Government Announcement re Learning in January

December 21st, 2020

Dear Waterloo Catholic Community –

As you know we have commenced our well-deserved Christmas Break and we hope that for each of you, it is starting as well as it can under our current circumstances.  No doubt you are likely also aware, the Premier of the Province has indicated that the return to school in January will be remote.  That is, on January 4th both our elementary and our secondary students will begin the new year learning virtually.  The decision is being made out of an abundance of caution.  We know our schools are safe.  The cases of COVID are not starting, nor are they spreading, in our schools, but we are a reflection of the community.  Closing the schools to in person learning for the early part of January will help us contain the cases that come into schools and ensure that when we return to our buildings, we are doing so in the safest manner possible.

Our elementary schools will return to face-to-face learning on Monday January 11th, 2021 and our secondary schools will return to face to face learning on Monday January 25th, 2021.

Just before we left for the break, we were given an indication that the government might choose a remote return in January.   Given the short timelines, we made a “best efforts” attempt to send home Chromebooks with all those students for whom we had a prior request through our comprehensive survey.  If there are outstanding orders that were missed, they will be deployed upon our return on January 4th.   Schools and Extended Day programs currently remain closed and unavailable to staff, students and parents.  All school staff and teachers are on a well-deserved break and will be available for questions and updates as of January 4th, 2021.

The move to remote learning will be different than last spring when the face-to-face hours with teachers was limited.  The school day will follow the bell times of your individual school and if not already received, you/your student will be given a clear indication of the daily schedule your child is to follow through your local school.  Again, we might expect that the first day or two back in January may not be perfectly smooth as we all adjust to the new reality.  St Isidore students will continue as per the usual schedule.

For our high needs special education students we would like to provide the following guidance.  In elementary, students with high needs will learn remotely as with the rest of your class and per the class daily schedule, but there will be “break-out” rooms where additional support is possible.  Your return to face-to-face learning will be January 11th 2020.  For secondary high need students, you will also leaning virtually for the first week back (again with breakout rooms) and by January 11th we will provide more detail with an option for transportation and face to face learning in your local school setting.

As of today, we are still planning to proceed with our Secondary Transition Survey regarding quadmesters 3 and 4.  The current decision to move to virtual is a short-term strategy and there will be a return to face to face learning on January 25th (as we near the end of quadmester 2).  Please keep in mind if you choose “face to face learning in the bricks and mortar schools” or if you choose “virtual” that is your choice through to the end of June.

Thank you for adhering to public health and safety measures that have ensured schools remain a safe place for our students and staff.  This will be more important than ever now – both for our schools and for our community at large.  During the upcoming Christmas Break we must adhere to the guidance to limit our contacts and social gatherings.  You can check the government’s holiday web page for more direct and up-to-date guidance on how individuals and families can plan for a safe holiday season, including suggestions for safer holiday activities for children and families.

Once again, we encourage you to visit Ontario.ca/covidresponse to learn what public health measures are in place in our community – but also please be aware that these could change depending on the most current public health advice. We also suggest checking out the WCDSB website https://www.wcdsb.ca/living-learning-looking-forward/   and Region of Waterloo Public Health website https://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/health-and-wellness/2019-novel-coronavirus.aspx as they contain helpful resources and supports.  If you have any questions about what your particular school is doing, please let your school principal know upon their return on January 4th, 2021.

I will also take this opportunity to point out that mental health resources are available to students and families through Kids Help Phone, which offers 24/7 counselling and referral services across the province. To use this free resource, children can call 1-800-668-6868, or text CONNECT to 686868.

This is likely not the Christmas any of us envisioned or desired.  These challenges are real and the hardships can be quite difficult for some.  But we can see the light in the distance.  We can also see the profound light of the manger.  Let us continue to be people of hope who celebrate the birth of a tiny babe who shared a powerful message of love and salvation.  Please reach out to us if you need help or guidance, and remain confident that we are here to support you, as we walk together as a hope-filled community.  #InThisTogether  #WeGotThis

Sincerely,

Loretta Notten

Director of Education

By |2020-12-21T19:51:03-05:00December 21st, 2020|News|Comments Off on Government Announcement re Learning in January

Thank You!

