Roman Catholic Separate School Boards were originally created to allow Catholic parents the choice of providing an education for their children that would fit into their vision of life as revealed by the Gospel. By entering into a partnership with the parish and the school, parents could ensure that their child would experience education permeated with religious values which would prepare them for their journey of Faith through life.
Catholic schools are to be authentic communities of the Catholic Faith where teachers share their Faith through daily prayer and witness to the Gospel values. The school is a caring community of the Church where the dignity of each person is recognized, where social justice is encouraged within and by the Church, and where students are challenged to become "fully alive". It is often the primary place where young people experience the Church as a community shaped by faith, hope and love.
Over the years, the principles of the Catholic Faith were taught with the support of Catechisms and a variety of textbook series. Presently, we have a Family Life program entitled Fully Alive, produced by the Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops, and a Religious Education series entitled Born of the Spirit, produced by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. These are both superb Catholic educational programs that help the student to see the human person as having a physical, intellectual and spiritual nature. These programs help our teachers and parents, through use of the family booklet, to provide a Catholic education for our children based on the authorized teachings of the Church.
Ontario Catholic Graduate Expectations
Distinctive expectations for graduates of Catholic schools are determined and shaped by the vision and destiny of the human person emerging from our faith tradition. This Christian anthropology or world view, reveals the dignity and value of the person. Our tradition tells us God creatively and lovingly calls each of us into the wonder of life, sustaining us by the power of the Holy Spirit, throughout the human journey, into life eternal. We acknowledge that the journey includes moments of brokenness and sin. We recognize in the person of Jesus, the risen Christ, the human face of God sharing our life in order to heal us of our brokenness and liberate us from sin.
This Christian vision of the human journey is best understood within the context of relationship. It is accomplished in community, in solidarity with brothers and sisters in the Church and beyond.
Catholic education views human life as an integration of body, mind, and spirit. Rooted in this vision, Catholic education fosters the search for knowledge as a lifelong spiritual and academic quest. The expectations of Catholic graduates, therefore, are described not only in terms of knowledge and skills, but in terms of values, attitudes and actions.
The Catholic school graduate is expected to be:
- A discerning believer formed in the Catholic faith community who celebrates the signs and sacred mystery of God's presence through word, sacrament, prayer, forgiveness, reflection and moral living.
- An effective communicator who speaks, writes and listens honestly and sensitively, responding critically in light of gospel values.
- A reflective, creative and holistic thinker who solves problems and makes responsible decisions with an informed moral conscience for the common good.
- A self-directed, responsible, lifelong learner who develops and demonstrates their God-given potential.
- A collaborative contributor who finds meaning, dignity and vocation in work which respects the rights of all and contributes to the common good.
- A caring family member who attends to family, school, parish, and the wider community.
- A responsible citizen who gives witness to Catholic social teaching by promoting peace, justice and the sacredness of human life.
Northern Ontario Catholic Curriculum Cooperative (NOCCC)
The Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic District School Board is one of 11 English Catholic school boards in northern Ontario which belong to the Northern Ontario Catholic Curriculum Cooperative (NOCCC). The cooperative develops and produces classroom materials that reflect Ministry of Education guidelines and integrate our Catholic faith and tradition as well.
NOCCC offers teachers the opportunity to directly influence what is taught in the classroom. Our teachers and those from our partner boards are released from the classroom to join writing teams which produce materials for classroom teachers. Often these same teachers are then asked to present workshops to other teachers about the resource materials.
Teachers then return to their classrooms with new ideas and a more thorough understanding of the curriculum documents. As teachers work in our classrooms, they present our faith within the context of the Religion and Family Life programs. They also use many teachable moments to share their faith throughout all areas of the curriculum.
The Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic District School Board is proud to be a partner in this cooperative which produces quality Catholic curriculum for our schools and provides an excellent form of professional development for Catholic educators.
Chaplaincy is a significant part of what constitutes the distinctiveness of Catholic education. The chaplain's goal is ultimately the spiritual growth of the school community. As stated by the Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops, "it is this person or team who creates in the community of the school opportunities to grow in Christ whether these be liturgical or sacramental, prayerful or apostolic, personal or communal, individual or shared."
Our Chaplains/Faith Animators:
- Provide a ministry of presence and leadership in the spiritual professional development of members of our education community.
- Participate in the implementation of bereavement and crisis intervention programs and teams, as required.
- Coordinate the faith day activities and assist educators with school-level faith development activities.
- Review and distribute resources in the areas of spiritual faith development.
- Provide assistance, as requested, to the Principal of the local OCSTA/OECTA Religious Education Additional Qualification courses.
- Facilitate system and school celebrations through prayer, sacraments and liturgies, as directed by administration.
- Provide spiritual counselling as may be required in special circumstances.
- Provide effective liaison with the dioceses, local parishes, deanery and other personnel and agencies which provide similar services.
- Assist principals in their planning and implementation of spiritual development and social justice programs in their schools.