Meeting the needs of all learners
At HCDSB, we value excellence in learning and are committed to providing exceptional education by meeting the learning needs of all learners so that they may realize their full God-given potential.
We will prepare all students to be ready for success in their chosen pathway – apprenticeship, college, university, community living or the workplace.
We know that for today’s students, success in their future requires a different set of skills and knowledge than what was needed in the past.
As we pursue the goal of success for students, our understanding of student achievement must include not only the acquisition of literacy and numeracy skills, but also the development of so much more. Critical thinking skills, independent inquiry skills, superior communication skills, and a highly developed capacity for collaborative work is important if our students are going to be sufficiently adaptable and flexible to adjust to new technologies, emerging opportunities, and challenges yet unknown.
Our Goals Under the Priority of Achieving:
- Educational experiences and opportunities are differentiated to support all learners.
- Teachers and learners are collaborating in innovative school and classroom communities that encourage student engagement, learning and achievement.
- We hold high expectations for all learners.
The annual Strategic Plan Monitoring Survey found that 74% of respondents agreed that HCDSB offers educational experiences and opportunities to support all learners.
The annual Strategic Plan Monitoring Survey found that 78% of respondents agreed that at HCDSB schools, teachers and learners collaborate in ways that promote student engagement, learning, and achievement.
Student Excellence at HCDSB
Each year, the Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB) celebrates exceptional students across our school district at the Annual Student Awards of Excellence Ceremony. In the 2020-2021 school year, due to COVID-19 health and safety measures in place, we recognized and congratulated our student recipients of the Student Awards of Excellence and the Spirit of Inclusion Awards virtually.
The Student Awards of Excellence are presented annually to a student from each elementary and secondary school who has demonstrated outstanding qualities in Catholic leadership, family commitment, involvement in school affairs and community activities.
The Spirit of Inclusion Award was created by the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC), and is presented each year to one elementary student and one secondary student who has demonstrated a commitment to school activities and to their community, making their peers feel valued and respected.
Holy Rosary (Milton) C.E.S.
St. John C.E.S.
St. Patrick C.E.S.
St. Paul C.E.S.
St. Raphael C.E.S.
Corpus Christi C.S.S.
Sacred Heart of Jesus C.E.S.
St. Anne C.E.S.
St. Christopher C.E.S.
St. Elizabeth Seton C.E.S.
Notre Dame C.S.S.
Canadian Martyrs C.E.S.
St. Gabriel C.E.S.
St. Mark C.E.S.
St. Timothy C.E.S.
Christ the King C.S.S.
Holy Cross C.E.S.
St. Brigid C.E.S.
St. Catherine of Alexandria C.E.S.
St. Francis of Assisi C.E.S.
St. Joseph Acton C.E.S.
Bishop P.F. Reding C.S.S.
Holy Rosary (Milton) C.E.S.
Our Lady of Victory C.E.S.
St. Anthony of Padua C.E.S.
St. Peter C.E.S.
St. Francis Xavier C.S.S.
Lumen Christi C.E.S.
Queen of Heaven C.E.S.
St. Benedict C.E.S.
Maria Eduarda Nalevaiko
St. Scholastica C.E.S.
Guardian Angels C.E.S.
Our Lady of Fatima C.E.S.
Thomas Merton Centre for Continuing Education
Holy Trinity C.S.S.
Holy Family C.E.S.
Our Lady of Peace C.E.S.
St. Andrew C.E.S.
St. Marguerite d’Youville C.E.S.
Ava Lynn Concepcion
St. Michael C.E.S.
St. Ignatius of Loyola C.S.S.
St. Bernadette C.E.S.
St. Gregory the Great C.E.S.
St. Joan of Arc C.E.S.
St. John Paul II C.E.S.
St. Mary C.E.S.
St. Matthew C.E.S.
St. Teresa of Calcutta C.E.S.
St. Thomas Aquinas C.S.S.
St. Dominic C.E.S.
St. Luke C.E.S.
St. Nicholas C.E.S.
St. Vincent C.E.S.
Spirit of Inclusion (SEAC) Award
St. Benedict C.E.S.
Holy Trinity C.S.S.
A Perfect Score for the 2020-2021 Top IB Graduating Students!
Graduating students of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme are outstanding examples of inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people.
David Nguyen and Jessie Peng, graduating students of the IB Programme for the 2020-2021 school year both scored 45 out of 45 possible points; a perfect score in their studies!
