ECACS October Newsletter

"Growing in Christ, making a difference."

Message from ECACS Senior Administration

Hard to believe that we are into our second month of school already! Time seems to fly by quickly and during this month we encourage you to slow down and enjoy the blessings around you! Within the Catholic Church, October is a very special month. The Catholic liturgical calendar is a time in which we dedicate our focus and prayers to the veneration of the Virgin Mother Mary, mother of Jesus Christ. What a wonderful way to pray the rosary and while doing so giving thanks to God for all the tremendous blessings within our lives. The blessings we have are truly countless, and as God's people, we often get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our lives and forget to be genuinely thankful. This October let's be sure to take time to pause and pray to Mother Mary for her intercessions and blessings. With the celebration of Thanksgiving, we make and take time to gather with friends and family to feast on the bounty of the fall harvest. Truly the numerous blessings we have are endless and we live in a time and place that very few people have the possibility of doing so. During this time of Thanksgiving, we are reminded to be Christ-like in serving and meeting the needs of others. If possible, share your gifts of food, time, money, and caring for those in our families or communities that need the most help. The greatest gift and most meaningful action that we can do is to give to others. During this month please also keep in your prayers the blessing that Catholic Education is to our province, cities, and towns. Catholic Education is an amazing blessing that we too can sometimes take for granted. Please include within your prayers to Mother Mary that God blesses all stakeholders of our school communities so that we can, in faith, carry out the mission and ministry of Jesus. As loving and dedicated disciples of Christ, we can make a difference in the lives of those around us. Thank you, God, for giving us the gift of Catholic Education. From everyone within East Central Alberta Catholic School Division, we extend heartfelt prayers of blessings upon you and your loved ones during this special month! Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

2021-22 Return To School Plan

Alberta Government COVID-19 - October 6th Updates

Beginning October 6, Alberta Health will be posting information publicly about school-level COVID-19 cases in schools. You will be able to access the information here.

COVID-19 ‘outbreak’ is changing. A school outbreak will now be reported as 10 or more COVID-19 cases within a 14 day period that were infectious while at school. The previous use of a 10% absenteeism rate will no longer be used for COVID-19 cases but will remain in place for other respiratory or gastrointestinal illnesses.

October 12th, contact notification within schools will begin. AHS will be sharing case-specific information with schools. School authorities and schools, using guidance being developed, will determine in school close contacts and will be required to notify parents/guardians of the identified contacts. Alberta Health Services will take over the lead on contact notification in schools once adequate staff have been hired to support this process.

As of October 12th, if three or more COVID-19 positive cases are identified within a five-day period in a Kindergarten to Grade 6 class, AHS will issue an exclusion notification, shifting students to at-home learning.

Exclusion letters will be issued on a class-by-class basis and any classes in receipt of an exclusion letter will be required to shift to at-home learning for 10 days. Because AHS does not collect class information, they will be relying on school authorities to notify them of classes that meet the exclusion criteria.

Starting in late October, rapid testing kits will be provided to school authorities for distribution for Kindergarten to Grade 6 schools, starting first with schools that are experiencing an outbreak status.

The rapid testing program will be voluntary. If they choose, children, students, and staff will be provided with rapid testing kits to test twice per week for four weeks.

These tests are for those individuals that are asymptomatic and are to be done at home.

Symptomatic children need to be tested at an AHS assessment centre and should not use the rapid tests. Rapid tests are a more effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19 in areas where there are more COVID-19 cases.

The rapid testing program will begin pending test kit availability and will continue until Health Canada completes its review of the submission for approval to use the COVID-19 vaccine for children under 12.

Ministers of Education and Health have sent boards a letter strongly encouraging all school authorities, as employers, and operators of school facilities, to develop policies that require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for teachers, staff and any adult who enters a school.

September 30th National Day of Truth and Reconciliation at ECACS

The staff and students of East Central Alberta Catholic School Division deeply understand today’s calling to recognize the significance and purpose of National Truth and Reconciliation. On September 30th our school communities hosted educational and faith-based events and activities to help communicate and educate our staff and youth about the atrocities carried out within Catholic residential schools. Events and activities within our schools’ focused on the social justice issues, cultural awareness, and appreciation of our FNMI peoples and empathetically tried to understand what it must have been like for those who suffered mental and physical hardships, who died, and faced pain and suffering back then and now. It is our children that will lead a new and just future where the mistakes and horrible actions of the past will direct efforts to ensure that injustices such as this do not happen again. It is now and in this time, that we guide and educate our youth so that they may see the truth and as a community seek forgiveness. There is much healing that is needed and as a Catholic School Division, we acknowledge the wrongs committed against our FNMI brothers and sisters. Today and for all days we are gathered in God’s love and mercy to ask for forgiveness and to grant all of us wisdom and knowledge to prevent injustices to happen. We are all created in the image and likeness of God and we, therefore, must love and serve one another with dignity and utmost respect.

