News - 2016

G.R.A.C.E. 3 – ACSTA Student Video Contest

November 16, 2016 - G.R.A.C.E. 3 – ACSTA Student Video Contest

The Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association (ACSTA) is pleased to announce G.R.A.C.E. 3 (God’s Riches Alive in Catholic Education). G.R.A.C.E is a short video contest for Catholic school students age 12 to 19 that the ACSTA created and first launched in 2012. It has been a couple of years since the last G.R.A.C.E. video contest was held, and we are happy that once again we can give Catholic school students the opportunity to show everyone how their Catholic school experience has made a positive difference in their lives.

We are very confident that G.R.A.C.E. 3 is an excellent way to raise the profile of Catholic schools in Alberta, Northwest Territories and Yukon. Its main objective is to let students, through the creativity of a video, show in visual terms how Catholic schools are unique, and how the faith permeates all areas of learning.

Here is how the video contest will work:

Using a smart phone, digital camera or any other video recording device, students will be asked to create a maximum 2 minute video, by themselves or with a group of friends, that highlights the unique and distinctive way Catholic education has helped or inspired them in their educational and faith journey. They will be required to upload their video to YouTube, and then share with us the unique video URL. This way we are not dealing with any video files. The deadline to submit video entries is April 21, 2017. All entries will be judged by an ACSTA video review committee and the winners will receive a prize, which will consist of a first prize of $500, a second prize of $300, and a third prize of $200.

Please CLICK HERE for the Video Contest Guidelines and the Video Contest Submission Form.

We want to thank you for doing what you can to spread the word about G.R.A.C.E. 3. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the ACSTA office at 780-484-6209 or


2016-11-17 10:25AM
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The Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association is on Facebook and Twitter. Like and follow us today!

2016-10-18 2:06PM
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ACSTA looks forward to working with Alberta Education on new “Future Ready” initiatives

The Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association (ACSTA) is looking forward to working with Alberta Education on their new Future Ready initiatives, the first of which was announced today by Premier Rachel Notley.

The Future Ready initiatives as they are known will be a new series of programs that look to improve the education of Alberta students through new skills training, with the overall goal being to better prepare them for a changing and more diversified Alberta economy. In general, the idea is to construct an education system that builds the skills Alberta students need to succeed. A large part of Future Ready is a top down curriculum overhaul, which will be made in stages over the course of the next 7 to 8 years.

The ACSTA sees many positives in this new announcement by the Alberta government, especially in their willingness to let people speak their minds through an online survey. The online survey is the first initiative to be launched under Future Ready, and its goal is to ensure parents and other concerned Albertans have their say during a comprehensive review of the province’s K-12 curriculum. We are cautiously optimistic that our voice for Catholic education will be heard very strongly during the initial planning stages of curriculum review. The ACSTA stresses the importance of all Catholic stakeholders to do whatever they can to make sure we are involved as much as possible during the curriculum overhaul process.

The online survey will run from run from October 18 until November 18, and the ACSTA encourages all member boards and each school community including school staff, parents, and those in local parishes to get the word out to all stakeholders involved in Catholic education to make sure their voices are heard. You can find the survey at the following link: The online survey is a great opportunity for us to make our collective voices heard and we strongly stress for all of you to promote this within your school boards. Of note is that the survey responses will be confidential.

We also hope that there will be many more opportunities to have our collective Catholic voices heard in the Future Ready initiatives that have yet to be announced, and we look forward to working with Alberta education in an open, timely and honest manner to ensure that Catholic schools in Alberta will be able to continue to offer to its student population a Christ centered faith enriched education.

Yours in Christ,

Adriana LaGrange
ACSTA President

John Tomkinson
ACSTA Vice President

2016-10-18 2:04PM
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Eileen Bell of 630 CHED Editorial

September 2, 2016

We would like to share a link to an audio file.  A thank you goes out to the Archdiocese of Edmonton for sharing this link with us.

