The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) has announced that all of its members will be engaging in a one-day strike on Tuesday, February 4. This decision affects all Catholic district school boards in Ontario.
As a result of this strike, all Waterloo Catholic District School Board elementary and secondary schools will be closed on February 4.
All WCDSB extended day programs will be open for the day as usual (7 a.m. to 6 p.m.) for students currently registered in the program.
Secondary school credit courses, hair styling courses and culinary arts courses offered at the WCDSB’s St. Louis Adult Learning & Continuing Education Centres campuses will be cancelled on February 4. St. Louis guidance and correspondence services will also be unavailable on February 4. All other St. Louis programs will be open and running on their normal schedules.
Community use of schools activities will continue as scheduled.
OECTA’s previously announced administrative job actions will remain in effect before and after February 4.
KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION WILL STILL CONTINUE AT ST. DANIEL SCHOOL. PLEASE COME TO THE MAIN OFFICE TO REGISTER.
For original PDF file, click on link: Letter from Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health
Copy of text from Letter:
January 27, 2020
Dear school community members:
Re: Wuhan novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
As you will likely know, on January 25, 2020, Ontario identified its first presumptive confirmed case for the Wuhan novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Today, January 27, 2020, Ontario has confirmed that the wife of the first case has tested positive for the virus at Ontario’s public health laboratory.
The health and well-being of Ontarians, including and especially our students and school staff, is Ontario’s top priority. Students, parents and school communities should rest assured that the province is working together in close cooperation with its partners in both the education and health care sectors to ensure the continued safety and wellbeing of students and staff.
These presumptive confirmed cases were not unexpected and the health system’s response has ensured that the risk to the general public from these cases has been minimized. The first patient was promptly identified prior to transport to the local hospital, health care workers wore appropriate personal protective equipment, and the patient was immediately placed in isolation, where they have remained. The second case has been in self-isolation since arriving in Toronto. These presumptive positive cases do not change the overall risk to Ontario, which is still considered low.
While this issue continues to emerge, we anticipate in the coming weeks that there may be additional cases identified in Ontario, other parts of Canada, and other countries who have individuals with travel history to the impacted area or other significant epidemiological links.
Human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and include a range of illnesses from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). They can cause mild, moderate or severe respiratory illness in some people. Symptoms of the 2019-nCoV include fever, cough and difficulty breathing and studies are underway to try and understand this virus better. As of today, cases of this new disease have been identified in other areas of China, Thailand, Macau, Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Taiwan and in the United States, among others. We continue to monitor this situation closely along with our local and federal public health colleagues.
The 2019-nCoV virus has been identified at the same time that influenza (also known as the flu) and many other respiratory viruses are circulating in Ontario, which is common at this time of the year. The precautions to protect yourself against common respiratory ailments can also be used to help protect against coronaviruses, including 2019-nCoV. Members of the public are advised to take the usual measures to reduce the risk of transmission of the flu and respiratory illness, which include: • get a yearly influenza vaccination, available from clinics and pharmacies (for flu only); • wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer; • cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; • if you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm; and • if you or your family members are ill, stay home.
Residents who return from recent international travel with history of travel to affected area and become ill with respiratory signs and symptoms such as cough and fever should report their travel history to any health professional, or emergency department staff, when they visit.
Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, recently expanded monitoring protocols by making this novel coronavirus reportable to public health by a health professional so that if potential cases are identified in your area, the relevant local public health unit can quickly and effectively take all necessary measures to investigate, complete lab tests, and do case and contact management to prevent and control further spread of the infection.. Information has also been provided to hospitals to increase their screening processes for individuals who present with signs and symptoms of this new virus and have travelled to Wuhan, China. This will help ensure cases are identified promptly and actions taken to prevent its spread.
More Information can be found on the following websites: Ontario Ministry of Health: www.ontario.ca/coronavirus
Find your Local Public Health Unit: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/common/system/services/phu/locations.aspx
Public Health Agency of Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html
Government of Canada Travel Advice and Advisory: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories/pneumonia-china
Dr. David Williams Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health
The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) has announced that all of its members will be engaging in a one-day strike on Tuesday, January 21. This decision affects all Catholic district school boards in Ontario.
As a result of this strike, all Waterloo Catholic District School Board elementary and secondary schools will be closed on January 21.
WCDSB operated Extended Day Programs WILL operate on Tuesday January 21. Any student registered for Tuesday January 21
can attend (similar to a PA Day).
