ECACS June Newsletter

"Growing in Christ. Making a Difference."

A Message from ECACS Senior Administration

This school year was certainly a time of great challenge and adversity and a noteworthy period of time in which strength and resiliency were dominant. An American poet, Maya Angelou, best sums up the “life journey” that was traveled this school year when she said, “I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”

Day in and day out, all our ECACS stakeholders demonstrated courage, sacrifice, strength, and resiliency by refusing to give up on the many blessings that Catholic education offers. To the best of abilities, schools remained open, and staff, students, and parents journeyed together on an uncharted path that was at times physically and mentally concerning as well as emotionally consuming. Through it all and with a “we can” attitude our employees and families alike, stayed strong and did the best that could be done during this unprecedented time. We have much to be grateful for and in the midst of the busyness, anxiety, and stress there were many, many blessings to be thankful for. Blessings such as families assisting other families who were in isolation or quarantine, students safely sharing and caring for the people in need within our communities, loved ones staying in touch through technology, classes live-streaming important liturgical events/activities, schools taking part in devotional prayers, celebrating Mass, and intentional worship and praise all continued in one way or another within our homes, churches, and Catholic schools. We have MUCH to be thankful for!

Thank you goes out to the staff, students, and parents of all our school communities. We very much appreciate your dedication, hard work, perseverance, and joy that you bring daily into our school communities. This past school year could not have been accomplished without your commitment, positivity, and strength!

We are also thankful for the upcoming Summer months in which the family can safely spend time together. Everyone certainly deserves a restful and peaceful break.

We are thankful for our graduates who have endured this time of pandemic and achieved a significant milestone within their lives. May God grant each of our graduates and their families great joy, good health, and many blessings. WAY TO GO & CONGRATULATIONS to all our young graduating men and women of ECACS!

We are thankful to have Catholic Education in our lives. Thank you, God, for blessing our school division with loving and kind staff members who give of themselves to make their students’ lives better. We ask God to bless our hard-working staff with a safe and restful summer holiday.

We are thankful for the gift of Fathers. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads and may God continue to use you as a channel of peace, strength, wisdom, and love within your family and our greater communities. Happy Father’s Day!

Last but not least, we are thankful to have journeyed this school year with you! Thank you very much for being a part of the ECACS family and together we will journey into the 2021-2022 school year with hope, love, and confidence that our faith in the Holy Trinity will guide us and keep us safe from harm.

May God bless you, during this last month of school, and may your faith in Him keep you well in health and spirit! Have faith and remember, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1). We eagerly look forward to seeing you all in the upcoming 2021-2022 school year.

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 - https://youtu.be/R8ZRIEIAtHg

Kindergarten - https://youtu.be/FQm5y_AVvuQ

Grades 1 - 9 - https://youtu.be/sGR2l5h1EqA


St. Jerome's in Vermilion:

PreSchool - Kindergarten - https://ecacs.yuja.com/V/Watch?v=299412&node=1114021&a=1350205298


St. Thomas Aquinas in Provost:

PreSchool - Kindergarten - https://ecacs.yuja.com/V/Video?v=281780&node=1076492&a=1283004266&autoplay=1


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

2021-2022 Student Registration

New Students Registering for the 2021-2022 School Year

New students registering with our district can find the online registration forms on the district website. Click here.


Transferring Schools for 2021-2022 School Year

For those students that will be transferring schools within the district for the 2021-2022 school year. Please contact your school and request a Student Transfer Form and submit it back to your current school so your child can be transferred to the correct school at the end of the 2020-2021 school year.


Returning Students for 2021-2022 School Year

Students that will be returning to our schools for the 2021-2022 school year will receive an email from their schools informing them when their child's forms can be found on the PowerSchool Parent Portal to review. There will be two forms posted to the Parent Portal for parents to review, they are as follows:


  • Demographic Update Form - this form contains your child's information that is contained in our Student Information Software. If any of the information is incorrect please correct the information and return the form to the school.
  • FOIP/Technology/Field Trip - if the FOIP information needs to be updated please correct it and return it to the school, otherwise sign the forms and return to the school.

Important Dates

North Schools:

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


May:

May 21 - Day in Liew of Parent/Teacher Interviews - Schools Closed

May 24 - Victoria Day - Schools Closed


June:

June 29 - Last day of school for students


South Schools:

(Christ-King School and Theresetta School)


May:

May 21 - PD Day - No school for students

May 24 - Victoria Day - Schools Closed


June:

June 25 - Last day of school for students

2021 CCSSA Excellence in Catholic Education Awards

The Council of Catholic School Superintendents of Alberta celebrate and recognize our Catholic education leaders for 2021. East Central Alberta Catholic Schools is blessed to recognize Liberty Stafford as the recipient of the 2021 Excellence in Catholic Education award.