Jessie finished with a 7 out of 7 in her English, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, French and History courses, and David finished with a 7 out of 7 in his Biology, Chemistry, English, French, Mathematics and History courses. 7 out of 7 is the highest score attainable in an IB course.
“My experience with IB was defined by exploding chemistry experiments, mind-blowing space-time theories in physics, math puns before math tests, French Socratic seminars, history debates about the cause of WWI, and exploring slang and colloquial language in English…my teachers and all 36 of my classmates helped me to learn more about myself, grow more confidently, and ultimately find success. IB attracts like-minded, creative and bright individuals.”Jessie Peng, 2020-2021 IB Graduate
“Attending St. Thomas Aquinas’ (STA) IB Diploma Programme was undoubtedly one of the best academic decisions I’ve made. The IB Programme not only provides a rigorous and comprehensive curriculum but also facilitates the development of vital critical thinking, problem-solving, communication and research skills…my supportive teachers and like-minded classmates at STA helped me grow, both as a student and individual. STA’s phenomenal staff and community certainly impacted my IB experience for the better.”David Nguyen, 2020-2021 IB Graduate
- St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School in Oakville received accreditation to offer the IB Diploma Programme to students in March, 2012.
- The IB Diploma Programme curriculum is made up of six (6) subject groups, comprising theory of knowledge (TOK), creativity, activity, service (CAS) and the extended essay. Read more about the IB DP curriculum here.
HCDSB Virtual Elementary School
In order to address health and safety concerns due to COVID-19, HCDSB implemented remote (online) learning as an option for instruction delivery for students.
The HCDSB Virtual Catholic Elementary School was implemented in the 2020-2021 school year, which served approximately 5000 students!
Virtual class placements included Kindergarten to grade 8, French Immersion, Extended French, a grade 5-8 Gifted class, as well as a Structured Teaching class.
Approximately 340 staff worked collaboratively to engage students across 195 classrooms in a virtual setting. Staff included teachers, designated early childhood educators, educational assistants, special education resource teachers, and french as a second language teachers.
Korean Language Students at Thomas Merton Centre Participate in Virtual Tour of Gyeongbokgung Palace
During February 2021, Korean Language students at Thomas Merton Centre for Adult and Continuing Education participated in a live virtual tour of Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, South Korea.
Students were able to explore a famous destination in a unique, virtual setting.
“The tour guide walked around to tell us about the history of the palace, as well as the Korean culture while students actively asked questions,” said Vivienne Kang, a Language teacher at Thomas Merton Centre. “Students had a lot of fun and were impressed by how technology was used to create such an engaging, educational experience! For anyone who is interested in learning Korean; we not only teach you the Korean language, but also provide cultural activities including K-Pop dance, singing, etc.! Anyone is welcome!”
The tour was conducted on MyRealTrip, a Korean app that allows members to book virtual travel experiences from anywhere in the world. A video of the Gyeongbokgung Palace virtual tour is available for viewing online.
Bishop Reding Student Recipient of Queen’s University Chancellor Scholarship
The Queen’s University Chancellors Scholarship is awarded to secondary students who have demonstrated academic excellence, creative thinking and leadership.
Hana was part of Bishop Reding’s Advanced Placement Program and was involved in various extra-curricular and volunteer opportunities. She was the President of Bishop Reding’s Student Council, DECA Club and Business Club, as well as being an HCDSB Student Senator.
In addition to her academic achievements, Hana dedicated 700+ hours volunteering in the Milton community.
In September, 2021, Hana began her post-secondary education at Harvard University for Economics and Government on a full four-year scholarship.
Hana was also awarded four-year scholarships to Duke University and Vanderbilt University in the U.S.
Congratulations, Hana, on this outstanding accomplishment! We wish you the best of luck in your post-secondary studies!
Holy Rosary (Milton) Catholic Elementary School Teacher Jessica Fernandes Featured on TVOkids!
Jessica’s lesson was focused on digital mindfulness to teach students self-management strategies that promote positivity, inclusivity and kindness.
Jessica’s motivation for teaching about digital mindfulness came from her experience dealing with a wide range of student needs; recognizing the tools needed to support their mental health and well-being. Her lesson expanded on the goals of Holy Rosary (Milton)‘s School Improvement Plan (SIP), specifically maintaining student engagement, inclusivity, and equity.
