Parents & Students

Student Handbook

Our school staff is committed to providing excellent education in a Catholic environment that promotes Gospel values and the Catholic faith. Students enjoy a strong academic program with a Catholic educational emphasis. Students, we invite you to be the best people you can be: spiritually, academically, physically, socially and morally. We encourage you to enroll in programs and courses in which you can experience new challenges and excellence in learning achievement.

Students are provided with rich choices and a broad array of programs and courses. We encourage you to enjoy high school by becoming active in several extracurricular clubs and athletics opportunities. The extracurricular programs provide rich opportunities for students to excel in specialty areas of interest.

In recognizing the value of student choice and the tremendous benefits gained from active and involved students, the staff at our school is committed to providing a nurturing environment for students to enjoy a successful and memorable Catholic high school experience.

Finally, all students are encouraged to live a life in harmony with love: love God above all and love others, develop servant leadership skills through high school and be prepared to lead in your adult lives to contribute to the greater good of society.

This student handbook provides a brief overview of our school offerings and practices. More information may be found on the school’s website.

On behalf of the staff and administration, we wish every student success, happiness and God’s blessing remembering that God is our power; knowledge is our strength!


In congruence with the Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools, we are:

• a gospel centred professional learning community that fosters hope and a Catholic Christian value system within a pluralistic society

• continuing the mission of Jesus, Prophet, Priest and Servant King

Our service commitment is to make His life, mission and teaching our focal points of belief and conduct within our Catholic schools.

Specific to École Secondaire Notre Dame High School, our motto is God is our Power, Knowledge is our Strength. This motto emphasizes the commitment of the school to making Christ known to each student.


Each school day begins with a prayer, which is led by a student or staff member. While prayer is being said, everyone is expected to stand still and reverently listen. Classroom teachers, coaches, and club advisors incorporate additional prayer opportunities throughout the day.


This room is a special place in the school, designed and furnished to encourage an atmosphere for prayer, celebration, and meditation. Students are welcome to visit and are encouraged to use it as a quiet place to reflect and pray.


Every student is expected to successfully complete three courses in Religious Studies (15, 25, and 35) to meet graduation requirements. Religion 15 is offered as a class-based course in order to create a community of faith, while religion 25 and 35 may be taken with École Secondaire Notre Dame High School or St. John Paul II Catholic Outreach School. Our school has youth ministers that work with our students to promote a deeper relationship with God within our Catholic community.


We are proud of our Catholic faith permeation and the expectation that all students receive a minimum of 9 credits in Religious Studies (15, 25, and 35) to graduate. The RS classes and faith permeation throughout the school include:

  • All Grade 10 students are in a teacher taught RS 15 class
  • Canadian Catholic Bishops prescribed Curriculum (approved by Alberta Education as a Locally Developed Course)
  • Faith discussions with an opportunity to challenge and question during those teachable moments
  • Face to face faith mentorship between adults & students alike
  • Exploring RCIA & RCIC with students considering joining the church or receiving sacraments
  • Building a faithful praying learning community
  • Promoting Faith vocations
  • Promoting Youth Rally participation
  • Encourage Community volunteerism hours


Our program provides opportunities for students to be involved in liturgical music performances. The school choir provides additional opportunities for students to express our Catholic faith through music.


We have a relationship with Sacred Heart Parish, St. Mary’s Parish and St. Vladimir Ukrainian Catholic Church, as well as an affiliation with Our Lady of Peace Parish in Innisfail and Our Lady of Assumption Parish in Sylvan Lake. We frequently hold religious ceremonies and celebrations. Our school is pleased to have the parishes as partners in the promotion of youth faith development.


We honour our children.
We provide a safe & secure environment.

Our schools are places where all students, staff and parents feel welcome. Our motto, “Inspired by Christ, Aspiring to Excellence” and our Principles of Practice, proudly proclaim that our schools are Christ-filled centres that ensure a satisfactory climate for learning and that we respect each student as a person, unique in God’s creation. 