Secondary school credit courses offered at the WCDSB’s St. Louis Adult Learning & Continuing Education Centres campuses will be cancelled on January 21, but all other St. Louis programs will be open and running on their normal schedules.
Community use of schools activities will continue as scheduled.
OECTA’s previously announced administrative job actions will remain in effect before and after January 21.
As before, we remain hopeful the two sides will return to the bargaining table quickly and will come to a fair and respectful agreement that serves the best interests of our students.
Hey Thunderbird Community,
The Waterloo Catholic District School Board is seeking any parents/caregivers/family members who would be interested in applying for a Lunch Hour Supervisor position, including the Occasional Supply List (supply work as needed) to submit their resume or contact the school.
Brief job description:
- Ensuring a safe and secure environment for the students
- Assisting with the enforcement of school expectations regarding behaviour, and working with other staff in the school
- Supplying as needed for lunch hours
- Work involves supervision both indoor and outdoor – in warm and cold conditions
- Must by 18 years or older to apply
If you are interested in applying, please click the link below for more information.
It is with great pleasure we present our Catholic School Advisory Council (“CSAC”) for 2019 – 2020.
The primary purpose of a Catholic School Council is to focus the resources of an entire community on the well being and effective learning of our young people. Membership of our school council consists of, but may not be limited to:
- Parents/guardians of students enrolled in the school
- Community representative(s)
- Parish representative(s)
- The school principal
- A teacher
- A non-teaching staff member
School Council acts in an advisory capacity to the Principal on matters such as school curriculum and a code of behaviour. Other issues can include the preparation of school profiles, extracurricular activities and the establishment of committees for fund raising.
Anyone in the school or broader community is welcome to attend and to observe School Council meetings. These meetings deal with many issues important to the school community, however they are not forums for the discussion of parent-teacher-student issues. These concerns will be referred to the Principal.
Occasionally, observers may be asked to step from the room for issues of confidentiality or voting procedures.
Our school council is always looking for dynamic individuals in our community to be part of the team. All are welcome.
Hi Thunderbird Families:
This is just a friendly reminder that students in grade 4 through 8 will be going to the Kitchener Auditorium tomorrow to enjoy the KW Titans Basketball game. Please be sure you have filled out the permission form and paid for this fun event on your child’s cash online account, Thanks!
As part of the ongoing central bargaining process involving the Ontario government and education workers across the province, the association representing our teachers – the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) – has indicated that in the absence of a negotiated collective agreement, teachers will no longer be performing a variety of administrative duties.
A list of specific duties being withdrawn can be found at:
This withdrawal of services will not impact the safety of Waterloo Catholic District School Board students and schools and, with the exception of preparation for EQAO testing, direct services provided to our students will be unaffected.
Co-curricular activities (clubs, field trips, special events, etc.) will not be impacted by this withdrawal of services at this time.
We do remain hopeful the two sides will return to the bargaining table quickly and will come to a fair and respectful agreement that serves the best interests of our students.
Hi Thunderbird Families:
Welcome back! We hope you had a wonderful and relaxing Christmas break, we wish you all the best for 2020! Please take some time to read our monthly update below for the latest and greatest tips and things you need to know. Thanks so much!
We recognize that students, especially our younger ones, often get carried away when playing creative and imaginative games on the school yard, sometimes resulting in a bump to the head, a scrape, hurt feelings, etc. When our older students are playing soccer, basketball or catch in our zones designed for ball play, there are also elements of risk associated with this type of play. However, where we have reason to pause and reflect is when students blatantly play rough, trying to hurt each other in games such as keep away, wrestling, pile-up, jumping on each other when not expected, etc. These games regularly result in students getting hurt, evoke angry feelings between peers and sometimes involve pushing and shoving and inappropriate language. This type of play is not supported at St. Daniel school. We do our best to communicate this to our Thunderbirds regularly through daily announcements, posters, assemblies, classroom meetings, it is outlined in our agendas, etc. However, we need your support to communicate this to your children also. It is important that we work together to ensure a safe and enjoyable school environment for everyone. Below is a list of our “I Can” Agreements. These agreements were developed last year in collaboration with a group of students and administration. They are reviewed regularly at assemblies and over the announcements, in classrooms, they are in our agendas, at all doorways, in each classroom, in all teacher and lunch hour supervisor yard duty binders. It would be a great support if you could take some time to review what these expectations mean and what they may look like in the Thunderbird Nest. Please couple this messaging with the understanding that overly aggressive games or intentional rough play is not acceptable at school. Thanks for your continued support!
