Robotics Team 6397 Keeps Building Success

ST. OSCAR ROMERO’S ROBOTIC’S TEAM REPRESENTS THE TCDSB AT THE FIRST ROBOTICS CANADA ©   PROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIPS!

The Romero Robotics Team #6397 has advanced and will be solely representing the TCDSB at the First Robotics Canada Provincial Championships being held this Easter weekend.

The team competed at Humber College March 5/6 and placed 2nd overall, winning silver medals and going home with huge smiles and a sense of pride! This team started with no previous knowledge and built a competitive robot that was able to collect cargo, shoot, and competitively defend. The team also competed at York University later in March, with the aim of improving the robot’s functionality and its ability to climb in advance of the provincials. The team has flourished throughout this school year with individual students learning not only about robotics but themselves. The learning has been truly transformational.

Coaches and students alike are thrilled with the team’s accomplishment, particularly given that students came to the Robotics Club this year with no prior knowledge following the pandemic lockdowns. This team of students are comprised of diverse students from across Grade 9 – 12 and significantly, are predominantly female students both handling the build and programming. The team is thrilled to see young women embracing robotics and for exemplifying the capacity of women in STEAM!

The accomplishments of Romero Robotics have been made possible by the generous support of their sponsors, Youth Culture & RBC Wealth Management, and the support of the the St. Oscar Romero school community and TCDSB. 

Congratulations to:

STUDENTS:COACHES:
Noemi G.R.
Nardos S.
Emily N.
Emily S.
Rosemary S.
Ryan B.
Cameron F.P
Tiago C.M
Darwin B.
Daniel D.
Oliver M.
Justin F.
Jeremy M.
Joshua L.
Steven Rumazza
Michelle Presotto
Joe Longa
Marlon D’Addio
Marc Vittorio

Special Event: In Conversation with Erika Casupanan, the Winner of ‘Survivor 41.’

St. Oscar Romero’s IMPACT, safe schools committee is thrilled to announce a special conversation with Erica Casupanan, the winner of ‘Survivor 41.’ 

Presented as part of St. Oscar Romero’s mental health week running April 25 – 29, Erika will share her experience navigating the corporate world as a PR specialist, the realities of Survivor gameplay and what she discovered about herself on her way to winning season 41 of the mega-hit CBS reality-show. 

Importantly as being an immigrant and woman of colour, Erika will also share her personal story as a Filipino-Canadian. Through story and thriving to be responsible citizens who see fully, this evening promises to provide all participants with an opportunity to reflect on their own assumptions about gender, race and ethnicity all while feeling empowered in telling their story and embracing their identity. 

Erika will be joined by Keasha Docusin (Gr. 9), Chanelle Guddaran (Gr. 9) and Jeremy Ong (Gr. 10), Canadian-Filipino students from St. Oscar Romero who will be moderating the conversation.

St. Oscar Romero Filipino students who Excitingly, students will shape learning that is culturally relevant and responsive by connecting with Erika through shared experiences.


Register here: Finding Your Voice and Knowing Yourself

A Call to Do What is Right and Just

Recently, members of St. Oscar Romero’s student council took part in a TCDSB virtual leadership workshop. This workshop provided members with an opportunity to share with other student leaders from across the TCDSB and to further grow in our journey to do “what is right and just,” in our school community and be what God intends us to be as future Ontario catholic school graduates.

As members of St. Oscar Romero’s student council, we hold our family motto very close to our hearts. As a school family navigating all things COVID, we recognize that student council is more important than ever before. Thus, we grow as caring family members, with a deep committed to the well-being of St. Oscar Romero CSS.

For the past two years, students been thrust into a new world of schooling where learning has taken place at home, school schedules have been modified and extra curricular activities have been paused. All of these changes have not been easy for many.

As we approach the two-year mark of when Ontario schools first went virtually due to COVID, we have to recognize the toll such realities have had on students’ mental health and the well-being of all invested in schools.

It is not easy for students or staff to switch to remote learning in order to accommodate a pursuit of an education. Since this has happened, students have been feeling isolated and alone, and are not yet accustomed to being back in school. Because of this, it is important for student leaders to engage meaningful and bring some much needed joy. Over the course of the past two years, many students did not have a chance to have a full high school experience. Thus, as school leaders, it’s important that we try our best to engage in activities that will help boost self-esteem, confidence, and bring people together.

With COVID responsible activities and through positive role modelling, student council has lifted students’ spirits. Day-by-day, the goal is to restore enthusiasm and remind the St. Oscar Romero school family that through hardship rises new beginnings.

