Director’s Back to School Message to Families 

Director posing in front of board office

Aug. 31, 2023


Dear Parents/Guardians,

I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself as the new Director of Education for Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington (PVNC) Catholic District School Board, and to offer my best wishes to families heading into the final weekend before the start of school.

As a parent of school-aged children myself, I know that the last week of summer is often a whirlwind as you transition from summer mode back into the hustle and routine of another school year.

The first day of school should be one for celebration. Whether it’s your child’s first step into kindergarten, the final year before graduation, or any grade in between, each school year brings its unique milestones.

Amid all the rush and busyness of the next few days, I encourage all parents/guardians to carve out some time to be mindful of these often fleeting moments and to celebrate these milestones.

We also know that for some students and their families, transition periods can be difficult. I would like to remind you that our Being Well Portal has valuable mental health resources for students and caregivers to help you connect to supports in your own communities.

I had the privilege of hosting my first Director’s Meeting Tuesday as we welcomed back our principals and vice-principals to the Catholic Education Centre for a day of learning and system updates.

We began the day in the beautiful Cathedral of St. Peter-In-Chains in Peterborough where Bishop Daniel Miehm celebrated mass. It was an inspiring way to start our school year, grounding ourselves in prayer and well wishes for the upcoming year. It also reaffirmed our important connection to the Diocese and our local parishes, a relationship I am committed to maintaining and strengthening during my time as Director.

Today, our school staff returned to work for their first Professional Activity Day and to set the stage to welcome back students.

Thanks to the hard work of our dedicated facilities and custodial staff, our schools are gleaming with polished floors, deep-cleaned facilities, organized classrooms and sparkling hallways waiting to be filled with the buzz of voices and laughter once again.

We can’t wait to welcome some 15,000 students to school on Tuesday.

You may have heard that the Ministry of Education released a summary of its new student supports and updated curriculum for the 2023-2024 school year with a focus on the development of foundational skills in reading, writing and math as well as new expectations to enhance transparency.

These measures strengthen our commitment to supporting student achievement and well-being and to increasing transparency for families as we implement the final years of our current multi-year strategic plan.

Finally, you have likely seen media reports about the ongoing labour process between the government and the teacher unions. The union representing our Catholic elementary and secondary teachers has announced that it will be seeking a strike mandate from its members in mid-October. This is a normal part of the bargaining process and we remain hopeful the central parties can come to an agreement soon. We will keep families updated with any new developments as they arise.

As we embark on this exciting new school year, I extend my heartfelt appreciation to each of you for being part of our vibrant and caring school communities. Together, we will ensure a bright, positive, and fulfilling educational experience for all our students.

With gratitude and anticipation,


Stephen O’Sullivan
Director of Education
Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board