Monthly Archives: October 2020

Important updates from WCDSB Director Notten

Dear St. Agnes Community:

Please click on the links below to see important updates from WCDSB Director Loretta Notten.

October Check in: Message & Invitation from Director Loretta Notten

Highlights include:

  • changes to upcoming transition dates for Elementary and Secondary students
  • a response to the recent increase in COVID cases across the province and in WCDSB
  • an invitation to participate in a board wide ThoughtExchange (survey tool to provide feedback on the school year to date)

WCDSB website: Living, Learning & Looking Forward

Please click on the link above to see the most up to date information from WCDSB with respect to COVID assessment tools, advice from ROW Public Health, and our Operational Guidelines.

Fantastic news at St. Agnes!!

We are thrilled to announce that the Ministry has approved funding of $6 million for an addition at St. Agnes!!! An official press release will be forthcoming from the Ministry today.

We are truly blessed! Looking forward to great things in the future at St. Agnes.

Have a great weekend, Flames!

Face masks, Changing Seasons, Physical Education class, Busing

Student Face Masks

Please note that your child will be coming home with four (4) new reusable face masks today. The black mask has been provided by the Ministry of Education for every student in the province. The three (3) grey masks have been provided by WCDSB. The grey masks have adjustable ear loops and have a space to write your child’s name on the inside. Please be sure to wash these masks regularly. Your child will be welcome to wear any mask that you have provided for them as well. We will no longer be providing disposable face masks for children who forget them at home.

It is very important that your child wear a clean mask each day rather than wearing one mask for an entire week. We are very grateful to both the Ministry and the Board for providing all students with new reusable masks. This helps keep everyone safe and reduces the amount of environmental waste, as well.


Changing seasons

We have been blessed with beautiful fall weather this October! Amazing colours, varying temperatures, and bouts of rain, too! Fortunately, we have still been able to get outside while at school. We continue to see more and more of our students arrive prepared for the range of weather conditions which is terrific! We will continue to stay outside during misty and light rain which will eventually give way to snow. Thank you for sending your child with appropriate clothing and an umbrella. Fresh air and physical distancing are the best ways to keep everyone safe and healthy. We will of course bring/ keep students inside if the rain is heavy or if lightning is in the area.

Thanks for your continued support as we increase our adaptability and resilience during this pandemic.

Phys Ed update

Based on the advice of ROW Public Health, OPHEA: Ontario Physical Health Education Association, and PHE Canada, Physical Education classes are encouraged to take place outside whenever possible, including in winter months. When necessary, Physical Education classes can happen in the gymnasium.
Students and staff are encouraged to come to school each day prepared with appropriate clothing.  This may include wearing warmer clothing to participate in outdoor activities.
Masks should be worn to and from Physical Education classes as well as during instruction.  Based on statements made by the World Health Organization as well as ROW Public Health, masks do not need to be worn during physical activity time.  Physical distancing must always be maintained during all activities and instructions.
Please make sure your child is prepared to be be active outside for the foreseeable future.

Bus information

If your child rides the bus to and/or from school you need to sign up for notifications from Student Transportation Services Waterloo Region (STSWR). You can choose the method of notification (i.e., text, email, etc.) for delays, cancellations, etc. This week, we had a bus break down on the way home from school which led to a significant delay for students returning home. As a school, we find out this information via email notification. Parents/ guardians should not be calling the school to inquire about bus delays; we are alerted the same way as parents. Mass communication is the most efficient way to share this information, and this is done centrally by STSWR.

Thank you for taking the time to subscribe to this service.

If your child is bus eligible but they are not riding please fill out the DO NOT RIDE form online. It is important for contact tracing purposes to have an accurate record of which students are on the bus at all times.

Finally, please see the STSWR website for important updates such as Windows Open for Better Ventilation which explains that windows on school buses will continue to be left open even in the winter to ensure proper ventilation for all riders. It is important that bus students be properly dressed and prepared for this new reality.

Thanks for taking the time to review this information online.


Halloween & Important reminders

Halloween is around the corner

All students are invited to dress up in costumes for Halloween on Friday October 30th at school.  While we want students to have fun, please use the following guidelines when choosing an appropriate costume for school. If your child is not comfortable wearing a costume they are welcome to wear black and orange for the day to join in the festive nature of Halloween.

If possible, send your child to school in a spare/used/older costume in the event it becomes damaged. You may also send a change of clothes for your child for the afternoon as many children are not comfortable being in a costume all day long.

Your child will be attending class, participating in physical education, going outside for recess breaks, and eating their snacks / lunch in their costume – they need to be able to move comfortably.

  • All costumes should be school aged appropriate.
  • Do not send any props (e.g. pitch forks, brooms, shovels, wands, etc.)
  • No fake blood, fake wounds, or scary/ gory costumes will be allowed.

If costumes are inappropriate, the student will be asked to change or will be sent home.

COVID additions to Halloween at school

The only mask your child can wear is their usual COVID face covering. This was clearly communicated by the Chief Medical Officer of Ontario on Monday October 19th. Please do not add any makeup to your child’s face this year while they are at school.