Recently, we’ve had the pleasure of offering a series of activities, raffle prizes and candy grams for the Christmas and Valentine’s seasons. Just this week, we’ve also worked to support those impacted by the crisis in Eastern Europe through fundraising. We look forward to hosting a carnival day in the Spring and hosting a number of other activities that will bring people together. With all of this, special thanks are extended to Ms. Borean, who is currently the student council staff moderator. Ms. Borean’s dedication and mentorship is much appreciated.

With all of this, all members of student council recognize that serving is a true privilege. Through student council we have the opportunity to grow and learn about ourselves and others. We all thank the school community for their trust and partnership.

 

Brick By Brick: Hope and Resilience in a COVID World

Saint Oscar Romero Catholic Secondary School is proud to present Brick By Brock: Hope and Resilience in a COVID World, a conversation about student social and emotional learning with Kyro Maseh and Dr. Marlyn Morris.

Brick by Brick: Hope and Resilience in a COVID World is presented by Saint Oscar Romero Catholic Secondary School’s IMPACT committee.

IMPACT, is Saint Oscar Romero’s Safe and Accepting School committee. This committee of students and teachers is dedicated to learning, unlearning and relearning together as it pertains to seeing students fully and being responsive to the unique realities that students and families navigate day-to-day.

Brick by Brick is a special community conversation that will address the challenges that students and families have been facing over the course of the pandemic and will look to provide next steps to engage students in having a growth mindset that embraces hope and fosters resiliency in school and beyond.

This presentation is for families of Saint Oscar Romero students and neighbouring TCDSB schools. Families of students from Gr. 7 – 12 are encouraged to participate.

Our Guests:

Kyro Maseh is a practicing pharmacy owner at Lawlor Pharmacy. His advocacy for public health and community initiatives during the pandemic have been widely recognized by National and international media. Kyro is also a mentor to pharmacy students, and a public speaker on a variety of topics. He regularly gives talks to clinicians, but also at risk youth throughout the community. His life mission is to create a humanizing, personal experience for all his patients, always aiming to lift peoples’ spirits during their darkest times; treating the person first before the illness. 

Dr. Marlyn Morris is a development Planning and Policy Consultant/Advisor and Trainer; Legislative Review and Drafting Consultant; a Business Development Advisor;  Educator and Training Provider. She  holds a PhD (Planning and Development);  M.Sc (Econ) from the University of London, UK;  LLB (Hons.) from the University of Wolverhampton, UK; BA (Hons) and a post –graduate  Diploma. Education from the University of the West Indies and a Certificate in (Legislative Drafting) from Boston University.  She also holds a Certified Professional Coach Certificate (CPC) for Life and Business Coaching, is a Certified Teacher and a Practicing Mentor and Coach. Dr. Morris is also a United Nations educator and design thinker who specializes in culturally relevant teaching and learning.

Register here: Brick By Brick: Hope and Resilience in a COVID World Registration

Art and Healing

Last week, as I spent my final day in Ms. Conforti’s Gr. 12 Visual Arts class working away on an artist reflection, Vice Principal Perrotta visited with his video camera in hand. As some of you may know, he often visits classrooms to document student learning and he asked me to write this reflection. We chatted about my goals after Romero and how art can connect to my future career as a social worker.

Looking to the future, I’m so proud to share that I will be studying to be a social worker at George Brown College come September. I’m so excited to learn and I also know that visual arts will give me an advantage as I look to build a successful career.

Any artistic form, can empower an individual to express and share repressed feelings or emotions. The creative process can be very therapeutic for both future patients and myself as I work to be a support to people in need.


As a social worker, my goal is to protect vulnerable children and support families in need of assistance. With this, my art experience will allow me to think critically, problem solve and look at situations in different ways.

I know first hand that art can be healing.

In my own experience, a social worker was able to get me to trust her by pulling out a bin of crayons and asking me to draw my family. At that moment I knew she understood how I was feeling and that I was safe to be open and vulnerable with her.

From healing to diagnosing a mental illness, the creative process allows for storytelling that transcends languages and cultures. Whereas I discovered art at a young age, adults can also find healing and wellness by putting a paint brush to a canvas, a pencil to a sketchbook, even a crayon to a
colouring book.

The creative process can bring a sense of safety – creating with purpose and accomplishing amazing things that come from inside one’s self. Art brings people together – it bonds people from all over the world. When looking at any art work, you’re able to see a story. In creating, you’re able to to share and be understood.

