IMPORTANT! Vaccine Clinics for Students Aged 12-17: All Schools Welcome!!

The Waterloo Region Vaccine Task Force is hosting school vaccine clinics across Waterloo Region between June 22 – 26, 2021 for youth and their families.

School vaccine clinics

Youth aged 12-17 — and family members they live with — can book appointments at these vaccine clinics to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Daytime, evening, and weekend appointments are available between June 22 – 26, 2021. Free parking is available on-site at all the clinics.

Grand River Collegiate

175 Indian Rd, Kitchener, ON N2B 2S7

Southwood Secondary School

30 Southwood Dr, Cambridge, ON N1S 4K3

Huron Heights Secondary School

1825 Strasburg Rd, Kitchener, ON N2R 1S3

How to book an appointment?

To book an appointment please email youthclinics@regionofwaterloo.ca with your name, contact information, and preferred clinic location. Someone will call you back to complete the booking process (within 48 hours).

You can also book an appointment by calling the YMCA settlement services at 226-339-4964.

These clinics do not take walk-ins, an appointment is needed.

Who can get the vaccine now?

Youth between the ages of 12 and 17 are now eligible to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Youth must be 12 years old at the time of their appointment.

Youth will be able to get their second dose quicker than other people so they will have both their shots before the 2021/2022 school year.

What vaccine will be given?

Health Canada has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for anyone 12 years of age and older. See the resources below for more information.

Thank you for your continued support in keeping our community safe.

June 21st, 2021|

Call for Applicants to Fill 2 WCDSB Trustee Vacancies

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board is seeking applicants to fill two Trustee vacancies representing Kitchener and Wilmot. The vacancies were created by the resignations of Trustees Greg Reitzel and Kevin Dupuis.

Under the Education Act, when a trustee vacancy occurs, the Board of Trustees must undertake a process to identify a qualified person to serve the remainder of the former Trustee’s current term of office. The Board of Trustees has traditionally used a candidate application / interview process to fill vacant seats, and that process will be employed again. The candidate interviews will be held in public.

At the conclusion of the public interview process, the sitting Trustees will vote to select the successful applicants.

Provincial legislation stipulates any applicants to fill the vacant seats must be:

  • A Canadian citizen at least 18 years of age — and a resident of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo;
  • A baptized Roman Catholic, who is shown as an English-language Roman Catholic school board supporter on the municipal assessment list;
  • Not an employee of the Waterloo Catholic District School Board or any other district school board or school authority in Ontario.

Any person meeting the above requirements may apply for the positions.

A description of the roles and responsibilities of school board trustees is available by clicking HERE

WCDSB will follow Public Health restrictions, and whether virtually or in person, interviews / presentations to the Board will be held on Monday August 30th, 2021.

Applicants must provide a signed resume and confirmation of their qualifications (suggested length: 3-5 pages) by Monday August 23rd, to: Waterloo Catholic District School Board, 35 Weber St. W., Unit A, Kitchener, ON, N2H 3Z1 (Attention Alice Figueiredo). Email: alice.figueiredo@wcdsb.ca

Questions may be sent to the same email address above.

All correspondence is subject to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

WCDSB School

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 185-year tradition of quality, inclusive, faith-based education. Follow us on Twitter: @WCDSBNewswire – #WCDSBAwesome.

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June 21st, 2021|

Links fore Learning Golf Classic … The Tradition Continues!

The 19th Annual Links fore Learning Golf Classic the tradition continues on Thursday, August 19, 2021, at the Conestoga Golf & Country Club.

The event is sponsored by Waterloo Region’s Catholic Schools and the Catholic Community Foundation of Waterloo Region (formerly the Waterloo Region Catholic Schools Foundation).

The programing will align with Region of Waterloo COVID-19 protocols but, be assured, this will be another exceptional, unique, experience.

The cost is still $150/golfer and registration is easy and convenient … just visit www.ccfowr.ca/news-&-updates.

