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Register NOW! Online Safety Webinars for Parents/Guardians and School Leaders

The Healthy Relationships Project (HR) is a designed to provide Principals and Vice-Principals with strategies in response to cyberbullying and cyberviolence in schools and social media across the province. Resources have been developed by the provincial principals’ associations, Principal Association Projects (PAP), Leadership en action (LEA), and Catholic Principals’ Leadership Development | Ontario (CPLDO), in partnership with Victim Services Toronto (VST).

Online Safety Webinars for Parents/Guardians and School Leaders

Principals and Vice-Principals are invited to send this webinar invitation to the parents/guardians of their students and to register themselves for these 1-hour webinars.

Online Safety for Grades 3 – 6: Guidelines for Parents/Guardians

In this 1-hour webinar, guest speaker Paul Davis will assist parents/guardians to:

  • understand the rules for online safety
  • define responsible use of technology
  • and learn about digital trails, cyberbullying, picture taking and sharing

Paul will help parents understand where their kids should be online, in spaces that are safe, productive and educational. The focus will be building healthy relationships and creating positive digital citizens. Along with parents and their children, Principals and Vice-Principals will be provided with helpful resources to proactively address issues arising from online use.

Guest speaker

Paul Davis has dedicated his 28- year career to IT/Cyber safety. Since his first presentation over nine years ago, he has spoken to over 620,000 students in four provinces and five states, along with the Ontario Provincial Police, Canada Border Services and the Department of National Defence. He provides a fact-based delivery on how parents/guardians and children can use technology safely, without falling into the pitfalls that can be associated with the Internet.

Dates

  • Tuesday, June 2, 2-3 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 4, 7-8 p.m.

Additional information

Online Safety for Grades 3 – 6 | PDF flyer

REGISTER NOW

Navigating Cyberbullying and Cyberviolence for Parents/Guardians of Grade 7-12 Students

In this 1-hour webinar, guest speakers from the field of cyber safety will advise parents and their children in Grades 7 to 12 on:

  • navigating the risks of cyberbullying, sexual exploitation and cyberviolence
  • building healthy online relationships and safe spaces for students
  • and using the internet for positive purposes

Along with parents and their children, Principals and Vice-Principals will be provided with helpful resources to proactively address issues arising from online use.

Guest speakers

    • Constable Megan McGarry, School Resource O­fficer, Toronto Police Services
    • Kym Stadnyk, Secondary School Administrator, Toronto DSB
    • Sarah Rogers, Program Director, Victim Services Toronto

Dates

  • Tuesday, June 9, 2-3 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 11, 7-8 p.m.

Additional information

Navigating Cyberbullying and Cyberviolence for Parents | PDF flyer

REGISTER NOW

WCDSB Schools to Mark Pride Month: June 1 – 30, 2020

WCDSB Schools to Mark Pride Month: June 1 – 30, 2020

For many years, the Waterloo Catholic District School Board has embraced the vision of Waterloo Region’s Catholic schools being “Heart of the community”, fostering “success for each” and creating “a place for all.”

To bring that vision to life, the WCDSB has prioritized equity, inclusion and belonging in the school board’s Multi-year Strategic Plan, as well as the board’s Pastoral Plan and Well-Being Plan.

As Catholics, we believe that we are wonderfully made in the image and likeness of a God who created us and loves us unconditionally – just as we are. We are called to love and celebrate one another, just as God loves and celebrates each one of us. We honour the inherent dignity in each other by treating one another with care, compassion, and respect.

The month of June is designated as Pride Month across the province of Ontario, and indeed much of Canada and the globe.  This month, and each and every month, our Catholic schools are committed to nurturing safe and inclusive learning environments where every student and every member of the community is welcomed, valued, and respected.

We will promote this message throughout the month of June, and WCDSB will also fly the following flag for the entire month of June at each of its buildings and school locations.

We believe the message – We are all wonderfully made – We love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19) captures a powerful message that we hope will resonate well in each of our school communities and across the broader Waterloo Region community.

