Monthly Archives: May 2020

St. Bernadette Newswire: Week 9 Update

Good Afternoon Bears;

Recently the Minister of Education announced that we would not be returning to school for the remainder of this year.  We are so sad to hear this news and we continue to hope for a quick resolution to the many safety issues that we have as a part of large gatherings.  Hopefully, things will return to “normal” for September. Whatever the case, please know that we miss you all greatly and we can’t wait to get back to a point when we can gather, see your smiling faces and once again, begin to learn together!  Stay strong during the days and weeks until that can happen!  If you ever need anything, please do not hesitate to reach out!

That being said … I have something to say to the many parents out there who are working with our students each day…THANK YOU!  Your efforts are noticed, appreciated and valued!  We are so glad that you are helping your children, our students, in their educational journey and that you continue to do so even with the announcement of not getting to return to school this year.  The work you are doing will help them greatly in September and we are so grateful for your efforts. THANK YOU!

Remember, we still have four weeks left of school and we encourage you to continue engaging in your distance learning.  We want to ensure that learning can continue, so that when we are back to school, it is like we never left!  I realize it is a challenge with the current status of the school year, and the nice weather, but it is important!

As you know we are making plans for the pick up of personal items, drop off of school items (library books, text books etc.), the delivery of report cards and all of the other necessary items to wrap up this year and to start next year on the right foot.  As that information becomes available, we will share it with you on your child’s virtual Classrooms and Newswire. Families who have borrowed Chromebooks for distance learning will not be expected to return them in June – the exception being Grade 8 students or any other students who are leaving our school at the end of June.

Please know that we are so thankful for your continued efforts at home and we are so proud of the many Umbrella skills that you are demonstrating each and every day.  This is not easy and you continue to impress the entire staff at St. Bernadette.  Continue to stay safe and continue to take care of yourselves. Reach out to others and continue to pray for an end to this pandemic.

Have a great week Bears!

Welcome to Healthy Lifestyle Month at the Umbrella Project
This month, we focus on one piece of what makes a powerful umbrella of wellbeing skills and this month we are adding healthy lifestyle. Exercise is great for our body and brain. It also releases neurochemicals which are important for bonding with your family and kids. So get moving, together this spring. For more information, please read the following introduction:Lifestyle-Parent-Newsletter.docx-1-1

Watch more in the video below from the Umbrella Project Facebook page.

To  listen to other questions from parents and hear more about building strong well-being, you can still watch the webinar replay from May 20 if you were unable to make it live   Click here to re-watch the webinar.

Newcomer Parent Resource Series: Available in 16 Languages
Refugee parents come to Canada with unique settlement needs and language barriers that make it challenging to get information to support their parenting, children development, and the health and safety of their family in Canada. For more information please visit:

Carizon: Survive and Thrive: Community Resource Program Bulletin
We wanted to provide some of the materials and resources that you may find helpful:
CRP Bulletin Template.Issue 1.May 2020
CRP Bulletin Template.Issue 2.May 2020
CRP Bulletin Template.Issue 3.May 2020

WCDSB Update
As we move forward, please remember that 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.  You can also follow the #STEAMDays hashtag where lots of fun and engaging activities are being posted.


St. Bernadette NewsWire : Administrative Change for St. Bernadette

Dear Parents/Guardians:

On Tuesday, May 25th, 2020 our school system announced a variety of school administrator changes. Effective September 2020, I will be assuming administrative duties as Principal of St. Timothy Catholic Elementary School in Kitchener.  The incoming Principal for St. Bernadette for the 2020-21 school year is Mr. Victor Longo, who most recently was the Principal of Holy Family Catholic Elementary School in New Hamburg.

Even though we have some time before the end of the school year, I wish to thank you for your kindness and support during our time together. Over the past five years, I have enjoyed developing relationships with our students, staff, St. Joseph Parish, community representatives and parents.  Please know that I am blessed to take with me many memorable moments from these past school years and will look back on them fondly.  Thank you for your support and continued blessings to you all!

Al Simoes


St. Bernadette Newswire: Week 8 Update

Good Afternoon Bears!

The entire staff hopes that you are having an excellent weekend!  If you are venturing outside to enjoy the great weather that is supposed to come, please think safety!  Practice social distancing, wash your hands, and wear a mask if you have one available to you.  We want you all to stay safe so that we can continue to flatten the curve and get back to school as soon as possible!

Please make sure that you continue to engage in the various learning activities posted by your teachers and if you have any questions please reach out.   Please remember that on our WCDSB board website you will find 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.  You can also follow the #STEAMDays hashtag where lots of fun and engaging activities are being posted.

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 to honour and celebrate the amazing graduates at St. Bernadette.  We will be in touch with detail.

St. Joseph Parish
Our Parish Celebration of the Eucharist is online every Sunday. You can join us on YouTube and Facebook tomorrow, May 24, the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord, and next Sunday, the Feast of Pentecost. Following the May 31st Mass,  we will have our annual Parish May Crowning Celebration, with music and prayer led by several families of our two parishes.     OR

Nutrition For Learning
Just a reminder that Nutrition for Learning stops at St. Bernadette School every Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m! Please stop by and see them for some free fresh food and snacks!! They are happy to help out our community!

While it will look different come September, we can’t wait to see our students  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.  Our thoughts and prayers are with all our students and families.

We miss you Bears!  Have a great week!

St. Bernadette Newswire: Update Regarding School Closure

Good evening Bears,

We learned today that schools will remain closed for the remainder of this school year. With today’s announcement, we are sure you will have questions about many things such as Grade 8 graduation, final report cards, the process for picking up your child’s personal belongings and returning school items such as textbooks, library books, Chromebook devices etc.

