Yearly Archives: 2020

Letter from the Director….

Dear Waterloo Catholic Community –

As I write this letter we sit on the cusp of our Christmas break and perhaps more than ever, we can all appreciate the need for a pause.  It is a true testament to everyone in the entire WCDSB community that we made it to Christmas with all our schools still open and thriving, despite the reality of the pandemic.  The number of cases in our schools has grown, reflecting where we are as a region, but in all circumstances, the cases are quickly resolved and all affected individuals return to school in a short period of time.  We have had very, very few cases of “outbreak” which is defined as 2 or more related cases in a school.  So, on behalf of all – thank you for your ongoing efforts which have made the school re-opening process possible, and for adhering to public health and safety measures that have ensured schools remain a safe place for our students and staff.

The holidays are going to look a little different this year. We understand that there may be challenges as the winter break approaches but we encourage all families to consider what we can all do to make the return to school in January 2021 as safe as possible. I would also like to remind you about the actions we are taking to reinforce the health and safety protocols aimed at protecting our students, educators and staff while limiting the spread of COVID-19 at schools.

Throughout this challenging time in our history I have used the refrain #InThisTogether and it has been a way to emphasize that we are a team in all of this.  That we do have each other’s back.  What one of us does, affects all of us.  During the upcoming Christmas Break we must adhere to the guidance to limit our contacts and social gatherings.  You can check the government’s holiday web page for more direct and up-to-date guidance on how individuals and families can plan for a safe holiday season, including suggestions for safer holiday activities for children and families.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to speak to you about our upcoming Transition window in secondary.  As indicated we have one further transition window in both elementary and secondary.  Our secondary survey will be open January 4th to January 6th.  At this time you will have the opportunity to indicate if you wish to move your child back to face to face learning (adapted model) in their community school or if you wish to move to St Isidore (virtual school).  This choice will apply for the remainder of the year – including into the warmer spring months of April, May and June.  We have to limit ourselves to one final transition window to be able to facilitate the challenging student and staff scheduling that needs to take place.

As a reminder, anyone feeling ill should not attend school. All children, students, staff, and visitors must be screened for symptoms of illness every day before attending school or childcare. To help meet this requirement, you may use the provincial COVID-19 school screening tool.  Self-screening will still be a requirement when we return to school and we will continue to reinforce masking and hand hygiene, as well as cohorting and physical distancing with students and our staff.

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 let your school principal know.

Once again, I want to share that it is perhaps inevitable that when the provincial and regional numbers rise, we too will see some cases.  I realize that if you get a letter saying there has been a case of COVID in your school that it is most unsettling.  If we ask a cohort to quarantine it is to ensure that they remain safe and that the rest of our school community remains safe.  Our safety protocols are working.

We sincerely thank you for journeying with us.   May each of you and your families enjoy a beautiful Christmas Season.  Perhaps it is entirely fine that it will be less social, less focused on material goods,  much simpler in every way but firmly focused on family, for isn’t it true that the very first Christmas was exactly that.  Let us continue to be people of hope who celebrate the birth of a tiny babe who shared a powerful message of love and salvation.  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  #WeGotThis

Sincerely,

Loretta Notten

Director of Education

The St. Anne 2020 Remote Christmas Concert…

Hello Phoenix Families,

Below is the link for our 2020 remote Christmas Concert.

There is no way to thank everyone enough for the hard work 
on this. To the kids and teachers – so awesome. To Mr. Roque, 
Mrs. Cadwell, Mrs. Raposo and Ms. Silva – words are not enough.

We hope all families enjoy the show, and so….

Without further adieu...

https://youtu.be/YcxMUB3WsBs



Thank you,

St. Anne School Staff


 

A few updates……

Hello Families,

Just a few quick reminders…….

Our remote book fair is still on:

https://virtualbookfairs.scholastic.ca/pages/5152949

We will be collecting items for our food and toy drive until December 15th

Our remote Christmas Concert will be Tuesday December 15th with the link for families being shared later in the day.

