Monthly Archives: March 2020

March 31, 2020 – Join Us in an Interfaith Prayer Today at 3pm

The following Prayer was jointly developed by Archbishop Terrance Prendergast  and Rabbi Bulka., two religious leaders in the Ottawa region   It has gained much support from many  other religious communities as well. It is asked that the prayer be said at 3:00 today as a sign of  our common prayer but the prayer can be said anytime during the current crisis.

O God,

We gather together separated by life-saving distancing, but united more than ever in spirit;

We know we are in a war against COVID – 19 together, and the more together we are, the better and stronger we will emerge:

We know the challenges are enormous, yet so are the opportunities;

That whether we are in isolation with loved ones, or alone, we will have abundance of time;

We commit to using that time to the max, to help those in greater need in whatever way we can;

We know we all have the opportunity, and time, to be life savers and life enhancers;

We give thanks for those who are on the front line taking care of those who are not well;

We give thanks for the researchers who are working at breakneck speed to find cure and vaccine;

We give thanks for our leaders, federal, provincial and local, for their dedication to all of us;

We give thanks for the providers of our daily needs who go to work in spite of the risk;

We give thanks for those who have ramped up their ability to produce life-saving supplies.

We pray for the well-being of all our life savers; For those who are not well, that they recover fully;

For those enduring difficulty, that they may overcome their challenges.

We pray that a cure and vaccine will soon be available,

And that we all – family, friends, all Canadians, the entire world may be healed in body and spirit.

We ask you, O God, to bless our leaders, our front line care givers, our life savers and life enhancers.

We ask you, O God, to bless Canada, to bless the world, to bless everyone.

Amen.

March 28, 2020 – Please Check SPAM Folders

Hi Tigers!

We hope everyone is safe and healthy during this difficult time. Our teachers have been tying to get in touch with all their students to check in.

Please remember to check your SPAM folders too in case you didn’t receive a communication yet. It might be there.

Please stay safe and healthy Tigers!

Introducing – WCDSB @ Home

Dear Parents / Caregivers –

As you may be aware, on March 20th the Ontario government launched the Learn at Home online portal to provide resources for families so students can continue their education while schools are closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

Learn at Home offers all students high-quality, made-in-Ontario math and literacy resources, created by Ontario-certified educators, in both English and French.

Elementary resources are designed to help young students learn at home with interactive activities that encourage participation through entertaining and stimulating digital content.

High school content was designed with a focus on STEAM courses and ensure core competencies and skills are reinforced. The government is also providing access to course content for students who take the initiative to refresh and extend their learning.

In conjunction with this important initiative, our staff continue to work very hard creating a plan to ensure that your child is connected to local learning opportunities on an ongoing basis as we navigate our way through these very challenging times.

If you have not already, you will soon be contacted by your child’s teacher to check in, explain what to expect in coming weeks and discuss any specific learning or resource needs. We look forward to moving to teacher-initiated learning beginning on Monday, April 6.

To assist in that process, we have developed our own WCDSBLearn @ Home website.

In coming days we will be adding resources and information to help keep the learning process moving forward – including a link to all of the outstanding resources and ideas that were provided during #STEAMDays, as well as some important mental health and well being information.

The site will be updated regularly, as new resources become available.  But starting April 6th you child will have regular Teacher-led learning coming directly to them.  We are using the time to ensure we have equity of access and consistency in terms of how we are moving forward during these exceptional times.

We also want to again acknowledge that this could be a time of great uncertainty and anxiety for our students. We are truly blessed to have our faith and prayer to aid us at this time.  Our God walks with us always and the Holy Father reminds us that prayer is a sign that we are not alone.

Finally – we encourage you to continue closely following any and all directives from our governments and Region of Waterloo Public Health.  As a 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.  We wish your family good health.

Please remain confident that we are here to support you, as we walk as a hope-filled community of faith toward the season of Easter and the re-birth it brings.

March 27th, 2020

Nutrition For Learning

Hey Tigers!

