Gr. 10 Civic Students Address Real-World Issues

In Civics (CHV2O3), students explore the rights and responsibilities associated with being an active citizen, while also identifying important topics from community involvement to environmental engagement and so much more.

The goal for students is to develop their citizenship all while recognizing the critical role they play both in the context of today and tomorrow. As such, it’s crucial that students develop a personal interest in politics, society and work to be engaged as active citizens.

Recently, students were to engage as responsible citizens and effective communicators by reflecting on a key issue that they deemed significant. Students were to write a letter to the appropriate member/level of government with the goal to address a real-world problem through an active discourse.

Once the letters were completed and reviewed, students choose the appropriate politician (and appropriate level of government) to contact via email. A select few students may even hear back from these politicians regarding their suggestions and current action plans. This is a unique opportunity that allows students to address real issues in an experiential way.

Alyssa Da Silva represents our classroom this semester with a successful letter on mental health resources within schools – an issue she feels passionate about and wants to bring attention to. In addition to bringing awareness, Alyssa shows us just why mental health is so important and directly impacts students’ ability to succeed in school and in society. In fact, Ontario Premiere Doug Ford recently replied to Alyssa with the following:

Congratulations to Alyssa and all the students who participated in the letter writing process.

Every student has the potential to be the change the world needs.

Treaties Recognition Week: Learn, Unlearn and Relearn

Looking back on my high school experience, I certainly feel aged when reflecting on the differences between now and then. Beginning high school in September of 1994 without any concept of “www” is a definitive difference. With this, the notion of being a self-directed learner was not part of the common educational vernacular as information and knowledge was shared and very much owned by teachers and confined to classrooms. Equally, textbooks constructed information and knowledge from a particular point of view all while the classroom was singular in it’s approach. That was then and this is now.

Today, schooling is very much about nurturing young people to be autonomous learners who can learn, unleaarn and relearn in class and importantly beyond. As noted by Utech and Keller in their essay Becoming Relevant Again: Applying Connectivism Learning Theory to Today’s Classrooms, “knowledge therefore is not a set of facts but rather a learner’s ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn information quickly and be able to apply that new knowledge in an ever-changing information landscape.” They continue to share that “learning is the ability to discover something unknown. Unlearning involves critically analyzing and in some cases rejecting information or beliefs once held to be true in the presence of new information. Finally, relearning is the arriving at a new understanding, sometimes replacing perspectives that were once expected or believed from past experiences” (Utech & Keller, 2019).

It wasn’t until I was in post-secondary that I began my journey as a deep learner. I realized that in high school, my ability to discover the unknown wasn’t deeply nurtured. This is not a criticism but rather a reflection of the times. Nonetheless, there were many unknowns that would have made schooling so much more relevant over twenty-years ago.

Specifically, when thinking about Canada, our shared history continues to become fully seen. The learning of our nation’s history today is much different than yesterday. Bombastically, my teenage self had no knowledge of Residential Schools, The Indian Act or Treaties. I’m still rattled by the thought that the last Canadian Indian Residential School closed in 1996. I was going to school as a 15 year-old thinking about what the cafeteria was serving and which movie to rent on VHS, all while today’s traumatic history was happening in my real time. I didn’t know. I didn’t know Canada fully.

This reminds me of why Treaties Recognition Week is so important.

In a world where information is everywhere, the ability to learn, unlearrn and relarn mustn’t be taken for granted. The potential of connecting with authentic voices, understanding story and fully seeing comes when we think critically, reframe and embrace knowledge as ever-evolving.

Thus, we are all called to be life-long learners and Responsible Citizens. As it pertains to Canada’s history of cultural genocide including the role of the Catholic Church, we’re all called to learn, unlearn and relearn while owning our past and moving forward with a commitment to truth and reconciliation. It’s not about guilt but moving forward with a call to learn and serve.

So, as all of Canada continues on the journey of Truth and Reconciliation, take the time this week to create new learning and discover why Treaties Recognition Week matters.

Be committed to learning, unlearning and learning beyond the classroom and textbook. Begin, here with a number of resources curated by the TCDSB: Treaties Recognition Week

Romero Visionaries Presents…

Hi Romero Family,

Over the course of the past two weeks, I’ve continued to capture Romero school memories. Specifically, as I look forward to capturing more sports, I have been able to attend Romero Raiders Football games. As I continue to grow as a photographer, the football games, give me plenty of exciting moments to capture.

Below are a collection of photos from the Romero vs. Carr game, which took place on Wednesday October 28.

Outside of school, I love to discover the city of Toronto.

Different environments allow me to learn about lighting, composition and storytelling. As I visit unique environments, I have to learn how to use my DSLR camera in order to take the best photos possible.

Below, is a series titled the “The Streets of Toronto.”

I’ll have more photos to share in a couple of weeks. Thanks for taking the time to view my photos.