For information, contact Ms. Jody Fritz, tel: 519.578.3660 ext.2373 or email: jody.fritz@wcdsb.ca.

June 18th, 2021|

Huron Brigadoon — Notice of Decision

Dear Parents & Guardians:

On Monday, June 14, 2021, the Board of Trustees approved recommendations to change the boundaries for Blessed Sacrament, John Sweeney, Our Lady of Grace, and St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Elementary Schools (CES). The purpose was to establish a boundary for the new Huron Brigadoon CES in advance of its opening, which is anticipated September 2022.

The Board’s decision came after consultation with school communities through the Boundary Review Committee process and public meetings.

The boundary changes in accordance with Staff Recommended Option 1 (described below and map on reverse) will take effect on September 1, 2022:

  • move sub-areas K, M, N, and P from Blessed Sacrament to Huron Brigadoon;
  • move sub-area E from John Sweeney to Huron Brigadoon;
  • move sub-area T from Our Lady of Grace to Huron Brigadoon; and,
  • move sub-areas V, W, Y, and Z from St. Kateri Tekakwitha to Huron Brigadoon.

Grade 7 students enrolled at Blessed Sacrament, John Sweeney, Our Lady of Grace, and St. Kateri Tekakwitha in the 2021/22 school year (or the school year prior to the new Huron Brigadoon CES opening) may remain in their current school. Transportation will be provided if they qualify.

All other students living in areas impacted by the boundary review will attend the new Huron Brigadoon CES as of September 2022. Transition plans will be prepared to support all students through these changes. Further information will follow from each school; parents will be involved in this process through their Catholic School Advisory Councils.

The Board would like to thank all of those who were involved throughout the review. To each of the Boundary Review Committee representatives, parents/guardians and school community members who participated in the review with passion and commitment to ensuring the best outcome for all students – your advocacy is appreciated.

Sincerely,

Loretta Notten , Director of Education

Melanie Van Alphen, Chair of the Board

June 16th, 2021|

WCDSB Board Meeting Bulletin — June, 2021

Meetings

Public Board Meeting

Monday, June 7, 2021 – Meeting Agenda Package

Public Board Meeting

Monday, June 14, 2021 — Meeting Agenda Package

Highlights

2021-22 School Year Budget

The WCDSB’s school year budget for 2021-22 (a balanced budget totaling $322.4 million) was presented to the board of Trustees on Monday, June 7th, and approved on Monday, June 14th.

BUDGET REPORT

> The overall budget is as follows:

  • Total Operating: $301.2 M — ($6.9 M change from 2020-21)
  • Total Capital: $21.2 M — ($0.7 M change from 2020-21)
  • Total Operating & Capital: $322.4 M — ($7.6 M change from 2020-21)

> As always, budget decisions have been guided by the key priorities captured in the following plans:

> Once again, budget decisions have also been guided by new and emerging considerations related to re-opening schools within the current COVID-19 reality – chief among them, health, and safety considerations.

> Key funding areas of the operating budget include:

  • Learning Services — $208 M
  • Special Education – $39.2 M
  • School Operations & Maintenance — $26.6 M
  • Student Transportation — $7.6 M
  • Adult & Continuing Education — $9.4M
  • Board Administration — $10.4M

School Resource Officer Program Review

In January of 2021, the Waterloo Catholic District school board contracted Turner Consulting Group to review the School Resource Officer Program after the Waterloo Region Police Services halted the program in the region due to expressed community concerns. The WCDSB committed to undertaking a review of the SRO program to determine its efficacy in our secondary schools in relation to its stated goals. We sought to answer the following questions:

  1. How effectively the original mandate of the SRO program –related to relational proactive policing –is being realized in the WCDSB?
  2. How (if at all) is systemic racism experienced within the context of the SRO program?
  3. Whether there an overrepresentation of racialized groups that are being suspended/expelled where SRO involvement was also included?
  4. Whether racialized students see/experience police differently within the SRO program versus those they encounter in their community?
  5. How the police need to work in schools to ensure equity of outcomes for all students?

