Monthly Archives: April 2021

May Newsletter


Hello Bear Families!

It is hard to believe that we are already in the month of May.

Please click on the above link for our May Newsletter.

As always, please stay tuned to newswire for up to date information.



By |2021-12-02T10:41:07-05:00April 30th, 2021|News|Comments Off on May Newsletter

First Communion & Confirmation Suspended Until Further Notice

As of Monday, April 19th, 2021 all churches in the Diocese of Hamilton are closed until further notice — there will be no public Masses until restrictions are lifted.

First Holy Communion & Confirmation 2021 are suspended until further notice. We will rebook when it is safer to gather.

Thank you

The Staff of Blessed Sacrament Parish

By |2021-04-19T12:32:30-04:00April 19th, 2021|News|Comments Off on First Communion & Confirmation Suspended Until Further Notice



Hey Bears!

Even though we are virtual, we are still going to have an excellent earth week at school!  All week we are asking you to post pics of your activities @BSKBears on Twitter.  If you don’t have a twitter account, just email your classroom teacher the pics for me to post online!  Your classroom teachers will also be introducing a lot of fun activities each day to celebrate this special week. Here is the plan:

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! Take a picture of what you are eating today (include you too!) and send it to your teacher (indicating permission to use your picture online) and/or tag us on Twitter @BSKbears to share your marvelous-meatless meal!

Great Gulp Tuesday: At exactly 12:30pm today, ALL of Blessed Sacrament staff and students will take a Great Gulp of tap water at the EXACT SAME TIME! Make sure to turn on your cameras and do it with your class!

Upcycle Wednesday: Use your imagination to come up with inventions and art projects with materials that you would normally throw out or recycle. Take a picture of what you ‘upcycled’ and send a picture to your teacher (indicating permission to use your picture online) and/or tag us on Twitter @BSKbears to share.

Earth Day Thursday: Today is the actual Earth Day!  Happy Earth Day!

  1. Clean up your own backyard! Raking, cleaning out your gardens, and picking up trash left from winter will help plants grow and invite pollinators to your yard.
  2. Try regrowing your own veggies! You will be amazed at what you can grow. Take a picture of what you cleaned up or grew and send a picture to your teacher (indicating permission to use your picture online) and/or tag us on Twitter @BSKbears to share.

Laudato Si’ Friday (Praise be to you my Lord): It is our duty to take care of our Common Home – Mother Earth.   Make signs to post in your home to remind your family that little actions can help the environment! It can be as simple as putting a note on the bathroom mirror reminding people to turn off the water when you brush your teeth. Be creative. Can you get your whole family involved?   Take a picture of your signs and send a picture to your teacher (indicating permission to use your picture online) and/or tag us on Twitter @BSKbears to share

Let’s stay green Bears!  Can’t wait to see your pics!


By |2021-11-16T17:01:17-05:00April 17th, 2021|News|Comments Off on EARTH WEEK 2021!

Overcome your Overwhelm Workshop

Dear Families

The St. Mary’s Family of School is offering this workshop for families.


Description: We are living in unprecedented times and the impact of the global pandemic has hit parents hard!  Now more than ever, we are expected to juggle the demands of work and home while managing the collective impact of grief, uncertainty and fear on our mental, physical and emotional well-being. This workshop will help parents identify the signs and symptoms of burnout and provide practical strategies using self-compassion, emotional intelligence and resilience to help you cope and show up powerfully for yourself and others, even during difficult times.

Date and Time: APRIL 22nd @ 6:30 pm

Registration: open until April 21st at noon

We hope you take advantage of this workshop.

Thank you!



By |2021-04-15T15:27:42-04:00April 15th, 2021|News|Comments Off on Overcome your Overwhelm Workshop

Pivot to Remote Learning April 19th

April 12th, 2021


Dear Waterloo Catholic Community –


As you know we have commenced our well-deserved April 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 after the April Break will be remote.  That is, on April 19th both our elementary and our secondary students will begin their continued learning virtually.  The decision is being made out of an abundance of caution.  Experience has shown us that our schools are generally quite safe.  Our protocols have served us well and the cases of COVID are not starting, nor are they generally spreading, in our schools, but we are a reflection of the community.  We have also seen an increase in the variants and they are proving more concerning.  Closing the schools to in person learning for the remainder of April 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.

We do not yet have a firm return date for in person learning but we know that we will pivot to virtual for a minimum of 2 weeks.  Once we have a firm return date for in person learning we will be in touch.

Just before we left for the break, out of an abundance of caution, we did make 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 April 19th.   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 April 19th, 2021.

The move to remote learning will be similar to January.  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.  The first day back, April 19th,  will look a little different – we will treat it similar to a snow day where work will be posted to the class site.  Students will work independently.  This is to allow our staff to prepare their virtual lessons and we will start full synchronous days on Tuesday April 20th.   This will apply to St Isidore as well.

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 April Break we must adhere to the guidance to limit our contacts and social gatherings.

Once again, we encourage you to visit 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   and Region of Waterloo Public Health website 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 April 19th, 2021.

I will also take this opportunity to once again 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.

Vaccination does continue to roll out and while we are in the darkest of days right now, there is reason to believe there is light at the end of this dark tunnel.  Let us continue to be an Easter people, anchored in faith.  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



Loretta Notten

Director of Education

By |2021-04-12T23:50:50-04:00April 12th, 2021|News|Comments Off on Pivot to Remote Learning April 19th

Spring Break Letter

Dear Parent/Guardian,

Thank you for continuing to follow the public health and safety measures that have kept schools open and safe for students and staff. It is our collective effort that continues to ensure your children can learn in the classroom.

As per recent announcements, the province has implemented a province-wide shutdown for four weeks in response to worsening trends in key health indicators across the province.

