Monthly Archives: December 2020

Letter From the Director of WCDSB

Dear Waterloo Catholic Community –

As you know we have commenced our well-deserved Christmas Break and we hope that for each of you, it is starting as well as it can under our current circumstances. No doubt you are likely also aware, the Premier of the Province has indicated that the return to school in January will be remote. That is, on January 4th both our elementary and our secondary students will begin the new year learning virtually. The decision is being made out of an abundance of caution. We know our schools are 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 the early part of 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.

Our elementary schools will return to face-to-face learning on Monday January 11th, 2021 and our secondary schools will return to face to face learning on Monday January 25th, 2021.

Just before we left for the break, we were given an indication that the government might choose a remote return in January. Given the short timelines, we made a “best efforts” attempt to send home Chromebooks with all those students for whom we had a prior request through our comprehensive survey. If there are outstanding orders that were missed, they will be deployed upon our return on January 4th. Schools and Extended Day programs currently remain closed and unavailable to staff, students and parents. All school staff and teachers are on a well-deserved break and will be available for questions and updates as of January 4th, 2021.

The move to remote learning will be different than last spring when the face-to-face hours with teachers was limited. The school day will follow the bell times of your individual school and if not already received, you/your student will be given a clear indication of the daily schedule your child is to follow through your local school. Again, we might expect that the first day or two back in January may not be perfectly smooth as we all adjust to the new reality. St Isidore students will continue as per the usual schedule.

For our high needs special education students we would like to provide the following guidance. In elementary, students with high needs will learn remotely as with the rest of your class and per the class daily schedule, but there will be “break-out” rooms where additional support is possible. Your return to face-to-face learning will be January 11th 2020. For secondary high need students, you will also leaning virtually for the first week back (again with breakout rooms) and by January 11th we will provide more detail with an option for transportation and face to face learning in your local school setting.

As of today, we are still planning to proceed with our Secondary Transition Survey regarding quadmesters 3 and 4. The current decision to move to virtual is a short-term strategy and there will be a return to face to face learning on January 25th (as we near the end of quadmester 2). Please keep in mind if you choose “face to face learning in the bricks and mortar schools” or if you choose “virtual” that is your choice through to the end of June.

Thank you for adhering to public health and safety measures that have ensured schools remain a safe place for our students and staff. This will be more important than ever now – both for our schools and for our community at large. 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.

Once again, we encourage you to visit 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 and Region of Waterloo Public Health website 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 upon their return on January 4th, 2021.

I will also take this opportunity to point out 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.

This is likely not the Christmas any of us envisioned or desired. These challenges are real and the hardships can be quite difficult for some. But we can see the light in the distance. We can also see the profound light of the manger. 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


Loretta Notten

Director of Education

Preparing for return to learning in January

Dear Parents and Guardians,

You may have heard some news in the media regarding a potential pivot to virtual learning after the Christmas break.  At this time – nothing has been confirmed.   There are things that we all can do to help ensure we have a safe return to school.  Please follow the Public Health and Government’s guidelines of  restricting your interactions with only the household bubble and continue to monitor your health for COVID symptoms.   We are all in this together!

In order to be prepared for both face-to-face and virtual learning, we are taking some steps to ensure we are ready to support everyone’s learning. We are sending home materials from the school to ensure that students will be able to continue their learning from home, should they need to. All indoor shoes and personal items will be sent home as well.

If you requested a Chromebook during parent/teacher interviews, one will be sent home with your child today, Dec. 18th.  We have a limit of one per family at this time.    These Chromebooks are being loaned to you and will need to be returned to the school when we return to face to face learning in January.

Action Items For Parents:

Be ready to receive children’s school supplies and set them aside for safe keeping should we begin virtually on January 4th, 2021. If we return to school on Jan 4th, face-to-face, please bring the materials back to school on the first day.

Keep Checking Newswire for important updates over the Christmas Holiday for information about our return.

Please be aware that if students are online learning in the new year, attendance will be taken daily.  Your child will be expected to sign on to their google classroom and participate in lessons and assignments.

We appreciate your support during these challenging times.

Together we are making a difference in the lives of the St. Bernadette students!


