Update Regarding School Closure

Dear Thunderbird Families,

We learned yesterday that schools will remain closed for the remainder of this school year. With yesterday’s announcement, we are sure you will have questions about many things such as Grade 8 graduation, final report cards, the process for picking up your child’s personal belongings and returning school items such as textbooks, library books, etc. Throughout this closure period, all WCDSB schools are taking direction from the Ministry, Public Health, and our Board. As we receive recommendations for year-end procedures, our staff will work together to put plans in place and we will continue to keep all families informed via Newswire.

In the meantime, we still have six weeks of distance learning left in this school year so we are not winding down just yet! We are proud of all of our students for doing their best during this challenging time. Thank you so very much for all of the work you have been doing to support our Thunderbirds. Please continue to emphasize with your children the importance of persisting with their learning over these next six weeks. Together, we’ve got this, Thunderbirds!

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child’s teacher and we will continue to do our best to get you answers.

Stay well!



School Closure Announcement

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

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


A special message from St. Anthony Daniel Parish

May 13, 2020

Hello to everyone at St. Daniel from the team at St. Anthony Daniel Parish!

Did you know that MAY is the month most associated with Mary, the Mother of

Pope Francis has asked us to pray one rosary every day in the month of May.
We are praying for an end to the Coronavirus.

We have put together a short (3min) video for anyone who would like to pray one
decade of the rosary with us. You can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dF2d8_fs1dw&feature=youtu.be

If you would like any other activities or videos to help with learning more about the
Rosary, you can find them here: https://stanthonydaniel.ca/the-rosary-in-the-month-of-may.

We hope you will join us in prayer,
Sarah & Will (our seminarian)


Thunderbird Update

Hi Thunderbirds:

The Umbrella Project theme for May is Optimism. This is a wonderful connection with our Catholic Education Week theme which we explored last week – Igniting Hope! Especially during these times of uncertainty, sharing hope-filled messages, reaching out and connecting with others, showing gratitude, and embracing a spirit of optimism can be uplifting for ourselves and others. 


We often hear sayings about looking on the bright side of life. Turns out that looking on the bright side can actually help our lives seem brighter. Mix that with a realistic look at obstacles and you have a strategy for success. Realistic optimism mixes the belief that good things will happen with the knowledge that obstacles are a part of life and should be prepared for. It helps us link our dreams to the steps we will need to take to achieve them and helps us create a plan. Success can be challenging and if we defeat ourselves in our minds with a negative outlook before we get started it can really hurt our chances of reaching our goals.

At our monthly student recognition assemblies we share a slideshow that captures the Umbrella Theme for the month. The students love watching the slideshow! It gives them a chance to develop an understanding of the theme and create their mission statement for the month. Their mission statement is how they will work toward this Umbrella Theme. With this in mind, we would like to keep this tradition going. St. Daniel staff have prepared a Google Slide show focusing on Optimism including inspirational videos and images. Please see link below and explore at home with your family.

St. Daniel Optimism – Google Slides Link

The Umbrella Project also has resources for families specific to remote learning and navigating COVID-19. These include parenting strategies to support your families well-being through uncertainty and rainy days. Please see links below:

Umbrella Project Website for Parents

Umbrella Project Resources for COVID-19 

OPTIMISM TIP #1: Help your child anticipate and plan for obstacles 

Obstacles become less daunting when we have thought them through and have strategies to deal with them. When your child approaches challenging situations this month, help them think through some of the obstacles they may face and potential strategies they can use to deal with them. For example, if your child has a test at the end of the month that they are quite worried about, think through what the stress points are and then help them actively build evidence that they will be able to handle those challenges… Busy schedule? Print out the calendar for the month and have your child block out some study times in advance so they can visualize the extra time they have to study. Classroom too noisy? Help them build confidence working in a noisy environment by taking them out to a coffee shop a few times to do their homework and practice that skill. Don’t like multiple choice? Get them to study by making up a multiple choice exam for you from their material then have a good laugh together as you try to complete their test. By tying laughter and positive feelings to that style of test they are more likely to feel positive and optimistic when they experience another similar test. There are so many ways to prepare for obstacles in life while building confidence for the next time we may face a similar challenge. When possible, make the preparation something that will encourage a positive mood. Help your child feel empowered and optimistic by anticipating and preparing for challenges. 

OPTIMISM TIP #2 Do something you enjoy before problem solving 

It’s easy for children to obsess over the unpleasant things that happen to them. When we try to problem solve right after one of these events, it can be difficult to build optimism. Our brain naturally wants to match our memories and thoughts with the current mood we are in. Right after something unpleasant happens, it’s much more likely that our brain will turn to pessimistic thoughts. If you notice this happening with your child, help them learn to put something they enjoy in between the unpleasant event and problem solving when possible. This strategy helps to bring them back to a more positive mood which will, in turn, lead to more optimistic problem solving. It will also improve the creativity of the solutions they come up with. Just remember to come back to the problem after the enjoyable activity. This shouldn’t end in problem avoidance. It should instead teach your child that they can build optimism and better problem solving skills by intentionally improving their mood before they tackle difficult challenges. 

OPTIMISM TIP #3 Consider the way you explain your own life to your child 

We know that children are most likely to pick up their primary parent’s explanatory style. What does that mean? That means that if you are an optimist, your kids will likely be too. If you tend to put a negative frame on your life events, your children will also learn to interpret the world this way. This explanatory style is changeable with some easy shifts in the words you use. Temporary vs. Permanent When bad events feel permanent, it can hinder your child from believing they can change their circumstances. In contrast, when difficult events happen, as they will in every life, show your child that most of these are temporary and can be overcome with time. Start by avoiding “always” and “never” in your explanations. “This kind of thing always happens to me” feels pretty permanent. The more temporary your child sees challenging times to be, the more they will be optimistic for the future.