To Staff, Students and their families:

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! We asked for help and you all made it happen!! 

The Blessed Sacrament Parish St. Vincent de Paul Society wishes to thank the students, staff, and families of Blessed Sacrament School for their involvement in the Angel Tree programme. Things looked a little different this year, we asked for help with purchasing gift cards and canned goods to give to the families in need of help this year. You raised $710.00 in gift cards and 1000 lbs of food!!  We are overwhelmed and so thankful!

Our prayers and best wishes are extended to each of you. Have a Merry Christmas!

Sincerely,

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Members
Blessed Sacrament Parish Conference

By |2020-12-17T13:57:42-05:00December 17th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Thank You!

Mid December Updates

Dear Families

Here are some updates as we head into the middle of December:

  1. Public Health has declared the outbreak at Blessed Sacrament School over.
  2. We are hiring a Lunch Hour Supervisor. If you are interested are know of anyone interested, please contact the office.
  3. Please ensure you are connected with your classroom teacher via Google Classroom for up to date classroom information.
  4. Our Office is closed daily for Mrs. Stilwell’s lunch from 10:45 – 11:45.
  5. Theme Days:
    1. Friday December 11 – Wear Red and Green!;
    2. Wednesday December 16th – Dress like an Elf or wear your PJs Day!;
    3. Friday December 18th – Crazy Christmas Sweater Day!
  6. Due to CoVid protocols, families will not be allowed to send in Christmas Treats to share with their class (like Halloween). School Council will be providing treats for the students that will be properly isolated before sharing with the students.
  7. Next week is our last week of classes before break! Our office and school  will be closed as of Friday December 18th 4:00 p.m. and will reopen on Monday January 4th at 8:00 a.m. Emails and Telephone Messages will be returned that first week back.

Thanks – North!

By |2020-12-10T15:14:37-05:00December 10th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Mid December Updates

December School Newsletter

DECEMBER 2020 SCHOOL NEWSLETTER

Happy December everyone!  Please click on the above link for our December School Newsletter.

Happy Reading! – North

By |2021-12-02T10:39:41-05:00December 1st, 2020|News|Comments Off on December School Newsletter

Inclement Weather Procedures 2020 – 2021

While the first official day of winter is still a few weeks away, the early snowfall has given us pause to plan early for inclement weather and potential bus cancellations. As student safety and well-being is always our priority and given the unique and additional challenges that Covid19 presents (such as cohorting) there are important changes to our process when student transportation has been cancelled.

For the 2020/2021 school year in the circumstance when transportation is cancelled due to weather and road conditions, all schools will be physically closed to both students and staff.

As each classroom teacher has established a Google Classroom, teachers will utilize their LMS (Learning Management System) to post work by 10am on the closure day. Students will be provided with asynchronous student work. The normal bell times will be followed to allow students to contact their teacher on the closure day either through the LMS or through other appropriate means, such as email.

Thank you for everyone’s understanding and support as we continue to provide learning for our students

North

By |2020-11-30T20:56:19-05:00November 30th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Inclement Weather Procedures 2020 – 2021

Picture Day Tomorrow!

A friendly reminder that tomorrow is Picture Day!  For any students that are absent, there will be a retake day in the new year.

No class photos, like the one below, will happen this year due to CoVid 19 Restrictions.

Say Cheese!  
picture_day-color

By |2020-11-23T16:12:49-05:00November 23rd, 2020|News|Comments Off on Picture Day Tomorrow!

Additional CoVid Case in Same Class – Outbreak declared at school

November 21, 2020

Dear Parents / Guardians:

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Blessed Sacrament CES as an additional case has been reported from the same cohort as the previous confirmed case (that we notified you earlier this week).  No additional classrooms or cohorts will be dismissed.  No further action is required for the current classroom that has been dismissed.

Please know that Blessed Sacrament staff – as well as staff at our school board head office – are working with Region of Waterloo Public Health to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in students, staff and the community.

 What does this mean for students at the school?

