Hello, Future Eagles, my name is Deanna Wehrle and I am the very proud principal of Saint Mary’s High School.
At St. Mary’s, in our community we believe very strongly that Where Kindness Matters, Community Grows. And supported by our Ontario Catholic Graduate School expectations and our gospel values, our curriculum is rooted in faith. With the chance to share openly about our spirituality, to talk about our faith journey and to turn to God and prayer for support.
We learn together in love, treating one another with respect, compassion, kindness, patience and equity, providing a learning space for every student and striving to have all students see themselves in our building, in our curriculum and in our teachings and learnings.
Our staff and students are dedicated to excellence and we strive for success supporting all in meeting their pathway and career goals. We are people of integrity, using our grit and resilience to achieve success and to reach new heights. With grace and gratitude, in support of social justice, we seek to be people of hope, joy and happiness.
Academic success is our priority at St. Mary’s offering a wide range of opportunities in over 250 course options across 5 pathways and in 25 different subject areas. These options, pathways and career building opportunities allow students the chance to explore their passions, try something new and develop the skills and strategies to find success. Our Apprenticeship, Community, College, University and Workplace pathways open the door for students to explore all avenues available for possible future careers. Included in each of these pathways are experiential learning opportunities that provide on the job experience and knowledge supporting decision making for future possibilities in studies and in work. In addition, alternative programming is available to support the learning needs of all students, recognizing that learning may not come easily at all times. Programming alongside support from our family, parish, teachers, and staff and our Student Success, Guidance, and English as a Second Language departments, our Chaplain, Youth Care Workers, Social Workers, Administration, Board-level supports and community partnerships create a circle of support for our students to provide the care, compassion and academic strategies needed to find success, support mental health and well being, and to build lasting relationships.
At secondary, students experience a new world of academic options, independence and a wealth of personal interest extracurricular activities. Opportunities include performing in visual arts, Student Activities Council, Athletic Council, LINK Crew, supporting student leadership, multicultural clubs and over 50 other options to access student passion and desire for learning outside the classroom. Students also have the option to participate in sports both in school intramurals and in interschool athletics were over 500 plus students participate at Saint Mary’s High School.
At St. Mary’s, we continue to grow in faith, learning and in love. We are excited to welcome all of our future Eagles to the Nest and we hope that you will find a home here at St. Mary’s. We look forward to supporting your academic journey over the next years as you work to achieve the next stage in your academic journey. Take care Future Eagles and we look forward to meeting you all very soon.
Good evening, future Eagles and Future Eagle families.
My name is Deacon Ed MacIntosh and I am the Chaplain here at Saint Mary’s High School.
I’m so very pleased to be able to be with you today and offer a prayer of welcome to you, and so at this time will begin with the sign of our faith: In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Loving God, we praise you for the wonder of our being. For mind, for body and for spirit. Be with these future Eagles as they prepare to begin a new part of their educational journey. Bless them and give them strength and grace as they grow wisdom and knowledge to their minds as they search for understanding and peace to their hearts. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
A message from our Program Head of Guidance, Phil Lehmann
Welcome parents and students to Saint Mary’s High School, home of the Eagles. Thank you so much for taking an interest in learning more about our community.
My name is Phil Lehmann. I’m the head of guidance here at Saint Mary’s High School and, in part, that means I am also a guidance counsellor at Saint Mary’s High School. We have seven guidance counsellors and those guidance counsellors are assigned to students based on the student’s last name. On the current slide, you can see the guidance counsellors for this year and what alphabet they have been assigned to for the students. From year to year those alphabets change slightly, but for the most part we try to keep them as similar as possible. Ideally, your guidance counsellor would be traveling with you, so to speak, through your high school career and what we do is we try to help you with your classes. We try to help you with your programming and scheduling in the current year and in the years to come. And we also look with you with insight, excitement and anticipation towards the post secondary opportunities for you. So when you get to high school you will have a guidance counsellor.
I want to talk a little bit about the document on the screen: Entering Secondary School. That’s a book that will actually be distributed to elementary schools sometime in early December. It is the hope to get this book out to elementary schools so your son or daughter will have this book to look through. Please ask them about it. It is something that they might might not open eagerly right away, but it is packed with lots of great information. I’ll talk later in the slides about guidance counsellors joining virtually grade eight classes and talking through this book with students. So this book talks about getting ready for high school, graduation requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. It touches on course selection and when students in Grade eight need to select their courses for Grade nine. And it has a great section with frequently asked questions.
