Monthly Archives: March 2020

Important Update

Hello Thunderbird Families:

Please take a moment to read the following communication from both the Director of Education Loretta Notten and the Chair of our board Bill Conway.

  March 31st, 2020

Dear Waterloo Catholic Community –

We hope that you and your family are well and staying healthy. Today we learned, that as a key part of the Government of Ontario response to the COVID19 crisis, that the closure to schools is extending to May 1st, 2020. The government will continue to monitor the situation and further extensions or updates may occur. We reiterate, that these decisions are being informed by a concern for preserving the health and safety of all, and in this regard we know that each of us shares a common goal. Realizing that this extension of the closure was likely, and as previously communicated, both the provincial Ministry of Education and locally here at Waterloo Catholic, we have been preparing for remote teacher-led learning.

Today the Ministry released a memo that provides explicit guidance to all of us about expectations for learning. It provides an outline of the number of hours teacher and student should engage in learning – based on their grade level. To be clear – 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.

Both Waterloo Catholic and the Ministry of Education have been thoughtful about matters of equity, as they apply to access to technology, to internet, language barriers, students with special needs and varying home environments. All to say – this is not a “business as usual” learning environment but at Waterloo Catholic we will strive to do our very best to ensure each student feels valued and is connected to learning. One thing we are doing in this regard is working on Chromebook distribution to those families who indicated the need for a learning device. Your local school will provide more detail if you are an affected family. Deployment is happening this week. That said – at Waterloo Catholic, our number one priority will be ensuring that each child experiences connection and that they know their teacher cares.

We would also like to draw attention to the fact that while there will be consistent expectations for students in the same grade, that optional, additional activities will also be made available to all students. On our WCDSB board website you will find from our home page a link to WDCSBLearn@Home where a host of additional resources for all learners will be found. https://wcdsblearnathome.wcdsb.ca We also encourage you to continue to follow the #STEAMDays hashtag where lots of fun and engaging activities are being posted.

We understand that there is added anxiety for students who are in senior grades of high school or in graduating years. This too is something to which we are very attuned. The Ministry has provided some direction today and there will be ongoing conversations and plans that will be communicated in relation to these students. Certainly there is an intent that no student on track to graduate – or any student – should be negatively impacted by the current public health crisis. They remain a high priority.

Finally – we encourage you to closely follow any and all directives from our governments and Waterloo Region Public Health. As a 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. We wish your family good health as we look ahead to Holy Week. Please continue to remain confident that we are here to support you, as we walk together as a hope-filled community. Our faith will be a source of comfort and strength, as will the sure knowledge that after the pain and heartache of Good Friday, comes the hope, joy and new life of Easter.

Sincerely,

Loretta Notten                                                                                Bill Conway
Director of Education                                                                   Chair of the Board

Thunderbird News – Monday, March 30th

Thunderbird Families:

We would like you to know that the entire St. Daniel staff wishes you and your families well. We know you have been working hard to stay home, and practice social distancing. Just so you know, your teachers have been trying to reach out to you! Some teachers have been trying to call you as they cannot reach you via Google Classroom, D2L, email, etc. When they call it may say Private Number on your phone. 

Just so you know, there will be more communication coming as to how we can support our Thunderbirds when learning from home. For now, please continue to explore the links below at your convenience.

Be sure to visit #STEAMDays on our board website https://www.wcdsb.ca/steamdays/

If you post your own photos/ideas be sure to tag us @StDanielTBirds

The Ministry of Education’s Learn at home site: https://www.ontario.ca/page/learn-at-home

Additionally, the Waterloo Catholic District School Board has added a learn from home site for you to access at your convenience. This site will provide you with local learning opportunities on an ongoing basis as we navigate our way through these very challenging times. The site will be updated regularly, as new resources become available.  But starting April 6th you child will have regular Teacher-led learning coming directly to them.

Link: WCDSB Learn@Home

Each Monday during the season of Lent, we celebrate as a school community through Lenten Links where we listen to scripture, sing, and pray together through shared slides in our classrooms. As we continue on our Lenten journey, we thought families might like to carry on this tradition at home. Please click on the link below for our Lenten Link for the week of March 30th. God bless!

Lenten Link – March 30th

Finally, please remain confident that we are here to support you, as we walk as a hope-filled community of faith toward the season of Easter and the re-birth it brings.

We will be in touch.  Until then – be well.

Thunderbird News – March 25th

Thunderbird Families:

We would like you to know that the entire St. Daniel staff is missing you and thinking of you! Please note that teachers will be reaching out to you soon! Please be sure to check for a message from your teacher (eg. through Google Classroom, D2L, email, etc.). We invite you to respond to their message in the same way! 

Finally, thanks so much for your continued support during this unprecedented time. The art of possibility and cultivating hope is so essential right now. Do what you can to enjoy your time at home with family. Stay safe and stay healthy. Remember to practice social distancing and to self-isolate. Together we will persevere, knowing that after every storm, calm is sure to follow. 

