COVID Update Please Read

Hello Thunderbird Families:

There has been a lot of questions and a lot of information out there regarding COVID-19.  Additionally, there is a great deal of misinformation as well.  We know things can be confusing especially when protocols change.  With this in mind, please read below to ensure you understand the process that we will follow effective immediately until we receive different directions from the Ministry, Public Health, and the Board.  Thanks for your continued support!

 

WHAT DO I DO IF MY CHILD HAS/DEVELOPS SYMPTOMS?

 

If your child has symptoms that are found on the COVID-19 School Screening Assessment found here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/ they should stay home.

 

Furthermore, if ANYONE in your household is staying home because of any symptoms (even just one), then EVERYONE in your household should isolate.

 

This isolation period for the symptomatic individual can end when ANY of the following happens:
  • There is a negative COVID-19 test
  • There is an alternate diagnosis from a medical professional
  • 10 days have passed since the symptom started, and it has not gotten worse, however, the remainder of the household must isolate for 14 days after the last contact with the symptomatic individual
This isolation period for the asymptomatic family members can end when ANY of the following happens:
  • The negative test results are received and confirmed
  • There is an alternate diagnosis from a medical professional
  • 14 days have passed since the last contact with the symptomatic family member (if there is no test result or alternate medical diagnosis
This is a change, Thunderbirds!  Please know that this applies to our students and their families, and our staff and their families.  This could present significant challenges over the course of the next few months and we thank you for your patience and support in advance.

 

In the meantime, please continue to practice proper handwashing, sanitizing, masking, and social distancing so that we can work together to keep everyone safe, healthy and in school.

 

WHAT DO I SAY WHEN I AM CALLING MY CHILD IN SICK?

 

If/When calling your child in ILL from school, please describe the symptom and let the office know which of the following you will seek:
  • A COVID-19 test
  • Going to the doctor, or
  • Self-isolating your family (siblings included)
Please ensure that you are completing the self-assessment each morning for each student.  A reminder that if one of your children has a COVID symptom ALL siblings from the school must stay at home as well.

 

Thank you for your patience and understanding.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the main office.

St. Isidore Report Card/IEP Pick Up

Hello Thunderbird Families:

Report cards have arrived at our main office for students who are currently studying at St. Isidore.
They will be available for pick up Monday-Friday of this week from the main office between 9:30 am-3:30 pm.
Kind reminders for pick up:
  • Please wear your mask at all times
  • Please keep a physical distance from others who may be waiting
  • Please buzz at the front door and we will provide you with the report card

If you cannot pick up the report card or IEP please call the office: 519-893-8801.

Thanks and take care!

Important COVID 19 Update from Director of Education Loretta Notten

Hello Thunderbird Community,

Please take a moment to read the following letter from our Director of Education, Loretta Notten. To keep our community safe and schools open we need your help. As always please be sure you are completing the self-screening tool with your children before you send them to school. If your child(ren) or any member of your household are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms please do not send your child(ren) to school. Please continue reading as there is new and important information in the message below. Thanks for your continued support.

Dear Waterloo Catholic Community,

As we approach the end of February, we sincerely hope that this letter finds you and your family well.  Today’s letter brings a number of very important updates that are important to continuing to provide safe, welcoming learning environments for all our Waterloo Catholic staff and students.  Please take the time to read each of these updates, and do not hesitate to reach out to your local school if there are items for which you require further information or clarification.
On Wednesday, February 17th the Minister of Education, informed by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, informed all school boards that there was an enhancement that would be adopted in terms of both screening and isolation guidance, as well as testing opportunities.  Please see below for these and other updates.

