TOGETHER IN FAITH Care for Our Common Home A collection of school board practices - Ontario ...

 
TOGETHER IN FAITH Care for Our Common Home A collection of school board practices - Ontario ...
TOGETHER IN FAITH
Care for Our Common Home
A collection of school board practices

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TOGETHER IN FAITH Care for Our Common Home A collection of school board practices - Ontario ...
MISSION
STATEMENT

Inspired by the Gospel, the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’
Association provides the provincial voice, leadership and service
for elected Catholic school trustees to promote and protect
publicly funded Catholic education in Ontario.

VISION
STATEMENT

Ontario is enriched by a publicly funded Catholic education
system governed by locally elected Catholic school trustees
who serve with faith, commitment and compassion.
                                                                    TABLE OF
                                                                    CONTENTS

                                                                    Mission and Vision
           Send forth your spirit, O Lord ,                         Page 2
           and renew the face of the Earth.”
           — Psalm 104                                              Message from the President
                                                                    Page 7

                                                                    Message from the Executive
                                                                    Director
                                                                    Page 9

                                                                    A Prayer for Our Earth
                                                                    Page 11

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TOGETHER IN FAITH Care for Our Common Home A collection of school board practices - Ontario ...
Forward. Journey Together   Collaborate and Engage            Nicene Creed
In Faith                    System Level                      Page 47
Page 12                     Page 18
                                                              A Christian Prayer in
Care for Our Common Home    Collaborate and Engage            Union With Creation
Page 14                     School Level                      Page 49
                            Page 26
Collaborate and Engage.                                       Celebrate and Pray
Communicate and Connect,    All Things Bright and Beautiful   System Level
Celebrate and Pray          Page 35                           Page 50
Page 15
                            Communicate and Connect           Celebrate and Pray
The Canticle of Creation,   System Level                      School Level
St. Francis of Assisi       Page 36                           Page 54
Page 17
                            Communicate and Connect
                            School Level
                            Page 42
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TOGETHER IN FAITH Care for Our Common Home A collection of school board practices - Ontario ...
We have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must
    integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear the cry of the earth
    and the cry of the poor.” (Laudato si’, 49)

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TOGETHER IN FAITH Care for Our Common Home A collection of school board practices - Ontario ...
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TOGETHER IN FAITH Care for Our Common Home A collection of school board practices - Ontario ...
The kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.
    Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and
    becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” (Matthew 13:31-32)

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TOGETHER IN FAITH Care for Our Common Home A collection of school board practices - Ontario ...
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
                         PATRICK DALY
                         The entire universe, in its wholeness, manifests the inexhaustible richness
                         of God. Each creature has importance and meaning within the entirety
                         of God’s plan. (LS, 86).

                          Pope Francis’ encyclical letter Laudato si’ (Praise be to You) on Care for Our
                          Common Home calls upon the entire global community to recognize how
every person is profoundly connected and dependent on one another, as well as on the natural world
in which we all live. He states that a great cultural, spiritual and educational challenge stands before
us, and it will demand that we set out on the long path of renewal (LS, 202). This year marks the fifth
anniversary of his encyclical letter addressed ‘to every person living on this planet,” urgently calling on
each one of us for an international ecological conversion.

As a Provincial Catholic School Trustees’ organization, we are called to ask ourselves, ‘How can Catholic
schools shine a light on the Creation teachings and raise the consciousness that, “We are all creatures
of one family” (St. Francis of Assisi)? Pope Francis’ recent message at the International Congress for
Catholic Education spoke specifically on Laudato si’ and the collaboration needed between families,
Catholic schools and the world to educate for solidarity, humanism and the safeguarding of creation.
“Catholic educational institutions,” Pope Francis said in his message, “We cannot fail to include
ecological education, which promotes a covenant between humanity and the environment.” The
Bishops of Ontario, in their pastoral letter Renewing the Promise, remind us that, “Catholic Schools
are places where children and young people encounter Jesus.” To honour Creation and our Creator
through acts of service for the Earth is a magnificent testimony to this calling.

The Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association is committed to doing all we can to assist our
member boards in promoting our collective responsibility to serve as good stewards of God’s Creation.
Each of our Catholic school boards have outstanding, promising practices supporting environmental
awareness and stewardship of Creation. In recognition of the 5th anniversary of Laudato si’, we invited
school boards across the province to submit their great works in collaborating, communicating and
celebrating their stewardship for creation, and we are grateful for their exemplary submissions.

It is our prayer that these pages have captured your great contributions and serves to renew and
strengthen our commitment to the environment and the whole of Creation.

Yours very truly,
Patrick J. Daly
President

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TOGETHER IN FAITH Care for Our Common Home A collection of school board practices - Ontario ...
We have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must
    integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear the cry of the earth
    and the cry of the poor.” (Laudato si’, 49)

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TOGETHER IN FAITH Care for Our Common Home A collection of school board practices - Ontario ...
MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
                        NICK MILANETTI
                       “Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life
                       of virtue.” (LS, 217)

                        To honour the 5th anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato si’, and to
                        carry forth his urgent plea to each one of us for an ecological conversion to
                        ‘care for our common home,’ the Ontario Catholic School Trustees Association
has created this Together in Faith: Collection of School Board Practices summary document.

Stewardship of Creation is fundamental to each of our 29 Catholic school boards in Ontario, and it is
clear that each board is steadfast in their commitment to teaching about Creation and the Creator. The
submissions provided to this document demonstrate significant fidelity to social justice, environmental
awareness and long-term sustainability of the Earth. However, we know we have so much more to do.
I would like to personally thank each of our school boards for sharing their exemplary practice
to create this Together in Faith: Care for Our Common Home document. This celebration of great
environmental practices in our boards will aid in our mutual learning and support of each other to
generate new ideas. As Pope Francis said, “Now is the time for courageous actions and strategies,
aimed at implementing a culture of care and an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring
dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature.”

Reflecting on these pages reminds me of our great blessings as a Catholic Trustee organization, to
come together and take action in solidarity on this important work inspired by Pope Francis. Our
trustees in communion with our students, families and staffs are connected in this mission to bring
love and respect to each one of us as living creatures depending on one another, and ultimately
restoring hope for the future.

