Principal Weekly Update
November 29-December 3, 2021
Dear John Paul I Families
December is a beautiful time to reflect on all that we have to be grateful for. We are grateful to our school community for their ongoing support and patience. We are people of hope, and this time of waiting reminds us that we are a hope filled people, awaiting the birth of Jesus.
Let us continue to work together to support our entire community; students, staff and parents as we gradually move out of 2021 and into the brand new year!
It was wonderful to celebrate our students’ learning this week! We sincerely thank our families for your partnership and look forward to continued student growth this month.
We hope that this season of Advent offers us, families, students and staff, ways to prepare for Christmas with peace and joy so that we are truly ready to celebrate the birth of Christ. May you and yours be blessed with health and happiness.
John Paul I Giving Tree
We have been receiving inquiries about our John Paul I Giving Tree and we are happy to announce that in the form below, should you choose to participate. The instructions for sending in the gift are also included at the top of the form.
We are always thankful for all of you and our community is made even better when we come together in unity and support!
CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT'S MESSAGE - DECEMBER 2021
Prepare the way of the Lord…
These words from the Gospel on the Second Sunday of Advent are those of John the Baptist spoken in fulfilment of the prophesy of Isaiah. As we begin our journey through Advent, we are all feeling excitement, anticipation, and watchfulness. We prepare the way of the Lord within ourselves and our homes, knowing that the ultimate gift of love, our salvation, is soon to arrive in this world. There are so many things that we can do in preparation for Christmas. Edmonton Catholic Schools is pleased to host our second annual The Art of Advent A Virtual Arts Advent Calendar, a celebration of the sacred beauty of this season. The calendar will go live on November 28 and will include a weekly Advent message from Father Glenn McDonald, weekly prayers, and Advent-themed activities. Students will share Advent-themed arts performances and pieces to be showcased on this online platform. Each day a new square will become live, highlighting student artists throughout the Division. It is truly an exquisite way to celebrate this special liturgical time!
There were many noteworthy items on the agenda for the Public Meeting of our Board of Trustees on November 24. The Division’s Audited Financial Statements for the 2020-21 school year were released. They can be found on www.ecsd.net or directly by clicking here. The Board voted to commence the formal process to consider the closure of St. Basil Catholic Elementary/Junior High School. Information about this process, as well as a report outlining the closure proposal can be found under News and Announcements on www.ecsd.net or directly by clicking here. The Board also voted to commence the formal process to consider the closure of the Grade 7-9 programming at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Elementary/Junior High School. This would result in the relocation of the junior high programs of choice that are currently offered there. Information about this process, as well as a report outlining the closure proposal can be found under News and Announcements on www.ecsd.net or directly by clicking here.
Alberta Education requires all school jurisdictions to submit an Annual Education Results Report (AERR) by November 30 of each year. Alberta Education implemented a new Assurance Framework replacing the previous Accountability Framework. The Edmonton Catholic School Division’s 2020-2021 AERR Report provides an analysis of results, compares provincial and local performance measures, and develops strategies as part of the guidelines and outcomes set by Alberta Education’s new Assurance Measures for each of the following domains: Local and Societal Context, Student Growth and Achievement, Teaching and Leading, Learning Supports, and Governance. You can read the AERR by clicking here.
As I write this final newsletter for 2021, I would like to leave you with the words of Pope Francis from his Homily on the First Sunday of Advent last year:
Dear brothers and sisters, praying and loving: that is what it means to be watchful. When the Church worships God and serves our neighbour, she does not live in the night. However weak and weary, she journeys towards the Lord. Let us now call out to him. Come, Lord Jesus, we need you! Draw close to us. You are the light. Rouse us from the slumber of mediocrity; awaken us from the darkness of indifference. Come, Lord Jesus, take our distracted hearts and make them watchful. Awaken within us the desire to pray and the need to love.
Have a blessed Advent and a glorious Christmas!
Robert Martin, Chief Superintendent
I would like to invite Indigenous families across the Division to our second Braided Journeys Family Wellness Session: Indigenous Family Candlelight Gathering for Grief & Loss Healing. This session will take place on Microsoft Teams on December 13, 2021 at 6pm. To easily access the meeting link, click here.
Session highlights: Within our Indigenous communities we have our own practices of honouring those who have passed on. The pandemic has made it harder for us to gather and for some this has impacted our ability to grieve for loved ones. Also, within our Indigenous communities, we often face compound grief, when we experience multiple deaths in a short amount of time. Whatever your personal family experience is, we would like to take the time to gather online and honour our loved ones who have passed on. The candlelight ceremony will include elements of traditional Cree teachings and Catholic faith. All beliefs are respected in our gathering.
Participants: Please have a candle with matches/lighter for the evening. A picture of your loved one(s) is welcomed (you will be able to show it on screen if you choose to share). Please see the attached poster for more details!
Parents can enter student absences on PowerSchool
The AHS Children, Youth and Families - Addiction and Mental Health Caregiver Education Team is proud to offer free mental health programming for parents and caregivers of children and youth through our partnership with the Mental Health Foundation. In response to the global pandemic, our programming continues to be offered virtually at this time. December Sessions