Christ-King Catholic School

In 2000, discussions regarding the formation of a Catholic School began, and nourished by parents (Catholic and non-Catholic) the movement began to collect momentum. Fr. Mark McGee along with other important founders began the establishment of a Catholic school. Meet and greet meetings were hosted that year and in 2001 support had grown and a survey was taken in August. In October of 2001, municipal elections were held and Chris Nichols was selected as the first school board trustee. In September 2002, Christ-King Catholic School began with 17 Stettler children (Catholic and non-Catholic) who were bused to Mother Teresa Halkirk and Theresetta Castor schools. The age range of the students permitted grade levels from grade 1 to grade 7. In July 2003 a lease was signed to renovate the “doctor’s office” in the local mall and the school was ready to receive school children in September of 2003. Kindergarten through to Grade 6 was taught by individual teachers and the Grade 7 class was offered through online learning. In September of 2007 and after many talks with Alberta Education as well as a local meeting with deputy Premier and in collaboration with Clearview Schools, the school was moved to its current location. The new building served two main purposes of which there was sharing classroom space in the west wing with the Clearview administration personnel in the east wing. Two years later in September of 2009 Christ-King started to occupy more space and at the same time began renting space to community support groups as the expansion and growth in student numbers continued. In October of 2013 the current acting school board trustee, Duane Austin, was elected. After Stettler’s formation, there were approximately 8 other 4x4 formations completed in and around the area. Currently, Christ-King Catholic School serves a student population of 130 in grades K-9 and employs 10 teachers along with 5 support staff. Principal, Tara McMillan states, "CKCS has grown in so many ways since it opened in 2003. Not only in enrollment, but the school building has also undergone many renovations over the years to accommodate and provide the best educational experiences for our kids. We are very proud of how far we have come, and we have big plans for where we are headed! But what has always remained the same since our opening was our determination to create a space where every child knows they belong and are loved. Anyone who walks through our doors, always comments on the warm, welcoming atmosphere we have here. That is what makes us most proud at CKCS - we aren't just a school, we are a family."

ECACS is very blessed to have Stettler as part of our School Division and Christ-King continues to be a shining example of the benefits and blessings that Catholic Education has to offer. A very special thanks are extended to all the stakeholders within this school community as the level of dedication and commitment is second to none. May God continue to bless the staff and students with much peace, love, and faith.

Announcing New Elementary Vice-Principal of Blessed Sacrament School

Congratulations to Mrs. Liberty Stafford who has accepted an administrative position with Blessed Sacrament School in Wainwright, Alberta. Mrs. Stafford has extensive experience at East Central Alberta Catholic School Division both as a successful teacher and as a divisional Faith Leader.

Superintendent of ECCS Mr. Glenn Nowosad shares, “we are excited to welcome Liberty Stafford to our school leadership team. Liberty’s instructional leadership skills, passion, and enthusiasm for supporting staff and students in the context of our Catholic faith are foundational to the success of our schools throughout the division.” Mrs. Michelle Folk, Principal of Blessed Sacrament shares, “Blessed Sacrament School would like to warmly welcome Liberty Stafford to our school administration team. Liberty will be taking the position of Elementary Vice-Principal. She brings a wealth of teaching experience and strong Catholic faith to her new role. May God keep on blessing her with success in everything she does.

Mrs. Stafford states, “I am excited to start this new leadership role as Elementary Vice-Principal, where I can support both staff and students academically and spiritually in their Catholic faith.” East Central Alberta Catholic School Division extends a sincere congratulatory note to Mrs. Stafford on her recent appointment and may God bless you with good health, wisdom, knowledge, and fortitude as you begin this new chapter of your professional life.

2021-2022 School Calendars

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

Blessed Sacrament Classroom Project Update

Mental Wellness Day for Schools - June 3, 2021

As we move through this pandemic, mental health and wellness in our school communities is top-of-mind. The resilience and fortitude shown across our province and especially in our schools has been evident. I thank you for everything you have done and continue to do to support the well-being of students and staff.


In recognition of this and the continued need to build our collective capacity to support mental health and well‑being, I invite students, teachers, support staff, parents, administrators and Board members to come together on Thursday, June 3, 2021, to participate in Mental Wellness Day for Schools—with the theme ‘Take care of yourself and each other’. I invite you to mark this day in your calendar and visit the website for detailed information, including the agenda.