Yours in Catholic Education
Nick Milanetti
Executive Director

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TOGETHER IN FAITH Care for Our Common Home A collection of school board practices - Ontario ...
We must therefore encourage and support the ‘ecological conversion’ which
     in recent decades has made humanity more sensitive to the catastrophe to
     which it has been heading.” — Pope St. John Paul II

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A PRAYER FOR OUR EARTH

All-powerful God, You are present in the whole
universe and in the smallest of Your Creatures.
You embrace with Your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of Your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live as brothers
and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor, help us to rescue the
abandoned and forgotten of this earth,
so precious in Your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the
world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty,
not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts of those who look only for
gain at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each living thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united
with every creature as we journey towards
Your infinite light.
We thank You for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle
for justice, love and peace. Amen.
– Pope Francis

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FORWARD
JOURNEY TOGETHER IN FAITH

                            “The Earth is the Lord’s and all it
                            contains, the world, and those who
                            dwell in it.” (Psalm 24:1)

                            The Book of Genesis reveals that we are not
                            simply ‘earthly;’ we also bear within us the
                            ‘breath of life’ that comes from God. Genesis
                            reminds us that every creation that God
                            made, reveals God’s goodness and that all
                            creation reveals something about God, who
                            created it. Each one of us is called to go to
                            the Garden and take care of it and cultivate it,
                            (Genesis 2:15).
                            Pope Francis, from his earliest beginnings,
                            has consistently called upon all people to
                            protect the environment and be stewards
                            of Creation. In his Inauguration Homily
                            on March 19, 2013 he stated, “Let us be
                            ‘protectors’ of creation, protectors of God’s
                            plan inscribed in Nature, protectors of one
                            another and of the environment.” In his
                            2015 encyclical, Laudato si’ or “Praise be
                            to You,” Pope Francis indicated we “exist
                            only in relationships: with God the creator,
                            with our brothers and sisters as members
                            of a common family and with all of God’s
                            creatures within our common home.”
                            Pope Francis reminds us that we live in this
                            common home as one human family in
                            biodiversity with God’s other creatures.
                            In his World Day of Prayer for the Care of
                            Creation message, Pope Francis called out,
                            “All Powerful God, you are present in the
                            whole universe and in the smallest of your
                            creatures. Teach us to recognize that we are
                            profoundly united with every creature as we
                            journey towards Your infinite light.” In his

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message for the 50th anniversary of Earth
Day, Pope Francis renewed his commitment
to Laudato si’, again taking the opportunity
to teach us about Creation and our need to
protect it, saying: “Today we celebrate Earth
Day. I exhort everyone to see the world
through the eyes of God the Creator: the
earth is an environment to be safeguarded,
a garden to be cultivated. The relationship of
mankind with nature must not be conducted
with greed, manipulation and exploitation,
but it must conserve the divine harmony that
exists between creature and Creation within
the logic of respect and care, so it can be put
to the service of our brothers, also of future
generations.”
This 5th Anniversary of Laudato si’, Pope
Francis confirms that we have sinned against
the Creator and our Holy Ground. He
indicated we have failed in our responsibility
to be guardians and stewards of the earth
by polluting it, despoiling it, and endangering
our very lives. Pope Francis calls on all of us
to restore God’s home by working in solidarity
to renew, repair and restore a harmonious
relationship with God, His creation and with
the rest of humanity. Pope Francis urges
each one of us to “long-term action plans
to practice integral ecology in our families,
parishes and dioceses, religious orders,
our schools and universities.” The Ontario
Catholic School Trustees’ Association has
responded by collecting strategic actions
across the 29 school boards promoting
Stewardship of Creation, so we can share and
support each other in this Papal call to action.

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CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME
JOURNEY TOGETHER IN FAITH
                            Welcome to OCSTA’s Together in Faith:
                            Care for our Common Home collection of
                            school board practices. These activities
                            and prayers aim to help us come to a new
                            understanding of Laudato si’ and the whole
                            of Creation. This package will provide
                            school boards and educators with ideas
                            and resources to guide their students in
                            analyzing and responding to environmental
                            sustainability issues locally in their schools
                            and communities.
                            This “Together in Faith” summary reminds us
                            of our responsibility to care for our common
                            home bridging moments of awe and
                            contemplation from Pope Francis’ Laudato
                            si’ and the Bishops of Ontario Renewing the
                            Promise. Pope Francis affirms that the entire
                            material universe speaks of God’s love,
                            his boundless affection for us…soil, water,
                            mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress
                            of God.” ( LS, 84). The Bishops of Ontario
                            affirm that we are “forming joyful disciples,
                            with hearts and minds opened to the
                            transforming love of God and to the flame of
                            faith in action” (Renewing the Promise, pg. 13).
                            Our Catholic schools must be instruments
                            for God and answer the call to collaborate,
                            communicate and celebrate an ecological
                            conversion transforming their relationship
                            with the world around them.
                            It is hoped that in providing these promising
                            practices, that schools and districts can work
                            in partnership with parishes and families to
                            reflect on effective ways to continue their
                            stewardship of Creation. The Promising
                            Practices are organized into System Practices
                            and School Based Practices. They are listed in
                            ways that schools and systems: Collaborate
                            and Engage, Communicate and Connect
                            and Celebrate and Pray.

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COLLABORATE                               COMMUNICATE                              CELEBRATE
AND ENGAGE                                AND CONNECT                              AND PRAY

Pope Francis calls upon us to             Pope Francis pleads to all people        Pope Francis calls us to celebrate
collaborate, saying, “the entire          on Earth to communicate about            all of Creation, as there is a mystical
global community must recognize           our common home on Earth, “I             meaning to be found in a leaf, in
how every person is profoundly            urgently appeal, then, for a new         a mountain trail, in a dewdrop, in
connected and dependent on one            dialogue about how we are shaping        a poor person’s face. (LS, 233) He
another, as well as on the natural        the future of our planet. We need        reveals that because all creatures
world in which we all live.” He           a conversation that includes             are connected, each must be
states that a great cultural, spiritual   everyone, since the environmental        cherished with love and respect,
and educational challenge stands          challenge we are undergoing, and         for all of us as living creatures
before us, and it will demand that        its human roots, concern and             depend on one another. The
we set out on the long path of            affect us all” (LS, 14). In Renewing     Bishops of Ontario in Renewing
renewal (LS, 202). The Bishops of         the Promise, we are reminded of          the Promise remind us that we are
Ontario call upon us to “Encourage        the importance of Accompaniment          all Joyful Disciples. We find Joy in
Engagement and Instil Hope.”              and Building Relationships. While        the Gospel and come together to
We are reminded in the story of           walking together, Jesus was able         celebrate our faith, our Creation
the Road to Emmaus, that the              to share the story of our faith with     and our Creator. Just as the
disciples were given the strength         the disciples. Similarly, our Catholic   disciples were excited to celebrate
to share the Good News and                schools are communities of               their joy in encountering Jesus on
engage with their community. We           accompaniment, where Jesus walks         the Road to Emmaus, we too can
must intentionally collaborate and        with us each day revealing stories       create opportunities to encounter
engage, to create opportunities to        of Creation and salvation.               Jesus in the daily lives of our
work together to promote, share,                                                   students and celebrate the joy of
and develop experiences that                                                       God in all Creation.
                                          Let the words of my mouth and
help in the formation of stewards
                                          the meditation of my heart be
of Creation, who give witness to
                                          acceptable in your sight, O Lord,        Oh Lord, how many are your
Catholic Social Teachings.
                                          my rock and my redeemer.                 works! In wisdom you’ve made
                                          (Psalm 19:14)                            them all; the earth is full of your
May the favour of the Lord our                                                     riches. (Psalm 104:24)
God rest on us; establish the
work of our hands for us — yes
establish the work of our hands.
(Psalm 90:17)