The mental health and well-being of children continues to be a key government priority and schools will remain open for in-person learning through the Provincial Emergency and Stay at Home Order. The spring break will continue as planned, from April 12th to 16th, and schools will reopen for in-person learning on April 19th.

In light of the recently announced measures, it is more important than ever that we continue to follow health advice over the Spring Break to do our part to keep schools open, for in-person student learning.

At this critical point in the pandemic, the following  public health measures are crucial to help prevent and limit the spread of COVID-19:

  • Socialize with your own household.
  • Stay home and get tested if you feel ill.
  • Participate in the targeted testing offered by your school board.
  • Screen every day, including during spring break, for COVID-19 symptoms before attending child care (theCOVID-19 School and Child Care Screening Tool is available to assist families with symptom screening).
  • Practice good hand hygiene habits, masking, and physical distancing.
  • Refer to ca/covidresponseto learn what public health measures are in place in our community.
  • Refrain from travelling.

During the spring break, students in Grades 1-8 can continue to engage in their own learning through supplemental, curriculum-linked activities available at TVO Learn and TFO IDÉLLO, apprendre à la maison. These rich, engaging opportunities allow students to keep up with their learning and interests. Secondary students can continue to access TVO’s Independent Learning Centre (ILC) Open House and Portes ouvertes pour les cours TVO ILC in French-language. Mathify (English) and Eureka! (French) are also available to provide one-on-one online tutoring services for elementary and secondary students. Mathify covers online math tutoring in English for Grades 6 to 10 and Eureka! supports all subjects for French-language students in Grades 1 to 12.

For the week of April 12-18, pharmacies that currently offer testing and assessment centres across the province will accept appointments from students and education staff for asymptomatic testing. The Ministry of Education will be working with school boards to offer school based clinics. Parents are encouraged to take advantage of this testing capacity to have their children tested to support a safe return to school on April 19. Children attending child care, and child care staff, will also be eligible to access this testing.

As a reminder, before coming back to school on April 19th, you must screen for COVID-19 symptoms. If your child or anyone in your household is ill, stay home and follow the guidance in the school screener.

By following public health advice, we can all enjoy a safe spring break and continue to support in-person learning in our school.

Have a safe, fun and restful break.


Mr. Petrella

By |2021-11-02T11:13:57-04:00April 9th, 2021|News|Comments Off on Spring Break Letter

Special Message from the Director of Education – “April Break”


Dear Waterloo Catholic Community –

I sincerely hope this email finds you well and having enjoyed a safe and hope-filled Easter weekend.  Today I am writing to you with some updates as we prepare for our much anticipated April Break.  It is absolutely essential that we follow the guidance of Public Health and the province in order to ensure a safe return to learning by all.

As you know the province is now in a province-wide shutdown.  For you and your family during the break, this mean only socializing within your own home, taking advantage of testing opportunities, screening everyday for symptoms and staying home if you or anyone in your family feels at all ill.  Please take this very seriously as part of our collective responsibility to each other.

As of the writing of this letter, we are expecting to be back to in person learning on April 19th.  That said, we know the landscape continues to evolve so we will send students home with Chromebooks for those who require them.  Similarly, we encourage students to take home personal belongings so school cleaning can be facilitated.  We will certainly be in communication if anything changes about our status for return on April 19th, 2021.

Yesterday we were able to communicate that a small portion of our staff, specifically our special education staff can begin vaccination.  This is a hopeful sign and it has energized us for the journey forward.   This is a critical time.  The end is in sight, but we must do our utmost to follow all guidance at this critical time so that we can have a safe, happy and healthy return to school for all.

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 


Loretta Notten                                                                       

Director of Education 

By |2021-11-09T09:32:27-05:00April 8th, 2021|News|Comments Off on Special Message from the Director of Education – “April Break”

Special Easter Message from the Director of Education

Dear Waterloo Catholic Community –
We have communicated a fair bit over the past year – certainly there have been more letters from my office than would normally be the case and we certainly know that there is a clear reason for that to be so. The pandemic has changed our lives and has invited far more frequent communication. Today I would like to reflect more meaningfully on just the next few days ahead.
We find ourselves in the midst of Holy Week as we prepare for the Holy Triduum. We reflect on the fact that the only path to the joy of Easter Sunday is through the experience of the sorrow and loss of the crucifixion. In many ways, this is an apt reflection for us as we impatiently wait for the end of our suffering and for the rebirth of our lives. It has been a challenging year and I want to thank and acknowledge all our families for the confidence and partnership you have shown us. We know that it has not been at all easy and there may yet be struggles ahead.
We need look no further than the example of Christ, who in His human form, prayed to God for strength and to be spared his suffering. But God so loved the world that He gave His only son and it was through His love, that hope and rebirth was provided to all humankind. As we look to the wondrous beauty of nature around us – as it is awakened and stirred into new life – may we know that hope is ours and that this darkness too shall pass.
I would like to take this opportunity to strongly ask that you not gather this weekend for Easter festivities. Please confine your celebrations to your immediate family. It is a hardship – there can be no doubt – but it is part of our collective responsibility to one another. Please do not gather. Please do not let children come together for play dates. Please do not make exceptions to the guidance. It will be a quiet Easter, but the end is in sight, and what we do now can really influence how we experience the last months of this pandemic before there is broader vaccination.
We will have more updates in the week to come, but today it is just a sincere wish for a happy and holy Easter season. May all the hopeful jubilation that Easter Sunday brings be yours as we transition from the waiting and sadness of Lent to the unmatched joy of the resurrection.
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
Loretta Notten
Director of Education

By |2021-04-01T12:25:02-04:00April 1st, 2021|News|Comments Off on Special Easter Message from the Director of Education
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