So, looking ahead to my future as a social worker, I know that art can heal and is a great way to connect and share. I’m so proud of where I am heading and so thankful of my learning experience in the Romero visual arts program.

The Gift of Your Best Self

As we find ourselves in the midst of Christmas break, I hope the entire Romero Family is finding the time to reflect on the true meaning of the season. I know that time is precious and thus it can be a challenge to find the solace to pause and look inward as you navigate the hectic nature of life. Perhaps, you’re a teenager working odd hours during the holidays, a parent being pulled in multiple directions or a teacher who isn’t really taking a break at all. Nonetheless, this time of year can be quite overwhelming.

This is all to say that at times we can easily lose the true meaning of Christmas. I know that I’m guilty of this. I can become consumed by the commercial aspect of the season, where no one gift is enough. With, buying for others I have to remind myself that less can be more. In fact, just yesterday, I had a conversation with my 8 yr old son, who militantly proclaimed that there weren’t enough presents under the tree. Let alone reminding him that Santa still hasn’t arrived, I went into Dad-VP lecture mode and scorned him for a shallowness I was guilty of as a child – and at times as an adult. I reminded him that, we’re so blessed to have in so many ways. I equally cautioned him that in having, it’s easy to become absorbed with wants rather than what really matters.

Thus, as Christmas Eve approaches, it’s important to remember that while your celebration maybe joyous, others may be suffering in their own way. With this, love is essential as we’re reminded that the birth of Jesus, is truly about the giving of self and not material. With his birth, we’re called to give the gift of our best selves.

Our goodness, love, potential and shared responsibility is what Christmas is truly about. It’s about who we are and the promise of who God calls us to be. As the classic Charles Dicken’s story A Christmas Carol illustrates, goodness is the greatest of all gifts. As Scrooge transforms into his truest self, he realizes that the spirit of Christmas is found everyday of the year. He is called to share his “Christmas Offering,” of being what God intends him to be. He embarks on a new journey of self and discovery.

Below I’ve shared my favourite film adaptation of Dicken’s tale of hollowness turned into warmth. As you watch, reflect on who Scrooge is and what Jesus calls him to be. Equally, reflect on your own “Christmas Offering” and how you can give the gift of goodness.

With this, I wish you all a blessed Christmas and a New Year defined by the giving of your best self.

The Gifts I Bring to Canada

When the students were first presented with the idea of entering a competition that would focus on their gifts, they showed little interest. They didn’t welcome having a camera pointed at them, nor did they think they could finish the sentence “My gift is…”. After brainstorming possible talents, they were able to identify with some examples and create “I”-statements to express their gifts. This exercise of self-analysis and taking personal inventory, which they rejected and considered intimidating at first, gave the students a sense of confidence and empowerment which will influence their ability to take risks in language learning – to voice their ideas and attempt assignments that may seem difficult – and actively participate in a new community. 

This video competition also gave the newcomer students the opportunity to build community within the class and beyond. New to the country, province, city, and school, these students have had few opportunities to interact, and so this project created an environment where they learned more about each other – their interests and their languages – and encouraged each other to take risks. The collaboration with Mr. Perrotta, Vice Principal, in creating the video furthered these students’ sense of recognition. Therefore, in addition to the literal experience of seeing each other’s faces, the students felt seen – by themselves, their school, and the greater TCDSB community.

Anti-Bullying Awareness Week: Presentation Reflection

A key highlight of Anti-Bullying Week has been the presentation for Gr. 9 students. The presentation teaches Gr. 9 students how to stand up to bullying in a way that is interactive and informative. Facilitated by Gr. 12 leaders , the goal has been to encourage everyone to lead by trusting in themselves and the Romero Family.

The presentation focused on the effects that bullying can have and what forms of bullying exists. Along with focusing on the “Bully,” the presentation addressed the “Bystander.” Students watched a short-film which showed a series of different decisions a bystander can make – both positive and negative. After the presentation, Grade 9 students participated in group conversation that activated their prior knowledge and new learning. The students were empowered to share their voices from the onset of the presentation.

Along with other activities including Bingo, students were introduced to supports such as the Anonymous Alerts, a web-based application where students can report incidents of bullying. The presentation also included an open floor, led by Gr. 12 students, where participants reflected on bullying, past experiences etc. Of course, every presentation demands a Kahoot. Needless to say, all of the students had a blast answering questions in such a way, especially with prizes to giveaway.

Importantly, the presentation concluded with Gr. 12 leaders, highlighting the results of the student bullying surveys conducted earlier in the week. The results garnered immediate attention by participants as they reflected real life and real people. From this, Gr. 9 students added their names to a pledge wall – promising to take a stand against bullying. Overall, the presentations provided all participants with an opportunity to be Effective Communicators.