Unfortunately, there will be no sharing of treats this year of any kind. This includes candy, prepackaged treats, stickers, pencils, etc. We know that times are challenging for students right now. However, thanks to the efforts we have all made to this point, school continues to be a positive and safe space for all members of our community. Let’s continue to do the right thing even when it isn’t the popular or preferred thing.

Your understanding and cooperation is genuinely appreciated.

Terry Fox Update

Thank you to all our community members who contributed to our annual Terry Fox Run at St. Agnes. We raised $1320 for the Terry Fox Foundation. We are so grateful to have continued this important tradition in our school community. Terry’s legacy is alive and well! Thanks Flames!

Ongoing Safety concerns at morning drop off on Bluevale Ave.

There are a lot of parents who are dropping off their children at the beginning of the day. We are so happy that you are able to do this; however, we need your help to make morning drop off safer for your kids.

  • Please make sure that you are NOT parking on Bluevale Avenue. This street is very busy and many cars speed making this a very dangerous situation for children crossing the road. We do NOT have a crossing guard here and this is not safe.  PLEASE park at St. Agnes parish.  If you do, your children will not have to cross the street.  You may have to walk a little further, but THIS IS SAFER.
  • there are a number of parents and older students who walk the distance from the parish parking lot to the school blacktop. Younger students can certainly join the walking line to the school and be entirely safe.

This request comes with one purpose: to keep your children safe. Thank you so much for doing your part to begin the day in a positive manner for both staff and students.

WCDSB Pastoral Update

Last year, WCDSB launched our Pastoral Theme: Called to Belong. We could not have foreseen what the future held, yet the Spirit was with us, guiding our theme and moving us to create a deep sense of BELONGING and connection during such a difficult journey. We feel the same about the second year of our three-year Pastoral Plan, entitled Gathered to Become.

In John 6:35, Jesus proclaims “I am the bread of life.”

Let this year of Becoming truly be a year of Transformation. As the Eucharist transforms us, so let us be the “Bread of Life” to all we encounter. May we experience transformation this year – from the challenges of new learning situations, platforms and learning environments – to allow us to emerge from our chrysalis healthy and strong and to successfully be able to spread our wings and soar.

Please enjoy our new Gathered to Become Pastoral Launch video

Spirit Wear Thursdays!

Don’t forget to wear your Flames spirit wear every Thursday! Don’t have any? Not to worry…we will be sending out information to order in the next few weeks! In the meantime, wear red, black, and/or white and show your Flames spirit!

St. Agnes: Mid October updates

ROW Immunization Updates

Public Health will be offering drive thru immunization clinics for students eligible to receive their school program vaccinations. This includes students who missed their follow up vaccines during the 2019/2020 school year and those eligible in 2020/2021 to start their immunization series.

Clinics will be offered at the Medical Centre at the Boardwalk, located at 435 The Boardwalk, Waterloo starting in October. Options will be made available for those unable to attend the drive thru clinics. Details will be provided to you when you receive your phone call to book an appointment.

The immunization clinics will be offered first to the Grade 7 and 8 students from 2019/2020 who did not complete their immunizations. School program immunizations for the 2020/21 cohort of Grade 7 students will begin in early January 2021. Clinics will extend through the summer months.

Parents/students will be contacted directly to book these appointments between October and December. Please do not call the Public Health office to book your appointment.

School program vaccines are also available through local health care providers. Please call your health care provider if you wish your child to receive their vaccine using this route.

Parents/students are able to access immunization records and submit immunization information via ICON. Details can be found on our website or by using the link: Public Health can be contacted for assistance or if students do not have a health card at 519-575-4400 ext.5001.

Details and directions regarding the catch-up clinics and the 2020/2021 school year immunizations are also posted on our website (

If your child has received their vaccinations or if you need to access your child’s immunization record, please visit our Public Health website ( ) or call 519-575-4400 ext. 5001

Additional information for parents/ guardians regarding immunizations from ROW Public Health

PHE Welcome to Kindergarten Infographic print


Please contact the ROW Public Health unit with questions about Immunizations. We are sending this information out at the request of Public Health.

SEAC letter and IEP checklist

Please see the attached letter from SEAC: Special Education Advisory Committee of Waterloo Catholic DSB. This letter also contains the IEP Checklist for Parents/ Guardians. Please note that student IEPs for Term 1 of the 2020-21 school year will go home on Tuesday October 20th.

SEAC letter and IEP Checklist

Extended Day info

Please see the attached info letter about our Extended Day program which is still running.

The Extended Day Program 

Meet the Teacher info

This year, Meet the Teacher will look and feel very different. We have held off on this important and meaningful connection as our school community has been in a constant state of transition since Labour Day weekend.  We are hopeful that things will settle down now and we will experience fewer transitions as the year progresses.

Teachers will be creating a virtual tour of your child’s classroom and sharing this in the virtual learning environment (i.e., D2L or Google Classroom). You will need your child to login to their virtual classroom so you can access the tour. Although we will not be having a live meet or open forum for questions as part of Meet the Teacher, you are always encouraged to reach out to your child’s teacher to arrange a phone conversation to address specific questions or concerns.