ECCS Prayer for Forgiveness

Almighty and loving God, you who created all people in your image and likeness, lead us to seek your compassion and mercy. You gave your only Son, Jesus, who died and rose again so that our sins would be forgiven.

We place before you the pain and anguish of our Indigenous Peoples. We ask your forgiveness.

Touch the hearts of the broken, homeless, and inflicted and heal their spirits. In your mercy and compassion walk with us as we continue our journey of healing to create a future that is equitable and just.

Through Christ our Lord. AMEN.

Click Here for more images of the BSS Truth and Reconciliation Event Activities.

ECACS Launches The Assurance Framework and Four Year Faith Plan

ECCS is placing much energy and focus into the development of goals and strategies that will continue and further enhance areas of excellence in our overall schools and school division. Through a team-based approach, our staff across the division will be reviewing and constructing action plans that will bring to the forefront positive change, recognize celebrations and look for opportunities to improve the way we teach and in how students best learn. From a divisional perspective, through our targeted focus on the Assurance Framework (formally known as the Accountability Pillars), we embark upon professional development opportunities to examine areas that can be enhanced, the development of action plans to focus on improvements as well we will continue to celebrate and facilitate the strategies that continue our divisional excellence in learning. Our greatest goal is to have ALL students perform to their very best within their academics, faith development, and overall health and wellbeing.

We also value the fact that parents are their children's primary educators. We will review and apply strategies to engage and inform our parents as valued partners about their child's academic journey. With consistent data collection and analysis of results, we can shape and direct courses of action that assist all learners with achieving their levels of excellence. We are also launching a new four-year faith plan that encompasses our touchstone, "We teach; we share; we learn; we care. We grow in Christ, believing that together we can make a difference. In our first year of the four-year plan, the entire division's staff will be focused on the theme of "Called by God." To learn more about our four-year faith plan be sure to click on the provided link, "Called by God".

ECACS Construction Projects

Our new school facility in Provost is moving along at a good pace and plans are in motion with finalizing moving details. St. Thomas Aquinas is blessed to receive such a magnificent new school that is simply put, amazing! The final touches to classrooms, corridors, outdoor cement work, and landscaping, as well as common spaces and the library, are occurring. The excitement to take occupancy is climbing and more details will be shared as we get closer to the final days of completion.

The addition occurring at Blessed Sacrament School is also moving along nicely and the classrooms are receiving final completion details. The space will be a great addition to providing warm and welcoming classrooms. We continue to ask that you keep the construction workers and tradespeople in your prayers to bless them with safety.

Blessed Sacrament Expansion Project

Special thanks to Arthur Schwentner who provided the drone video footage of the BBS Expansion Project. Click Here for images of the complete construction project.

Student Enrolment Information Through our ECACS Divisional Media Links

East Central Alberta Catholic School Division is very proud to announce a new promotional and educational video series to help provide enrolment information to our parents in Stettler, Vermilion, and Provost! If you are seeking Catholic Education for your child(ren) please learn more by clicking on the links provided below. We look forward to the opportunity of educating your precious gifts!

Christ-King in Stettler:

Little Steps Program -

Kindergarten -

Grades 1 - 9 -

St. Jerome's in Vermilion:

PreSchool - Kindergarten -

St. Thomas Aquinas in Provost:

PreSchool - Kindergarten -

For more information or further questions feel free to reach out to speak with the administration of your school community.

ECCS Mobile App

East Central Catholic is excited to announce the release of the Division's new iOS and Android App. Stay in touch with the latest school and division events.

iOS - Download Link

Android - Download Link

School Cash Online

Just a reminder to parents that school fees are to be paid online through School Cash Online. You will receive an email when the fees have been assigned to your child. If you are not able to pay your fees online please contact your school to make alternate arrangements to pay your child's school fees.

School Calendars

The 2021-2022 School Calendars are available on the district website. Please click here to view the calendar for your school.

ECCS Junior High Golf Tournament

This year marked the 18th annual Junior High Golf Tournament for students in grades 7-9 from St. Thomas Aquinas School, St. Jerome's School and Blessed Sacrament School. This year there were 12 students in attendance. All golfers played 18 holes, competing and making new friends. Wainwright Golf Coursed hosted last minute and we're happy they did as we spend a beautiful day out on the course.