This is a great editorial by Eileen Bell of 630 CHED. It reflects on changing times at schools over the years, and comments on recent criticism of a Catholic school board for teaching chastity. She says in the below link quote, "Let's make sure that we don't push so hard to ease discrimination against one group of people that we cause discrimination against others. There are places on earth where parents can't freely teach their children their beliefs -- happily that's not us. Catholic school boards have a right to teach within their faith principles, as do other Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, and other schools. Parents should have the ability to have their children educated within the principles they want them to grow up with. No one should teach hate if they understand that God loves all of his children equally."

2016-09-02 12:16PM
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Alberta Catholic School Trustees' Association Celebrates National Aboriginal Day

June 21, 2016

Today we celebrate the 20th Annual National Aboriginal Day and the Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association (ACSTA) would like to take the time to recognize that we as a provincial organization through our member boards, work in a collaborative and unique way with the Indigenous peoples on Treaties 6, 7, 8 and 11 land.

The First Peoples of this land held it as sacred ground. In recognition of this, we would like to note that we are all common brothers and sisters who are grounded in creation by the spirit of our Creator, whom we all turn to for guidance, hope and trust.

There has been much pain and hurt in the lives of many First Nations peoples caused through both the actions and inactions of our provincial and federal governments, churches and schools on this land. Catholic schools today can play an extremely important and positive role in healing this pain.

Reconciliation and healing are noble goals, and something we at the ACSTA, in solidarity with our member school boards, will work hard to achieve so that our future will be one of peace, friendship, and unity with our Lord God the Creator.

Prayer for: National Day of Prayer in Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples, 2015 (CCCB)

O Great Creator, we give praise and thanks to You for our lives and world. You make all things new and good, and you invite your peoples throughout creation to receive and share all that is good with each other. Thank you for how wonderfully and intimately You share Your life with us all. Likewise, we seek deepening relationships with each other and all Creation.

We commit to live and work with one another – our families; our communities; all cultures, nations, and peoples – in union with Mary, all the Saints, and our Grandfathers and Grandmothers who have gone before us and inspire us. We thank Your Great Holy Spirit for the great variety of gifts and talents You give Your people, and we commit to always using Your blessings to help one another and all Creation.

Dean Sarnecki
Executive Director

Alberta Catholic School Trustees' Association
#205, 9940 - 106 Street
Edmonton AB T5K 2N2
Phone: 780/484-6209 Fax: 780/484-6248

2016-06-21 1:55PM
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ACSTA stands in solidarity on World Catholic Education Day with those affected by Ft. McMurray fire

May 5, 2016

Edmonton, AB - Today on World Catholic Education Day, the Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association (ACSTA) stands in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who have been impacted so greatly by the fire in Ft. McMurray. It is with heavy hearts and great concern that we have witnessed the unfolding of the unprecedented events over the last few days.

Catholic schools across the province are taking this day to showcase Catholic education in special ways. World Catholic Education Day is held 40 days after Easter on Ascension, and is a time for Catholics around the world to take a moment to pause, reflect and pray on the gift that is Catholic education, and how it has served many in Canada over the years, from primary to post-secondary education.

The ACSTA affirms its commitment to support and celebrate Catholic education in Alberta, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon. As Pope Francis commented back in February 2015 to a group of educators, “You cannot speak of Catholic education without speaking about humanity, because the Catholic identity is precisely that God became man.”

This is why the ACSTA stands in solidarity with everyone affected by the Ft. McMurray fire, as Catholic education at its heart is about humanity, and how as God’s children, it is our obligation and privilege to help those in need. Along with our continuing prayers for safety and security for all affected, we stand ready to help by supporting our local Bishops and school boards in their campaigns to raise funds for victims of this terrible tragedy. We are also working closely with our member boards, as well as the Council of Catholic School Superintendents of Alberta, to help displaced students. Please know that all of us involved in Catholic education in Alberta stand ready, able and willing to help students, staff and their families in any way we can, be it through registering at new schools, to more tangible ways, such as the procuring of school supplies.

In the meantime, the ACSTA is encouraging people to donate to their local Bishops Appeals, and the Red Cross, whose relief efforts offer immediate help to those in need. Please visit community/alberta. Also, dioceses across the province are having special collections this weekend. Please contribute generously.

