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Board Administration Presents Catholic Trustees with $299.9 Million Balanced Budget

Waterloo Region, ON – Trustees of the Waterloo Catholic District School Board have received the Board’s $299.9 million 2019-20 school year budget. The budget vote is scheduled for 6 p.m., Monday, June 24, 2019.

Government policy changes involving class sizes, reduction in per-pupil funding, and cancelation of the Local Priorities Fund have led to an overall reduction across the school system of approximately $10 million, impacting staff as well as student programming and resources.

The government continues to consult with stakeholders on specific policy changes. As a result, further funding amendments may be introduced in the coming months.

Quick Facts

  • The overall budget is as follows:
    • Total Operating: $278.9 M (+ $5.6 million)
    • Total Capital: $20.9 M (+ $2.2 million
    • Total Operating & Capital: $299.9 M (+ $7.8 million)


  • Some of the strategies used to balance the budget include:
    • Reduction of support staff and academic staff throughout the system
    • Reduction of school budgets
    • Reduction of maintenance budgets
    • Deferral of equipment purchases including laptops, Chromebooks, vehicles, furniture, and custodial equipment
    • Reduction of departmental PD budgets and PD requiring release time


  • Further, a spending freeze was implemented in 2018-19 to increase surpluses available for 2019-20 and future years, should they be needed.


  • While the depth and breadth of the proposed reductions may seem daunting, WCDSB Senior Administration believes the school system is resourced in a way that provides students with opportunities, experiences, and instruction that are the envy of most jurisdictions in the world.


  • The WCDSB continues to be proud of our strong graduation rates and EQAO scores, a diverse and supported student population whose families value faith-based education, and staff committed to student success and wellness.  Additionally, enrolment continues to grow at record rates, with a projected 3.3% increase over 2018-19 and a gain in student market share over 2017-18.

Related Links

WCDSB 2019-20 School Year Budget Package

WCDSB 2018-2021 Multi-year Strategic Plan

Ontario Grants for Student Needs

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board, representing more than 96,000 Catholic school supporters, operates 48 schools and five adult education facilities serving more than 40,000 elementary, secondary and continuing education students in Waterloo Region – continuing a 183-year tradition of quality, inclusive, faith-based education. Follow us on Twitter: @WCDSBNewswire – #WCDSBAwesome.

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For more information, please contact:

Shesh Maharaj — Chief Financial Officer

(519) 578-3660 | Shesh.Maharaj@wcdsb.ca


June 17th, 2019|

GREEN ALERT!!! All 48 WCDSB Schools Officially Certified as Ontario EcoSchools!!

Waterloo Region, ON – The Waterloo Catholic District School Board proudly announces that all 48 WCDSB elementary and secondary schools have been officially certified as Ontario EcoSchools.

The WCDSB is among just a handful of Ontario school boards to have reached the 100% certification milestone.

The board joined the program in 2011, with seven certified EcoSchools, and had set an ambitious target of having all schools certified by the end of the 2018-19 school year.

This year, five schools reached the prestigious Platinum level, 19 schools achieved Gold status, 19 schools achieved Silver status and five schools achieved Bronze status.

The results for each school follow below:


>> 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”. The WCDSB supports this call to action via its Environmental Education, Stewardship and Sustainability Committee and a robust Environmental Education, Stewardship and Sustainability Policy which has been in place since 2009. “Promoting stewardship of the Earth and its resources” is a key Strategic Goal of the WCDSB’s Multi-Year Strategic Plan.

>> Ontario EcoSchools is an environmental education program for grades 1-12 that helps students develop ecological literacy while engaging in practices to become environmentally responsible citizens. This is a perfect fit with the philosophy in Waterloo Region’s Catholic Schools that sustainable development means “meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” The program works with 58 Ontario school boards and more the 1,900 elementary and secondary schools.

>> Platinum certification allows high-achieving schools to deepen their existing program through rich opportunities that engage students in environmental learning and practice. In order to be eligible for Platinum certification schools must have:

    • Certified for at least five years with no more than a one-year gap
    • Certified at the Gold level for at least three of those five years
    • Certified Gold in the year prior to the Platinum application

Related Links


WCDSB Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board, representing more than 96,000 Catholic school supporters, operates 48 schools and five adult education facilities serving more than 40,000 elementary, secondary and continuing education students in Waterloo Region – continuing a 183-year tradition of quality, inclusive, faith-based education. Follow us on Twitter: @WCDSBNewswire – #WCDSBAwesome.

