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By |2020-10-29T09:21:29-04:00October 29th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Online School Fundraiser Starts Today!

Message from Director Notten

      October 27th, 2020

Dear Waterloo Catholic Community –

We hope that you are well in body, mind and spirit.  We know that can be challenging in these times but we hope that you are drawing energy from our students, and from their experience of being re-engaged in their learning and forging new friendships, while rekindling old ones.    Every day we hear stories and bear witness to the good work of our staff, and we know that they are making a difference to all the students we serve.  The purpose of this letter is to share a few brief updates and then offer an invitation.

To begin, at the October Board meeting last night we brought a series of important updates in relation to our ongoing operation of schools in our new COVID reality.  We shared that it is our intention to eliminate the November transition window in elementary.  We have been listening to our stakeholders – parents, teachers, administrators and students, and while we know that it can be attractive to provide flexibility to accommodate changes between face to face and virtual, we also know that it takes a toll on everyone when there is disruption to pre-established classes.  No one asked for this new reality in which we are all living, and I think we can all appreciate that compromises are necessary, and that as a school board, we are delivering on a promise not fully of our own making.  Having said that, I am extremely proud of all our staff and all they do each and every day to help us deliver on that promise.  Our staff in our bricks and mortar schools, and our St Isidore staff, are all hitting homeruns each and every day.  We anticipate that some parents may be disappointed to not have the additional transition opportunity, but we hope that in the main, people will agree that it was important to listen to the voices of our stakeholders, and to attempt to provide maximum stability moving forward.

In this same vein – we have been deliberating how to best proceed in secondary, in order to meet a variety of needs.  We have an additional 377 students who want to transition to St Isidore in secondary and 40 who wish to return to face to face.  (Generating a net 337 increase in students to St Isidore, or 14% of our total secondary population now studying in virtual)  A great many boards are now looking at a hybrid model of delivery in secondary, but again we tried to listen to the voices of our staff who told us a pivot in late November to a different model of delivery, other than what we currently experiencing, might be too stressful for all involved.  We know our staff have been working so hard and we are not looking to disrupt your reality again.  We also want our students to have the best educational experience possible.  To that end, we will continue with the current delivery model and take the next quadmester to fully consider options for the remaining two quadmesters.

We have had a few cases of covid in the past few days.   It is perhaps inevitable that when the provincial numbers rise, we too will see some cases.  I realize that if you get a letter saying there has been a case of COVID in your school that it is most unsettling.   I am pleased to report that to date our cases remain relatively few, they seem to be quickly managed and most importantly, we have had no cases of covid transmission in our schools to date.   Our safety protocols are working.   I know how much we all value reading that statement so I cannot state strongly enough the importance of following our WCDSB operational guidelines, of wearing masks as warranted, good hygiene practices and most of all, strong daily implementation of the self-screening tool.  We will only navigate this time together and fortunately, I have full confidence in our TEAM! #StrongerTogether

And now to the invitation.  As we did this past spring, we are launching a ThoughtExchange today and it will remain open for the next week.  We really do want to hear from you.  To gain insight into your thoughts about the past several weeks and our launch to the 2020-21 school year.  A reminder that you can add thoughts at any time, but do not forget to return perhaps more than once to star ideas as they populate.  As was the case last spring, it will give us insights into your impressions, your questions and assist us in know where we need to focus more energy.

The ThoughtExchange is available at: https://my.thoughtexchange.com/474084826

Please know that it is also available on our main website.

As indicated above, please remember that all students (or parents on their behalf) should complete this updated self-screening tool every day:  COVID-19 school and child care screening tool and a reminder that no staff should come to school without completing the adult self-assessment:  https://covid19checkup.ca/  The process of self screening each day is a vital step in ensuring the continued safety of all our schools, so sincere thanks to all for remaining faithful to this and to all our required protocols.

We are so very happy to be back to learning in our schools.  We have transitioned to Year 2 of our Pastoral Plan – Gathered to Become.  We look forward to our CSAC Chair and New Administrator Commissioning event Wednesday evening.  It feels so important to continue to find ways to foster community.  How blessed are well that we share one family in Christ as WCDSB – he nourishes and strengthens us daily.

We sincerely thank you for journeying with us.   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  #WeGotThis

Sincerely,

Loretta Notten  – Director of Education

By |2020-10-27T09:18:22-04:00October 27th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Message from Director Notten

Scare Hunger and Angel Tree

Dear Families

In this time of CoVid we understand that many families may be in need of support. If you could use some assistance with Christmas this year, please contact Blessed Sacrament Church at 519-742-5061 and they will be able to help.

To this end, we will continue with our two annual campaigns to support our neighbours in need.

We Scare HungerWe are running the Scare Hunger Campaign over the next two weeks.

If you can, please consider donating either a non perishable food item or a gift certificate to a grocery store.

These items will be kept in isolation in the Library and then we will deliver them to the church. The last day to collect items will be October 28th.

We will run the Angel Tree Campaign again in November. Please stay tuned for information on that campaign in early November.

It will look a little different this year.

Thanks so much for helping us help our neighbours in need.

North

By |2020-10-13T12:45:58-04:00October 13th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Scare Hunger and Angel Tree

October Theme Days

Hey Bears!

We are having two theme days this October we wish to bring to your attention:

Friday October 23: Wacky Hat and/or Hair Day. Let’s get creative and show us your Oktoberfest, Fall or Halloween Hat and/or Hairstyle.