St. Daniel Student I Can Agreements:
- I CAN take my hat or hood off in the hall or class (unless on approved theme days or permission from the teacher)
- I CAN walk respectfully in the halls
- I CAN show respect for school property (e.g., garbage/recycling in appropriate spots, desks, floors, classrooms are tidy, no vandalism)
- I CAN show respect for self and others (e.g., getting work done with care and in a timely manner, don’t hurt others, speak respectfully, respect belongings)
- I CAN spread kindness, hope, and joy to others
Calling all little Thunderbirds! It is time to register for junior kindergarten (Year 1) for children born in 2016 and for NEW senior kindergarten students (Year 2) children born in 2015. Registration will be held at St. Daniel Catholic Elementary School Tuesday February 4 and Thursday February 6, 2020. Tues – 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and Thursday 9:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Please register online at wcdsb.ca click the register tab and call the main office to book an appointment 519-893-8801.
First Day Forms:
Last call…. We still have a number of families that have not completed their child’s ‘First Day’ Package forms that are uploaded to your child’s Cash Online account. It is very important that we have all forms for each student completed immediately. These forms are essential as many of them indicate how you would like us to support your children in emergency situations, provide permission for photos and so much more. If you need help with this please contact the office.
Contact Information Update:
If you have a new cell number or a new phone number or if there has been a change to any student information please contact the office to update us with your new information. To keep your children safe and you in the loop it is super important that we have your current contact information. Thanks for your support.
Gathered to Become:
As we move into the second year of our pastoral plan we journey from our pastoral theme of Called to Belong and toward our new pastoral theme, Gathered to Become. You will see our Tweets and messaging with a focus on the theme Gathered to Become. Please reflect on the passage below and the messaging of our board and school mission as we journey together in faith.
A community that is rooted in the love of Christ is naturally one of right relationships. When all members of the body of Christ feel invited to the table of belonging they are able to experience the unconditional love of Jesus in a profound manner, and through that love a deeper fellowship with each other. We are chosen and blessed by God, and as we grow in awareness of this great gift of being chosen, we in turn give life to others. In John 6: 35 Jesus proclaims to the crowd that has gathered around him that “I am the bread of life.” Jesus had just fed the five thousand with fishes and loaves but now offers the crowd a source of nourishment which will never ends and which gives life to the world. As the Bishops remind us in Renewing the Promise, The Eucharist has the power to heal, to unify, and to inspire our diverse school communities. The Eucharist, as the source and summit of the Christian life (CCC1324), and of table fellowship, reveals to us who we are together as a beloved people. Henri Nouwen shows us how in the pattern of the Liturgy of the Eucharist we can see a pattern for our lives. We are taken as the bread is taken and held, blessed as the bread is blessed and transformed, broken into deeper compassion and humility as the ‘bread of life’ is broken, and when prepared in this way, we as the ‘bread of life’, are given to many, that we may BECOME one in our belovedness – one in God. #GatheredToBecome
Did you know that the second Tuesday of every month St. Anthony Daniel Parish hosts a youth ministry night for students in grade 7 and 8. There are several fun and engaging activities for your children to do. It runs from 7-9pm. Please contact the parish if you have questions.
We are excited to kick of this month with a new skill that will help your children feel good about who they are, boost their confidence and stand up for their beliefs. That skill is authenticity! How will authenticity help my child? Authenticity is the ability to be our genuine selves, staying true to our values and beliefs even under pressure, while still adapting to the world around us. Authenticity comes from having actions that match the words we say and not trying to be someone else to impress others. It’s very difficult to feel unconditionally loved and accepted without this critical skill. Research shows that authenticity helps kids stand up for what they think is right, which reduces bullying and social stress. As parents, we can do a lot this year to work against the concerning trends in childhood mental health just by helping kids embrace and feel confident in their true selves. With increased authenticity also comes increased self-confidence and trustworthiness, characteristics that will help your children create strong and lasting friendships which we know to be critical to their long-term well-being.
AUTHENTICITY TIP #1:
Tap into your curiosity We all want our children to be happy. In fact, we often want this so much that our own parent anxiety about their happiness takes over and leads us to push our kids into achievement in areas they may not care about. This pattern is usually done with the childs’ best interests at heart but often leads to increasing anxiety and a loss of that childs’ true passions and interest. Start the new year by slowing down and listening to your child with the purpose of understanding what it is like to be them. Look out for their strengths and interests and really check that you know them on an authentic level. Notice what games they are drawn to, what subjects catch their interest, where they invest their free time. Kids naturally want to please their parents, friends and teachers and it’s easy for them to lose a sense of what they really care about in exchange for all of this pleasing. Try to avoid having your child build their persona around what others want them to be and instead help them feel good about who they are.