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For more information, please contact:

John Shewchuk – Chief Managing Officer

(519) 578-3660 | john.shewchuk@wcdsb.ca

June 12th, 2019|

Administrative Boundary Change – St. Kateri Tekakwitha CES & St. Timothy CES

The purpose of the administrative boundary change between St. Kateri Tekakwitha and St. Timothy is to alleviate growth pressures at St. Kateri Tekakwitha. Currently, St. Kateri Tekakwitha has nine portables on site, and St. Timothy has no portables. Within these two school boundaries, there are approximately 1658-2985 low density residential units planned with the majority of units falling within St. Kateri’s existing school boundary. The long term solution for this area is the new Doon South school, which is subject to Ministry funding and land acquisition.

The table below shows the enrolment projections for both schools:

As a partial interim solution, the school board’s Executive Council approved moving the area outlined in red on the map below from St. Kateri to St. Timothy effective immediately. This boundary generally follows Blair Creek Drive to Stauffer Woods Trail. This area currently falls within St. Kateri’s boundary and contains 660-860 low density residential units, which equates to approximately 66-86 future students. St. Timothy is under capacity, and has the ability to add up to six portables without any modifications to the school site.

June 4th, 2019|

Two WCDSB Students Bring Home Skills Ontario Hardware!

During the week of May 6-8, 2019, a total of 18 WCDSB secondary school students competed at the Provincial Skills Ontario Competition at the Toronto Congress Center – with two students bringing home some hardware! Please congratulate:

Wesley Richardson, Resurrection C.S.S. – SILVER Medalist – Job Interview

Chrislyn De Jong, Resurrection C.S.S. – BRONZE Medalist – Hairstyling

The Skills Ontario Competition is Canada’s largest skilled trades and technology competition. There were approximately 30,000 spectators on hand during the week to watch more than 2,400 of the brightest young people of this province compete in one of the more than 70 contests and challenges for students from Grade 4 to College.

All competitors put in their best efforts and made the WCDSB Community proud! Congratulations to all students who competed and thank you to all the teachers and mentors who supported them along the way!

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May 29th, 2019|

WCDSB Board Meeting Bulletin — May, 2019


Committee of the Whole Board Meeting

Monday, May 13, 2019 – Meeting Agenda Package

Public Board Meeting

Monday, May 27, 2019 — Meeting Agenda Package


School Travel Planner Update

Managing traffic flow around school sites, ensuring pedestrian safety, demonstrating respect for neighbours and their properties, and a continued interest in the mental and physical health of our students have ‘driven’ the need for centralized resources to support schools and communities.

The School Travel Planner has been in place now for three years and has been a very welcomed addition and support to all participating partners in the Region. The partners are:

  • Waterloo Catholic District School Board
  • Waterloo Region District School Board
  • City of Kitchener
  • City of Cambridge
  • City of Waterloo

School Travel Planning and the Active and Safe Routes to School initiative have blossomed across the province as a leading practice that is good for kids and their communities.

Highlights of the past year include:

  • Working with municipalities and townships to increase the availability of crossing guards when weather conditions are not ideal
  • Working with schools and families to increase active travel to school
  • Working with administrators, Board planning staff, and municipalities to improve traffic flow and safety at school sites
  • Designating six new schools at ‘Active Communities’
  • Training students as ‘Trailblazers’ – leaders in walking to school
  • Planning and organizing walk to school days – Winter Walk Day, International Walk to School Day, and Walk in their Sneakers Day
  • Data collection and development of outreach programs

On May 13, 2019 the architect of our local school travel planning, Leslie Maxwell, provided the Board of Trustees additional highlights of the team’s work in our schools over the past year. The full report is available on pages 8-25 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Numeracy Update

The WCDSB’s most recent update on numeracy initiatives across the school system was presented on May 13, 2019. The report provided updated information with respect to the following:

  • Elementary and Secondary Math Lead Teacher
  • Professional Learning Opportunities for Mathematics Teaching & Learning
  • Instructional Coaches’ Collaborative Inquiries
  • Gap Closing Teacher
  • Cross-Panel Financial Literacy Initiative

Throughout this school year, various networks in mathematics took place in an equitable manner. Each school in both panels took part in the Math Lead Teacher learning community in order to build system capacity in mathematics K-12. Additionally, numerous after-school professional learning sessions were offered to educator audiences from K-10. Our focus of deepening pedagogical content knowledge continues to drive professional learning as it relates to our Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (BIPSA) priorities. In moving forward, the board plans to expand financial literacy integration to more educators, continue to support the Ministry focus around fundamentals of math, and capitalize on the distributed leadership already in place.

The full report is available on pages 26-30 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Special Education Plan Update

All school boards are required every two years to prepare and approve a Special Education Plan, reporting on the special education programs and special education services they provide, and to submit it to the Ministry of Education. A key component of this process is the Special Education Staff Development Plan.

