Monthly Archives: April 2020

Kindergarten Registration is Still Open!

Dear Families

We could use your help in spreading the word that Kindergarten Registration is still open! Please do not wait for the last minute rush in September to register your child. All the information on how to register is in the above link “Entering Kindergarten”.  Registrations can all be done remotely during this time of distance education.

Thank you for your continued support and take care!

Mr. Petrella

K registration

By |2020-04-29T19:49:54-04:00April 29th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Kindergarten Registration is Still Open!

Friday April 24 – Bear Challenge, Backyard Scavenger Hunt 

It has been a great Earth Week Bears!  Thank you for sending us your pictures, we love to see your smiling faces and what you have been up to at home! We have had a cold week for this time of the year, but today we are finally going to get some relief from the cold!  As such, we have spent a lot of time indoors and staring out our windows during self-isolation. Why not learn a little about what is growing around our homes?

Bear Challenge identify different plants, trees, flowers and more that are in your very own backyard. Be a nature detective, what is the coolest thing you learned on your scavenger hunt? Take a picture of your backyard, tell us what you learned, and please send a picture to your teacher (indicating permission to use your picture online) or tag us on Twitter @BSKbears.

Look for our video, which we hope to have posted by the end of the weekend, celebrating our love for Mother Earth  and all we have done this past week!

By |2020-04-24T08:16:26-04:00April 24th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Friday April 24 – Bear Challenge, Backyard Scavenger Hunt 

Letter to Families from the Waterloo Catholic District School Board

April 23rd, 2020

Dear Waterloo Catholic Community –

It has been a few weeks since we have connected, so we thought it important to offer you a few important updates as we continue to navigate this time of school closure and distance learning.  Let us begin by saying that we truly hope that you and your families are well and that you are finding ways to stay healthy and positive.  As an Easter people we pray that the hope of the season is alive in your homes.  But these are unsettling times for everyone and we believe it is absolutely OK to feel that you are not OK.  We know that each of us has a unique reality and that will position us differently in terms of our ability to walk through this time and to support our children’s learning journey right now.

For the past three weeks we have begun the journey into Educator-led learning and it could not have been done without the tremendous efforts of so many.  We are most appreciative to our staff who have worked so hard to put provisions in place so that we could reach all of our students.    We hope that every student continues to have contact with their teacher(s) and that each one knows that we care for and value each of them.  Your teachers are truly amazing and they are definitely here for you.  We will reiterate that our most pressing concern remains student well being – both mentally and physically.  As we have said before, it is not “business as usual”, but we do hope that students are connecting with their teachers as this is our “new normal” for the time being.

We wanted to provide you updates on a few different topics of interest to you and your children.  Know that this is a rapidly changing landscape and with many uncertainties, and as there are many players to both consult and work with, as well as others who provide us vital direction or information, sometimes full clarity takes a little time.

As always, on our WCDSB board website you will find from our home page a link to WCDSBLearn@Home where a host of additional resources for all learners will be found.  We also encourage you to continue to visit our WCDSBPray@Home webpage as well as our FAQ page.  You can also follow the #STEAMDays hashtag where lots of fun and engaging activities are being posted.  With that said, a few updates:

Length of the closure: 

We are awaiting direction from the government and Ministry of Education on this point.  We expect it will be forth coming soon.  While it is unlikely we will be returning to our buildings in the short term, full clarity about our return or what that might look like when we do return, may still be a while in coming.

Expectations During Distance Learning:

We realize there are different realities for all of our students and all of our educators.  For that reason, each student and teacher is held to the guidelines the Ministry has provided for minimum hours.  To review what we have shared previously – the suggested hours reflect both the time a teacher might use in providing formal instruction or guidance, as well as the time the student will spend completing the learning task or activity.  There is not a firm expectation that all students have to be “online” at the exact same time, although in some cases that might happen on occasion.