We will be hosting formal Parent/Student/Teacher conferences virtually in November after Progress Reports have gone home. More information will be communicated to families as the date approaches.

You can begin to look for the virtual tour for your child’s classroom after 5pm Thursday October 15th. Given that a number of our classrooms and teacher assignments have changed repeatedly over the past month it may take until Thursday October 22nd for some teachers to load this virtual tour. Your patience is appreciated as we continue to do our very best to support student safety, wellness, and achievement while maintaining open communication with our families.


Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all our St. Agnes families

The staff of St. Agnes continue to be grateful for the ongoing support and positive feedback our families continue to share with us. We look forward to welcoming our students back on Tuesday October 13th. We wish you all a blessed weekend with family. And don’t forget…Friday October 9th is a PD day for students!

Please see the attached letter from Director Loretta Notten

Thanksgiving Letter to WCDSB Oct 8th

PD Day, Changing Enrollment at St. Agnes

No school

  • PD day: Friday October 9th
  • Thanksgiving: Monday October 12th

Goodbye to our Vice Principal Mrs. Amanda Kuntz

It is with mixed emotions that we say goodbye to our Vice Principal Mrs. Amanda Kuntz. In her short time with us at St. Agnes she has made many wonderful connections with students, staff, and families. Her positive energy is contagious and her work ethic is hard to top! We know the Primary students, in particular, will miss her as she was ever present in the Primary hallway, and on yard and bus duty each day.

As of October 13th, there will be over 3200 elementary students from Waterloo Catholic enrolled at St. Isidore. Mrs. Kuntz will be a Vice Principal in the remote learning environment and she will be a fantastic addition to this virtual community. If anybody can rise to a challenge…it’s Mrs. Kuntz! We wish her the absolute best and we will miss her!

Changing Enrollment: Class Changes grade 4-8

We have reached the first turnaround point for families to transition their children to St. Isidore Remote Learning after Thanksgiving weekend. We wish all our friends who are leaving St. Agnes well, and look forward to the day we can learn together again. This pivot point has an impact on the face to face learning at St. Agnes. Due to the number of students who will be moving to St. Isidore, we have been directed by the Board to collapse a class at St. Agnes CES. We are dispersing Mr. Johnson’s Grade 5/6 class and this creates a ripple effect on every class from grade 4-8 as a result. Some classes will remain intact while adding a few additional members and other classes will see broader changes.

Ms. McKinley has volunteered to teach remotely through St. Isidore and will no longer be teaching face to face at St. Agnes. Thursday October 8th will be her last day with her current class. We wish her well and know that her new remote students will benefit from her strong digital literacy and innovation skills. We are sad to see her go!

We know this is distressing news for families at this challenging time; it is also very difficult for staff. However, we are professionals and we will do our part to ensure student achievement is prioritized alongside student health and wellness. Classroom changes will take effect on Tuesday October 13th. Your child’s classroom teacher will be calling families of their new students prior to the changeover. Please allow teachers time to adjust their electronic classroom environments; you are encouraged to respond to invitations as soon as you are able.  Student belongings will be moved by classroom teachers at the end of day on Thursday October 8th. This will create a new social bubble for the classroom over the long weekend.

We will continue to follow all COVID protocols as established by ROW Public Health, and ensure students clearly understand their cohort restrictions. As a staff, we have made every effort to minimize the number of cohort crossovers as we planned for this divisional re-arrangement.

For purposes of clarity and transparency, each parent/ guardian of a student in grade 4-8 will receive a letter at the end of the day on Thursday October 8th. This letter will clearly outline who your child’s teacher will be as of Tuesday October 13th. If your child’s classroom teacher has changed you will also receive a phone call from your child’s new teacher before Tuesday October 13th.

Thank you in advance for your understanding and patience as we have accepted this directive from Human Resources at the Board level. We continue to appreciate your trust in our efforts to serve your children well.


Mrs. Tonya Reesor


Terry Fox Day: Tuesday October 6th

Terry Fox day at St. Agnes

40 years ago, a young man set out to make the world a little better by raising funds for cancer research. He set an incredible example of leadership and his legacy continues as students of all ages take up his cause each year by following in his footsteps. This year’s event might look different but the end goal remains the same; to keep Terry’s legacy alive by raising funds for cancer research. We invite all students to follow Terry’s example of courage, leadership, strength, and determination while we participate in our school day event.

St. Agnes CES will be participating in the Terry Fox Run to help raise funds for cancer research on Tuesday October 6th.  Each class will walk or run while remaining physically distant in our school yard. Unfortunately, we are unable to have volunteers or supervisors join us this year due to COVID restrictions.

Donations to the Terry Fox Foundation can be made by clicking this link: 

As Terry Fox said, “Even if I don’t finish, we need others to continue. It’s got to keep going without me.” By participating in our Terry Fox event, we are continuing Terry’s legacy and helping people who are fighting cancer. Thank you for your support and donations. Let’s all pull together and support cancer research.

Together, we can all make a difference!

#terryfoxschoolruns @terryfoxfoundation #tryliketerry

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