Monthly Archives: January 2020

February News

Hi Thunderbird Families:

Please take some time to read our monthly update below for the latest and greatest tips and things you need to know. There are so many amazing things going on in the Thunderbird Nest you don’t want to miss out. Thanks so much!

Kindergarten Registration:
Calling all little Thunderbirds! Registration 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.

School & WCDSB Code of Conduct & Student Behaviour:
Students Students are to be treated with respect and dignity. In return, they must demonstrate respect for themselves, for others, and for the responsibilities of citizenship through acceptable behaviour. Respect and responsibility are demonstrated when a student: 

  • comes to school prepared, on time, and ready to learn; 
  • shows respect for themselves, for others, and for those in authority; 
  • refrains from bringing anything to school that may compromise the safety of others; 
  • follows the established rules and takes responsibility for his or her own actions. 

We do our best to communicate the Code of Conduct 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 rude, defiant, disrespectful, non compliant, aggressive behaviour or intentional rough play is not acceptable at school. Thanks for your continued support!
St. Daniel Student I Can Agreements:

  1. I CAN take my hat or hood off in the hall or class (unless on approved theme days or permission from the teacher)
  2. I CAN walk respectfully in the halls
  3. I CAN show respect for school property (e.g., garbage/recycling in appropriate spots, desks, floors, classrooms are tidy, no vandalism)
  4. 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)
  5. I CAN spread kindness, hope, and joy to others

Dance-A-Thon:
We are thrilled to announce that our Dance-A-Thon Fundraiser is scheduled for Friday, February 21st, 2020. As a school community, we are dependent on your help, support and commitment to achieve our goals. We have chosen to host this Dance-a-thon because it is inclusive and allows everyone to participate while getting the students active in a fun and healthy way. Pledges will be placed through www.SchoolCashOnline.com.  Cash will not be accepted for pledges. You would have received a parent information package, attached to it is a pledge form for you to track your pledges. Tracking forms are to be returned to your child’s classroom teacher and all pledges must be submitted on cash online by midnight on Tuesday February 18, 2020 to www.SchoolCashOnline.com.

School Cash Online Information: 
School Cash Online is mobile and tablet friendly, making it easy to submit orders from family members. Please put in one lump sum amount (donation) per child. Please be sure to add the students name of who you are donating money on behalf of. (e.g., if you collect $500.00 you put that in as one lump sum). If you do not have an account, click on Register and create a profile. Find the Registration Email in your inbox and click the Activation Email and follow the instructions to add your children. Receipts will be issued for amounts more than $25.00. If you require a tax receipt for yourself or others, please write on the pledge sheet that your child brought home. We require a full name, email address and the amount for the receipt on the Pledge form.

PRIZES! PRIZES! PRIZES!

  • Every student will receive a white draw ticket to enter to win an amazing Raffle Basket.
  • For every $10 raised, your child will receive a blue raffle ticket to place in the raffle basket.
  • School Advisory Council will provide the following incentives:

Top Fundraiser will receive a $50.00 gift certificate- see choices below.
Second and third place Fundraisers will receive a $25.00 gift certificate- see choices below.
Top Class Fundraisers for each division will receive a special surprise treat!

********* Top Sellers’ Gift Card Choices *********
iTunes, Chicopee Ski Club, Fairview Park Mall, Toys R Us, Best Buy, Conestoga Mall, Sport Check               Chapters, Movie Theatre, Grand River Rocks, FunworX, Sky Zone   

Additional raffle basket tickets may be purchased through www.SchoolCashOnline.com  Tickets are $1.00 each and will be sold in sets of five.
You may also support the fundraiser by allowing your child to purchase some “fun” items on the day of the Dance-A-Thon. These include LED glow in the dark items- finger lights, glow foam sticks and LED bracelets ranging from $1.00-$3.00. All items are non-returnable. Thank you in advance for your support! 