Assessment and Evaluation:

Equity has been a significant consideration in this new landscape as not all children are equally positioned to succeed to the best of their ability when learning from home.  We also know that students learning from home can place added pressure on a parent who may be juggling their own work or family related responsibilities.  For these reasons, assessment in elementary is taking the form of feedback or formative assessment, rather than grading.  Students can benefit and continue progressing through this feedback.  For our students in secondary, they will receive both formative and summative assessments – that is feedback and grades, but teachers will be working to support a student’s best outcome and will not be penalized if the current circumstances detract from their ability to succeed.  Marks will not drop below that attained on March 13th, when schools were declared closed.  There is however every opportunity for a mark to improve, and for learning and achievement to be enhanced.

Report Cards:

There will be a report card in June for all students and they will contain grades.  As noted above, those grades will be largely informed by the marks students had attained prior to March 13th, but there is every opportunity for those grades to improve based on any work submitted during this time of distance learning, if there is evidence of growth and/or improved performance.  In the case of graduating students, midterm marks were sent to the Universities and Colleges to assist with post-secondary admission.

Graduation:

We know that graduation is a significant event in the life of a student and his/her family. For this reason, this has been a difficult decision.  Our secondary schools have no option but to postpone graduation ceremonies as a result of venues not being available to us.  As you can appreciate secondary graduations are often large events and so they are not easily accommodated in alternate settings.  We have made the decision that all of our secondary schools will hold their graduations in the fall.  This will in no way impact a student’s ability to actually graduate from high school should they have met the requirements.  We are still in the process of finalizing our decision in relation to grade 8 graduations and will communicate that information as soon as a final decision has been achieved.

Thought Exchange – Your Voice

As most of you will be aware, we recently engaged our stakeholders in an exercise of asking them what questions or concerns they had after one-two weeks of distance learning.  Our survey closed on Tuesday April 21st in the evening and we are now starting to unpack that feedback.  We are thrilled that you took us up on this invitation.  We had just under 2000 participants and approximately 37,000 ratings from all our stakeholders.  We know that at a very high level elementary parents are expressing thoughts about the home learning environment and the types of tasks students are assigned, about feedback and assessment, and about equity.  Secondary parents are sharing thoughts about the nature of student and educator contact, and also about feedback and assessment, as well as issues related to equity.  There are roughly 14 sub-themes in the Thought Exchange feedback that we have identified and there is much more analysis we can do, and it will help to inform our thinking and actions moving forward.  A high level report on parent feedback is available at these two links, but much more will be shared in the weeks to come, that will map to themes and the take-aways from the feedback.

Parent/Guardian for an Elementary Student

Parent/Guardian for a Secondary Student

Finally – we encourage you to closely follow any and all directives from our governments and Waterloo Region Public Health.  As a local and global community – we have never been more connected by an event or issue and now is the time to do everything we can to ensure we can soon return to life as we knew it not so long ago.  As an Easter people we believe in the power of the resurrection and the promise of new life.  Certainly this signs of the season affirm that promise.  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.  #WCDSBTogether.

Sincerely,

Loretta Notten  – Director of Education

Bill Conway  –  Chair of the Board

 

By |2020-04-23T16:13:58-04:00April 23rd, 2020|News|Comments Off on Letter to Families from the Waterloo Catholic District School Board

Thursday April 23 – Bear Challenge, Upcycle Trash into Treasure

Hey Bears!

We throw away so many recyclable items such as milk cartons, toilet paper/paper towel rolls, egg cartons, cans and more. Why not get your creative juices flowing and upcycle! Upcycling means to repurpose an unwanted item into something new. Bear Challenge use your imagination to come up with inventions and art projects with the materials that you would normally discard. Take a picture of what you ‘upcycled’ and send a picture to your teacher (indicating permission to use your picture online) or tag us on Twitter @BSKbears to share.

  • North
By |2020-04-23T09:50:33-04:00April 23rd, 2020|News|Comments Off on Thursday April 23 – Bear Challenge, Upcycle Trash into Treasure

Wednesday April 22 – Bear Challenge, I can do 50!