Activities include:

· inspirational messages by public figures such as country singer Brett Kissel and former NHL player and advocate Sheldon Kennedy


· engaging sessions by Alberta Health Services, Ever Active Schools, Jack.org and the College of Alberta School Superintendents; and


· key learnings from speakers such as Dr. Jody Carrington and Dr. Michael Ungar.


Online events, of about one hour each, have been designed for specific audiences: Kindergarten to Grade 3; Grades 4 to 6; Grades 7 to 12; school staff; administrators; and parents. There will also be a live kick-off session in the morning for everyone. To make sure this event fits into busy school schedules, teachers may choose to have their classes view a session live or, in many cases, watch them online for up to two weeks later.


A detailed description of the events, along with times, links and promotional materials, is available on the website. I encourage you to share these events widely with students, staff and parents so we may come together as a community in support of mental wellness. Please share the attached poster as well.


As always, please know that if a child or youth needs someone to talk to, they may reach the Kids Help Line at 1-800-668-6868 or by texting 686868 (but call 911 if in crisis). They may also access online resources at The Alberta COVID-19 Youth Mental Health Resource Hub.

Thank you for your continued commitment in supporting the mental health and well-being of our school communities.


Sincerely,


Adriana LaGrange

Minister of Education

A Message to our Graduates from the Board of Trustees

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path,

and leave a trail.

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)


Congratulations to all of the ECACS graduates!! What a proud moment it is to recognize this massive milestone and to think about the many possibilities that lay ahead for each of you. Regardless of the path, you choose, may God richly bless and protect you and your family! This has been a unique year of learning at both the school as well as online and each of you worked very hard to do your best! We are proud of you and your accomplishments. Enjoy your summer and best wishes as you embark on this new chapter of your life.

St. Thomas Aquinas School Receives Grant from Park Plains East Teachers Association

St. Thomas Aquinas School would like to Thank the Park Plains East Teachers for providing a Special Projects Award of $1500.00 to be used for their new Indoor Garden. The funding was used towards the purchase of indoor gardening equipment including:


  • 3 hydroponic tower garden grow systems, LED ind0or grow lights and tower garden dollies
  • shelving unit with 5 LED strip lights
  • 3 work composters and supplies
  • EC meter, light controller timers, potting soil and seeds


The indoor garden was used for the new Grade 10 CTS course: Plant Propagation. The Students sprouted, transplanted cared for and harvested many plants throughout the course, as well as composting plant cuttings to produce rich soil. Junior high and elementary classes have had workshops in the indoor garden, learning about cycles of matter and energy, photosynthesis and pollination, as well as identifying various plants. Chemistry 20 students tested and adjusted pH levels and maintained water and nutrients in the garden towers. The students have benefited from the indoor gardening experiences, including:


  • Actively engages students in the gardening process
  • Increases students' understanding and appreciation of agriculture stewardship, such as conservation of water, replenishing soil organic quality, and reducing soil erosion.
  • Promotes environmental connection awareness, and activism such as sustainability, use of resources, carbon sequestering, transitions to renewable energy.
  • Provides opportunities for learning about social justice, inequalities in land usage and ownership, sustainability of feeding the world's population, impacts of pesticides and chemical fertilizer use, the need to establish a circular economy.
  • Encourages young people to eat fresh, nutritious and pesticide free fruit and vegetables all year round.
  • Improves the learning environment, not just physically: such as air quality, but also emotionally and mentally: such as boosting mood, reducing anxiety and increasing sensory stimulus.
  • Provides a hands on and inquiry based learning, and engagement of students with diverse learning needs.
  • Develops interpersonal connectedness and collaboration within the classroom, school and community.


The indoor gardening project was also funded by a Nutrition grant through our school division.

STA New School Project June Updates

The new school build in Provost is proceeding well and the school community is eagerly awaiting the much anticipated completion date. The division would like to thank Chris Ritchie again for all the drone images and videos provided throughout the construction process.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Vaccination Update

Dear parents and guardians:


The past 15 months of living and working during the COVID-19 pandemic have been very difficult, especially for our children and youth. The COVID-19 vaccines that we have provide the chance to get the virus under control and help us to get back to the activities that are so important to our families’ health and well-being. I am writing to share information with you about these vaccines. Over the past months, I have heard questions from parents about the COVID-19 vaccines, and as a parent myself, I understand that you want to make an informed choice to keep your families safe.


Vaccines make our immune systems stronger by building antibodies that help prevent and fight off diseases. The COVID-19 vaccines are a safe way you can protect yourself and your family. They work well, even against known variant strains. It is much safer to be immunized than to get the COVID-19 disease.