Welcome to a new school year!

As part of our start up we have a lot of important information to share.

First Day procedure

Class assignments were sent out via School Cash Online on Friday August 30th, 2019. Your child’s teacher was listed in this notification. All classroom teachers from grade 1-8 will be on the blacktop at 9:05am to gather students from their class. Teachers will have an updated class lists in case students arrive and are unsure as to who their teacher is for the 2019-20 school year.

Students will enter the building at 9:20am with their assigned teacher to begin the regular school day.

Please note that classroom assignments will only be changed based on fluctuating enrollment at the school, not parent/guardian request. If changes are made it is to meet ministry compliance with respect to class size. We have received a large number of new registrations in the last week of August, and will continue to welcome more new families as they arrive to our community. The main office will be a very busy place for the next few weeks as we settle in to a new school year. Your patience and cooperation with is very much appreciated.

Thank you…

Mrs. McGlynn, our Administrative Assistant, has worked tirelessly to prepare for the school startup and we greatly appreciate all that she has done, and continues to do, to welcome our families to St. Agnes. She is one busy lady in the main office! The entire school staff is appreciative of her attention to detail, and organizational skills as we head into the new school year.

Special thanks to our custodian, Mr. Eden. The school is looking fantastic and squeaky clean! With the addition of 3 new cottages comes a tremendous amount of additional work. It is no small feat to keep a rapidly growing community humming along, and yet, Mr. Eden does this with a smile on his face, and never a complaint. We are truly grateful to Mr. Eden for all he does to support the St. Agnes community on a daily basis.

Thank you to our CSAC chair, Melissa Henderson, and the volunteers who coordinated our Welcome to St. Agnes playdate for new families last week. This community is so gracious with their time and energy, and we truly appreciate the work you do!

Thanks to Mark Van Dyke, and the Greenleaf volunteers, who helped clear out the front gardens. Not a small task by any means! Mark also installed new wooden benches in our school yard which have been enjoyed by families and students over the past few weeks. These are very much appreciated, Mark!

Safe Schools

As part of our Safe Schools protocol, all elementary schools in the Waterloo Catholic District School Board have a security system installed on our front doors. This means that all the doors to the school will be locked. All visitors to the school should enter through the front doors of the school. You will need to be buzzed in by a staff member. It is very important that once buzzed into the school, all visitors report directly to the Main Office. Once you have signed in with Mrs. McGlynn, you will receive a visitor badge. This will save you the inconvenience of being approached by school staff to identify yourself. Over the course of the next few weeks and months the staff and students will be practising a number of safety procedures including lock down drills. We thank you for your help in supporting the safety of our students and staff at St. Agnes. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Mrs. Reesor.

Late Students & Safe Arrivals protocol

All students should be on the school property no later than 9:15am. The St. Agnes entry bell rings at 9:20am. Students are expected to enter the school with their classmates through the door assigned by their classroom teacher. If a student enters through the front doors after 9:20 am, the student is considered late. These students will sign in with Mrs. McGlynn and bring a late slip to class. Due to our Safe Schools protocol, students will not be allowed to enter the building via any door other than the front door after 9:20am. If your child is going to be late or absent, please call the school BEFORE 9:00am. If a student is reported absent by the classroom teacher, a call will be placed to each contact person for that child. If a child still cannot be located after attempting to reach parent/ guardian contacts, and the emergency contact, the police will be notified. It is of critical importance that you update contact information with the school each time there is a change.

Parking Lot access

As part of our Safe Schools protocol, the school parking lot on Neilson Avenue is not accessible to parents & family members. The parking lot on Bluevale Avenue will only be accessible to parents who are dropping off/ picking up students as part of the Extended Day program. This drop off/ pick up will be monitored by school staff. It is critical that we have no moving traffic in the parking lot as our students arrive and depart each day. Please park at the church and have your child walk on the sidewalk to the school property. Student safety is our primary concern.

NewsWire & Classroom Newsletters

Important school wide information will be communicated via NewsWire. If you are receiving this today as an email then you are already signed up for NewsWire. Theses communications are automatically posted on our school website. If you are only seeing this communication on our school website you may choose to subscribe to NewsWire by adding your email to the distribution list. Please see the main page of our school website and scroll to the bottom. Please check our school website regularly for important information including the Google calendar which contains important school wide information.

Classroom teachers will also produce an electronic newsletter for the month. These will be posted on the classroom site (e.g., D2L, Google classroom). You will not be provided a paper copy of newsletters unless you specifically ask for one. We are doing our part to  protect the planet through reduced photocopying.