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You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly.
     The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain,
     for so you have ordained it...they shout for joy and sing.”
     — Psalm 65:9-13

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THE CANTICLE OF CREATION
ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI

O Most High, all-powerful, good Lord God, to you
belong praise, glory, honour and all blessing.
Be praised, my Lord, for all your creation and
especially for our Brother Sun, who brings us
the day and the light; he is strong and shines
magnificently. O Lord, we think of you when we
look at him.
Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Moon, and for the
stars which you have set shining and lovely in the
heavens. Be praised, my Lord, for our Brothers
Wind and Air and every kind of weather by which
you, Lord, uphold life in all your creatures.
Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Water, who is very
useful to us, and humble and precious and pure.
Be praised, my Lord, for Brother Fire, through
whom you give us light in the darkness: he is
bright and lively and strong.
Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Earth, our Mother,
who nourishes us and sustains us, bringing forth
fruits and vegetables of many kinds and flowers of
many colours.
Be praised, my Lord, for those who forgive for
love of you; and for those who bear sickness and
weakness in peace and patience - you will grant
them a crown.
Be praised, my Lord, for our Sister Death, whom
we must all face. I praise and bless you, Lord, and I
give thanks to you, and I will serve you in
all humility.

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Humankind is called to co-create, so that we might cultivate the earthly,
           and thereby create the heavenly.” — St. Hildegard of Bingen

COLLABORATE AND ENGAGE
SYSTEM LEVEL
Considerations for creating opportunities to work together to promote, share and develop
experiences that help in the formation of responsible citizens who give witness to promoting
environmental stewardship, mobilizing students to take action, connection to Laudato si’.

• System Wide Faith Day. Connect         dates: St Francis of Assisi Day,     • Chaplains and Faith
  faith activities with environmental    Earth Day, etc.                        Ambassadors. School staff leads
  awareness, scripture and              • Growing in Faith, Growing in          who help to establish EcoSchools
  action days centred around              Christ. Curriculum updates are        and Development and Peace
  sustaining the earth, for all           given regularly to parish staff,      curriculum related to Laudato si’
  staff, Parent Council Chairs,           and school system as they relate      within their community.
  Trustees and Priests and Parish         to environmental goals of Board     • Professional Development.
  Representatives.                        Improvement Plan (BIP).               Sessions offered within Families
• Ontario Catholic School               • Pastoral Planning Days.               of Schools supporting all board
  Graduate Expectations. Use              Organized with the Bishop and         staff to participate in professional
  these powerful shared symbols           pastors focused on sustaining         development experiences
  such as Responsible Citizen, as a       the earth.                            focused on environmental,
  launching point for stewardship                                               sustainability, Indigenous and
                                        • System Level Indigenous
  programming and environmental                                                 climate education.
                                          Advisory Council. Serve together
  awareness.                                                                  • Develop Resources. Develop
                                          with the staff to build knowledge
• Liturgical Calendar. Chaplaincy         about our keepers and helpers.        resources related to the
  Leaders and Faith Ambassadors           Partner together to increase          environment for schools and
  work closely with their                 connections to our natural world      teachers (i.e., approval process/
  local parish priest to create           from a holistic perspective.          policy for planting trees on school
  opportunities for environmental                                               grounds), connection to Laudato
  focus in the board around special                                             si’, curriculum-linked lesson plans,
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sharing of local resources (i.e.,      • Environmental Awareness                to demonstrate focus on the
 community organizations), board-         Events. Parents, schools               environment and stewardship for
 wide events.                             and pastors continue to                the Earth.
• Webpage. Creating a Board               provide support for special           • Parent Involvement
  webpage dedicated to                    events organized around the             Committees. Share board goals
  EcoSchools that shares a variety        environment such as opening             with PIC to build awareness of
  of environmental resources and          of Peace Gardens, Earth Day,            environmental stewardship and
  support tools for schools.              planting trees, etc.                    support these practical goals
• Presentations. Religion               • Social Justice. The collection and      at home.
  department and Facilities               donation of funds to support          • EcoSchools Certification.
  Services can provide regular            parishes and charities (i.e.,           Support schools within your
  updates on EcoSchools                   environmental/climate justice).         board to certify with the
  certification and environmental       • Connection to Curriculum.               EcoSchools program.
  initiatives taking place across the     Ensure programming and                • EcoSchools Board
  board.                                  curriculum goals in the area of         Representative: Assign a board-
• Partnerships. Develop                   the Environment are a priority          level staff to support EcoSchools
  partnerships to nurture and             for the Board. Invite the               certification and environmental
  support Catholic causes within          Supervisory Officer to visit            initiatives within the board.
  your community (i.e., local             classrooms engaged in
                                                                                • Become a member with
  environmental organizations,            environmental activities.
                                                                                  EcoSchools Canada:
  municipality/region, other            • Evening Environment                     Becoming a member board
  community partners/members,             Workshops. Prepared and                 with EcoSchools Canada
  academic institutions, etc.).           delivered with the Diocese and          provides additional support
• Board Strategic Plan. Ensure            held at the Church or Board             to school boards and their
  Caring for our Common Home              office. Include presentations           schools. This includes access
  is part of our Strategic plan           on Laudato si’ environmental            to the EcoSchools Certification
  and invite clergy to serve in           sustainability workshops, etc.          Application through a group
  this visioning and planning
  partnership, as a key priority of     Catholic Education Week Events. Activities are prepared
  the Board and our faith.              and done in collaboration with the local parishes promoting
                                        environmental stewardship events and campaigns.
• System EcoTeam. Committees at
  the system level are focused on
  Environmental/Sustainability.         • Community Outreach. Engage             administrator account and to
                                          in activities in the community         data populated in the EcoSchools
• Design of New Schools. Design
                                          to demonstrate our shared              Certification Application by
  and construction of school
                                          responsibility as a community          schools (i.e., number of waste
  buildings are environmentally
                                          to be stewards of the Earth, (i.e.,    audits completed, campaign
  responsible and use resources
                                          garbage pick-up days, plant a tree     participation numbers, carbon
  efficiently.
                                          days, etc).                            dioxide emissions, etc.)
• Catholic Education Week                                                        Membership also provides access
                                        • EcoFair. Evening Environmental
  Events. Activities are prepared                                                to exclusive support tools and
                                          Awareness Carousels organized
  and done in collaboration with                                                 resources designed to improve
                                          by the Board Environmental
  the local parishes promoting                                                   overall school performance,
                                          committee which includes
  environmental stewardship                                                      enhanced certification support
                                          schools sharing various projects
  events and campaigns.                                                          and guidance from EcoSchools
                                          and programming information
                                                                                                                    19
Canada staff, and a detailed           • Trustee Faith Formation               collaboration with Development
 year-end report with analysis,           Activities. Regular presentations     and Peace, our Chaplaincy
 achievements, comparisons                and retreats for trustees on          Leaders, and a committee
 and recommendations listed.              environmental awareness and           of Principals, Vice Principals,
• Interschool Environmental               Environmental responsibility.         Teachers, and Religious
  Committee. Supporting peer            • Prayer. Encourage prayer for          Education Central Staff. Each
  learning and collaboration              the Earth at different times          school sends a few student
  between schools through an              throughout the year and during        representatives for the day to
  Inter-school environmental              morning announcements.                engage in a variety of educational
  committee.                                                                    activities and experiences that
                                        • Adult Faith Formation. Promote
                                                                                they bring back to their school
• Funding. Providing funding              faith opportunities for adults in
                                                                                communities to share with their
  to EcoTeams/schools for                 the board to come to a fuller
                                                                                classmates.
  environmental initiatives.              understanding of the theology
                                                                               • Drama Training with Gruppo
                                                                                 Jobel. Gruppo Jobel is an
Prayer. Encourage prayer for the Earth at different times
                                                                                 organization from Italy that
throughout the year and during morning announcements.
                                                                                 came to North America in 2018.
                                         behind Laudato si’ and the              They incorporate the use of
• Targets. Establishing board-wide
                                         urgency to be intentional about         drama, dance and movement
  sustainability and engagement
                                         caring for our common home.             to engage the students in the
  targets and setting annual
                                                                                 teachings of Laudato Si. Their
  certification targets over            • Joint Youth Ministry Meetings.
                                                                                 programs range from 1 to 5 days.
  multiple years                          Board staff including Chaplains
                                                                                 This program has lessons for
• Eco Café. Boards provide an             and Consultants focusing on
                                                                                 Elementary, Intermediate and
  opportunity for students to             environmental awareness and
                                                                                 Secondary classes. These lessons
  participate in a fun event learning     global citizenship.
                                                                                 are founded in and reflect the
  about the environment and             • Parish Committees. Catholic            United Nations Sustainable
  sustainability events. Sessions         Parent Involvement Committee or        Development Goals. More
  may be hosted by the school             EcoTeams within schools creates        information is located on their
  EcoTeam and are open to staff,          opportunities to bring faith           website www.gruppojobel.org.
  parents and others.                     formation opportunities centred
                                                                               • Environmental Stewardship
• Deanery Meetings. Share                 on environmental awareness to
                                                                                 Committee. This committee
  updates between the clergy and          parish communities.
                                                                                 meets 3 to 4 times a year to
  associated Catholic schools on        • SEAC. Include the participation of     review educational programs
  priorities around Caring for our        SEAC organizations in the board’s      like EcoSchools, Planning and
  Common Home.                            goals around sustainability of the     Facilities implementation of
• Environment Retreats. The               Earth                                  energy savings, and other
  Religion and Family Life              • Peace and Justice Conference.          concerns that come up like
  Department collaborates with            This conference reflects and           the use of single use plastics in
  the parish to introduce                 emphasizes the teachings of            schools and litterless lunches and
  Leadership Retreats on                  One conference is specifically         snacks.
  Environmental stewardship and           for Elementary students and          • ‘Backpack Loaning’ Program.
  its connection to scripture and         the other is for Intermediate/         Designed for Elementary
  care for the Earth.                     Secondary students. These              students. This provides
                                          conferences are planned in             manipulatives and resources