At the present time it is recommended the SRO program continue to be temporarily paused until a system level committee with representation from WRPS and WCDSB is established in the short term to address the following recommendations in an action plan:

  1. Refine the goals of the program. There needs to be a shared understanding of the SRO program with all stakeholders (staff and community members) to ensure knowledge mobilization. The implementation of the program depends on stakeholder understanding.
  2. On the go forward, utilize the information gleaned from the student census, to be initially administered in the fall, to further support the monitoring of the program and the goals it should establish. Further, we can better utilize suspension and Violence Threat Risk Assessment (VTRA) data in connection with our census data to determine any required foci for action.
  3. Consider additional resources to ensure the role of the SRO is dedicated to the definition and purpose of the SRO role only. If the goal is to build relationships, this takes time to ensure trust. The duality of the SRO role and role of police can cause confusion and mistrust when the roles of performed interchangeably, so a good examination of how the role should ideally perform within the school environment is needed and how to balance the two potential functions an SRO can fulfill.
  4. As we re-examine now and on an ongoing basis the SRO program, it is imperative to utilize student voice, especially from minority and racialized youth to design a program that works for them.
  5. To build trust and a culture of safety, reporting procedures/mechanisms should be established for students who believe they have been treated unfairly or inappropriately by someone in a position of authority.
  6. As a system, we need to continue our ongoing work on anti-bias training, equity training and responsive pedagogy for ALL staff.

The report is available beginning on page 7 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Huron Brigadoon Boundary Review

On June 14, 2021, the Board of Trustees approved the following staff recommendations:

  • That the boundaries of Blessed Sacrament, John Sweeney, Our Lady of Grace, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, and the new Huron Brigadoon Catholic Elementary Schools (CES) be modified in accordance with Option 1, effective September 2022 or at such time that the new school opens.
  • That grade 7 students enrolled at Blessed Sacrament, John Sweeney, Our Lady of Grace, and St. Kateri Tekakwitha in the 2021/2022 school year, or the school year prior to the new Huron Brigadoon CES opening, be grand parented to finish grade 8 at their current school.
  • That grade 7 students grand parented at their current school be provided with transportation if they qualify in accordance with board procedure APO012 – Transportation.
  • That French Immersion be offered at the new Huron Brigadoon CES upon its opening in September 2022, or at such time that the new school opens, starting with grade 1 and growing a grade per year.

  • That French Immersion be offered at the new Huron-Brigadoon CES starting with one Grade 1 class per year (20 students), and that staff review the opportunity to expand access to French Immersion at such time as a boundary review is initiated to support the opening of a new school in Southwest Kitchener or if there are significant differences in enrolment trends projected by the New Huron-Brigadoon CES Boundary Review.
  • That students enrolled at Blessed Sacrament, John Sweeney, Our Lady of Grace, and St. Kateri Tekakwitha in the 2021/2022 school year, or the school year prior to the new Huron Brigadoon CES opening, who were directed to attend the new Huron Brigadoon CES as a result of the Huron Brigadoon Boundary Review, be considered for grandparenting at such time as future boundary reviews are conducted in Southwest Kitchener.
  • That a Transition Planning Committee be formed to support all students who will be moving to the new Huron Brigadoon CES as a result of the Huron Brigadoon Boundary Review.

The report is available beginning on page 36 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

French Immersion Review

On June 14, 2021, the Board of Trustees approved the following staff recommendations:

  • That the Waterloo Catholic District School Board continue to offer French Immersion in Dual Track (English and French Immersion) elementary schools, and prioritize that French Immersion be offered in a Grade 1-8 configuration or a school configuration consistent with English programming in the same facility.
  • That the Waterloo Catholic District School Board continue to provide a Grade 1 entry point for French Immersion, and that available Grade 1 spaces be determined annually, based on facility and staffing limitations, and that a lottery be held, by site, where interest in French Immersion exceeds available space and that siblings of existing French Immersion students receive priority access when applying to attend French Immersion.

