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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

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

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