Our School

St. Isaac Jogues Catholic School prayer

At St. Isaac Jogues Catholic School, we are called to celebrate and nurture the God-given talents of each student as we serve with excellence in the light of Christ. We recognize our call to love and serve from our Master teacher Jesus Christ, and we are committed to creating a Catholic learning community under the protection of Mother Mary.

The Catholic Graduate Expectations are our foundation as we strive for academic excellence and the acknowledgement of those who achieve it. We recognize God as the source of all life and actively work to focus on social issues within our local and global communities.

We celebrate the diversity within our community with a collaborative approach to learning, in cooperation with parents, the Catholic faith community, and other organizations that recognize the value of our mission. Within the context of Catholic teaching and Sacramental living, our school community strives to demonstrate respect and reverence for all life, thus nurturing a safe, Christian environment for the entire school community.

2017 - 2018 School Year Calendar

Our Board's 2017 - 2018 School Year Calendar is now available. Please subscribe to our school calendar webpage to receive the latest updates and emails on upcoming events and activities happening at school.

Child Care services

We are pleased to partner with YMCA to provide before and after school care at St. Isaac Jogues Catholic School. Call our child care partner at 289-923-8259 to learn more about our services.

School hours

Our school hours are:

9:00 a.m. - School Begins
10:25 a.m. - Morning recess
11:45 a.m. - Lunch Recess
12:25 p.m. - Lunch
12:45 p.m. - Entrance Bell
2:10 p.m. - Afternoon recess
3:30 p.m. - Dismissal

Fast facts

Some facts about our school are:

  • Year Built: The original school was built in 1981. Additions were built in 1988 & 2001.
  • Number of Classrooms: 26
  • Enrollment: 592
  • Child Care: Yes (before and after school through YMCA)
  • Parish: St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Church - Father Paul Dobson
  • Sports Team Logo:  Jaguars
  • School Motto: Believe, Achieve, Succeed!

History

The history of a Catholic school does not stand alone. It is couched within the context of the Catholic Church, the history of the community where it resides, and the people within. This brief history of St. Isaac Jogues Catholic School in Pickering, Ontario, Canada, includes references to the political landscape, the people who founded and led the school community, and the traditions that built our wonderful story.

In 1981, Pierre Trudeau was prime minister of Canada; times were exciting, as new ideas and new technologies were emerging. The population was growing in Ontario. This was reflected in the tremendous growth in the area east of Scarborough in what was then the small town of Pickering. The population at that time was some 37,750 people, almost 20 percent more than a decade earlier. This was also a monumental moment in Ontario's Catholic education history. Bill Davis was premier of the province and Cardinal Carter was Archbishop of Toronto. These two men would eventually come together to make Ontario history by extending Catholic rights to education.

It was during these exciting times, under the leadership of principal Jim Johnson, that St. Isaac Jogues Catholic School was opened in September 1981 to serve the needs of the growing student population living north of Highway 2 in Pickering. Even before the school opened, the 650 students warranted the addition of a six-room port-a-pac. The school was named for St. Isaac Jogues, a Jesuit missionary who was martyred in 1646.

The naming of the school after the famous Canadian Catholic martyr was perfect, given Pickering's earliest Catholic history. In 1669, M. Fenelon, a French Jesuit missionary, reached the Seneca village of Gandatsetiagon, on the shores of Frenchman's Bay. After spending the winter there, he began his missionary work. The Jesuit tradition continues in Pickering even today, through Manresa - a Jesuit spiritual retreat centre that is just a few kilometres away from St. Isaac Jogues Catholic School.

By 1982, there were 800 students at the school. Ten portables graced the large fields that surround the school. We smile now as we recall the year 1982, when Time magazine name "the Computer" the Machine of the Year. Just a few years later, a group of enthusiastic teachers set up the first computer lab at St. Isaac Jogues school: computers with a full megabyte of memory!

