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Q & A

We surveyed Grade 8 Students, their families, and our community to find out what they wanted to know more about. Here is some helpful information to support you on your journey!

Catholic Learning Environment

What are Religion classes like? I’ve never attended a Catholic school.

The Religion classes do not require a background knowledge in the Catholic faith. From Grades 9-12, students explore further into the Catholic faith while also discovering other world religions.

Do we pray every day? Prayer is an important aspect of Catholic life.

Within our Catholic schools, prayer is something that is valued and practiced daily. Each day there is a time for students to partake in prayer, while also hearing the daily announcements. Praying also takes place during school assembly’s or other important events.

Course Information

How do I know which courses are offered? To plan for my future I want to enroll in the appropriate level.

Using My Blueprint, students can plan their high school career.

There are more details about specific course levels below...but a general rule of thumb is to look at your success in your previous year(s) of schooling. Knowing your preferred learning style and ultimate goal is also important. 

Typically, we recommend to work at the highest level that you are capable of; this provides you with more options and ensures that you don’t shut doors too early.

I'm worried that I won't know what courses to select. I want to make sure I have the right pre-requisites.

Guidance counsellors will review your course selections once you have made them to ensure you have the correct prerequisites and that the courses you have selected align with the goals you have discussed with them in previous meetings. If you have any concerns, your guidance counsellors will respond quickly to requests for meetings, either on the phone or, if necessary, face to face. Please refer to the Student Services section of the our website.

Our online course selection system is also designed to alert you if you try to enroll in a course for which you do not have the required prerequisites. Talk to your Guidance teacher if you are concerned about having the required prerequisites to support your secondary journey.

Course Levels

What is the difference between the applied and academic stream? I would like to select the appropriate stream.

When it comes to selecting which learning stream to choose, it is important to consider what each one means. Academic courses correlate with University qualifications and Applied courses correlate with the College route. Some courses do not require you to choose a particular route (Academic or Applied) and are suitable for all students regardless of the post-secondary path you wish to take. An important thing to make note of is that you do not need to have all your courses at the same level. It is fully acceptable to have a variety of course levels throughout your high school journey. Speaking with a guidance counsellor or teacher may be able to help guide you towards an academic route that will provide you with the qualifications you need for future careers, or further education.

How hard is the academic stream? I want to know that I am choosing the right courses for me.

In an academic course, students will learn the essential concepts of a subject and explore related material. Although knowledge and skills in the subject will be developed through both theory and practical applications, the emphasis will be on theory and abstract thinking as a basis for future learning and problem solving.  It would be beneficial if a student was previously achieving Level Three or higher for this program of study as it involves significant reading and writing skills. It is reasonable to expect 40-60 minutes of homework each night for each academic course. The focus of this course is to prepare students with essential skills to be successful in the school-to-university pathway. Your grade 8 teacher is an excellent resource and will recommend the appropriate course level for you based on your past/current learning style and skills.

Academic courses are designed for students who:

  • Appreciate opportunities to work independently
  • Enjoy a theoretical orientation
  • Are abstract, reflective learners
  • Analyze results and findings
  • Utilize research from many sources


What will school look like as a result of Covid-19? I want to know if school will be online or in-person? I want to be prepared.

Students returned to in-person schooling in Sept 2020 with much success. All safety measures were put in place to make sure that students could feel safe and learn from teachers in a classroom setting.  Students were asked to wear masks and sanitize their hands frequently throughout the day.

At this time, we do not know what September 2021 will look like.  This past year, however, has taught all staff how to ensure that we are able to deliver an effective program, whether face-to-face or online.

What will happen with lunches because of pandemic? Will there still be a cafeteria? This is important because I want to know if I'll have to continue to pack my lunch every day.

At this time, we are unsure what September 2021 will look like. If Public Health determines that it is safe to re-open cafeterias and resume with communal dining, then we look forward to this; however, bringing lunches is always an option.

I want to know if since there is currently a pandemic, if courses like cosmetics, or opportunities like science labs are still available to participate in? This is important because students may be interested in a certain course and/or career choices (like cosmetology) but won’t know if the supporting courses will be available in September 2021.

Despite the pandemic, all our elective courses – such as hairstyling and aesthetics - were still offered. Some adjustments were made to ensure student safety, and students were still able to cover the curriculum and engage in hands-on activities.

Teachers were quick to pivot and offer alternative ways to learn; for example, our hockey course pivoted to ball hockey to practice and learn new skills; our cosmo class worked on mannequin heads. 

My family doesn’t have reliable internet access as we live in the country. Does your school provide internet for families? I know even when COVID-19 is over lots of information is posted to Brightspace D2L. How am I expected to access it outside school hours if our community doesn’t have internet service? I have a computer, just no internet.

We recognize that internet access in rural areas is a challenge. You are correct to say that Brightspace D2L is a tool used by teachers to post work and to submit assignments, even during non-COVID times. This is especially helpful if students are absent and miss a lesson.

If students lack Internet access, they have the opportunity to use common spaces in their school during the day, including the Library and TLC rooms.

The Ministry of Education has pledged more money to ensure internet access to rural areas in the next 5 years and we are hopeful this important resource will be arriving soon.

Daily Schedule

How long are the classes? I know how fast I should get to class and at what pace I should do my work?

In a normal year, classes are 75 minutes long. Students are given 5 minutes to travel from room to room between classes.

The pace of work will depend on the level of study and will be clearly communicated by the classroom teacher.  In general, applied courses build in more class time to work on assignments and are at a slower pace. Academic courses require more home study as there is more content to cover in class. Locally-developed classes are at a slower pace and provide more assistance from teachers during the class time.