Student Activities Council (SAC Team):
Student voice matters! We are super excited to share with you that we have established a Student Activities Council or SAC Team to represent the voices and ideas of our Thunderbirds. The SAC Team consists of Junior and Intermediate students. Junior and Intermediate students were invited to write a paragraph outlining why they would like to represent the voice of St. Daniel students. Those that completed the assignment, handed it in on time, and wrote a compelling paragraph have been selected. The SAC Team consists of 22 Junior and Intermediate Thunderbirds each having roles that they signed up for. We have students facilitating and organizing with staff supervisors the following: Special Events/School Spirit Days, Student Activity, Healthy Schools, Tech Crew, School Welcoming, Faith Formation, Safe Schools, Stewardship, and the Diversity Team. We meet bi-weekly on Wednesdays with Mr. V and the Admin Team to organize school events and activities ensuring students have a voice and are contributing members of our amazing school community. A very BIG Thunderbird thanks goes out to Mr. V! He has been working very hard to support this initiative with our Thunderbirds! Our first big events are: Bell Let’s Talk Day, our Umbrella Project Assembly and Winter Walk to School Day.

A Fresh New Look:
We are super excited to share with you that the interior of our school is being painted beginning Monday February 3rd. The adventure begins with freshening up our Library Learning Commons, moving away from the Tim Horton’s Double Double colour that presently graces the walls…LOL, to a beautiful Edge Comb Grey. Then the halls will get painted moving away from the lovely hockey arena blue stripe and I’m not sure what the other colour is! The stripe will be repainted to an Old World Blue colour, just a little more muted, and the rest of the walls to a Swiss White. This will freshen up our school. Please remind your children not to touch the walls … wish us luck! Also, we are in the process of getting a new digital sign. We are finishing up the electrical work involved then we are off to the races!

Umbrella Project:
This month we are going to working with students to learn about purpose and their meaningful contribution to the world. As we always say at the Umbrella Project, all of the skills are important and work best together! The happiest kids are able to understand their own needs and their contribution to the bigger world around them. How will a sense of Purpose help my child? Purpose is the feeling that the things we do and the choices we make have meaning and make a difference. This makes us feel happier and more confident and gives us a set of guiding principles that help us make decisions. When kids have a sense of purpose it is easier for them to keep going when things get difficult because they can see a bigger picture. This can make them less likely to get stuck in the small trivial details that don’t matter in the long run. The journey of life isn’t linear so it’s important to live each day with a bigger set goals and values that can make even the toughest of days feel worthwhile. Having a sense of purpose is so important that it can actually help your children live longer, healthier lives.

PURPOSE TIP #1 Do a family culture brainstorm:
Creating a family culture is a great way to help your child start the journey of identifying with a bigger purpose. What do I mean by family culture? Culture is the behaviours that are characteristic of a group. This can encompass just about anything, from the types of foods you choose to the leisure activities you do together to the higher principles you value. Feeling like a part of something bigger helps us start to establish our sense of purpose. Start purpose month by brainstorming together, all of the things that you value most as a family. You can do this on a white board or a big sheet of paper that allows space for everyone to write in their ideas. A few questions you can reflect on are: What characteristics do I have that I am most proud of? What brings me joy? What have I done lately that makes my life feel meaningful? Here are a few examples that came up in my family: seeing the world, having new experiences together, enjoying healthy delicious food, supporting our friends and family, using generosity and kindness as much as we can. Once you have everyone’s ideas down, reflect on the ones that resonate most with everyone and put them somewhere your family can regularly see them. The more multi-generational, the better, so don’t forget to include grandparents if they are able. If not, just take a few minutes to reflect on their sense of purpose as well. Culture can be passed down for many generations. In my family a great example of this is generosity. Although my grandfather is no longer with us, he left a legacy of generosity and this family exercise has been a great way for me to share that with my children. Focusing on generosity helps me feel purpose in my day to day life and also makes me feel like part of something bigger that my family contributes to the world. A child’s sense of purpose will continue to evolve over their lifetime, so this exercise should be fluid and open to change and input from your child over time. Remember, when children are committed to a culture/home they feel part of, they will want to help shape it in ways that will help them to excel. When identification with that group is lost they can feel frustrated and withdraw, a situation seen often in teens. Make sure your child’s’ voice is heard when you work on your shared family culture.

