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We Can’t Wait To See You!

Hello Thunderbird Families:

We are excited to welcome our students back to the Thunderbird Nest this week.  Tomorrow we welcome our Grade 1 and 2 students. We will have staff to support your children at 8:55 a.m. Please remember to help us stop the spread of COVID 19 and refrain from coming onto our school yard, we will be there to help.

There are three videos in Tigrinya, Spanish and Mandarin.  They explain the staggered entry:


Please take a Moment to Watch this Video

Hi Thunderbird Families:

We sure are excited to see you soon! Please take a moment to watch this fantastic video with your child(ren). It is a great way to help them understand some of the changes they will see to keep them safe and may alleviate any concerns they might have upon their return. The video is under 3 minutes.

Link to video:

Thanks so much!

Video Message from WCDSB Director of Education

Hello Thunderbird Families:

As we get closer to Tuesday we will continue to send you all of the pertinent information you will need to know. Please be sure to check our Newswire regularly. Below you will find a link from Loretta Notten our Director of Education responding to many questions the WCDSB parent community have. The video is about 30 minutes long and may answer many of your questions.

Take good care and we will see you soon!

Back to School Information

Hello Thunderbird Families:

For those that have not had a chance to read please have a look. Also, at this time all information regarding who your child’s(ren) teacher is can be found on their Cash Online account. The staff is very excited to welcome back our students to the Thunderbird Nest. We know it has been a very difficult time for families and we will do all we can to facilitate a safe and positive return to St. Daniel School. The following messaging has very important information regarding the first day of school and various items you need to know. Please take time to read it carefully.

For the safety of our Thunderbird community we respectfully ask that on the first day of school and everyday thereafter families/caregivers remain off of the school yard when dropping your child(ren) off to school in the morning and picking up at the end of the day. 

We can truly appreciate how difficult this time and message may be for you and your children, many of us are parents ourselves. However, we need to work together to ensure that we minimize the spread of COVID 19 and we can only do that together. Staff will be available on the school yard to help your child(ren) and support our transition back to school including new Health and Safety Protocols such as this one.

If you pick your child up at the end of the day, this will require you to decide on a pick up location for your child(ren), and to practice what your procedure will look like. When deciding on a spot please do not pick up your child on our school yard, at the front of the school, in the lane-way where the buses are loading, or at the side door by the buses/garbage bin, this area is reserved for safely transporting our bus students. We will not be using the doors by the lane-way to dismiss students to families. We suggest you determine a spot on the path behind our school far enough away from our school yard, blacktop areas and climbing structure as we need this space to organize our bus students in a safe manner. Please note that the climbing structure is closed to our students. To alleviate any confusion, please do not enable your child(ren) to play on the playground in the morning or at the end of the day, thank you.

We are lucky to have a lot of space surrounding our school and easily identifiable areas close to the path for you to safely pick up your Thunderbird student(s). Please do not come on to the school yard or stand near the blacktop, portables, portable walkway, school doors or the perimeter of the school. Again, we highly recommend you determine a spot with your child(ren) and practice your after school pick up procedure. All dismissal routines will be adhered to regardless of inclement weather, so be sure your child(ren) is/are dressed for the weather.

Our Kiss and Drop Drive-Thru through at the front of the school and will be open before school for you to safely drop your child off. When entering the Kiss and Drop area, please do so in a single file; do not pull up beside another vehicle and let your child(ren) out. Please do not park, get out of your car, or park in our front parking lot at any time before or after school. This area is reserved for staff, students/families with mobility issues and for students that require special transportation. Please be patient and kind as this area is very busy in the morning. 

If you or your child has mobility concerns and has a mobility parking permit for mobility issues, and if you have not done so already, please notify the school the last week of August and we will do our best to accommodate you or your child.

Week One Procedures 

  • On Friday, Sept 4th please log into your Cash Online account and see your child(ren) teacher placement. It is important for you and your child(ren) to know who their teacher is to facilitate lining up in the correct classroom line on their first day. If you do not have COL please follow this link for COL instructions. Cash-online-sign-up-instructions
  • Please be sure you tell your student who their classroom teacher is so they know who they are looking for when they arrive to school;
  • WCDSB has outlined a staggered start for all grade levels to ensure the safety of students and staff. Please read the schedule below carefully to ensure your son/daughter shows up to school on the correct day;
  • If you have selected the remote learning platform you will be contacted by a member of WCDSB with start up information. These classes are scheduled to start on Monday, Sept 14th. 

