Gathered to Become Week: November 16th- 20th, 2020

This week, all schools across the province of Ontario participate in Anti-Bullying Awareness week. At Waterloo Catholic DSB, we have connected our focus to Year 2 of our Pastoral Plan for 2020 “Gathered to Become”. Each day has a sub-theme connected to our Pastoral Plan. A number of resources have been shared across the system, and school communities will be intentionally focusing on positive, faith-filled experiences for staff and students.

Monday November 16th: Becoming Mindful

Tuesday November 17th: Becoming Creative

Wednesday November 18th: Becoming Connected

Thursday November 19th: Becoming Resilient

Friday November 20th: Becoming Community

Did you know…?

#WWJD: What Would Jesus Do is a phase we use on a daily basis with our students. As a Catholic community, we are called to reflect on our actions, our words, and our choices through the lens of our greatest teacher and role model: Jesus. Once again this year, we have made a commitment to recognize the positive deeds by all staff and students on a daily basis. We are taking the time to acknowledge even the smallest of these deeds with a WWJD ticket; this is hand written by a staff member or student, and shared with the recipient. When we take the time to notice and praise the goodness and kindness of others we make our community stronger.

Due to COVID, we will keep all the WWJD tickets in our classroom bag over the weekend, and hand them out to go home each Monday morning.

Our focus on WWJD as a school wide theme is directly connected to the Ontario Catholic Graduate Expectations. Each month, we focus on one of these Expectations through student generated announcements, bulletin boards, and recognition of how we can better live our lives like Jesus.

Picture Day: TOMORROW!

Just a quick reminder that tomorrow, Wednesday November 18th, is our school picture day.

Lifetouch has been our board approved photo provider for many years, and we are glad to be welcoming them to our school. Please know that all COVID protocols will be followed. We will only be taking individual student photos; there will not be a class photo taken this year.

Winter weather has arrived!

Today was our first truly winter day and it was beautiful! Lots of fresh, crisp Canadian air with lots of sunshine, and a few flurries, too! Unfortunately, MANY of our students were not dressed appropriately for the weather.

Remember: all students will be going outside for every recess and therefore, need to be dressed appropriately. This includes our Intermediate students. We will follow our Inclement Weather protocol which is linked below, and summarized:

APH 008: Inclement Weather procedures

Below is a summary of important points regarding our school board policies related to Inclement Weather. Please reference this policy for detailed information regarding cancellations and early dismissals.

  • We will reference for accurate forecasts using PointCast location. You can also check this information from home. Simply type in the postal code for the school (N2J 2M3) and get localized information.
  • When the temperature (including windchill or “feels like”) is –14°C or warmer students will be outside for the entire duration of recess.
  • When the temperature (including windchill or “feels like”) is –15°C to—19°C students will be limited to 20 minutes of outdoor time at a time.
  • When the temperature (including windchill or “feels like”) is –20°C or colder students will be kept indoors.
  • Students cannot arrive on school property prior to 8:50 am as there is no supervision on the yard or in the building prior to this time. Students will not be allowed in to the building prior to 8:50 am on extreme cold days.

It is critical that students be dressed appropriately for Canadian winter.

  • Please make sure your child has a hat, mitts/ gloves, snowpants, winter coat, boots. If you need assistance providing this for your child we are happy to help out.

Progress Reports (Grade 1-8) & Communication of Learning (Kindergarten)

Progress reports/ Communication of Learning reports will go home with students on Friday November 20th, 2020. Please look for a big brown envelope with each of your children.

Parent- Student- Teacher conferences: Tuesday Nov. 24- Thursday Nov. 26  2020

While COVID has presented a number of challenges and restrictions to our current learning environment we are excited to engage with our families virtually for Parent-Student-Teacher conferences this year. These are available for all students, Kindergarten to Grade 8. This year, all conferences will be booked directly with your child’s classroom teacher. The conferences will be 10 minutes in length, and can be done over the phone or virtually on Google Meet or Microsoft Teams. Both of these virtual platforms are supported and approved by our board.

This is a great opportunity to foster strong relationships between home and school with the goal of collectively supporting student achievement. With this in mind, we strongly encourage you to have your child present (if possible) for the conference. Students who take ownership for their learning demonstrate a better understanding of their strengths and areas of need. This, in turn, helps students develop meaningful next steps in their learning journey.

Spiritual Development day: Monday November 23rd

Monday November 23rd is our Spiritual Development Day across Waterloo Catholic. This means no school for students, and the Extended Day program is not being offered at any schools. Our entire system will be participating a variety of faith based activities for the day.

We need your help!

Finally, we have two important requests for your help.

Late Arrivals & Daily interruptions

The number of students who are arriving late is increasing daily. While this may not seem like a big deal at the time, it is highly disruptive to your child’s classroom. We kindly ask that you make every effort to have your child at the school by 9:15am each day to ensure a smooth start for all learners. Research show that developing positive school attendance habits contributes to greater student achievement.

We are also noticing an increase the in the number of interruptions during the day due to forgotten items (e.g., water bottle, lunch, mitts, library books, etc.). Please do your part to ensure your child has all their required belongings before they leave the house in the morning. Having your child pack their school bag the night before is a good habit.

If you need to pick your child up early please consider doing so at an established break time such as recess or lunch rather than disturbing the learning environment for every student. When your child needs to leave early the learning stops for everyone else as the teacher assists your child in getting ready. Your thoughtful consideration is very much appreciated.

Dogs on the Yard after hours

As day breaks, and as the sun sets, we notice many community members bringing their dogs on school property to run loose in the back field. We want you to know this is problematic for your children as the yard is increasingly becoming littered with dog waste and your children play in this area everyday. Yes, we do our best to discourage people from coming on to the property with their dogs after hours but we need your voice in the community as support. If you are passing by on the weekend or after school hours and see this activity please help us out by speaking with the owners. The school yard is for your children to play in; it is not a leash free dog park.