Yearly Archives: 2021

Director’s Message – Returning to remote learning

Dear Waterloo Catholic Community –

As you know we have commenced our well-deserved April 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 after the April Break will be remote. That is, on April 19th both our elementary and our secondary students will begin their continued learning virtually. The decision is being made out of an abundance of caution. Experience has shown us that our schools are generally quite safe. Our protocols have served us well and the cases of COVID are not starting, nor are they generally spreading, in our schools, but we are a reflection of the community. We have also seen an increase in the variants and they are proving more concerning. Closing the schools to in person learning for the remainder of April 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.

We do not yet have a firm return date for in person learning but we know that we will pivot to virtual for a minimum of 2 weeks. Once we have a firm return date for in person learning we will be in touch.

Just before we left for the break, out of an abundance of caution, we did make 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 April 19th.   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 April 19th, 2021.

The move to remote learning will be similar to January. 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. The first day back, April 19th, will look a little different – we will treat it similar to a snow day where work will be posted to the class site. Students will work independently. This is to allow our staff to prepare their virtual lessons and we will start full synchronous days on Tuesday April 20th. This will apply to St Isidore as well.

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 April Break we must adhere to the guidance to limit our contacts and social gatherings.

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 let your school principal know upon their return on April 19th, 2021.

I will also take this opportunity to once again 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.

Vaccination does continue to roll out and while we are in the darkest of days right now, there is reason to believe there is light at the end of this dark tunnel. Let us continue to be an Easter people, anchored in faith. 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

 

Notification of Positive Covid-19 case in school

Good Evening St. Bernadette families,

Public Health has notified the school that there has been a positive COVID-19 case identified at the school.

Please read the letter below to learn about what this means for the staff and students at the school.

School Community letter for Positive COVID Case

This is yet another reminder of the seriousness of this pandemic and the need for all to work together and follow Public Health guidelines and complete a daily COVID-19 screening for symptoms.

Sincerely,

Vic Longo- Principal

 

 

Spring Break Message

Dear St. Bernadette Families

We are approach the much anticipated Spring Break.  I would like to thank all of the St. Bernadette staff for their dedication to providing a safe environment for your children to learn in.   Over the last 8 months they have ensured that students learning has continued during both face to face and virtual learning.   It was not easy to make the change between instructional styles, but they met the challenge with professionalism and positivity.  I wish them a peaceful week to enjoy their families, rest up and recharge their energy.

I would also like to acknowledge the parents and guardians of our students, you have been our partners in education during  this challenging time.  Your words of appreciation and gratitude have energized us and confirmed the importance of our work as educators.  These have not been easy times for families and your kindness and cooperation has made it easier for us to follow the COVID-19 protocols and guidelines.

We are truly in this together and our work is not over yet.  During the break please follow the Public Health and Provincial shutdown restrictions.

We are at a critical point in the pandemic, the following  public health measures are crucial to help prevent and limit the spread of COVID-19:

  • Socialize with your own household.
  • Stay home and get tested if you feel ill.
  • Participate in the targeted testing offered by your school board.
  • Screen every day, including during spring break and when we return to school for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Practice good hand hygiene habits, masking, and physical distancing.
  • Refrain from travelling.

Together we will reduce the spread of COVID-19 and allows us to return to school on April 19th.

Stay Safe and Enjoy your Spring Break,

Vic Longo

Principal

Spring Break Preparation

Good afternoon St. Bernadette families,

I hope you are all enjoying the beautiful weather we are experiencing.   It could not come at better timing as we begin our Spring Break next week.  In preparation for the Break and for the potential of a delay in our return, we are asking students do some spring cleaning and take their personal items and clothing home with them this Friday.  Please remind your child to bring home winter clothing, indoor shoes, learning supplies, water bottles, lunch bags.

I wish everyone a safe and healthy break.

Sincerely,

Vic Longo- Principal

Spring Break Message from the WCDSB Director

Dear Waterloo Catholic Community –

I sincerely hope this email finds you well and having enjoyed a safe and hope-filled Easter weekend. Today I am writing to you with some updates as we prepare for our much anticipated April Break. It is absolutely essential that we follow the guidance of Public Health and the province in order to ensure a safe return to learning by all.

As you know the province is now in a province-wide shutdown. For you and your family during the break, this mean only socializing within your own home, taking advantage of testing opportunities, screening everyday for symptoms and staying home if you or anyone in your family feels at all ill. Please take this very seriously as part of our collective responsibility to each other.

As of the writing of this letter, we are expecting to be back to in person learning on April 19th. That said, we know the landscape continues to evolve so we will send students home with Chromebooks for those who require them. Similarly, we encourage students to take home personal belongings so school cleaning can be facilitated. We will certainly be in communication if anything changes about our status for return on April 19th, 2021.

Yesterday we were able to communicate that a small portion of our staff, specifically our special education staff can begin vaccination. This is a hopeful sign and it has energized us for the journey forward.   This is a critical time. The end is in sight, but we must do our utmost to follow all guidance at this critical time so that we can have a safe, happy and healthy return to school for all.

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



Extended Day Program Cancelled

 

Due to a positive COVID-19 case identified in the Extended day program, it will be cancelled until Monday, April 19th.  The program will open again when we return from the Spring Break.

 

Vic Longo – Principal

Positive COVID 19 Case Identified

Good Evening St Bernadette Community,

Public Health has contacted the school to inform us that there has been a positive COVID-19 case connected with the afternoon extended day program.  We are working with public health to support their contact tracing and ensure the health and safety of all staff and students.

Please take care of yourself and loved ones this Easter Holiday.

School Community letter Positive Covid 19 case

St. Joseph Parish Easter Weekend Masses and liturgies

Triduum only 2021 SJK.png

Dear families,

Greetings! We hope that you are all well, and that all in our parish and school communities have a blessed Holy Week.  We have enjoyed being able to join the school virtually for prayer throughout lent.

This year, we are thankful that we are able to gather in person over Holy Week with precautions. All are invited to join us for Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter. We are also live-streaming Masses and liturgies on our YouTube channel: youtube.com/stastj

 Holy Thursday – April 1

Mass of the Lord’s Supper 7:00 p.m. (in person and online)

Good Friday – April 2

Online Reflection led by parish youth 11:00 a.m.

Solemn Liturgy 3:00 p.m. in person and online

Holy Saturday – April 3

Easter Vigil 8:00 p.m. in person and online

Easter Sunday – April 4

Mass 11 a.m. in person and online

In related news, our Diocese has put together a fantastic Holy Week resource for families. These prayer and conversation suggestions may be used as a supplement to in-person worship, or if you are celebrating only from home. Go to hamiltondiocese.com/holyweek2021 to check them out.

May the peace of Christ be with you always.

St Joseph Parish

Mary Forcier, Youth Minister

On behalf of Father Brian, Father Mussie, and Father Tom

Student and Grade 8 Graduation Picture Day – April 1st

Hello St. Bernadette Families,

I would like to provide you with a reminder that April 1st is our picture day.  Due to Covid protocols only individual pictures will be taken this year and life touch is not offering retakes.

Bring your smile

 

 

 

Free Asymptomatic Testing for Students and Staff – March 20th/21st

Free COVID-19 Testing for Students & Staff

Free, voluntary COVID-19 testing for all asymptomatic (those who are not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms) students and staff is available as follows:

10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 20th, 2021

AND

Sunday, March 21st, 2021

Cameron Heights Collegiate

301 Charles St., E., Kitchener

No Appointment Necessary

ABOUT THE TEST

The test process is very simple and safe, and the collection site will be staffed by professionals who will be following a multitude of safety processes.

LifeLabs uses a swab similar to a Q-tip, that is inserted into the front part of the nostril and rotated for fifteen seconds (per nostril). After the sample is collected, the test results will be available within 24-48 hours on the my.thrive.health website.

If an OHIP number has been provided at the time of check-in/registration, results will also be uploaded to https://covid19results.ehealthontario.ca:4443/agree

Thank you for helping us keep the St. Bernadette community safe and healthy so that we can avoid any further disruption from the COVID-19 virus!

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