St. Catherine of Siena School is proud to be under the patronage of St. Catherine. We, at St. Catherine of Siena School, aspire to nurture, in partnership with Church and home, the Roman Catholic faith, and to provide our children with every opportunity to grow and develop in faith as lifelong learners so they may meet the challenges of the future.The St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School Community believes that the Catholic faith, as expressed through Gospel values, is the driving force in thes chool’s community of learners. The school’s relationship with the church and parent community is vital in maintaining our existence as a Catholic school. The School continues to provide a very Christian welcoming environment in which all may work and learn in a supportive, inclusive, meaningful, and respectful manner. Within the context of an authentic Catholic learning community St. Catherine of Siena school strives “…to provide students with the opportunity to realize their potential and develop into highly skilled, knowledgeable, caring citizens who contribute to society.” The school is further committed to:
- deepening the understanding, appreciation and practice of the Catholic Christian lifestyle, with Jesus as role model
- aligning a system-wide approach to Catholicity, whereby all educational practices are implemented through a Catholic lens;
- developing graduates who are fully alive in Christ, “not only in terms of knowledge and skills, but in terms of values, attitudes and actions”;
- encouraging unique approaches to support system priorities and the principal strands of faith education: prayer and liturgy; sacramentality; morality and justice; and scripture and church.
St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Separate School, the first Catholic school in St Catherine of Siena Parish, opened in September 1955. A year earlier, Separate School Board No. 2, Cooksville, had purchased property at 2340-2350 Hurontario Street to build the school and a church. As described in the St. Catherine of Siena Parish profile, Harry Caswell and Fr. Daniel Zanon, worked together to develop the school. Caswell served with the St. Catherine of Sienna Board as trustee from 1955 to 1959 and as board chairperson from 1960 to 1961.
Until the building was ready in January 1956, the students were housed in temporary locations; the younger students were taught in the basement of St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, while the older ones were housed at St. Patrick’s in Dixie. In January 1956 the school opened with 140 students and 4 teachers.
The school population expanded so quickly that the board had to build two more classrooms, and until they were ready in January 1958 it had to rent space from Erindale Public School Board.
In the early years, Felician Sisters served in the school as principals and teachers. In 1975-1976 the Felicians from Holy Name of Mary Secondary School brought high school students to St. Catherine of Siena school to help prepare students for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Communion.
Today, the school has 575 students. True to the example of the school’s patron, St. Catherine of Siena, who extols the virtue of complete surrender to Christ, the school offer S.I.E.N.A awards (Student Initiative Exercising Nice Actions). The school describes the programs as follows:
At our school, teachers try to catch students being good! Students are encouraged to promote Gospel values, be sincere followers of Jesus (“What would Jesus do?”), show respect and dignity for all (like St. Catherine tried to do) and accept all of their responsibilities. Students are expected to politely follow all the school rules and expectations of the teachers in the classrooms, hallways and school grounds, especially one: smiling and kindness are mandatory.
In December 1999, we said good-bye to our original school building. We marked the occasion with an evening of farewell, for parents, students, teachers and community members. After a year spent in a holding school in Streetsville, we finally arrived "home" on January 8, 2001. What a great way to start the new millenium! Here we are today, thankful for our new building, and all of our friends and family gathered together each and every day.
School Motto: Many Hands, Many Lands, One Heart, One God