The goal of the Special Education Staff Development Plan is to build capacity, skills and knowledge for administrators, teachers (classroom and Special Education teachers), Educational Assistants and professionals to ensure that high quality programs and services are provided for our students. The aim of the review is to ensure that certain standards are maintained across the province in the development and provision of special education programs and services. Where the ministry determines that a board’s plan does not comply with the standards, the ministry will require the board to amend its plan. Amending the plan will include responding to identified omissions. Boards will make the necessary changes and submit the amendments to the ministry the following year.

The WCDSB closely monitors how students on IEP’s are achieving, particularly in the area of numeracy. The Student Services Department, in collaboration with Program Services, strive to provide timely learning opportunities across a wide range of audiences in feedback gathered through surveys, data collection and audits. We utilize technology, expertise, guest speakers and collaboration as a means to foster engagement in the learning process. Success is measured through the use of logic models.

As of January 22, 2019, approximately 13% of students in Elementary (2,352) and 19% of students in Secondary (1,648) are supported with an IEP (Figure 1). Relative to two years previous (2017), we have proportionally fewer students with an IEP, when there were 14% of students in Elementary and 24% of students in Secondary.

The accompanying graphic illustrates the Special Education Staff Training planned for 2019-20.

The full update is available on pages 16-22 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Energy Conservation Plan

Ontario school boards are required to prepare a 5-year energy conservation and demand management plans for the period 2018-19 to 2023-24. School boards must produce a document that outlines their progress against the plan that was completed in the previous reporting period (ending 2017-18). This includes:

  • the energy management measures that were implemented from fiscal year 2013-14 through fiscal year 2017-18; and
  • the actual energy conserved against the stated annual and cumulative energy conservation goals.

In addition, each plan must set out the Board’s energy management strategies for next five years. It must include:

  • the proposed measures to reduce energy consumption;
  • the annual and cumulative conservation goals; and
  • the demand management strategies.

Through our Environmental Education, Stewardship and Sustainability policy, the WCDSB is actively addressing long-term sustainability in the following key areas: Energy & Water; Purchasing & Waste; Buildings & Grounds; Food & Drink; Inclusion & Participation; and Local Well-Being. This is in keeping with the guidance of Pope Francis in his historic encyclical, Laudato Si’ – On Care for our Common Home as well as WCDSB’s own mission and vision.

To address climate change and associated negative impacts, in the fall of 2016, the WCDSB established a target to reduce its energy use by 1% (661,755 ekWh) annually from the 2013-14 level by 2023. In addition, as part of the Regional Carbon Initiative, in the fall of 2015 the WCDSB became an observing member of Sustainable Waterloo Region and in December 2016 the Board became a pledging partner to reduce 20% of its GHG emissions from 2014 levels over a 10-year period.

To meet this target, WCDSB has implemented conservation measures through design, construction, as well as operation and maintenance of facilities. Additionally, a renewed focus has been placed on behavioral measures with programs targeted to staff and students across the system. Since the 2013-2014 fiscal year, the board has invested $22,300,000 in diverse energy reduction strategies such as the upgrade of mechanical and HVAC equipment, new rooftop units, new roofs, new windows and doors, environmental programs, workshops and staff training.

To view the full plan please see pages 23-57 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Board Chair’s Update

Each month, Board Chair Bill Conway reports on the activities of the Board of Trustees. The report for May 2019 is available on page 62 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Student Trustees Report

Student Trustees Izabella Tyc and Meghan Nemeth presented their monthly report on activities in WCDSB’s secondary schools. The report is available on page 61 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Upcoming Board Meetings

Regular Public Board Meeting

Monday, June 17, 2019

St. Benedict CSS, Cambridge

Special Public Board Meeting

Monday, June 24, 2019

St. Benedict CSS, Cambridge

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board, representing more than 96,000 Catholic school supporters, operates 49 schools and four adult education facilities, serving more than 40,000 elementary, secondary and continuing education students in Waterloo Region – continuing a 183-year tradition of quality, inclusive, faith-based education. Follow us on Twitter: @WCDSBNewswire – #WCDSBAwesome.

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For more information, please contact:

John Shewchuk – Chief Managing Officer | (519) 578-3660 | john.shewchuk@wcdsb.ca

May 28th, 2019|

Waterloo Fire Rescue Chief Richard Hepditch Receives Distinguished Graduate Award

Waterloo Region, ON – The students, staff and trustees of Waterloo Region’s Catholic Schools proudly congratulate Waterloo Fire Rescue Chief Richard Hepditch as the school board’s 2019 Distinguished Graduate Award honouree. The award will be presented on Tuesday, June 11, 2019.