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(both tactile and digital) to help   • Composting Programs. Board-          • Outdoor and Environmental
  with experiential learning about       wide campaign to ensure                Education Position. To provide
  birds, geology and trees.              composting exists in our               individualized school support,
• Learning for Sustainability            Elementary Schools with sample         past and present, board created
  Platform. Online resources and         lessons provided centrally             a Special Assignment Teacher
  webinars for educators to build        by teaching and learning               position for Outdoor and
  capacity. When environmental           consultants.                           Environmental Education.
  awareness opportunities arise        • Multiple Water Filling Stations      • Environmental Education
  from the Bishops of Ontario,           have been installed in every           Management and Advisory
  Ontario Science Centre, or             school and at the Board Office.        Committee (EEMAC). EEMAC
  other partner institutions, these      Many of these units display            meets bi-annually and is
  are shared with our teachers           how many plastic bottles have          comprised of the following
  as professional learning               been saved by the use of these         representatives: one Board
  opportunities on the portal.           stations. In the schools, students     Trustee; one Superintendent;
• Electronics Recycling at the           are encouraged to bring refillable     the Controller of Plant and
  Board Level. Once technology           water bottles.                         Maintenance; the OEE SAT; the
  becomes antiquated or beyond         • Environmental Awareness                Religion and Family Life SAT; one
  repair, the items are sent to the      for CDSB events: There is an           elementary and one secondary
  Board Office to be disposed            emphasis at School Board               administrator; one elementary
  of properly. Some of the items         Professional Development               and one secondary teacher; one
  recycled do generate some              sessions, and other meetings, at       custodian. The role of EEMAC
  income as well.                        the Catholic Education Centre          is to ‘hear’ from the system and
                                         on using compostable plates,           to provide supports based on
• Outdoor Education Grant funds
                                         reusable cutlery, water jugs,          need and innovation. EEMAC
  from the Ministry of Education to
                                         cream and milk in carafes.             has a conference planning sub-
  enhance student learning (K-12).
                                                                                committee for the Best Foot
• World Wildlife Federation            • Environmental Virtual Webinars.
                                                                                Forward Eco-Conference (BFF)
  (WWF). Participate in national         A series of webinars developed
                                         for educators and parents            • Social Justice Committee. Meets
  and international initiatives like
                                                                                5 times a year and 2 of the
  National Sweater Day or Earth        • Conservations Centres. Working
                                                                                committee’s top priorities are
  Hour.                                  with partnerships with local
                                                                                the response to the Laudato Si
                                                                                and Water as a Fundamental
Electronics recycling at the Board Level. Once technology
                                                                                Human Right. The committee
becomes antiquated or beyond repair, the items are sent to
                                                                                is comprised of Trustee,
the Board Office to be disposed of properly. Some of the items
                                                                                Superintendent, Co-ordinator
recycled do generate some income as well.
                                                                                and SAT of Religious and Family
                                                                                Life Education, Indigenous
• University Partnerships:              conservation authorities to
                                                                                Advisory Committee Member,
  Elementary School has a               develop a variety of outdoor
                                                                                Principals, Teachers, Educational
  partnership with University’s         education programs and
                                                                                Assistant, Child and Youth
  Environmental Studies students.       opportunities.
                                                                                Worker, Chaplaincy Leaders and
  This provides an opportunity         • Outdoor Education applications.        Archdiocese Representation.
  where they create a school plan        For our School Communities to          The goal of the committee is to
  together. This also involves the       improve their outdoor space.           promote best practices around
  parents and guardians of the                                                  the Social Justice Priorities.
  students.
                                                                                                                21
• Annual environmental                   intend to certify as an EcoSchool,      awareness and initiatives back to
  education conference. This             and complete a survey.                  their school communities.
  ‘Best Foot Forward’ conference        • Teacher Professional Learning        • EcoSchools Lead. Each school
  takes place at an outdoor and           sessions to learn about environ-       identifies an EcoSchools Lead
  environmental education centre.         mental awareness and using the         who assumes responsibility
  The conference begins with              outdoors for teaching. Five online     for updating the EcoSchools
  an opening prayer, traditional          sessions are offered each with a       database reflecting activities
  drumming and the presentation           different theme. Recordings of         completed at the school level to
  of certification awards and gifts       each session are made available        achieve certification. EcoSchools
  to our workshop presenters.             for others to watch at their           leads are connected by
  During the conference all school        convenience.                           networking groups to share best
  leads and their student Eco Team                                               practices and strategies.
                                        • ‘Our Common Home
  leads rotate through a series of
                                          Symposium’ Eco Leads and             • EcoSchools Certification
  workshops designed to support
                                          their school teams gather for          Working Group Sessions. To
  each pillar of the EcoSchools’
                                          a celebration of ‘Our Common           support schools in achieving
  program.
                                          Home.’ The symposium brings            EcoSchools Certification and to
• Director’s Monthly Memo.                elementary and secondary school        assist in uploading relevant data
  The Director’s monthly bulletin         teams together to celebrate            into the EcoSchools database,
  includes activities that were           the beauty and wonder of               we offer EcoSchools Certification
  celebrated at schools.                  our planet. This symposium             Working Group Sessions to which
                                                                                 Eco Leads are invited. and allows
ECO Kits for teachers: Teachers can be eligible for a classroom                  Eco Leads to share ideas and
kit if they attend one online session about environmental                        receive support in entering their
awareness, intend to certify as an EcoSchool, and complete                       data.
a survey.
                                                                               • Our Common Home,
                                                                                 Stewardship and Sustainable
• Board Website: Dedicate                allows schools to showcase              Practices Conference: The Eco
  prominent space on the board           their achievements over the             Teams from schools who have
  website where schools have their       year and continue to support            achieved platinum or gold status
  school and board current Eco           each other’s Eco initiatives.           in their Eco Schools Certification
  information.                           First Nations and Indigenous            are invited to prepare a
• Catholic Board Improvement             peoples are recognized for the          demonstration or display of
  Learning Cycle. With increased         important impact that they have         innovative practices or activities
  focused attention on stewardship       on our common home. School              they have used to promote
  of resources, promote practices        Teams set up displays, listen           stewardship and sustainable
  that value the sacredness of           to a presentation on ‘Water is          practices in their school and
  Creation; enhance engagement           Life’ and participate in a variety      Eco Teams from schools across
  of schools and community               of workshops and breakout               the board are invited to visit the
  partners and parishes and              sessions.                               demonstrations and displays and
  increase operational and              • Virtual Learning Opportunities.        learn from one another. The day
  customer service quality.               The School Board Environmental         also includes a keynote address
• ECO Kits for teachers: Teachers         Team provides opportunities            on topics including single use
  can be eligible for a classroom kit     for our educators and students         plastics, the water cycle, recycling,
  if they attend one online session       to be inspired to continue their       etc.
  about environmental awareness,          work bringing environmental