F I Review

  • That consistent with the Board’s priority to keep siblings together, the Board review APA003 – Admission of Out of Boundary Students to reflect the admittance of siblings of French Immersion students in a capped school.
  • That the Waterloo Catholic District School Board continue the practice of not providing bus transportation to elementary French Immersion students who reside outside of a school’s English boundary.
  • That the Waterloo Catholic District School Board assess the impacts of offering transportation to French Immersion students living outside a secondary school’s English boundary, and that a decision on providing transportation to these students be made prior to November 2021.

The report is available beginning on page 42 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Update on WCDSB COVID Education Delivery Plan

The provincial government and the Region of Waterloo have announced that all students aged 12 to 17 will have the opportunity for vaccination. This population will be prioritized above all others in the weeks of June 14th and June 21st, with increased capacity within the Region. Second shots will then be made available in August, with a goal of having all youth aged 12 to 17 fully vaccinated for the start of the school year. If the youth aged 12 to 17 have any family member who has not been vaccinated when the student is coming for vaccination, their family members may also be vaccinated. Capacity for vaccination will be handled not only by the Region’s mass vaccination clinics, but also by pop-up and hot spot clinics that will be set up in schools.

The ongoing targeted testing program was paused as of June 7th, as there is little demand for the asymptomatic testing with schools no longer offering in person learning.

We are now planning for the final days of this year, as well as intensively planning for the 2021-2022 school year.

As we look to the end of this school year, we know that we have thousands of devices – Chromebooks and internet providers – that we have distributed across the system. Similarly, there are textbooks and school materials to return and personal belongings to retrieve. This will be true at all our schools across the system. To facilitate the collection of the devices and textbooks, and retrieval of materials, we are targeting June 24th as the last day of synchronous learning and June 25th to begin retrieval, to allow for library technicians to receive, catalogue and retrieve outstanding devices. This will require asynchronous instruction for the final days of the school year.

As always, health and safety will continue to remain our primary concern and motivator. We are listening keenly to all updates provided regionally and provincially and will respond accordingly in the best interest of our staff and students.

We are hopeful about the possibilities for next year. While we don’t have full clarity as yet, the signs of recovery are increasingly looking positive.

The report is available beginning on page 44 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Multi-year Strategic Plan Report

The Education Act requires school boards to develop multi-year plans that are 3 years or more in scope. The multiyear plan provides focus and direction to the board to achieve both the Ministry of Education goals but just as importantly, the vision of the board. The multi-year plan is aimed at achieving the Ministry of Education goals of increased student achievement and well-being, equity of achievement and opportunity for all students, as well as increased public confidence

In June of 2018, the Board accepted the final report card on the 2015-2018 Multi-Year Strategic Plan. Within that work was found stakeholder feedback regarding our previously identified Mission, Vision, Beliefs and three core Strategic Priorities. There was a high affirmation rate for each and thus it was identified at that time that those would remain constant and provide a foundational framework for a new strategic plan that was to be approved later in December of 2018. Informed by the work and MYSP survey of the spring of 2018, the June 2018 report card, and several conversations throughout of the fall of 2018, the Director and Senior staff worked to identify both new Strategic Directions and corresponding goals for each of the three pre-identified strategic priorities. There was a concerted effort to reduce the number of strategic directions and the number of goals. Nine strategic directions were reduced to 6 and 32 goals were reduced to 17.

The Multi-Year Strategic Plan for Waterloo Catholic sets out to prioritize our work in the areas of:

  • Nurturing Our Catholic Community
  • Student Engagement, Innovation and Achievement
  • Building Capacity to Lead, Learn and Live Authentically.