Each school has student behavior expectations specific to the needs of that school to ensure a safe and caring environment. These expectations are listed in the school handbook or are posted in classrooms. Expectations are shared with students at the beginning of each year and are also shared with parents so we can work together to provide all students with the best possible educational experience while in our schools. For further information, please contact the school principal.


Each student must adhere to all expectations for positive student conduct as outlined in our student conduct policy. Each student and parent/guardian is asked to sign the conduct statements to ensure awareness of all components of our school discipline policy.


Students are expected to model appropriate Christian behaviour by:

  • Respecting self and the rights of others.
  • Respecting fellow students, teachers, staff and visitors to the school.
  • Respecting the school environment.
  • Respectful dress and deportment.
  • Abiding by attendance and achievement expectations.
  • Modelling appropriate behaviour for young Christian adults.


The onus is on the parent/guardian to advise the school if a student is to be absent from school by telephoning the school prior to, or on the morning of the absence. There is a 24-hour attendance line, 403-342-4800 ext 1, where messages can be left. Parents are encouraged to contact teachers directly if there is a question on attendance or any other concern for a particular course.

The School Act for Alberta indicates that attendance to all classes is an expectation for all students. Teachers monitor attendance on a daily basis in each class and are to contact parents if attendance is a concern. We have an automated phone service. Automated calls home will be made each night for any unexcused student absence.

Teachers will communicate attendance concerns to parents as the need arises. In the event that the teacher has repeatedly dealt with attendance concerns with a student, the matter is considered serious and will be forwarded to the administration for review. 


Students should expect regular homework. The amount of time for homework each night will vary with the course load and grade level but all students with a full schedule should be completing all homework and spending adequate time studying.

School is the student’s number one “job” – be sure that any after-school work does not interfere with this. If you have any concerns, please discuss them with your student’s teachers or grade administrator.


The following guidelines have been established by a representative group of students, parents, and staff.

As part of the expectation of courtesy and respect, all staff and students are required to adhere to reasonable and respectable standards in dressing and grooming for a focused working and learning environment. Clothing worn by staff and students needs to facilitate comfortable interaction within the school community. Staff and students should be sensitive to the values and expectations of the community and should strive to offend no one by their dress. Dress should be modest, appropriate for the school setting and conducive to a safe environment. This includes adhering to the no hat, bandana, or non-religious head coverings. 

Modesty – clothing that is revealing is inappropriate. Clothes must cover all undergarments, and from the base of the neck to the mid-thigh at a minimum.

Appropriateness for School Setting – clothing should not detract from the learning environment. Messages on clothing that display or promote the following are unacceptable: discrimination, hatred or violence, profanity or obscene gestures or the use of alcohol or drugs. 

Anything not listed above will be up to the discretion of the principal. 

Students may be asked to go home to change so as to comply with the school expectations for modesty and appropriate dress.


Smoking, vaping, drugs and alcohol are prohibited. Students in the possession of alcohol, tobacco products, vaping paraphernalia or drugs or who are under the influence of these substances during the school day – which includes on the way to school until the student has returned home at the conclusion of their school day – are subject to detention, suspension, expulsion and criminal charges/fines.

Clubs and Groups

Adventure Club

Join in on various outdoor and indoor adventures including rock climbing, camping, horseback riding and more. Always accepting new students!
Dates: Dec.20, Jan.13, Feb.9, Mar.9, May 11, May 31-Jun.2. See posters around school or see Mr.Unland for more details.
Contact: Mr.Unland (

Book Club

Monthly meetings to discuss student-chosen books outside of the classroom. Always accepting new students!
Dates: See Miss Stevens for more details
Contact: Miss Stevens ( and Mrs.Bell (

Design Challenge

Yearly projects to design a product that would help our community. Previous projects have included:sensory games for our Foundations class, personally designed mailboxes for Bethany CollegeSide, and an escape room to raise money for the Grad Service Project. The 2018-2019 project is TBA.
Dates: TBA
Contact: Miss Stevens ( and Mrs.Vandermeer (

