Monthly Archives: May 2021

Letter to Community about Youth Vaccinations

Youth Vaccination Letter

The Waterloo Region Vaccine Task Force is helping youth between the ages of 12 and 17 and family members they live with (who do not have their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine) get the vaccine.

Getting youth the vaccine is important to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and make it safer when we return to school in-person.

Who can get the vaccine now?

Youth between the ages of 12 and 17 can now pre-register for a COVID-19 vaccine. Youth and family members they live with will be able to book a time for their first dose between June 7th and June 20th.  Youth must be 12 years old at the time of their appointment. It is likely that youth will be able to get their second dose quicker than other people so they will have both their shots before the 2021 school year. At this time, family members cannot get their second dose quicker unless they are part of another eligible priority group.

What vaccine will be given?

Health Canada has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for anyone 12 years of age and older. See the resources below for more information.

How to pre-register?

Click here to pre-register for a COVID-19 vaccine

  • Please select “youth 12-17 years of age” as the priority group
  • Complete the form with the youth’s personal information, family members do not need to complete a form.
  • When the youth gets their booking code, family members in the same house can use the same booking code to book a time for their first dose.

If you need help filling out the form, please watch the video about how to fill out the form, or ask someone you trust to help you. If you need extra support call 519-575-4400, support is available in over 200 languages. Deaf and hard of hearing (TTY): 519-575-4608.

You will get your booking code in the way you asked to get it when you filled out the form. Please check your JUNK/SPAM folder in your email regularly.

When you get your booking code, please book your time slot as soon as you can. If family members have already pre-registered with Region of Waterloo Public Health, they can make an appointment with the same booking code their youth received and delete any booking code they get later.

Where can youth get their shot?

Youth need to book a time at a clinic that offers the Pfizer vaccine. Please select one of the clinics below when booking an appointment:

  • Cambridge Pinebush, Cambridge
  • Health Sciences Campus, Kitchener
  • The Boardwalk, Waterloo
  • Wellesley Clinic, Wellesley
  • New Vision FHT, Kitchener

Visit our COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics Map to see where the clinics are.

Youth should bring their health card on the day of their appointment. If they do not have a health card, please bring another piece of identification that confirms who they are and has a number/code on it. To learn more about what to do before and after your appointment visit the COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics in Waterloo Region page.

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board and Blessed Sacrament School encourages all who are eligible to pre-register to receive their vaccine. When possible, and to best support your child(ren) with their learning, please be mindful of school hours. However, if you are only able to book an appointment during the school day, please do so. This is an important opportunity to prioritize the health of all in our community.

Thanks for your continued support in keeping our community safe.


Loretta Notten (Director of Education) & Franco Petrella (Principal Blessed Sacrament School)

By |2021-05-31T11:20:06-04:00May 31st, 2021|News|Comments Off on Letter to Community about Youth Vaccinations

Message from Director Notten re: Flying of Pride Flag


May 28, 2021

Dear WCDSB Community,

We hope that you are well and finding reasons for hope as we journey into June.  It has certainly been a most challenging school year.  This letter brings an update on the WCDSB decision to fly the Rainbow flag at each of our schools and our Board buildings.

You may be aware of the controversy that unfolded last year when we planned to raise an alternative to the Rainbow Flag in June, which in Canada is known as “Pride Month”.  Since then, we have carefully considered and prayed about what our next step should be to move forward.  As indicated above, the decision has been made that we will fly the Rainbow Flag at our Waterloo Catholic schools for the month of June and we wanted you to be aware in advance.  We recognize that while this decision will make some people happy, for others it may be a cause for concern or disappointment or even anger.

In its document Male and Female He Created Them, the Congregation for Catholic Education states:

“It is important . . . to educate children and young people to respect every person in their particularity and difference, so that no one should suffer bullying, violence, insults or unjust discrimination based on their specific characteristics (such as special needs, race, religion, sexual tendencies, etc.” 

Our main reason for flying the Rainbow Flag is to say to all who come to our Catholic Schools that they are coming to a place where they are loved unconditionally by God and will be respected and valued as children of God.  It communicates to all our children, youth, staff, and families that the school is a safe, welcoming place to learn and grow.

Bill 13 (the Accepting Schools Act) states:

“All students should feel safe at school and deserve a positive school climate that is inclusive and accepting regardless of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status or disability.”

