February 2nd to 8th 2014 was Catholic Schools Week in Prince George. Catholic Schools Week is intended to highlight our strengths as Catholic schools and celebrate our students and staff. Here is a message from the superintendent.
Welcome to our vibrant Catholic Learning Communities!
Our Catholic Elementary Schools have a proud tradition of providing an excellent education to our students. From the time you walk in the front door, you will know it is a Catholic School. We teach the BC Curriculum and integrate the teachings of our faith throughout the day and year. Many special school ceremonies and gatherings
revolve around the liturgical calendar as we teach our students about the importance of Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, All Saints Day, Family Day, St. Valentines and St. Patrick’s Days, and sacramental preparation. Here is a link to our special Christmas concerts, retelling the greatest story ever told. Students
in our Catholic Schools learn about the treasure and significance of the Mass while participating in Mass regularly. Staff pray together with their colleagues each morning and before meetings. They also work with our priest and teach our students to pray. Our priest is in the school regularly making connections with students and staff, often helping at school functions. Our students participate in volleyball, basketball tournament at UNBC, annual soccer tournament at Rotary fields each May, cross country teams, and each school has a strong arts program. Many of our schools have smart boards and interactive technology to assist staff in providing engaging lessons. We have an exciting iGeneration Tech Plan to ensure students and staff have current technology to learn the skills they need to be successful in the 21st century.
Parents have many ways to get involved in their child’s Catholic Education. They can be on the School Council which plays an important role in the governance of our schools. They can also choose to be part of the Parent Support Group, or volunteer to share their gifts and talents as a tradesperson. All can join the many who pray daily for our staff and students.
We are proud to have three Catholic Elementary Schools in Prince George and others in Dawson Creek, Smithers, Terrace, Kitimat and Prince Rupert. The 79 Catholic Schools in BC make up 31% of the Independent Schools. Independent schools have experienced increased student enrolment each year since 1977-78. Our Catholic schools in Prince Rupert, Kitimat and Terrace have expanded to K-8 and K-9 with Pre-Kindergarten options in most of our schools. Our three Catholic schools in Prince George include international students and continued growth in enrollment and programs offered.
The Ministry of Education has enacted a program to ensure that students in our BC schools are safe and have strategies to deal with bullying. The program includes training for 15,000 educators in public and independent schools to identify and address threats to students proactively. A new website has been activated that provides helpful information to students and parents on how to deal with bullying, and contains an anonymous reporting tool for students at www.ReportBullyingBC.ca. Independent schools have been given the opportunity to participate fully in the provincial anti-bullying strategy.
FISA BC is grateful to the BC government for extending anti-bullying support to independent schools so that all schools in the province will have the tools to support victims of bullying and additional means to keep our students safe.
Grade seven graduates of our Catholic Learning Communities enter their teen years with a solid foundation and understanding of their faith. In addition, they develop a network of friends and connections in the community while acquiring a solid academic foundation. This Christ centered foundation enables our youth to serve as disciples and to witness their faith in a global society.
On behalf of all of our Catholic Schools in the Diocese I would like to express our gratitude to Bishop Stephen Jensen for his leadership in Catholic education. With his wealth of knowledge and experience, he humbly guides our endeavours in fostering faith and academic excellence in our schools.
If you would like to learn more about our Catholic Schools, please contact the school principals for a tour, visit our schools page or contact me anytime firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-964-5642.
I am proud to serve as the Superintendent of our 8 Catholic Schools – vibrant Catholic Learning Communities.
Chris Dugdale, Superintendent