News - 2014

Message from ACSTA President - Bill10

Dear Colleagues,

The Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association (ACSTA) is encouraged by the Alberta government’s recent display of leadership in placing the third reading of Bill 10 on hold. However, at the same time, we are deeply saddened by the distorted information, aimed at our Catholic schools and our faith, that seems to be taking over this debate.

As school trustees and members of the Catholic faith, we need to make it abundantly clear to those outside our community that in our Catholic faith, and therefore our Catholic schools, we believe that all people are loved and accepted as children of God and as a child of God, each person is to be accepted with dignity and respect.


We believe:

  • that all people, regardless of sexual orientation, are unique creations of God, and as such, all people share the same rights and dignity. Our faith affirms this truth and condemns any treatment that violates it.
  • that, although sexuality is an important part of one’s identity, it is only one part of an identity. We are complicated beings, and no one particular trait alone defines us as a whole, unique person. In defining us, we cannot single out one human trait - this leads to stereotyping, misunderstanding, segregation and isolation - according to that one trait.
  • in an inclusive approach to education - one in which each person, regardless of background, race, social, status, body image, sexual orientation etc, is welcomed, accepted, and supported. All forms of discrimination or bullying are, therefore, unacceptable and are immediately addressed. In Catholic schools, no student is excluded and everyone belongs - every child, every day with no exceptions.
  • that Catholic schools are policy leaders in providing safe, caring and inclusive learning environments. Alberta Catholic schools excel at providing valuable and supportive programming, including our inclusive student groups, which are supervised and supported by teachers, counsellors, and/or chaplains.
  • that parents are the primary educators in any student’s life.

 

We support:

  • inclusive Catholic school communities and the protection of the dignity of each and every person.
  • the safety and welfare of all students as evidenced by our zero-tolerance policy on all forms of bullying.
  • safe and inclusive learning environments for all students - especially those students who may suffer from isolation, alienation, abuse, discrimination or violence - through the ACSTA Safe and Caring School Environments policy, endorsed and supported by Alberta Bishops, Catholic superintendents, and Alberta Catholic trustees.
  • safe, caring, and inclusive student groups, open to all students, that demonstrate an understanding and respect for the sanctity of human life and respect for the human person. Regardless of ethnic or racial backgrounds, abilities or disabilities, sexual orientation, body image or social status, our inclusive student groups promote and support diversity, equity and human rights and do more to protect and support all vulnerable students, while strengthening understanding and compassion in society as a whole. As a result, Catholic schools do not support the naming of any student group in a way that would single out potentially vulnerable individuals on the basis of a personal trait, such as sexual orientation.
  • working to eliminate all forms of bullying in schools; as opposed to singling out, through legislation, one group, such as gay-straight alliances, at the expense of other vulnerable groups. For example, Bill 10 would not have prevented the tragic deaths of children made vulnerable through cyber-bullying as reported in the national media.


We are proud of our Alberta Catholic schools and our tradition in providing inclusive, welcoming, safe and respectful learning environments for all students regardless of ethnic backgrounds, abilities, social status or sexual orientation. Our schools work hard to promote understanding and respect for the sanctity of human life and the human person. Our students, in turn, demonstrate respect for the unique differences of every person, thereby extending understanding and compassion to others.

By making our voices heard, I know that we can ensure and maintain safe and caring Catholic school environments for all Alberta students. As a Catholic community, we can demonstrate to our most vulnerable in society that their respective needs are just as important as any one group.

Sincerely,


Tony Sykora
ACSTA President
 

2014-12-12 9:31AM
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Edmonton Catholic Gala

Edmonton Catholic Schools Foundation honors Archbishop MacNeil's 90th Birthday with a Gala

You are Invited -- Invitation

On behalf of the Edmonton Catholic Schools Foundation, we are pleased to invite you to a special celebration to honor Archbishop MacNeil's 90th birthday and 45th anniversary of Episcopal ordination. This happy occasion will also afford us the opportunity to pay tribute to the extraordinary legacy of a remarkable man. Due to great interest in this event and to ensure wider accessibility, gala details are now as follows:

 

2014-06-02 12:38PM
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Returning of G.R.A.C.E. (God's Riches Alive in Catholic Education): Student Short Video Contest

DEADLINE EXTENDED UNTIL MAY 15 - SUBMIT YOUR ENTRIES NOW!

G.R.A.C.E. 2 - Youth Video Competition Call for Entries

The student-short video contest has returned for a second installment. We are looking for your videos on Catholic education.

Are you between 12 and 19 years old?
Do you attend a publicly funded Catholic school in Alberta or the Northwest Territories?
What to share your faith with others?

WE WANT TO HEAR YOUR VOICE!

This opportunity is for you... For more information go to our G.R.A.C.E. webpage

2014-05-05 9:14AM
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CCSTA Registration Reminder

Register now for the 2014 CCSTA AGM in Kingston, Ontario.

View the pdf for more information

2014-04-17 2:40PM
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ACSTA Hosts Catholic Education Symposium

On February 21 and 22, 2014, the ACSTA hosted Growing Forward: A Catholic Education Symposium. The event was a great success with over 200 people in attendance to hear guest speakers Archbishop Michael Miller (Archbishop of Vancouver)and the University of Lethbridge’s Dr. Reginald Bibby.

Read about the symposium in an article by the Canadian Catholic School Trustees' Association: http://www.ccsta.ca/en/homepage-news-en/362-alberta-catholic-school-trustees-association-symposium-looked-at-how-to-grow-forward

2014-03-03 8:43AM
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Kevin Feehan Receives Justice James Higgins Award

The Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Kevin Feehan, Q.C., this year’s recipient of the Canadian Catholic School Trustees’ Association Justice James Higgins Award. Kevin Feehan has worked tirelessly on behalf of Catholic education over the span of his legal career and the ACSTA is delighted he has received this honour. For more information on the Justice James Higgin’s Award visit: http://www.ccsta.ca/en/homepage-news-en/358-honouring-a-ccsta-legend-higgins-award-given-to-40th-recipient-this-year

2014-02-25 2:02PM
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Bishop Carroll Students Win 2014 Canadian Catholic School Trustees' Association Toonies for Tuition Contest

The Canadian Catholic School Trustees’ Association is pleased to announce the winners of the first “Share Your Gifts” art and media contest for JK-12 Catholic students all across Canada. CCSTA received almost 60 entries by over 300 participating students of original paintings, videos, dance and musical performances, storybooks, posters, poetry, and digital media works that provided outstanding answers to the question “What does Catholic Education mean to you?”

All entries have been posted to a “Student Gallery” and can be viewed at: www.tooniesfortuition.ca/student-gallery

The winning entries will receive an iPad Mini (or its equivalent cash value), to be presented to the winning students in their home school districts by their local Catholic School Trustee.

2014-02-25 9:06AM
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