Speaking of the year and when the connection points are with the grades in high school, guidance counsellors and the transition team – student success, link leaders and Link Crew coordinators – we do make our way out to the elementary schools in a normal year. This year we will be joining the schools virtually, specifically guidance in the month of January, to talk through this entering secondary school book. If you look at the graphic on your screen right now, you’ll notice that there are several connection points in a standard year for grades to be connected. To learn more about the high school experience, for example, having a transition course in the summer called Bridge to Success or doing Skills Builders through Saint Louis. Those are two examples that you can see most likely on the graphics. So these are just connections throughout the year and ideally their purpose is to make the transition to high school for grade eights easier.
All students are achieving or planning to achieve Ontario Secondary School Diploma, Ontario Secondary School Certificate or Certificate of Accomplishment on the screen. Right now is the diploma and the requirements for it. I won’t get too into too much detail at this point in time. You can see the list there. In the pathways presentation that will be provided for parents to view at their leisure in January 2021, that will be something that gets into more specifics about what what is entailed inside of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma, Certificate or the Certificate of Accomplishment. Specifically, if you’re a student, you’re wondering what do I have to take and what do I get to choose to take in grade nine? There are six courses that you take: English, French, geography, science, math, and religion. Those are compulsory courses for Grade 9. So in myBlueprint, when they make their selections, they will choose the level at which they would like to take those courses. They are then given two choices. The two elective choices can come from categories like Arts, Tech and Physical Ed and Business. You can see the courses listed on the screen. Students take two of those. The cool part about that is that they are choices, but you do need one Phys Ed, and one arts for your OSD in the end, so your choice could actually end up helping be helping you get a compulsory credit. In the end, there’s lots more details with that as well, but also a part of the pathways presentation in January coming.
Finishing up, I’d like to just mention that we do have a final course selection due date of February 26, 2021. Grade eight students access myBlueprint and they work on their high school plan in myBlueprint and make their selections through that software. So the date you want to mark in your calendar is February 26th, 2021.
As we part ways right now, I would like for to encourage you to visit our Future Eagles section of our website. That’s where you can examine or just have a tour, a virtual tour of more of the departments in Saint Mary’s and get an idea of what the what the school is all about from department to department. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about our school community here at Saint Mary’s. We really believe that Where Kindness Matters, Community Grows. We’re very excited to see you in September 2021. Thanks again.
A message from our
Program Head of
A message from our Program Head of School Improvement, Tony Paolo
Hello everyone, my name is Tony Paolo and I work in the student success department at St. Mary’s.
I’d like to take a quick minute and to discuss what the student Success Department can be for you and help you along your journey for school.
We offer a room — 235 — where students can have a seat before school or at lunch and kind of get themselves settled for a day or organized for a test or for an assignment.
We offer support for the OSSLT literacy test. In fact, all things regarding the OSSLT will run through our student success Department.
We have student monitors who will get to know students and any obstacles that they may encounter in learning can be helped through this department as well.
Our department also plays a large role in transitions and we work with guidance to make sure students can have a smooth journey between grade eight and grade nine.
We don’t claim that we can solve every single problem, but we can definitely get you to the person who can help solve it. We like to get the problems solved when they’re little and before they get too big and unmanageable.
Student success is a resource to help you become successful no matter what the problem is.
Again, welcome to St. Mary’s and we can’t wait to see you in September. Take care.
A message from our
Program Head of
A message from our Program Head of Special Education, Kristy McDonnell
Hi there, my name is Kristy McDonnell. I’m the department head of Special Education at Saint Mary’s High School.
I want to say, “Hi,” to anybody who is considering becoming an Eagle. We look forward to having you here in our school environment.
So, for anybody considering coming to Saint Mary’s, I just want to say there are some great options in special education that could help support you to be successful here in our school. If you are currently on an IEP, receiving supports at your current school, those supports will also follow you here at Saint Mary’s so we can ensure your success.
When you arrive at Saint Mary’s, you will also receive a monitor teacher who will take care of your IEP paperwork as well as connect with you, your classroom teachers and your family to make sure that we’re supporting you in the best way possible. At Saint Mary’s, special education has a resource room where monitor teachers will be housed, where you can visit and advocate if you are in need of any support at school. It’s a place where you can use computers, print assignments, or just meet with your monitor teacher to review assignments and get the supports you require.