Staggered Schedule:

  • Monday September 7 enjoy family time!
  • Tuesday September 8 Grades 1-2 
  • Wednesday September 9 Grades 1-2, and  3-4
  • Thursday September 10 Grades 1-4 and  5-6 
  • Friday September 11 Grades 1-6 and 7-8

Pick Up/Drop Off:

  • While dropping your child at school on the designated date students are to come to the back of the school on their own. Parents/Caregivers are not to come on to the back school yard at any time;
  • Teachers will be on the yard to help students match up with the correct classroom by holding up grade level signage with the teachers name;
  • Please have an end of day pick up location pre-arranged to make an easy transition at the end of the school day; 
  • Due to social distancing restrictions we kindly ask that your drop your child(ren) off as close as possible to the bell time and promptly pick them up at the end of the day;
  • Students are strongly encouraged to arrive on time to avoid congestion in the office to get late slips – social distancing rules will apply and this will create a slower process; 

Daily Self-Assessment for Students and Staff 

  • All students and staff are required to take the COVID-19 self-assessment daily before coming to school:
  • If your child has any cold or flu-like symptoms, please do not send them to school; 
  • If your child presents symptoms during the school day, s/he will be sent to a waiting room in the school. Parents will be called and must pick up their child immediately; 
  • Parents are then encouraged to contact Public Health, have their child tested and follow Public Health direction.

Safety Protocols 

Our main strategies include:

  • Physical Distancing (1m apart with masks indoors, 2m apart without masks outdoors) 
  • Hand Washing/Sanitizing (We have hand sanitizer in all classrooms and throughout the school. You may choose to send a travel size bottle of unscented sanitizer with your child.) 
  • Masks (mandatory for all students in JK to Grade 8). Please label masks with your child’s name on it and consider ways for your child(ren) to store their mask on them while outside (eg. lanyard, fanny pack, etc.).  

Other safety measures: 

  • Classrooms are set up with students’ desks 1 metre apart and facing forward; 
  • Drinking fountains will not be available. Water bottle filling stations will still be available; 
  • Signage will be placed around the school to remind students of our protocols, e.g., hygiene, physical distancing and directional arrows for hallway traffic; 
  • Students will wipe down Chromebooks before and after use. Students are encouraged to bring their own devices if possible; 
  • Students will eat lunch at their own desks. They will be responsible for cleaning their own desks after they eat. All lunch items will be returned home and not disposed of at school. This is called a boomerang lunch/snack; 
  • Learning Kits will be provided for each student, so students are not sharing supplies (no need to bring any school supplies); 
  • Student agendas will be used for each student’s own personal use, remaining on site, not travelling back and forth between home and school; 
  • Home/School communication will take place digitally through the Google Classroom / D2L platforms, emails, or phone calls (teachers will send home further information); 
  • Pizza days are suspended for now; 
  • Extended day students and staff will spend approximately 40 minutes before and right after school outside so that proper cleaning may happen in the shared Kindergarten rooms; 
  • Staff will review all safety protocols with students;
  • There will be enhanced cleaning/sanitizing in the school throughout the day.

Kindergarten Families

If you are a parent of a Kindergarten student and your child(ren) teacher is Mrs. Kroisenbrunner’s or Mrs. McLaughlin please drop them off at your child(ren) external classroom door. They are at the front of the school. If your child is in Mrs. Dankowsky or Mrs. Haas-Craig’s class please drop them off in the Kindergarten fenced area. At all locations, a staff member will be there to greet your child(ren). 

If you will be picking up your Kindergarten child(ren) at the end of the day, Kindergartens will be dismissed in four locations. Mrs. Kroisenbrunner’s and Mrs. McLaughlin class will be dismissed from the external door in their classroom. Mrs. Dankowsky and Mrs. Haas-Craig’s class will be dismissed from the Kindergarten fenced area at the front of the school. Mrs. Dankowsky’s class will line up closest to the portables along the fence and Mrs. Haas-Craig’s class along the school wall. 

Students will be dismissed one at a time. Please stand back when picking up your child and adhere to all distancing rules (2 meters apart). Until our staff get to know you, a staff member will approach you staying distanced and ask you who you are there to pick up, if they do not know you, you will be asked for identification and checked on our approved pick up list. We recognize that you may have other children you are picking up, so all Kindergarten students will be ready for pick up at 3:30. Kindergarten families are not to park/stop in the front parking lot. 

St. Isidore Virtual School Information:


  • ALL students must wear masks on the bus;
  • Please log into the student transportation website to find the current pick up times and location of your child(ren) bus stop.
  • Families are encouraged to find alternative methods for getting to and from school with School Travel Planning 
  • Students will be in a seating order and are expected to stay in this arraignment;
  • Students are to listen to the driver, stay in their seat, face front, not eat or take out their devices.