As we look at the school today, it's difficult to imagine it without the church next door. The parish of St. Isaac Jogues was established in 1983. Before the church was built, Mass was held in the school gymnasium. The church building was completed in 1988 and the founding pastor was Father Bernard Canning. The students of St. Isaac Jogues have benefited ever since by having the church next to the school. In 2011, the staff and students bid fond farewells to Father John Henry, who had served the community for 14 years. It was also a retirement goodbye for the Durham Catholic District School Board, since Father John had also been a former superintendent of the Board. Father Paul Dobson succeeded him as pastor in the summer of 2011 and has continued the tradition as the school's "friendly spiritual neighbour."

In 1984, St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Catholic School opened in Pickering. This reduced the crowded halls of St. Isaac Jogues to 650 students. But new changes were in store as the school, under principal Pat McKinnon, again extended its welcoming spirit and housed the staff and students of the new St. Anthony Daniel School, resulting in a population of over 1,000 students!

St. Isaac Jogues School continued to evolve. In 1988, new offices were added. Our next principal was Brian Vrebosch; by this time, the population of Pickering had reached 68,000 people. During the 1990s, the St. Isaac Jogues School population began to stabilize. New classrooms were added in 2002 to replace the port-a-pac, and the school prospered during this period under principals Lenore Bernard and Betty McDonald. Principal Frank Zochodne held the celebration for St. Isaac Jogues' 25th anniversary in 2006, which was attended by Pickering and Board dignitaries.

In 2009, Kevin Bell became Principal of SIJ and instilled 21st Century learning philosophies by purchasing iPads, Smartboards and other technology as new learning tools for the school.  In 2014, he led the school through the amalgamation of Holy Redeemer Catholic School into the St. Isaac Jogues community, adding an extended French and French Immersion programs to the already established English site.

Under the leadership of the administrative team of Lisa True and Manuela Michelin, St. Isaac Jogues Catholic School remained true to its history of Catholic stewardship.

St. Isaac Jogues has a strong and vibrant Social Justice Club and is a member of the "Me to We" charitable organization. Clothing, monetary donations and food have been collected and other outreach support initiatives have been carried out by this tireless group of students and teachers. The Eco Club is proud to have been awarded Silver designation for its continued strong efforts to promote knowledge and action to protect our environment.  The school now houses a French Immersion program which begins in Grade 1 as well as Extended French which starts in Grade 4. September 2014 marked our first year as a Full-Day Kindergarten School. We welcomed 80 students into 3 full-day classrooms.

The staff at St. Isaac Jogues Catholic School offer a wide variety of activities for all students. Sports have always been a central part of the school, and both intramural and competitive sports continue to be available. The school gym, also known as "The Home of the Jaguars," was renovated in 2010. It boasts a newly designed floor, a paint update and protective matting. Sports fans had a real surprise in 2009, when the Olympic Torch Relay ran past our school. Staff and students supported this historic day with banners, Canadian Olympic clothing and cheers. Later in the year, we watched as our Canadian athletes made Olympic history in Vancouver, Canada. We were so proud! The Terry Fox Walk is another popular event for students.

In 2011, the school replaced the historic "Crusaders" with a new team mascot - the "Jaguars." The newly designed sports logo was artistically drawn by Grade 8 student Megan Capati. Also that year, a staff committee discussed and created a school motto - "Believe, Achieve, Succeed" - which reflects Catholic school gospel values and goals for student learning.

St. Isaac Jogues has a vibrant parent community. The parents and volunteers support many special programs, trips and classrooms. The Catholic School Council is a key part of our success. The long-standing tradition of healthy dialogue, positive input and student-focused initiatives continues to be an integral part of the St. Isaac Jogues Catholic School spirit. The annual volunteer tea is recognizes the great work and support we get from our parent community.

The staff and students at St. Isaac Jogues are the heart and soul of the school. Although the people change from year to year, the spirit and traditions live on. St. Isaac Jogues Catholic School has always been a faith-filled building that holds high expectations for student discipline and academic achievement. Our graduates attend St. Mary Catholic Secondary School. Students continue to return to visit us, catching up with staff, volunteering in classrooms and even teaching. Our staff and students are dedicated and proud members of our amazing history.

It has been an amazing history and we look forward to many more strong years of Catholic Education! "St. Isaac Jogues, pray for us."