OPTIMISM TIP #4 Teach your child to reframe challenge 

Learning to see the positives in our challenges is a technique called positive reframing. The skill is critical in helping children build optimism, even when life gets rainy. The goal isn’t to find excuses for procrastination, mean behaviour or to change reality. It is to help them find the true bright spots in their difficulties, neutralize their negative feelings and beliefs, and prepare them to move forward. How can we teach this valuable skill? As we all come to realize when we become parents, we can’t force our children to see the world a certain way. Just putting a positive frame on their difficulties for them can backfire and make them feel like we don’t understand what they are going through. Instead of giving your own positive perspective, try these two techniques to get your children thinking about their own reframe.

1.Help your child make new observations or think about the accuracy of their limiting beliefs by asking good questions. This can help them to tell a new story about what happened to them.

Here are some options:
● What was positive in the situation?
● What growth can I get from this situation? How did this event make me better?
● How can I turn this disaster into a win?
● What is the best way to act in this kind of situation?
● What went right?
● What umbrella skill can I work on building from this experience?

2. Neutralize the negative feelings with a little humour Before working through some of the questions for positive reframing, use a little humour to help them get into a positive state of mind. It will be much easier for them to see their situation in a new light

For all you have done and for all you continue to do, the entire staff wants to say THANKS!  Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen! Have a great week of learning and remember to reach out if you need it.  We are here for you!

Stay well, stay safe, stay connected!


Welcome to Catholic Education Week!

Each year, the Catholic community of Ontario engages in a week-long celebration of the unique identity and distinctive contributions of Catholic education during Catholic Education Week. 

This year’s theme is “Igniting Hope” – and it could not be more fitting!  

HOPE is what keeps us going during hard times:  When the disciples knew that Jesus was dead on Good Friday, they kept a sense of HOPE and what happened?  EASTER SUNDAY!  We see HOPE in our society in the continued work of our staff – dealing with a completely new way of teaching.  We see HOPE through the perseverance of our parent community – working, running a household, and helping your children learn at home…AMAZING!  We see HOPE in the front-line workers risking their health to keep us safe and healthy – true HEROS!  We see HOPE all around us, and this year, we can focus on IGNITING that HOPE and being a part of the wave that will continue to change our world for the better!  Please check out this year’s website for information, daily prayers and activities, and other resources for Catholic Education Week 2020!

Each day, the focus is on a different theme:

Day 1: Our Hope in Christ

Day 2: The Hope within Us

Day 3: The Hope Among Us

Day 4: Hope for the World

Day 5: A Future Full of Hope

Catholic Education Week at the Thunderbird Nest

The St. Daniel staff want to share some special messages of hope with you. 

Please take a few moments to watch this video: https://youtu.be/gfmofVEuvYc

The St. Daniel Pastoral Team has created simple activities for each day to engage with the theme, “Igniting Hope”. Please see the slides for links and additional information for each day! Teachers will also be sharing learning activities around this theme through their D2L or Google Classroom sites. 

St. Daniel Catholic Education Week – Slides 

Additional “Igniting Hope” Links:

Igniting Hope resources will be shared throughout the week on the WCDSBPray@Home site: https://wcdsblearnathome.wcdsb.ca/pray-at-home/

Video from Father Tim and Sarah from St. Anthony Daniel Parish with special blessings for Catholic Education Week: https://youtu.be/glwqrFyhHL4

Catholic Education Week Igniting Hope website :  http://www.goodnewsforall.ca/

Catholic Education Week Prayer

Loving God,

You sent your Son, Jesus, to be our hope. We feel his promised Spirit at work within us; We recognize his risen presence among us as we gather in his name in prayer, and celebrate the Eucharist. He is the hope which inspires us to share as members of the Catholic educational community, in your church’s mission to announce the Good News to the whole world. We thank you for the gift of Catholic education. May it continue to be a place where Christ ignites within us, an abiding confidence, in a future filled with hope.

We make this prayer through the same Christ, our Lord.


Did you know??

This week is also a focus on Mental Health! Try these daily activities to learn more about Mental Health and Strategies you can use!

Monday May 4th
Take a look at the resources that are available on our WCDSB website!

Tuesday, May 5th
Learn a little more about the Human Brain!  It matters!
Talk to your family about the brain.  What did you learn?

Wednesday, May 6th
Take a moment to read this article about Social Connection!
Take a minute to intentionally connect with someone today!  

Thursday, May 7th
The Happiness Advantage!  Check out this Ted Talk about how being HAPPY can help!

Friday, May 8th
What Calming Strategies can you use?
Take a look at the resources on the WCDSB website under the tab CALMING STRATEGIES…what works for you?

Saturday, May 9th
Making Stress your Friend!  We all experience stress and anxiety – here is a video about how to make it an ally!
What can you do to deal with your stress?

If you or a loved one needs help know that people are available for you:

Kids Help Phone connects children and youth who are struggling to a trained counsellor either by phone, text, or live webchat. Services are anonymous. Contact 1(800) 668-6868 or visit https://kidshelpphone.ca/


For children and youth who require more intensive support, Front Door provides Walk-In Counselling services, assessment, and referral to appropriate services in the community. The can be reached at (519) 749-2932 or visit www.frontdoormentalhealth.com


If you or someone you know is in crisis or requires immediate support, please contact Here24/7 (link to https://here247.ca/)  at 1 (844) 437-3247. Here 24/7 serves as both a crisis service, as well as a guide to help you figure out how to get help for mental health and addictions in Waterloo-Wellington.


For individuals in acute crisis/actively suicidal and unable to keep themselves safe, call 911 or visit your local emergency department (mental health services are available at Grand River Hospital and Cambridge Memorial hospital only).


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