School Tools 

  • All students will be provided with a personal bag of school supplies appropriate to their grade level e.g. crayons, pencils, pens etc;
  • Please do not send your child to school with school supplies, toys or other items from home. 


  • Please refrain from coming on the back school yard when dropping off or picking up your child. You will be redirected by staff to leave the school yard;
  • Use the city path as a meeting spot or determine another meeting spot away from our school yard when picking up your child(ren);
  • Your child(ren) will be dismissed from the back middle doors. No students will leave from the front doors or middle doors on the church side. Please wait for your child(ren) on the path.


  • Playground structures will be CLOSED until further notice – families, please help us ensure your children are NOT using the equipment before or after school;
  • Students will be able to have a break from wearing masks during the outdoor recess periods. Students will have to wear masks while transitioning from recess breaks. It is suggested you determine an appropriate spot for you child(ren) to put their mask, (e.g., break away lanyard, ziplock bag etc; 
  • Recesses/Lunch will be staggered and students will be separated into divisional zones of play appropriate to their grade and are to remain 2m apart. 

Office Procedures/Communication

  • Parents and care-givers will only be permitted to the office area in event of student illness or medical emergency whereby the student cannot be walked outside by school staff to meet the parent;
  • Please call the school when you arrive if you are picking up a student due to illness or medical emergency and remain in your vehicle until instructions are provided, (519-893-8801);
  • The office staff will sign out your child(ren) while you wait for them in front of the main doors;
  • When in the office/school visitors must wait on the yellow circle and remain behind the plexiglass while wearing a mask at all times;
  • Only preapproved people will be entering the school and are to sanitize their hands at the station by the door and wear a mask;
  • All approved visitors must sign in and out of the school;
  • We STRONGLY encourage students to arrive on time to avoid the need for a late slip as we do not want line-ups in the small office space. Please ensure students arrive on time to avoid the need for a late slip and to avoid line ups in the small office space area;
  • Requests to meet with school staff will be in the form of a phone call or a virtual meeting involving the appropriate staff members.


  • Lunch and snack drop-offs to the school will not be permitted. Please ensure your son/daughter has lunch and snacks for the day in advance. Please make sure they have a full reusable water bottle with them daily;
  • All lunch wrappers/packaging etc. will return home with your child(ren); 
  • Nutrition for Learning program will run with all food items prepackaged and waiting in classrooms;  
  • Students will not be permitted to leave for lunch without a parent/guardian with them, they must be signed out, please call the office to sign them out and are to return to the office to be signed in and sanitized before entering the main school area/grounds;
  • Please note that lunch times are staggered so they will not be our regular lunch times; The classroom teacher will provide you with lunch times. 


WCDSB has made significant investments to ensure our students and staff have access to a variety of current technology. When we return to school, Chromebooks will be cleaned by staff and students before and after use. However, you may feel more comfortable if your child has their own device. Personal phones are not to be used during school time for social media, texting, and entertainment purposes. Personal devices, such as a Chromebook, can be utilized for learning and education.

If you bring your own device, you do so at your own risk. We are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged devices. As well, students must follow the teacher and staff direction for when and how to use technology in the classroom. As students have engaged more with the technology that is available in their classrooms, many families have expressed interest in purchasing a device for their child to use at school and at home. WCDSB families have reached out, seeking advice about which technology would best support their child’s learning, is reasonably priced, yet durable enough to withstand the wear and tear of daily use as it’s transported back and forth to school each day.
Devices for Families in Need: Free learning device/computer offerings for low-income families:

Visit our web site to learn more about the programs and devices that are available for purchase through STAPLES and Dell: 


All community centre parking/stopping and the ring road in front of the community centre is closed to our school, please do not stop or park there. Additionally, there is no parking/stopping in the laneway or in the small church trough by the front church doors at any time.

Parking is always available in the large church parking lot best accessed from Franklin Boulevard or you can park on Midland Drive following and noting all parking and stopping signs/bylaws. 

Please refer to the Board website for any additional questions or concerns you may have:


Please sign up for our school Newswire to receive emails regarding important information happening at the school. Visit this link . We are also using a new system this year School Messenger. It can be in the form of a phone call and or email from our school. Sometimes these emails go to your junk emails so please check it regularly to make sure you didn’t miss communication from the school. 

We hope this alleviates some of your worries as together in partnership, we prepare for the new school year as never before. In the end, our goal is to keep everyone safe. Patience and kindness to our neighbours and Thunderbird community is essential. Belligerent language/gestures, raised voices and rude tones will not be tolerated at any time. 