  •  Public Health will work with the school to identify high risk staff and student contacts of the confirmed case(s)
  • Parents/guardians of students who have been identified as high risk contacts of a confirmed case will be contacted directly by Region of Waterloo Public Health and provided specific directions related to the need for the student to self-isolate and get tested
  • Parents/guardians of students who have been identified as low risk contacts of a confirmed case will not be contacted directly by Public Health and are not required to self-isolate. The school will provide general information for these students and families.
    • Students and families who have been identified as low risk contacts of the case should self-monitor for symptoms
    • Students who develop symptoms should self-isolate at home and get tested at an Assessment Centre
  • In the event a cohort must self-isolate or the school must close, parents will be notified by the school. The school will keep parents informed about any plans regarding return to school.
  • Continue to monitor and screen your child for symptoms of COVID-19 daily.

Outbreak control measures

  • The school will work closely with Public Health to ensure that infection prevention and control guidelines and protocols are implemented to help limit further spread.  These measures may include:
  • Cohort dismissal, partial or full closure of the school, as indicated
  • Continued implementation of infection prevention and control best practices
  • Additional outbreak measures to allow for safe operating until the outbreak is declared over, as recommended by Region of Waterloo Public Health
  • Continued daily self-screening

A Note About School Cleaning Processes

Upon confirmation from Public Health that one or more individuals at a school site have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, Facility Services will be notified as soon as reasonably possible.  Members from the Facilities team will make arrangements to disinfect school spaces as deemed necessary.  This is typically done after school ends for the day and before school begins the next day.  However, in some cases, depending on the timing of notification and size of the school, disinfection may occur at the beginning of the school day.

Disinfection involves the use of standard cleaning products available in your school, plus one or more high speed disinfection units.  A disinfection unit is used to ‘mist’ surfaces with a chemical called Clorox Total 360.  The product needs to sit on a surface and air dry for it to be fully effective.  It has been reviewed by our staff and has been deemed safe when used as directed.

Custodial and maintenance staff who apply the mist will be wearing full PPE including masks, goggles, and gloves.  Classroom spaces are safe to occupy after the chemical has been applied.

A video of product application can be found here: https://youtu.be/BIlhdx3XQI0?t=75

What is COVID-19?

·         COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans

  • COVID-19 symptoms include, but are not limited to fever, cough, trouble breathing, sore throat or nasal congestion. A list of symptoms, including atypical signs and symptoms, can be also be found in the ‘COVID-19 Reference Document for Symptoms’ on the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 website
  • People may be able to pass COVID-19 to others from 48 hours before symptoms begin to 14 days after the start of symptoms

 

Additional COVID-19 resources can be found on Region of Waterloo Public Health’s COVID-19 webpage at http://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/COVID19.

By |2020-11-21T09:46:04-05:00November 21st, 2020|News|Comments Off on Additional CoVid Case in Same Class – Outbreak declared at school

A Few November Items:

Dear Families

  1. A reminder that Monday November 23rd is a PA DAY. All School and Programs are closed.
  2. Picture Day is Tuesday November 24th!  After Picture Day, order pictures on mylifetouch.ca using your Portrait ID and Access Code which can be found on your Picture Day order form. There will be no class photos at this time. Individual photos will be taken following strict cleansing protocols.
  3. THANK-YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY WITH THE ANGEL TREE CAMPAIGN! To date we have collected over $500 worth of gift cards.
  4. Please read this attached message from Director Notten.  November Update to WCDSB Community Nov 20th 20

Thanks so much and have a great weekend!

Mr. Petrella

By |2021-10-05T10:50:29-04:00November 20th, 2020|News|Comments Off on A Few November Items:

Positive CoVid Case at School

Dear Parents / Guardians:

A case of COVID-19 has been identified at Blessed Sacrament CES.  Public Health has identified one classroom as high-risk contacts.

All high-risk students and staff are required to self-isolate at home. Public Health will contact all high-risk contacts by end of the business day tomorrow, and will provide individual guidance. This students in the affected classroom have been notified by the school already.

At this point in time, all other students and staff can continue to attend school and are advised to self-monitor for symptoms and seek testing if symptoms develop.

Please know that Blessed Sacrament staff – as well as staff at our school board head office – are working with Region of Waterloo Public Health to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in students, staff and the community.

 

 

Thank you

Mr. Petrella

 

By |2021-10-05T09:19:52-04:00November 17th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Positive CoVid Case at School
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