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Letter from Director: 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 Ontario.ca/covidresponse 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 https://www.wcdsb.ca/living-learning-looking-forward/   and Region of Waterloo Public Health website https://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/health-and-wellness/2019-novel-coronavirus.aspx 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

Sincerely,

Loretta Notten

Director of Education

 

April Break Letter from Director Loretta Notten

April 8th, 2021

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 

Sincerely,

 

Loretta Notten

Director of Education

Provincial Stay-At-Home Order and Schools

Dear Tiger Families,

As you are aware, a province-wide stay-at-home order was issued today by our provincial government.  This order does not affect our schools and as such, we will continue to remain open this week.  However, in the event that we do need to pivot to online learning after the April break (April 12-16), we will begin to make preparations by sending home your child’s personal belongings (e.g. shoes, water bottles, clothes, etc.) and some learning materials over the next two days just as we did prior to the Christmas break.

If you requested a school chromebook to use during remote learning in January, we will once again prepare one for your child and send it with them this Friday.  If your technology needs have changed, please email your child’s teacher or call the office by the end of the day tomorrow Thursday, April 8th, so that we can have it ready for your child to take home on Friday.

Please note that we are just sending this material home this week out of an abundance of caution so that we are ready to respond to online learning in the event a new direction is announced by Public Health during our April Break. We know these are very difficult and challenging times and we truly do appreciate your support.

Take good care and we will continue to share information and keep you up to date!

 

 

Tiger Family Update Week of April 5, 2021

Dear Tiger Families,

Happy Easter!  On behalf of all the staff, we hope that you had a most joyous and blessed Easter.  As we acknowledge and celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus this Easter weekend, let’s rely on our faith and the Easter theme of renewal to give us hope and optimism that we will come out of this challenging time with a renewed outlook and appreciation for each other, our school community and well-being.

Let’s great ready to show our spirit with ‘APRIL MADNESS”!  See below for a list of all of our spirit days this week as we look forward to spring break!   Come on Tigers, we got this!!

 

THANK YOU!

We are so proud of our students, staff, and parents who continue to show such resiliency and positivity, Our students are doing such an amazing job with wearing their masks and physical distancing as best they can while still enjoying being with their friends, playing games, and of course learning!  We are so proud of you Tigers!  Our wonderful staff continues to go above and beyond to care for our students each and every day and we are so fortunate for all that they do!  Staff, you are an awesome team! And finally, we are so thankful for our parents as we know that our success is only possible with your support. We know this has been challenging for you as well and we are so grateful for your continued efforts in daily COVID screening as well as helping with our messages and procedures at school.   We have come so far and hard to believe that we are already in April and we know we could not have done it without you!  WE GOT THIS TIGERS!

 

WATER BOTTLES

Please make sure to send a refillable water bottle to school with your child each day, labeled with their name.  Due to COVID protocols, our water fountains are closed but students are able to fill their own water bottles at our filling stations. 

 

 

 

 

April ParticipACTION

There is still time to register for many of the activities that are being offered this month.  Please see the list of events that are being offered in the link below.  These events are free for WCDSB families.  Attend a session and be entered to receive a $75 restaurant gift card. Details on sign-up form!

April PRO Grant activities

 

 

Tiger Family Update for Week of March 29th

Dear Tiger Families,

Today, we celebrate Palm Sunday and this week we begin a very special week in our faith, Holy Week.   It is a time when we celebrate in a special way the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. We remember Jesus’ actions, reflect on the messages, and recommit to living as Jesus’ disciples in the world today.  Here is a link from Father Joseph which explains Palm Sunday and how each of us can welcome Jesus:  Lent: Week 6 Reflection.

At school, our students will participate in a Reconciliation liturgy led by the students in Mrs. Ianni-Murphy, Mrs. Huisman, and Mrs. Leandres’ class, and the Stations of the Cross led by students in Ms. DiGravio, Ms. Kelly, and Miss Leclair’s class.