If ever you have any questions please contact the school at: 519-893-8801.

Thanks for your continued support,

Mrs. Giglio-Chiasson                                                        Ms. Weber
Principal                                                                              Vice Principal

Return to School Update

Hello Thunderbird Families:

As we continue sharing information with you we ask that you read it carefully.  Please know that as things change, we will attempt to provide you with the most updated information that we have.  If you know of families that are not getting our updates it would be very helpful if you kindly suggest that they sign up for our Newswire on our school website.  Additionally, if you have NOT completed the return to school survey that was shared a few weeks back please call the school: 519-893-8801. Below you will find information about the upcoming school year from our Director of Education Loretta Notten and from your St. Daniel School Admin Team.  There will be more information to come about what to expect on the first day of school next week. 

The start of school is now just around the corner and it is our most sincere hope that while you may have some questions or apprehension about the return, that there is also an equal measure of joy and celebration to be returning just a little bit closer to life and learning as we previously knew it.  Throughout the summer planning has been taking place and as we have said before, at the forefront of all our thinking has been a concern for Health and Safety. As you may know, frequent announcements and clarifications continued to be received by WCDSB senior staff and as a result, our plans did continue to be refined and did evolve.  We have done our very best to not deviate too greatly from those plans upon which you based your decisions back in early August regarding your learning preference for your child as we return to school.

There is a fair bit of information contained within this letter, but we know you will agree that it is important to communicate what we know and to ensure you understand the plan.  With that said, we would like to offer a few very important updates. 

The Parent Survey:

We thank you for responding to our survey – we have heard from the greater majority of all families, but we must account for every student, so if you have not completed the survey – you MUST do so through your local school.  We would ask that if you have completed the survey that you do NOT revisit the survey.  The survey has been removed from our Board website.  We can no longer allow parents to change their mind without compromising the safety of our students.  We are planning based on survey responses and the information that informed your choice has not substantively changed since we launched the survey.  We appreciate your understanding in this regard.  We have approximately 13% of families who have selected to begin the year in our virtual school, now called St Isidore (the patron saint of the internet).

Virtual School versus Home School:

If your family/child has selected to begin the year learning virtually, then the student becomes shared between their home school and St Isidore.  For full clarity – the student is no longer assigned to their home school teacher, but to their teacher in the virtual school, and all communication during that time will be with the virtual school teacher and administration.  Should the decision be made to return to face to face learning – the student returns to their home school and is placed in a class with space.

Secondary Model:

As you know, our secondary model begins with 150 minutes of face to face instruction in the morning, by cohort.  The afternoon features a synchronous (live learning with a teacher) period everyday for every student, followed by a 75 min asynchronous (not live) period everyday for every student.  The model remains similar to what we previously published, but the addition of the 75 minute asynchronous learning period, which will follow their every afternoon synchronous class of 75 minutes, is new.  This will mean that each student experiences a full 300-minute learning day.  This 75-minutes of asynchronous learning will flow from the previous synchronous lesson.

Transition Dates:

We previously published that changes could be made from virtual learning to face to face learning (or vice versa) at 4 week intervals.  The deeper we have gone into the planning and with the number of students to schedule in our virtual school, we have had to make an adjustment.  To that end:

In Elementary:  families/students may transition after the first 4 weeks of instruction (Thanksgiving – accounting for the staggered start), but after that it will be only at Progress Reports in November and first Report Card in January.

In Secondary:  families/students will be confined to transferring between learning modalities at the end of the term (November and thereafter end of January)

Staggered Start Schedule:

We know that there will be many new routines for our students to learn, we are continuing to work hard to prepare our schools and to prepare our staff to welcome our students.  We feel it is prudent and critical to a successful start to stagger the start of school for our students.  We are also challenged to fully schedule and staff our virtual school(s).  To that end, the following is the start up schedule for September:

Kindergarten Schedule:

Monday: No School
Tuesday: Year 1 JK Visits You will receive a call on Monday August 31st with your visit time.
Wednesday: All Year 2 SK students attend and continue to attend everyday.
All Year 2 SK students attend school and half of the Year 1 JK students attend. You will find out what day you Year 1 JK student attends at your visit.
Friday: All Year 2 SK students attend school and the other half of the Year 1 JK students attend. Monday September 14th all JK/SK students attend.