Our hope and our goal in flying the Rainbow Flag is to create this safe and positive school climate for all our students.

We are not making a statement about our divergence from the teaching of the Catholic Church with regards to sexual morality.  Sexual morality is not the issue.  What is at issue is that LGBTQ+ youth are much more likely to do self-harm or take their life than their heterosexual counterparts.  Every instance of bullying and abuse towards a LGBTQ+ youth increases the likelihood for serious and/or tragic consequences that were certainly avoidable.

Harvey Milk (the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the US) commissioned artist Gilbert Baker to design the Pride flag.  Milk said this about the Rainbow Flag: “It’s not about personal gain; it’s not about ego; it’s not about power; it’s about giving those young people out there hope.”  We are a people of hope and for this reason we will be flying the Rainbow Flag.  Our students who identify as part of the 2SLGBTQ+ community desire and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect without fear of bullying, discrimination, and violence.   It is that simple.

Brian Wenke, Executive Director of the “It Gets Better Project”, believes that the Rainbow Flag’s meaning rests not in its individual colours but in the symbolism of the entire spectrum.  He describes the rainbow’s universal, all-embracing resonance best: “The rainbow came from earliest recorded history as a symbol of hope.  In the Book of Genesis, it appeared as proof of a covenant between God and all living creatures.”  It is in this spirit of God’s covenantal love for all creatures, that all creation is worthwhile and valuable, that we will fly the Rainbow Flag.

As important partners in Catholic Education, we want to assure you of our deep commitment to authentically living the Catholic faith — which calls us to create welcoming and inviting communities where, as our WCDSB pastoral plan reminds, all are “Called to Belong, Gathered to Become and Sent to Build”.


Loretta Notten

Director of Education

By |2021-05-28T14:09:39-04:00May 28th, 2021|News|Comments Off on Message from Director Notten re: Flying of Pride Flag

Important Message from the Director of Education re: Planning for the 2021-2022 School Year

Dear Waterloo Catholic Community –

We are sitting on the cusp of June and at this point it is not 100% clear if we are headed back to face-to-face learning in this school year.   We will certainly be in touch should any development arise in this regard.   We know that this has been a challenging time for many students, their families and for staff to learn remotely online, but we are grateful to all for the many efforts you have made to make it work.  With that said – we are also very much planning ahead to next year at this time.  In that spirit, this letter contains a number of updates about the end of this year and the planning for next year.  I encourage every parent or guardian to read each of the updates very carefully.


All students ages 12 to 17 years of age are now eligible for vaccination.  This is excellent and welcome news as we know that it will bring our students, their families and our schools an added measure of protection and safety.  Students who are 12 to 17 years of age (and any family member who is not vaccinated as yet) may register for and attend the vaccination clinics that will be available the weeks of June 14th and June 21st.  Some clinics will also be available the week of June 7th.  During those weeks – 12 to 17 years olds (and their families) will be the highest priority for vaccination.  Second booster shot vaccines will be available in August so that students can return to school fully vaccinated.   Further details will be shared through your local school as they become available, but all 12-17-year-olds are now eligible for vaccine pre-registration.

Transition Survey for 2021-22 School Year:

As mentioned in March and even more so now, our planning for the 2021-2022 school year is now underway.  We are working on staffing and budget, and we must make decisions for next year at this time.  For this reason, we are now asking ALL families to confirm if they have a desire for online learning for their child(ren).   Even if you completed the survey in March, you are asked to complete the survey again to confirm your choice.   If you do not complete the survey – we will assume your child is returning to face-to-face learning.  Next week – May 31st through June 3rd – we will have a survey on our Board website for any parent/family that wishes to choose virtual learning again for next year.  That said – it will be a one-time choice.  That is, there will not be transition periods during the year.  A choice for virtual will be a choice for September through June.  If you register for St. Isidore, our virtual school, you will no longer be affiliated with your current home school, (for the 2021-2022 school year).  You will have the option to re-register for the following school year (2022-2023).