Nutrition for Learning will be in the community on Thursday, March 26. Thanks again NFL!!! Here is the website for further information: https://www.nutritionforlearning.ca/popupsnacks/

POP UP SNACK LOCATIONS

Thursday March 26

Route 1

Stewart Avenue   9 am

Chalmers  9:30 am

St. Vincent de Paul 10 am

Monsignor Doyle  10:30 am

Central Cambridge 11:00 am

St. Andrews  11:30 am

Highland Public School 12 noon

Route 2

Ayr Public School   9 am

Coronation School   9:30 am

Christ the King  10 am

Elgin Street  10:30 am

Avenue Road    11:00 am

Manchester Public School   11:30 am

St. Anne Cambridge 12 noon

 

March 25

Hi Tigers!

We hope everyone is safe and healthy during this difficult time.

Our teachers will be in touch and checking in with all of their students so please look forward to an email or phone call from your child’s teacher.

Please stay safe and healthy!

March 23, 2020 – Special Message from the Chair of the Board & Director of Education

March 23rd, 2020

Dear Parent / Caregivers –

Since last we reached out to you, the global situation in relation to COVID19 has continued to worsen and here at home we have seen unprecedented actions taken by our federal and provincial governments.  As you know, schools are now closed and it would appear that this will stretch beyond the Easter weekend, although exactly when we might return to face to face learning is not yet clear.  These decisions are being informed by a concern for preserving the health and safety of all, and in this regard we know that each of us shares this common goal.  Nonetheless, the news that students will be home indefinitely may be disconcerting to you and your child.

We want to assure you that at Waterloo Catholic District School Board, we will be working to the best of our ability and in collaboration with the province, to ensure that your child is connected to learning opportunities.  We will use the initial two weeks for the board to support our teachers in establishing at least an initial contact with all of their students through the most appropriate means possible.  We will try to use this time to establish what is needed to support teacher-led learning and to aid you as families, to the best of our abilities under the circumstances.

We also want to acknowledge that this could be a time of great uncertainty and anxiety for our students.  We would encourage you to visit our board website where a number of resources can be found that may be helpful to you or your child, as you navigate this time.  We are also truly blessed to have our faith and prayer to aid us at this time.  Our God walks with us always and the Holy Father reminds us that prayer is a sign that we are not alone.

While we are in the process of “gearing up”, we would remind parents that WCDSB has launched #STEAMDays, a fun and interactive way to be connected to activities that have a daily focus on science, technology, engineering, the arts or mathematics.  Further, the Ministry of Education has launched the website “Learn at Home” and you are encouraged to visit that site for learning activities.  https://www.ontario.ca/page/learn-at-home

Finally – we encourage you to closely follow any and all directives from our governments and Waterloo Region Public Health.  As a 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.  We wish your family good health.  Remain confident that we are here to support you, as we walk as a hope-filled community of faith toward the season of Easter and the re-birth it brings.

Sincerely,

Loretta Notten                             Bill Conway

Director of Education                 Chair of the Board

 

March 22, 2020 – Letter from the Ministry of Education

 

Dear Ontario parents,

 

I am writing to you in unprecedented times.

 

The foremost priority of the government is to keep all Ontarians safe, including our students and educators. Working with our partners and all levels of government, we will do whatever it takes to deliver on this imperative.

 

Since we first learned of COVID-19, Ontario has been diligently monitoring the developing situation to protect the health and well-being of all Ontarians. We have also taken decisive action to ensure the province is positioned to be ready for any scenario.

 

That is why on March 12, 2020, based on the advice of Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, I issued a Ministerial Order to close all publicly-funded schools in the province until April 6, 2020. Our government took decisive action — one of the first jurisdictions in the industrialized world to have closed schools — with the aim of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

 

We are also the first province in Canada to declare a state of emergency. This declaration under Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act enhances the province’s ability to support our heroic frontline workers as they continue to confront this challenge fully.

 

While this period is marked by uncertainty, I hope that this letter can, in some part, provide answers to some of the questions I know many parents have.

 

Although this virus has been characterized and spoken about largely in terms of physical impacts, I believe we need to acknowledge and respond to the sense of fear and concern that your children may be feeling, especially for our younger learners. We have heard from many of them and their parents directly that these reactions come from a place of uncertainty and heightened media exposure that leads to more questions than answers.

 

During this time, I encourage you to continue to have open conversations with your children about COVID-19 and acknowledge that their reactions to this period — however emotional — are understandable and normal. There are many resources available to you and your children, notably Kids Help Phone, which is Canada’s only 24/7 national support service. They offer professional counselling, information and referrals and volunteer-led, text-based support to young people in both English and French. Please visit their website: www.kidshelpphone.ca, call: 1-800-668-6868, or text CONNECT to 686868.