MYSP

On June 14, 2021, the Director of Education presented a detailed report on the achievements and challenges of the 2020-21 school year. While it is hard to quantify a firm result against our total number of goals, it is a fair statement to say that, despite some very significant setbacks and challenges that characterized the year, there was solid progress made in each of the six strategic directions. Of course, the entire year occurred under the cloud of some significant challenges related to the pandemic, and that impeded the ability of staff to be fully successful against a number of their articulated plans and goals.

The report is available beginning on page 47 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Board Chair’s Update

Each month, the Chair of the Board reports on the activities of the Board of Trustees. Chair Melanie Van Alphen’s report for June 2021 is available on page 144 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Student Trustees Update

Student Trustees Abby Barbosa and Kate Morrison presented their monthly update – covering activities in WCDSB’s secondary schools. It is available beginning on page 135 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Upcoming Board Meetings

To Be Announced

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board, representing more than 96,000 Catholic school supporters, operates 48 schools and four adult education facilities, serving more than 40,000 elementary, secondary, and continuing education students in Waterloo Region – continuing a 185-year tradition of quality, inclusive, faith-based education. Follow us on Twitter: @WCDSBNewswire – #WCDSBAwesome.

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June 15th, 2021|

Parent & Youth Vaccine Information Session for Students Aged 12 to 17 – Wednesday, June 16

Please join Region of Waterloo Public Health for a presentation on the effectiveness and safety of the Pfizer vaccine for youth. Dr. Kelly Grindrod — who is an Associate Professor at the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy — will provide a brief presentation and answer questions. Both parents and youth are encouraged to join.

You will also find out about the vaccination pre-registration and booking process and vaccine clinics available to youth and their families.

Date:                                     Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Time:                                     7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Join Us on Zoom:

https://regionofwaterloo.zoom.us/j/97049382073?pwd=QzhJWFdkUmxnMldGb2R6RGttbzYyZz09

Webinar ID: 970 4938 2073

Passcode: 284313

The session will be recorded and made available online by Public Health for those who are unable to attend the live session.

June 14th, 2021|

Upcoming “Virtual” Board Meeting — Monday, June 14, 2021

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. — Monday, June 14, 2021. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this meeting will be streamed live on Youtube:

WATCH HERE

Agenda

General Information About WCDSB Board Meetings

Information About the Board of Trustees

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

June 11th, 2021|

Stress and Anxiety Boot Camp for Grades 4 to 12

As part of our ongoing efforts to support Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) students and families, our staff are offering two free interactive, fun information sessions about stress and anxiety and how they can be managed.

These one-hour workshops — scheduled over two weeks in the summer — will help students and their families to learn and develop more ways to manage stress and anxiety.

Stress and Anxiety Boot Camp: Learn Ways to Manage Stress & Anxiety

Where: Zoom meeting

Who: Three age groups will be available through registration

When:

  • Week of July 9 (session one) and July 16 (session two)
  • Week of August 9 (session one) and August 16 (session two)

How To Register

To pre-register, complete the Google Form. Once registered, you will receive the Zoom meeting link via email.

Choose Option One or Option Two

Option 1: Week of July 9 (session one) and July 16 (session two)

  • Grades 4 to 6 at 10 am
  • Grade 7 to 8 at 12:30 pm
  • Grades 9 to 12 at 2 pm

Option 2: Week of August 9 (session one) and August 16 (session two)

  • Grades 4 to 6 at 10 am
  • Grade 7 to 8 at 12:30 pm
  • Grades 9 to 12 at 2 pm
June 10th, 2021|

Special Message from the Director of Education Regarding End of Year Activities

Dear WCDSB Community,

We hope that this communication finds you well.  It has been an eventful few weeks since last we communicated, and today’s letter will bring some important updates.  As you well know at this point, it was announced by the Premier on Wednesday, June 2nd that in person schooling would not be returning this school year.  We know that for many students and indeed for many staff this was a disappointing update and not the news for which we were hoping.  It is difficult to be ending a second year in a row remotely, but we do know it will set us up for a safe and healthy summer, and hopefully a strong return to in person learning in the fall.

