTA Board of Directors.

  • Congrès When Faith Meets Pedagogy 2018

    2018 WFMP eposter 004 page 001

    Le congrès annuel  When Faith Meets Pedagogy 2018 de la Catholic Curriculum Corporation se déroulera du jeudi 25 octobre au samedi 27 octobre, au Delta Marriott près de l’aéroport de Toronto. Ce congrès rassemble des intervenants de tous les niveaux en éducation catholique.

    Selon Michael Bator, directeur général de la Catholic Curriculum Corporation (CCC) depuis les derniers 9 ans, cet évènement a été mis sur pied afin de contribuer à la création de ressources pédagogiques distinctement catholiques.

    « Cela nous aide à faire en sorte que les enseignants des écoles catholiques subventionnées bénéficient d’un apprentissage professionnel qui appuie les ressources développées par les différents conseils et/ou par la CCC elle-même, » dit-il.

    Le congrès s’amorcera jeudi soir avec la conférence du Dr Nuala Kenny. Elle est médecin, membre des Soeurs de la Charité d’Halifax, professeure émérite en bioéthique à l’Université Dalhousie, et conseillère en matière de politiques à l’Alliance catholique canadienne de la santé.

  • De l’amour pour Murphy et ses retombées

    Puisque notre bureau est situé à Ottawa, ce sont les nouvelles concernant le mouvement de grève des enseignantes et des enseignants de l’Ontario, incluant ceux des conseils catholiques, qui ont accaparé notre flux d’information.scott mission 0130

    Tout en priant qu’une résolution qui mène à une éducation de qualité et à des perspectives favorables à nos écoles, nous avons pensé quitter ce thème pour vous présenter certains des évènements formidables qui se déroulent dans les écoles catholiques en Ontario.

  • Des élèves de l’Ottawa Catholic School Board réunissent diversité et vêtements mode

    Oscar Tango ClothingSept élèves d’une école secondaire catholique d’Ottawa attirent l’atttention nationale grâce au lancement de leur propre ligne de vêtements.

    Ils incorporent à leur collection un message d’inspiration pour la diversité et l’égalité.

    Sous la griffe Oscar Tango, le code militaire pour les lettres O et T, ces élèves du St. Joseph High School proposent un message issu de leurs origines de partout au monde. Leurs noms?  Jay Mills, Justin Park, Hassan Hamed, Kristian Toscano, Eric Batali, Melanie Ni-Lan et Kallel Coltess.

    Jay dit que l’idée de démarrer une nouvelle ligne de vêtements leur est venue lors d’ une visite chez un ami.

    « Nous aimons tous la mode, mais nous avons réalisé que les marques de vêtements que nous portons ne représentent rien de spécial, » explique-t-il. « Nous voulions d’une marque qui transmette un

    message inspirant, qui représente chacun de nous et qui illustre nos origines comme nos racines. »

    C’est là qu’Oscar Tango est né et que le slogan Diversity Through Design (La diversité par le design)a été adopté.

  • Deux dollars à la fois: comment les Élèves conseillers et conseillères de l’Ontario appuient les autres élèves catholiques canadiens

    IMG 7783L’ACCEC a un puissant nouvel allié dans sa campagne de collecte de fonds Toonies for Tuition : les élèves conseillers et conseillères.

    Pour cette année scolaire, le Conseil catholique au sein de l’Association des élèves conseillers et conseillères de l’Ontario invite les écoles secondaires catholiques de l’Ontario à favoriser Toonies for Tuition comme collecte de fonds de choix.

    « Plusieurs élèves conseillers et conseillères ont été outrés d’apprendre que l’enseignement catholique n’était pas subventionné dans toutes les provinces et ils offrent leur support aux élèves canadiens, » explique Sofia Zamorano, vice-présidente du Conseil catholique.

    Lorsque les élèves conseillers et conseillères ont été mis au courant de l’existence de Toonies for Tuition, cette campagne de financement pour les familles dont les enfants fréquentent l’école catholique dans les provinces où elle est peu ou pas subventionnée, ils se sont rapidement mobilisés.

    À l’aide des outils et des ressources mis à leur disposition par le Conseil des écoles catholiques, ils ont fait appel à leurs pairs dans les différents conseils scolaires.

    Plusieurs activités menées par les élèves ont été mises sur pied : journées sans uniformes, et différentes activités sociales.

    À chaque année, en guise de reconnaissance, l’ACCEC décerne un trophée au conseil scolaire qui amasse le plus d’argent, mais l’accent est mis sur la participation et non sur la compétition.


  • Four CSCNO School Principals Receive Provincial Honours

    CSCNO PrincipalsFour school principals from the Conseil scolaire catholique de Nouvel-Ontario (CSCNO) were recently recognized by the Association des directions et des directions adjointes des écoles franco-ontariennes (ADFO). All four received awards at the ADFO’s annual conference on October 18th in Toronto.

    Yves Laliberté, Principal at École secondaire catholique Champlain (Chelmsford), and Paul Henry, Principal at École secondaire du Sacré-Cœur (Sudbury) and Carrefour Options+, both received the first-ever ADFO Leadership Award. The award recognizes principals for their exceptional leadership contributions to their communities.

    Under Mr. Laliberté, ÉSC Champlain received the 2018 Premier’s Award for Safe and Accepting Schools and was also designated a Microsoft Showcase School. In December 2017, his extraordinary leadership also earned him a Canada 150 pin for his contributions to youth leadership.