A few things to note about your choice for online learning:

  • This is a single choice for the full year (September through June)
  • Vaccinations are expected for students 12 – 17; pediatric vaccine for those 5-11 are in development but cannot be confirmed at this time
  • All staff that wish to be vaccinated will be vaccinated by September
  • If you were a French Immersion student and you were online this year, if you choose a second year of online learning you will forfeit your spot in French Immersion
  • In secondary we expect to begin the year in a quadmester model with students attending two classes per day. If things progress well, we hope to see a semester model (carrying 4 courses over the course of half the year) by the second half of the year.  There is also the hope that extra-curriculars may return at some point next year.
  • There will not be the opportunity for inter-scholastic or varsity sports if you attend school virtually.
  • If there are not sufficient numbers for a dedicated online secondary school, a hybrid model will be considered.  This involves students connecting remotely to the face-to-face class using video conferencing, (as opposed to a dedicated virtual class).
  • Certain secondary subjects may not be possible or may be significantly compromised in their delivery through our online offering – for example, technology courses, some SHSM red seal specialities, senior level sciences and some performing arts.

We know that some students have found virtual to be a good way to learn.  We do, in the main, feel that for a variety of reasons not only connected to academics, but to a young person’s social emotional well-being, that attending school in person is likely the preferred option for most students, when all things are equal.  Please give this decision careful consideration.  The transition survey will be available directly from our School and Board homepages or can be accessed directly here: Transition Survey 2021-22


After further discussion with school and senior administrators about the best way to support and honour our 2021 graduates, it has been decided that the release of all WCDSB secondary school virtual graduations for this year will be postponed until October 2021.  This will allow time to properly gather data for all awards and designations and allow for schools to complete graduation preparations that were not yet completed due to COVID restrictions.

We will continue to plan for alternative ways to celebrate our graduates in June based on Ministry of Education and Public Health announcements and guidelines.  Any additional information will be posted to our Grade 12 Google classroom.  Similarly local elementary schools will share the details of graduations with parents.  While not the graduation celebrations we might have hoped for, we will do our best to honour this significant milestone in our students’ lives.


Once again, we 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 reach out to your local school principal.

If there are any further updates we will certainly share them as soon as possible.  Please know that we continue to be in this together, we have almost made it through this most exceptional of years and we are now looking forward to the promise of a new school year.  Thank you for your patience, your partnership and your support as we have journeyed through this year.  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 |2021-05-26T12:29:17-04:00May 26th, 2021|News|Comments Off on Important Message from the Director of Education re: Planning for the 2021-2022 School Year

Relay for Life

Canadian Cancer Society - Relay For Life - While we can't meet in person for  this year's Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life, we can still come  together virtually to show Canadians

Hello Bears!  Traditionally our Intermediates participate in the St. Mary’s High School Relay for Life.

This year we are opening this opportunity to the whole community for a virtual Relay for Life. Please consider donating to the Blessed Sacrament Team to support the Canadian Cancer Society using the above link.

We thank you in advance for your support! Let us continue to pray for all who are affected by this horrible illness.

Mr. Petrella

By |2021-05-26T09:57:05-04:00May 26th, 2021|News|Comments Off on Relay for Life

Vaccine Pre-registration for Children Aged 12 -17!!


Yesterday, the Province of Ontario announced that as of the week of May 31, youth in Ontario between 12 and 17 years of age and their family members who have not received a vaccine, will be eligible to book an appointment to receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, including at special dedicated youth and family clinics throughout the weeks of June 14 and 21, 2021.

The province will work with Region of Waterloo Public Health and our school board to offer second doses of the vaccine by the end of August.

Click Here to Read the Provincial Announcement

Get Vaccinated If You Are Eligible!

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) encourages all who are eligible to pre-register to receive their vaccine from Region of Waterloo Public Health.

When possible – and to best support your child(ren) with their learning – please be mindful of school hours. However, if you are only able to book an appointment during the school day, please do so. This is an important opportunity to prioritize the health of all in our community.

We are asking anyone who is eligible, including education workers, to make sure they are pre-registered on the Region of Waterloo Public Health website.

Details to Follow: The WCDSB will be working in coordination with Region of Waterloo Public Health and other local partners to develop a plan, and will share more information as it becomes available.

By |2021-05-14T13:45:48-04:00May 14th, 2021|News|Comments Off on Vaccine Pre-registration for Children Aged 12 -17!!

Summer Learning Registration

Summer Learning


Registration is now OPEN!

Waterloo Catholic District School Board is committed to supporting your child’s continued learning.  In July and August this year, there are a number of learning options available for elementary and secondary students that will ignite, support and challenge students toward success and preparation for the next grade.

ALL Elementary, Secondary and Adult Learning options can be found here:

By |2021-05-12T11:33:28-04:00May 12th, 2021|News|Comments Off on Summer Learning Registration
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