Dungeons & Dragons

Weekly meetups for the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons. Students are organized into parties where the party leader (Dungeon Master) leads them through exciting adventures in a fantastical realm. Always accepting new members!
Dates: Mondays after school in the Learning Commons
Contact: Miss Stevens (

Glee Club

Students with a passion for singing come together each week to bond through music. Learn to sing in a small choral class setting with music, choreography and fun! Always accepting new members!
Dates: Mondays at 2:30 - 3:30 and Fridays 3:30 - 4:30 in the Youth Ministry Office
Contact: Miss Jeannette (


Grad Committee

Grade 12 students come together to plan events for the graduating class of the year. Always accepting new members!
Dates: Tuesdays at lunch in the amphitheatre
Contact: Mrs.Nivens (

Grad Service Project

Yearly project to raise money for a local charity of the Grad Committee chosen. All students can form teams and participate. Activities include a week of lunchtime competitions between the team, ending with a city-wide scavenger hunt. Currently accepting new teams!
Dates: TBA
Contact: Mrs.Nivens (

The Indigenous Student Leadership Group

ISL is open to all students (indigenous and non-indigenous) . Their goal is to put reconciliation to action through philanthropy, while building up student leadership and honoring traditional ways of knowing. Always accepting new students!
Dates: Every 2 weeks on Thursdays at lunch in room 1912 (unless otherwise posted)
Contact: Ms.Tessari (


Optics is a safe and open place for all students to discuss questions, ideas and concerns regarding LGBTQIA + community, including weekly discussion topics and/or guest speakers. Always accepting new students!
Date: Every other Tuesday at lunch in room 1201.
Contact: Miss. Layden (

Radius Productions

Radius is a place for you to be with people just like yourself. To create, write and be who you are. Being a creator will end with the result of your writing, photography and visions being a part of something bigger. Radius wants you to be a part of the story. Always accepting new students!
Date: Wednesdays at lunch in 1406
Contact: Mr.Madsen ( and Mrs.Vandermeer (

Science Fair

Science Fair is for high school students is not like you imagine from elementary school. Projects could be surveys, improvements on existing products, innovations, experiments, computer programs, or anything else you might imagine. See Mr.Lemaistre for more examples and ideas. For more information check out the Central AB Rotary Science Fair Website, the Canada-Wide Science Fair Website, and a directory of projects. Currently accepting new students!
Dates: Informal meetings throughout the year in 2806 and March 2019 (official Science Fair)
Contact: Mr.Lemaistre ( )

Speak Out

Monthly student poetry slam held in the Learning Commons. Speak Out is hosted by students for students in a safe, open environment. Original creative writing can be submitted and presented (anonymously or not) on the day of the event. Submissions can be made to Miss Stevens. Always accepting new submissions and attendees!
Dates: Nov.27, Dec.18, Feb.19, Mar.26, Apr.23, and May 28.
Contact: Miss Stevens (

Student Council

Student Council exists to give the students the opportunity to debate issues of concern and undertake initiatives of benefit tot he school and the wider community. These could be large issues affecting the school population and planning ice cream sales to make the day a bit brighter. Always accepting new students!
Dates: Thursdays at lunch in 2505 
Contact: Mrs.Nivens ( and Mrs.Smith(

Youth Champions

A group of empowering youth leaders to promote positive and healthy relationships and resiliency within the school community. Currently not accepting new members. but look out for this group next year!
Dates: TBA
Contact: Mrs.Magill(

Youth Ministry

Youth Ministry brings students together to grow in faith and Christian leadership through events such as Alpha/Altaration discussion group, Edge Youth Nights, LifeTeen, and Prayer and Praise. For more information, check out the Youth Ministry page. Always Accepting new students!
Dates: See Youth Ministry page for details
Contact:Miss Jeannette (


Do you have something you're passionate about and you'd like to start a club for?? Talk to your teachers or your grade administrator for pending approval!