2019-20 Yearbook Details

Once again, we will be selling a St. Agnes Yearbook to share all the memories from the year. This has been an historic year with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting all aspects of our daily lives. The 2019-2020 school yearbook will capture many wonderful times over the course of the entire school year including our experiences with home learning. This purchase must be made on School Cash Online.

We would like all families to have the opportunity to purchase a copy of the school yearbook. Our Catholic School Advisory Council has graciously offered to subsidize half the cost of one yearbook for each family. If you wish to order a School Yearbook you will only pay $10 for the first copy. Additional copies will be $20 each (full price).  

If you purchased a School Yearbook PRIOR to May 15th you have done so at the full price of $20 and you are entitled to a refund of $10. 

Donation opportunity

There are families within our school community who may not have the resources to purchase a yearbook at this time. If you would like to donate your refund toward the purchase of a yearbook for another family please send an email to Mrs. McGlynn by May 29th sherry.mcglynn@wcdsb.ca.  Anyone who does not send an email by May 29th will automatically receive their refund before the end of the school year.

Thanks in advance for your consideration.

We are doing everything we can to make this Yearbook a great keepsake. Please continue to send your pictures of “Learning at Home” to annemarie.boll@wcdsbcloud.ca

Ministry of Education letter re: School Closure remainder of 2019-20

Please see the attached letter from the Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, regarding the announcement to extend publicly funded school closures across the province of Ontario for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.

Letter to Parents May 19 Announcement FINAL

Please note:

  • we are awaiting further direction from the Chief Medical Officer regarding the required protocol to access our schools in order to retrieve personal belongings.
  • your patience and cooperation are greatly appreciated as we determine next steps while ensuring everyone’s safety and well-being.

The entire staff at St. Agnes continue to wish you and your entire family well. We miss all of our students…your children. Today’s announcement was difficult for all of us as adults, and we know, for many of the children. We will continue to do our best to provide meaningful distance learning opportunities up until June 26th. This year is not over and we will get through this together! #CalledToBelong

School Closure Announcement

The Government of Ontario has announced that schools will remain closed for the remainder of this current school year. We will provide additional information as it becomes available. Please visit https://wcdsblearnathome.wcdsb.ca for all the most up-to-date information.

 

The official government announcement is available here: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/05/health-and-safety-top-priority-as-schools-remain-closed.html

Retrieving Personal Items from school

We continue to receive numerous requests from families to retrieve personal items from classrooms. At this time, we are unable to access the school for non-essential items. With today’s announcement from the Government of Ontario to keep schools closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, we await further direction with respect to retrieving personal items. Your patience and understanding is greatly appreciated.

We will communicate to all members of our community once we have a protocol in place to allow for the safe distribution of personal items.

St. Agnes parish: VBS announcement

St. Agnes parish: Vacation Bible School announcement

Dear St. Agnes Community,

As the St. Agnes VBS planning committee, we would like to update you about VBS for this summer. We were planning to run VBS from Monday July 6, to Friday July 10. We met this week as a committee, along with Father Aleks, to discuss the impact of the corona virus on our VBS plans.

Our conclusion was that we will not run VBS in July. It is not clear if any camps will be running in Waterloo Region this summer. If public health does give the go-ahead for camps in July,  we expect that they will monitor how these camps go, and the success of any public health guidelines that they have passed down for camps.

Toward the end of July, our committee will discuss VBS plans. If things go well for other local camps in July, we hope to be able to offer a camp experience for the St. Agnes community around the middle of August, depending on the availability of volunteers. 

Thank you(!) to all of you volunteers, who offered to help out with VBS this summer. As mentioned, we will decide toward the end of July, whether we will plan for a VBS in August. If we try to get an August VBS going, we will reach out to see about your availability.

It is unfortunate that the impact of the corona virus has extended to VBS. We do hope that we can run a safe camp in August. In the meantime, we hope that you all stay safe and healthy!

Leslie, Lisa, Andreas

VBS CommitteeIf you have any questions or comments, including volunteer inquiries, please email vbs.stagnes@gmail.com, or call Andreas at 519-498-0222. Thank you!  

Mid- May Updates

Special Message from the Chair of the Board & Director of Education

Please click on  the link to see the message.