 

And as a reminder:

Be sure to visit #STEAMDays on our board website https://www.wcdsb.ca/steamdays/

If you post your own photos/ideas be sure to tag us @StDanielTBirds

The Ministry of Education’s Learn at home site is filled with activities and resources. Check it out here:  https://www.ontario.ca/page/learn-at-home

A letter from Director Notten and the Chair of the Board

Hi Thunderbirds:

Please see the letter below from Director Notten and the Chair of the Board, Bill Conway.

A PDF version is included below.

 

Dear Parent / Caregivers,

Since last we reached out to you, the global situation in relation to COVID19 has continued to worsen and here at home we have seen unprecedented actions taken by our federal and provincial governments. As you know, schools are now closed and it would appear that this will stretch beyond the Easter weekend, although exactly when we might return to face to face learning is not yet clear. These decisions are being informed by a concern for preserving the health and safety of all, and in this regard we know that each of us shares this common goal. Nonetheless, the news that students will be home indefinitely may be disconcerting to you and your child.

We want to assure you that at Waterloo Catholic District School Board, we will be working to the best of our ability and in collaboration with the province, to ensure that your child is connected to learning opportunities. We will use the initial two weeks for the board to support our teachers in establishing at least an initial contact with all of their students through the most appropriate means possible. We will try to use this time to establish what is needed to support teacher-led learning and to aid you as families, to the best of our abilities under the circumstances.

We also want to acknowledge that this could be a time of great uncertainty and anxiety for our students. We would encourage you to visit our board website where a number of resources can be found that may be helpful to you or your child, as you navigate this time. We are also truly blessed to have our faith and prayer to aid us at this time. Our God walks with us always and the Holy Father reminds us that prayer is a sign that we are not alone.

While we are in the process of “gearing up”, we would remind parents that WCDSB has launched #STEAMDays, a fun and interactive way to be connected to activities that have a daily focus on science, technology, engineering, the arts or mathematics. Further, the Ministry of Education has launched the website “Learn at Home” and you are encouraged to visit that site for learning activities. https://www.ontario.ca/page/learn-at-home

Finally – we encourage you to closely follow any and all directives from our governments and Waterloo Region Public Health. As a 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. We wish your family good health. Remain confident that we are here to support you, as we walk as a hope-filled community of faith toward the season of Easter and the re-birth it brings.

Sincerely,

Loretta Notten (Director of Education)

Bill Conway  (Chair of the Board)

Letter-to-Parents-RE-School-Closure-COVID-19-Mar-23 (PDF version)

Thunderbird News!

Thunderbird Families:

The entire staff at St. Daniel is hopeful that you are all staying healthy and doing your part in stopping the spread of this unprecedented virus. Please remember the seriousness of the COVID-19 Virus and make sure that you are self-isolating if you have traveled, wash your hands A LOT, practice social distancing (i.e., stay 2 meters away from others at all times) and if you are sick, stay home to prevent the spread. 

As a way to continue to connect with you and inspire our Thunderbirds to learn and grow, we will be sharing ideas and resource links to support learning at home. None of what is presented to you is a “must”, but instead is meant to complement what you are already doing to engage your children in educational activities. 

Also, please find attached a letter from the Minister of Education – Stephen Lecce – about the most current state of our COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister Letter to Parents – EN – March 22 2020 

Letter to parents -FR – March 22 2020

Remember Thunderbirds…be safe, practice healthy habits, and reach out to others during this time of isolation. Sometimes a friend reaching out is the best part of our day!

Your Partners in Education, 

Mrs. GC, Ms. Weber & the Thunderbird Staff

  • Friday is Decades day! Our Student Activity Council organized a school spirit day for Friday March 27th. We invite you and your family to dress up in clothes from your favourite decade! Feel free to capture this moment with a photo and Tweet it to: @StDanielTBirds. This will enable the photo to show up in our Twitter feed. Please be sure all photos are school appropriate. Thanks!
  • Each day of the week WCDSB will be dedicated to sharing fun questions, finding great answers and learning subject specific home activities. Post your questions, answers or fun home activities on social media and use #STEAMDays to share with the community.  Be sure to also tag us @StDanielTBirds in your posts! https://www.wcdsb.ca/steamdays/
  • Our amazing WCDSB Math Consultant has created Math Calendars for each grade (K-8) with fun prompts and activities. Links to other great Ontraio based math resources are also included!  

