A Message from WCDSB Director of Education ~ Return to School Updates

Dear WCDSB Community,

The last days of summer are winding down and we know that everyone’s thoughts have turned to the return to school.  We cannot wait to welcome all our staff and students back!  We hope you have had a safe, restful and enjoyable summer.  This letter brings a few important updates about our return and provides a link to a much more detailed overview of our Operational Guidelines.

 

Return to In-Person Learning

All schools will be open this September and St Isidore (our virtual school, for those who enrolled last June) will operate dedicated classes at the elementary level.  We will use a hybrid model in secondary for those students who have selected online learning for this year.  For our elementary students, their classroom is their main cohort, but students will be able to access specialized supports where needed.  In secondary – it will be a 2 period day.  Each class will be 150 minutes, with a 40-minute lunch in between.

 

Vaccination

On August 17th the Government of Ontario announced that they (and we by extension) will implement an immunization disclosure policy for all publicly funded school board employees and licensed child cares.  For those staff who cannot attest that they are fully vaccinated, they will be completing regular testing before reporting to their school or workplace.  The Chief Medical Officer of Health and Waterloo Region Public Health also strongly endorse all students ages 12 and older to access vaccination.

 

Masking

Students from K to 12 will continue to wear masks.  An exemption form is required for any student in grades 1 to 12 who is unable to wear a mask.  We will be strongly supporting this precaution, as Public Health and provincial guidance suggests that outside of vaccination, it is our best strategy to promote a healthy and safe environment for all.  We ask you to work with us to support students in understanding why we wear a mask and how to do so safely.  Those requesting an accommodation under the Human Rights Code should submit their exemption request to their school Principal.

 

Hand Hygiene and Distancing

We are pleased to share that there will be more access to resources and learning materials.  We will take a cautious approach but students will be sharing more objects within their classroom and have access to our learning commons spaces (libraries), so hand hygiene and distancing will remain important practices.  School staff will work with students to reinforce the strong habits that ensure a robust and safe learning environment for all.

 

Daily Screening

All staff and students are still required to complete daily screening, using the Ontario School Screener.  The tool is being updated to reflect the new protocols and we will share it and post it in our Operational Guidelines as soon as it is available.  This request is extremely important.  Any individual who is symptomatic should not come to school, even if they believe it is not COVID-19.

 

Lockers, Lunches and Recess

  • The use of lockers and cubbies will be permitted this year. Once again hand hygiene will be critical, students must be masked at all times in these areas and there is a 5-minute time limit at a locker and students should avoid congregating.
  • In secondary there will be some limited use of the cafeteria for selected classes; other students will have the option to eat in their classroom or leave the school building for the lunch period. There will be no food service in the secondary cafeterias.
  • Students in K-8 benefit from their breaks, activity and social time at recess. Masks do not have to be worn outside for recess, but it is always an option to do so.

 

Learning Kits for next year

Finally, just a short word to say that as shared last spring, we will be providing students and families from grades JK – 12 with WCDSB Learning Kits.   It is a small way to ensure heath and safety, while saying to you that you matter to us!  We value your faith in WCDSB and we cannot wait to welcome you back!

 

Please review our full Operational Guidelines to ensure you understand how we are ensuring a safe and happy return to school.

We are truly looking forward to a year that allows us to embrace a renewed love of learning, within our faith-based communities.  We remain ever grateful for your continued support and remain ready and willing to assist you as we transition back to what will undoubtedly be a #WCDSBAwesome year!

Sincerely

Loretta Notten

Director of Education

PDF of Welcome Back Letter August 2021

Back to School Update

Dear Thunderbird Families,

The staff of St. Daniel School are very excited to begin the new school year in September and see all our wonderful Thunderbirds returning to full day classes! As we approach this new beginning, we understand that there may be some questions about what the return to classes may look like. Please know that we are working very hard to get the latest information to you about what you can expect upon our return. As soon as it becomes available and as we move closer to our return, information will be shared through our school website and/or sent to your personal emails with up-to-date information. In the meantime, please read below for information that you may be interested in now.

 

Classroom Placement Information:

Preparing class lists is a process that involves hours of work, on behalf of all staff, to ensure that the needs of all of our students are met. Lists are fluid documents that may be changed and revised several times from now until into September. All of this depends on enrollment and the complexities that are associated with COVID-19.

A great deal of thought and reflection goes into the placement of each child. Many factors are considered in student placement, (e.g., academic abilities, social groupings etc.) In addition, we consult Board and Ministry of Education guidelines including those for combined classes.

Our goal is to place a child where they will achieve the most success academically while trying to balance their social development. A balanced class reflects the diversity and needs of our school community and all of our students. In order to maintain the integrity of classroom cohorts, there will be no class change requests accepted.

To find out your child’s teacher for this school year, simply access your child(ren)’s Cash Online account beginning at 4 p.m. on Friday, September 3rd. How to access Cash Online can be found here: Cash-online-sign-up-instructions

Kindergarten Information:

For our Year 1 students (JK) and for any new Year 2 (SK) students, you will receive notification about a time and the date where you can come in to meet your child’s Kindergarten team. Please save Tuesday, September 7th, in your calendars as your meeting date will be on this day, a time will be shared with you the week of August 30th. To help with the transition to school, all Year 1 students (JK) have a staggered start the first week of school. Your Year 1 (JK) child’s first week of school schedule will be shared at your visit.

For our existing Year 2 (SK) students, your first day of school will be Wednesday, September 8th, 9:10-3:40 and every day thereafter. 