Click here

Catholic Education Week 2020

What a fantastic week! We asked and our students responded in flying colours!

We are so inspired by the many messages of HOPE that students and families shared with us over the course of Catholic Education Week! Pictures, poems, artwork, videos, and letters were shared by students to express their HOPE despite the times we find ourselves in today. We are so grateful for the many inspiring messages which were shared within classrooms. We are truly blessed to celebrate our faith in our every day educational interactions. Thank you for your contributions to Catholic Education Week 2020!

Congratulations to Fr. Aleks on his 25th Anniversary in the priesthood. The St. Agnes community is blessed to have you as our parish priest and we look forward to celebrating mass with you again. Thank you to all the families and students who took the time to create messages outside the church to celebrate this special occasion with Fr. Aleks.

CEW pics

Meaningful May calendar

We hope you are enjoying the daily reminders and check ins that are built into our School Website calendar. These daily prompts come to you from actionforhappieness.org You are able to download, print, or subscribe to these calendars for your own personal reference. Taking a few minutes a day to practice happiness, gratitude, and mindfulness can make a world of difference. Please be sure to reference these daily practices with your children.

Virtual Spirit Events @ St. Agnes

We know this learning environment has been difficult: for students, for parents, and for staff. We genuinely miss your children! They are the reason we love what we do, and not being in their presence everyday makes the work a challenge instead of a joy. To this end, we are hoping to create positive social connections within our virtual school community.

Spirit Wear Thursdays

Each Thursday, we encourage our Flames families to wear their Spirit Wear! This can be official Flames wear of any vintage, or simply our school colours of red, black, and white. Take a picture and send it in to Mrs. Boll, our Librarian, to be included in our school yearbook for 2019-20. Please send all photos to annemarie.boll@wcdsbcloud.ca

Wacky Hair Day: May 15th

Let’s have some fun and share our craziest hairstyles ever!! No worrying about getting on the bus, or what the weather will bring so get really creative and take a picture of your best crazy hair ever! We know there are some great COVID styles out there! Once again, send the pics to Mrs. Boll so we can include them in our 2020 Yearbook…the year we will never forget!

Nutrition 4 Learning: Pop Up Snack locations

Nutrition for Learning is continuing to provide snacks within a variety of neighbourhoods across Waterloo Region. We are very fortunate to be one of the Pop Up hubs in Waterloo.

Strict protocols have been developed with the Region of Waterloo Public Health in order to ensure safety for all. Please let your friends and neighbours know that N4L is at our school to provide snacks EVERY Monday at 9:30am. Look for the N4L truck and volunteers at the bus drop off/ pick up zone on Neilson Ave.

NOTE: due to the Victoria Day holiday, the next N4L Pop at St. Agnes will be TUESDAY MAY 19th at 11:00am

Student Registrations & Departures for 2020-21

Online registrations for all students (Kindergarten to grade 8) are currently being accepted. Please visit the home page of the WCDSB website and scroll to the bottom. Click on Register Now. It is very important for families to complete this online registration as soon as possible so we have accurate numbers for next school year.

If your child is NOT returning to St. Agnes for any reason (other than graduation from grade 8) please inform Mrs. McGlynn as soon as possible via email sherry.mcglynn@wcdsb.ca . This information is very important to us from a planning perspective. Your timely response is very much appreciated.

Distance Learning challenges & feedback

Please know that if you are experiencing any challenges during distance learning we are here to listen, and to support you. Please contact our school principal, Tonya Reesor at tonya.reesor@wcdsb.ca to request additional support in any format, or to discuss concerns. We are all in this together.

Catholic Education Week & Important Updates

Celebrating Catholic Education: May 3rd – May 8th, 2020

The theme for Catholic Education Week 2020, “Igniting Hope,” reminds us that publicly funded Catholic education is a call to service. We have a shared responsibility within Catholic education to bring the saving message of Jesus Christ into the lives of our students/ your children. The theme of “Igniting Hope” reminds us, as educators,  that it is our privilege to serve families who support Catholic education in the province of Ontario.