“I jumped at the opportunity because I grew up watching TVO as a kid. Now, as a teacher, I use their lessons to teach my students a variety of concepts in a fun and engaging way,” said Jessica. “As a Special Education Teacher, I have a range of diverse needs in my class and as a result, I differentiate my instruction while including student interests. I have found that TVO has a wide range of lessons/episodes that follow the Ontario Curriculum, while keeping it engaging for the students.”
Congratulations, Jessica, for your achievements in promoting digital mindfulness! Watch the Digital Mindfulness lesson online.
Corpus Christi Student Named Hockey Canada Champion
Mikael Kingo, a Grade 11 student at Corpus Christi Catholic Secondary School, was recognized as a Hockey Canada Champion for his efforts in giving back to the Canadian hockey community.
Hockey Canada and Scotiabank recognize Champions as individuals who make a significant impact on the game and demonstrate the values important to Canadian hockey.
Mikael was recognized for providing equipment to young goalies through a ‘goalie giveaway’. Through this initiative, players submit an essay describing the challenges they have faced throughout their hockey journey. Once Mikael decides on the player who needs it most, he raises money through his clothing line, Sunny Isles, to purchase their new equipment.
Mikael’s motivation to give back began when his mom, Lisette, was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) – a connective tissue disorder without a cure. In 2008, Lisette founded The Angel Project, an organization that raises funds for complex care facilities. After realizing the impact his fundraising efforts had on others, Mikael launched the goalie giveaway to help other athletes.
Congratulations, Mikael, on this outstanding achievement!
HCDSB Teachers Featured in 101.3 FM’s Excellent Educators Day!
February 11, 2021 marked ‘Excellent Educators Day’ at 101.3 FM Milton, and three of our HCDSB teachers were featured for making a difference in our school communities.
Doreen Bonsu from Bishop Reding Catholic Secondary School was inspired to start a career in education because of the strong relationships she built with her teachers and the positive impact they had on her life growing up. This past year, in light of recent events, Doreen has made it her mission to incorporate culturally responsive pedagogy in her classroom. She engages her students in tough conversations surrounding racial injustice, and encourages them to make connections between current and historical events. Listen to Doreen’s interview with 101.3 FM online here.
Prior to beginning her teaching career, Mary Mahler from St. Christopher Catholic Elementary School always knew she would work with children.
The shining moment in her teaching career to date was getting Ministry approval for her outdoor Kindergarten classroom. The outdoor Kindergarten classroom provides a rich, green play-based learning environment for students, all while helping them develop their gross-motor, fine-motor, and sensory experiences. Listen to Mary’s interview with 101.3 FM online here.
Vanessa Szwed, from Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Elementary School began her teaching career to inspire her students with the same passion she has for life-long learning. Vanessa uses the words ‘Voice, Choice, Relevancy, and Purpose’ when engaging in authentic learning experiences, and enjoys creating long-lasting connections with her students. Listen to Vanessa’s interview with 101.3 FM online here.
Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School Students Compete at 2020 Canadian Olympic Swimming Trials
From June 19-23, 2021, Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School students Ella Jansen (Grade 10) and Kenna Smallegange (Grade 12) competed for their spot on the Canadian 2020 Summer Olympics Team in the Canadian Olympic Swimming Trials.
Ella is a competitive swim team member for the Etobicoke Swim Club, and competed in the 100-metre fly, 400-metre free, 800-metre free, 200-metre individual medley, 200-metre fly and 1500-metre free events at the Trials.
Kenna is a competitive swim team member for the Burlington Aquatic Devilrays, and competed in the 200-metre, 400-metre, 800-metre and 1500-metre free events at the Trials.
Congratulations on this amazing accomplishment, Ella and Kenna!
Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math (STEAM) Steering Committee
In October 2020, a Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math (STEAM) Steering Committee was created to help increase the profile and interest in STEAM co-curricular and extra-curricular activities across our board.
The committee consisted of myself, the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Board, Trustees, representatives from our Elementary and Secondary OECTA units, Elementary and Secondary administrators, other members of our Curriculum and Student Success teams, and a staff representative from McMaster University.
The Steering Committee examined HCDSB programs and initiatives, and gathered information from other school districts, as well as post-secondary, industry and government resources.
On May 18, 2021, the Steering Committee presented a summary of recommendations to be implemented across our board.