Friday October 30: All Hallow’s Eve Activitiesjack o lantern

  1. Classrooms are planning Activities for October 30th. Teachers will let you know their individual or divisional plans in their Google Classrooms.
  2. Due to CoVid 19 Restrictions, sharing of treats are not permitted. Thus please do not send in treats to share with the class. Your child may come in with a treat for themselves to eat as part of their individual snack.
  3. Each class will be carving a jack-o-lantern and we will have a contest to judge the classroom carvings.

Students are welcome to wear black and orange or a costume to school but please note, they will still be going out for all recesses. If students are wearing a costume, the costume must respect the following rules:

  • Faces must be visible (no masks other than the CoVid daily masks).
  • Make-up is to be applied at home. (however please consider the CoVid masks that are to be worn which may smudge the make-up)
  • No blood or graphic injuries.
  • Props will not be permitted as they may get damaged, misplaced and/or lost.
  • All costumes must be appropriate to be modelled for young children (eg. provocative or violent costumes are not appropriate)
  • Students are welcome and encouraged to bring a change of clothes (black & orange?).

HAlloween Kids

By |2020-10-13T10:18:54-04:00October 13th, 2020|News|Comments Off on October Theme Days

Last Chance for Bear Wear!

Dear Families

A friendly reminder that the Bear Wear Store closes tonight!

This will be your last chance to order Bear Wear this year.

Get your Bear Wear while you can.

Here is the link:  https://blessedsacramentsw2020.itemorder.com/sale

-North

By |2020-10-12T11:30:15-04:00October 12th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Last Chance for Bear Wear!

Thanksgiving Letter from Director Notten

October 8th, 2020

Dear Waterloo Catholic Community –

It has been exactly one month since we made our first tentative steps back to full learning at Waterloo Catholic.  Today, as we stand on the cusp of the Thanksgiving Weekend, I must reflect that despite some of the obvious challenges, we have much for which we can be grateful.  While it is most certainly difficult to contemplate a Thanksgiving table that might not be as populated as we might like it to be and while we may share concern about the presence of COVID-19 in our lives, it has been a sincere joy to welcome our students back to learning.

This next week the Waterloo Catholic community pastoral plan makes the transition from Called to Belong to our second year theme of Gathered to Become.  So, while this past year we could reflect that we were (and are) indeed a connected community grounded in hope and our shared faith, this year we celebrate the transformation that happens when we gather around the table of our Lord.  We celebrate the gift and power of the Eucharist.  What a well-timed reminder that in our schools, our staff and students are called as community and transformed in their learning and by their faith journey.  As we gather around our Thanksgiving tables, we offer gratitude that even in small numbers, we share God’s love, the opportunity to access education, and the gift of sharing the hope provided by Christ.

We are one month into our new school year and as I have visited some of our schools I have seen the resilience of our students, their appreciation in being able to learn with their teachers and their friends again, and I have witnessed staff who seem genuinely pleased to be back in their schools, connecting with one another, their vocation and their students.  We feel so blessed that to date our schools have remained fully safe places to be.  We have had only 2 early cases of COVID across all of our schools, over this full month, and both cases are now resolved.  We have had no cases of school transmission and indeed across the province, those cases are very few and far between.  Our students are benefitting socially and emotionally by being back together and by experiencing school as a young person is intended to experience school.  In community.

We are so proud of the many accomplishments of our system.  This is a most timely occasion to offer thanks to our staff for all they have done to adapt to our new circumstances, for their commitment, be it in our face-to-face school or in our virtual school, St Isidore.  Central and school-based staff alike went the extra mile to ensure we were ready and to provide their very best for our students.  For that we truly do thank them.  We did have some families who, when given the choice a second time, did choose to move to virtual learning.  As a result, we are preparing to move some teachers from our conventional classrooms to our virtual school.  This has caused some re-organization at the school level and the move will be effective Tuesday, October 13th.  We apologize for this inconvenience.  We realize this is not ideal, but we have neither the staff nor the money to simply add additional teachers to St Isidore.  We sincerely appreciate your understanding in this matter.

We are living and learning in unique times.  Above all else, the health and safety of our staff and students remains our number one priority.  As the province, public health and provincial health authorities have updated their guidance to us, we too have updated our guidance to you.  We realize that sometimes there is a great deal to process.  For our students there has been a new daily self-assessment tool released in the past week.  The tool allows for 2 levels of screening, and narrows down those children who should be sent for testing versus those who should simply stay home until symptoms have resolved.   Please remember that all students (or parents on their behalf) should complete this updated self-screening tool every day:  COVID-19 school and child care screening tool and a reminder that no staff should come to school without completing the adult self-assessment:  https://covid19checkup.ca/  The process of self screening each day is a vital step in ensuring the continued safety of all our schools, so sincere thanks to all for remaining faithful to this and to all our required protocols.

We are so very happy to be back to learning in our schools.  We are so fortunate to have the sure knowledge that we are called together as a family in Christ, and in the Eucharist we are gathered as community to be become so much more than we are as individuals.  Let’s continue to be grounded in the faith, hope and love of Christ for surely that will be our strength in times of adversity.

We sincerely wish every member of our Waterloo Catholic family a restorative and healthy Thanksgiving weekend, rich in the blessings and bounty of this beautiful season.   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  #WeGotThis

Sincerely,

Loretta Notten

Director of Education

By |2020-10-08T09:25:01-04:00October 8th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Thanksgiving Letter from Director Notten

Tomorrow is Thankful Thursday!

Silhouette Design Store - View Design #230456: grateful, thankful, blessed

To celebrate Thankful Thursday we are having a bear wear day tomorrow!

We are also doing Random Acts of Kindness all day!

15 Random Acts of Kindness to do today | Minute School

By |2020-10-07T15:14:54-04:00October 7th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Tomorrow is Thankful Thursday!
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