The theme for CEW 2020 was inspired by three sources:

  • The recent Papal Exhortation, Christus Vivit, by Pope Francis following the 2018 Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment
  • The recent Ontario Bishops’ pastoral letter, Renewing the Promise (2018)
  • The Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations by the Institute for Catholic Education (2011)

Teachers will be highlighting the sub-themes of “Igniting Hope” in their distance learning next week. Now, more than ever, the message of “HOPE” is central to our wellness. We are looking forward to sharing our hope-filled messages with one another while we celebrate the gift of Catholic education next week.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

Farewell to Mrs. Keller!

The time has come to wish Mrs. Keller (grade 7/8 teacher) farewell as she moves to a permanent teaching position at St. Benedict CSS. Mrs. Keller’s last day with St. Agnes will be May 1st. In her short time with us at St. Agnes, Mrs. Keller has established wonderful learning relationships with her students and created a dynamic classroom environment that incorporated technology, adaptive learning styles, and engaging lessons for all students. Her positive energy and commitment to student learning both inside and outside of the classroom will be missed at St. Agnes. We wish you continued success as you transition to teaching math at St. Benedict CSS in Cambridge. All the best!!

Welcome back, Mrs. McKinley!

We are thrilled to announce that Mrs. McKinley will be rejoining us at St. Agnes on May 4th. She will be taking over Mrs. Keller’s grade 7/8 class. Many of the students are already familiar with Mrs. McKinley and will no doubt be excited to have her back as their teacher. We are looking forward to a virtual welcome for now, and a face to face welcome when it is safe to do so. Welcome back, Mrs. McKinley!

We anticipate a seamless transition for our grade 7/8 class. Mrs. Keller and Mrs. McKinley have been working together over the past month to share information and plan for distance learning. The expectations for distance learning with respect to assessment and reporting have been clearly defined by the Ministry of Education. If parents have any questions about how students are being assessed please visit the FAQ Page on our WCDSBLearn@Home site. Additional questions should be directed to Mrs. Reesor.

Yearbook 2019- 20

We are happy to report that we will be producing a complete yearbook to commemorate the 2019-20 school year. But…we need YOUR help to make this happen! Please read the letter from our Librarian Mrs. Boll for details on how you can contribute pictures to our yearbook. Details about pricing, and how to order will be shared at a later date. First, we need your pictures!

Yearbook update

Student Registrations & Departures for 2020-21

Online registrations for all students (Kindergarten to grade 8) are currently being accepted. Please visit the home page of the WCDSB website and scroll to the bottom. Click on Register Now. It is very important for families to complete this online registration as soon as possible so we have accurate numbers for next school year.

If your child is NOT returning to St. Agnes for any reason (other than graduation from grade 8) please inform Mrs. McGlynn as soon as possible via email sherry.mcglynn@wcdsb.ca . This information is very important to us from a planning perspective. Your timely response is very much appreciated.

Special Message from the Chair of the Board & the Director of Education

Dear Waterloo Catholic Community –

It has been a few weeks since we have connected, so we thought it important to offer you a few important updates as we continue to navigate this time of school closure and distance learning.  Let us begin by saying that we truly hope that you and your families are well and that you are finding ways to stay healthy and positive.  As an Easter people we pray that the hope of the season is alive in your homes.  But these are unsettling times for everyone and we believe it is absolutely OK to feel that you are not OK.  We know that each of us has a unique reality and that will position us differently in terms of our ability to walk through this time and to support our children’s learning journey right now.

For the past three weeks we have begun the journey into Educator-led learning and it could not have been done without the tremendous efforts of so many.  We are most appreciative to our staff who have worked so hard to put provisions in place so that we could reach all of our students.  We hope that every student continues to have contact with their teacher(s) and that each one knows that we care for and value each of them.  We will reiterate that our most pressing concern remains student well being – both mentally and physically.  As we have said before, it is not “business as usual”, but we do hope that students are connecting with their teachers as this is our “new normal” for the time being.

We wanted to provide you updates on a few different topics of interest to you and your children.  Know that this is a rapidly changing landscape and with many uncertainties, and as there are many players to both consult and work with, as well as others who provide us vital direction or information, sometimes full clarity takes a little time.