Grades 1-8 Schedule: 

Grades 1 and 2 Sept 8th
Grades 1, 2,  3 and 4 Sept 9th
Grades  1, 2, 3, 4,  5 and 6 Sept 10th
Grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,  7 and 8 Sept 11th
Elementary Virtual School Sept 14th
Secondary Virtual School Sept 17th


St Daniel School Bell Times:

Start of School: 9:10
Dismissal: 3:40
To help alleviate any first day confusion, please be prompt when arriving to school and when picking up from school. There will be information shared next week as to the expectations around arrival and dismissal of students.

Class Placements:

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.

In order to find out your teacher for this school year, you will need to access your child’s(ren) Cash Online account. On Friday September 4th. Information will be posted by 4:00 PM.


Students need to be reminded that seats on the bus are assigned and they are not to sit anywhere other than their assigned seat.  Masks are required by all students to ride the bus.  There will be masks on the bus available for a child who may have forgotten their mask.  Secondary students should only report to buses on the day that their cohort is experiencing face to face learning. Questions about busses can be directed to Student Transportation Services of Waterloo Region (STSWR).

 Health and Safety/Masking:

As we all know, life for each of us has evolved.  Masks are now part of our daily reality.  Masks are a way of both containing the virus and protecting us from the virus.  Per provincial direction and the public health authorities, masking will be mandatory for all students in grades 4-12.  If a child needs to be exempted from wearing a mask, an exemption form must be completed and approved by the principal.  The policy on masking will be found on our website shortly and the exemption form will be linked.  Masks are also required by our students in grades K-3, but no form is required for an exemption if a child cannot wear a mask.

Students are encouraged to have their own refillable water bottle, to be encouraged to wash hands frequently and parents are asked to ensure that a self-assessment is completed everyday before coming to school

Those students attending our Extended Day program must login to complete the digital (self) assessment form each morning before arriving at the program.


Wash Your Hands Website! Waterloo Public Health

Wearing a Mask for Kids

Operational Guidelines:

WCDSB has now published on its website our Operational Guidelines.  They make clear the expectations for all members of our WCDSB community, as well as giving insights into the protocols required in our various program areas.  While lengthy, I encourage you to review them, and in particular any area that is relevant to your child and their learning.

Outbreak Protocol:

On Tuesday August 26th, the province outlined its Outbreak Protocol.  It will be available on our WCDSB website in our Operational Guidelines, and the Minister has also referenced it in his letter to you.  Rest-assured that there will be a prompt and transparent response anytime we are dealing with a staff or student member who has tested positive for COVID.  We will coordinate that response with Waterloo Region Public Health.  We do ask all students and parents to ensure a self-assessment has been done each and every day before coming to school.  We also ask students to stay home if you are not feeling well.

A reminder that our plan for re-opening schools is available on our website and that we continue to update both the FAQ section and any other material as need be.  Reviewing the plan and the Operational Guidelines when you have any questions is a great place to find answers.

Student Kits:

Every year we think about preparing a student’s backpack.  This year we have many more considerations as we prepare our students for their return.  We want to ensure that we get off to a strong start and so we are currently preparing a personal learning kit for each and every student in our system.  It will have all the basic learning materials a student needs for their learning and will ensure there is not sharing of those everyday items.  And as outlined in our Operational Guidelines, we will have protocols to ensure we are not sharing/breeching safety when dealing with other items within our classrooms.  The Learning Kits will not leave the classroom, for those students learning face to face.  Contents of the kit can be seen within our Operational Guidelines.

We recognize that there is a lot to process – and certainly a great deal more on our website, but the most important message is this:  we cannot wait to welcome our students back!  We have missed you and there is going to be great joy in being reunited, in hearing chatter and laughter in our classrooms and playgrounds once again.  We are rooted in a faith that reminds us at every turn that we are people of hope.  We know that we are a community that is strengthened by Christ and He teaches us to love unconditionally.  We may stumble at times on our path, but if we pick each other up, if we walk side by side, if we show mercy and grace while seeing the face of Jesus in all whom we encounter, we will have a great year of learning.  We are ready to welcome you back!

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.  #WCDSBTogether  #ThunderbirdPride



Loretta Notten                                              Vella Giglio-Chiasson                               Jessica Weber
Director of Education                                  Principal                                                     Vice Principal
WCDSB                                                           St. Daniel C.E.S                                         St. Daniel C.E.S


Back to School Update

Hello Thunderbird Families!

We have 2 weeks to go until we are in the final weekend of summer and our return to school. We miss you incredibly and are very busy preparing for your return. Our school may be closed right now but our community is working to ensure that everyone feels safe and secure as we enter back into learning. 