Do we have to bring a lunch?

You are most definitely welcome to bring a lunch to school with you. With that said, there are other options for lunch including the cafeteria and nearby eateries. All food options are to be purchased by the students and are not provided by the school. 


What are the extracurricular sports, clubs and activities offered? I am interested.

Each school in our Board offers different opportunities for students to get involved in extracurricular activities.  Most clubs/ teams are listed on the school website so this is a good place to start. There are also many announcements – especially at the beginning of the year – to alert students to meetings/ try outs.  Pay attention to morning announcements – or read them throughout the day online – so you don’t miss anything.

How do you start a club? It would be cool to do that.

Every club requires a staff advisor so it would be important to secure an adult (teacher, educational assistant, chaplain) who is willing to support your plan. Once this is done, you can begin to assess interest in the student body and see how many others may be interested in joining you.

What sports teams do you have? Physical fitness and team play are important to me.

Do you have to play sports? I want to when I get to high school.

Students are not obligated to participate in a sports team or club. Extracurricular activities are available for any students that wish to join and students that choose not to will not be penalized. With that said, extracurriculars are a great way to interact with other students, discover a passion, and gain valuable experience.

Do you have to be a certain age to participate in clubs?

As soon as students start high school, all sports and clubs become available to them. For sports, ages are divided by junior and senior keeping the ninth and tenth grades together and the eleventh and twelfth grades together, in order to ensure fair play. For clubs, all grades may be joined together while potentially dividing responsibilities based upon age.

Moving to High School

What are the differences between elementary school compared to high school? I just want to be aware and to confirm my guesses.

One of the main differences between elementary school and high school is the number of students. This means high school allows students to meet several different people during their experience. Another difference between elementary school and high school is the daily schedule. Each semester students will have four subjects a day in four different classrooms, with all different teachers. Lastly, another main difference is the variety of options to suit your interests. For many people, high school helps them discover new interests as a result of independence and exposure to new things!

Am I allowed to bring my laptop to high school? I want to do research and take class notes.

Yes, students are allowed to bring their own devices. You simply use your school login and password to access the student wifi; however, students are responsible for any lost or stolen items. 

Each teacher may also have different expectations about how and when personal devices can be used.  Make sure to check with your classroom teacher.

Navigating the School

How will I find my classes? I don't want to look foolish my first day.

First days can be challenging for everyone (even teachers!) and most grade 9s will be struggling with the same issues. Luckily, there is a lot of support. Student Council members or Ambassadors are typically in the halls to guide students. Teachers are also extremely helpful and accommodating.

Activities like Scavenger Hunts are often planned during the first week as part of various Orientation Activities.  A lot of effort goes into making sure that are new students feel comfortable and welcome by the end of the first week.

Where will all my classes be? Will I get lost?

Students will receive their schedule before the first day – either in person or by mail - and will be able to see the rooms assigned for their classes. There will be staff members and students ready to assist you in locating your classes in the first week. Copies of a school map are available in the main office to help you as well.

Do we use lockers?

Lockers are assigned to students and are used as a place to organize school supplies and personal belongings. Although the location of your locker may change each semester, you are able to keep your original lock.

What happens when I get there the first day? Where do I go?

Students will receive their schedule before the first day – either in person or by mail - and will be able to see the rooms assigned for their classes.  If we have locker access returned, students can proceed to their lockers (also on the schedule) and get ready for their morning. 

Grab your morning binder and writing materials and head to the first room on your schedule.  Your first period class is also called your “homeroom”.


How do we register? Some people do not currently don't attend a catholic elementary school so that assistance is not offered.

No worries… registering for our Catholic secondary school is EASY. Choose the ‘Register Now’ button on the Future Students default page and follow the simple instructions. If you have any questions along the way, there is lots of help for you. Just refer to the contact information on the Register page for details.

Can my non-Catholic child register at your school? I heard your high school is great, but we are not a Catholic family.

Our school welcomes ALL FAMILIES! No worries… there is a place for everyone here and we are excited to meet you.

Student Social Life

How many people are in high school? I want to make lots of friends.

Attending Ready, Set, Go Orientation Program in August before you start grade nine and getting involved in school activities in addition to joining school clubs are great ways to make lots of friends quickly. Our high school may seem large compared to your elementary school, but you will find that we really are a family and our staff will get to know you quickly. 

Is it easy to make friends? I don’t know many people going to my high school.

Making friends in high school is one of the most exciting parts of the experience. Although some people may come in not knowing many people, there are several opportunities to interact with other students. Some of these opportunities include classes, sports teams, clubs, school dances, lunch time, and so much more. High school allows for you to become part of a community with other people looking for friends just like you!

Student Support

How do I access extra help? I want to ensure that I do the best that I can and that I now how to get help.

We are here to support you. Our teachers and staff are here to help. Students can reach out to their course teacher, schools supports and attend our TLC room for assistance anytime!

What resources are there for mental health? I think knowing what I can do when I'm having a hard time would be extremely helpful.

Like all school boards in Ontario, our Board has a comprehensive Mental Health and Well-being Strategy where its main goals are to promote the mental health and well-being of all, and to support students experiencing social or emotional challenges.

In addition to ample opportunities where student well-being is promoted, each of our high school’s has school-based social workers who are available to support students experiencing challenges related to their well-being. School based social workers are part of the school team and work with other professionals in the school in order to promote and support student wellness, and with consent can work individually with students.

If a student requires additional support, school based social workers can help make referrals to community supports where needed

If you feel you would benefit from the support of a school-based social worker, speak to your teacher, guidance counsellor, or vice principal for more information.