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Principal's Message
Flora Nordoff Principal's Welcome Message

Principal's Welcome Message

and Jesus said,

"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."(Matthew 19:14)

It is with extreme excitement and pride that I announce the opening of

ST. MATTHEW CATHOLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOL!

The staff and students entered the halls and classrooms of this magnificent building on MONDAY MAY 3RD, 2010.

It is my distinct honour and sincere pleasure to be addressing you as the Principal of St. Matthew Catholic Elementary School. What a privilege it is to have been given the opportunity to be involved with the design and planning of this outstanding building and to begin the process of developing, very clearly, our mission and vision!

St. Matthew Catholic Elementary School is an exciting place to learn and grow for children from Junior Kindergarten to the 8th grade! The students are why we are here! We believe in teaching the whole child; nurturing and guiding each individual to reach his/her potential academically, spiritually, physically and socially. We strive to create an environment where students feel safe, comfortable, and respected. Our Faith traditions are central to our daily teachings in the classroom as God's truth and guiding plan for our students' lives. Application of the Gospel values learned occurs at every grade level. At St. Matthew School we believe in putting our Christianity into action – in the classroom, on the playground or wherever we are! We have an wonderful pastor, Father Jim Petrie, who plays an active role in school and in shaping the spiritual life of the students


Our students show leadership through their academic and extra-curricular activities. As well, many are involved in spirit activities which add considerably to the life to our school. Some are great writers, readers, artists, singers, problem solvers, dancers, junior scientists, etc. By sharing their gifts with others they benefit greatly. They learn to develop teamwork and leadership skills through their involvement in various activities. During the school year students participate in an active stewardship program that reflects a variety of themes. Students and their families have opportunities to give and serve locally, nationally and in some cases internationally. The Haiti Relief is only one such opportunity where staff, students and families practice the art of stewardship.

Our teachers and staff are committed to providing the best educational opportunities for our students. There is no one person or group who can take credit for the success of our school. The staff at St. Matthew is dedicated, energetic, diligent and creative. They work together as a team and are constantly sharing and learning. They freely share their special talents with the children. It is amazing to see people shine in their domain and to witness the children benefiting from their efforts. They are giving the children the skills and confidence that will serve them throughout their entire life. In these contexts the students not only learn the specific curricular expectations, but also the cross-curricular competencies in various broad areas of learning. The staff also shares and supports each other to create a positive learning environment for all.

The parents are also very involved in our school be it through leadership in the Catholic School Council, or sharing a talent with a class. We have many parents who volunteer and participate to help the school in so many ways. This sense of community is so important and valued in our school.

Furthermore, the Hamilton Wentworth Catholic Separate School Board is pleased to announce that St. Matthew Catholic Elementary School is a "L.E.E.D." (Leading in Energy and Environmental Design) SCHOOL. The following are some of the 'GREEN' PROVISIONS:

LANDSCAPE
A large number of trees intended to shade 'heat generating' paved areas.
Bicycle racks and pathways to encourage 'walkers' and 'riders'.
ARCHITECTURAL
Lots of windows for natural light and views to the outside.
Windows that open to natural ventilation whenever possible or preferable.
Sunscreens to reduce heat gain, and light shelves at the interior to bounce natural light into the classrooms.
An improved system of collection for recyclable and compostable waste.
High windows at the centrally located gymnasium acts as a light shaft lighting the gym and the interior corridors of the school.
A white roof reflects the heat, thus reducing energy use on hot days.
An outdoor classroom beside the second storey 'green' roof.
A monitoring station, visible to the students in the corridor, showcasing the operating systems.
Added insulation within the walls and 'super glass' to improve energy performance.
MECHANICAL
Heated air is brought in near the floor, and as hot air rises it will naturally pass over occupants
A mechanical unit serves each classroom, so that each can adjust to their comfort level, or consumption.
Solar collectors to heat water and a solar wall to help heat air coming in from the outside.
Energy efficient mechanical systems and equipment.
ELECTRICAL
Light fixtures automatically adjust to the amount of natural light available.
Light fixtures turn off automatically when there is no movement.
A meter in each classroom so that students can monitor or observe their energy consumption.


"School Climate is an effective ingredient to an effective school. Community Building is an effort to create intentionally, a positive climate where individuals are treated with respect and consideration, and where Christ is at its' centre. This process involves leading a classroom through virtues-based team building, and relationship skill building activities."

We at St. Matthew School are excited to implement a process that achieves this school climate.

TRIBES Is A PROCESS FOR LEARNING AND BEING TOGETHER.

ITS'MISSION: To develop a positive learning environment that promotes human growth and learning.
ITS' GOAL: To engage all teachers, administrators, students, and families in working together as a learning community that is dedicated to caring and support, active participation, and positive expectations for all students.
ITS'PURPOSE: To call forth the unique potential of every student.

The TRIBES process uses 4 AGREEMENTS that are essential to building a safe and caring community for learning.

Attentive Listening
to pay close attention to one another's expression of ideas, opinions and feelings
to check for understanding
to let others know they have been heard.

Appreciation / No Put Downs
to treat others kindly
to state appreciation
to avoid negative remarks, name calling, hateful gestures or behaviours

Participation /The Right to Pass
to have the right to choose when and to what extent you will participate
to observe quietly if not actively participating
to choose whether to offer observations later to the group

Mutual Respect
to affirm the value and uniqueness of each person
to recognize and appreciate individual and cultural differences
to offer feedback that encourages growth

RESTORTATIVE JUSTICE

In order to move from punishment to reparation, our Catholic schools require a consistent and inclusive model of justice that:
Develops strategies to teach moral and/ethical behaviour
Teaches youth to accept consequences of their behaviour and the impact their actions have on others
Develops a strong sense of empathy and identification with the victim and a way to make amends
Teaches youth to feel empowered not 'powerless as victims of the system'
The Restorative Justice philosophy includes the values of responsibility, inclusiveness, openness, trust, hope and healing

ADVANTAGES OF RESTORATIVE JUSTICE APPROACHES
A safer, more caring environment, a more effective teaching and learning environment
A greater commitment by everyone to taking the time to listen to one another
A reduction in bullying and other interpersonal conflicts
A greater awareness of the importance of connectedness to young people, the need to belong and feel valued by peers and significant adults
Greater emphasis on responses to inappropriate behaviour that seek to reconnect, and not further disconnect, young people
Reductions in fixed term and permanent exclusions
A greater confidence in the staff team to deal with challenging situations
An increased belief in the ability of young people to take responsibility for their choices, and more people giving them opportunities to do so
St. Matthew Catholic Elementary School is a place that puts a smile on our faces as we come to school every day.

Our hope is that you will feel the school spirit every time that you walk through our door way.

"Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." St Matthew, 6. 21

Flora Nordoff