22
• Board-Wide Environmental               stakeholder groups (Board and         Education curriculum and
  Campaigns: The Board                   school staff, students, unions,       program, and each school has
  establishes a board-wide focus         parents). The committee is            at least one Enviro-Rep who is
  as a common effort to identify         working towards a three-              the environmental lead within
  effective practices in Stewardship     year sustainability plan, while       the school and coordinates
  and Sustainable Practices.             continuing to promote                 the EcoSchools certification
  Examples of this include: The          environmental awareness,              application.
  ‘It’s the Last Straw’ campaign,        and support campaigns and            • Water Declaration: Beginning
  which focuses on identifying and       initiatives.                           on Thanksgiving 2020 the board
  minimizing the use of single          • Natural Kindergarten                  worked with GCT#3 in the
  use plastics in all schools and         Playground design. Schools have       promotion of their Nibi (water)
  board sites.                            collaborated on the components,       declaration and incorporated a
                                                                                water blessing in our thanksgiving
Outdoor Classroom Installation. The Board has prepared a                        prayer along with the posting
menu of different styles of outdoor classrooms for schools to                   of Water Declaration posters in
choose from when school generated funding is allocated to an                    each school.
outdoor classroom. The Board and school connect to decide on
                                                                              • Recycle and Trash Bins. Large
best location and additional features, and Board absorbs any
                                                                                bins are brought in to be
additional “soft” costs for additional design/engineering.
                                                                                painted, every few years or so,
                                                                                to encourage the community to
• Facilities Department. Planning        layout and themes for their            reduce, reuse, recycle.
  consideration is given to              natural kindergarten playground
                                                                              • Workshops and Presentations.
  waste and fair trade, recycling        refurbishment (or installation at
                                                                                Organized for all families of
  programs, and reducing                 new schools) for the last 5 years.
                                                                                schools to educate and empower
  consumption. School/ classrooms       • Outdoor Classroom Installation.       students and teachers with the
  collaborate with local energy           The Board has prepared a menu         knowledge, skills, perspective and
  and waste companies to                  of different styles of outdoor        desire to act as environmentally
  help understand and reduce              classrooms for schools to choose      responsible citizens.
  electricity consumption and             from when school generated
  waste production. Our facilities                                            • Catholic Education Centre
                                          funding is allocated to an
  department supports schools                                                   (CEC) action. CEC sponsors
                                          outdoor classroom. The Board
  that wish to participate in local                                             and participates in Board wide
                                          and school connect to decide
  campaigns to reduce heat and                                                  environmentally responsible
                                          on best location and additional
  electricity consumption. We have                                              programs (Earth Hour, Earth
                                          features, and Board absorbs
  also installed sensors to support                                             Week, Recycle Your Electronics,
                                          any additional ‘soft’ costs for
  lights off. Schools run lights out/                                           etc.) addressing pressing
                                          additional design/engineering.
  monitors off campaigns (e.g.,                                                 environmental issues through
                                        • Social and Ecological                 daily action.
  energy hog) to remind students
                                          Responsibility in Education
  and staff of energy consumption;                                            • Regular Custodial Training.
                                          (SERE) Committee was formed
  challenging each other in fun and                                             Provided system PA Day
                                          to oversee and implement the
  engaging activities and award                                                 workshops to custodial staff
                                          Board’s environment policy
  systems.                                                                      on topics such as our call
                                        • Religion and Family Life              to Stewardship of Creation
• ‘Stewards of Sustainability’
                                          Curriculum: Stewardship of            through waste minimization,
  Committee. The Board’s
                                          Creation is an integral part of       recycling, organics and energy
  committee has an increase in
                                          the Religion and Family Life          conservation.
  membership from numerous
                                                                                                                  23
• Environmental Symposium:               As God’s children, we have a             stewardship (this is paused due
  Each year, organize an                 responsibility to care for all of        to COVID-19). Throughout the
  environmental symposium that           God’s creations. We must live as         COVID-19 Pandemic, the Board
  encourages outdoor education           Stewards of the earth, protecting        has promoted and encouraged
  and environmental sustainability,      our environment. Through the             schools to participate in healthy
  inviting local agencies to run         monthly value of Stewardship,            waste free lunches to join our
  activities and workshops for           schools complete monthly                 efforts and reduce the waste we
  students and teachers. These           prayers, liturgies and classroom         are bringing into our schools and
  partners include conservation          lesson plans.                            buildings.
  authorities, outdoor education        • Outdoor Learning                      • Capital Projects. Boards can
  facilities, and Indigenous              Opportunities. Outdoor                  ensure that capital projects utilize
  Knowledge-keepers and Elders.           classrooms and trails have              energy efficient equipment and
  We continue to do so this year,         given students the opportunity          processes to minimize use of
  but virtually.                          to make deep and meaningful             resources. This includes LED
                                                                                  lighting conversions to ensure
Stewardship Month. As a school board, we come together to                         schools have the most efficient
celebrate a different value each month. In April the monthly                      lighting system possible. Use
value is stewardship. As God’s children, we have a responsibility                 of Energy Recovery Ventilators
to care for all of God’s creations. We must live as Stewards of the               to ensure the most efficient
earth, protecting our environment. Through the monthly value                      operation/heat recovery of new