Bye for now,

Phuong

Romero Visionaries Presents…

Hello Romero Family!

My name is Melissa Andrade and I’m a Grade 10 student here at Romero.

Recently, I joined a new school club called Romero Visionaries. Moderated by our Vice Principal, Mr. Perrotta, Romero Visionaries provides students – like myself – with the opportunity to be a part of the content creation for our school’s website, share our passions, connect with special guest speakers and grow through other experiences such as the Romero exclusive, Disney Poster Design challenge for the MCU film Eternals which Mr. Raterman of the Arts Department is co-leading.

Each student who decided to join this club has their own interests and talents that they want to grow and share. For me, my passion is writing.

I’ve always been fond of writing and fell in love with words from my interests in books. As a child, I always had a book in hand and became immersed in all of the various worlds that came to life in each book I read. With these worlds, I was and continue to be deeply intrigued at a writer’s capability to create places that go beyond any figment of my imagination.

For most of my life, I found the very idea of books to be fascinating, but I only saw them as a means of enjoyment or education; not as something that I could actually create myself. This thought changed last year in Grade 9 all because of my English class.

At the time, I was working away on my final assignment for my Academic English course. The ISU for our entire class was to create a Google Slides presentation applying all of what we learnt, to a specific topic and creating our own short story inspired by Greek mythology. When I finally completed this last assignment, I realized how much fun I had during the process of developing the idea of my own short story and seeing it come to life. At that very moment, I came to the revelation that I can actually write and be like all of the other writers who were a major source of inspiration to me.

Now a couple of months later, I’m a “Visionary” who is so thrilled at the chance to share my passion with everyone at school and whomever may visit this website.

My bi-weekly column is titled “Words by Melissa.”

Basically, every other Wednesday throughout this school year, I will be writing an article of interest and/or sharing school news. From hard-hitting news, to Romero stories, to popular culture and more, “Words by Melissa” will provide me the opportunity to share stories that I find interesting, provocative and inspiring.

My first article launches Wednesday October 27.

Until Wednesday,


Melissa Andrade

The Importance of Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving Romero Family!

Looking to the meaning of Thanksgiving and October as the month of Gratitude at the TCDSB, it’s important to pause and reflect on the role gratitude plays in our respective lives. Although, each of us will be spending Thanksgiving in our own way, we’re connected as a school family with much to be thankful for.

Specifically, Thanksgiving provides us all with the opportunity to embrace the importance of gratitude in our everyday lives. As shared in the Harvard Health Publishing article Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier, “gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. As a result, being grateful also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power” (“Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier.” Harvard Health).

Thus, as we continue to grow as Discerning Believers and shape our own unique relationship with God, gratitude can play a significant role in becoming what God intends all of us to be. From our daily interactions in school to how we engage in our broader communities, intentionally practicing gratitude can nurture a positive relationship with self and others.

Looking ahead, take the time to intentionally pause and reflect on what you are grateful for. Perhaps its the warm sun in the morning, the colour of leaves in the Fall, the support of a teacher and the friendship of a colleague. For students it could even be the high expectations of a school that is committed to community, justice, knowledge and the betterment of one’s self in doing what is right and just.

Personally, this Thanksgiving I have much to be grateful for. This includes the Romero Family. Arriving at a new school during COVID is not an easy thing. This is a reality that many of our own students may recognize, including our Grade Nines.

With all things COVID, school life is not really the same (although we’re starting to feel some normalcy again) and getting to know people behind masks and without much social interaction can be isolating at times. However, every encounter I’ve had thus far has been incredibly positive. Let me stress, EVERY.

From TPH screening at the front doors, to hallway chats with staff, to working with students on school initiatives and even when students are not having their best behavioural moments, I’m grateful for it all. These are all moments in time that connect me to others.

Everyday, I have the true privilege to engage with dedicated staff who inspire and wonderful young people who are sent to Romero by parents and caring adults who want their child to be what God intends them to be. There’s so much to be thankful for in recognizing the true gift that comes in working with young people every day. I’m grateful for the opportunity and know the weight of the responsibility.

What are you grateful for?

In the video below, Chaplaincy student leaders share thanks for their friendships, school and relationship with God.

Nonetheless, as we continue with this school year, please reflect on what you are thankful for today and everyday. You’re welcome to share your thanks here on this website; just let me know.

My hope is that you’re thankful for the Romero Family and what it means to be part of a Catholic school community that is deeply committed to ensuring that each family member can be their very best.

Romero is truly a special place.

A special note of thanks to Chaplaincy and everyone who contributed to the Thanksgiving “Civies Day” Food Drive and the Gratitude Wall this past Friday. It was truly heart warming to see staff and students both giving and showing thanks as a loving community.

Best wishes for a Blessed Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving and Showing Gratitude at Romero

Citations:

“Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier.” Harvard Health, 14 Aug. 2021, https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier.