Monthly Archives: January 2021

Remote Learning Continues……

January 21st, 2021

Dear Waterloo Catholic Community –

We hope this letter finds you and your family well, and that you and your families are managing to stay positive during this most unique of years.

I must begin as I did at the beginning of the month by sincerely thanking all our staff for their exceptional efforts since our return from the break.  It has been a learning curve for so many and we know that learning remotely as a full system, requires a great effort from everyone involved.  In that spirit I also want to applaud our students and parents for their flexibility, as we have all adjusted to a new way of learning.  We all continue to adapt throughout this year but at every turn, our students continue to learn and make strides forward.  But more than that – they are hopefully understanding that there is a foundation of care, where their well-being is our highest priority.

The main purpose of this letter is to inform you that the government and Ministry of Education specifically, have communicated that Waterloo Region will continue learning remotely at this time.  While a number of regions across the province have now returned to face-to-face learning, each region is being assessed based on the COVID positivity rates within that region.  This approach will ensure that when our staff and students do return to the classroom, we will be doing so safely.

We know our schools are safe and there is a desire to ensure they remain safe.  Closing the schools to in person learning for the remainder January and early February will help us contain the cases that come into schools and ensure that when we return to our buildings, we are doing so in the safest manner possible.  It is our understanding that the next window for return will occur on February 11th.  We would expect to hear approximately a week before then as to which regions will be permitted to return to face to face learning.

The continuing exception to this direction is our students with special education high needs in elementary, and our community active living and ELD students in secondary.  Families who are affected by this option for learning have already been contacted directly.  We offer our sincerest thanks to the staff who have been going into our buildings and serving those students.

The one other relevant update you may be wondering about is the elementary school transition survey.  There was to be one final opportunity for parents to indicate if they wanted their children to learn remotely for the remainder of the year.  This survey was to take place January 27th to 29th.  Given that we are all remote at this time and that we will not be well served by any transitions at this time, we will defer the survey until our return date and circumstances are clear.  We will be sure to clearly communicate the survey dates to you when we are ready to administer the survey.

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 also take this opportunity to remind 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.  Let’s continue to remain people of hope, informed by our Faith and a desire to do the best for the students in our care.  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

Letter from the Director……

Hello Families,

Please see the letter from the Director:

Dear Waterloo Catholic Community –

Happy New Year! We hope that you are well, and that you and your families are managing to stay positive during these challenging times.

I want to begin by sincerely thanking all our staff for the exceptional effort since our return from the break. They continue to respond with dedication and care to the new requests, and to our evolving learning environments. Similarly, we want to congratulate our students and parents for their flexibility, as we have all adjusted to a new way of learning. Excellent learning continues to happen for our students and for that everyone should be very proud. It is genuinely inspiring to observe. We know it is not always easy.

As you are likely aware, the Premier of the Province has indicated that the remote return to school will continue until January 25th, not only for our secondary students but also for our elementary students. That is, both our elementary and our secondary students will continue to learn virtually. The decision is being made out of an abundance of caution, as positivity rates have increased over the holiday period. We know our schools are safe and there is a desire to ensure they remain safe. The cases of COVID are not starting, nor are they spreading, in our schools, but we are a reflection of the community. Closing the schools to in person learning for January will help us contain the cases that come into schools and ensure that when we return to our buildings, we are doing so in the safest manner possible.

The exception to this direction are our students with special education high needs in elementary, and our community active living and ELD students in secondary. Families who are affected by this option for learning will have been contacted directly.

The announcement today is a direct response to the increase in cases over the break and the social habits that students and others have engaged in during that time. It is clear that in order to meet with success, our staff, students and broader community need to STRICTLY adhere to all public health guidelines and our own personal family bubble.

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 also take this opportunity to remind 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. Let’s continue to remain people of hope, informed by our Faith and a desire to do the best for the students in our care.

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

Remote Learning Update…..

Hello Families,
Just a reminder that remote learning is well underway for this 
week. We always need to be prepared for the possibility of 
returning to this format again, should the Ministry determine 
it is necessary.

Our teachers have been working hard to transition to this 
model of learning and we appreciate your patience as we 
navigate some to the technological challenges.

Please note that daily attendance is being taken and work 
counts toward formal assessment and evaluation. If your child 
is sick and will not be able to log on for a morning or 
afternoon, please call the school as per normal and leave a 
message. Mrs. Estabrooks is required to follow up on absences 
as per normal procedures so we will be calling if we have not 
heard from you and your child is not attending remotely.

Please see the letter below from the Minister of education……
Ministers_Letter_to_Parents_-_January_2_2021_FINAL

Remote Learning Update……

Hello Phoenix Families,

As you know, the Ministry of Education has implemented the week of January 4-8 as a remote week of learning. Students will be working from home.

Please know this will be very different from the teaching model used in the Spring during quarantine.

Teachers are now expected to follow the regular school day schedule. Attendance will be taken, and learning begins at 9:20 with students logging in to their Google classroom.

Recess and lunch will be regular break times. Some learning will be “live” with the teacher interacting on screen with the class, and some learning will be offline with the opportunity to check-in with the teacher while students work independently. Teachers will communicate daily their schedule with the class. Support staff will log-in to assist as well. In some cases, online break-out rooms will be provided for extra help and instruction.

As we all adapt, we do expect some challenges and we appreciate your patience. Tec problems, for example, are anticipated, and we will all do our best to work around these challenges so that learning can continue.

Please contact your child’s teacher with any questions. We hope to be back at school, working together soon.

Blessings to all in 2021.

St. Anne School Staff

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