Congratulations to our Grade 2 Students:

Congratulations to our Grade 2 students who received the Sacrament of First Reconciliation on Saturday at St. Ambrose Church!  Special thanks to Fr. Gary Schlack, Fr. Czarny, Barbara, Ms. Santos, Ms. Schwab, and Mrs. Purdy for their help and support in preparing for this very special day!

 

Lenten Food Drive!

The last day to support the food drive for the St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Ambrose is this Wednesday, March 31st!  Please send in your items with your child and help make a difference!

 

Tiger Spirit Wear Day Every Wednesday!

Show your strong Tiger spirit by wearing your spirit wear or black and yellow this Wednesday and every Wednesday!!

 

Autism Awareness Day: Light It Up Blue!

We will be celebrating Autism Awareness Day this Thursday, April 1st by wearing blue in recognition of people with autism and those who love and support them.

 

 

April Madness!

We had so much with March Madness that we will be celebrating APRIL MADNESS right before our spring break!  Have a look at the theme days below and get ready to show your spirit!

 

 

Do You Have a Child Getting Ready for Kindergarten?

 Please join the 1000 books before kindergarten program at the Idea Exchange!  Read a book (any book) to your newborn, infant, toddler and/or preschooler. The goal is to have read 1,000 books (yes you can repeat books) before your child starts kindergarten.  See the link for more details.  Please also make sure that you have registered your child for Kindergarten for September 2021!

ideaexchange.org/kids/idea/10

 

Update on  Grade 7 School Program Vaccination Program

  • Due to the current COVID-19 vaccine rollout, the Grade 7 school program immunization program for the 2020/2021 cohort will be further delayed. Details about the resumption of clinical services will be provided before the end of the school year.
  • School program catch-up immunizations for the 2019/2020 cohort of Grade 7 students have been paused with the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine in December. Completion of this cohort will occur later in 2021.
  • School program vaccines are also available through local health care providers. Parents/students are able to access immunization records and submit immunization information via ICON. Parents can access ICON on the Public Health website. Students without a health card or those needing assistance can call Public Health at 519-575-4400 ext.5001.
  • Details regarding the school year immunizations are also posted on the Public Health website (https://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/health-and-wellness/school-immunization.aspx).

Week of March 22 -26, 2021

It is spring and what better way to begin the new season with a weekend full of sunshine and warmer temperatures!  We hope that everyone had a chance to enjoy some time outdoors.    On behalf of all the staff we wanted to thank you for all of your help this past week with March Madness!  It was so great to see the students dressed up for the various theme days and it certainly did make for a fun and enjoyable week!  Make sure to check out our Twitter page (@svdpTigers) for pictures!  Our school continues to participate in the #SpringitforwardSVDP campaign and it has been so wonderful to see our students perform so many kind deeds to their friends and staff and to acknowledge all the blessings and people in their lives who make such a difference on our ‘Shout Out Wall.”  Way to go Tigers and know that it is because of YOU that our school ROARS with joy, kindness, and of course fun!

What’s Happening This Week…..

We want to get the world talking about World Down Syndrome Day! How can you help? By wearing lots of socks! But not just any socks… wear brightly coloured socks, long socks, printed socks, 1 sock, even 3 socks!!  Let’s go Tigers…..get out your socks tomorrow, Monday, March 22nd.

 

 

 

 

Lenten Food Drive March 22- March 31st!

St. Vincent de Paul will be hosting another Food Drive on behalf of the St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Ambrose
Parish starting tomorrow.  To help kick off this initiative, we will be celebrating”Super Fan Day” on Wednesday the 24th.  Students and staff will be invited to wear their favourite team colours or clothing (hats, jerseys, etc.) in exchange for a donation to the food bank.  This is also our regular “Tiger Spirit” day, so they are welcome to wear our school colours\clothing as well.  Please see the letter linked below for more information.  Thanks so much for your support Tigers.

Spring Food Drive 2021

 

Catholic Schools Advisory Committee:

The parent Catholic Schools Advisory Committee (CSAC) meets this Wednesday, March 24th at 6:00 pm.  Meetings are held virtually this year.