 

While the health and safety of your children is my priority, I also know many of you are wondering how we will ensure students continue their journey of learning while out of the classroom.

 

As a first step to ensure the continued learning of your children, our government has launched an online portal dedicated to curating and providing access to a wide variety of educational resources, for all students from Kindergarten through to Grade 12.

 

This online portal, which is available at Ontario.ca/learnathome, enables students at every grade level to continue learning while away from school. These resources are developed by Ontario educators, and resources for all grades are informed by leading instructional guidance. For those students who are in secondary school, we are providing access to online courses directly based on Ontario curricula.

 

Although publicly funded schools are ordered closed until April 6, the fluidity of developments around COVID-19 means we are preparing in the event the closure period is further extended.

 

Specifically, we are working to ensure that students will be able to continue their coursework and credit accumulation, even when we aren’t able to be in a classroom setting. Ontario is a leading jurisdiction in the availability and richness of online courses, so we will be continuing to leverage these tools and other resources to promote students’ learning and development. We are working with school boards to ensure students that currently do not have access to computers gain the technology needed to participate.

 

We know for those with children in a graduating year, there may be uncertainty about whether these students will be able to graduate. We want to make this clear: no graduating student will have their ability to graduate impacted by the two-week closure and the COVID19 developments. For example, I have cancelled EQAO assessments for this school year. I have also approved a change in graduation requirements so the completion of the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) is not a barrier for students on track to graduate. We are also working with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities and the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development to ensure students can apply to post-secondary education (including Apprenticeship, College and University), regardless of the situation this semester.

 

In this time, it is more important than ever that we take every precaution to ensure that, when students return to class, they return to a safe and healthy learning environment.

 

The Ministry of Education is providing all school boards with access to funding for the deep cleaning of school facilities, childcare centres, and school buses. Following the closure period, we will minimize any risks to students, learners and our educators.

 

And for those of you who are returning from travel outside of Canada, it is critical that you follow the strong recommendations of Dr. Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Healthand self-isolate for 14 days when you and your family return. This means staying at home and avoiding contact with other people to help prevent the spread of disease to members of your family who may not have travelled with you or to your community.

 

If you think you or a family member have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, in addition to self-isolation, please take the self-assessment test on ontario.ca/coronavirus to help determine how to seek further care. This site will also provide you with all the information you need to keep you and your family healthy and safe.

 

The Government of Ontario is committed to ensuring all Ontarians remain safe and secure during the challenging time. As the Minister of Education, I assure you I will make decisions based on scientific facts, the best advice of public health professionals, and always with the health and safety of your child at the top of mind.

 

While our work continues, we will continue to keep you informed along the way.

 

Stay safe.

 

The Honourable Stephen Lecce Minister of Education

Minister Letter to Parents – EN – March 22 2020

Learn-At-Home Resources and #STEAMDays

Hi Tigers!

We hope everyone has been staying safe and healthy over the past week and continue to do so!

Please see below for some helpful resources:

The Ministry of Education has launched a portal with learning activities – “Learn-At-Home”. Please click on the link below to access the resources.

https://www.ontario.ca/page/learn-at-home

and

WCDSB is launching #STEAMDays – a fun and interactive way to keep the learning happening at home as we work our way through the unprecedented COVID-19 shutdown.

Please view the VIDEO to learn more.

In times like these, it is vital for one and all to come together – and #STEAMDays will provide a convenient platform for parents and educators alike to share ideas, resources and fun ways to keep the learning process going.

As ideas are shared, we will gather some of them and post via our website: www.wcdsb.ca/STEAMDays

Please visit on social media via:

Twitter: @WCDSBNewswire #STEAMDays

Facebook: @wcdsb #STEAMDays

Instagram: @waterloocdsb #STEAMDays

Nutrition For Learning Stops at St. Vincent de Paul

Nutrition for Learning is still operating while schools are closed. They are driving around to various locations handing out packages of snacks for those who need. They will be at St. Vincent de Paul tomorrow, Friday March 20, in the morning from 10:30-10:50 and then at Mons. Doyle from 11:00-11:20.

Thank you Nutrition for Learning for supporting our communities!

Stay safe Tigers!