ECACS October Newsletter

"Growing in Christ, Making a Difference."

Superintendent Thanksgiving Message

When I reviewed my Thanksgiving Message from last year, I had commented on the early snow storm in Southern Alberta in 2019. Reflecting back, we can be very thankful that we have had such a blessed fall with warm weather and no hint of snow. A farmer friend of mine told me he had finished harvest yesterday, despite multiple mechanical problems that slowed him down. I have read that the harvest yields across Alberta are very good this year.

Of course, 2020 has been a challenging year for many. A phenomenon called COVID-19 was not in our vocabulary last year at this time. Today it is the most pressing issue we have to deal with in Alberta and across the world. To date, in Canada, 171,147 people have contracted the virus and, tragically, 9,530 people, mostly seniors, have died. However, we can still be thankful. The dedicated people in health care, food plants, grocery stores and transportation have ensured we have functional hospitals, food to eat and most of the services we require for a safe and happy life. They, and all the others who keep our society functioning, deserve a very special thanksgiving this year.

To our staff, students and parents, thank you for your continued support for education. We are especially thankful that we could reopen schools in September. Thanks to the full cooperation of all groups, we have been able to keep our schools clean, our students safe and the education system working. So far we have been very fortunate. Pray that we can keep our schools open and keep COVID away from our students.

When I went home for lunch today there was a basket on our front step. A former colleague of my wife had left a thanksgiving gift of various preserves that she had grown and put in jars. They all look delicious. Perhaps that is something we can all do this Thanksgiving when we are being asked to not gather in crowds, or to travel to see our loved ones. Let’s all give thanks by doing something kind for someone else, especially those experiencing hardship.

Finally, let’s take a moment to thank God for all the blessings we do have. Thank God that we live in a great country, that is one of the safest in the world, even in the time of COVID.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Charlie McCormack


School Division Website Transition

East Central Alberta Catholic appreciates everyone's patience and understanding as to the division transitions to a new website platform. The division website was transitioned over the summer months and can be located at the following URL:

East Central Alberta Catholic Schools -

The remaining school-specific sites will be transitioned by the end of October.

Blessed Sacrament School -

Blessed Sacrament Outreach -

St. Jerome School -

St. Thomas Aquinas School -

Theresetta School -

Christ-King School -

Upcoming Dates in October and November

North Schools

(St. Thomas Aquinas, Blessed Sacrament, Blessed Sacrament Outreach, St. Jerome's, School of Hope)

October 9 - PD Day - No school for students

October 12 - Thanksgiving Day - Schools closed

October 23 - PD Day - No school for students

November 9 - PD Day - No school for Students

November 10 - PD Day - No School for Students

November 11 - Remembrance Day - Schools closed

November 12 - Day in lieu of staff meetings - No school for students and staff

November 13 - Day in lieu of parent/teacher interviews - No school for students and staff

South Schools

(Theresetta Catholic School and Christ-King Catholic School)

October 9 - PD Day no school for students

October 12 - Thanksgiving Day - Schools closed

November 11 - Remembrance Day - Schools closed

November 12 - PD Day - No school for students

November 13 - Day in lieu of parent/teacher interviews

October 5th World Teacher Day

It’s hard to believe that World Teachers’ Day will celebrate its 26th anniversary this year, but the history of World Teachers’ Day goes back much further than 26 years. On October 5, 1966, the Special Intergovernmental Conference on the Status of Teachers in Paris, France, was closed and the Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers was signed by representatives of UNESCO and the International Labour Organization. Twenty-seven years later, UNESCO elected to commemorate the importance of the recommendation by designating October 5 as World Teachers’ Day, a day devoted to appreciating teachers the world over.

World Teachers' Day 2020

Visitor Protocol & Screen Tool

In order to minimize risks, volunteers and guest presenters are not permitted until further notice. Authorized visitors include parents, delivery personnel, ECACS staff, RCMP, and personnel from Alberta Health Services. Prior to a visitor entering the school, they will use the posted self-screening tool, which is posted on the school’s door. If a visitor answers YES to any of the questions, the individual must not be admitted into the school.

Parents/guardians must remain off school grounds or within their vehicle when dropping off their children. They must not enter the school unless approved by the principal. The principal will utilize as many entry doors as possible and assign all students an entry point. Students should move directly to their designated entry door and wait for permission to enter the building while staying two metres apart where possible.

Click here for the latest ECCS Re-Entry Planning Updates.

Guidance for Parents of Children Attending School and/or Childcare

K-12 School Re-Entry Plan

The school re-entry plan (2020-21 school year) allows schools and parents to prepare for learning while putting student and staff safety first.

The plan offers guidance on a wide range of operational issues including:

  • hygiene and health requirements
  • student learning
  • transportation
  • diploma exams
  • mental health and psychological supports for students and staff

Parent Re-Entry Guide

All parents will be required to complete daily screening of their child(ren) prior to students getting on the bus or entering ECACS school buildings.

Parent COVID-19 Screening Checklist

All students and staff who have pre-existing symptoms not related to COVID-19 are highly recommended to get tested prior to the beginning of the school year to establish a baseline.

Note: All the families who rely on Buffalo Trail for transportation services will be updated on the busing COVID-19 guidelines through the BTPS notification system in the near future.

COVID-19: How to use a non-medical mask

St. Thomas Aquinas New School Construction Project

The construction of the new K-12 school in Provost has begun. Special thanks to Chris and Nathan Ritchie who are providing daily photos and aerial footage updates.

The division will be welcoming the Alberta Infrastructure Minister, Prasad Panda, on August 12th for a site visit to review the construction progress of the new school in Provost.

New School Construction Flyover - Full Video

Orange Shirt Day - September 30th

Our goal is to support Albertans in staying healthy and to provide you with the best possible healthcare experiences. In order to do that, we need to understand the unique culture and perspective of the various peoples we serve.

This includes the more than 220,000 Albertans who self-identify as Indigenous, making Alberta home to the third-largest Indigenous population in Canada.

It is important to honour, recognize and celebrate the strengths and resilience of the First Peoples of this land. By focusing on these and building greater understanding and awareness, we can build a better and more inclusive health system.

Reconciliation is also an important part of building understanding. Orange Shirt Day — Wednesday, Sept. 30 — is an opportunity for us to show a personal commitment to reconciliation and creating culturally safe environments for Indigenous patients and families.

Wearing an orange shirt is meant to recognize the harm done to residential school students, and show a commitment to the principle that every child matters.

Catholic Archdioceses of Edmonton Live Streaming Mass Schedule

Live-streamed Sunday Mass

We invite the faithful to join celebrations of the Mass ‘virtually,’ through video live streaming from their own parish or from St. Joseph’s Basilica with Archbishop Smith.

Sunday Mass at the Basilica is live-streamed at 10:30 a.m. each week. Find it on Grandin Media at


Archdiocese of Edmonton Youtube Channel

or on Facebook @

or Twitter @

or on Telus Optik TV Channel 876

Catholic Education Sunday - November 8th

The theme, "Those who hope in the Lord will review their strength" resonated deeply with the context of our lived reality. Rooted in our faith, we remain people of hope trusting in the Lord. Please be reminded that the theme will remain the same for the entire school year including Catholic Education Week and World Catholic Education Day.
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