of Stewardship, schools complete monthly prayers, liturgies and                   ventilation systems; Use of high
classroom lesson plans.                                                           efficiency condensing boilers to
                                                                                  ensure maximum reduction in
• Invitation to Conversation: The        connections to their learning and        the consumption of fuels; Use of
  Director, together with central        the natural world around them.           variable frequency drives (VFDs)
  staff, worked with students            We know outdoor learning is              to ensure efficient operation
  representing each regional             critical in supporting the whole         of large motors; Improve the
  area of our district to listen to      child and promoting a holistic           R value of building envelopes
  their voices related to concerns       education that challenges                specifically the insulation value
  with respect to environmental          students to be more self-aware           in roof assemblies and R value of
  sustainability. Through their          and have an appreciation for             windows.
  efforts, they successfully             all that is living. Through the        • Efficient and Green Initiatives:
  presented two recommended              outdoor classrooms, students are         All schools and buildings use
  actions wherein all schools and        working on their team building,          a web-based building control
  the board would be committed           communication and collaborative          system to efficiently manage
  to the actions stated in Pope          skills while fostering lifelong love     and monitor building heating,
  Francis’ Encyclical and adopt          for the outdoors. Many of our            ventilation and lighting systems.
  a commitment to greater                schools have these dedicated             This includes managing building
  ecological sustainability in all of    spaces and we hope to continue           schedules and use of set-back
  its educational, strategic, and        to grow this initiative.                 temperatures to minimize
  corporate practices.                  • Recycling and Composting. All           utilization of fuels and electricity.
• Stewardship Month. As a                 schools participate in a recycling      Staff also utilize certified green
  school board, we come together          and composting program                  cleaning products and processes
  to celebrate a different value          often involving students as             to minimize the use of chemicals
  each month. In April the                a means of diverting waste              hazardous to the environment
  monthly value is stewardship.           and promoting environmental             and people and to minimize
24
waste. Environmental controls           the Development and Peace               Catholic Education Centre. At
 and management processes are            organization and others such as         these well attended sessions,
 in place to ensure that when            local municipalities, not-for-profit    teachers would learn about the
 designated substances are               organizations, charities, local         EcoSchools Canada program,
 identified and removed that all         colleges and universities, and          energy conservation initiatives,
 safety protocols including proper       businesses, to bring meaningful         school ground greening
 disposal are adhered to.                and hands-on sustainability             programs and a variety of other
• Connecting to Faith. The school        experience.                             topical environmental programs.
  board and Adult Faith Animator        • School Community-Building              The meetings also served as
  connects our Catholic faith to          Initiatives that support our           a great way for Eco-teachers
  all Eco initiatives. We empower         common call to action in caring        to network and share best
  students to see themselves              for the environment. [Installation     practices.
  as agents of change through             of bike racks at all our schools;     • The Environmental Services
  social justice teachings, real          Water filling stations to eliminate     Department. Maintains a close
  world application and integrated        single use plastic; Organic Waste       relationship with all of the local
  curriculum explorations that            collection]                             municipal EACs (Environmental
  reflect Pope Francis’ message         • Board Wide Spiritual                    Advisory Committees) and the
  and call to action. We also             Development Day. On theme of            Regional EAC. Environmental
  recognize the incredible gifts that     Laudato si’ in 2019: Care for Each      Services staff attend local EAC
  culture, background, and identity       Other, Care for our Common Home         meetings on a regular basis
  bring to this conversation.                                                     to learn of new initiatives and
                                        • School Board Environmental
• Nurturing Our Catholic                                                          to collaborate on community
                                          Representatives Association.
  Community [NCC] Team.                                                           projects as required.
                                          Operated provincially,
  ‘The Year of Laudato si’ is an          through SBERA (School Board           • School Ground Greening
  integral part, and primary focus        Environmental Representatives           Partnership to facilitate
  of the Nurturing Our Catholic           Association) now part of The            environmentally focused
  Community (NCC) Team.                   Ontario Association of School           enhancements to school
• Board Pastoral Plan. Integrate          Board Officials (OASBO) as the          grounds. This partnership allows
  the teachings of Laudato si’ in the     Environmental Sustainability            the Board to access a designated
  current pastoral plan Rooted in         Committee or (ESC). The majority        Landscape Architect to help
  Christ: we Belong, we Believe, we       of school boards in the province        evaluate, design, and implement
  Become.                                 of Ontario have representation          improvements on school
                                          on this committee which meets           grounds. The primary focus in
• EcoSchools Resource Teacher.
                                          regularly throughout the school         recent years has been design
  Connects curriculum to Board
                                          year and participates in the            and planting of ‘tree groves’ to
  initiatives like school greening
                                          OASBO Annual Conference.                help mitigate Urban Heat Islands
  projects, net- zero initiatives,
                                          Boards discuss the EcoSchools           and the installation of outdoor
  waste reduction and diversion,
                                          programs, environmental                 classrooms. Partnerships of this
  energy conservation and other
                                          awareness, strategies, projects,        kind reflect the importance of
  eco-initiatives.
                                          campaigns, activities and share         environmental collaboration.
• Serving in Partnership. The
                                          best practices.
  Board consults and collaborates
  with Catholic partners like the       • Annual Environmental In-service
  Loretto Sisters (IBVM), Sisters         for Teachers. This invitational
  of St. Joseph, the Mary Ward            after school workshop is
  Centre (Jesuit International) and       conducted once a year at the
                                                                                                                       25
The sun’s light that plays on the cedar trees, plays on each tiny flower as if it were the
            only one in existence; and in the same way our Lord takes a special interest in each soul.”
            — St. Therese of Lisieux

