Monthly Archives: May 2020

Update from Lunch Box Orders……

We hope you are having a great week and enjoying this warm weather.  Summer has arrived!

We wanted to share an update on the communication sent last week.  Please note, Lunchbox Orders will be waiving the refund transaction fee for refunds processed with the extended school closures due to Covid-19.  If a parent has paid the transaction fee in recent weeks, the fee will be returned to their payment card.  Our team will be contacting those families directly to confirm the fee return.

Please let us know if you have any questions or if we can offer assistance at this time.

L.B.O.

Update from the Phoenix Nest…..

Hello Families,

With the governments announcement that school buildings remain closed, and Teacher-Led Remote Learning continues, we wanted to share a few updates.

While we are happy that student safety remains the priority, it genuinely breaks our hearts not to be able to see all the kids. Choosing a career in education is motivated by the awesome fun that is had interacting with a class and building great relationships with our students. Our thoughts and prayers are with all our students and families.

Please know there are many resources available to support you on the WCDSB web page. Your child’s teacher can help you navigate this if you have questions.

While it will look a litter different, there will be a final report card. The school board is working on a distribution plan. Stay tuned for details.

We know many families need access to the school to pick up some personal items. The school board is consulting with public heath and working on a plan. More details to come.

Finally – there will be a grade 8 graduation. We believe this is a vital rite of passage we simply can’t let pass us by. Our team is working on a plan for a remote ceremony to honor and celebrate the amazing graduates at St. Anne.  We will be in touch with details.

While it will look different come September, we can’t wait to see the kids again. We miss them dearly. We are proud of the hard work everyone has been putting into remote learning. Please stick with it in the coming weeks.

Be well, stay safe.

St. Anne School Staff

Plaid Phoenix 7

 

Teacher-Led Remote Learning Continues……

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

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

Stay safe……

Class Lists 2020-21

Planning for the new School Year 2020-2021 

We need to hear from you!

If you are planning on moving or attending a new school for the fall, please inform the classroom teacher as soon as possible.

During the month of June, the staff of St. Anne will meet to create class lists for next September.  It is our sincere hope that we will all be back together to enjoy school as a community. Class organization is a highly comprehensive process in which extensive time, thought and consideration is given.  The task is complex and is the subject of many revisions. Sometimes due to an increase or decrease in student enrolment, classes must be adjusted and reorganized after the start of the school year in September.

How can parents provide input to this process?

Class organization is the responsibility of the school and school staff. Placements are made at our discretion. Parent voice/input, however, is welcome in this process – but within the following parameters:  You as parents know the ways your child learns best; you know what he/she needs in terms of the development of work habits and study skills; you also know effective discipline techniques that bring out the best in your child.  There are a number of important details that are invaluable to staff as we organize students into classes.  If you feel your input will support us in this arduous process, please complete the attached form based on the criteria mentioned in this letter.

We will take the information you provide as well as the information we have, to make the best decision for your child.  Our goal at St. Anne is to develop balanced classes – a balanced class reflects the diversity of our community and allows the variety of interests and talents of our learners to emerge and to be appreciated.  Like families, the class unit provides a balance of opportunities for a range of learners to succeed through appropriate challenges.  Like the community, school is a socializer and so each new school year brings opportunities to meet and make new friends and expand our circle of acquaintances.

Some of the criteria we use to build classes are:

  1. Balance of ability, interests, and talents
  2. Balance according to gender
  3. Learning style: How does the learner go about the process of learning?
  4. Social blending: What is the best cluster of individuals to effectively and efficiently learn?
  5. Educational support – I.E.P.’s/Special Ed teacher/Educational Assistant support

For you to state a teacher preference is not helpful or in some cases not possible to accommodate due to the size of our community, and we always have the possibility of staffing changes. The same applies for split or combined grades. Stating a preference based on classmate friendships is not a valid reason to put two children together. Students have opportunities to socialize at three recesses each day and time spent in class is teaching and learning time with the teacher as the facilitator. As a general rule, your comments about your child’s strengths and needs are most appropriate.

As a result of COVID-19 and the Teacher-Led Remote Learning format that is currently happening – you are asked to e-mail your child’s teacher directly. These comments should be submitted in writing by Friday – May 29th.

In your response please include

Student Name: _____________________________

Guardian Name: _______________________________

Present Grade: _____

Present Teacher: __________________________________

Comments that reflect the following:

I/we would like the following criteria/comments to be taken into consideration on my child’s behalf for his/her class for September (please include any background information as required).  This information is based on the format and direction stated in the “Class Organization Criteria for September” letter attached. Stating a teacher preference or naming other student will invalidate the form.