 

PURPOSE TIP #2 Make your child a participating member of the family:
The ultimate goal of parenting is to help your child develop into a person who can independently self-regulate, make good decisions for their well-being and care for themselves without you. Like it or not, when your child becomes an adult, they will have the independence to make whatever choices they want for their lives. A big part of our role as parents is supporting the development of our child’s capacity for good decision making. One of the best ways to guide your child to healthy independence and purpose is to give them a voice in your family as early as you can. Here are some examples of how you can make their voices heard:

 

  • 1. Ask them how to best solve the parenting difficulties you face. Here’s an example of this from my life: How can we get out the door in the morning without me having to give the kids so many reminders? Their solutions: No leisure reading until all morning tasks are complete, checklists on the fridge with everything that needs to be done, getting dressed for the day before coming downstairs. By getting kids involved, they are learning to solve problems, are more likely to comply and feel more like participating members of our family. 
  • 2. Get them involved in travel planning. This one can be a lot of fun. If you are a family who likes to travel, start to include your child in the decision making. Tapping into kid’s intrinsic curiosity about the world builds purpose and really helps them to feel engaged. You could alternate through each family member getting to pick your final travel destination (after narrowing down the list to reasonable options) or let them plan one of the days while you are away. If you don’t travel, you can use this when planning out your weekend or weeknights when you have family time. Make sure everyone feels like they have a say.
  • 3. Giving kids a voice is empowering and feeds the development of their sense of purpose. When everything is planned, scheduled and reinforced for them they miss out on the development of some of these critical skills. PURPOSE TIP #3 Help your child set their own goals, and follow through Following through is key to developing purpose. We all have great ideas that would help with developing purpose. Unfortunately, busy school and activity schedules keep these ideas from realization. Many of the expectations of education confine kids to a set of goals that aren’t their own. Mandatory projects, studying, and school expectations dominate kid’s time. This leaves little time in the day to develop a sense of purpose and follow through on those optional goals. Make sure you check in with your child to learn what they care about. Prioritize their personal, optional goals at the same level as the mandatory ones. Help your child learn to set their own goals. Then, break these goals down into small, manageable steps that will fit into their schedules. 


PURPOSE TIP #4 Share your purpose with your children:
Children are fascinated by the adults around them and love to hear stories about everything from our childhood fears to our happiest moment and everything in between. As we wrap up this month, take some time to reflect and share what gives you a sense of purpose. For most of us, there are many things that would qualify as our purpose so don’t feel you need to limit yourself to one. For example, I get that feeling from helping others lead healthy, happy lives, building well-being for the next generation of children and giving unconditional love to those around me among many other things. Here are some questions to reflect on: What gives your life meaning? What happened in your life to help you develop your purpose? What are you doing to live out your purpose? How does your purpose help you overcome tough times? The conversations we have with our kids build their perspective on the world. Share your answers with your family and help your children see the world from the lens of purpose.
See this blog for a more detailed look at coaching children through the challenges of building purpose: https://umbrellaproject.co/category/purpose/ Health and happiness, Dr. Jen Forristal Founder of the Umbrella Project drjen@umbrellaproject.co

Winter Walk:
Keep active this winter! We are celebrating Winter Walk Day on Wednesday, February 5, 2020. Grab your mittens, hats and boots and be a part of this fun winter event! Walking to school in winter has many potential benefits, including benefits for your child’s health and well-being (like opportunities to learn and socialize on the way to school, and arriving to school alert and ready to learn), our community (reduced traffic congestion around the school) and the environment, too! Walk with your child to school on February 5th to join in the celebration! This event is for all students. If you drive your child(ren), consider parking a block or two away from the school and walk the rest of the way in. Bussed students can walk to their bus stop.  

Winter Walking Tips:

  • Keep hands and head covered to prevent heat loss. 
  • On really cold days wear a scarf over your face and mouth. 
  • Wear warm, waterproof boots. 
  • Wear a warm coat that deflects the wind. 
  • Wear clothing or carry knapsacks with reflective material – it’s important to be seen. 
  • If possible, change wet clothes at school – tuck an extra pair of socks and mitts into knapsacks. 