In the meantime, please see the link as an overview of what to expect on September 8th. There is a lot of information, so kindly read it over carefully: WCDSB Re-Opening Plan. 

If your child is in Year 1 or Year 2 of Kindergarten, expect that a St. Daniel staff member will be in touch in the next week or so to relay opening information and information around your JK visit or new to St. Daniel School SK visit. 

Remote Learning:

If you have selected remote learning, please know that a WCDSB staff will be in contact with you to review how your child(ren) can be successful with remote learning. This learning will commence on Monday, September 14th, 2020. Please stay tuned for more information in regard to school start-up throughout the week.

 Other Important Information:

  • Our school will be providing a kit for each student that will be grade-appropriate (pens, crayons, highlighter, pencil crayons, etc.) to avoid potential cross-contamination.
  • Each classroom will be equipped with a supply of hand sanitizer, but you may feel more comfortable sending your child(ren) with a travel size bottle to support hand hygiene routines.
  • Label everything including mask and their personal belongings.
  • Pack a mask (cloth or disposable). Masks are required for Grade 4 and up and recommended for JK to grade 3. If possible, pack more than one mask.
  • A set of non-marking indoor shoes and a set of outdoor shoes.
  • Please label backpacks, lunch-bags, shoes, containers etc.
  • In keeping our school safe, please familiarize yourself with the self-assessment tool.
  • Covid19 Return to School Busing – Transportation details are now provided and can be found at this link:
  • Explain that because of COVID-19 there will be changes to school routines.
  • Explain we can limit the spread of germs by wearing a face covering, avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth, and sneezing and coughing into a tissue or elbow/sleeve. Be positive as your child works to develop these skills, as it takes time to develop new habits.
  • Teach your child how to wash hands properly. Learn hand-washing together by watching videos geared to your child’s developmental age and practice timing 15 to 20 seconds by humming musical tunes together.
  • Help your child get used to wearing a face-covering as well as putting it on, taking it off and storing it safely.
  • Prepare your child for new school rules to help limit close contact between people (physical distancing measures).
  • Ask your child what questions or worries they have and respond as best you can. It is okay to say there is information that you don’t know yet, and you will learn together.
  • Learning devices will be shared between classes with an intensive cleaning protocol before the device goes from one child to child. However, you may choose to purchase your child(ren) their own device. The WCDSB has a partnership with Dell and STAPLES to make purchasing a device easier. It becomes more affordable and you know the device is compatible with our school network: .

We recognize that the pandemic has significantly affected all families, students and staff. Our reopening is designed to provide routine reestablish classrooms as places where caring adults can nurture positive and trusting relationships with your child(ren) and have them learn to their greatest potential. We will continue to communicate with you in the days ahead to keep you informed. 

We are excited to welcome you and your child(ren) back to the Thunderbird Nest!  


Return to School Update

Hello Thunderbird Families:

Our sincere thanks for completing the recent “Return to School” survey. Currently, our Board staff are following up with families across the system to ensure we have a response from all and are able to plan accordingly for September.

Please know that we will communicate any additional start up information, protocol expectations for school (wearing masks, physical distancing, etc.), and in-person and online learning with you as soon as we have further details available. At this time, the WCDSB is working closely with Waterloo Region Public Health and the Ministry, and updates will be shared in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, there is a resource that may be helpful for your family. The following set of slides were created by Darren Abenstein from Vaughan – his wife is a family physician. There are plenty of great tips to help your family prepare for our return to school. Please follow this link: Family Return to School.

Additionally, to communicate with families more succinctly, the WCDSB has added a new messaging system to all schools. This new system will be another way we will be communicating pertinent information with our community throughout the school year.

The SchoolMessenger Communicate system currently uses telephone and email to notify parents/guardians and staff of routine and urgent information related to school activities, parent engagement activities, or emergency messages.

SchoolMessenger Communicate utilizes the parent/guardian contact information from Aspen, our student/family contact system to send a phone call to the home number and an email to the student’s main contact. So, you do not miss out on any important communications, it is essential that your contact information is always up to date.

This system is intended to augment and not replace other methods of communications such as NewsWire, letters, Twitter, and class websites. Our teachers, Principal and Vice Principal will still be accessible for live socially distanced visits, phone calls and will continue to communicate via current methods including Newswire, Twitter, class websites and paper-based correspondence.

The WCDSB’s implementation of the SchoolMessenger Communicate system is intended to extend its commitment to remain personally connected with families by offering targeted messaging to specific families and timely communications.

We are grateful for your patience and understanding and are looking forward to seeing our Thunderbirds soon!