 

Screening:
Staff and students continue to be required to Self Screen before arriving at school (or immediately upon arrival).  Confirmation of screening continues to be required for all staff and our secondary students. The change is that  the new provincial direction requires that staff, students and children with any new or worsening symptom of COVID-19, as indicated in the school and child care screening tool, even those with only one symptom, must stay home until:
  • They receive a negative COVID-19 test result.
  • They receive an alternative diagnosis by a health care professional, or
  • It has been 10 days since their symptom onset and they are feeling better.
The student self-screener is found here:  COVID-19 school and child care screening

 

Isolation requirements:
Further – all asymptomatic household contacts (siblings, parents, grandparents) of symptomatic individuals are required to quarantine until the symptomatic household member:
  • receives a negative COVID-19 test result, or
  • receives an alternative diagnosis by a health care professional
If the symptomatic individual tests positive, or is not tested and does not receive an alternative diagnosis from a health care professional, the symptomatic individual must isolate (including from household members) for 10 days from symptom onset, and all household contacts must isolate until 14 days from their last contact with the symptomatic individual.
We realize this is a significant change and requirement for a family.  This is by provincial order and does not just apply to the education sector, but everyone in the province.  We may have to close some schools if too many staff are affected by this new requirement.  We will make every effort to avoid this reality.

 

Targeted Testing:
On February 16th, 2021 The Ministry informed us of some enhancements to Testing that will be implemented provincially.  These include:
  • Community Testing in selected sites: These are additional centers for any community member who is trying to access testing due to symptoms or as a result of being a contact.  You will receive a letter if your school community is being offered this service.
  • Increased Staff Testing: All asymptomatic staff have the ability to access selected community Pharmacies if they feel they want to access a test.
  • Targeted Testing for staff and students of selected schools: The Ministry has contracted companies to help in administering COVID tests to 5% of the schools within the Board (2-3 per week), representing 2% of our student population.  This service is for asymptomatic staff and students.  You will receive a letter if your community / school is being offered the opportunity.  It is fully voluntary and free of cost.  Clinics will run on weekends.
March Break:
On February 11th, The Minister also announced that March Break would be postponed.  We realize this is a disappointing development for children and families, but the good news it has not been cancelled altogether.  The Break will now occur after Easter, in the week of April 12th -16th.  We look forward to the well-deserved rest all staff and students will have the opportunity to enjoy in April.  Schools will communicate some changes that will occur in secondary as a result of this shift in dates.

 

Elementary Transition Survey:
We administered the elementary transition survey from February 16th – 18th, immediately after Family Day Weekend.  The official transition date for any student who chose to change their learning method will be Monday March 8th, 2021.
The results saw almost equal movement both ways – with 262 students moving to virtual learning at St Isidore and 290 students making the move back to in person learning.  This will necessitate some class re-organization but we are hoping that it will be minimized.  As previously indicated, there will be no more movement from one mode to the other for the remainder of the year.

 

Graduations:
We have made a decision that all elementary and secondary graduations will be virtual /adapted once again this year.  All indications would seem to suggest that while we hope to be in a much better place in terms of COVID transmission by the later spring and summer months, but planning starts much sooner than that.  We do not have enough assurances that large gatherings will be possible by then, so we have made a proactive decision that we will not run a traditional graduation celebration.  Your local school will be in touch about how this will be approached in your local site.
Once again, we encourage you to visit Ontario.ca/covidresponse to learn what public health measures are in place in our community – but also please be aware that these could change depending on the most current public health advice. We also suggest checking out the WCDSB website https://www.wcdsb.ca/living-learning-looking-forward/   and Region of Waterloo Public Health website https://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/health-and-wellness/2019-novel-coronavirus.aspx as they contain helpful resources and supports.  If you have any questions about what your particular school is doing, please reach out to your local school principal.
I will continue to remind all community members that mental health resources are available to students and families through Kids Help Phone, which offers 24/7 counselling and referral services across the province. To use this free resource, children can call 1-800-668-6868, or text CONNECT to 686868.
If there are any further updates we will certainly share them as soon as possible.  Please know that we continue to be in this together and day by day we will make it through.  Thank you for all that you have done to walk with us through this time.  As we journey thought Lent toward our Easter Season, let’s continue to remain people of hope, informed by our Faith.  Please reach out to us if you need help or guidance, and remain confident that we are here to support you, as we walk together as a hope-filled community.  #InThisTogether 
Sincerely,
Loretta Notten
Director of Education

Your Feedback is Requested

Hi Thunderbird Families:

The board is putting together its budget and part of the design is based on feedback from stakeholders such as students, parents and employees. Please take a few moments to share your thoughts to help the Senior Leadership team make the best decisions they can going forward.