School Bus Transportation:

For our bus students, information from the bus transportation company about your route has been made available beginning August 23rd. If you are unsure about your bus information, please visit www.stswr.ca where you can access your bus information by using your student login portal. If you are new to the website, you will have to create an account through the website. Please note it takes time to add/change students to routes, so please check as soon as possible. Please remember that all Kindergarten students must be met by a parent/guardian when transitioning from the bus. 

School Yard Procedures:

Please remember that when school commences on September 7th parents/guardians will not be permitted on the back school yard. It is highly recommended that you plan your pick up and drop off location well in advance, this way your child(ren) know where to meet. Some suggestions are:

 

  • Have a meeting spot on the path behind our school;
  • Park on Midland Drive and have a meeting spot along the fence;
  • Park in the large shared parking lot behind the church and have a meeting spot in a safe location on the church side of the school;
  • Kindergarten families will receive info on drop off and pick up routines in our next communication;
  • For safety purposes, all students will be required to cross at the identified designated crossing points when heading to the large shared church parking lot (see below).

Please note that all students from grades 1-8 will be dismissed from the middle doors of the school that lead to the blacktop area behind our school. 

We Need Your Help:

We are looking for adult volunteers to help us keep our Thunderbirds safe before and after school while crossing our laneway and parking lots. If you are interested in helping us out please see the attached flyer for more details. Link Here

Sacramental Message from St. Anthony Daniel Parish:

Attention: Students Entering Grade 3 who completed the Grade 2 First Communion Preparatory Classes in June 2021

 Dear Families of St. Daniel School 

 We know that you have been patiently awaiting the rescheduling of sacramental celebrations that were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The information and celebrations below are intended for students who completed Grade 2 in June 2021 and were registered participants in our Sacramental Preparation during that time.

All parents/caregivers are required to confirm their child’s intent to celebrate these sacraments on the given dates. 

We are using Eventbrite to facilitate using the links below.  

Because of our need to continue to socially distance we have limited our numbers for First Communion to 10 people per child (First Communicant & 9 others). 

 St. Daniel students & our families from our non-parish schools are being offered two options for this great celebration.

Once one time has reached the capacity, you will be required to select a different time.

 We are very pleased to announce the following new dates (please click on the appropriate time):

St. Daniel 

OPTION # 1 – October 30 @ 10 AM

 CANADIAN MARTYRS

OPTION # 2 – October 30  @ 1 PM

 We are so looking forward to celebrating First Communion with your families this Fall!

 Attention:  Students Entering Grade 8 who completed the Grade 7 Confirmation Preparatory Classes in June 2021

Dear Families of St. Daniel School

We know that you have been patiently awaiting the rescheduling of sacramental celebrations that were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The information and celebrations below are intended for students who completed Grade 7 in June 2021 and were registered participants in our Sacramental Preparation during that time.

All parents/caregivers are required to confirm their child’s intent to celebrate these sacraments on the given dates. We are using Eventbrite to facilitate using the links below.  Because of our need to continue to socially distance and to wear a face mask, we have limited Confirmation to 10 people per child (Confirmation Candidate & Confirmation Sponsor & 8 others). 

Please click the link below to register:

 OCTOBER 21 @ 7PM

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/st-daniel-confirmation-liturgy-tickets-167637912509

 We are so looking forward to celebrating the sacraments with your families this year!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

 Sarah & Father Tim

Mobile COVID Vaccine Clinic:

Great news Thunderbird, don’t miss this opportunity to get vaccinated. There will be a walk-in COVID-19 Vaccination Bus in the large church parking lot August 27th from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. No appointment is necessary. Please see the link for more details. Link Here 

Preparing for Our Return to School – WCDSB Mental  Health Supports

We know this past 18 months has been challenging for all of us and while we have developed many new skills and resilience, there may be some support still needed. With this in mind, our WCDSB has compiled some great resources and support materials that may assist our families if and when needed … Please see the link for more details:

Link Here

Nutrition for Learning

Our school will be looking to raise funds for our school program and the link provided below will take you directly to the donation page, you just have to select our school. Any donations will be directed to our program at our school. Please share with others that may be interested in supporting the school program in your neighbourhood.

School Finder – Nutrition for Learning

School Learning Kits for 2021-2022 School Year

By now, you are seeing all the “Back to School” commercials and flyers in the community. Please know that every student in Waterloo Catholic DSB will be provided with the essential back to school supplies by the school board. You do not need to purchase any school supplies for the classroom! Last year, each student received a Red Kit bag with school supplies. This year, the kits are a different colour depending on the grade level of the student.

Below, you can see the kit your child will be receiving to start the school year in September. Please do not purchase any additional items to send to school with your child as they are not necessary.  If you are looking to purchase items for school, a good backpack, lunch bag, refillable water bottle and a solid pair of indoor shoes should suffice. Classroom Teachers will update you about any further beginning procedures or items to consider, during the first 1-2 weeks of school but as stated, we are all set to go. A huge shout out to all of the people that helped put these kits together…Mrs. Rossiter was one of them!! Thank you to all!

Kindergarten Kits

Primary Kits

Junior Kits

Intermediate Kits

We are so excited to see all of you! Realizing that this could be causing some stress and anxiety for some, we would encourage you to take a deep breath, know that we are here for you, and tell yourself this “We will get through this together!” See you soon Thunderbirds!

More information to come soon!

Your Partners in Education,

St. Daniel Staff

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