Introduction to Shared Practices
Across Ontario, Catholic school boards have been using the Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations in a variety of creative ways. This resource is meant to provide a snap shot of this diversity and in no way claims to reflect the richness that is to be found throughout the Catholic school system. In exploring these applications, we hope that you will not only be affirmed in your own use of the OCSGEs, but inspired to discover others.
Expectations For All
At first glance, the introduction of the Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations appeared to be to many something quite novel and abstract. In fact, however, it was its considered vision of the learner; its very rootedness in a distinctive Christian anthropology and view of the world, that firmly grounded these 52 expectations in the broader Catholic educational tradition. Catholic school communities were being invited not so much to become engaged in something new and theoretical, but rather to embrace a constructive, self-examination of the distinctiveness of their policies and practices.
The launch of the Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations was imbued with the hope that in them, all members of the Catholic education community in Ontario would recognize themselves. Whether inside or outside the classroom; in both the elementary and secondary panels; from Board rooms to playing fields; from conversations among parents to those between the members of Catholic professional associations; the OCSGEs have succeeded in giving to us all a language that has brought a higher degree of clarity and a renewed sense of the distinctiveness and purpose that is publicly funded Catholic education in Ontario.
Renewing the Vision
The Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations have both inspired and served as a foundation upon which a wide variety of initiatives and resources have been developed. In this collection you will find samples of work which include:
- the working philosophy of Ontario’s 3 Catholic curriculum cooperatives
- support materials for Catholic Education Week from OCSTA
- distinctive curriculum resources for both the elementary and secondary panels in all subject areas
- activities related to the broader life of the school and the community (e.g. social justice service and learning projects, ecological stewardship, liturgical celebrations, retreats)
- creative partnerships for the revision and creation of text books and other resources for use in Catholic schools
- innovative programs and outreach to exceptional students and students at risk
- codes of conduct regarding the proper use of technology
- resources and strategies in the promotion of media literacy
- teacher pre-service formation and on-going professional development
- leadership formation and on-going enrichment
- on-going adult faith formation opportunities for all of our partners
- the policy work and practices of Catholic trustees
- school board improvement planning
- school improvement planning
- the work of School Councils and other parent groups
- enhancement of parish, home and school partnerships
- outreach to the Ontario public
- enhanced cooperation between Catholic education partners
- distinctive responses to Ministry of Education initiatives (e.g. Aboriginal programs and policies, Eco-Schools,
- Safe School policies, Character Development through the virtues, Equity and Inclusion)
- Above all, the Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations have provided to all those involved in Catholic education both a vision and a practical tool to ensure that the treasures of our Catholic faith and tradition properly inspire all that we do in our schools.
They provide educators and students, parents and friends, pastors and parishioners, trustees and administrators, indeed to all of our partners, a distinctive perspective from which they can critically and constructively engage not only contemporary culture but also gauge the efforts of our Catholic schools to meet these challenges.
Catholic schools provide educational programs and services for students with a variety of learning needs and abilities. The framework defined by the Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations has recognized the need for flexibility to accommodate individual student differences.