Patron Saint

Our school shares the title of the adjacent parish church. Saint Isaac Jogues, a man of learning and culture, taught literature in France. He was a Jesuit Missionary who worked among the Huron Indians. He was martyred in 1646 and canonized in 1930. With the other seven Jesuit Martyrs he was named Patron Saint of Canada by Pope Pius Xll in 1940.

When Isaac Jogues was growing up, he attended a school run by the Jesuit Fathers in his home city of Orleans, France. Isaac was attracted by the priests' good example and their dedication to God and those in need. He also felt drawn to the missionary life they led. Unlike the parish priests that he knew, the Jesuits could be called to serve God's people anywhere in the world. At the age of seventeen, Isaac joined the Jesuits. After he was ordained a priest, his greatest wish came true. He was sent to work as a missionary among the Indians in Canada, which was called New France at the time.

Father Isaac was very tall and strong. The Huron Indians respected him because he could row a canoe for many hours, sleep very little, catch many large fish and hunt for moose and deer. He also learned the Huron language very well and was able to teach the Native people about the Catholic faith and baptize many of them. This was his greatest gift to the Hurons.

At the time Father Isaac lived, some of the Indian tribes were enemies of one another. The Iroquois warred against the Hurons. Once Father Isaac and a group of his Huron friends were ambushed by the Iroquois. Some members of the group were killed. Others, like Isaac, were tortured.

After finally escaping from the Iroquois, some of whom wanted to kill him, Father Isaac sailed back to France. He could have remained there and lived a comfortable life. Although he had suffered so much, Isaac's only desire, once he had regained his health, was to return to Canada. He wanted the Indians to come to know and love Jesus. After spending a year in France, Father Isaac received permission to return to Canada. Two years later, he was killed by an Iroquois brave who was angry that he was teaching about Jesus.

Saint Isaac, help us to be courageous and patient in difficult situations.

School prayer

God our Father,
Watch over us at St. Isaac Jogues Catholic School.
Help us to use our special gifts to grow in knowledge,
And make our school a place where
Peace, love, caring and friendship
Can be seen and felt
In all of our words and actions,
So that we can be faithful followers of Jesus
and good examples to others.
Amen.

Principals

Past and present principals include:

  • Jim Johnson
  • Patrick MacKinnon
  • Brian Vrebosch
  • Lenore Bernard
  • Betty McDonald
  • Frank Zochodne
  • Kevin Bell
  • Lisa True
  • Jim Raper (Current Principal)     

Philosophy

As Catholic educators, we live according to our Father's code and to lead our students, by example, to live the basic truths of the gospel message. This is an awesome, yet inspiring challenge which we share with the parents of our young men and women.

Children learn what they live. Each day we have the opportunity to teach our students:

  • to love by the way we love;
  • to be generous by our generosity;
  • to be passionate by our compassion; and
  • to be forgiving by the way we forgive.

However, a person cannot give what he or she does not have. Unless we are living the Gospel message, we cannot lead our students to do so.

There are many hallmarks of a Catholic educator, including:

  • Prayer - The challenges of our vocation, and indeed life in general, are great. To meet them we need to follow Christ's advice that we "ask the father in My name". Each Catholic educator has a duty to expose students to his or her particular style of prayer in order to assist students to recognize the value of prayer in daily life.
  • Eucharist - Parish, school, and staff liturgies provide opportunities to celebrate our faith. Our example can testify to the Eucharist as a joyful source of strength and community building.
  • Social Justice - This is the heart of the Christian message, that we "love one another as I have loved you". As our brother's and sister's keepers, we must be concerned about the aged, the poor, the oppressed, and any other marginalized group - both at home and abroad.

Links

Below are links to resources to help you achieve success while at St. Isaac Jogues Catholic School.

Contact us

We welcome your questions, comments and concerns.

Principal: Jim Raper
1166 Finch Ave.,
Pickering, ON  L1V 1J6
Tel: 905-839-1844
Fax: 905-839-4677

Twitter: ‎@St_IsaacJogues

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