As always, on our WCDSB board website you will find from our home page a link to WCDSBLearn@Home where a host of additional resources for all learners will be found.  We also encourage you to continue to visit our WCDSBPray@Home webpage as well as our FAQ page.  You can also follow the #STEAMDays hashtag where lots of fun and engaging activities are being posted.  With that said, a few updates:

Length of the closure: 

We are awaiting direction from the government and Ministry of Education on this point.  We expect it will be forth coming soon.  While it is unlikely we will be returning to our buildings in the short term, full clarity about our return or what that might look like when we do return, may still be a while in coming.

Expectations During Distance Learning:

We realize there are different realities for all of our students and all of our educators.  For that reason, each student and teacher is held to the guidelines the Ministry has provided for minimum hours.  To review what we have shared previously – the suggested hours reflect both the time a teacher might use in providing formal instruction or guidance, as well as the time the student will spend completing the learning task or activity.  There is not a firm expectation that all students have to be “online” at the exact same time, although in some cases that might happen on occasion.

Assessment and Evaluation:

Equity has been a significant consideration in this new landscape as not all children are equally positioned to succeed to the best of their ability when learning from home.  We also know that students learning from home can place added pressure on a parent who may be juggling their own work or family related responsibilities.  For these reasons, assessment in elementary is taking the form of feedback or formative assessment, rather than grading.  Students can benefit and continue progressing through this feedback.  For our students in secondary, they will receive both formative and summative assessments – that is feedback and grades, but teachers will be working to support a student’s best outcome and will not be penalized if the current circumstances detract from their ability to succeed.  Marks will not drop below that attained on March 13th, when schools were declared closed.  There is however every opportunity for a mark to improve, and for learning and achievement to be enhanced.

Report Cards:

There will be a report card in June for all students and they will contain grades.  As noted above, those grades will be largely informed by the marks students had attained prior to March 13th, but there is every opportunity for those grades to improve based on any work submitted during this time of distance learning, if there is evidence of growth and/or improved performance.  In the case of graduating students, midterm marks were sent to the Universities and Colleges to assist with post-secondary admission.

Graduation:

We know that graduation is a significant event in the life of a student and his/her family. For this reason, this has been a difficult decision.  Our secondary schools have no option but to postpone graduation ceremonies as a result of venues not being available to us.  As you can appreciate secondary graduations are often large events and so they are not easily accommodated in alternate settings.  We have made the decision that all of our secondary schools will hold their graduations in the fall.  This will in no way impact a student’s ability to actually graduate from high school should they have met the requirements.  We are still in the process of finalizing our decision in relation to grade 8 graduations and will communicate that information as soon as a final decision has been achieved.

Thought Exchange – Your Voice

As most of you will be aware, we recently engaged our stakeholders in an exercise of asking them what questions or concerns they had after one-two weeks of distance learning.  Our survey closed on Tuesday April 21st in the evening and we are now starting to unpack that feedback.  We are thrilled that you took us up on this invitation.  We had just under 2000 participants and approximately 37,000 ratings from all our stakeholders.  We know that at a very high level elementary parents are expressing thoughts about the home learning environment and the types of tasks students are assigned, about feedback and assessment, and about equity.  Secondary parents are sharing thoughts about the nature of student and educator contact, and also about feedback and assessment, as well as issues related to equity.  There are roughly 14 sub-themes in the Thought Exchange feedback that we have identified and there is much more analysis we can do, and it will help to inform our thinking and actions moving forward.  A high level report on parent feedback is available at these two links, but much more will be shared in the weeks to come, that will map to themes and the take-aways from the feedback.

Parent/Guardian for an Elementary Student

Parent/Guardian for a Secondary Student

Finally – we encourage you to closely follow any and all directives from our governments and Region of Waterloo Public Health.  As a local and 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.  As an Easter people we believe in the power of the resurrection and the promise of new life.  Certainly this signs of the season affirm that promise.  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.  #WCDSBTogether.

Sincerely,

Loretta Notten                                                Bill Conway

Director of Education                                  Chair of the Board