AUTHENTICITY TIP #2:
Help your child shape their authentic self Your child is crafting the story of their identity – listen closely. As children become more aware of themselves and their position in the world, they start to crave something we all want, a sense of unconditional belonging. Each experience a child has builds on their sense of identity, and they slowly start to develop the story of who they are. Who we are is in fact a story that is pretty open to interpretation. Some of the most formative experiences in our story are the ones that made us feel accepted or on the other side, isolated. As your child’s story emerges, start to look for conditions of worth. Conditions of worth are the things that we feel will give us value to others. These can range from being pretty, smart, funny, strong, to never getting upset, never losing etc. While these aren’t bad qualities, we don’t want our children’s self esteem to be tied to these, creating anxiety every time they can’t fully meet the expectation. This can cause a mix up in their authentic story and starts to create a social mask that they need to put on to feel accepted. Ever wonder why your funny friend doesn’t seem to know when to turn it off? It’s likely that they have created a condition of worth around being funny. Unfortunately, what this mask actually does is prevents them from ever feeling unconditionally accepted. When you recognize these conditions of worth in your child, counter this message with two key parenting strategies:
1. Unconditional Love and Respect (harder than it sounds):
While most parents can say that they love their children unconditionally, it is not the message we give but the message they receive that is most important. To streamline the message you are trying to give with what they are actually receiving, try not to tie good behaviour with love and connection and bad behaviour with anger. This subtly tells kids that your affection does in fact have conditions and that they are less lovable when they aren’t doing what you want them to. Instead, try to keep anger out of discipline and love out of praise. Avoid phrases like “I love you…you’re so kind” when your child is doing well at their condition of worth. Praise them without tying it back to your love for them. When discipline is necessary, try to zoom in a little and see the feeling – sadness, anger, jealousy, frustration. It will help you keep your cool and not bring anger into the equation. Remember their feelings are normal and suppressing them with anger doesn’t make that feeling go away; but it can lead to a child who has trouble sharing their true feelings.
2. Parent in the Grey Zone:
Help your kids find the normal exceptions to their conditions of worth in the grey zone. The more black and white our view of the world is, the easier it is to get caught up in our conditions of worth. In the black and white world we are either one way or another – smart or not, kind or not, funny or not (read more in our Growth Mindset blog series). We can’t be any of these things all the time and this is a clear set up for never feeling comfortable with your imperfections. This is especially true if, each time you fail at one of your conditions, you feel less loved or accepted. The permission to be imperfect and human like everyone else is a great way to alleviate anxiety and the Grey Zone is where this permission lives. It’s almost impossible to live an authentic life if you can’t take ownership for your mistakes; however, ownership can be difficult for children. In fact, many of the adults I know struggle with this skill too.
AUTHENTICITY TIP #3:
Is there a grain of truth? Let’s face it – it often feels easier to shift the blame to someone or something else, rather than looking inside and owning up to our mistakes. In reality, the situations we find ourselves in are much more complex than that. There is often more than one factor involved in our mistakes/conflicts and almost always, some piece of it that we can accept responsibility for. The ability to do this is a big part of a healthy relationship-building for your child. The next time your child is facing a conflict, ask them if they can pick out a grain of truth in the situation: something little that they can take ownership and responsibility for. This can be especially effective for sibling conflicts, as well as peer and parent relationships. This strategy will help them start with small, manageable things and eventually to owning bigger pieces of their mistakes. The strategy shows your child the relief that comes with ownership and telling the truth. Does your child often get upset at the suggestion that they may have something to do with the conflict they find themselves in? Working towards owning up to mistakes is a great way to build their authenticity, help them learn from those mistakes and prevent them from having to carry the burden of that mistake long-term. This can be a difficult skill for some to nurture, so make honesty the easiest option for your child by praising them every time they are able to find their piece of responsibility in the situation.