Kindergarten Daily Math Activities
Grade 1 Daily Math Activities
Grade 2 Daily Math Activities
Grade 3 Daily Math Activities
Grade 4 Daily Math Activities
Grade 5 Daily Math Activities
Grade 6 Daily Math Activities
Grade 7 & 8 Daily Math

  • Each Monday during the season of Lent, we celebrate as a school community through Lenten Links. Our Pastoral Team has created slides for each week that teachers display in their classrooms. Students read scripture and lead us in prayer over the announcements accompanying the slides. As we continue on our Lenten journey, we thought families might like to carry on this tradition at home. Please click on the link below for our Lenten Link for the week of March 23rd. God bless!  Lenten Link – Google Slides (March 23rd)

Important: Communication re COVID-19 Closures & Cancellations

As a result of the Government of Ontario’s order for all publicly funded schools in Ontario to remain closed from March 14, 2020 to April 5, 2020 (https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/03/title.html), the Waterloo Catholic District School Board is taking the following actions to further assist in limiting the spread of COVID-19:

  • Effective March 14, 2020 to April 5, 2020 all WCDSB schools (including all St. Louis Adult Education campuses) are closed.
  • Effective March 16 all Extended Day programs are cancelled. Families registered in WCDSB operated programs will not be charged fees during this time period.
  • Effective March 14, 2020 to April 5, 2020 all Community Use of Schools permits are cancelled.
  • WCDSB Co-op placements, Dual Credit and SWAC programs are cancelled.
  • The March 23, 2020 public meeting of the Board of Trustees is cancelled. Any delegations pertaining to the St. John CES Boundary Review will be received as planned on Monday, April 6 at the regularly-scheduled Board Meeting, and again at a Special Public Board Meeting on Monday, April 20, 2020.
  • The March 26, 2020 Blessing & Dedication ceremony for the newly-renovated Waterloo Region Catholic Education Centre is postponed to a later date to be determined.

The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff is always our top priority, and we will continue working with local Public Health staff to ensure our schools remain clean, safe and welcoming in anticipation of the resumption of school in April. We encourage everyone to remain vigilant regarding hand hygiene and cough / sneeze etiquette and to follow all Public Health guidance and directives.

We ask all WCDSB stakeholders to continue monitoring our special COVID-19 web page for up-to-date information (https://www.wcdsb.ca/covid-19-coronavirus-updates/)  — and our prayers continue for all those around the world who have been or will be affected by COVID-19.

Mudpuppy Chase 2020

Dear Families,

Once again this year, St. Daniel School will be participating in the Mudpuppy Chase.  This is a 3K fun run/walk that will take place on Sunday, May 3rd at 9:15am at the COLUMBIA ATHLETIC FIELD at the University of Waterloo.

Last year, 138 staff and students from St. Daniel participated in this event, and we raised an incredible total of $9744.00 for KidsAbility and other children’s charities in our region!!

An invitation goes out to all students (JK-8) who wish to learn more about how they can participate and enjoy a day of fun and friendship.

If your child is interested, a meeting will take place on Thursday, March 26 at 12:15 in the gym.  More information will be provided for caregivers in the introductory letter that will be distributed at this meeting.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Mrs. Dankowsky, Mrs. Kuepfer or Mrs. Lopers at the school.

Thank you in advance for your support and participation!

Please click below for pdf version:

2020SDANMudPuppyInformation

Important Notices

Hi Thunderbirds,

Please see the important notices below:

1. Annual Enforcement of the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA)

Region of Waterloo Public Health is postponing ISPA enforcement. The attached file below explains the rationale and is the Medical Officer of Health’s official notice of rescindment of all suspension orders.

2020_-_Rescindment_of_suspension_orders_for_elementary_students_

2. Region of Waterloo Public Health – COVID-19 Parent Letter

Region of Waterloo Public Health has asked school boards to provide the attached letter from the Medical Officer of Health.

Public Health – COVID-19_PARENT_LETTER_2020_03_06

On a related note — There is a special COVID-19 page on the WCDSB main website. The page contains links to important COVID-19 information and resources. This page will be updated on an ongoing basis and will be our primary mode of public communication as the situation evolves.

https://www.wcdsb.ca/covid-19-coronavirus-updates/

Our Catholic School Council’s Activities

We are fortunate at St. Daniel CES to have an active Catholic School Council that not only acts in an advisory capacity to our school’s administrative team, but has also been instrumental in supporting our school community through a variety of initiatives:

  • Assist in busing of students for extracurricular activities
  • French library books
  • Purchase of outdoor play equipment (balls, skipping ropes etc.)
  • Support for the marginalized and local families in need
  • Classroom support funds
  • Support guest speakers
  • Grade 8 graduation, support for trophies, plaques, medallions, engraving and yearbook
  • Subsidy for student agendas
  • Support costs for Gr. 8 retreat (busing etc.).
  • Technology (Tech. Tubs for Chromebooks) 

On behalf of the staff and students of St. Daniel, thank you to all who have, and continue to be involved with supporting our Thunderbird community! 

 

~Nurturing~Encouraging~Successful~Thunderbirds~