STEAM Steering Committee Recommendations
- Increasing cross-panel initiatives
- Hiring dedicated staff (e.g. Consultants, Itinerants, IT staff)
- Dedicated project funding
- Providing resources to support STEAM
- Planning competitions, contests and field trips
- Ensuring equitable access to STEAM opportunities
- Creating dedicated STEAM spaces in schools, including Library Learning Commons/Maker Spaces
- Implementing school-level STEAM Leads
- Feature STEAM guest speakers
- Develop interdisciplinary learning at the secondary-level
- Increase awareness of STEAM Specialist High Skills Major Programs (SHSM) and Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Programs (OYAP)
Professional Development Recommendations
- Professional development opportunities for staff
- Offering STEAM Additional Qualification (AQ) courses for HCDSB staff
- Introducing dedicated writing teams
Bishop Reding Hosts Girls in STEM Challenge
On May 11-12, 2021, Bishop Reding Catholic Secondary School’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Team hosted its first ‘Girls in STEM Challenge’.
The Girls in STEM Challenge was held as a virtual event to give female students the opportunity to collaborate with each other through leadership and mentoring opportunities in STEM disciplines.
The goal of the challenge was to encourage and motivate female students to take STEM courses throughout secondary school, to foster a strong female mentorship program and to recognize the value in pursuing careers in STEM.
The STEM Challenge welcomed teams made up of female grade 8 students from Bishop Reding’s family of schools: Holy Rosary Catholic Elementary School (Milton), Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Elementary School, St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Elementary School, St. Peter Catholic Elementary School, and the Extended French Program at St. Benedict Catholic Elementary School.
Congratulations to all participants for their accomplishments and enthusiasm, as well as Bishop Reding’s STEM Team for organizing the outstanding event: Simone Coutinho, Sarah Delanty, Amna Faisal, Jessica Habib, Isabelle Lobo, Ankita Menon, Nicola Odu, Kelsey Rough, Maira Siddiqi, and Isabella Vandenbogaerde.
Governor General Bronze Medal Award Recipients
The Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB) announced the recipients of the Governor General Bronze Medal, awarded to the graduating student with the highest average from each secondary school.
The average is calculated based on the final marks received in all Grade 11 and 12 courses, as listed on each student’s official transcript, issued by the Ministry of Education.
2021 Governor General Recipients
|Student||Secondary School||Average Achieved|
|David John Colterman|| Assumption Catholic Secondary School, Burlington||97.73%|
|Aditi Rajnish||Bishop P.F. Reding Catholic Secondary School, Milton||99.31%|
|Jamie Lee Stumpf|| Christ the King Catholic Secondary School, Georgetown||98.10%|
|Katelyn Harness|| Corpus Christi Catholic Secondary School, Burlington||98.57%|
|Giovanna Rosa Gerada|| Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School, Oakville||98.94%|
|Ava Dey||St. Francis Xavier Catholic Secondary School, Milton||96.36%|
|Kyumin (Clara) Kim|| Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School, Burlington|| 97.89%|
|Rylan Donohoe|| St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Secondary School, Oakville|| 99.11%|
|Jessie Peng|| St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School, Oakville||98.18%|
Quick Facts about the Governor General’s Academic Medal
- For over 130 years, the Governor General’s Academic Medals recognize the academic achievements of students across Canada.
- Lord Dufferin, Canada’s third Governor General after Confederation, created the Academic Medals in 1873 to encourage excellence across the nation.
- For more information and a list of recipients, please visit: www.gg.ca.
Bishop Reding Teacher Interviewed for Professionally Speaking Magazine on Remote Learning Teaching Techniques
Cesar Da Silva, a Transportation Technology teacher at Bishop Reding Catholic Secondary School was interviewed by Professionally Speaking magazine about his adapted teaching strategies in the time of remote learning.
Professionally Speaking is published quarterly by the Ontario College of Teachers to inform its members about the activities and decisions of the College. The magazine provides a forum for discussion of issues relevant to the future of teaching and learning, teachers’ professional learning, and standards of practice.
The interview explored the challenges of adapting to remote learning and offered effective strategies for teaching technology courses online.
Before the pandemic, Cesar Da Silva would teach his Vehicle and Engine Service Repair class with hands-on service and repair demonstrations on physical models in class. Students would then practice in groups at various stations throughout the room, and communicate their learning through review sheets before moving to the next station.
Since the introduction of remote learning, Cesar adapted his teaching to effectively deliver the curriculum to both in-person and remote learners. His theory and workstation demonstrations are now delivered synchronously (in real time) using a laptop camera and web conferencing software.
