Welcome parents, guardians, and students to the 2016-17 school year at Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School. I speak for all of us when I say we are proud and humbled to welcome such a large number of students to our school: our enrolment is very strong, and your confidence in us is appreciated. A particularly warm welcome to the class of 2020—our incoming grade 9 students who enjoyed a two day orientation this past Thursday and Friday, September 1 and 2.
Take a moment to look around the school. There are so many opportunities at hand. Les Miserables, this year’s musical, has auditions starting almost immediately. Junior and senior football, boys’ volleyball, girls’ basketball, field hockey, clubs and activities of all kinds. Pick one and get involved, whether you are a returning student or a new arrival. Statistics tell us that students involved in at least one extra-curricular activity will outperform their peers who do not engage outside of the classroom. And that goes for parents, too.
Our first School Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 14th at 6:30 in our new Learning Commons. Be a good role model for your child and get involved in the school. We have one meeting per month for about an hour. In year’s past, parents and guardians have helped fund student events, wellness activities, form policy on our uniform, and organize parent engagement evenings.
This summer, as part of our on-going upgrade of facilities, we upgraded our roof, added a security fence around our outdoor basketball court and upgraded our library—now ‘learning commons’. Part of this process that, perhaps, is not as visible, is the change to our on-line presence. We have a new public website, we have a new internal electronic communication system for staff, and we have a new student information management system through Microsoft Office 365. Information will be conveyed to students and families through this new system. Teachers will be reviewing these changes with their homerooms in September.
You will note our pastoral theme for the 2016-17 school year— “Created in God’s Image” - which speaks to the inclusive nature of our school community. We are all created in God’s image, and, as such, deserve a place, deserve to be heard, deserve respect, and deserve care.
Finally, I am happy to announce that I will be retiring from my employment at the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic School Board, effective February 3rd, 2017, the end of the first semester. I’m not gone yet! But I want everyone to know that it’s been an honour to serve this community and that I can step away knowing that the school rests on a firm foundation and is in good hands.