Parents! Learn More about Google Read and Write!

If you are interested in helping your son or daughter to improve their literacy skills using Google Read and Write, click here to register for register for a FREE webinar. The sessions are an hour, from 6-7pm, and will be run by TextHelp, the developer of Read and Write. The sessions are as follows:

December 13: Intro to Read and Write

January 23: Level II with Q & A

February 22: Intro to Read and Write

March 22: Level II with Q & A

April 30: Intro to Read and Write

This is a fantastic opportunity for parents to help students to leverage tools already at their disposal to maximize their opportunities for success in the classroom.


Notice from the York Catholic District School Board

Dear Supporters of Catholic Education,

 In November, the Ontario Liberal Party launched their “Common Ground” website:

 This website invites the public to put forward proposals that address particular provincial needs and priorities. One of the current suggestions is a proposal for the amalgamation of all Ontario schools under one non-denominational school board. It is important that we, as Catholic school ambassadors, strongly voice our Constitutional rights, and continue to stand steadfast in supporting our 175-year-old Catholic school system.

 In our Catholic schools, we continually focus on developing our students into confident, faith-filled and charitable citizens. In addition to excellent academic programming, our students are enriched through Parish and community partnerships, which nurture students in mind, body and spirit by giving witness to Gospel values.  Catholic school graduates are called to love their neighbours and contribute to the common good of our society.

 As stewards of Ontario’s publicly funded Catholic schools, your Board of Trustees is united in our mission to protect our Catholic identity.  Collectively, we can make our voices heard to preserve our right to publicly funded Catholic Education.

 We encourage you to visit the Common Ground website and register to cast your vote in favour of Catholic Education. During the upcoming election year, media outlets may also run “online polls” on this issue, please participate in them to affirm our message and defend our precious heritage.

 Thank you for your continued support of Catholic Education.

Board of Trustees, YCDSB

An All Saints Day Reflection

Prepared by: Ms. DiFede, English Department and Faith Ambassador

Reflect and He is with you.
Pray and He is listening.
Walk and He will join you.
Come together as a family and He will smile.
On All Saints’ Day, our St.Brother André  students came together as a community to offer their intentions to God. These powerful prayer intentions show how our community continues to grow as effective communicators and listeners as well as compassionate citizens showing love and care for others. May we continue to act as Saints, leading a life full of goodwill through our thoughts, words and actions. Know that we are not alone, but together we are stronger and unified.
Thank you for your participation and support!

Showing the Markham Community We Care!

By: Mr. K. Moore, Department Head of Religion

On Saturday, Oct 21st three members of the Faith Development Council – Ezra Lamsen, Steffie Lam and Rafael George, as well as two other St BA students, Jessica Fernandes and Danielle Volpe joined Mr. Moore and members of the Markham Lions Club to clean up Mount Joy Park. It was a wonderful way to have the young and old as well Protestant and Catholic brothers and sister share in the clean up of God’s Creation. It was a sunny and fresh Fall day,  and not only did we clean up and show the greater community how to work together in friendship, but we examined snails and milkweed plants as we cleaned, thus exploring all parts of God’s Creation which we all must share and care for.


Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) offers learners the opportunity to challenge to earn a credit for based on prior learning usually acquired through personal study, work, and other life experiences.  For more information, you can download the PLAR document at, visit your guidance counsellor or visit the YCDSB website and click on the Continuing Education link.  There will be a mandatory meeting for all students interested in challenging a credit at the Catholic Education Centre at 6:30 pm. on October 12th.

Saturday International Languages Program

The last day to register for the Saturday International Languages Program is Saturday, October 14th.  The YCDSB offers a variety of languages including: Polish, Italian, Urdu, Mandarin, Cantonese and Spanish at different locations.  Please visit the website at and click on the Continuing Education link.  Walk in registrations will be accepted.

New YCDSB Land Acknowledgment


Leaders Needed for Muskoka Woods!

All Grade 12s who are interested in applying to be a peer leader for our annual Gr. 9 Orientation Trip to Muskoka Woods are asked to complete the Google form application below. The deadline to submit your application is 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 13th. Successful applicants will be contacted directly.
Successful candidates:
  • have no previous history of attendance issues or behaviour concerns
  • have a positive disposition and a good sense of school spirit
  • are seen as having a positive influence on their peers
  • are not necessarily those who are currently enrolled in the PLF4M1 course or members of school clubs or councils
  • have strong leadership qualities and solid communication skills
Thank you for applying!

Be a Part of a Wonderful Tradition of Service!

If you are looking for a meaningful experience while earning community service hours, then volunteer your time serving the less fortunate at St. Francis Table. See Mr. Mammarella for more details.

st. francis

AP students Try Their Hand as Engineers Without Borders at U of T Conference

By A.J. Dinglasan, Science Department

Senior PACE/AP science students ventured beyond the borders of St. Brother Andre CHS to learn more about how the engineering profession can impact our world.  Grade 11 students Matthew Monaco and Kevin Setnyk participated in a two-day conference organized by the University of Toronto chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) held at the St. George Campus on May 27-28, 2017.  Monaco and Setnyk were among about a hundred conference delegates who participated in workshops with guest speakers as well as design challenges aimed at engaging youth to use innovative ideas to affect social change.

Andrew Lau, an alumnus of the PACE/AP Science program at St. Brother Andre who just finished his sophomore year at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering serves as Vice President for Operations of the Engineers Without Borders chapter at the school.  Having been through the PACE/AP program, Lau thought that current SBA students would benefit from being inspired to create a bigger impact on the world given the knowledge, skills and passion they now bring to their science education.  “Development is a complex issue,” Lau says, “but with the right systemic approach, youth leaders, whether they plan to go in to engineering or not, have immense potential to improve the quality of life for others in the world.”

Monaco and Setnyk found out first-hand how much the engineering field can indeed affect the lives of many people in the developing world.  While Monaco initially thought that the main focus of the conference was the engineering discipline itself, he was nonetheless inspired by how engineering can be the catalyst and a practical vehicle for social change.  One speaker in particular, Andre Bertram, drove this point home for him.  Bertram and a colleague invented a watch that tracks vital signs and can call for help in the event of an emergency.  The health technology start-up that he and his partner created works with universities and hospitals in the hopes that the device can make its way to parts of the world that need it the most. “His was the most inspiring talk in my view, as he had achieved so much as a young age.  Having created a business at age 19, he showed that anyone can be an entrepreneur if they so desired,” says Monaco.

EWB article photo_IMG_6606 (1).JPGThe workshops that the students participated in as well as the various design challenges incorporated case studies that brought various global issues closer to home.  “We were taught new methods of solving problems that involve identifying stakeholders and then coming up with conceptual solutions.  We were able to come at problems from a different perspective, which was an efficient way and it really worked well,” says Setnyk.  He added that the design challenge emphasized the importance of working as a team and learning to collaborate with other people to get things done.  “There’s really no one-size-fits-all solution for the case study.  It came down to how willing people are to explore possible solutions and see what could be done to create social change,” adds Monaco.  Lau hopes that conferences like this would empower students at SBA to advocate for social change as well as follow their passions at the same time.  He hopes that the school will be represented again at next year’s conference and that social change and youth empowerment remain a conscious presence in these students’ lives.

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