Vic Longo – Principal

Christmas Wishes


Dear St. Bernadette School Community,

The Advent season is a time of anticipation and waiting for the birth of Jesus. We are a people of Hope to whom God has made a solemn promise. During Advent, we listen to the Gospel readings about God’s promise to send a great Light in the darkness, to fill us with hope, peace, joy, and love.  St. Bernadette school has been embracing the themes of Advent in preparation for the celebration Jesus’ birth on Christmas day.  These challenging times are evidence of the importance and power of HOPE, PEACE, JOY and LOVE in our lives.  In our faith we are “Gathered to Become” God’s family through the birth of his son Jesus.

The Staff of St. Bernadette Catholic School wish all of you a blessed Christmas Holiday,

“Let’s Get together ” Computer device support

Hello St. Bernadette School Community

“Let’s Get Together” has been collecting computer and laptop donations from our community and wish to distribute to our families in most need. They will contact families on a first come first serve basis (kindly indicate that your child attends a school within WCDSB and that St. Bernadette  school staff referred you.   Please see the attached flyer for more details.


Let’s Get Together



Vic Longo



Christmas Celebration reminder for Covid-19

We are a few days away from starting our Christmas Holidays.  The mood and atmosphere at St. Bernadette is joyful and fill with anticipation.  We have been practicing strict COVID-19 procedures to ensure that we are all healthy to enjoy a relaxing and peaceful holiday.    To maintain strict safety protocols we are not allowing students to bring in treats or gift to share with their class mates.  If you are thinking of showing your appreciation and holiday wishes to your child’s teacher please check with them first to know how this may be done safely and inconsideration for their comfort with covid -19.

Christmas Spirit Week Dec 14th-18th

St. Bernadette is celebrating school spirit and Christmas Joy with daily themes during the last week before Christmas break.

Monday –  Wear Red and Green

Tuesday – Santa or Elf hat day

Wednesday  – Christmas Sweater/ Ugly Sweater day

Thursday – Reindeer antler / red nose day

Friday – Crazy Sock / Christmas sock day


Due to Covid restrictions treats from home to be shared with the will not be allowed.



Angel Tree Donations Ending Dec. 16th

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We invite you to support the St. Bernadette school Angel Tree Charity.  Each Christmas Holiday the St. Bernadette school community generously provides support to families through our Angel Tree Charity initiative.  Due to the Covid -19 pandemic we are not able to accept donations of clothing or toys.  This year we are asking that families who are able, make a financial contribution through School Cash Online at the following link:

Donations will go towards supporting the St. Joseph Parish, St. Vincent DePaul Society and the Mill Courtland Community Centre.

Donations will be accepted until December 16th.

Thank you for your continued support,

Staff of St. Bernadette Catholic School

St. Joseph Parish Advent Message to St. Bernadette

We are blessed to have such a supportive relationship with St. Joseph Parish.  Father Brian and Mary Forcier (parish youth minister) continue to guide our spiritual and faith formation throughout the 2020-2021 school year.

Please read their Advent message using the link below.

Dec 2020 newsletter

SELF-COMPASSION – December’s Umbrella Project Skill

Self- Compassion is the care we give to ourselves when we make mistakes, embarrass ourselves, or come short of a goal we were hoping to achieve.  It is important to acknowledge and accept that their are times in life that we are at fault, and that is part of being human.  Self -compassion is giving ourselves care, understanding and kindness instead of criticism when faced with shortcomings, inadequacies , or failures.

Why is Self-Compassion Important

  1. Improves wellbeing, happiness, life satisfaction, connection to others, self-confidence, curiosity, self compassion and optimism Reduces anxiety, depression, stress
  2. Reduces perfectionism and shame
  3. Increases our desire to learn
  4. Increases feelings of competence and ability to complete tasks
  5. Lowers our fear of failure, and makes us more likely to persevere and try again
  6. Allows us to take greater responsibility for past mistakes and gives us greater disposition to apologize



“ Someone is inevitably going to dislike you. As long as that person isn’t yourself , you are good” 

Michelle Elman


“It’s not your job to like me, It’s mine”

Byron Katie





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