Once gain – please e-mail your child’s teacher directly.

Thank you kindly,

St. Anne school Staff

Letter from the school board…

May 12th, 2020
Dear Waterloo Catholic Community –

We hope that you found ways to enjoy the Mother’s Day Weekend despite the less than spring-like weather and that fact that many of us were unable to celebrate in the more traditional ways that have characterized years past. It has been a few weeks since we have connected, so we thought it important to offer you a few important updates. As always, we sincerely hope that you and your families are well and that you are finding ways to stay healthy and positive. We want to commend our WCDSB community for the impactful and joyous ways we managed to still celebrate Catholic Education Week. Few of us could have predicted how appropriate or needed our theme of Igniting Hope would be. It was truly heartening to see the many videos, messages, artwork, pictures and reflections of hope in our schools and homes. Truly we believe we all feel the importance of our faith and our community at this time.

We are now settling into our journey of educator-led distance learning. We know that for some it will be going well and that for a variety of reasons, for others, it may still be a challenge. Our realities are each different and at Waterloo Catholic we are working hard to ensure the best possible experience for our students. You may recall the invitation we gave our stakeholders in the week of April 14th to 21st to engage in a Thought Exchange where you were invited to share your concerns and questions. We have now processed all that feedback and we would like to share with you what you said and how we would like to respond.

We are pleased to report that we had over 1900 respondents, 1700 thoughts and 37,000 ratings. We had a broad cross-section of voices and the number of respondents from each group was a good representation of that stakeholder group. Parents in general did reflect that they appreciate the efforts of their children’s teachers and we could certainly not be prouder of the hard work of so many to connect our students with learning at this time. Elementary parents told us that they can be over-whelmed at times with balancing their own responsibilities and their children’s learning, that sometimes they need better clarity on what is optional and that they would appreciate a better sense of routine. Perhaps most of all – they desire that connection between educator and home. Secondary parents are also looking for clear communication and want to remain involved in their child’s learning. They would like to see the inclusion of synchronous (‘Live”) learning or video conferencing. And there remains a concern about their children’s report cards and post-secondary impacts.

We would like to report that we have heard you. We continue to provide our teachers with further guidance and clarity about assessment, evaluation and reporting during this time of distance learning. We have also worked on staff communications that are intended to strengthen consistency and clarity of expectation, while also looking at ways to solidify our collaboration with one another as staff. We have heard you that a sense of routine is important and we will be working to reinforce that message. We are also providing further professional development on good practices connected to synchronous learning, which remains an option in a teacher’s toolkit. No student should be adversely affected as a result of COVID-19 school closure and we are working hard to ensure that is the case. We know that equity issues matter to you and we are doing our best to bridge gaps, but providing resources and supports where they are needed to the best of our ability.

We are most appreciative to our staff who have worked so hard to put provisions in place so that we could reach all of our students. One common theme regardless of stakeholder group- was the desire for connection. We miss one another – and that is both heartening and normal. Schools are remarkable places where relationship and community are forged, and maintaining that strong sense of connection is hard work. We hope you will agree with us that our staff have certainly risen to the occasion and we know that each one has put their best foot forward in support of our students. The sense of care and the love for their students is evident. The physical, mental and spiritual well-being of our students remains our priority. That said – we will continue to prioritize this work and the strong sense of family that we have as the community of Waterloo Catholic.

Thought Exchange Thoughts and Themes
We know that further clarity about the length of the closure is likely to come later this week. Full clarity about our return or what that might look like when we do return, may still be a while in coming, but we are committed to sharing those details when we have them. We also know that seminal spring events such as communions, confirmations and graduations are currently being re-imagined. We are hopeful that we will be able to have fall convocations for our graduates. We know that you are missing the opportunity to celebrate this spring. There are some virtual and media events which will assist in the short-term. Communions will be re-scheduled in the fall, parish by parish, as we are able. Similarly, once we are able, more information will follow about confirmations, as we learn about the availability of the Bishop and/or Vicar, and balance that with the size of the confirmandee class. There is an intention to proceed, once we are able.

As always, on our WCDSB board website you will find from our home page a link to WCDSBLearn@Home where a host of additional resources for all learners will be found. We also encourage you to continue to visit our WCDSBPray@Home webpage as well as our FAQ page.

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. As we have reflected before – we are apart but never closer. Let us commit to being there for one another. Reach out to us through your local school. While our Thought Exchange is done for now, we are still interested in hearing from you and walking with you. 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.
Sincerely,

Loretta Notten                          Bill Conway
Director of Education              Chair of the Board