For those students who feel like they might need a little more support coming into high school – because it can be a big change – we offer a course called GLE, which is a Learning Strategies course. You can opt for this course in conversation with your current teacher, your current special education teacher and the staff at Saint Mary’s to make sure that it’s the right fit for you. If you do opt for the GLE course that will put you in a classroom with a special education teacher every day. GLE is for credit, but you will also be supported in your other three classes that semester and beyond to ensure you’re successful here at Saint Mary’s.
I think it’s important to mention that at Saint Mary’s, our Special Ed Department also specializes in paving a pathway to the Community for students in the ACTIVE and the Community Living programs. The Community pathway can look like so many things to so many students, so we try to offer a wide variety of experiences in our ACTIVE and Community living pathway. These experiences include getting to know community agencies and the programming that they offer, volunteer experience, community experience, as well as potential paid employment. I think a really great feature of the ACTIVE and Community living programming is that the programming is very flexible. We strive to meet our students where they are and continue to help them to build skills going forward.
I know that I’ve given you a lot of information here about the Special Education department at Saint Mary’s, and I do that just because it’s so fantastic. If you’re interested in learning more about what the Special Education department has to offer, please talk to your grade eight teacher or special education teacher. We will also be able to discuss all these options at your grade eight transition meeting. We’re looking forward to having you Future Eagles come to Saint Mary’s. Looking forward to getting to know you and supporting you in any way we can to help you be successful.
A message from our Student Activities Council Co-Presidents
Hey future Eagles. My name is Eva Bizjak and my name is Nicolas Amaya and we’re the Co-Presidents here at St. Mary’s.
as Co-Presidents we’re responsible for leading student council meetings, connecting students within the school and planning all of the fun events and initiatives that occur throughout the school year. From school dances to sporting events, we — SAC — are the ones who bring these amazing events to life for you as a student to enjoy.
SAC is composed of an incredible group of student leaders, and I encourage you all to look into applying for the club. When the time comes, St. Mary’s also has many other clubs and sports teams to offer and I’m sure you will find a few that you love.
We really want you to take advantage of all the St. Mary’s events and activities that are offered. In high school you have the freedom to be who you want to be. You have the freedom to experience what you want to experience and ultimately leave St. Mary’s proud of what you’ve accomplished.
Getting involved is crucial to ensuring that you have the most memorable high school experience. High School is a time to branch out and try new things. You will definitely make new friends in the process and enhance your experience.
Now, high school is definitely a step up from elementary, but you should never feel alone during this transition. If you ever feel overwhelmed, there’s so many different support systems in place to assist you. Never be afraid to ask for help.
As a grade twelve trust me when I say this high schools will go by in a flash, but it’s all up to you how you want to make the most of these four years. Good luck, future Eagles. I know you’ll do great. This is your time to make your mark. Make yourself at home and remember that you only get to experience high school once in your lifetime. You got this future Eagles.
Get Ready for Grade Nine!
Entering Secondary School
A comprehensive document from the WCDSB for students entering high school and their parents.
Take a look at this 360 degree view of 25 locations around St. Mary’s HS and try our “I Spy“ scavenger hunt!
Register for Grade Nine
Everything students and parents need to know to register for grade 9 at St. Mary’s HS.
All Pathways lead to success! View this presentation showing how WCDSB supports Education and Career/Life Planning.
View this video showing how WCDSB students complete course selections in myBlueprint.
Grade Nine Electives
Students entering grade nine at St. Mary’s can choose from nine different electives. Can’t narrow it down to just two selections? Good news! All these courses, plus more, are also available as electives in grade 10! Check out the videos below and visit ourCourse Calendar to learn more.
ADA1OI – Drama
AMI1OI – Instrumental Music
AMV1OI – Vocal Music
AVI1OI – Visual Art
BBI1OI – Introduction to Business
BTT1OI – Information Technology for Business
Health & Phys Ed
PPL1OI – Healthy Active Living
PAR1OI – Rhythm & Movement
TIJ1OI – Integrated Technology –
Frequently Asked Questions
You asked? We answered.
The FAQ’s below are questions we received from actual Grade Eight Students, answered by actual St. Mary’s Students and Staff Members