Mrs. Giglio-Chiasson                                  Ms. Weber
Principal                                                        Vice Principal


Friendly Reminder

Hello Thunderbird Families:

Just a friendly reminder if you have not had a chance to do so, please fill out the return to school survey found in the link below. The link closes today.

We want to offer our assurances that we will be prioritizing health and safety, learning continuity and equity of access for all our students. Nonetheless, for some of our families, you may choose to have your child learn from home.  That is an option for you. We need EVERY family to complete the survey for EACH child, as that is how we will prepare properly for the fall.  Please complete this SURVEY

For Spanish and Arabic Translations see below:

Sabemos que el anuncio de la provincia indica un “regreso convencional” para estudiantes de primaria, lo que significa asistir a la escuela 5 días a la semana, a tiempo completo. En la medida de lo posible, se observará “cohorte”, lo que significa que se hará todo el esfuerzo necesario para limitar el número de contactos con los que cada persona, miembro del personal o estudiante, entra en contacto durante el transcurso del día.  De igual manera, el uso de mascarilla sera obligatorio para los estudiantes de cuarto a octavo grado y permanecera opcional para los estudiantes de JK a grado 3, y, hasta donde sea posible, se respetará la distancia física de 1 metro.

Para los estudiantes de secundaria, la provincia ha indicado que todas las escuelas de la Región de Waterloo abrirán bajo un “regreso modificado”, lo que significa que los estudiantes asistirán a clases presenciales 50% del tiempo. La Junta Católica de Waterloo se ha comprometido a un “modelo cuatrimestral” que implica llevar únicamente dos cursos al mismo tiempo (es decir, es un modelo de 4 términos en lugar de un modelo basado en 2 semestres). Hemos formulado un modelo mediante el cual los estudiantes solo conviven cara a cara con un grupo específico de alumnos en el día y tienen acceso a su segunda clase de manera remota desde el hogar. Hemos desarrollado este modelo con el fin de asegurar 300 minutos de instrucción semanal manteniendo la seguridad y salud de nuestros alumnos y personal como nuestra máxima prioridad. El documento a continuación le brindará mayor información. document está en inglés).

Esperamos que, con la ayuda de algún familiar o amigo(a), pueda completar la siguiente encuesta (también en inglés). El WCDSB espera que pueda contestar esta encuesta lo más pronto posible. Este es el enlace a la encuesta:

Arabic Translation:

الرجوع التقليدي”، مما يعني حضورهم المدرسة خمسة أيام في الأسبوع بدوام كامل. وفي هذا الإطار، سيتم توزيع الطلاب الى “مجموعات صغيرة”   قدر المستطاع وبذل كل جهد ممكن للحد من عدد مرات التواصل مع الطلاب أو أحد موظفي المدرسة.  كما سيتحتم على الطلاب من الصف الرابع الى الصف الثامن ارتداء الكمامات بينما سيظل ارتداء الكمامات أمراً اختيارياً لطلاب مرحلة الروضة حتى الصف الثالث، كما سيتم تطبيق التباعد الجسدي لمسافة متر قدر المستطاع.

وبالنسبة لطلاب التعليم الثانوي، فقد أشارت المقاطعة إلى أن جميع مدارس منطقة واترلو ستفتح أبوابها بطريقة “الرجوع المعدل“، مما يعني حضور الطلاب دروسهم وجها لوجه في الفصول بنسبة 50٪ من الوقت. ومن جانبها التزمت المدارس الكاثوليكية بتقديم نموذج “الفصول الأربعة” وهو ما يعني دراسة مادتين فقط في الفصل الواحد (فهذا النموذج يعتمد على أربع فصول بدلاً من نموذج الفصلين الدراسيين). لقد ابتكرنا نموذجاً بحيث لا يلتقي الطلاب الا مع مجموعة واحدة من زملائهم وجهاً لوجه في أي يوم، ثم استكمال دراستهم من خلال التعلم عن البعد في المنزل. لقد قمنا بتصميم هذا النموذج لضمان حصول كل طالب على 300 دقيقة من التدريس في الأسبوع، مع الاستمرار في إيلاء صحة وسلامة موظفينا وطلابنا أقصى درجات الاعتبار والاهتمام. للحصول على مزيد من المعلومات، يرجى الاطلاع على الوثيقة المرفقة (باللغة الإنجليزية)

نرجو منكم استكمال الاستطلاع التالي (باللغة الإنجليزية) بمساعدة أحد أفراد العائلة أو الأصدقاء ويأمل مجلس منطقة واترلوا التعليمية أن يتم استكمال هذا الاستطلاع في أقرب وقت ممكن. يمكنك الوصول الى رابط الاستطلاع من هنا

Important Update

Hello Thunderbird Families:

We hope that you and yours are well and have been enjoying some sunshine! Please find below a message from our Director of Education, Loretta Notten. As more information becomes available and as plans are solidified we will continue to share with you via Newswire and Twitter. Finally, we value your input and respectfully ask that you take a moment to fill out the very important survey link in the following message. Take good care!