♦ A graduate of St. David Catholic Secondary School (he also attended the former St. Louis CES and St. Michael CES in Waterloo), Richard was named Chief of Waterloo Fire Rescue in May, 2014. Prior to becoming Chief, he held numerous roles including Captain, Community Emergency Management Co-ordinator, and Deputy Chief. Before joining Waterloo Fire Rescue, Richard was a primary-care paramedic for Region of Waterloo Paramedic Services and taught for more than a decade in Conestoga College’s pre-service firefighter education and training program.

♦ Richard is a member of the Waterloo Region Children’s Safety Village governing committee and is a founding member and co-chair of Waterloo’s Real Men Can Cook charity event. He was recognized as one of the Waterloo Region Record’s “Top 40 Under 40” in 2010, and received Conestoga College’s Alumni of Distinction Award in 2011.

♦ Noteworthy among Richard’s many accomplishments is his work in the community helping feed the hungry. Through events such as “Fitness Feeds the Community” and the “Fire and Police to Food Bank 365” program, Richard’s support for the Foodbank of Waterloo Region has helped ensure hunger is seen as a critical issue 365 days a year – not just during special seasons. Thanks to his efforts, Foodbank donations can be made at any fire or police station in Waterloo Region any day of the year.


“Needless to say, it is always gratifying for us to see our graduates accomplish great things in their careers. But in Richard’s case, it’s not just his exemplary career of public service – where he serves as a role model, mentor and personal inspiration to so many – that we celebrate. We especially celebrate his work in helping feed Waterloo Region’s hungry, and his willingness to step forward to support those who are less fortunate. There are few people in Waterloo Region or anywhere else in Ontario who can match Richard’s profile as a model Catholic school graduate.”

~~ Loretta Notten, Director of Education

Related Links

WCDSB Distinguished Graduate Award Honourees

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board, representing more than 96,000 Catholic school supporters, operates 52 schools and five adult education facilities serving more than 40,000 elementary, secondary and continuing education students in Waterloo Region – continuing a 183-year tradition of quality, inclusive, faith-based education. Follow us on Twitter: @WCDSBNewswire – #WCDSBAwesome.

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For more information, please contact:

John Shewchuk – Chief Managing Officer

(519) 578-3660 | john.shewchuk@wcdsb.ca


May 23rd, 2019|

Time to Sign up for the Kindergarten First Rider Program!

If your child is starting Kindergarten in September and is eligible for transportation, join Student Transportation Services of Waterloo Region (STSWR) on June 5, 2019.

The First Rider Program introduces new riders to the school bus and teaches them how to be a safe and responsible rider. Families will learn how to board, ride, and get off the bus safely and become familiar with transportation procedures for Junior and Senior Kindergarten students.

Register for this free event on the STSWR website

May 23rd, 2019|

14 WCDSB Schools Earn “Healthy Schools” Certifications

Waterloo Region, ON – Fourteen Waterloo Catholic District School Board schools have been awarded “Healthy Schools” certifications by the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association (OPHEA)Nine WCDSB schools were certified last year, while four made the mark in 2016-17.

The school board saw a significant increase in the number of schools achieving the GOLD standard in 2018-19 – moving from four schools last year to 12 schools this year.

And all five WCDSB secondary schools were certified, with four of them reaching GOLD standard.

Quick Facts


Christ the King Catholic Elementary School

Holy Rosary Catholic Elementary School

Monsignor EA Doyle Catholic Secondary School

Resurrection Catholic Secondary School

St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School

St. David Catholic Secondary School

St. Elizabeth Catholic Elementary School

St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School

St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Elementary School

St. Michael Catholic Elementary School

St. Nicholas Catholic Elementary School

St. Peter Catholic Elementary School


St. Boniface Catholic Elementary School Silver


St. Mary’s Catholic Secondary School Bronze

Participating schools across Ontario completed the 6-Step Healthy Schools Process, which aligns with the Ministry of Education’s Foundations for a Healthy School This process guides a school community through planning and implementation of a range of activities for a selected priority health topic. The process is annual, repeating each school year, and flexible for all communities across Ontario to sustain year over year. School teams focus on one of the following six health topics:

    • Physical Activity
    • Healthy Eating
    • Personal Safety and Injury Prevention
    • Growth and Development
    • Mental Health
    • Substance Use, Addictions and Related Behaviours

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board, representing more than 96,000 Catholic school supporters, operates 52 schools and five adult education facilities serving more than 40,000 elementary, secondary and continuing education students in Waterloo Region – continuing a 183-year tradition of quality, inclusive, faith-based education. Follow us on Twitter: @WCDSBNewswire – #WCDSBAwesome.

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May 22nd, 2019|
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