john kostoffTORONTO - When he was in Grade 8, John Kostoff had a choice to make: attend a prestigious high school with a longstanding tradition in academics and sports or an up-and-coming, smaller Toronto school run by the Holy Ghost Fathers.

Kostoff had seen a newspaper photo of a child from Nigeria holding a sign reading “Thank you, Neil McNeil.” That sealed the deal for Kostoff, who chose Neil McNeil High School because of the school’s active involvement in helping survivors of the 1967-70 Nigerian Civil War.

Court ruling affirms freedom of religion for Quebec Catholic school

JusticeA Quebec parents’ group is hailing a court ruling that allows a private Montreal Catholic high school to be exempt from a provincially mandated ethics course as a victory for freedom of religion and parental rights.

On June 21, Quebec’s Superior Court slammed the “totalitarian” approach of the Quebec government and ruled that Loyola High School can not be forced to teach the controversial Ethics and Religious Culture course because it infringes upon their charter rights of free expression and religion.

Prom Night a rite of passage for all teens

Prom NightAJAX, Ont. - There was nothing special about Jenny Lawlor’s prom night. It’s Lawlor who is special.

Lawlor has Down syndrome and is one of about 25 special needs students at Archbishop Denis O’Connor High School in Ajax. Every year a few of the special needs kids attend the prom along with the graduating students.

The special needs students are no less a part of 900-strong student body than any one else, said principal Mary Curran. That’s simple and obvious.

Province to blame for education chaos, trustees complain

TORONTO - Timmins Catholic school trustee Colleen Landers fully expects to be laying off teachers in April and then hoping to rehire them over the summer. She and her colleagues on the Northeastern Catholic District School Board have sent out a sheaf of just-in-case pink slips before, and it's become part of the normal and chaotic budgeting routine for many school boards.

School boards on different paths

TORONTO - The 416 and 905 area codes rounded off 2006 by continuing on separate paths over the financing of Catholic  education.

More budget woes forecast for school boards

TORONTO - The Catholic school board in the rich and growing suburbs squeezed in between Toronto and Hamilton is worried.

Union officials take over at College of Teachers'

OCTTORONTO - One of the most hated of the Mike Harris Conservative's education reforms in the eyes of teachers' unions is now in the hands of one of the unions' very own.

School boards choose leaders


TORONTO - Trustees from the five Catholic school boards within the Toronto archdiocese have elected their chairs and vice-chairs for the 2006-2007 school year.

Trustees play for time with province


TORONTO - Despite a provincial report which recommends ways for the Toronto Catholic District School Board to erase $34.9 million in red ink, trustees are hoping to dodge cuts by playing for time until the spring provincial budget.

The separate school system up for discussion


TORONTO - Ontario's Catholic community is embarking on another all-embracing discussion about the "distinctiveness, value and the future of Catholic education." The plan for the province-wide consultation was announced Nov. 25 at a symposium organized by the Institute for Catholic Education (ICE).

Catholic educators challenged to unite

TORONTO - If Ontario's Catholic schools are struggling to stay afloat in turbulent waters, it would seem that half the time Catholics are stirring up the waves themselves. At a two-day conference dealing with the subject Nov. 24-25, leaders of the provincial separate school system struggled with how to overcome differences and face external challenges united.