COLLABORATE AND ENGAGE
SCHOOL LEVEL
Considerations for creating opportunities to work together to promote, share and develop
experiences that help in the formation of responsible citizens who give witness to promoting
environmental stewardship, mobilizing students to take action, connection to Laudato si’.

• Growing in Faith, Growing             about the interconnectedness           • Catholic Partners. Partnering
  in Christ. Prepare resources          of Indigenous and Catholic               with Catholic Women’s League/
  that are available for all staff,     teachings regarding Mother               Knights of Columbus/Religious
  students, parishes and families       Earth through active listening           Guild for various initiatives and
  to support the Environmental          and learning from our Knowledge          events around environmental
  programs in the school.               Keeper and the Indigenous                awareness and environmental
• School Improvement Plan (SIP)         Education Advisory Committee.            responsibility.
  Meetings. Meet in the Fall to        • Parent Outreach Grants. Schools       • Parent Information Evenings.
  schedule meetings with EcoTeam,        encourage these grants for              Set up information kiosks in
  parents, partners, municipalities,     school councils to engage with          the gym to be shared with
  clergy to review environmental         their parishes on environmental         parents and community on
  goals for the year.                    initiatives at school and on            Environmental awareness
• Social Justice work. At Christmas,     school grounds (i.e., fundraising       campaigns.
  Thanksgiving and Easter, Earth         for an outdoor classroom or           • Promotion of Parish and
  Day, etc., connect outreach to the     prizes to run a waste-free lunch        School Eco Life. Advertise and
  environment and sustainability         campaign).                              promote each other’s events
  of the Earth, in conjunction with    • Parish Priest Visits. Invite clergy     and celebrations happening in
  the parishes                           into the schools to talk about the      schools and in our churches
• Indigenous Connections.                Environment and Pope Francis’           around Caring for Our Common
  Schools being intentional              call to Care for Our Common             Home.
                                         Home.
26
• Volunteer Luncheons. Invite          • Church Youth Group. School            • Pilgrimages to various locations
  clergy and Eco Team to attend          student advisors meet with              highlighting the importance of
  and be recognized for their            parish and school staff to              walking as opposed to taking a
  dedication to environmental            determine needs in planning             vehicle to get from location to
  awareness activities, organized by     community environment                   location.
  School Council and staff.              stewardship activities.               • School Based Pastoral Plan
• Food in School Programs.             • Active Green Teams. These               goals challenged schools to
  Preparation and service of a           teams are developed in each             engage in stewardship for
  school breakfast program to            school to promote a robust              creation understandings and
  create less waste during the           recycling program and litterless        activities.
  breakfast program or school            lunches.                              • Principal and Pastor Meetings.
  meetings (i.e., set of reusable      • Nature Club. Schools host a             Gathering framed by Laudato si’.
  service wear/cutlery/glasses).         nature club including gardening         Highlight the work of schools that
• Social Justice and Charity Drives.     and ongoing environmental work.         reflected this call to action. Build
  Done at the school to support        • Environmental Council. Student          capacity of stakeholders (staff,
  environmental sustainability in        Council (student government)            students, deanery members) of
  collaboration with the school and      meets each month to discuss             Laudato Si and its importance in
  parish.                                school based and board                  our work such as sweater day,
• Student-Led Youth Eco Team.            sponsored monthly campaigns             food drives, soup kitchens, daily
  Students lead Eco Team as part         that focus on various aspects of        breakfast programs.
  of their leadership formation          care for the earth.                   • EcoSchools Certification.
  and regularly update the student     • Chaplains and Faith                     Participation in the EcoSchools
  body and parents on initiatives,       Ambassadors. Staff leads who            program allows students,
  fundraising and outreach               help to promote the learnings of        teachers, school administrators,
  activities.                            Laudato si’ in schools within their     custodians, and parents to get
• School Calendars. Parents,             community.                              a clear picture of their current
  Eco Team, clergy and school
  principals have formalized           Nature Club. Schools host a nature club including gardening
  meetings in June to prepare          and ongoing environmental work.
  calendars for the upcoming
  year to integrate environmental      • Inter-School Green Council.
  actions/campaigns/assemblies                                                  environmental practices.
                                         Inter-School Stewardship and
  throughout the year.                                                          Each year, schools apply for
                                         Sustainable Practices Council
                                                                                certification by undertaking
• Movie Nights. Support an               provides staff and students
                                                                                environmental actions,
  environmental themed movie             with opportunities to engage
                                                                                campaigns, and projects, and
  night which could also be used as      in a variety of networking and
                                                                                then recording them in the
  a fundraiser for an environmental      professional development
                                                                                online EcoSchools Certification
  initiative at the school.              sessions with various outside
                                                                                Application (ECA) to earn
• Whole School Assemblies.               agencies.
                                                                                points. For students, the
  Opportunity to present and           • Daily Prayers that also include        program provides opportunities
  collaborate on environmental           reflections and meditations on         for leadership, connection
  initiatives (e.g., Development and     care for our common home               with classmates in different
  Peace).                                relating to Indigenous themes          grade levels via peer-to-peer
                                         as well.                               mentorship, and a way to learn

