Forums on Catholic education slated

FORT FRANCES—Members of the Catholic community are invited to participate in public discussions on the present and future of Catholic education at a series of forums being hosted by the Northwest Catholic District School Board.
“We’re very pleased to be offering a Catholicity discussion forum in all of our school communities,” said Mary-Catherine Kelly, the board’s director of education.
The initiative is “part of an awareness and engagement strategy undertaken by Ontario’s Catholic education partners . . . to deepen and broaden the level of support for our Catholic schools,” she wrote in her monthly report, which was presented to trustees at the regular board meeting here Tuesday night.
“Increasing awareness of what Catholic schools are really all about, and what they contribute to our society, is the first step in achieving that broader support,” Kelly added.
Kelly and Kathy Mueller, the board’s Catholicity co-ordinator, will give a presentation at each of the forums, and then facilitate the ensuing discussion.
They will look at what currently is going on in Catholic schools, what makes them different from public schools, and the challenges they face in the future.
The board will host a forum in each of its school communities—Fort Frances, Stratton, Dryden, and Sioux Lookout.
Dryden will host the first forum on Tuesday, March 20 at St. Joseph’s School. The second one will be held at Sacred Heart School in Sioux Lookout the following night (March 21).
The next week, St. Francis will host the discussion in Fort Frances on Tuesday, March 27 while Our Lady of the Way School in Stratton will host the final forum the following night (March 28).
All four forums will start at 6:30 p.m.
“We’ll be collating the data from each of our school communities,” Kelly noted.
That information will be shared with trustees locally, and with the Ontario Institute for Catholic Education, which is encouraging Catholic boards in Ontario to organize these forums.
Anyone interested in attending any of the four forums is asked to contact Pat Loshaw at the board office (274-2931 ext. 24).
Also at Tuesday night’s meeting, trustees heard presentations from Kim Anderson, curriculum co-ordinator, and Susan Vandenbrand, a teacher at Our Lady of the Way, on recent professional development workshops for teachers focusing on math and numeracy skills.
The board’s next regular meeting will be held Saturday, March 24 at 10:30 a.m. in its office next to St. Francis School here.

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