Today marks Earth Day’s 50th anniversary! Even though we are in self-isolation at home, we can still honour this important day.          Bear Challenge – if it is safe to do so, walk for 50 minutes instead of taking the car OR exercise for 50 minutes at home with your entire family! Take a picture of you and your little Bear Cubs participating in the “I can do 50” challenge in recognition of Earth Day and send a picture to your teacher (indicating permission to use your picture online) or tag us on Twitter @BSKbears to share what you are up to.

By |2020-04-22T10:19:37-04:00April 22nd, 2020|News|Comments Off on Wednesday April 22 – Bear Challenge, I can do 50!

Tuesday April 21 – Earth Week Bear Challenge, The Great Gulp

The Great Gulp is when people come together as a household, or virtually, to take a synchronized drink of tap water from a reusable bottle, glass, or mug. This can then activate learning into issues surrounding water and the importance of reducing single-use plastic waste. Bear Challenge – organize a Great Gulp with members of your house, or virtually with your friends!

  1. Take a photo or video showing how you and your and your household are participating in The Great Gulp
  2. Post it on Twitter and include the hashtag #TheGreatGulp (or send a picture to your teacher indicating permission to use your picture online) 
  3. Tag EcoSchools Canada @EcoSchoolsCAN, SodaStream Canada @SodaStream_CA and @BSKbears
  4. Include Blessed Sacrament Catholic School Kitchener
  5. Fill out this contact form so we can get in touch with you if you win (optional)!

 

By |2020-04-21T09:54:23-04:00April 21st, 2020|News|Comments Off on Tuesday April 21 – Earth Week Bear Challenge, The Great Gulp

Monday April 20 – Earth Week Bear Challenge: Meatless Monday

Monday April 20 – Bear Challenge, Meatless Monday

Meatless Monday is a global movement with a simple message: one day a week, cut the meat. Do it for your health and the health of the planet! Check out this video for more information,  or this video about the History of Meatless Mondays. Bear Challenge – there are so many yummy things to eat that do not involve meat, give it a try Bears!  Try one or two meals today that are meatless. Take a picture of  one of those meals and send a picture to your teacher (indicating permission to use your picture online) or tag us on Twitter @BSKbears to share your marvelous-meatless meal!

By |2020-04-20T10:16:26-04:00April 20th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Monday April 20 – Earth Week Bear Challenge: Meatless Monday

Welcome to Earth Week! Day 1: Faith, St. Francis and Climate Change Action

Did you know that in 2015, Pope Francis called us to take urgent action against climate change and to protect our common home? And in 1979, Pope John Paul II declared St. Francis the Patron Saint of Ecologists? In some ways, St. Francis of Assisi could be viewed as the original Earth Day advocate. Not only did he care for the poor and sick, but he wanted all creatures on Earth, including humans, to be treated as equals under God. Click here for more information about St. Francis and here to learn why this is an important part of our faith. 

What can your family do while at home in self-isolation to help climate change? This week we challenge our Blessed Sacrament families and staff to participate in at home challenges that support the Earth Week initiative. Please send a picture to your teacher (indicating permission to use your picture online) or tag us on Twitter @BSKbears to share what you are up to. We would love to hear from you Bears – let’s celebrate Earth Week virtually!

By |2020-04-19T11:35:19-04:00April 19th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Welcome to Earth Week! Day 1: Faith, St. Francis and Climate Change Action

2020 Cancellation of Diocesan Events due to COVID-19

Dear Families

When visiting the Hamilton Diocese Website, there is a Coronavirus Update Link.

In this link there is a letter indicating that that all Sacraments are cancelled in the Diocese of Hamilton. Arrangements will be made at a later date for these sacraments.

Here is the link to the letter: 2020 Cancellations of Diocesan Events due to COVID-19 pandemic – April 2

We do not know when the First Communion and Confirmation for our students will be rescheduled at this time.

Sincerely yours,

Mr. Petrella

By |2020-04-17T15:55:47-04:00April 16th, 2020|News|Comments Off on 2020 Cancellation of Diocesan Events due to COVID-19
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