                                                                                                                   27
about sustainability while having        to run a variety of initiatives         and shared on our Staff Portal.
  fun. For teachers, the EcoSchools        related to caring for the Earth        • Community Partnerships and
  program integrates seamlessly            and sustainability.                      Communications. Engage
  with curricula and provides the         • Participation in the Ontario            students in fun and innovative
  tools, resources, and framework           Network for Education                   initiatives (donating to community
  to initiate environmental learning        partnership. This provides the          kitchens, battery/printer cartridge
  in the classroom and across the           opportunity to establish and use        disposal programs, etc.)
  whole school.                             tower gardens (both aeroponic         • Indigenous Partnerships.
                                                                                    In partnership with our local
Collaboration with Community Organizations, City and Town
                                                                                    First Nation community,
Councils. To engage in special environmental projects such as
                                                                                    schools are creating a safe
building a butterfly garden; planting pollinator gardens; cleaning
                                                                                    outdoor learning space where
community parks; building raised garden beds at a local food
                                                                                    students will celebrate and
bank etc.
                                                                                    learn together for many years
                                                                                    to come. Part of the outdoor
                                           and vermiculture) for both               learning space will include a
Partnerships
                                           Elementary and Intermediate/             sacred medicine garden. Here
• Catholic Charities. Work with            Secondary Schools.                       the garden will include the
  local charities to promote
                                          • Collaboration with Science              sacred medicines found locally,
  opportunities for environmental
                                            Centres. To provide educational         in the Anishinaabe territory.
  awareness campaigns, such as
                                            programming that teaches about          Students will also learn about:
  St. Vincent de Paul, St. Jude
                                            local wildlife and environment.         Anishinaabemowin vocabulary
  Council, ShareLife, Development
                                          • Development and Peace’s                 related to these medicines;
  and Peace, etc.
                                            Laudato si’ program. This               traditional harvesting of the
• Community Support                                                                 medicines; the uses of these
                                            educational program has
  Environmental Program. Staff                                                      medicines; Wheel teachings;
                                            provided the opportunity to
  helping to connect schools                                                        connection to nature (planting
                                            create synergy between Laudato
  with community partners                                                           and harvesting); giving thanks to
                                            si’, EcoSchools certification, and
  (i.e., conservation authorities,                                                  God, the Creator and gratitude to
                                            the Catholic Social Teaching of
  municipalities, etc.) to find                                                     Mother Earth; outdoor education
                                            Care for God’s Creation. Skills
  funding opportunities to support                                                  and experiential learning. Our
                                            and activities are required for the
  environmental initiatives (i.e., tree                                             experiential learning leader
                                            successful completion of badges
  planting, outdoor classrooms,                                                     works with teachers and students
                                            in this program.
  etc.).                                                                            to extend learning outdoors,
                                          • Fall in Love with the Outdoors
• Collaboration with Community                                                      particularly through our
                                            Day. This is a professional
  Organizations, City and Town                                                      Kindergarten program. Outdoor
                                            development opportunity
  Councils. To engage in special                                                    experiential learning inquiries
                                            for educators which is highly
  environmental projects such                                                       have been planned focused
                                            popular and well attended.
  as building a butterfly garden;                                                   on caring for the environment,
                                            There are many cross curricular
  planting pollinator gardens;                                                      Mother Earth and God’s creation
                                            opportunities for educators
  cleaning community parks;                                                         using key provocations and
                                            to integrate various aspects of
  building raised garden beds at a                                                  exploring the natural settings in
                                            nature and outdoor education
  local food bank etc.                                                              our local community (i.e., forests,
                                            into their teaching disciplines.
                                                                                    trails and local ponds).
• Faith in Action Teams. Faith in           The teacher resources created
  Action Teams work with parishes           for this day have been curated        • Indigenous Knowledge Keepers

28
and Helpers. Partner with             families for such things as paved    • TERRA Program. Multi-credit
 students and families in our          pathway, additional sidewalks for      ecology leadership program
 school community to increase          walking and partnerships in solar      for Grade 10. Situated on
 connections to our natural            schools from nearby subdivision        the property of the Ignatius
 world from a holistic Indigenous      approaching busy traffic junction.     Jesuit Centre, students use
 perspective.                                                                 Nature as Teacher, engage
                                      CONNECTION TO                           with faith leaders within the
• Fall Harvest Activities. To learn
                                      CURRICULUM AND CLASS                    Jesuit Community on the
  of the traditional practices of
                                      LESSONS                                 property, understand the
  respect for what one harvests
  and the practices of the            • Curriculum: Schools build             role of community leaders in
  harvesting itself.                    environmental awareness               sustainability and social justice,
                                        through different courses;            as well as incorporate teachings
• Local Partnerships: Many
                                        religion, science, outdoor            from Laudato si’ and Evangelii
  schools are connecting with
                                        ed, indigenous studies, etc.,         Gaudium.
  local partners to build and grow
                                        clean the school campus and         • Lenten Campaign. Focusing on
  vegetables and flower gardens.
                                        neighbourhood.                        ecological conversion, lesson
  Local families contribute and
  help maintain these gardens.        • Environment Credit Course.            plans and system wide prayer
  Natural spaces and outdoor            In secondary school a credit          services have been aligned to
  learning spaces are encouraged        created locally on Environment        support that learning - Nurturing
  in all schools to support             Awareness due to demand from          Hope: Reconciling with the Land
  mental health and well-being.         students.                             and Each Other.
  Schools collaborate with local
  conservation agencies to learn      Indigenous Knowledge Keepers and Helpers. Partner with
  and help develop and maintain       students and families in our school community to increase
  natural areas. We try to support    connections to our natural world from a wholistic Indigenous
  schools with central funding in     perspective.
  various projects that encourage
  cross-school collaborations and     • Field Trips are undertaken so       • Outdoor Education Classes.
  local partnership projects.           students can hear first-hand the      Land based learning is
• Ignatius Jesuit Centre. Partner       impact of water use.                  central using the trees and
  with organizations such as                                                  trails surrounding the school
                                      • Forest school trained. Schools
  Ignatius Jesuit Centre in the                                               supporting the forest.
                                        regularly spend learning
  development of a program to           time in local forests for both      • Trapping: As we live in a trapping
  teacher students about the Old        kindergarten and their Grade 6        area, students are exposed
  Growth Forest and learn about         to 8 students.                        to how that plays out in both
  Laudato si’ and our care of our                                             traditional Anishinaabe life and
                                      • Curriculum Classes offered in
  common home.                                                                in care for the earth through
                                        the Science Department (Science
• Ministry of Natural Resources.                                              presentations at Pow Wow island
                                        and the Environment).
  Invited to the schools to do                                                by a local trapper.
                                      • Focus on Nature. Students
  various presentations about our                                           • Communities become
                                        work with volunteers to take
  area and its care.                                                          classrooms. Involving natural,
                                        photographs in nature in
• Walking Routes: In partnership                                              built and cultural environments
                                        their neighbourhoods and
  with the Township, advocated                                                (community gardens, revitalized
                                        develop final project. Focus is
  heavily to encourage and improve                                            school ground greening,
                                        on the beauty of nature in our
  active transportation for our                                               tree planting programs, etc.)
                                        surroundings.
                                                                                                               29
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