Message from the Minister of Education

Dear parents,

For the first time in nearly a generation, our government successfully negotiated agreements with all teachers’ unions and averted strikes in schools. This allowed us to deliver on our promise to parents to bring stability to classrooms and keep kids in class.

As kids benefit from three more years of uninterrupted learning, I have heard from many of you, teachers and students alike, about concerns about the alarming rise of youth vaping in schools and the persistent use of cellphones as a distraction from learning in class.

That is why we are rolling out Canada’s most comprehensive plan to counter these threats.

To help reduce distractions in our schools, starting this September, we are denying cellphone usage during instructional time so that students can focus on getting back to basics and learning foundational skills like reading, writing and math.

Our youngest learners in kindergarten to Grade 6, who may have phones, will now be required to keep phones on silent and out of sight for the duration of the day.

For students in Grades 7 to 12, phones can be with the student. However, they will only be permitted during instructional time if explicitly allowed by the educator.

We will also commit to having report cards include comments on students’ distraction levels in class. We recognize that some parents want to communicate with their children during school, and the policies listed above will still permit that during non-instructional time or when an educator gives permission.

When it comes to cellphones, Ontario’s policy is: out of sight and out of mind.

We are also removing social media websites from all school networks and devices to help strengthen in-person relationships, communication and social-emotional skills.

We have also announced a strict anti-vaping policy in schools where parents are immediately informed, and the vapes in a student’s possession will be given up and disposed of. There are immediate consequences for students caught in possession of illegal substances, and Public Health Units can also be engaged to support education, prevention and enforcement, when necessary. We are also providing funding to schools to install vape detectors so they can better enforce these new rules.

We are also increasing wrap-around supports for students to support learning, addictive behaviours and implementation, as well as dedicated training for teachers and supports for parents on how best to manage this change. I encourage you to read the updated Provincial Code of Conduct that outlines these changes.

No matter how strong the policy is, we can’t do this alone.

To truly change behaviour, we are asking for your support and collaboration to hold conversations at home about the new expectations and the importance of respecting school staff and the rules as we head into September.

Change will come when we all work together and stand by teachers, principals, and education workers as they implement these new measures. Your co-operation will help ensure students can get back to basics, focus on their studies, and prepare for the jobs of tomorrow.

By doing so, we restore common sense, where the focus remains on academic achievement and the safety of your child.

Thank you,

The Honourable Stephen Lecce
Minister of Education

April 29th, 2024|

Pope Francis Award for Ecological Leadership

Nominate a staff member today!

Deadline: Monday, May 6, 2024

Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that the earth, our common home, “is like a sister with whom we share our lives and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us.”

In his encyclical Laudato Si’ (On Care for our Common Home), Pope Francis reminds us that “Along with the importance of little everyday gestures, social love moves us to devise larger strategies to halt environmental degradation and to encourage a ‘culture of care’ which permeates all of society” (#231).

The Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations ask that all graduates be “responsible citizen[s] who respect the environment and use resources wisely.”

The Pope Francis Award for Ecological Leadership annually recognizes up to three school staff members who heed these calls and live out these values. Staff members who actively demonstrate a love for creation and care for the planet in all their interactions and staff who initiate or lead environmental projects of all kinds.

The award, which will be presented at the recipients’ schools in May, is open to all WCDSB school-based staff. Nominations may be made by any WCDSB staff or School Council member.

Re-nominations are permitted.

Nomination form: https://www.wcdsb.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2024/04/Pope-Francis-Award-for-Ecological-Leadership-Nomination-Form-2024.pdf

April 22nd, 2024|

Upcoming Board of Trustees’ Meeting: Monday, April 22, 2024

Upcoming Agenda:

Board of Trustees’ Board Meeting: Monday, April 22, 2024 @ 6:00 pm – Agenda: 2024-04-22_Board-of-Trustee Agenda

Location:  1st floor Board Room, Catholic Education Centre, 35 Weber Street, Kitchener

General Information About WCDSB Board Meetings

Information About the Board of Trustees

(Note: Agenda files can be large. If you are experiencing issues downloading a file, right-click on the link and choose “Save Target As…”.)

April 18th, 2024|

Host an International Student

Our homestay partner companies are actively seeking host families for international students attending school in the Waterloo Region for short and long-term programs (from 2 weeks to 1 year).

Host families provide students with:

  • The opportunity to participate in the family’s daily lives and events
  • The care, support, and comfort of a family member
  • A bedroom with a desk, chair, lamp, dresser, and a bed, not convertible or inflatable in nature
  • Three quality meals a day
  • Unlimited internet access

Families are remunerated $1,050/4 weeks, plus bonuses.

Homestay Partner Companies

Canada Linc

(226) 606-5943
info@canadalinc.com

Waterloo Region Student Placement (WRSP)

(226) 341-2092
hostingastudent@gmail.com

April 10th, 2024|

Digital Detox at Doyle

Written by: Evy Ayers, Grade 11, Monsignor Doyle Secondary School

Students volunteer to participate in Doyle’s third-annual “Phone-Fast.”

During the weeks leading up to Easter weekend, WCDSB schools and students decided to celebrate this year’s Lent in a variety of ways, showcasing their unique relationships with faith. In previous years, Monsignor Doyle Catholic Secondary School had opted for a unique approach for the celebration of Lent, and this year was no different. On Wednesday, March 27, the school hosted their third-annual phone fast.

This digital detox allows students to earn a total of eight volunteer hours by participating in a 24-hour Lenten fast. Event coordinator, Anne Denomme, explains that sign-up for the event takes plac