Thanks for your participation!
  1. Understanding that the Board priorities are intended to support Graduation rates, Well-Being and Faith Formation. Please identify what you feel is the MOST important area for investment within the budget in order to achieve our priorities?
  1. Understanding that the Board priorities are intended to support Graduation rates, Well-Being and Faith Formation. Where do you think the Board could obtain savings or efficiencies?

Schools closed due to Weather – Adapted Learning Day from Home

Good Morning Thunderbirds:

It has been announced that it is an Adapted Learning Day due to Winter Weather.  This means that the schools are closed and it is an Asynchronous Learning Day (No virtual style lessons at scheduled times). Teachers will post a moderate and reduced amount of work by 9:30AM on Google Classroom/D2L that students can work at on at their own pace. Teachers will be available to answer questions and support your children through Google Classroom until 12:00 noon. Following that time they will be focused on developing lessons for the rest of the week.
Please make your family a priority and fit the learning in where it works best for you and your children. Do your very best to avoid the hazardous road conditions and try to make some fun memories between the learning. Stay Safe Everyone!

Term 1 Report Card and IEP Distribution for St. Daniel and St. Isidore

Hello Thunderbird Families:

Term 1 Report Cards and/or IEP’s for students attending in-person at St. Daniel School will be distributed at bell time, today, Friday, February 19th.

Students attending St. Isidore will have their February Report Card and/or IEP delivered to St. Daniel School next week. Upon receipt of them, families will be notified for pick up times. We will reach out to our families, once the Report Cards have been received.  Thank you.

FINAL DAY – Transition Survey closes TODAY at 6pm

Transition Window Closes TODAY at 6pm

Today is the final day for the Elementary Transition survey.
Please click on the link below if you intend to change your child’s learning environment.

WCDSB Elementary Transition form

You only need to complete the survey if you are looking for a transfer.
There will be no requests for changes granted after the survey closes. Additionally, as this is the final transition point for the 2020-21 school year, there will be no requests to change learning mode granted through to the end of June.
Again — the survey closes at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 18, 2021
Thank you for taking the time to state your choice and for assisting us in having the staffing, resources, and programming in place to assist the ongoing learning and success of your children.

Last Chance to Register for Online School

Hello Thunderbird Families:

Please note that your final opportunity to state your preference for a transfer for your child’s elementary school learning mode begins at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, and ends at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 18, 2021.

A special online survey has been created for you to state your choice. The survey is not yet active. It will be activated at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 16th.

The form will be available on our main webpage in the spotlight section – www.wcdsb.ca

You only need to complete the survey if you are looking for a transfer.

Please ensure you complete the survey during the stated February 16th to 18th time frame, as there will be no requests for changes granted after the survey closes. Additionally, as this is the final transition point for the 2020-21 school year, there will be no requests to change learning mode granted through to the end of June.

Again — the survey closes at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 18, 2021

Thank you for taking the time to state your choice and for assisting us in having the staffing, resources, and programming in place to assist the ongoing learning and success of your children.

February 16: School Closed With Adapted Learning Happening From Home

Hello Thunderbird Families:

It has been announced that it is an Adapted Learning Day due to Winter Weather. This means it is an Asynchronous Learning Day (no virtual style lessons at scheduled times). Teachers will post a moderate and reduced amount of work by 9:10AM on Google Classroom that students can work at on at their own pace. Teachers will be available to answer questions and support your children through Google Classroom until noon. Following that time, they will be focused on developing lessons for the rest of the week.

Please make your family a priority and fit the learning in where it works best for you and your children. Do your very best to avoid the hazardous road conditions and try to make some fun memories between the learning.

Stay Safe Everyone!