Throughout this closure period, all WCDSB schools are taking direction from the Ministry, Public Health and our Board. As we receive recommendations for year-end procedures, our staff will work together to put plans in place and we will continue to keep all families informed via Newswire.

In the meantime, we still have six weeks of distance learning left in this school year so we are not winding down just yet! We are proud of all of our students for doing their best during this challenging time. Please continue to emphasize with your children the importance of persisting with their learning over these next six weeks. Together, we’ve got this, Bears!

Ministry of Education
Please find a message from the Minister of Education to Ontario’s Parents: Letter to Parents

Support Staff
Our support staff is doing everything they can to help and support the teachers and students. This evening I present the third edition of our Bears Bulletin. These are great life skills that will equip your child for current and future success: NEWSLETTER #3

St. Joseph Parish
Here is the parish bulletin for May 17th. We hope you can join every Sunday for the online Mass at 10:00 a.m.: MAY 17 SJK bulletin

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child(ren)’s teacher and we will continue to do our best to get you answers.

Take Care Bears! Stay Safe!

St. Bernadette Newswire: 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 for all the most up-to-date information.

The official government announcement is available here:

Stay safe …

St. Bernadette Newswire: Week 7 Update

Good Afternoon Bears,

As we begin another week of distance learning, we continue to sing your praises.  Thank you to all who have been working so hard on the tasks and assignments that were covered since distance learning began.  Next week we should be hearing updated news from Minister Lecce regarding education and we will continue next steps as we hear them provincially.  Hoping to get back to “normal” and seeing all of you at St. Bernadette soon.

This month our focus is on building realistic optimism.  Make sure you check out the Umbrella Project website for amazing activities that you can do at home to build these skills with your child(ren).  Here is a video showing how laughing is good for you: The Serious Business of Laughter 

Our school is connected with the Carizon Family and Community Service Agency.  If you are needing supports and are unsure where to go, you may reach out to your child(ren)’s teacher or Mr. Simoes for a much speedier connection to Carizon Worker.  They also offer the Friendly Voice Program should you need a well being check.  See the flyer attached.

The Beacon of Hope Award is given to a student every year who is often described as an “unsung hero.”  This student often exemplifies what it means to be a ‘beacon of light in a world where they can be much hopelessness.”  This year the award was given to Suleman Nasir.  In person we would say so much more about Suleman such as he is an outstanding role model, shows empathy, positive attitude, dedicated and always includes others.  Congratulations!

Build a Dream has announced an amazing line up of inspirational speakers who will be part of #DreamHomeEdition, a digital career discover expo that allows parents and daughters (grades 7-12) to learn about exciting career opportunities in skilled trades, STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), emergency response, and entrepreneurship.

The FREE virtual expo is Wednesday, May 27th (5-8p.m) and includes
– DREAM MAKER PANEL – women in industry share career advice and insight
– BUILDING YOUR TOOLBOX – where to find resources to access career information
Register for FREE today!​

From our parish….The link below to a short but inspiring youtube video that was sent to us from our Diocese. The author, Dr. Anne Jamieson is also the Director of our diocesan Catechesis Office. I thought you may want to take a moment this evening and reflect with Anne on this coronavirus lockdown and our hunger for the “bread of life”. Blessings. Fr. Brian  Click here to view:

Missing everyone and hope to see you soon!

St. Bernadette NewsWire: Ontario Support for Families Funding

Dear BEAR families:

This is available from the Province of Ontario if you have not taken advantage of this yet. 

Get support for families
Learn about funding that families can apply for if they have children who are not in school or child care because of coronavirus (COVID-19). Find out if you are eligible and how to apply.

About support for families
While schools and child care centres are closed, parents can apply for direct funding to offset the cost of buying materials to support their children’s learning, while they practice self-isolation and physical distancing.

Eligible parents will receive a one-time per child payment of:

  • $200 for children aged 0 to 12
  • $250 for children or youth aged 0 to 21 with special needs

This funding can help parents with the costs of work books, educational apps, educational subscription services, movies and other tools to support learning at home.

Parents refers to parents, guardians, and caregivers.

There is no income cap on this program. All parents are eligible if you have a child who is:

  • aged 0 to 12
  • aged 0 to 21 with special needs

If you have more than one child, you must submit one application per child.

Before you apply, please note:

  • only one parent can apply for each child
  • the parent who applies should have custody of the child

You are still eligible if you are a health care or front-line worker who is using emergency, 24-hour child care centres.

Support for families versus support for parents

You may already qualify for Support for Families.

Note: If you are a parent who is already receiving Support for Parents payments through direct deposit, you will be automatically eligible for this financial support and do not need to submit a new application.

Support for Parents was financial support that was available to parents during education strikes. Learn more about support for parents.

If you did not apply or receive funding through support for parents, you must submit a new application to get the Support for Families funding.


Step 1: gather the required information

To complete the application, you will need:

  • the name of your child’s school and school board (if applicable)
  • your child’s date of birth
  • your banking information
  • a valid email address

Step 2: complete the application

Applications can only be submitted online.

Apply online now

Step 3: confirmation

After you submit your application, you will receive an:

  • email confirmation
  • application reference number

We may contact you to verify the information you provided through this application.

Get your payment

You will get the payment through direct deposit.

If you are unable to provide banking information and require a cheque, you may submit a special request for one. Simply indicate this on the application.

Please note that processing cheques may take up to several months from the date you apply.

Get help

We are here to help.

Call us at:
Toll-free:  1-888-444-3770
Toll-free TTY:  1-800-268-7095

Email us at

St. Bernadette Newswire: May 12th Happy International Nurses Day

The St. Bernadette staff and community would like to acknowledge all the wonderful and caring work the nurses in our communities are doing to keep us all safe!  We celebrate you today!

International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every  May 12th, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

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