Embracing the Spirit of the Lenten Season…

lenten project

The season of Lent is a time of great introspection and reflection. The ashes we received on Ash Wednesday prompt us to think about the kind of “mark” that we want to leave on the world. Typically, we often think of Lent as a time of sacrifice and while that is true, it is also a time of generosity and looking outward towards the community and looking for ways in which to help those less fortunate.

The St. Brother Andre community will be embarking on three main charitable endeavours:

  1. During the week of March 27th, all high schools in the York Catholic District school board are combining efforts to collect a variety of items for hygiene kits that will be donated to ShareLife for distribution amongst the homeless of Toronto. Our school has been asked to collect face cloths. We ask that each student contribute 1 or 2 as the school goal is 2000.
  2. During the week of April 3rd, the Luke 4:18 Council will be leading the way in our school’s support of 5 With D.R.I.V.E., a Markham-based organization, who is looking for support for their food bank and their efforts to end the trafficking of young girls and women. Students are asked to bring in either a Loonie or Toonie, along with a non-perishable food item.
  3. On May 4th, the school will continue the tradition in supporting the B-Strong Foundation in its efforts and cancer research. Students will receive more information shortly about collecting pledges. The entire school will go on a 5km walk in support of this foundation, in loving memory of Lindsay Bulger (a former student), as well as the Children’s Wish Foundation.

Your support and generosity is greatly appreciated!

A Message From the York Catholic District School Board


Taking Care of Business!

Contributed by: Ms. Lettieri, DECA supervisor

On Friday, February 9th, 2017 to Saturday February 10th, 2017, SBA’s DECA team competed in the provincial competition held at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto. All students competed with confidence and vigor. Their hard work and dedication to DECA should definitely be applauded and we could not be more proud of the excellent participation demonstrated by the entire SBA DECA team!  

A special mention goes to Bethel Ng who placed 3rd in her business cluster, oral conference. Bethel is now on her way to the DECA international competition being held in Anaheim, California from April 24th, 2017 – May 1st, 2017. We wish Bethel the best of luck as she represents St. Brother Andre CHS in Anaheim!!!


SBA Wins Top Spot at the Toronto Automotive Technology Competition!

Under the tutelage and guidance of Technological Studies teacher Mr. Rehel, Ryan Gullage and Michael Lamanna won first prize at the Toronto Automotive Technology Competition. The event took place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and was sponsored by Centennial College, the Canadian International AutoShow, Volkswagen Canada and Toronto-area VW dealers, General Motors Canada, Snap-On Tools, Consulab, Canadian Tire, Prona Tools, Electude-Argo, Nelson Education, Pearson Education, TecMate and the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association.

Teams were made up of two students and each were given 120 minutes to diagnose and repair cars operating problems.The teams worked through various stations which tested their analytical skills in electrical, steering, suspension and brakes, engine measurement and mechanical, and waveform analysis.

Mr. Rehel, Ryan and Michael will be travelling to New York City in April to compete in the National Auto Skills Competition and we wish them the very best of luck. The St. Brother Andre community is so proud of Michael and Ryan’s TREMENDOUS accomplishment!

Exam Review Day

Students and Parents are reminded that February 6th is Exam Review Day. This is an excellent opportunity for students to receive feedback from their teachers about the results of their Semester 1 exams. This is NOT an appropriate time to discuss semester-end marks. Report cards will be sent home on Friday, February 10.

February 6th also marks the start of Semester 2. To accommodate Exam Review Day, the schedule has been altered. Please see below:

exam review day.jpg

A Little Puppy Love Goes a Long Way…

From January 23-25, we are thrilled to welcome the St. John’s Ambulance pet therapy program to St. Brother Andre. Since 1990, this wonderful service has been available for Canadians. Below is an excerpt from the website:

Therapy dog services are provided in a wide range of community settings such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Seniors residences and care facilities
  • Schools, universities and colleges
  • Community centres and libraries

The therapy dog program provides an opportunity for individuals to:

  • Talk with the volunteer and the dog
  • Feel, touch, pet and cuddle the dog
  • Receive unconditional love from the dog
  • Carry-out or practice an activity in the presence of the dog

The program offers many benefits, improving quality of lives.  Some of the reported benefits include:

  • Greater social engagement with individuals/residents talking more, participating more in activities, and smiling more
  • Stress relief and distraction from pain
  • Comfort and calming
  • Improved self-confidence and esteem

St. John’s Ambulance representative, China, coordinator for the Markham area, spoke about how the program has grown significantly since 1990 and that in this area alone, there are 60 therapy dogs available. Today, China brought Tessa, a lovely Golden Retriever, who has the distinction of being the first therapy dog to accompany a victim of crime on a witness stand during court proceedings. Students lined up for an opportunity to meet Tessa and expressed a great deal of excitement about the availability of such a unique program in the school. During this particularly stressful time as students are in the throws of exam preparation, Tessa was a welcome and calming presence.

One Acts, So Much Talent

On January 18, 2017, under the guidance of their most dedicated teacher Ms. Elliott, the grade 12 Drama students performed their One Act plays to an excited house of friends and family supporters. The students performed three plays: Cowtown, Liver for Breakfast and The Shadow Box. In all three pieces, the students’ performances highlighted the complexities of human relationships. The stories were very relatable and relevant. These performances were a culmination of a semester of hard work and dedication. Students should feel proud of their brilliant performances and the tremendous professionalism they demonstrated. Bravo!


Do YOU Have What it Takes?

Students? Are you looking for a rewarding leadership opportunity? Are you interested in networking with and meeting students from across the province with a shared passion for learning? How would you like to be a part of a dynamic team that works with the Minister of Education to promote positive change across Ontario?

Apply to be a part of the Minister’s Advisory Council! See the poster below for details.


An Experience of a Lifetime in Peru!

Our very excited staff and students departed for their adventures in Peru on Boxing Day. As an extension to the Global Indigenous Studies course that students have been taking through night school, the focus of this trip is service. Our staff and students have been engaging with local communities, bringing food and clothing donations. To date, they have planted 90 neem trees – and counting. They are very popular in Piura, Peru. The leaves can be used to treat burns and cuts, and the leaves can even be used to make teas to help treat several ailments. The group walked through a little village called Altos and planted one in front of several people’s homes. The SBA group met some students in at a local library and gave out mangoes and clothing donations. Never have you seen a happier group of students, who then after ran out into the street a few moments later to show their parents what the got!

Students did some Micro credit loan visits. They jumped into motos to go purchase firewood and corn in the village and then personally traveled to the homes of families that students were directly sponsoring to deliver the goods. Students also got to meet and interact with post-secondary students they are sponsoring and donating money to in order to help them complete their post secondary studies. Toothbrush and toothpaste donations given to the kids in Altos brought many smiles and laughs.

There is no question that our students will return from their travels having been transformed by this experience. Much gratitude is expressed to Ms. Orsi, the lead teacher and course instructor, for organizing this spectacular excursion. Many thanks are also expressed to Ms. Smyth and Ms. Raponi, our own SBA teachers,  and Mr. Crocco (Superintendent) and Ms. Marinaro from the York Catholic District School Board, for accompanying our students on a trip of a lifetime.

 Many thanks to the staff for sharing these wonderful photos!

A Very Special Christmas Message…


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