Cesar modified his welding helmet to add a mount for his cellphone to help him create YouTube tutorials for each workstation in the classroom. The videos are filmed in a first-person point of view and shared online and in class through QR codes for students to watch and learn. With this system, in-person learners are able to follow along a procedure, and remote learners are able to watch a repair virtually as if they are performing the job themselves.
A 360-degree camera has also been used to create a virtual walk-through environment of the transportation technology room for remote learners to navigate the shop, and locate tools, cleanup and safety equipment.
“Have faith in your own creative ways of adapting new techniques,” said Cesar, when asked what advice he could give to other Technology Teachers.
Thank you, Mr. Da Silva for your commitment to teaching your students in such an innovative and interactive way!
Click here to watch a tutorial from Mr. Da Silva!
Virtual Skills Ontario Competition
On May 12, 2021, HCDSB secondary students participated in the 2021 Virtual Skills Ontario Competition.
Skills Ontario aims to advance the development of world-class technological and employability skills in Ontario youth by competing through a wide range of skills contests.
The Competition surrounds 50+ skills contests in fields including: aircraft maintenance, culinary arts, graphic design, photography, plumbing and more.
This year, 10 HCDSB students competed in the Virtual Competition. Congratulations to all competitors for your accomplishments, and to Veronica Kawa of Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School for winning a gold medal in the Landscape Design skills contest!
List of Competitors
|Student Name||School||Skills Competition|
|Bishop Reding Catholic Secondary School||Robotics|
|Veronica Kawa||Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School||Landscape Design|
|Anthony Sestanovic||Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School||Architectural Technology and Design|
|Matthew Taylor||St. Francis Xavier Catholic Secondary School||Coding|
|Nicole Hotchkiss||St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Secondary School||Television and Video Production|
|Celestia Peritore||St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Secondary School||Television and Video Production|
|Giovanni Sautto||St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Secondary School||Photography|
Click here to watch the closing ceremony.
St. Ignatius of Loyola Students Place Second at Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF)
On May 21, 2021, St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Secondary School students Rylan Donohoe and Julia Seymour placed second at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in the category ‘Energy: Sustainable Materials and Design.’
The Regeneron ISEF is the world’s largest and most prestigious high school science competition. Each year, more than 1800 students in Grades 9-12 compete at the Fair by winning a top prize at an affiliated local, regional, state or national science fair.
In April 2021, the pair placed in the top five of out of 200+ projects at the Bay Area Science and Engineering Fair (BASEF) which qualified them to compete at the Regeneron ISEF.
Rylan and Julia created one of fourteen projects to represent Team Canada at the Fair. Their project, A Novel Lignocellulosic Pre-treatment Method, focuses on developing a novel system of processing recycled cardboard into bioethanol using microwave and submerged ultrasonic irradiation.
The award marks the first time that HCDSB students have placed at the Regeneron ISEF.
Congratulations, Rylan and Julia, for your accomplishments in helping revolutionize the biofuel production industry!
Click here to watch a video about their project.
Bishop Reding Student Offered Prestigious University Scholarships!
Grade 12 student Aditi Rajnish from Bishop Reding Catholic Secondary School received four-year scholarship offers from prestigious North American universities as a result of her academic accomplishments and volunteerism in the Halton community!
Throughout secondary school, Aditi worked at e2 Young Engineers, an after-school learning program that introduces children to knowledge in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Aditi was a lead teacher in the program, delivering hands-on programming and robotics workshops in English and French. Through this program, Aditi made complex concepts such as machine learning and human-computer interaction easily understandable for elementary French-speaking students.
Aditi launched Foundations, a program that provides free math tutoring for students. She was also the Director of Bishop Reding’s STEM Team and volunteered as a finance trainer for her school’s Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) program.
In September, 2021, Aditi began her post-secondary studies at the University of Waterloo for Software Engineering.
“I’m thrilled to be studying Software Engineering at Waterloo, where I aspire to lead a start-up that leverages artificial intelligence for social good,” says Aditi. “I’ll always be thankful to the Bishop Reding community and I look forward to my next adventure!”
Congratulations, Aditi, on this incredible achievement!
The 2020-2021 Director’s Annual Report Sections
Continue browsing the Director’s Report by clicking any of the “View” buttons below.
About the Director’s Annual Report
The Director’s Annual Report provides a snapshot of some of the great things happening across our school district. The real story of accomplishment, however, is captured daily within the walls of our schools and workplaces through the many individual successes that are celebrated by students, staff, and members of our Catholic learning communities.