End of Year Activities:

We are conscious that without a formal return to school, we once again have to contemplate bringing closure to our year and also complete some tasks associated with return of school materials and retrieval of personal belongings.  It will also be an opportunity to return any learning devices students were loaned from their schools or any textbooks they may have.  To facilitate this process, the last day of synchronous learning for all elementary schools, including St Isidore, will be Thursday June 24th.   June 25th, June 28th, and June 29th will be asynchronous learning days, where work will be posted, and students will be invited to come into their schools to return materials and connect with teachers.

Elementary Schools:

Keeping in mind all our obligations to our health and safety protocols, our elementary aged students will be invited to come to their schools at an appointed time to say a final in-person good-bye to their teacher and to allow for some personal connections with some classmates.  Principals will develop a schedule for their school and communicate those details to students and families once they are finalized.  We hope to not inconvenience parents more than once as they bring their children to the school for their good-bye.

Recognizing Elementary Graduates:

Graduates will also receive communications from their schools with details about virtual graduation ceremonies, and about any drive-by / walk-by graduation ceremonies that are planned.  This will allow for a celebration of this milestone, for photos and final in person good-byes.

Secondary Schools:

The last day for synchronous learning in Secondary with be June 22nd, with June 23rd and 24th as final assessment days.   The dates of June 24th and 25th will be used for device retrieval and textbook collection (June 28th and 29th will be available as need be as well).  School Administration will communicate the schedule and process.  June 24th is the last day for Community Active Living and ELL students.

Recognizing Secondary Graduates:

As has been previously communicated, a great deal of preparation has been underway for our graduates.  The secondary schools have been coordinating efforts and engaged in much planning to ensure our graduates are celebrated to the best of our ability.  Comprehensive virtual graduation ceremonies are currently planned for the fall and in-person celebratory drive-by/walk by ceremonies are planned for this spring.  We want to honour the considerable accomplishments of our many graduates.  We are very proud of you!  More details about these events will be provided by your local school.

Transition Survey Results for 2021-2022 School Year:

Thank you to all parents and families for completing our Transition Survey for next school year.  We have just under 600 students registered for St Isidore elementary school next year and approximately 200 students who desired online learning for secondary.  As the 200 secondary students are spread over 5 schools, 4 grades and multiple courses, a decision has been made that delivery will occur through a hybrid model (online and in-person students are in the same class), so that students can learn online and still access most of the course offerings they might desire.

Learning Kits for next year:

Finally, just a short word to say that once again we will be providing students and families from grades JK – 12 with WCDSB Learning Kits.  Look here to see what to expect:

 Student Kits – List of Items.pdf   It is a small way to ensure heath and safety, while saying to you that you matter to us!  We value your faith in WCDSB, and we cannot wait to welcome you back!

Thanks for your continued support and let’s have a great end to the school year, and an even better, healthier summer and school year ahead!  It’s going to be #WCDSBAwesome !

Sincerely,

Loretta Notten

Director of Education

June 9th, 2021|

Flags Remain Lowered at WCDSB Schools, Marking Tragedy in London, Ontario

Flags at all Waterloo Catholic District School Board schools and administrative sites have been flying at half-mast since May 31st, as a sign of respect for the 215 children and youth whose graves were recently discovered on the grounds of a former residential school in British Columbia.

The period of mourning (215 hours long) was to end tomorrow morning, Wednesday, June 9th.

However, to mark the tragic, anti-Muslim murders this week in London, Ontario — and to stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters — all WCDSB flags will remain at half-mast until the end of the school day on Friday, June 11th.

As a Catholic community we pray for the victims of this senseless act of terrorism, and join as one to condemn racism, bigotry and hate, in all its forms, anywhere.

June 8th, 2021|