Stay tuned for further updates from the ACSTA on actions we are taking to help. For further information, contact Adriana LaGrange, ACSTA President at 403-396-9912 or Dean Sarnecki, ACSTA Executive Director at 780-484-6248. Please follow our Twitter feed @ACSTANews to stay up to date on what’s going on with our member boards. You can access the full list via this link: to see what great things are happening in Catholic education across the province. Also, be sure to visit our member boards’ respective Twitter and Facebook pages for Education Week updates.


Bishops Letters


2016-05-05 4:34PM
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Education Week - May 2 - 6, 2016

Alberta Catholic Schools Celebrate Education Week

Edmonton, AB - May 2 to 6 is Education Week in Alberta, and the Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association (ACSTA) is pleased to help share our member boards’ activities during Education week, showcasing and celebrating publicly funded Catholic education in the province.

The theme for this year’s Education Week from Alberta Education is “Learning Together”, which local Catholic school boards in the province, such as Calgary Catholic School District, and Edmonton Catholic School District and others have taken and integrated the additional theme “We are Teachers”, which further exemplifies the importance of the teacher student connection in learning together.

For example, Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education has put together a short video for Education Week, highlighting teachers’ thoughts about what the theme “Learning Together” means to them. It can be accessed via this link.

Please follow our Twitter feed @ACSTANews to stay up to date on what’s happening with our member boards. You can access the full list via this link: to see what great things are happening in Catholic education across the province. Also, be sure to visit our member boards’ respective Twitter and Facebook pages for Education Week updates.

Anthony Murdoch
ACSTA Communications
2016-05-03 3:37PM
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2016 ACSTA AGM & Convention

The Alberta Catholic Trustees’ Association (ACSTA) AGM will be taking place from November 18 to 20, at the Westin Edmonton, 10135-100 Street, and promises to be quite an event for 2016 as the ACSTA celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Celebrating 50 years is quite a milestone, and for 2016 our AGM will reflect our 50 years through a specially planned Gala event, which will look into the past, present and future of the ACSTA. More information on the ACSTA AGM and Gala event will be posted here soon, so make sure to check back.

The Keynote speaker for the AGM will be Dr. Josephine Lombardi. She has worked as a parish minister, a high school chaplaincy leader, a teacher through O.E.C.T.A., and a university campus minister. The ACSTA is excited to have Dr. Lombardi as the keynote, and her expertise in faith formation, religious education as well as her work in the media through Salt and Light Television makes her the perfect fit, especially for our 50th anniversary.

Dr. Lombardi is currently Associate Professor of Pastoral and Systematic Theology, Professor of Field Education, and Director of Lay Formation for St. Augustine’s Seminary in Scarborough, Ontario. She recently has been appointed Series Theologian for the new Religious Education curriculum for grades 1 through 8, “Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ” for Catholic School Boards in Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

2016-04-13 2:41PM
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ACSTA Statement in Response to Guidelines for Best Practices

"ACSTA (Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association) reaffirms that all Catholic schools in Alberta have been and will continue to be inclusive, welcoming, safe and caring environments.

Guided and grounded by our faith, every child is seen as a precious and unique child of God deserving of individualized love and attention to reach their full God-given potential.

The ACSTA appreciates the leadership of Catholic school boards, Catholic school divisions/authorities, and the Council of Catholic School Superintendents of Alberta (CCSSA) in the development and implementation of overarching Safe & Caring school policies, strong anti-bullying policies and the LIFE Framework (Lived Inclusion for Everyone) document which have long ensured that all students, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, etc. are treated with equal respect and dignity.

ACSTA reaffirms the rights of parents and/or guardians as primary educators to make informed choices for their child/children.

ACSTA reaffirms the responsibility and the role of the Alberta Catholic Bishops to provide moral and theological leadership to the Catholic community including Catholic education communities.

ACSTA reaffirms its commitment to work with Alberta Education and regrets Alberta Education's lack of consultation during the development of the Guidelines for Best Practices resource material.

ACSTA is confident that all Catholic School Boards will continue (as has been their foundational practice and moral imperative) to be responsive to the individual needs of all their students-without exception!"

“The ACSTA has 24 member boards, representing 412 schools in Alberta, serving over 160,000 students.

For more information or to speak with an ACSTA representative please contact ACSTA at 780-484-6209.

2016-01-19 1:39PM
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