If you or anyone you know needs support this Christmas, please register with St. Ambrose Parish: 519-621-2013

Photo Day has been moved to January 13th, 2021

Please see the attachment for our December Newsletter:

St. Anne Newsletter – December 2020

Be well everyone,

St. Anne School Staff

Plaid Phoenix 7

Update/Announcements……

Hello Phoenix Families,

We have a few updates/announcements we need to share for the Month of December.

  • Photo day has been rescheduled for January the 13th
  • Please visit our remote book fair: https://bookfairs-canada.myshopify.com/pages/5152949. Books are delivered directly to your home 😊
  • Our Food and Toy drive is on and all donations will support local families
  • If you or someone you know needs support this holiday, please contact St. Ambrose Parish
  • Our Christmas Concert this year will be a remote celebration. On Tuesday December the 15th our students will be able to watch the show safely from their classrooms and then we will share the video link with families. Everyone is working hard so we hope you enjoy the show.
  • For the last week before the holiday we have the following, optional, spirit days happening at St. Anne School:
    • Monday December 14 – wear Christmas colours (red, green, white)
    • Tuesday, December 15 – Christmas Headwear (Santa Hat, Elf hat, antlers, etc.)
    • Wednesday December 16 – Winter hat and scarf day
    • Thursday, December 17 – Grinch Day (wear green, a Who-hairdo, or antlers like the dog Max)
    • Friday, December 18th – Pajama day
  • Just a reminder that for this school year when weather determines busses are cancelled, schools are also closed. Teachers will post some schoolwork to be completed on these days.
  • We are in the season of Advent. Here is a link to some activities you can work on at home: https://s3.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/lpress-craft/files/ocf-files/advent-files/Advent-children-calendar.pdf

Be well,

Stay safe,

St. Anne School Staff

Plaid Phoenix 7

Food and Toy Drive……

Hello Phoenix Families,

As we have shared – if you or anyone you know needs help this holiday, contact St. Ambrose parish.

Further to this message, we will be hosting a food and toy drive with all donations supporting the St. Vincent DePaul Society and those in our community who need support this Christmas.

If you have extra canned good or toys, please send them in and we will make sure they are delivered.

Thank you for your generosity Phoenix Nation…..

St. Anne School Staff

Plaid Phoenix 7

Schools Closed when buses are cancelled…..

Schools Closed on Inclement weather days when buses are cancelled

Excerpt from Special Message from the Director of Education

 

“As you know – there are sometimes days in the winter when we have to cancel bussing due to the weather and unsafe driving conditions for our buses.  In the past, if roads were still passable, we would leave schools open.  On those days however, we often pooled classes based on the number of staff who fully attended and the number of students.  This year that is not possible due to our COVID-19 cohort- related restrictions.  In consultation with the public board, with whom we share bussing, when we cancel buses, we will close schools and have a remote learning day.  Your teacher will communicate with you in advance so you know where to look for school work for the day and protocols on such days, but in broad terms, the teachers will post work in the morning, no later than 10 a.m. and students will work on their own timing in their home.  It will allow all students to access some learning and we will be continuing to keep one and all safe.  We realize it may not be a perfect solution and learning day, but bus snow days rarely were.”

 

Report Cards/P.A.Day/Director’s Message……

Hello Phoenix Families,

Just a reminder that Progress Reports go home today. Teachers will be reaching out to book Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences for next week. Don’t forget that Monday is a P.A.Day and the school is closed. We will see you back Tuesday, November the 24th.

Please review the letter below from the director. There is some important information about inclement weather and bus cancellation days.

Thanks you………….

Dear Waterloo Catholic Community –

We certainly hope that you are doing well in every way. We have almost made it to the end of November and while the community is definitely continuing to battle our COVID reality, our schools remain safe and learning is flourishing. When we began this school year, we could scarcely know what it would hold but I am so pleased to report that our schools are places where staff and students are thriving. Learning is unfolding and connections are being further forged. St Isidore is also a place where our virtual learners are able to continue their education. All of these points are worthy of celebration and I hope you will join me in thanking our staff for all they are doing to make these accomplishments a reality.