AUTHENTICITY TIP #4:
Stop focusing on perfection Remind your child often, and in as many ways as you can, that the goal of life isn’t development to perfection. This important conversation builds almost every skill in your child’s umbrella, and authenticity is no exception. We dove into this in November when we discussed growth mindset and it’s worth a mention again as we work towards developing a child who feels comfortable being themselves. We are all climbing a mountain in life that doesn’t have a top and when we imagine that there is a summit to climb, it can lead to a life of struggle trying to get somewhere that doesn’t exist. Striving for perfection can create a set of unattainable standards and this often leads to covering up imperfections with a false exterior instead of being comfortable with who we are as humans, imperfections and all. Start by normalizing life’s challenges for kids: relationships have bumps, sometimes we do poorly on tests, get injured and have tough days. When your child truly believes that these things are difficult (but normal) part of life that everyone experiences, their authentic selves will have a chance to shine. Set goals for small incremental improvements instead of trying to get as close as possible to perfection. Parents of high achieving kids take note: these are the kids I’m seeing most in my practice for anxiety. Remember that just because your child can achieve at a level of excellence now doesn’t mean they won’t face challenges down the road. As these kids hit harder and harder challenges they will often sacrifice all other aspects of their well-being to continue to achieve success including sleep, friendships and relationships with their loved ones. We know that these are critical to well-being and their absence takes a toll. Make sure your children really understand that they don’t need to maintain a high level of success at all times for love, acceptance or self-esteem. This false belief can become deeply ingrained in their minds and cause a lot of anxiety when they can’t hit a desired target; so teach self-acceptance now, in advance of these challenges. Mistakes are an important part of learning and the fear of making mistakes might just be what is holding your child back from being their true selves.
Please remember to write in your child’s agenda the date and time of your child’s appointment. This way the classroom teacher will know to have your child ready to go. If you are coming during the lunch hour please understand that your child may be on the school yard. We will do our best to get your child from the yard as fast as possible. If at all possible please try to come before the bell rings, this way you will not have to wait while we get your child. Thanks for your support!
Nutrition for Learning:
We are looking for adult volunteers to help support our NFL program. NFL is a breakfast program that runs in many schools. The intention is to have nutritious food available for all students, especially for those students that are less fortunate. Studies prove that students are more successful academically and socially when they are not hungry. If you are interested in volunteering please contact Ms. Weber or Mrs. GC at the office.
Role-Modelling Healthy Habits
Parents and caregivers… are you sending your children mixed messages about healthy living?
- Do you talk about the importance of eating a healthy breakfast before school, then rush out the door with only a coffee in hand?
- Do you talk about your weight and skip meals because you are on a diet?
- Do you encourage your children to choose water when thirsty but drink pop when you want a beverage?
Though you may not realize it, children watch the adults in their lives very closely. Being a positive role model and modeling healthy behaviours for your children will help them to develop healthy habits for life. Here are a few things you can do to lead by example:
- Follow Canada’s food guide and eat a vegetable or fruit at every meal and snack, while limiting highly processed foods (like cookies, chips, processed meats and fruit drinks).
- Avoid saying you don’t like a food. Children are constantly exploring the flavours of new foods. Talking positively about foods allows them to develop their own food preferences.
- Embrace that healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes. Practice healthy behaviors (like eating well) to help you feel good, not for weight control.
- Accomplish a goal lately? Reward yourself with non-food items, like spending time with a friend, attending an art class or reading a new book.
- Participate in physical activity for the lifelong health benefits, the pleasure of moving your body, or because you enjoy the sport, rather than to justify a food treat afterwards.
- Focus on fun! Plan celebrations around activities you enjoy, instead of the foods you want to eat.
- Turn off your phone and be present during meals.
- Be open to trying new foods. Try making a new recipe together, like this lentil salad:
Zesty Rice and Lentil Salad
Makes six servings
1 cup uncooked brown rice
2 cups water
2 whole lemons, all zest and juice
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp black pepper
1 can (19 oz.) green or brown lentils, drained and rinsed
1 whole bell pepper (red, yellow or orange), diced
2 cups kale, chopped
1 whole apple or pear, cored and diced
- Cook brown rice according to package directions (usually 1 cup rice to 2 cups water).
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, ginger, Dijon mustard and pepper to make a dressing.
- Add lentils, cooked rice, bell pepper, kale and apple or pear to a large mixing bowl and gently stir to combine.
- Pour dressing over salad and gently stir to combine. Chill before serving, if desired.
Adapted from the Niagara Region You’re the Chef program and available in the Region of Waterloo Healthy Eating Recipe Book.
Brought to you by Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services.
~Nurturing ~ Encouraging ~ Successful ~ Thunderbirds~