 

Family Winter ParticipACTION – March Activities

Brought to you by the Catholic Parent Involvement Committee (CPIC) & Ministry of Ontario PRO grants

Sign up details for all activities (from yoga, cooking, mindfulness and library learning) in the attached flyer.

March-PRO-Grant-Activities

March-PRO-Grant-Activity-Yoga-on-March-24

 

Grade 2 First Reconciliation: Saturday, March 27th

This Saturday, March 27, our Grade 2 students will be celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation at St. Ambrose Church and Jesus’ gift of forgiveness.   In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Jesus comforts us and He strengthens us on our journey.  Congratulations Grade 2s!  May God continue to bless and guide you!

 

Closes at 6pm Today – WCDSB Transition Form to Remote Learning for 2021-2022 Survey

NOTE: If you do not wish to commit to Virtual Learning,
you are not required to complete the form.
 
The form is available until March 19th @ 6 p.m. 
Purpose of the Collection?
Under Sections 8.1(1)(3), 169.1(c), and 266.3(3) of the Education Act, and in compliance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act [MFIPPA] (section 28(2)), the Ministry of Education requires that the Waterloo Catholic District School Board allow for students to change their method of delivery between conventional and virtual settings.
How will the results be used? 
This information will be used by the Board to document requests made by families to select their intended method of delivery to Virtual Learning for the 2021-2022 school year.  Individual results of this collection will be shared with your child’s school administrator and classroom teacher confidentially to accommodate all requests.  As well, results will be combined to create anonymous Board level reports for the Ministry of Education as per the reporting requirements in PPM164. Records will be retained in accordance with the board’s records retention schedule and disposed of accordingly. Access to the results will be restricted for the purposes of planning and will be stored on secure servers.
One survey is required per student where a commitment to Virtual Learning is being made. 
NOTE: All students are assumed to be committed to face-to-face learning unless this form is completed.
  • If you have questions about the personal information being collected, please contact the WCDSB Privacy Officer at Stuart.Bailey@wcdsb.ca.
  • If you need assistance completing the form, please contact your child’s school during regular business hours.

Link to Form is Here

If this link does not work, then go to wcdsb.ca and you will find the link on the main page in the rotating banner.

Lenten Food Drive!

Dear Parents/Guardians:

St. Vincent de Paul will be hosting another Food Drive on behalf of the St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Ambrose
Parish. This year, with the economic strains that have been placed upon our community during the pandemic, the
Food Bank is being accessed by more people & families in our community than ever before.  We are once again asking for your support with regard to this initiative. Our Food Drive will run from Monday, March 22nd, 2021- Wednesday, March 31st, 2021.

We would like to kick off our food drive with a fun TIGER SPIRIT DAY! On Wednesday, March 24th, 2021 , we will
be hosting “SUPER FAN DAY”. Students are invited to wear their favourite sports team attire (hats, jerseys, socks, scarves, shirts etc) in exchange for bringing in one item for the food drive! If they don’t have any “official” team wear, your child can show support for their favourite team by wearing the team’s colours, or by wearing our school spirit wear!! Of course, the food donations are not limited to this day only. We welcome as many donations as you would like to share with the people of our community!

The Food Bank has advised that they are especially low on the following items:
● canned tuna, salmon, sardines
● canned meat (ham, turkey, chicken and luncheon meat)
● pasta (macaroni & cheese, spaghetti and sidekicks)
● jars of baby food
● pasta sauce
● rice
● cans of beans in sauce
● jam, honey and peanut butter, other sandwich spreads
● pancake mix & pancake syrup
● fruit juices such as apple & tomato
● Hamburger Helper
● cereal-especially Rice Krispies and Corn Flakes

***Please be advised that the Food Bank cannot accept expired food***

It is important to note that our school will be taking the utmost precautions with cleanliness and sanitation as the
donations come in. All food will be stored in a central location for over 72 hours, where it will not be handled by any
of the students.

If you are able to assist in this worthy cause, please send your item(s) to school with your child by Wednesday, March 31st. What a great way to practice almsgiving during this lenten season!

Thank you,
The Student Leadership Team

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