Thunderbird Update

Hey Thunderbird Families:

We hope this finds you well. It has been a great first week back in the Thunderbird Nest! Thanks so much for all your support with the transition back to face-to-face learning! We hope Family Day and Valentine Day weekend is restful filled with much laughter and love! Please take a moment to continue reading some of our important updates.

March Break Postponed: 

With the Minister’s announcement on February 11th, March Break will be postponed until tentatively the week of April 12th. We will update you as we find out more information.

 

Pick-Up Drop Off:

Families, we need your help! We have noticed an influx of families using the ring road and parking spaces at the front of our school for the pickup of their children at the end of the day. Please do not use this parking lot or the spaces to pick up your kids at the end of the day. This lot is reserved for our students with special needs or families that have mobility needs. If you have a mobility need please let us know. All other families can park on Midland Drive or in the large church parking lot. Thank you!

 

Mandatory Self-Screening of Students:

Students must check for symptoms of illness every day before going to school. You can screen your child or yourself by taking the COVID-19 school and child care screening

 

Extended Day Families:

When dropping off your child(ren) for the Extended Day Program please ensure you are wearing a mask. Even if you are only dropping off your child outside. Thank you for your support as we adjust to this new norm. Also, Extended Day Programs will not be operating during the delayed” March Break” the week of April 12-16, 2021. All WCDSB Extended Day Programs will be operating March 15-19, 2021.

 

Pizza Thunderbird Thursday:

Don’t forget to take advantage of our Thunderbird Combo during every Thursday in February! Don’t feel like cooking dinner, we have the answer for you! Don’t feel like making lunch on Friday, we have the answer for you! Don’t forget to order your Thunderbird Combo! $5.00 from each order goes directly back to our school! Call: 519- 894-4444

 

Inclement Weather Days:

When schools are closed, work will be posted on students digital learning platforms (i.e. Google Classroom) by 9:10 am. It is expected students will work asynchronously throughout the day and teachers will be available for assistance until 12pm.

 

Kindergarten Registration:

Families of students who are eligible to start kindergarten for the 2021/22 school year, please register online and we will contact you with further registration details: Register Here. If you have any questions, please contact us at 519-893-8801. Year One (born in 2017) or your child (born in 2016) who presently is NOT attending Year One (JK) but will be attending Year Two (SK) in 2021. If your child is already a kindergarten student at St. Daniel you do NOT need to reregister them, this is only for new students. 

Due to COVID protocols, we will be unable to handle drop in registrations, appointments MUST be made in advance.

Registration for September 2021 will be held as follows:

Tuesday, February 16th, 2021 — 9:30-4:00 am

Wednesday, February 18th, 2021 — 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

A parent or legal guardian of the child being registered is required to present the following:

  • A birth certificate or other legal proof of your child’s age (i.e. passport, permanent resident card)
  • A Catholic Baptismal Certificate of either parent or child, and
  • Proof of address documentation (i.e. utility bill, property tax bill, bank document, purchase/rental/lease agreement, passport, permanent residence card Note: Driver’s License is not accepted)

We look forward to meeting our newest Thunderbirds! If you know someone in our community/neighbourhood with a child in this age group, please share this information with them.

 

Want to switch mode of learning starting March 8th?

An opportunity to transition from face-to-face learning to virtual or from virtual to face-to-face will be happening on February 16th at 9 am to February 18th at 6 pm. Check out the following link for the survey: Switch modes of learning

 

Celebrating Lent at home:
Ash Wednesday, February 17th, 2021, begins the Holy Season of Lent. The Diocese of Hamilton has prepared a resource sheet for families that encourages a prayerful observance of this Holy Season. To watch this video and access additional resources for celebrating Lent in pandemic times, please see the Diocesan. As a school community, we will be meeting virtually every Monday during the Lenten season. Our goal is to share the reasons for the season and to observe all of the special days during this special Liturgical Season! Also, each classroom will be observing Shrove (Pancake) Tuesday in their own special way. Please look to your child’s classroom sites for specific details.

 

Diocese of Hamilton | Ash Wednesday at Home (hamiltondiocese.com)

Additional Resources during the Lenten Season (hamiltondiocese.com)

Go to Top