July 31st, 2020

Dear Waterloo Catholic Community –

We hope that you are well and finding ways to enjoy the summer, albeit a very different one.  At Waterloo Catholic we have missed seeing our staff and students in our schools – and we think that you would agree.  We also know however, that all of us feel very strongly that if we are to return to our schools, we have to do so in a very safe and thoughtful manner.  In the attached package, you will find a high-level introduction to all of the factors that we have been considering as we plan for the return of students.  We know that we all want good learning to happen, but we are equally motivated to ensure that all our staff and students are feeling both safe and healthy, in mind, body and spirit.

There are some discussions that are ongoing and which may cause minor adjustments to our models or plans, but in the main, the attached document should give you a solid start in understanding our plans for the fall.  Our new collective reality under COVID has tested all of us, and we know that things are evolving daily and understanding about best practices and the disease itself also continues to grow.  Our commitment is to be informed by new knowledge and learning as it is presented.

In June we outlined that there were three possible scenarios under which a return to school might happen, and yesterday the Premier of Ontario and the Minister of Education declared that all students of the province would be returning to schools for face to face learning.  The provincial decision has been informed by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, as well as the leading medical and health experts in the province.  At Waterloo Catholic we have been preparing for this announcement and have engaged in thoughtful planning to ensure that health and safety of our staff and students remains a top priority.  We are also prepared to “pivot” to any of the three scenarios, if we have to and remain confident that learning continuity will be possible.

We know that for elementary aged students the provincial announcement signaled a “conventional return”, which means attending school 5 days a week, full time.  To the extent possible, “cohorting” will be observed, which means that every effort will be made to limit the number of contacts any one staff person or student comes into contact with, in the course of their day.  Similarly – masks will be worn by students in grades 4 to 8, and remain an option for students in JK to grade 3, and to the extent possible physical distancing of 1 meter will be observed.

For secondary aged students, the province has indicated that all Waterloo Region schools will open under an “adapted return”, which means that students will attend face to face classes 50% of the time.  Waterloo Catholic has committed to a “quadmester model” which means carrying only 2 courses at a time (it is a 4 term model instead of a 2 semester model).  We have devised a model where students only see one cohort of students face to face on a given day, and access their second class remotely – from home.  We have built this model to ensure both 300 minutes of instruction per week, while still giving maximum consideration to the health and safety of our staff and students.  The attached document will provide you with more information.

It is currently the end of July and we are all heading into a long weekend.  We still have five full weeks until the start of school and our planning will continue – at the board level and at the school level.  We want to offer our assurances that we will be prioritizing health and safety, learning continuity and equity of access for all our students.  Nonetheless, for some of our families, you may choose to have your child learn from home.  That is an option for you.  Please read the attached document carefully and then complete the survey that follows.  We need EVERY family to complete the survey for EACH child, as that is how we will prepare properly for the fall.  Please complete this SURVEY

Finally – as we have said before, we do encourage you to closely follow any and all directives from our governments and Waterloo Region Public Health.  This has been a year and a summer unlike any other – and one we will all remember for some time to come.  Continue to enjoy a restful and rejuvenating summer, but let’s stay safe and healthy.  May our faith that grounds us as people of love and people of hope give you strength in these times.  We remain grateful for your trust in us to provide quality, faith-based, inclusive education.

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.  #WCDSBTogether.


Loretta Notten

Director of Education

September 2020 Update

Hello Thunderbird Families:

We hope that you have been enjoying the summer sun together as a family!

Details of the Ministry’s September 2020 Opening Plan will be finalized and released in the coming days and, as we receive information, we will be sending out updates to our school community.

Until this time, we have been asked to share the following message with all families in our school community:

As we prepare for our return to school in September we are recommending that if your child is medically fragile, immune compromised or has chronic or persistent health conditions that you speak with your health care provider(s) to determine what mode of delivery is most appropriate for your child and what, if any, accommodations for your child’s health needs might be required. 

Whether your child’s return to school is conventional or adapted, it is important that your child’s health care provider(s) is consulted to ensure your child’s physical health needs are considered as we plan for a return to school during the COVID Pandemic.

Take good care of each other.

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