Special thanks are extended to all the teachers who participated in the presentations with their Grade 9 classes. This includes: Ms. Aucoin, Mr. Colle, Mr. Corrigan, Mr. Burns, Mrs. Kingswell, Mrs. Reily, Mr. Prudant and Mr. Anthony.

Importantly, huge thanks to the Gr. 9 students for being active participants. Here at Romero, it’s more than just a high school – it’s a family. Family members are called to treat each other with respect, trust, love and care. Thus, all students are called to be caring family members in school and beyond.

Let’s continue to make Romero proud!

Written By

Andre, Andrhei and Antonio

Anti-Bullying Awareness Week: Tuesday Thoughts

Yesterday, we continued with our Anti-Bullying Awareness Week efforts. As our Gr. 12 classmates prepared activities and facilitated presentations, we took some time to reflect on the significance of this week and our continued learning as a school community. In conversation with Ms. Mormile and Mr. Mendes, we took the time to understand fully.

Tuesday’ Anti-Bullying Awareness Week activities included making Friendship Bracelets.

Why is it Valuable for Gr. 12 Students to be Leading Anti-Bullying Awareness Week?

It is valuable for the Gr. 12 students to be leading Anti-Bullying Awareness Week, because we are both showing young students (primarily Gr. 9s) that bullying is not appropriate or morally guided. Equally, we are showing younger students that they can very much lead. This leadership is critical for the St. Oscar Romero school family to thrive and be a safe place for all.

It’s important that the Gr. 12s lead this week with courage, resilience and determination so that a difference can be made. By bringing this vision for the week to life, we hope all students are inspired by our hard work and community spirit. In particular, we hope that Gr. 9 students have more confidence in themselves and stand up to bullying. The St.Oscar Romero Family is an inclusive and safe space for all students and staff, and we want to ensure that everyone feels dignified, valued and respected.

Why is it Important for Gr. 9 Students to Participate in Anti-Bullying Awareness Week?

It’s very important for the Gr. 9 students to be engaged as the newest members of our school community. This is their first year in high school and as the youngest grade, the students have much to adjust to. Starting high school, we’re sure the Gr. 9 students had particular assumptions created by the media they consume. This, includes what the school may feel like. We as seniors, needed to show the Gr. 9 students that to be in high school is to be a leader. This includes making it known that bullying is not acceptable and will not be tolerated at our school or anywhere else.

By being proactive and preventing negative incidents before they occur, we are encouraging the active responsibility of all students. Throughout our four years we want to grow as Responsible Citizens who give witness to Catholic Social Teaching by promoting peace, justice and the sacredness of human life. With our Gr. 9 peers starting off their high school experience with these open, engaging and meaningful conversations, we hope that they grow in understanding what being a Responsible Citizen is and the the importance of coming together as a Caring Family Members.

As the week continues, warm thanks are extended to the entire Romero Family for their support.

Remember to press Play For Anti-Bullying!

Written By: Antonio, Andhrei and Andre

Anti-Bullying Awareness Week: Getting Started

Yesterday marked the beginning of Anti-Bullying Awareness Week!

Throughout this week, a number of student-led events will be moderated by Grade 12 students. The purpose of this week is for students to learn together and strengthen the bonds of community. Gr. 12 students will be facilitating a number educational workshops and activities for Gr. 9 students. These workshops, presentations and activities will focus on learning about bullying, increasing awareness, managing situations, learning about the role and responsibilities of bystanders, developing empathy, and learning about available resources both in school and beyond.

Over the course of the past two weeks, Gr. 12 students from Mr. Mendes and Ms. Mormile’s religion classes have worked very hard to develop the student led presentations, which will take place this Wednesday and Thursday. These presentations are both informative and a call to action, where students will be encouraged to be responsible citizens who live their lives by giving witness to Catholic social teaching.

Needless to say, the effort being put forward is great. Students have worked vigorously to prepare music, set up technology, develop content and more. Student voice has been engaged with in-school surveys conducted about bullying. Furthermore, students are documenting the week by capturing media content, hosting activities during lunch and more.

With a gaming theme, the goal is to engage the entire Romero Family in new learning and a shared understanding of bullying and it’s impact. It’s been an amazing start to the week and we all look forward to making this the best Anti-Bullying Awareness Week yet.

Remember to, press Play For Anti-Bullying

Written By: Antonio, Andhrei, Andre