Important Reminders

  • Students are not be on school property before 8:45 am as there is no supervision. Also, students should leave the property immediately at the end of day for the same reason.
  • When school buses are cancelled in the morning due to inclement weather they are cancelled at the end of the day as well. If you choose to send your child to school on bus cancellation days, you are responsible for picking your child up at 3:50pm.
  • Please send appropriate outdoor clothing for students. Whenever possible, students will be going outside for recess.
  • Healthy active living is very important for students and strongly encouraged. However, students are not permitted to ride scooters, skateboards, or bikes on school property. This includes the sidewalk in front of the school. The sidewalks will be very busy at the beginning and end of the day. Please walk scooters, skateboards, bikes once on school property.
  • Students are being encouraged to BYOD…bring your own device to school. However…each student is required to complete a board form which outlines the expectations for bringing and using your own device at school. This form will be provided to all students by their classroom teacher or can be accessed by this link APS017-04F Student Outside Tech Consent
  • Students are not permitted to bring electronic devices outside at recess time. Classroom teachers will lock these devices in the classroom closet while students are outside for recess. Students do not have permission to take photos or videos of any staff or students (including themselves) during recess. If students violate this requirement they will lose the privilege of bringing an electronic device to school.

Anaphylaxis Policy: APH005

The following information is taken directly from our board’s Anaphylaxis policy:

Look-A-Like Products To Peanut Butter (e.g. SchoolSafe Soy Butter – WOWBUTTER; Sunbutter (sunflower seeds); Golden Pea Butter (peas and Omega 3 canola oil)

School Administrator is to communicate to school community to refrain from sending look-a-like products to peanut butter to school with your child.

  • It is impossible to differentiate between these products and peanut butter; in fact, these products are almost identical in colour, consistency, smell and taste to peanut butter. Therefore, the Board is requesting that parents do not send their children to school with look-a-like products to peanut butter such as “WOWBUTTER”, “PEABUTTER” and “SUNBUTTER” in sandwiches until the products are available in a colour other than tan, the colour of peanut butter. If not already done so, please bring the above information to the attention of your school community via your school newsletter and/or school website. If a student brings this product into the school, an alternative setting to eat their lunch/snack is to be provided.

CSAC: Catholic School Advisory Council

If you are interested in being a member of our Catholic School Advisory Council please complete the self-nomination form that was sent as part of the online registration process. This form must be returned directly to the Main Office no later than Friday September 13th at 4:00pm. It is a requirement that you declare your intention to be a member of CSAC via the self-nomination form. Only those people who return a form by the deadline will be considered for membership on CSAC. All Council meetings are open to the public; however, agenda items can only be addressed by members of the Council. Meetings will occur 4- 6 times per year and are one and a half hours maximum. Our first meeting will take place on Monday September 23rd from 6:30pm to 8:00pm in our Learning Commons.

Speaking with your child’s teacher

Should you wish to speak with your child’s teacher we kindly request that you leave a message with Mrs. McGlynn in the Main Office. Teachers will not be available to meet with parents/guardians during the school day unless arranged in advance. Please respect the fact that teachers must preserve instructional time in order to help students achieve success; therefore, meetings can only be scheduled during non-instructional times in the day which are very limited.

Students Transported To/From School by Bus

As we begin the school year, we would like to remind all students eligible for bus transportation to/from school and their parents/guardians of the following expectations and procedures. These are taken directly from the Student Transportation Services of Waterloo Region website www.stswr.ca

  • When traveling to school, students should be at their designated pick-up location five minutes before the scheduled arrival of the school bus.
  • The student and her/his parents should develop a contingency plan should the child miss the school bus when traveling to school (e.g., return home; walk to a neighbour’s home; walk to school, etc.)
  • When departing school, should any student miss her/his bus, that child should immediately go to the school office for assistance. She/he should not walk home.
  • If a student will not be taking the bus, parents are asked to write a note in their child’s agenda
  • Only students eligible to ride a school bus will be allowed to do so when riding to/from school. Those who are not eligible to ride a bus will not be permitted to do so. If a child is not eligible and she/he wishes to visit the home of a classmate, it will be the responsibility of her/his parent to make alternate transportation arrangements.
  • Transported students will only be allowed to ride their designated bus to/from school. A pupil will not be permitted to ride another bus for which they are not eligible.

This is an abbreviated version of expectations and procedures. Links to the complete versions are available on our school website under About Us in the Student Transportation Services section.

Parents are reminded that all scheduling with respect to student transportation is coordinated through STS not the school. Any and all concerns regarding your child’s school bus transportation should be directed to:

Student Transportation Services of Waterloo Region

602 – 540 Bingemans Centre Dr.
Kitchener ON N2B 3X9
Phone: 519-744-7575

You are encouraged to visit www.stswr.ca  to see bus delays and cancellations, subscribe to receive e-mail notifications for late buses and closures, and follow us on Twitter.

Please do not call the school when your child’s bus is running late as we have no control over transportation delays. We subscribe to the STS Twitter feed and email notifications and therefore, receive the same updates as families through this subscription service. Please add this subscription to your personal email service to receive up to date information.

We are looking forward to an awesome 2019-20 school year. Please stay in touch!