Winter Walk Day is celebrated by schools across the province on the first Wednesday of February each year. 

For more information: http://www.ontarioactiveschooltravel.ca/

Join the Conversation:

#WinterWalkDay #WWD2020 #JourneyOutside
#Walk2School #Active2School #ActiveSchoolTravel

NFL:

St. Daniel school community is proud to be a Nutrition for Learning school! The goal of Nutrition for Learning is to provide nutritious food within reach of all students. NFL ensures that the children in our community attend school well nourished and can focus on learning.

Our student nutrition program would not be able to run without the efforts of all our great volunteers and from the support of the school community. Please consider being a volunteer or donating to this program as outlined below.

A special webpage on the Nutrition for Learning website has been created for our school community. 

100% of donations through this portal go directly to the St. Daniel Nutrition for Learning program. 

https://www.nutritionforlearning.ca/st_daniel/

If you are considering becoming a volunteering please contact the office. 

Thank you in advance for supporting this important program!

Fit Bit:

 Enjoying Vegetables All Year Long
It can be challenging to find creative ways to fill half your plate with vegetables and fruits throughout our long Canadian winters. Our markets and grocery stores may not be filled with as many local options as they are during warmer seasons. However, you may be surprised by how much local produce is available throughout the winter months in Ontario. Locally produced vegetables such as beets, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, squash, mushrooms, leeks and sweet potatoes are all available this time of year. Frozen vegetables are another healthy and affordable choice. If you are looking for some inspiration on ways to incorporate vegetables into your family mealtimes this winter, here are a few fun ideas.

Add frozen or winter vegetables to dishes

  • Add sweet potato or squash to homemade chili and soups.
  • Add shredded cabbage to salads – purple cabbage adds a splash of colour.
  • Add leeks or mushrooms to a frittata or omelette.
  • Add rutabaga, turnip or celery root to mashed potatoes.
  • Blend cooked beets or sweet potatoes into a hummus recipe.
  • Add frozen vegetables to stir-fries, soups, casseroles, pasta dishes or serve them as a side dish at meals. 

Make winter vegetables fun for kids

  • Make roasted parsnip sticks; they are a fun finger food.
  • Cut and roast acorn squash in slices that look like smiles.
  • Try spiralized sweet potatoes or carrots as a fun new way to serve these vegetables.
  • Roast sweet potato or butternut squash medallions and let kids use cookie cutters to make fun shapes.

Find some winter vegetable inspiration in the recipes below

 

Thanks for reading!

Nurturing~Encouraging~Successful~Thunderbirds

WCDSB Schools Closed on Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Thunderbird Families:

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. 

Letter from Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health RE: Coronavirus dated January 27, 2020

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

Sincerely,

Dr. David Williams Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health

WCDSB Schools Closed on Tuesday, January 21, 2020

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.

Hiring Lunch Hour Supervisors

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.

Posting Lunch Hour Supervision (All Schools)

School Advisory Council

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.

School Advisory Council Guide

Catholic School Council Handbook

Titans Game Reminder for Grade 4-8 Families

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!

Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) Labour Update

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:

http://www.catholicteachers.ca/OECTA/media/pdfs/News/2020/jan/NR_2019-018.pdf

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.

January News

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!


Student Behaviour:

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:

  1. I CAN take my hat or hood off in the hall or class (unless on approved theme days or permission from the teacher)
  1. I CAN walk respectfully in the halls 
  2. I CAN show respect for school property (e.g., garbage/recycling in appropriate spots, desks, floors, classrooms are tidy, no vandalism)
  1. 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) 
  2. I CAN spread kindness, hope, and joy to others 

Kindergarten Registration:

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

School/Home/Parish Connection:

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.

Umbrella Project:

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.

Student Appointments:

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. 

Fit-Bit:

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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

  1.     Cook brown rice according to package directions (usually 1 cup rice to 2 cups water).
  2.     In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, ginger, Dijon mustard and pepper to make a dressing.
  3.     Add lentils, cooked rice, bell pepper, kale and apple or pear to a large mixing bowl and gently stir to combine.
  4.     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~