We are seeing some COVID cases in our schools but they are a reflection of our broader community and we have seen very strong evidence that all our protocols are working. We urge you to remain vigilant in reminding students about the importance of our protocols and to ensure you and all your family are adhering to Waterloo Region Public Health advice and that you are also completing the self screening every day before sending your children to school. At the beginning of the month we invited you to participate in our ThoughtExchange about the experience of school re-opening. We had a variety of stakeholders who in total provided 2,776 thoughts and 67,900 ratings. There were 2,388 participants who shared 1,175 thoughts. It was exceptionally gratifying to see that the number one theme identified by elementary parents was “great job”. The next most common theme for all parents was connected to mental health and wellbeing. The most common themes across all groups had to do with 1) Health and Safety, 2) Learning Design and 3) Connections, Culture and Socialization. We are using all of our stakeholder results to help us in our action plan forward.

Building on our ThoughtExchange results, we know that Mental Health and Well Being remains a significant topic for all, and so let us take this opportunity to remind you that our mental health leads have designed a flyer to equip parents to have conversations with their kids/ teens about mental health, and how they can access support. This was provided to principals and shared with all families via School Messenger. I would also draw your attention to our WCDSB website where we have a number of resources. You may find this video helpful in finding those resources: Parent Video

I wanted to take this opportunity to speak to you about two other important topics: Inclement weather days when buses are cancelled and the Christmas Break. As you know – there are sometimes days in the winter when we have to cancel bussing due to the weather and unsafe driving conditions for our buses. In the past, if roads were still passable, we would leave schools open. On those days however, we often pooled classes based on the number of staff who fully attended and the number of students. This year that is not possible due to our covid cohort- related restrictions. In consultation with the public board, with whom we share bussing, when we cancel buses, we will close schools and have a remote learning day. Your teacher will communicate with you in advance so you know where to look for school work for the day and protocols on such days, but in broad terms, the teachers will post work in the morning, no later than 10 a.m. and students will work on their own timing in their home. It will allow all students to access some learning and we will be continuing to keep one and all safe. We realize it may not be a perfect solution and learning day, but bus snow days rarely were.

There has been a great deal of discussion about the Christmas Break. I wanted to share that the Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, has indicated that there will be no adjustment to the school year calendar extending the break or adding remote learning days. Therefore, school will resume on January 4th. It will be critical to the health of our broader community, and certainly to the health of our schools, that all families observe Public Health guidelines during the Christmas season. It will certainly be challenging not to observe some of our usual traditions but we do have to remember that we are “In this together” and what one of us does, affects all of us.

Once again, I want to share that it is perhaps inevitable that when the provincial and regional numbers rise, we too will see some cases. I realize that if you get a letter saying there has been a case of COVID in your school that it is most unsettling. If we ask a cohort to quarantine it is to ensure that they remain safe and that the rest of our school community remains safe. Our safety protocols are working. I know how much we all value reading that statement so I cannot state strongly enough the importance of following our WCDSB operational guidelines, of wearing masks as warranted, good hygiene practices and most of all, strong daily implementation of the COVID-19 school and child care screening tool and a reminder that no staff should come to school without completing the adult self-assessment: https://covid19checkup.ca/ The process of self screening each day is a vital step in ensuring the continued safety of all our schools, so sincere thanks to all for remaining faithful to this and to all our required protocols.

We have transitioned to Year 2 of our Pastoral Plan – Gathered to Become. On Monday our staff will have their Spiritual Development Day centered on this theme. Follow us on Twitter to see our @wcdsbnewswire Butterfly – our symbol for Year 2 of our Pastoral Plan – and its journey through our system. It feels so important to continue to find ways to foster community. Let’s look forward to the Advent Season and the transformation that happens when we let Jesus into our lives.
We sincerely thank you for journeying with us. 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 #WeGotThis
Sincerely,

Loretta Notten
Director of Education

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